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Awkward People Share The Most Cringeworthy Things They've Ever Done In Public

We can't all be James Bond level smooth. Most of us aren't even cobblestone road level smooth, let's be honest. Oh, you thought you were the only one? Nope.

One reddit user asked:

What's the dumbest thing you've ever done solely because you were too awkward to do the normal thing?

The answers are helping us feel better about ourselves. Here are some of our favorites.

1. "I Just Accepted My Watermelony Fate"

One time I saw watermelons at the store in a big box labeled "19 cents." I (stupidly) thought this meant the watermelons were 19 cents each. I put eight in my cart.

Imagine my surprise, then, when the cashier rang up my watermelons for thirty-some odd dollars. Baffled, I just stared at him and realized it was nineteen cents PER POUND.

I was too awkward and embarrassed to tell the cashier I misunderstood or changed my mind, so I just accepted my watermelony fate. I ate watermelon for breakfast and lunch and dinner. I made watermelon margaritas and watermelon sorbet. There isn't a watermelon recipe on Pinterest I didn't consider.

It was halfway through the watermelon fiasco, after complaining about the stupid watermelon for days, that I realized that even if they HAD been only nineteen cents ... I still bought too many goddamn watermelons

2. Printing Blank Paper

I needed one sheet of blank printer paper from the computer lab at my college. There were maybe 5 other students in there when I walked in and I was afraid that pulling open the paper drawer on the printer would be super loud and disruptive so I logged on to a computer and printed out 5 blank pieces of paper instead.

3. Not Staring...

One time in middle school I was standing in a line in this little building where the school sold concessions at lunch. There was another line right next to me (to my right) and in that line there were two girls talking with each other, just slightly ahead of me. One of the girls had some writing on her shirt on the chest and I was bored and trying to read it.

I overhear the other girl tell her "That little kid over there is staring at your boob." So instead of just being normal, and saying "Oh no, I'm just trying to read your shirt." I instead start staring at the wall past her, like staring into the distance is just a normal thing I do. I let people walk around me in the line because I'm so committed to my new staring gimmick.

What an idiot I was....

4. Emotionally Taxi-ing Situation

Once I was in a taxi and I think the driver must have misheard my address. I noticed he was going the wrong way, but I didn't say anything because I was too awkward.

Finally he drops me off about half an hour from my house. And I'm all like "that's perfect, thanks mate". Paid with a tip, got out, walked around for a bit, waited for him to go, then called another taxi to get me home.

5. Oh So Cringey

I hugged a job interviewer when I was 16. The interview had concluded and she opened the door and stretched out her arm towards me to indicate I was free to go. For some reason I saw it as an invitation to hug and we had the most awkward one-armed hug/back pat ever.

6. Money Problems

When I was in high school, I had a huge crush on a girl who worked at the drive thru of my bank. I would go to a different branch, withdraw some cash and then deposit it at her branch's drive thru in hopes she was working. It wasn't until much later that I realized she could more than likely see I had made a withdrawal for the exact amount I was depositing just minutes before.

7. Biiiiiicycle

I rode my bike to college one time and had no bike lock. So I tied it up with an extra show string I had hoping any passerby would see it was "locked" without investigating too closely. As I'm leaving class I see a couple students standing by my bike taking pictures of my lock job and laughing. I sat like 50 yards away in shame waiting for them to leave before I retrieved my bike and left.

8. New Tweezers

I bought tweezers to groom my eyebrows (I'm a man). When my female friend saw them in the bag in my back seat, she asked whos they were and I was too embarrassed to say they were mine so I said "I don't know, somebody must've left them," and she took them for herself and I had to buy new ones.

9. Horrific Handshakes

I was really anxious for one of my first adult meetings that I was doing so I looked up the person I was meeting with and when they came in to shake my hand I introduced myself as them.

They thankfully laughed it off and just said, "no, that's my name". I cringe every time I think about it.

10. "Drive Safe"

I ran into a past coworker at a bus depot, had nothing really to talk about and it got awkward fast. A bus came and the guy said this is me, it was the one I was waiting for too but I didn't get on cause what the hell would happen if I did. Made it worse as he got on I said drive safe.

11. Coming Out Of The Closet, Literally

My work friend and I were working on a sort of secret project in a big closet that's behind a conference room. We were almost finished when people started filing into the room, so we quietly closed the door and continued working, figuring it would be a quick meeting. Five minutes pass, ten minutes pass, and oops! Now we're in too deep and can't leave without it being awkward. We were in there for nearly an hour before my friend finally gives up and opens the door to the room. We profusely apologize to our coworkers for interrupting as they sit there stunned. Of course instead of just being people we knew who we could laugh it off with, there were a couple of people visiting from one of our international offices and some of our international vendors. They probably think it's standard for the US branch to stuff younger employees in a closet now.

12. Starbursts

Last weekend I was eating starbursts and a lady approached me so naturally, I put a wrapped starburst in my mouth.

