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 ClosetGiphy
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.
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 TreelineGiphy
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.
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.
We often find ourselves having to guess how to make things work and make things fit--in our lives, but also just in our possessions. Will these pants fit me? These shoes?
Will this screw fit my table? Will this charger fit my phone?
If everything was somehow standard, wouldn't it all be so much easier?
Here were some of those answers.
No More Vanity Sizes
Sizes for clothing.
Especially for shoes. How hard would it be to just list the sizes in centimeters (or inches if you're American)?
WHY DO WE USE STANDARD MEASUREMENTS FOR OUR CLOTHES, BUT THEY ARE DIFFERENT SIZES IN DIFFERENT BRANDS???
Calvin Klein's men's slacks: 32'' waist
Bar III men's slacks: 32'' waist
Perry Ellis slacks: 32'' waist
THEY ARE ALL DIFFERENT WAIST SIZES. WHYY?!?!?!?!
Ah Yes, Three Chilis
There's a standard for chili heat levels (the Scoville scale), but food manufacturers never use it. Instead, they use a varying number of chili icons which mean nothing at all.
It's always fun going to like a Thai restaurant in Canada and trying to figure out whether the chili icon means Thai spicy or Canadian spicy.
Ah Yes, This Could Kill Me
Household electrical voltages and sockets.
Interestingly enough, there was an attempt: since 1986, there is an international standard socket, IEC 60906-1. However, only South Africa has implemented it so far.
And it is unlikely it will ever be implemented in other countries, as the EU is even advising against it since 2017:
REFIT found that "the harmonisation of plug and socket outlet systems in Europe, by introducing changes in national wiring legislations (would have) important transitional periods (above 75 years)", and that the cost to "replace the old socket-outlets (and the corresponding plugs of the appliances being used)" was estimated at 100 billion Euro, "generating a huge environmental impact, producing some 700 000 tons of electrical waste". REFIT does not recommend harmonising the plugs and socket-outlet systems in Europe.
Can we just get a little consistency here? Please?!
After working in a grocery store, can diameters should only come in a maybe 4 sizes. And they should all stack.
But they don't. They never do.
I feel your pain. I hate those narrow jars and cans that are slightly narrower than 3 wires of the shelf so they tip over if you don't place them perfectly.
A Computer Mouse, Not A Little Baby Mouse
Modern rechargable batteries.
We spent years with standard size batteries. We are now stuck with proprietary batteries which aren't designed to be user replaceable and often dictate the life of the device.
Yes absolutely. I found this fact especially annoying when looking for a mouse. Most of the more expensive mice come with rechargeable batteries, and it seems that modern tech reviewers are claiming this is better than some standard double A.
All Standard, Yet None Standard
I worked in a hardware store long enough to learn that apparently everything is standardized.
"I need window screens."
Okay, what are your dimensions?
"It's a standard size window."
"I'm looking for a replacement ceiling fan."
Okay, do you want small blades, large blades? A modest 30" span or a robust 56"?
"Just standard size."
"Do you think this large, bulky, cumbersome commodity will fit in my vehicle?"
I don't know. How big your truck?
"It's a standard one."
protip: it's a sedan. it's always a sedan.
Welp, Here's Your Problem
Based on years of helping my Dad in his shop, doing bodywork on vehicles - fastenings. Bolts, screws. rivets, clips... the sheer amount of specialized fastenings and required tools is insane. Even the variety of types in single vehicles is excessive.
Not to mention many of them are so cheaply made that there is no reusing them.
So Many Sign Languages
Not necessarily something that should be standardised because it would affect many cultures negatively, but I've always wondered what it would be like if every country just spoke one language. Sign language should probably be standardised, but re-learning sign language for people who use it may be difficult and time-consuming
Perhaps We Need To Rethink Policing
Police responses to missing persons across the nation, and the information requirements for police reports to be filled out with specific and complete information at the first point of contact by the person reporting the missing person, regardless of the age, status, or suspected reason for disappearing.
Police should NEVER be allowed to decide a case isn't valid at the first point of contact.
A Recipe For A Lint Fire
The laundry exhaust receptacle in homes should be centered exactly eighteen inches (45.7cm) from the floor with eighteen inches (or 45.7 cm) of clearance on both sides.
The exhaust duct of a clothes dryer should be in the middle of the back of the machine, and centered eighteen inches/45.7 cm from the floor. The dryer should have adjustable feet to allow for slight errors in measurement.
Once this is done, a laundry dryer can be pushed into the wall and we won't need to craft a length of ducting to connect the two.
Just a little bit of sameness and consistency could really go a long way here.
Some things ought not be tried again.
