911 Dispatchers Describe The Calls That Took A Major Turn For The Worse
Working in emergency response can be stressful.
You're often talking people through one of the worst moments of their lives.
Every now and then, though, you get a call that doesn't seem all that urgent at all. You may even have people start the call with "I'm not sure if this is an emergency or not, but..."
You'll also get your share of pranks, kids playing around on phones, or phones that dial emergency services on their own thanks to butt-dials and strange wiring.
Thing is, not all of those not-that-urgent calls will be easy.
Reddit user electrickgaming asked:
"911 Dispatchers of Reddit, what is a seemingly dumb call you got which turned out to be serious?"
People's responses were pretty incredible, but be warned - they're decently intense.
There will be mention of death, gore, violence, etc.
Proceed with caution, as some of these entries can be triggering.
The Monster In The Closet
I was USAF Security Forces a looooooooong time ago.
Call was a kid home alone complaining about a monster in the closet... which was a bit weird, because the kid seemed too old for that. So we go check and OHMYGOD, there's a snake in the closet that's got to be at least 150 pounds. Promptly closed the closet door and noped right on out of that, kid in hand.Giphy
Called Animal Control
Parent arrives first and indicates they don't even own a snake, let alone a people-sized snake.
All parties agree "monster in closet" was accurate-enough description of event.
Silly Old Man
Not dumb, but it was a seemingly minor call by the way it was portrayed to me - and ended up being very serious.
An elderly woman called her doctor (ie standard gp at her local clinic) and said her husband had accidentally shot himself and she needed to let them know. The GP called emergency and lets us know as they thought it sounded minor, but police needed to be aware due to the gun aspect.
I call her and she sounds very surprised Police were calling her and says in her old lady voice "Oh you know hes a silly old man, he's shot himself in the garage."
I ask where he is injured and she says "He's shot himself in the face" - completely calm and serious. He had blown half his jaw off whilst sitting in the chair in the garage and was bleeding profusely. I think he wouldn't have survived but I'm unsure of how it turned out.
I'll never forget her saying "Silly (insert name here) what have you done to yourself?" in a sweet, calm, caring old lady voice. It's very interesting as a dispatcher to be exposed to how people react when they are in shock.
Saved By The Treeline
When I was a Military Police officer we got a call about an accident. A 2 and 1/2 ton truck t-boned a Saturn at a T intersection. When we arrived we found the Saturn pancaked against a concrete barrier. The barrier was protecting against a 10-foot drop into a heavily forested area. We couldn't find the driver of the Saturn. As my partner and I were looking about we heard people yelling from under the concrete.Giphy
When we got down there we saw where the flashlights were pointed. About 6 feet off the ground there was a young woman tangled in tree branches about 20 feet away from the barrier. She was conscious but unable to speak.
The truck hit her car with such force that her body flew through the broken windshield close to the passenger door, out into the woods, and she was saved by the treeline.
She survived with multiple puncture wounds, a broken femur, broken collarbone, collapsed lung, rib injuries, and she lost one of her eyes.
Got a call from Life Alert one time saying that one of their clients was stuck in her kitchen because her wheelchair got stuck on a cupboard. She wasn't in duress just needed to get unstuck.
Wasn't an urgent call and it was a busy night so the road sergeant had to pull a unit off the call twice due to more urgent calls. After she pulled the second unit she said he would go and help the woman herself while the other calls were being handled.
When the sergeant arrived the caller's front door was open with just the screen door in place. That wasn't unusual since it was a nice day for a breeze. Sgt could see the caller from the screen door and tried to ask if there was a way to unlock the screen or if she would have to cut it to get in.
The caller was not responsive to our Sgt so she called on the radio that we should have FD en route and that she was going to have to cut the screen door to make entry.
When our Sgt made it in, she found that Life Alert had the circumstances totally wrong. We don't know if the caller downplayed the situation, or if the operator just got the details wrong. Caller was not stuck in a cupboard at all.
The caller was sitting in her chair at the sink and had been washing dishes. The caller appeared to have dropped a knife and cut into her ankle. She was unable to bend down to stop the bleeding and was on blood thinners. She did not make it.
My center took a call from a number like 5 times in an hour, always radio silence on the other end. On the 6th call we finally heard enough of a voice to know someone was there and got an address and enough to know it was serious.
Make entry to the house and find the caller. A man had picked up his soon to be ex-girlfriend to "talk." He then duct taped her mouth and zip tied her wrists and ankles and spent the next 14 hours beating her with a bat and broke her cheek bone.
It was an absolutely terrifying moment and what made it worse was on review of the tape we could hear her say help on one of the previous calls, but couldn't hear it on the initial call in.
Too Much What?
A call came in and the caller was hard to understand. The man says my friend is sick, he's chocking from to much of something. It sounded like he said too much penis, so we asked him to repeat himself. Again, it sounded like penis. We would have brushed it off as a prank, but he sounded really scared.
Turns out he was saying peanuts. His friend had a peanut allergy and was going into shock.
We got a call from a couple a few years back. They said they had eaten edibles and thought they were going to die and all that. It's not an uncommon call, actually. So obviously we all thought they were just anxious from the marijuana.
It turned out when we got to their apartment that the marijuana they had gotten was laced and we had to rush them to the emergency room because when we got there they were passed out.
Emergency Or Not?
Sometimes people call on 911 for non-threatening things and vice versa, so it doesn't surprise me when the first line is, "I don't know if this is an emergency or not...."
So while at work one of those comes in. "I don't know if this is an emergency.....but I just saw a man shoot out the back window of a car while it was driving off."
Um yeah, that would qualify, ma'am.
Then about four minutes later, I get the 911 call from the girlfriend of the shooting victim. She was driving her boyfriend to the hospital.
Got a call for debris in the road on the main highway heading into town. It was outside our town limits, but was passed on to us as it was pretty close and the Sheriff's department was going to take a while to get to it. We often took small calls like this as a courtesy to their dept.
Once the officer arrived, he discovered the "debris" was what was left of a motorcyclist in a hIt and run. The body was in pretty bad shape, most likely hit by a semi, and had been subsequently run over by other motorists not realizing what it was. It gets pretty dark out in the desert, and the body looked more like someone had dropped some old clothes off the back of their truck or something. There was no way to know it was a body if you weren't standing over it with a light.
We had to track down the lady who made the original call. As it turned out, she was in the local convenience store. We discovered one of his arms had flipped up and become lodged in the grill of her car as she ran over it.
Along with dealing with the original call, we had to call an ambulance as the lady panicked and went into shock when she saw the arm. Ended up being a long night. After the initial investigation phase, the whole thing was turned over to the Sheriff's dept., I never did hear if they caught the guy who hit him.
I had an older female call in saying her husband fell while in the basement. Pretty normal call. I was trying to get info before turning it over to Fire(EMS) dispatch.
Said she heard him fall with a loud bang. So I asked a few more questions because she was so lackadaisical about explaining. I asked her if she could see him, she said no as she was bedridden. So I typed it up as an unknown complaint, but with details of a possible fall and asked about any possible weapons before I turned her over to Fire.
I muted myself and stayed on the call listening to her explain what she had heard. Before she hung up I un-muted myself and asked Fire to stay on the line so I could talk to them. Told them it didn't feel right so I wrote up a run for us to go also (we have enough officers that we generally get there before Fire) So the police get there to find her husband had killed himself in the basement.