13. Run, Forrest, Run

Back in primary school I had a crush on a girl, her younger brother was kind of a friend, so I'd hang out at their place every once in a while.

Thinking it would be weird to ask if I could hang out, I'd go for a run past their place and hope they'd notice me and invite me in.

It worked, but most times I had to turn back and run past at least 4 times before they'd invite me in.

14. High Five

I was at a club once, the DJ was taking requests to make a request you had to fill out a slip of paper and give it to him. Anyways I do this walk over and hand it to him and he was like

"Alright man nice" and held out his hand.

For some reason I though, oh he wants to hold hands and held his hand for like 10 seconds (fingers interlaced even) and just looked at each other the whole time. Then It hit me that he wanted a high five and I got super embarrassed.

15. Not Korean

Spent an entire Thanksgiving weekend pretending I understood Korean, because I felt too awkward to correct my friend's Korean mom who assumed I was Korean too.

16. Calm Down, Spiderman

Accidentally locked myself on the roof of my office's parking garage ... it was my first week there and I didn't know the doors closed behind you and locked, I'd left my access badge on my desk.

Rather than call for help and be "that guy", I ... climbed down the side of the parking garage.

17. Pennies From Heaven

I saw somebody open a roll of pennies before by smacking it on the drawer. I had never opened one before and I had two customers watching me as I smashed pennies all over the place. Now I just tear it open instead of trying to be cool.

18. Watching Paint Dry

I got a random bout of social anxiety once while having to go in to a Home Depot to pick up my dad's order of tile and was just so unwilling and afraid to actually talk to an associate that I called my dad and took the phone up to the employee at the counter while I just awkwardly stood away from them and looked at paint.

19. Bathroom Hopping

Sometimes when I'm alone in a strange place and don't know whether I should go sit somewhere by myself or join a group of strangers, I visit a bathroom, sit in the stall for a while, go outside, visit another bathroom and repeat until a friend shows up or class begins.

Now that I think of it, it is hilariously awkward.

20. "You Were Great Last Night"

When I was a freshman in college, I saw a production of some Shakespeare play, and developed an instant crush on the lead actor. I saw him at lunch the day after the play, and my friends urged awkward, shy, 17-year-old me to approach him and say how much I enjoyed his performance in the show. I'm not sure if they really thought this very attractive senior was going to have any interest in me, but apparently I got talked into it, because I marched over to his table and he and all his friends fell silent as I approached.

I stood there trying to think of what to say, now that I was actually there. I opened my mouth and said, "Very nice!" (I was a teenaged girl, but I said it like Borat, unfortunately). He had no idea what I was talking about, and didn't say anything, so I tried again.

"You were great last night!" I said.

As soon as the words left my mouth, his friends lost their shit and started whistling and laughing. I was mortified, and slunk back to my table awkwardly. I swear I still cringe about this, almost 30 years later.

H/T: Reddit

Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Now that college has become a standard requirement for so many jobs and careers, there is a massive push by high schools to get their graduating students accepted and enrolled at an undergraduate college.

On the whole, that's undoubtedly a great thing. A more educated workforce will be prepared to solve the most complex issues facing human beings in the next several decades.

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Image by Gianni Crestani from Pixabay

*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.

The person on the other end of a 911 call has a truly remarkable job.

For those who don't play that professional role, we hope to never encounter the 911 call interaction. But if we do find ourselves making that call, the moment is an anomaly in our lives.

The chaos, the panic, the racing heart, and the desperation are all emotions we, ideally, don't experience on a regular basis.

But for the operator on the other end, our call is one in a long line of calls they've received all day, and all the workdays before that one.

It's difficult to imagine being embedded in those uniquely urgent, emergency moments all the time.

Some Redditors who are on the other end of that call shared their experiences on the job.

WhimsicalxxButcher asked, "911 dispatchers what has been your most creepy/unnerving call?"

For a few, the most unnerving moments were the calm callers.

There was something just so eerie about how level-headed the faceless human being on the other end could be through such a desperate, tragic moment.

Almost Clinical 

"I had a friend who worked as a 911 dispatcher and he always said the worst call he ever had was a ~20 year old kid who committed suicide by mixing a bunch of chemicals together in his car to produce hydrogen sulfide gas."

"He said that the most unnerving part was hearing him calmly listing off the chemicals, the type of gas produced, and the effects of hydrogen sulfide on the body (namely the almost instant death it causes at high concentrations)."

"He ended the call by providing the address of the parking lot he was in and saying that nobody should approach the vehicle without hazmat equipment."

"Apparently after that there was a whooshing sound as he dumped the last chemical into the mix, and then the line went dead silent aside for a quiet fizzing noise."

"I know that call screwed him up because he almost never talks about stuff that happens to him on the job. He quit a few months later to go into construction management, and frankly I can't blame him."