Sure, they made sense the first time. It may have held charm, at least some sense of purpose on the second go around. But eventually, surely, an essential truth became clear: never again.
Reddit is apparently crawling with people carrying around that permanent grudge towards some thing they've done in the past.
Lucky for us, we can learn from their mistakes.
senorllama57 asked, "What is something you will never do again?"
There were, of course, plenty of people who discussed horrible jobs they've held in the past. They may have had little choice at the time, but now that it's all in the past they feel free to share how they really felt.
The Customer Always Seems To Be Wrong
"Work retail. I think every kid fresh out of high school should work a retail job for a year. It builds character." -- ProfessionalTheme415
"How did you get out!?! Lol. It's like a black hole where I work. Everyone that tries to leave comes back." -- threebillion6
A Lot Going On
"Work in a nursing home. The sights, screams and pleas Will haunt me forever." -- M_Lamora
"Honestly working in a nursing home was one of the most weird jobs I ever had. I've never been threatened so many times in my life. I once had a memory care resident ask me if I would help her jump a caregiver."
One After Another
"Work in a call center." -- Evilsmurfkiller
"Sucked the soul right out of me within a year." -- Bandana-mal
"I was at one for 2 and half years and it was not until I left I realized I had work-related depression. I was overeating, not eating, sleep deprived, slept all the time, I had such rage that would come out at times...
"I did not care what happened to me, I left because they were gonna fire me over something dumb because they just fire people for being there long. I left over a year ago, and I have not been this happy to wake up every day in years, my life is so much better now." -- UnusualLight0
Others discussed past struggles they've encountered within the romantic realm. Unfortunately, these lessons came with plenty of emotional struggle.
"Get married. It'll be 19 years this August and my marriage is my marriage. I reserve the right to have a girlfriend at some point if she passes away before I do, but she's the one and only wife, end of story."
"Ignore red flags when talking to someone I want to date. I've done it twice now, and both times sucked" -- YareYareYandere
"Listen to your gut. If something feels off, you're probably not imagining it." -- SurealGod
Don't Forget About You
"Okay first off I'm sorry if this might sound cringe :D . . . That would be hmm become too attached/codependent on a person. Whether it may be of a lover, friend, or just acquaintance."
"Idk if it's coincidence but they either end up gone one day or become total di**s when you least expect it and I'm forced to cut ties."
And some people chose to recall the things they were so certain would be fun and enjoyable, but turned out to be so not.
A Bad Ratio
"I made a super elaborate meal once. It was ... okay. Certainly not worth the effort involved." -- Astramancer_
"Take an hour to make something, only takes 15 minutes to eat. It's bullsh**." -- SurealGod
Hours and Hours
"Times Square on New Years' Eve. It was fun once, never need to do it again." -- AnswerGuy301
"I was going to answer the same thing. It seemed like it would be so much fun but now that I know what it entails — never again" -- hi_its_me
"I have never been and never understood the attraction of waiting for hours and hours in the shivering weather." -- amrodd
Think of Grease Splatters
"Prepare steaks when drunk" -- Kiaulunne
"Not for your reason, but same here. Cooked one at 2am after half a bottle of rum. Quickly ate and passed out after. Woke up around 8am dying for water and realised I left the gas stove on... So glad nothing burned down..." -- schofield101
"I will never get drunk again. Tipsy, buzzed, sure. Thats fine."
"But when I was in front of that toilet for an hour, being so weak I couldn't even sit up, having people constantly come in to check on me, worrying that I might have alcohol poisoning, that is exactly not a fun time"
So take some notes! Or maybe there were some true horrors you went through that this list seems to be lacking.
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You know what they say, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions". Because the people who have our best interests in mind typically have good intentions when they give us advice, but there's a chance that that advice can go horribly wrong.
Try not to follow the bad advice given here, because you don't want to get the results that these guys did.
The workplace can bring a cornucopia of terrible advice. Don’t follow these unless you want to get fired.
Bad jobs are usually not worth it.
Stick with a job no matter how bad it is. I stayed with a terrible job working retail, dealing with horrible customers and sexual harassment. I was told I wouldn't find anything better.
"No, no, you misunderstand. I said you wouldn't find anything better at making you feel like complete garbage."
This gets really creepy really fast.frustrated workplace GIFGiphy
"After you put in a job application, you need to call them at least once a day every day until they hire you."
Note: this did not get me hired. It got me called out by the HR person I was calling and forbidden to ever contact their facility again.