She was totally oblivious (or didn't want to admit what she heard to herself) as to what happened.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
Mad About The Ditch
My mom is a 911 Dispatcher.
One day she got this call about a woman who was lying in a ditch. The caller was the woman's neighbor (who didn't even bother to get out and check on her.) The caller said that she was staring up with a glare on her face like she was mad about falling into the ditch or something.
So my mom dispatches an officer and they find out that the woman was getting her mail and started to have a heart attack. Kinda sad that the neighbor didn't bother to get out to check on her, but whatever. People are selfish sometimes.
Not my story, but I took a wilderness first aid course with a former EMT who shared this story with us:
An elderly woman calls 911 to report that her husband has a "splitting headache". She didn't sound too stressed or afraid so the ambulance took its time getting their to check up on him, didn't turn the sirens on or anything. He (my instructor) knocks on the door and the woman answers.
He asks where her husband is and she leads him to the kitchen, where her husband doubled over onto the kitchen table with a chef's knife lodged in the base of his skull. Shocked, he asked the woman how this happened. She replied, "I did it, now can you get him out of here, I don't like the smell."
I don't know what happened after that but he did show us pictures of the crime scene.
A Fatal Assault
I'm not a dispatcher, but I work in crime intelligence. We monitor the radios, so we know what's going on.
Last night there was a call about a car accident. It wasn't portrayed as a big deal, possible small fender bender, but the dispatcher specified that there were multiple tickets out for it. Scout says they're on the way. Less than two minutes later, dispatcher comes back saying they're getting calls about an assault and battery at that same intersection. This very quickly turned into a fatal assault.
Not me, but my cousin is a paramedic in a Small town in Texas.
They had received many calls from a family with a diabetic teen daughter over the years. Usually every instance was not an emergency. These calls from the parents started coming in more often and typically the symptoms were mild to moderate, certainly not life threatening. They always advised the parents how to manage her condition so these calls wouldn't have to happen. The parents didn't seem to get it.
Late one night the parents called complaining that their daughter appeared sick. My cousin and the paramedics thought it was a typical non-emergency case and didn't rush to the scene. The station was 20 minutes away. My cousin couldn't have known the seriousness at the time, the parents just said their daughter was "sick looking". When they arrived she was dead from diabetic shock. My cousin thinks she died minutes before they arrived and years later still regrets not rushing to the scene.
I was the caller. Three weeks from Christmas. Pearson airport in Toronto has deer living in the woods on the edge of the property near HWY 401, arguably the busiest highway in North America.
Well, the fence was down and there was a deer on the edge of the 401 so I called to report a doe on the road. The operator said "A Doe?" I said, lord forgive me but I couldn't help myself, "Yes, a doe, a deer, a feee-male deer." She laughed, I laughed.
Then a truck swerved so as not to hit the deer and took out 2 lanes of traffic. We stopped laughing.
The Fake Officer
My uncle was a cop and I was with him by his car when he got this call. A woman said her daughter was going to be arrested and wanted to know what she did wrong. They were puzzled and thought it was a prank call. The woman said her daughter called her because she was pulled over at the garbage dump and police were searching her because they spotted a couple of empty beer boxes in the back of the truck she was driving.
The officer wasn't listening to her when she said she was taking them to the dump. The police she initially called brushed it off and said it was probably a made-up story because none of their officers were on that road.
My uncle was out on patrol and thought it was strange, so when he saw another officer he radioed and asked if there was anyone at the dump. The officer said no, not that he knew of. That was enough for my uncle's curiosity to get the better of him. He responded to check out the scene and found a girl pulled over.
The man who pulled her over was a fake cop. He probably stopped an assault - or maybe worse - by going to check.
A Giant Man
Not my story, but my cousins. He is a 911 operator and got a call from a young women went really sideways.
When he first answered the call, the person was mumbling and whispering. He asked her to repeat herself saying he couldn't understand. The girl again was mumbling and whispering, but something sounded off.
Cousin asked what the address was and the girl was able to give that somewhat clearly. Now that he had an address, he asked again what the problem was. This time he could understand her.
"There's a giant man in my house." - and then she screams bloody murder
Apparently, the young girl was home alone and the girls parents were at work. A man saw the house and since there was no cars there he thought no one was home. He broke in through the window, and as he was breaking in she hid under her bed and called the cops.
Unfortunately, she went under her bed in a bad position. She wasn't facing the door, which meant she couldn't see him walk in and her foot was sticking out. He grabbed her legs and pulled her out and stabbed her. My cousin heard the attack.
She survived, thankfully.
I work at an urgent care, and a lady called and casually said her son was struck by lightning. He seemed fine, but his primary doctor wanted her to take him to the emergency room for an EKG and to check out his cardiac enzymes. I told her to follow her doctors orders and go to the emergency room. She seemed super annoyed and she said, "Well can't you do an EKG???"
Woman, your son was struck by lightning. He needs to be monitored, as these symptoms can show up later. His heart rhythm is probably screwed!
I thought the caller was just a crazy lady - it was a full moon night and very common to have mentally ill people call about weird things. She called and started talking about how her son was 'leaking' in her living room and there was something strange knocking around her house. Very odd.
After I did some searching in the system I found out her son was murdered a week earlier and his body had been lying in her living room. He had not been embalmed and was leaking black fluid on the floor. The undertaker was knocking at the door trying to be let in to fix the problem, but the woman couldn't tell where the knocking was coming from.
When working in emergency services, things can go sideways fast.
Hats off to the people who tackle that challenge every day.
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"Reddit user Miguenzo asked: 'What is something all guys do but will never admit to doing?'"
Men can be a mystery.
They like to hide as much as they can about themselves.
In truth, the rest of the world already suspects most of whatever behaviors they're trying to bury.
But often, it's so healthy to unburden yourself whenever you can.
Isn't it also comforting to know we aren't alone on this?
You do that? ME TOO!
Redditor Miguenzo wanted all the men out there to make some confessions, so they asked:
"What is something all guys do but will never admit to doing?"
Going to the bathroom sitting down more often than you think.
That's a guy truth I'll admit to.
I like to be comfortable.
PlaytimeU Know Flirt GIF by WimbledonGiphy
"I play with my penis more than any other object, by far."
"And not even in a sexual way. Sometimes just flopping it from left to right while watching TV."
"This is what my wife had a hard time understanding. Just cause I'm messing with it, doesn't mean I'm aroused. I'm just fidgeting and that's my object."
"Imagine your entire life with a girl you just met."
"Did this this weekend. The most beautiful woman working as a barmaid I have ever seen."
"However, I know it's annoying having someone hit on you while working and working in a bar she must get it all the time. so I kept quiet ordered my drinks and didn't bother her. She remembered what I was drinking by the 3rd drink. that was enough for me. LMAO."
Think About It
"Daydream about insane scenarios that will never happen where you're the main hero that swoops in to save the day. Common examples include things like thinking you could figure out how to land an entire airplane in an emergency, thinking about 'What happens if there's a robbery and I stop the bad guy,' thinking about saving someone from a burning building, thinking you could save someone's life if there's a random medical emergency, etc."
