Clever People Reveal How To Smoothly Exit Conversations With Crazy People
This thread is dedicated to the moments when out of nowhere, someone's crazy pops out. Ask yourself: could people tell a story about you being crazy?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
K is not fine...
My first job was at Target. I was in the food avenue section which is where you would buy popcorn, nachos or soft pretzels (most have been converted to Starbucks by now.)
Anyways, there was this lady K who would come in quite often. She had a little cart with 2 wheels that she pulled behind her, full of stuff. She would wear baggy dresses and hacked the hair up front in jagged pieces to the scalp like a mangy Benjamin Franklin. K would wander around for awhile and then come to food ave and buy a sandwich.
Whenever we exchanged money she would ask me if she swallowed or was choking on any change. I would calmly look at her and say "Nope K, you're just fine," sometimes repeating myself 4 or 5 times.
One day she looked at me and said " Thank you for being so kind and not treating me like I'm crazy. Everyone else does. When I was a little girl I saw my Grandmother choke to death."
Can you F_CKING IMAGINE? This was 15 years ago. I hope K has found peace and contentment wherever she is.
I'd just as soon stay home.
Back when my mom owned a bookstore there was a woman like this.
Serena was morbidly obese, smelled terrible, and always wore a dirty Santa hat. Normal enough woman just clearly had some maintenance issues. So for years she would come into the store and buy like 1000s of dollars on books. Customers complained every once in a while but the majority knew her pretty well.
One day my mother asks her about the hat. Apparently, when she was in 2nd or 3rd grade her class was being led to the auditorium by their teacher. It was around Christmas time so Santa hats abound. Her teacher wasn't so much in the spirit and was lacking a hat.
Her teacher tripped on the stairs, falling and just destroying her head on the way down. Apparently, an EMT was saying that she would have lived if she had just been wearing a little padding up top....like a Santa hat.
And so Serena refuses to remove her Santa hat, for fear she will trip and die for lack of padding.
Really sweet woman, wonder how she's doing.
When your farts are the special farts.
So I went into a McDonald's and this woman recognized me from some of the college classes we had together. I think. Well, at any rate, she seemed pretty certain, and she seemed like she might be familiar; two eyes, a nose, some hair, I might've seen her before.
She started telling me that her friend was psychic, could feel people's energy, and could read her mind. Now that's not the weirdest thing I've ever heard and I'd probably have been ok with that.
Then she started telling me about the radio DJ out of the next town over who was watching her in her house with video cameras hidden in her shower. She knew he was watching her because during his broadcasts he would play certain sound effects and tell jokes about her every time she farted.
I told her I had to get going, I was just there for a carry-out and there were some people waiting in the car.
Men who need to fully control women... why?
Went on two dates with a guy.
I saw some red flags but weren't sure they were red at first. We'd be texting and he'd say I was bad at little things. Basically negging, but sometimes the way it was said, I couldn't tell if he was serious or not.
It was all in my mind that it could be a red flag, but I decided on a second date.
He started saying how I needed to paint my nails, but only certain colors. He was serious. He also ordered a bunch of stuff for me that I told him I didn't like and then tried to get me to drink/eat it.
Basically, my wants were completely ignored and by the second date he had a list of little things he deemed me bad at - like he didn't like the way I hugged.
I decided to nope out. So I told him thanks, but I didn't see us working out.
He flipped shit. Said my insecurities and fear were showing, and he could see why I was single.
So I was like omgnohelpme.
I told him to stay away. I wasn't interested.
He told me I just needed some time to think it over. To calm down (????). Then the best part came: he said I was his girlfriend.
I told him I wasn't. He said no, I was.
He was attempting to force me to be his girlfriend.
So I got the out, blocked him on everything, and 8 months later he's still trying to contact me. Like wtf.
When you're in a manic state, but really good at making a show of it.