I work for a law firm that employees over 1500 people in the home office alone. Once I received a call from the building security saying, "Insert Name is here to speak with the owner." Well we are run by a committee so that's odd. Found out they just applied for a job and wanted to talk directly to the person that would potentially hire them. Told him the firm will contact them to schedule an interview. They refused to leave without "talking to the owner." Had security escort them out of the building.
This is absolutely not true.
"Sleep is for people who do not want success" great words from my uncle, it almost killed me.
Now I may be oversleeping.
Interpersonal relationships are also a big breeding ground for terrible advice. Don’t listen to any of these.
My father always tought me and my brother that "having friends is bad and in the end they will never be there for you" so everytime I told my father about my friends he would get kinda mad and give me the advice to stop talking to them.
Now I am afraid of people and have several trust issues, thanks dad.
This won’t end well.A Christmas Story GIF by filmeditorGiphy
In the fifth grade my teacher was talking about bullying, then she said "if anyone tries to bully you just agree with them." So the next time I got bullied I agreed with the bully and they bullied me more.
Dude one time I saw an anti bullying video that told the victims to just BE NICE TO THE BULLY. Like the bully was hurling insults and the victim was smiling and complimenting him. My first thought was about how much I hated the mere thought that this would work. My second thought was of how the people who came up with that method had clearly never been bullied.
When I met my now wife at the age of 19, one of my coworkers said that it's very important to start at the bottom with presents and work your way up, she still has the socks I gave her on our first anniversary on the wall over our bed as a reminder...
I'm still trying to teach my boyfriend about good presents and bad presents. Biscuits from the supermarket = bad present. Cheap unbranded laptop battery from China as my only present = bad present (and only lasted 2 months). Anything off my 7-page wishlist = good present. It's literally a list of things I want to receive as presents.
Can tell you from experience that this is a bad idea.
Had a falling out with some friends. My husband recommended I reach out to an old friend who ghosted me suddenly in a manner that induced some pretty severe abandonment trauma. Went for it anyways because "it's been so long, surely they changed". Am now experiencing the same things as last time.
When you follow bad advice, it can lead to mistakes that you just can’t come back from.
Buying a house is tricky.for sale dancing GIF by Lisa VertudachesGiphy
"Buy a home now before the prices go up!" -my FIL in 2006.
We bought in 2007 and paid $259,500 for our 1,300 sq ft house (we really couldn't afford it and had an 80/20 so we had 8% interest for one loan and 6% on the other) and in 2008 it was worth $97,000 so refinancing wasn't even an option. We watched all of our neighbors walk away or get foreclosed on but we kept paying our bills and as of this very moment our house is worth $462,000. I'm so happy we stuck it out, we both worked our @sses off and the house will be paid off in 2 years.
It worked out for us, it's a horrible idea. Especially since 1300 sq ft houses are $460+k
My heartbreaks for future generations, I honestly don't know how people are going to afford housing in the future.
It’s there for a reason.
"Never apply for any government assistance."
Cue years of suffering trying to work full-time with a painful disability. Quit a particularly terrible job, and wanted to apply for food aid until I could find another gig; a friend with lots of DHS experience recommended I apply for Social Security "just to get in the system." Turns out my disability was bad enough to get accepted the first time, which I wasn't expecting. Really could've used that support, oh, the 30+ previous years of my life.
Credit is important to have.
I was told to not get a credit card until after college. I was super fortunate to have my college paid for so I had no loans, car paid in cash, no credit card or anything to start building credit. Found myself out in the world at 22 years old with a credit score of 0.
So while a lot of this bad advice came from trusted people, oftentimes they were too misinformed to give that advice in the first place. Don't trust the word of one person--do your research, and make decisions for yourself.
It'll be way better in the long run
Every once in awhile, somebody comes along, enters your life, and catapults themselves to that awful, unique position at the top of your list of the worst people you have ever met.
Sometimes, the person's blindingly terrible behavior and overall essence is actually impressive. We ask ourselves, "how could a person like this actually exist on purpose?"
Alas, they do. And you have to deal with them. Or, if your lucky, you can carve out some distance.
Redditors shared descriptions of the worst people they've ever had the misfortune to meet. Some have escaped the relationship. Some are are still stuck in the clutches.
LoneStar202 asked, "Who is the worst person you have ever met?"
Some chose to talk about the acquaintances they simply couldn't help but encounter. External circumstances beyond their control made the stars align in the worst way possible.
Keeping the Peace
"There was this guy who used to come into the McDonald's where I did security overnight (yes, that's a job), and he was the biggest ahole I've ever met in my life."
"Ginger, 5'6 or so, named Colby, had a perpetual scowl on his face, looked for any reason to start a fight with anyone. He and his friend would come in when it's super busy, not order, and then yell at the staff that he paid and wasn't given a receipt in the hopes that they'd give him free food rather than deal with him."