Spoons and Forks
"Not sure if this is for all guys, but my BF will never ever admit that he prefers to be the little spoon 😭."
"I’m over a foot taller than my wife, so I often joke that 'she’s my better third.' But I HATE being a big spoon. Nothing makes me happier in my marriage like being a little spoon, curled up, while she runs her fingers through my hair… Just thinking about is releasing the endorphins. We will hit 29 years together in a couple of months, and it not only never gets old, it gets better with age."
Pick Awayjason clarke flirting GIF by OriginalsGiphy
"Nose picking is more common than anyone will admit."
"Nose picking is probably the most efficient way to get uncomfortable buggers out of your nose."
Ugh. Nose pickers. Stop it. Just stop it!
WhoopsUh Oh Oops GIF by 20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentGiphy
"Morning pees sometimes go sideways and there's annoying cleaning up to do."
"Sniff our armpits to be sure they don't stink or we enjoy the smell."
"This one is def gender neutral. I've had several girlfriends be embarrassed that I 'caught them' smell-checking themselves. As if they thought it was some secret weird thing they do and nobody else did. LOL."
"When I get nervous I stick my hands under my arms and then I sniff my armpit smell off my fingers and it calms me back down."
Inch by Inch
"Measuring their penis. Yeah, some will admit it. But some refuse to admit it."
"I don’t need a tape measure to know what disappointment looks like."
Haven't done it in a while. At this point, I'm too afraid it's gotten smaller. If that's possible."
"I have honestly never measured my d*ck. Girls I dated did. The numbers really mean nothing to me. I only cared if it was too small. Once girls told me it wasn't, I was satisfied."
I Feel Pretty
"Being friendlier to attractive women."
"Attractive women are scarier for many, so a lot of us probably come off as aloof or rude whatever towards them because we just kind of ignore them (actually are just too nervous to address them directly)."
"This isn't such a thing for me now that I'm in my 30s and have a long-time committed partner. No pressure... lol. But I know when I was a younger guy in the dating pool, the very attractive women were terrifying... lol."
"Attractive people actually get treated better in most areas of life in general. It’s called Pretty Privilege. Attractive people are trusted more easily, looked up to more, invited to more things, talked to more, can get a raise easier, and obviously can date easier."
At least once
"If you're single; Having feelings/Attraction to almost every female friend you've got. Doesn't have to be strong feelings. Doesn't have to be romantic. But you've thought about it. At least once. Maybe three times."
"Definitely not universal. This stopped happening to me after I started and finished one major relationship."
"You develop a sense for what you actually want -- and how much more valuable friendship can be than any random romance."
"Also, as a straight guy, having uncomplicated friendships with multiple women is a great way to just get out in life, meet people and situations you never would've otherwise, and not bog down your own psyche. Really elevated my 20s."
Underneathwicked GIF by Ice CubeGiphy
"Kicking ice cube under the fridge when falls."
"Gotta feed those shadow critters."
I love the ice cube kick.
I think it's gender universal.
The Bible advises people to judge not, lest they be judged.
Which seems to have been lost in translation for too many purported adherents to its teachings.
On a secular level, we're told to not judge a book by its cover, but sometimes...
Sometimes it's hard not to get judgy.
Reddit user dolphinsR4evr asked:
"What is something you have a hard time not judging people about?"
"Being proud of being awful and absolute a**holes to their children."
"I (female, 15) was on a train with my mother (female, 50) a couple years ago. We were enjoying our trip, laughing and playing together."
"We were sitting next to a man and his wife. They were about 60 years old."
"He started talking to us out of the blue and he said some things like 'a mother and her daughter shouldn't be friends', 'a daughter should hate her mother bc she's strict', and randomly bringing up his children."
"When we got off the train, we looked at each other and laughed about it, but I actually felt so bad about his kids."
Give a Hoot
"Leaving trash in nature or anywhere really. I don't get it."
"One of my pet peeves are people who throw their empty beer or energy drink cans off ski lifts."
"The lifties have to hike up the hill with trash bags picking up the litter. The people who do this have no respect for nature or the employees."
Where Ya Headed?
"People who don't use their turn signals."
"Even better, the ones who turn on the turn signal after they’re already turning."
"At least in these instances, it might just be a last second 'oh f'k sorry I forgot'."
"The ones who never use it are entitled."
"They shall hence be known as after-turners."
"How about the ones that have their blinkers on to move Right but move Left?"
"No" Is A Complete Sentence!
"People pressuring others to do something after the other person already said 'no'."
"As someone who just doesn't enjoy drinking, it's so tiring answering the same questions at every single function."
"'No. I don't want a drink. No. I'm not an alcoholic. Thank you for the concern. I just don't want to drink'."
"It's like it's unfathomable for someone not to enjoy drinking."
"'You’re just having a coke? Why‽‽'”
"Because it actually tastes good, it’s half the price, I can drive home after and I can actually enjoy my day tomorrow.”
"I AM an alcoholic and was amazed at how many people I considered to be friends tried this when I quit drinking."
"'Oh just a few won't hurt', 'you can't really have a problem if it was that easy to stop', 'don't worry', etc..."
"5.5 years sober here."
"It. Is. Wild!"
"People will straight up try and bully you into drinking like, nah..."
"I gave up alcohol and marijuana last summer. I rarely socialize anymore with people outside my family."
"Seems like everyone in my age group needs some type of substance in order to relax and hang out. I'm especially put off by the wave of women calling wine 'mommy juice'."
"I hate how much of this culture's socialization is based around some type of substance use."
"So we can't just hang out and talk? We need to smoke, or drink, or some other bullsh*t??"
Special Place in Hell
"Poor treatment of pets."
"Buying a $3500 puppy for their kid at Christmas and dumping the dog at the pound a few months later when they realize how challenging raising a cute puppy can be. I will judge you."
"*glances down at purebred husky from pound sitting on couch snuggling with favorite toys….*"
"I see that often (I volunteer at our local shelter) and it really makes me angry seeing the people come in and just surrender the dog because they couldn't be bothered to put in the time and dedication."
"Dogs aren't a damn appliance. They are living, breathing beings with feelings."
"There honestly should be a database that those people get added to that prevents them from ever having a dog in the future if that's the reason why they are surrendering a dog (or any other animal)."
"And I get that there are legimate reasons for surrendering an animal (owner dies and surviving family cannot properly care for it, loss of housing and job, etc...)."
"I once knew a woman who moved in with her boyfriend like people do. They both had dogs. Dogs did not get along."
"She'd had her dog 4 years and just went, ok I'll take it to the pound and give it up since they won't stop fighting. After only one month."
"Then complained about being sad for her lost dog (that went to one of those, if it doesn't get adopted, it'll get put down, places)."
"Her boyfriend just bought her a new dog to raise and train with his dog."
"I was so disgusted, I am not friends with them anymore."
"Being oblivious of how much space they're taking up in public."
"I used to work in a building where you had to swipe your key card to enter through a turnstile, and the system was a bit slow. They were around 400 people working there, you can imagine how there was always a queue."
"Every day there was some d*ckhead having a conversation in front of the turnstiles, completely ignoring the people wanting to pass."
"Every day there was some dude getting to the front of the queue and only then realizing they needed their key card to get through."
"Everybody knew how annoying the process was, how can you care that little about other people?"