I was at a family wedding, and there was this guy I didn't know that was amazing on the dance floor. He had decent moves, but it was more than he was so dedicated to his dancing, so charismatic, that he really drew the eye. Anyway, my father in law got to talking to him and eventually drew me into the conversation. Dancer guy had been telling my father in law in great detail about a recent manic episode during which he'd emptied his bank account (shared with his wife) bought a boat and sailed it from the US to Denmark, and then stayed there in a drunken stupor for weeks before it finally occurred to him that he needed to tell his wife where he was, and also that they couldn't afford a boat. Partway through the conversation, it became obvious that he was currently in another manic state. But he was very engaging, so we didn't try to extricate ourselves from the conversation. Eventually, his wife dragged him away. We felt bad for her.
Where is she getting her news?
I have a coworker who's a real chatterbox. It starts innocuously enough; what she had for dinner, how her husband is doing after his car wreck, what happened at church this past Sunday. She'll ramble on and on and on about this for as long as you'll stand there, only barely giving you a chance to say you've got to go do something else and politely end the conversation.
The best way we at work have found to get away is to signal someone over and turn her attention on to the new victim. The funny thing is that no one, not even me, has caught on to this, and we'll always happily trot over to see what the conversation is about only to get caught in the "death chatter".
However, if she ever starts talking about the news, run for your sanity. I don't know what news channel she watches, but every day it seems she finds a new story about someone is murdering an infant. And it's not something she mentions once and moves away from. She dwells on such things, rambling on about them for as much as half an hour at a go if you stand there and let her mouth run.
This family sounds like a good time.
For a long time, I complained about my best friend's parents to mine. They never believed me and chalked it up to "teens hate parents, when teens are punished they think parents are evil but it's good for kids". Well, then they met her mom. Her mom tried to convince my dad she had cancer and her medical bills were piling up. She and the family were suffering because of the bills and needed money. The rest of the conversation went something like this "Oh what type of cancer do you have?" -my dad asking a genuine question out of curiosity to hopefully help her "Lung cancer it's specific type of cancer that's modestly rare" "Oh that's horrible, what's your doctor's name" my dad happened to be very very close friends with the only people that treat this type of cancer in the state. She responded with a made-up doctor's name. He knew she was crazy for sure after that.
Pretty sure Hurricane Sandy happened.
The plumber we called was nice enough, but he started explaining to my wife that Hurricane Sandy didn't really happen, and the storms are due to the government "shooting electrons" into the sky.
At some point, the stories stopped adding up.
It took me an absurdly long time to find out my good friend was a pathological liar. I just didn't have any good reason not to believe him, and my other friends didn't catch on either. He wasn't malicious or anything. He just wanted people to think he knew interesting people. At some point, the good faith of friendship broke down in the face of the collective weight of his fake stories, and I just stopped talking to him. It did cost me some friends once when I repeated something he had said around a new group of people, and they thought I was the one making it up. What a goddamn mess that was.
It's crazy to think women were "created" to be inferior to men.
During our small talk since I was seated next to him at a dinner party everything seems cool, then the topic of marriage comes up, and he's flabbergasted I let my wife go to work, drive a car, and not be in my presence. He explains God created women to please and serve their men, and to be in the kitchen at all times, and to basically be a slave to their men. Literally went on for about 15 mins and I seriously thought he was just a chauvinist making a joke but he was dead serious. I excused myself and went to the restroom and thankfully someone took my spot at the table so I had to move to a different spot.
It's crazy to think that insurance is going to pay for a non-medical practitioner, especially without a license.
Everybody has met her: that loud, apprehensive person with a cracking voice possibly due to being in a constant state of self-inflicted crisis. She says more inappropriate things than appropriate things and her personal life somehow always finds itself leaking into her professional environment. The type of person who will leave mid-meeting with a client to go to Starbucks. Her.
Anyway, like two months after hiring her, she informs us she needs to see a person in Miami (we live in LA) due to some undisclosed arm pain issues. She didn't give us a time frame of return but said it may be months to recover. During this conversation, we found that this was not a doctor (or at least not a licensed medical practitioner) but somebody that her friend recommended. In Miami. For "months." Also, she threatened to sue our insurance company because it didn't cover whatever she was doing and she just assumed it would.