"I kicked him out for six months on two separate occasions for coming in drunk and throwing things, drinking beer in the restaurant, starting fights, you name it. Only got in my face once and I never had to fight him, but I'm much bigger than him and the law is on my side."
"Not that I would necessarily have won. I'm big and strong, but I have no idea how to fight and he did. I called his bluffs because I was pretty sure he wouldn't attack me and he didn't."
"Funny, I just realized I've finally forgotten his last name. Not that I'd mention it. He might be less of a @ss now and he's no longer my business."
You Know 'Em
"I work with a real life, archetypal, Karen. She's two-faced, mean, anti-vax, and just generally the whole nine. The first interaction I ever had with her she had to make fun of me behind my back for being a dude with earrings."
"Recently kicked up a stink by making an 'anonymous' email address and emailing our HR department saying people were discriminating against folks not getting the covid vaccine.
"Luckily she's burned too many bridges for anyone to really take her crazy anymore but man is she frustrating to deal with."
Others discussed the family members that, for obvious reasons, they were forced to put up with for years and years. But even family isn't enough to keep a person like that around.
Marrying Into It
"It sounds cliche, but my ex-MIL. What made her the worst is that she was a covert POS."
"We always lived about 1k miles from them, so I didn't pick up on it for far, far too long, but goddamn, I've never met anyone with as much unacknowledged hate and cruelty in their heart."
A Thing of the Past
"My father. Cheater, never paid child support, verbally abusive to my mother, sister and I. Just all around bad dude."
"Haven't talked to him in about 15 years and am 100% ok with that."
So Many Problems
"My brother. He's like a cross between Kramer (Seinfeld, 'my newest thing' and mannerisms) and Frank from Its Always Sunny (illegal activity and completely illogical 'logic')."
"He's ripped me off for thousands of dollars (getting close to 5 figures). Constantly stealing anything he can, but claims 'borrowed' if caught with it. Been to jail 3 times and is currently on house arrest after over a year of probation violations. "
"The epitome of 'easier to say sorry than ask permission' (but the apologies are hollow) and 'what's yours is mine and what's mine is mine.' No consideration for anyone or anything. Manages to break virtually anything he touches. Hasn't had a job in over 1.5 years, but has been trying to fraudulently collect unemployment."
"Constantly thinks everyone is out to get him and people are stalking the camper he lives in (has security cameras that he watches frequently and often 'patrols' the area). Tries to break into locked doors and safe, and pulls the 'why don't you believe/trust me' line."
"I'm just scratching the surface here. He'd use your clippers/razor to shave his family jewels and not clean up the mess (something he's done multiple times)."
Finally, there were the stories of classmates. Whether it was high school, college, or even graduate school, there were enough people there all in one place that one or two rotten people were never far away.
"Guy from my high school was a wannabe thug. He ended up going to juvi junior year. After a year of juvi. He became a true criminal. Broke into people's homes. Stole from stores and got heavy into drugs."
"Then he eventually died after robbing the wrong store at gunpoint. The owner came out the back and shot him with a shotgun."
Wait for the Twist
"My gf's college classmate. Narcistic. Thought of himself as very important so he came into the church where we were graduating, on his HORSE. He damaged a 1000 or something-year-old church floor in Leiden. He thinks he didn't do anything wrong."
"And the weird thing is, we were graduating LAW SCHOOL"
Ride Like Lightning, Crash Like Thunder
"I had a classmate who wanted to become a stock broker and a millionaire. He said more than once, with absolute pride, 'When I'm rich I wont donate a single penny to the poor!' I asked him why and he said 'I have my own problems, and the poor being poor is not one of them.' "
"He opened his own business when he was 23 and was pretty successful, but suddenly a fire burned the place down while he was in it and he suffered from third degree burns all over his body."
"He later confessed setting the fire himself and was found guilty on insurance fraud. He's only 24 now and his professional life is basically over."
A Sudden Shift
"A teacher I once had. Didn't know me. Never spoke to me much."
"One day just randomly snapped at me. Yelling at me telling me that I had no future, that all the awards I got were to go to waste, that I the article I published which I spent hours working on and submitted didn't matter. That even though I was 14 and had many great achievements, I would end up just like that said teacher."
"Worst person I have ever encountered. Did collateral damage to my life as now I am a high school student with no more ambition. Wanna be a journalist? Wanna be a writer? A lawyer? Not anymore buddy."
Hopefully, you don't have too many of these people in your own life. But, let's face it, there's one or two people on your mind right now.
Here's hoping you managed to let go and get away.
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