"Related: Placing your backpack on a seat in a crowded bus/train, blocking a supermarket aisle with your trolley."
Use Your Indoor Voice
"Being extremely loud and bragging in a public place or restaurant."
"I will never forget the time I rode a train late at night and one family took up half the car with their kids. They ran around making an absolute ruckus."
"One older lady politely asked if they could quiet down since 'everyone was tired'."
"The acting matriarch of the group yelled at her, 'Don't you dare tell my kids what to do! Hey, Kids! You can be AS LOUD AS YOU WANT!!!'."
"I have to imagine they all grew up to be total a**holes."
"And that's my neighbor. She encourages her kids to yell and scream, and joins in with them....encouraging them by yelling 'This is OUR HOUSE!'."
"She's actually the first adult I've ever met who had her kids on the lawn on July 4th, whooping and yelling 'USA! USA! Number ONE!!'."
"Yeah, I think we all judge her."
Don't Be a Richard
"I hate people that feel the need to constantly bring others down and make them feel bad about things they enjoy."
"It's so sad to watch someone's enthusiasm about their hobby deflate because another person decided to be a d*ck about it."
"Working with kids, it’s something I try to nip in the bud. Unfortunately, there’s way too many adults doing that to kids."
"My cousins’ dreams were crushed as kids by the adults in my family. Talents went to waste because of that. Even as a child myself, I knew it was wrong."
"Man I think of myself as a relatively tough person who generally dgaf what people think of me, but I'm 38 and overweight and I realized I wanted to try roller blading again (this was abt 8 mos after having my third child)."
"This one d*ckhead neighbor was out in his yard and made fun of me to my face as I skated up the road (legit first time roller blading in like 20 years) and I haven't put them back on since."
"I even said 'hey don't give me a hard time, I haven't done this in years!' And he rolled his eyes and said 'yeah I can tell'."
"He made me feel so small and stupid. I'm mad at myself for not being tougher than that idiot's stupid comments."
"He's a bully. So sorry this happened. Can't wait for you to try again. I learned to do pull-ups very late in life. Took me months."
"Everyone at the gym was very encouraging. I would never have made it without the extra support. My family was not as supportive."
"This is me supporting you. Go get em! You got this!"
"Just remind yourself that people who make fun of someone making an effort are the biggest losers on the planet."
"Losers hate to watch people on the path to success."
"Yeah--OP, he's the small and stupid one. And if you can manage it, re-rollerblading will be both fun on its own AND a major victory against your a-hole neighbor."
"I hope you put the blades back on and either give him the finger or wear a shirt that says 'shut the hell up Tom' whenever youre outside blading your troubles away."
"To all you subcommenters, you are a lovely group of people and thank you so much for your encouragement! Yeah, f'k that guy."
"When I get the guts up to go try again (I'll prob wait a few weeks til it's not hotter than the devil's taint outside), I will think of y'all."
"Not cleaning up after their dog. Just get a doggy bag people."
"There’s crap all over sidewalks in my neighborhood. I just can’t fathom the mindset of these people that won’t pick up after their dogs."
"It's even worse when there's trashcans next to free doggy bags on the neighborhood trail, and you still see dogsh*t all over the place. Zero f'king excuse at that point besides being a lazy pr*ck."
"Especially people who own large dogs. Like excuse me this is what you signed up for when you got your large a** dog."
"At my old apartment complex there was dog sh*t EVERYWHERE and it was always the human sized ones. So disgusting."
"If I ever see someone not picking it up I will absolutely yell at them."
"People with no sense of self awareness, so they stop in the middle of walkways, entrances or crosswalks for no reason."
"And grocery aisles. At least apologize if blocking the aisle."
"Yeah people get way too absorbed in what they personally have going on, and are totally oblivious to their surroundings as a result."
"My husband was this person. Absolutely no awareness of the inconsiderate mess."
"When we first took a trip together and he stopped in the middle of the airport and put his bag down I was like… 'I Don't Know WHERE you learned this but you don’t do this anymore'."
"And now he’s learned."
"A parent leaving and ignoring one family to get a new significant other and raise that persons children."
"Generally it is getting a new partner (who doesn’t have kids) AND create a new batch of kids, forgetting the existing kids."
"This happened to a friend of mine. Thirty years ago his mother walked out, abandoning him and his sister."
"They were both under ten years old. She never contacted them again. She moved on and had more kids with someone else."
"Things like that always kind of surprise me because we’ve all been conditioned to expect mothers to always love and want to take care of their children. Mother love is supposed to be unconditional, right?"
"Sadly, not always. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances, sometimes not. My friend does not really know why his mom left them."
"Nowadays he says he doesn’t care because it’s been so long that it feels to him like she died—but I think he still hurts. Everybody needs a mother sometimes."
"Sometimes people are just sh*tty for no good reason. It’s hard to accept."
"Overheard a convo a mom was having with her pre/early teen daughter at a restaurant once. I was their server."
"Essentially daughter had to go live with her dad because they didn't have enough room in moms new family."
"The specific phrase 'I have a new family now' was used. I haven't mentioned it yet, but mom was preggo."
"Lots of tears and mom came across as a complete a**hole."
Sometimes we as a society are too judgmental.
But there are times it's really difficult not to judge someone's words or actions.
What do you find hard not to judge?
We've all heard our fair share of conspiracy theories, like Big Brother watching us, or the Earth being flat, or birds not being real (seriously, what is that about?).
We've even seen some theories get confirmed over the years, like our mobile devices "always" listening to us, though some remain unconvinced about the purposes behind that fact.
But there are some conspiracy theories out there that are far more unsettling than others, and some people have some very good reasons for why they believe in them and are deeply terrified by them.
Ready to hear some theories, Redditor sublimefan123 asked:
"What's the scariest conspiracy theory you believe is 100% true?"
But Where's the Lie?
"Octopi are aliens, and you can't convince me otherwise."
"Those motherf**kers came from a meteor or something. Their brain development rate compared to all other species is off the charts."
"Right? Name me ONE other motherf**kier that has eight different brainlets hanging out in their thinky-feely tentacles. That s**t's wild."
"Samuel L. Jackson would LOVE this conversation."
The Mafia Makes the Best Pillows
"The excessive number of mattress stores in cities; often within close proximity to each other. Money laundering fronts for the mafia is a distinct possibility."
"In reality, it's due to a certain type of marketing technique."
"A lot of times, people won't drive to multiple mattress stores. They'll just drive to one. However, if the other mattress store is right next door, they are more likely to check it out and see if they can find something better, comfier, at a better price."
"So you usually see them grouped together. You'll see the same with auto dealerships."
"Says the mafioso!!!! Caught you!"
Educating Future Laborers, Not Individuals
"US education system knowingly underfunded to maintain a large unskilled labor force."
"Originally this made sense as we needed people to work the world's largest breadbasket and mine raw materials. Now those jobs are highly mechanized and automated."
"Combine this with a shift to main US exports being tech- and chem-based, and our intentionally woeful education system is coming back to bite us."
"Students aren't being taught how to be self-sustaining individuals. They're being taught how to memorize, to forget, and to serve."
A Voluntary Trend
"'Throwback Thursday' or '#tbt' just appeared one day out of the blue, with the distinct goal of being a silly internet craze to post pictures from the past and compare it to modern-day photos."