We never saw her again, but she seems to keep bouncing back on her feet in pretty solid positions based on Linkedin.
Who's the crazy one now? Jupiter is a real place!
I was on my first cruise, a three day trip to the Bahamas and back to Florida. I was talking to a dude at the bar, and ask where he's from. "Jupiter!" is his response. Luckily my buddy came around and I just walked away.
Found out years later that Jupiter, FL is a real place and remembered this guy from the cruise that I thought was nuts.
I was hoping he'd guess the PIN tbh...
I was in line at the grocery store and this guy was talking to me, mostly a normal conversation and then he started saying he knew what everyone in the store was thinking and how he was from another dimension and I said "uhh ok" and he proceeded to continue on his tirade about knowing everything there is to know, he then proceeded to tell me he knew what I knew, so I said, "if you know everything, then enter my PIN number" (I had already inserted my card into the machine and was getting ready to pay). He stared at me blankly and reality came crashing back down on him. Felt bad for him, but I wasn't going to feed his delusions.
"God told me" is a big red flag...
My, very sweet, elderly next-door neighbor explained to me how God gave her my house.
She casually told me, "Oh, you should have seen how beautiful it was the day we moved in. I touched your door, and I knew then and there that God wanted me to own your house. You may live in it now, but its only temporary."
It gave me the creeps, but I didn't say anything because her husband mows my lawn for free.
Is this crazy? Or amazing? It's amazing.
I was sent to a client's office overseas to help them get our product set up. At first, I thought I had a problem with our translator because he told me that their database server was "in the monkey room". I asked for clarification several times. Always "it's in 'the monkey room'." Decided to just ignore it, asked IT for their credentials, and figured I'd check out their server at the end of my week.
On my last day of support there, I went to configure their server. The CEO had a f_cking pet monkey that lived in the room with their database server.
I had to ask the guy I was working with why on Earth this was the case. Apparently, it's the only room with AC strong enough for the monkey to be comfortable, and the CEO didn't have A/C at his house, so, obviously.... stick it with your business-critical server.
I mean, I don't see the animal doing any damage to the server, but it was the single weirdest thing I've encountered in my life.
Let's hope the daycare is only a delusion...
Started volunteering at a women's shelter, first night at the check-in desk for the clients. Talking with a very well-put-together lady who had traveled all over the world, we spoke of very specific site seeing we had both been to in Egypt, etc. She is obviously highly educated, wearing fine clothing so I finally ask how she came to be at a homeless shelter. She says "I left my CFO position at a huge company in Seattle to take care of my dad who had Alzheimer's. His care cost a lot, I got depressed after he passed away, and here I am. But don't worry, I have a daycare up the hill with 25 children who watch tv all Day in a storage shed. All I have to do is feed them one meal and one snack." My jaw hit the floor. Yeah, she had paranoid schizophrenia and she was delusional. Talk about a 180.
Hey, if calling Sarge helped and made her happy, what's the harm...
Got called to an old lady's condo about her hearing noises in her attic. I went up and looked and it was all good. Went back 3 more times. Finally, I told her that it might be an animal getting in from somewhere that I couldn't see, but that there was absolutely no one up there (It was a wide open, flat space.) Then she told me that she believed it was the government sending agents to spy on her because she had very valuable information inside her head. She was worried that they were planting mind-reading devices in her home. So after some amusement, I told her "Look, we're not really supposed to do this, but..." and then called my Sergeant. "Hey, Sarge, is Mrs. Larsen on the list? ...yes, yes, THE list.....Oh, really? That's a mistake, she's not supposed to be on it. Cancel the operation for her immediately please. Sure, I'll wait...oh really? That was fast. Great, I'll tell her, thanks!" and hung up. I told her "Ma'am, you WERE on the list, but it was obviously an accident. You've been removed, and I promise you nobody else will bother you. You're all good now. :) " Never heard from her again. The funny part, was that I called my Sergeant out of the blue, and while he knew I was on a call at this lady's place, he had NO idea what I was talking about because I was just talking over him. The whole time I'm spewing my script for this lady to hear, Sarge is on the other end of the phone "What the F_CK are you talking about? ...Are you having a stroke or something?.....I don't understand this at all...."