-- iunoyou

Planned Out 

"A woman called me, saying she was going to kill herself. She was gassing herself. Gave me her name & address then said she was just going to lie down and 'go to sleep.' And stopped responding to me."

"I kept the line open, trying to get her to speak to me, and eventually heard officers forcing their way in to find her body. I guess she just wanted someone to find her body."

-- mozgw4

Before It Set In 

"When I got a call from a 6 year old who got home from school and laid down to take a nap with his dad. His dad never woke up."

"The kid was so calm when calling it broke my heart."

"I ended up leaving dispatch shortly after. I was good at compartmentalizing the job for the year I was doing it, but it would've broken me in the long run."

-- tasha7712

Other 911 operators were unfortunate enough to receive a call from the very last person they wanted to hear from: a loved one.

These dispatchers' unique position gave them the unexpected access to a family member or friend at their most dire moments.

No More of That 

"My family member is a long time first responder, and 'retired' into doing dispatch. He heard the address (someone else was taking the call) and realized it was his daughter's house."

"He rushed over there just in time to see them wheeling her body out. Overdose."

"Five months later, he was called to his ex-wife's place because his grandson (son of the daughter who recently passed) had his door locked, lights on, but wasn't responding to his grandma."

"He broke the door down and found him deceased in bed. Overdose."

"He's very stoic after years of all sorts of traumatic situations but my heart hurts whenever I think of what all of this must have felt like. Like sand through your fingers."

-- bitchyhouseplant

Knowing the Address

"Not me, but my grandma. I was sitting in the dispatch office, (very small one only 2 dispatchers including my grandma) but she put out a dispatch that there was a gun shot from my best friends address."

"My heart sank to my stomach and broke later that day. He committed suicide."

-- OntaiSenpuu

When it Happened 

"My uncle passing away. Worked as a small town dispatcher for a year or so. Had a bunch of messed up stuff happen on shift, but this call came in in the still hours of the night. Small town, so not many calls after midnight."

"I answered and recognized the name and address on caller id. Aunt was in a frenzy so didn't recognize my voice. I remained calm and got ems and fire rolling to them, but by my aunt's own words he was already blue."

"I went thru debriefing and mandated therapy for a couple other things that happened, but never really talked to anyone about this. I just try not to think about it."

"That was the call I figured out I needed to find a different job."

-- dangitjon

Finally, some simply had a front row seat to sudden tragedy.

These operators were flies on the wall when disaster struck. They never asked to witness what they witnessed, but sometimes that came with the territory.

A Holiday Tragedy 

"My mom is a 911 dispatcher. Early on she said one Christmas Eve while working she got a call from an elderly lady who's husband had just collapsed(and died) from a heart attack and in the background Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas music was playing on blast."

"The lady was screaming and crying and begging for her husband to wake up but my mom could hear his gurgling in his last breathes. She doesn't listen to or watch Alvin and the chipmunks since."

-- Blueflowerbluehair

What is it About Christmas?

"Christmas night. 911 call with crying child on the other end. A neighbor had run her car over her mom during a domestic."

"The mom crawled to the porch bleeding and the child saw the car coming back. I had her hide quietly in a closet with the cordless phone."

"The 10 year old child was crying and screamed that she hated Christmas. She was afraid of the police when they got there."

"I kept her on the phone until she felt safe enough to give the phone to an officer. I almost fainted after that call was over. Had nightmares for a while."

-- 2FunBoofer

Close to Home 

"Not a dispatcher but I handle radio communications for the Coast Guard. One night I was on the radio and got a call from an 11 year old kid whose boat had started to sink. He was out with his dad and 6 year old brother."

"They had been hit by another boat and his father got knocked unconscious. I remember the entire conversation up until the radio had gone underwater."

"They ended up finding his dad floating on his back alive but the two boys didn't make it. That one really fu**ed with me because my two littlest brothers were around the same age as the youngest."

-- HIRSH2243

A Horrible Clock 

"Another one that stays with me was the man who called in. It was the anniversary of his adult son having hanged himself. He'd now come home to find his wife had done the same."

"That date is always going to be a black day for him."

-- mozgw4


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/

Again, we hope you never have to use the 911 call in your life. Nobody wants to be involved in a sudden emergency or a tragic incident.

But hopefully, if you do, an operator like one of these thoughtful, sensitive Redditors is on the other end.

Image by Nguyen Dinh Lich from Pixabay

When I was moving on from middle school to high school my parents had me tested for the "gifted" program. By some miracle I passed and was accepted. And then I turned it down. Everyone was irritated. "This will pave the way for any college you want! You'll learn so much!" his path will set you up for life!" Every adult tried valiantly to sell me this merchandise but in my gut I just wasn't buying it. So I "settled" a level below, merely advanced classes. And upon reflection... it was the best choice I ever made.

Redditor u/dauntlessdaisy was wondering how far some in life got by asking... For those of you who were considered "gifted" in school, what are you doing with your life now?
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Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

There's a million things that can happen to you while out on on the road.

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