"But I believe it was a project created by three-letter United States federal government organizations to encourage large portions of the population to post weekly photos of their past and present to enhance their aging and genetic algorithms."
"It would be hard to get access to everyone's old photos unless they had physical access to everyone's houses and snuck into each house to make copies of said photos. Why do all that when you could make it a fun new trend and let the people voluntarily give you the photos en masse?"
Distractions in the Media
"Insane wackjob conspiracies purposefully get propagated to detract from actual shady s**t that goes on."
"What's more? It f**king works."
"If you see someone even mention something that might be a conspiracy, that person is automatically determined to be a lunatic. Dangerous when you consider just how corrupt government, military, and corporations are."
Let the Women Have Their Pockets
"Big purses... I think that pocket-book companies have strong-armed, bought, or convinced women's clothing companies to make pockets ineffectual so that purses remain relevant."
"To add onto this, tech companies have bought into big purses and that's why phones have gotten continuously larger, so they can't fit in pockets no matter what."
"Seriously, though, I think the true reason why pockets for women's pants are so ineffectual is that women's clothing is selling a specific body type (slim) that protruding hips would go against."
"This really needs to be talked about more. Not only does it set a standard for women to have to look a certain way, but it also sends the message that women should ignore their own comfort or needs in order to conform enough to be attractive."
Gut Health and Mental Health
"Food quality is intentionally low to increase the "need" for medication & supplements. Adequate health care is unaffordable to keep the workers in the ACA gap from living long enough to benefit from the social security that they have contributed to for their whole working lives."
"The food we have been eating in the United States is a huge part of the mental illness going on today."
"I started eating 'cleaner,' and I am not perfect, but I notice such a tremendous change in my energy and overall being for the positive."
"100%, it is now being accepted and studied that our gut is directly connected to our brain and has a huge impact on mental health."
The Unusual Rich
"I firmly believe rich people (given the few I've interacted with) think way, way differently than normal people. That shouldn't be surprising given the fact that they have enough money and probably power to basically do whatever they want and nobody will stop and say, 'Not enough money in the world that I should let you.'"
"They live with far fewer boundaries than most of us."
No More Dentist Appointments
"Scientists have found a way to protect our teeth from plaque and cavities years ago but because of the lobbying money, they have been stopped from commercializing it."
Pluto Held a Grudge
"We live in a plutocracy."
"That's impossible, Pluto's not even a planet anymore."
"Why do you think they demoted it to begin with?"
Passing the Test
"Remember when we redirected that asteroid last year as a test, called DART? Yeah, I don't think that was a test."
"It doesn't matter, though. I'm glad it worked."
A Troubling Trade
"That Reagan conspired with the Revolutionary Iranian government to not free US hostages until and unless he was elected in 1980."
"The Iranian hostage crisis was very damaging politically for Carter, who was a very likable and decent man. Americans sitting in Iranian jail cells severely eroded Carter's political position going into the 1980 election, and Reagan knew it."
"The hostages were released on the very day that Reagan took office, 20 Jan. 1981, literally, just MINUTES after he was sworn in. To this day, Iran has offered no formal explanation."
"I wouldn't say 'believe' as it's more highly suspect that it's true:"
"The American political system has one party with two sides. One side placates the populace while making as little change as possible. When people get fed up with that side they vote in the other, who rushes in pro-one percent policy and other things that further consolidate power away from the populace."
"That way we are always taking one step forward but three steps back."
The Uno Reverse Card
""Questions like this get posted online by Feds so they can aggregate popular or new conspiracies. (This is a sarcastic comment but also... not.)"
"I think about this sometimes. Create bulls**t online just to see which groups are the most susceptible, or post stuff like this to get new ideas of what to push."
They're All We Have...
"No one is secretly in charge from the shadows. The politicians we have are actually the leaders of the world and are genuinely what people voted for."
"There are few things scarier than that."
Whether or not we choose to believe in these theories, it's clear why they would be terrifying to those who choose to believe in them.
But also, some of these arguments are pretty compelling, and it's equally understandable how a person could come to believe some of these theories.
Conspiracy theories don't all have to be about bird props and witch hunts, after all.
Valentine’s Day is a day of love and romance, but not for everyone. For some, Valentine’s Day is a day for broken hearts, breakups and blowups. Workers and patrons at restaurants and bars have a front-row seat to some of the most awkward, abysmal and just plain awful Valentine’s Day moments, where attempts at love don’t always have a fairy tale ending.
Three’s A Crowdstage door band and crew onlyPhoto by seabass creatives on Unsplash
I used to be a professional musician and the four-piece band I was in got booked for a Valentine’s Day event in a local bar. The guitarist invited his girlfriend down so they could be together on the night. What he hadn't counted on was his WIFE getting the night off work and coming to the show too as a Valentine’s surprise.
Everything was fine for the first set of the night. Then the problems began when both the girlfriend and the wife met in the band room backstage. Most of the band escaped the obvious row that was coming and waited by the bar for the second set. What we saw next was the most outrageous show of a woman’s scorn anyone has ever seen!
The wife ran onstage and began trashing his guitars and all his pedals, leads, and amp. No one dared to stop her. She was rightly angry. Shortly after she left the stage, the girlfriend had her turn, destroying whatever was left of his gear. Between both cheated women, they caused around $2,000 worth of damage to his set up. Needless to say, we played the second set as a three-piece, but it was quite a show!
At the beginning of the evening, a man at our restaurant gave me a ring to bring out to his table with dessert. The couple began arguing before they even ordered and ended up screaming at each other in the restaurant. My manager made me ask the guy, as discreetly as I could, if he still wanted the ring with the dessert. It was that bad.
I didn't want to, but I asked. Big. Mistake. He then started to scream at me that of course he still wanted the ring. He was right, after all, it wasn't my business. So I brought out the ring. She said, "Are you serious?" and left. Then the man screamed at me again when I wouldn't let him chase after her and leave without paying.
In the end, the guy just threw the money on the table with a huge tip, but I think he just gave what he had and left. He had made such an insane scene that we had to give free desserts to the tables next to them to make up for ruining their evening. After the service, I told my manager I was never questioning a client's request again.
One Ring To Fail Them All
There was a couple seated a few places away from us. They sat far enough away so that we couldn't hear the conversation, but it was obvious that they were arguing. The waiter did his spiel on the set tasting menu and handed out a beverage list. The guy orders a bottle of vino for both of them and she interrupts with, "I'm good I'll just have water."
They continued over a very uncomfortable meal, during which he kept asking stuff. She'd respond with increasingly annoyed no's. The waiter returns and notices that appetizers hadn't even been touched yet. He tops off her water and his drink, then asks if everything was tasting alright. He finishes with an, "I'll give you guys some more time to enjoy."
She was now loudly enough that we could understand her now. "I can't keep doing this with you." She angrily forks into her appetizer and finishes just in time for the entree to arrive. The arguing continues, and the guy is looking increasingly nervous. Suddenly, he gets down on one knee. She said, "Oh God, no." He takes her hand to put the ring on it.
She snatches her hand away like he's lava. He still wasn’t reading the signals and said, "Will you do..." She bursts into tears. Everyone in the entire restaurant, who didn’t really understand the context of the situation, sighed an audible "Awww!" She said, "I can't believe you would even ask after what you did. I told you I needed space. I don't even know if I can trust you anymore."