Toxic AND crazy, didn't Jesus have a female friend?
I met my friend's super Christian girlfriend for the first time. Out of the blue, she starts asking me questions like if I'm a virgin, who I dated before I started dating my SO, why I didn't have a crush on her boyfriend (he liked me in high school), who her boyfriend liked in high school, who her boyfriend liked in middle school.
It got even weirder after that. My friend and I used to game all the time. After meeting his girlfriend, she told me we can no longer game together. We can't Skype together (we were in different states at the time). We can no longer speak on the phone together. We can't be alone together. We can't even text.
She claims that he's a good, Christian guy, and he needs good, Christian guy friends. Since I'm a girl, she told me that Christian guys shouldn't have friends of the opposite gender.
Unfortunately, my friend is blindsided by his girlfriend, and he chose her over all his female friends. We don't talk anymore . . .
You identify as a crazy racist cat, sir...
I work in customer service. This dude said he identified as a cat more than a human. He also claimed the police were trying to kill his cats. Eventually, the conversation became about how he was going to starve to death because he didn't know how to cook. He also said he couldn't dine out anymore because there were no places to get real food (hamburgers) in his neighborhood because of "all of the gentrification going on" to his neighborhood.
Y'all know that one Hannah Montana song? “Everybody makes mistakes! Everybody has those days!" That's the song I sing to myself every time I accidentally burn myself while making ramen. It comforts me to know, however, that there are a lot of worse mistakes out there than some spilled ramen. Who knew?
In fact, some mistakes are so astronomical that they're remembered for decades afterwards, leaving the one who made the mistake a legacy of being a dumba**. Here are a few of them!!!
Some may argue that the existence of the Universe was a mistake. I disagree. It was clearly Zayn leaving One Direction. But these next few were pretty bad too.
If you do the math, this is also the reason why Hentai exists.
I'll say the wrong turn Franz Ferdinand's driver made that went right in front of Gavrilo Princip.
EDIT: yes I'm aware war may still have broken out even if Franz Ferdinand wasn't assassinated
Imagine you're Gavrilo Princip. The assassination plot you and your friends had been cooking up for about the last year or so has been a complete and total disaster, just a monumental f*ck-up of the highest degree. You're staked out at this deli thinking maybe, just maybe the car will pass by, and by some stroke of sheer luck, it does.
If you're Princip, this is nothing short of serendipity.
Petition to return to the ocean.Ocean Surf GIFGiphy
"Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans."
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move." - Douglas Adams
This was, in fact, a monumental mistake.
Sears not beating Amazon to the punch.
Blockbuster not buying Netflix.
You thought THOSE were bad? Well gear up for their next few, because they are 100% accurate. Except the one about Cats, that movie slaps.
I don’t know sports, but sure.
Seahawks not running it.
I used to wear a Seahawks jersey whenever I took a test because I knew I would pass when I shouldn't.
CATS is great, y'all are just boring.Giphy
The Emoji Movie.
That live action movie about Cats is also up there.
Very fair point.
Humans are not wired to have that many social interactions and maintain that many relationships. Plus the echochambers it allows people to create for themselves, no matter how conspiratorial or vile their beliefs, means that stupid/evil people are no longer shunned into changing their mind.
Not sure it was worth being able to see what a celebrity had for lunch or what new "dance" your younger cousin and her tween friends are doing.
But in all seriousness, some horrible things may now have happened if the right thing was halted at the right time.
Washington called it.George Washington Disney GIF by Hamilton: An American MusicalGiphy
Voting for people based on what side of the political spectrum they're on. George Washington himself advised against political parties because he thought they would cause too much division in this country. Unfortunately for everyone, he was right.
Big oops on that one.
Barack Obama mocking Donald Trump at the Correspondents Dinner might have led directly to his 2016 run....
"Now, I know that he's taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald," Obama said. "And that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter — like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?"