After that, things were kind of a blur. I think she threw a couple of $20s on the table, then ran out. He stayed on the ground, still holding up the ring like he wasn't done proposing yet. The waiter returned with one of those sweet lava cakes topped with a little "She said yes!" thing. It was absolutely excruciating from beginning to end.
Wing And A Prayer
A couple comes in and sits down in my section. I walk over just as the lady stands to go to the restroom and grab their drink orders. The lady goes to the bathroom and the gentleman says he knows what they want for appetizers. He orders boneless wings in two sauces. I run off to fetch their drinks and put their order in.
A couple of minutes later I'm returning with their appetizer. By this point, the lady had returned to the table. I set the basket down and she stares at it with surprise. "What's this?" I reply, "It's the appetizer that was ordered. Is it okay?" This woman turns to her partner and proceeds to loudly and thoroughly chew him out. How dare he order wings for an appetizer when he knew she wanted wings for dinner!
She runs on and on about how stupid he was for ordering wings first and I could just see the poor guy curl in on himself and slowly die inside. I stated I would give them a few more minutes and hurried away. The dinner was very tense and awkward after that. They barely spoke to me and I swear didn't utter another word to each other.
I felt so bad for the guy because he ordered wings since she obviously must have made it clear she wanted them and got torn a new one for it.
I went into the bathroom at a restaurant on Valentine’s Day and made an...interesting discovery. Not only was there a man in the woman's washroom, he was down on one knee, sobbing as he proposed to a woman in a bathroom stall. She said no.
Silent Nightperson sitting in front of brown wooden tablePhoto by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash
I witnessed one of the most awkward dates on Valentine's Day from a table that sat across from us. Both the guy and girl were on their phones the entire night, when the waitress came to get their food order neither even looked up at her to order. I was close enough to them where I would be able to hear their conversation.
Not a word was ever said. The girl at one point abruptly stood up and left (me thinking she was going to ditch the guy) but she came back and sat down. Again no exchange of words, not even a " where did you go?" That couple finished before us, and when the bill came they both awkwardly stared at it and didn't touch it.
The waitress came back 10 minutes later to check on them and said something like " I'll come back when you are ready" with the most uncomfortable smile on her face. Finally, the guy just takes the book bill thing and puts his card in. They leave.
Love Hits The Brakes
I've worked in restaurants for 14 years, so you know my worst Valentine's Day story is going to be a doozy. One time, I had a guy ask me to help him bring the ring and champagne after dinner so he could propose to his girlfriend. Being a woman and wanting to witness the romance, I hid around the corner so I could kind of peek at them.
They were lovey-dovey all through dinner and everything seemed good and I fully expected her to say yes when he asked. She didn’t. In fact, the woman did not react well at all. She told him no and that she was planning on breaking up with him. She added the only reason she was on this date with him is that he said he bought her something special for Valentine's Day.
She thought he was going to buy her the car she asked him for, and she was going to dump him next week. Then she said since you didn't get the car, she's dumping him now and she left! The guy was devastated! I felt so bad for him. I will remember her for the rest of my life because how could I not? What a greedy woman.
We had a classic of a couple coming in all dressed up and out for their romantic dinner, but as the meal went on they gradually got tenser and their muttered argument slowly became very loud. Walking back over to refill drinks or take plates seemed to make it even worse, but I couldn't just leave their (very small) table covered in the stuff.
By dessert, WWIII had broken out, and the evening ended with the guy getting a bowl of chocolate cake and ice cream emptied over his head. I still have no idea what they were arguing about, but the poor guy just sort of shoved a load of money on the table and ran out of there after his partner.
I used to work at a very local, family-owned, pizza place. It was packed and we only had two counter girls (myself and my girlfriend, whose dad owned the restaurant). We had a special on these really cute heart-shaped pizzas. One couple ordered one of them and my girlfriend brought it out, but got bumped because it was so crowded.
When she dropped the pizza it broke clean in half which I have to admit was super weird because it was sliced into eighths. The girl who ordered the pizza had a zodiac tattoo and was wearing a bunch of crystals. She got up immediately, pointed at the pizza and started yelling about how it was a sign and stormed out of the store after breaking up with him. We think he dodged a bullet.
Flowing With Emotion
A woman was eight months pregnant. A guy brings her in for Valentine's Day and has the mariachi band sing their love song. He pulls out the expected ring and she says yes. Things looked perfect! Only spicy Mexican food is perhaps not the best choice when your eight months pregnant. She hurriedly shuffled to the restroom five times. The fifth, she...didn't quite make it.
It's a tiny community, so I met them years later at a wedding party. I walked up and introduced myself. I mentioned I had met them years ago. "I was there years ago when y'all got engaged. The emotions were just... flowing that night?" The husband laughed until he cried, the poor wife just covered her face in shame.
Living Largeperson holding black smartphone in carPhoto by Jonathan Cooper on Unsplash
I used to work the drive-through at Burger King and I overheard this conversation on Valentine's Day while taking a car's order. Girl: “Get me a #3.” Guy: “It's Valentine's Day baby, you can supersize it!”
Do Or Dine
I was a waiter at The Pasta House. At this time, another server was pregnant and trying to cover as many shifts as possible before she had the baby. In February, she asked if she could work Valentine's Day for me and I said sure. Dinner reservations fell through for my date and me so we decided to see if I could get a table at the restaurant where I worked.
I walked in the door only to see that they were absolutely slammed. The place was FULL of customers. As I came in, my manager said, "Thank God you got my message. She we went into labor and we need you to take tables." I told them I wasn't there to work, but to go on a date. My boss was so mad that I didn't get to work that he fired me. On Valentine's Day!
Dress For Unsuccess
My wife and I were out for Valentine's day and the couple next to us were having a breakup dinner. Oh, and it got worse. They were breaking up right before their impending wedding. She was in an early 90's prom dress. He was in a suit jacket and tie. She was loaded and getting loud about losing the deposit for the reception hall. She finally took a swing at him and the host escorted them both out.
Her poofy dress knocked over a couple of drinks on the way out. What an emotional rollercoaster.
I worked as a hostess at a busy higher-end restaurant. I was working at the front door with my friend. The place was packed and the waitlist was extremely long. A woman came in by herself and was a little upset to have to wait for a table. Since she was only a party of one, we found a space for her at the bar while she waited. It was about an hour wait for a table. While sitting tight for a table, this woman proceeded to get completely wasted.
She kept coming up to us and asking about her table and we kept updating her about the time. While she was standing there, a group of people came in and we sat them right away because they had reservations. She then started yelling at us and dumped her drink on my friend's head. The manager did not kick her out. We still had to accommodate her.
Ex’s and Oh’s
I've seen a doozy or two in my time as wait staff at El Nonno's. The worst one is when my girlfriend came in with my best friend. I thought they were there to surprise me. Nope, this was their way of telling me that they're dating each other now. And I was stuck as their server. But this pales in comparison to when they visited the restaurant the next time.
So my now ex-girlfriend and ex-best friend came in again and had their wires completely crossed. My ex-girlfriend thought she was going to get a marriage proposal, but my ex-friend came to the restaurant to come out of the closet and confess his love for me. Then three was the time my boyfriend and my former boss came in together, and I naively thought this was a surprise.
It turns out they both forgot I worked there and came in to have an affair. My ex-boss was cheating on his wife, and my boyfriend was cheating on me. That restaurant was insane.
Insult To Injuryman kneeling in front of womanPhoto by Ben White on Unsplash
I was eating in a restaurant on Valentine’s Day and saw this guy kneel to propose. We were all happy for them until the girl said no. She used some lame excuse, something along the lines of, “Mike, I just don’t think that you’re the one, you know? Poor Mike is all sad and gets up to leave. He comes back two minutes later to get his wallet and sees her doing something shocking.
Literally minutes after turning down a proposal, this girl is talking to the waiter at the restaurant and, get this, swapping numbers with him. Mikey grabs some random couples’ drink and throws it on the floor yelling about their year-long relationship ending. He then stormed off and she just grabs the nearest guy and jams her tongue down his throat.
A Bad Reaction
As a bartender, I saw a guest in the restaurant throw up on his steak not even a minute after it was placed in front of him. His date kept surprisingly calm for that scenario.
One of our favorite regular customers brought in her boyfriend for the first time and in her excitement, she bumped into a table and knocked someone’s cup off, which isn’t bad but in her haste to pick up the cup she hit her head on the corner of the metal table and cut her forehead open. It looked like a horror movie scene.
We cleaned her up and gave them a stack of free food cards because she’s awesome and we love her.
Yesterday in the grocery store I worked at, an angry couple came in right at 11:59 p.m., and tried to buy some booze after midnight. Our machines won’t let us do that after midnight. The couple got angry at each other and kept calling each other names in front of me. Finally, she says: “I’ve had it! I hate you anyway! I’m dumping you!” Guy: “You aren’t hot anyway!” Neither bought anything and scurried off.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Not Using His Noodle
So, I had some guy who couldn't understand the concept of ravioli. He kept asking if we served "hollowed out spaghetti" (his words) and stuffed it with lobster. I said no, but we did use pasta. He kept reiterating that he wanted pasta. It finally dawned on me, "Sir, do you think that spaghetti is the Italian word for pasta?"
His date was unimpressed, but I finally get him down for an order of lobster ravioli, even though he still seemed unaware of what he was ordering. After he got his food, ate one of the ravioli, he said to me, like I was the dumbest guy on the planet, "Bro, all you had to do was tell me that they were Boyardee’s. I know what those are."
Material Girla necklace with a ring on top of itPhoto by Robin Edqvist on Unsplash
I was just getting off of work around 3 p.m. so I headed to do some grocery shopping and I saw a guy looking frantically through his shopping bags so I asked if he needed help with something. He confessed that he had bought a Wal-Mart necklace for his girlfriend because she told him if she didn't get something expensive she would leave him.
He had purchased it, but he had taken his eyes his bags for a moment and when he checked his bags again, the necklace was gone. He told me he had just been laid off and didn't have the heart to tell her no. I felt about an inch tall, helping him try to find a cheap necklace, knowing that no matter how good a guy or how bad a circumstance, some people are so materialistic that someone giving their all is still not enough.
I hate Valentine's day, I wasn't single last night, but boy I feel heartbroken for that guy.
Ring Of Fire
I worked at a fine dining restaurant years ago. A middle-aged guy came up to me, handed me a gorgeous sapphire and diamond ring and asked me to have the pastry chef include it with his companion's dessert. The chef found beautiful blooms to decorate her dessert plate and placed the ring in the middle of one. Her reaction, however, wasn’t what anyone expected.
She saw the ring, took it out of the flower, and placed it on the table. Then, she picked up her fork and started to eat her dessert without saying anything at all. The ring must have been an extravagant apology on his part and she was having none of it. I was tempted to say that if she didn't want the ring, I'd take it off her hands!
A Messy Breakup
I bartend. I'm assuming this couple was on a date. They just ordered their food. In less than 10 minutes of their date, I saw the girl take a drink and throw it on the guy. It hit the people behind him, the walls, and it soaked the floor too. She immediately walked out in tears. The guy's face as he just sat there soaked was indescribable. It was the most movie-like break up I've ever seen happen in real life.
So the pizza place I work for cuts all the pepperoni pizzas into hearts and we had to make about 450 of those, plus 250 more pizzas, in four hours. Our slogan is “Take and Bake”, so we make the pizzas and you take them and bake them at home. Several times, we had people get their pizzas at the end of the line and go “It’s not cooked.” Deadpan, my coworker looked at them and said “Yes.” to every single one of them.
Also, I took a phone call, and I said “When will you be coming to get your pizza?” and she goes, “Actually I’d like it delivered.” Needless to say, we didn’t deliver it, and she hung up.
Last year I worked at a high-end sweets shop. Everything is top-notch as advertised, it was what people were willing to do for it that scared me. Chocolate covered strawberries? $50 per box of four. We couldn't keep them in stock, and more than a few sweaty husbands begged us to make more and throw them in any container we had.
One guy walking in on Valentine's morning offered to pay us double, even without the fancy romantic packaging (we didn't take it). We had also sold a big embroidered heart-shaped box for nearly $100. One guy asked us how much it cost, left, and came back later with his friend. He'd asked him for a loan. To buy V-Day chocolates. Relationships are wild.
Abrupt Endingman standing and holding platePhoto by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
One of my friends is a server at a fancy restaurant in my city. He said that on one Valentine's Day, he walked by a table and heard the boyfriend say, "Well, once again, I'm sorry to disappoint" in a really nasty tone. Things got real awkward and quiet for another 20 minutes, then the couple got their check and quickly walked out.
Trying To Impress
We had a reservation for a kid’s birthday party on the bus (our restaurant has an old-school bus fitted with retro tables). A preteen couple comes in and the guy gets mad because we told him we couldn’t seat them on the bus due to the reservation. He tried to force his way up after being told repeatedly no. Pretty sure he was trying to impress his date, who watched this all unfold and looked completely mortified.
This One Is Sad...
My friends and I met up at this big food court to hang out. One of my pals got there an hour early and saw this one dude with a bouquet and a giant teddy bear. Almost five hours later we came back to the food court for lunch and the guy was still there with no date. He left shortly after and we watched him make a call, throw the flowers at the ground, pick them back up, and leave.
One Man’s Trash...
A few years ago my family and I bought some ice cream and when we went to throw the wrappers in a garbage can on the street, we found a perfectly intact and nice bouquet inside. We got the bouquet out, and we could tell it had been thrown out recently. There was a card but it only had the name of the florist on it. So we took it with us.
We had to meet with my grandma and her boyfriend right after, and they were like ''Why are you bringing us such a nice bouquet out of the blue like that?'' and we were just laughing as we just picked it up from a garbage can. We told them the story and they kept the bouquet for a week.
This One Takes The (Cheese)Cake
My wife and I went to Cheesecake Factory for lunch, in a bid to avoid the crowds. Next to us, a dude got down on one knee and proposed (yes, in a Cheesecake Factory). The waitress was filming it, people were watching, she saw the ring and started crying, he smiled, and all looked good. Oh, how wrong we were. When my wife and I left 20 minutes later, she was still crying, covering her face, and he wasn’t smiling anymore.
I couldn’t hear well enough to know what they were talking about, but they kept speaking in low voices. Didn’t look good.