Then he turned serious: "But all kidding aside, obviously, we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example — no, seriously, just recently, in an episode of 'Celebrity Apprentice' — at the steakhouse, the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around. But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn't blame Lil Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled."
This is the best Star Wars and no one can change my mind.
I'll take 'Star Wars Christmas Special' for $100.
That atrocious pile of manure gave us Boba Fett, so without the Christmas Special there won't be The Mandalorian.
Wow, in this article, I openly admitted my love for Cats AND The Star Wars Holiday Special. So maybe my existence was the biggest mistake of all.
ANYWAY, I hope you enjoyed, and I hope you all feel a little bit better about yourself. Because when push comes to shove, at least you didn't accidentally start World War I
When I was younger, it seemed every adult believed that you couldn't swim for several hours after eating. Why did they all believe this? I fought them on this all the time, by the way. I shouldn't have had to, just because I'd eaten some barbecue during a pool party. Guess what, though? That belief is unfounded.
After Redditor MelonInACat asked the online community, "What is a common myth that has been debunked that too many people believe?" people told us about the myths that are still around despite credible evidence.
"Do you know how many wellness checks..."
You must wait 24 hours before reporting a missing person.
- 24 hours from when? The time you realized they were missing? The time you estimate they went missing? The time of the initial report to police?
- Who is the legal timekeeper? If this is a law, it must have a designated timekeeper for official records. City police? County sheriff? Do I hire a private attorney to file a time-keeping motion in court?
- If the most likely time to find a missing person is the first 24 hours, why would you wait 24 hours?
- If the person dies or is severely injured because the county/state refused to initiate a search, doesn't that put some liability on their office? It seems like that would've been tested in court by now.
There's no law governing how long you have to wait before notifying the police of a missing person. It's nonsense. File a report as soon as you suspect the person is missing or in danger.
Do you know how many wellness checks officers go on in a day? Call it in, man...
CALL IT IN!
Why would you wait so long? It's absurd and wastes valuable time. And in the event something has happened, you could very well be saving someone's life.
"Popping your knuckles..."
Popping your knuckles is actually harmless and the "study" that claimed it caused arthritis was heavily flawed. Studies now show that it has nothing to do with causing arthritis.
I heard this one all the time.
I didn't crack my knuckles anyway because I didn't understand the appeal. Why were all the first-graders so fascinated by this?
"That if you get too close..."
That if you get too close to a baby bird, the mother will smell human on the baby and abandon the nest.
You probably should still avoid touching baby birds for other reasons like disease or risking injury to the animal though.
"That waking a sleepwalker..."
That waking a sleepwalker is dangerous for them. They might wake up confused, but they'll be fine unless you scream at them or something.
"That your hair and fingernails..."
That your hair and fingernails still grow after you die. It's mainly an optical illusion. Your skin decays and shrinks, causing hair and fingernails to look like they've grown.
I grew up hearing this.
There are entire generations of people who believe this.
"We all know the story."
The War of The Worlds broadcast in 1938. We all know the story: Orson Welle's broadcast War of The Worlds over the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). But people only tuned in partway through and heard the radio announcing that machines were landing in the country and were advancing and attacking. People panicked in the streets and thought aliens really were invading. There was hysteria on the streets, people were looting and traffic jams backed up as people tried to escape.
But it turns out, that isn't really true. It turns out barely anyone actually listened to the broadcast, and the few that were listening knew it was Orson Welles and knew it was just a broadcast of War of the Worlds. If there was anyone that did tune in and mishear it and panicked, it was nowhere near the hundreds and thousands that have been reported in this myth.
This one is definitely a popular urban myth by this point.
Cool story, but nowhere near as exciting as you might have heard. If anything, that mythos probably helped Welles get full artistic control of the projects, like Ciitizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, that made him a star.
"You don't have to wait..."
You don't have to wait 3 hours after eating to swim. Every summer I have to fight my in-laws about it.
"Do you really think..."
That not turning your airplane mode on (smartphone) can interfere/jam communications.