Forget Me Notgreen and red labeled plastic packPhoto by Franki Chamaki on Unsplash
I walked into a grocery store which was pretty packed with frantic-looking Valentine’s Day shoppers. I walked in at the same time as another man with a confused look on his face and I heard him say out loud to himself, “Man, the store is pretty packed for a Friday evening.” Then, we both turn the corner and are met with all of the last minute flower arrangements and Valentine’s cards layout.
I see the man completely freeze and again out loud, he says “Oh.. no... no no no! Today is Valentine’s Day? Oh no!” As he quickly runs to the chocolate section, joining the rest of the panic-stricken dudes with the same looks on their faces. Hope those dudes are all still alive this morning.
I worked a 14-hour shift then wanted to meet up with my boyfriend afterwards to give him his Valentine’s Day gift. He gave me an address and when I showed up, my jaw dropped. I realized it’s a sleazy club (he did not tell me what it was and only gave me an address that I used to call an Uber). So I went inside, balloons and gift in-hand, I found him, dropped off his gift and Uber’d back home alone.
Bad News And Good News
I had a man who was verbally inappropriate at his wife at my table, and I don’t mean talking over her and being rude. I mean saying things like, “What do you think you’re doing you stupid bimbo?” and, “I’ll give you $36,000 to get out of here right now you piece of slime.” I had four different tables complain about them and we eventually asked them to leave.
I’ve never seen anything like it before, at one point the guy went to the restroom and I went up to the wife and asked if I could help in any way and if she was alright. I’ve never wanted to assault someone in my life more than that piece of garbage. We also had something really good happen when our chef and her girlfriend got engaged at the end of the night! It kind of balanced it out.
I ran the front desk to a hotel solo one Valentine’s Day. It was utter madness. We sold out with reservations, and there was a solid stream of locals coming in expecting to get rooms and then arguments with their disappointed dates when they were informed that we were booked solid. There were complaints from travellers just passing through and an older couple staying for a sports event about "loud amorous noises" emanating from rooms near theirs.
The phones were ringing off the hook from people looking to book Jacuzzi rooms when everyone in the city had been reserved in advance. There was a ridiculously inebriated guy getting dropped off in a taxi expecting to get a room after we'd sold out. He was irate and yelling, "What am I supposed to do now? Go sleep in the streets?"
Someone thought it would be a great idea to dump a trail of glitter and rose petals down an entire hallway leading to their room. And this was just the 3-11 p.m. shift. R.I.P. third shift and the morning housekeepers.
When I was a server/bartender we had a frequent escort come to our restaurant. It was pretty obvious she was an escort as this restaurant was in a wealthy neighborhood and she would be with a different man every time. Once when I served her she said to me I'd make good money if I joined her company. So on Valentine's Day, she came in…
She was wearing big, gold hoop earrings, chest hanging out of a floral dress and fake designer bag. She sat down with an elderly man who I figured was married because he was wearing a wedding band. Anyway, long story short she was doing something inappropriate to the man under the table. The manager kicked her out and she never came back
McLovea mcdonald's sign and a mcdonald's sign on a cloudy dayPhoto by Jonas Augustin on Unsplash
I was in McDonald’s and I see two people at a table having a Valentine’s Day date with a red tablecloth and candles with fancy napkins and their order number card on the table. Honestly, props to them. Looked fun.
Recipe For Disaster
One man, one very angry woman, one very full glass of merlot, and one impeccably white button-up shirt. You can guess what happened.
Had a woman come into a fine dining restaurant and tell me she was allergic to allium (garlic, shallots, etc), processed sugar, gluten, and salt. It's a four-course prix fixe menu for $150/person. Her partner had an excellent meal and such a wonderful experience. She essentially had crispy rice, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, pepper rubbed Arctic char, and skipped dessert. She did not have a wonderful experience.
I would have felt bad for her, but we go out of our way to give them the menu ahead of time, call to confirm that you're okay with the reservation and menu, and approve that the $150 price was legit. But she just kept throwing a stink because she must have expected us to create an entirely new menu just for her and it should have been just as amazing as the other food our 250 guests were eating. In the end, I charged her full price and got that 20% tip.
A note for those who don't restaurant often: Don't assume you're special on a holiday where everyone thinks they're special. You're not that special.
I was at a fast-food place alone on Valentine's Day because I'm a lonely guy. The dude in front of me straight up asked the cashier if the cook could make the best looking burger possible because he forgot he was cooking for his wife and wanted to pass it off at home as though he made it for a romantic dinner. Oh, buddy.
We're in the last hour of service, but we've about emptied out. A couple sat at the bar for about 30 minutes before ordering potato skins two minutes before closing and then asked me to remake them twice. They gave me some dirty looks when I put all my 'go home' stuff near them, so I said, "I'm not sure if anyone told you, but it's my Valentine's day too".
Phone Failselective focus photography of person using smartphonePhoto by freestocks on Unsplash
A guy and girl come in. They order food and everything seems all good, then the girl leaves her phone and goes to the bathroom. The guy picks up her phone and starts snooping and the girl comes back and catches him red-handed. She is understandably angry and asks for their food to go. When she gets it she socks him in the chest and leaves. He paid for everything and quietly left immediately after.
Love Requires Patience
I work at a pizza place, where we served heart-shaped pizzas for Valentine’s Day. They took twice as long to put in a pan, and nobody was allowed to order ahead of time. Online orders weren’t going through properly so we had some customers waiting for their pizza for a solid 40-50 minutes. Short-staffed on delivery drivers as well. Overall pretty stressful.
A Waiting Game
A group sitting at a table next to mine had an absolute meltdown because their food took too long to arrive. Most of them just left and the last few asked if they could just box it up and leave when the food arrived. They got it all on the house.
Breaking The Silence
I was working in an extremely quiet, high end bar a couple of years ago, one couple was sitting in a corner booth having a screaming argument. Very, very awkward.
Don’t Make Eye Contact
I've seen too many Valentine’s Day couples who spend 99% of the time looking at their phones. So sad. So lonely.
Take The Good With Badburger with lettuce and tomato on white ceramic platePhoto by Juan Rojas on Unsplash
I work at a small local Mexican restaurant. I can't think of any disaster that happened at work for Valentine’s Day, but my girlfriend did dump me before I left for work. Then a girl from one of my tables left her number so the universe is looking out for me.
Worst Valentine's Day I ever saw? Easy. I once witnessed a full-blown divorce discussion, in which the woman left and the man finished the last three courses of their tasting menu when she waited for a taxi in our lounge.
My mom has been a waitress for more than 25 years and has worked her fair share of Valentine's Days. She says she's sen a lot of sad stuff, but it's the worst when little old men or women come in and eat alone because their husband or wife had passed recently and they just sit there and cry. My mom will sit down with them and give them hugs.
What’s The Problem?
I had a brief stint as a waiter in high school. This one couple looks very sweet and loving, with no apparent problems. The girl got down on her knee and asked him to marry her. The man's response was chilling. He started laughing hysterically and explained to her that proposing is a man's job, not a woman's. She was furious.
She started screaming about how inappropriate that was, then got her stuff and stormed out. He looked completely bewildered.
Her: Man, this is a great steak!
Him: Did you say this is a great date?