Do you really think if a smartphone might endanger a whole plane with passengers they would let it fly?
"No amount of reasoning..."
That cats kill babies.
I've run into this so many times since having kids. And it's not the older grandmas making these statements. I've had 20-year-olds tell me that you can't have cats if you plan to have babies because "they'll steal their breath" or some other variation. No amount of reasoning or rationale will dissuade them of this belief.
"Maybe it's just one of those things..."
YOUR. BLOOD. IS. NOT. BLUE! Seriously tho, I was told that everyone's blood was blue on the inside when I was younger, and I honestly don't know why my Mom thought that. Maybe it's just one of those things that you only believe because your family has been saying it since your Grandma's Grandpa's Grandma's Grandma's Grandpa or something like that.
Here's some valuable advice, guys:
Google is your friend. It's very easy to debunk this stuff. I remember being taught that the tongue had taste zones––we even had to fill out a worksheet labeling the tongue's different zones. That's totally wrong, in case you haven't figured it out.
Have some myths you've heard you'd like more people to know have already been debunked? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
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As much as we're not supposed to feel satisfaction upon observing the struggles of other people, it can be hard to resist a silent, internal fist pump when some blunder occurs immediately after we tried to help the person prevent it.
It is all a result of stubbornness.
The person we're trying to help is stubborn. They think they know the best way to do something, or the exact information required for a given moment.
And, on top of that, they think we're being stubborn when we try to intervene.
So all of our attempts to help fall on deaf ears. And the results can be as calamitous as they are satisfying.
TenaciousBrit asked, "What's your 'I told you so' moment?"
Many people chose to talk about the times their friends or family ended up producing some truly entertaining physical comedy.
And the laughter was only enhanced with the knowledge that they'd just predicted the whole thing.
"Was picking beans with my sister and mom. To this day I still don't know why the fence was electric but it was. I touched it and I got zapped. It wasn't too bad but it hurt. I jumped away and my sister saw me, I said that it was an electric fence."
"Of course she just thought I was pranking her. I was trying to tell her the whole time we picked beans but she didn't believe me. Right at the end she touched the fence and she didn't see it coming at all... Her face was just like, 'Oh shi-' "
"Loved the car ride home, 'I told you... Idiot.' "
No Babies, Two Hurt Backs
"My sister and I were out sledding when we were kids at this place with a really steep hill. I had unknowingly gone down a sled path that had a jump in it, and when I landed it really hurt my back."
"So when I got back up to the top of the hill I told my sister 'don't go that way, the jump really hurts.' She called me a baby and didn't believe me that it really hurt so she decided she would go down that path on her sled."
"Well, she hit the jump and didn't get back up, turns out she fell so hard she had broken her leg. When we finally got her back up the hill and to the car, I got to tell her 'I told you so.' "
"This dumb a**hole woman wouldn't leave the llamas at our petting zoo alone, even after I warned her."
"Eventually they had enough and spit alllll over her. Green goopy spit from head to torso."
"She threw up a bunch and I laughed. Until I smelled it and then I was retching too."
Others recalled the times they trusted their instincts, only to be gaslighted by medical professionals.
But they did, eventually, get the help they needed. And the mixture of pride and frustration toward the other doctor was palpable.
"Had a weirdly dark freckle. The color of chocolate. I showed spouse and he called me a hypochondriac and if I go to a doctor, I'd be wasting their time."
"I went to the dermatologist. It was melanoma."
Years of Itchy Apples
"Since I was 14, my throat got itchy when I ate apples. I told my mom but she thought I just didn't want to eat apples and forced me to eat them."
"Went to the doctor's office and got a test for allergies."
"Turns out, I'm allergic to apples, peaches, and many other fruits."
This Was a Baby We're Talking About Here!
"My newborn baby was projectile vomiting after every feeding. I took her to the doctor several times, always ended up being sent away with suggestions to try a different formula. I tried like 4 different ones, no change."
"The 4th or 5th visit, they sent me away again with the same recommendation even though I pleaded with them to figure out what was wrong with my baby. I left the office and drove to the ER instead. She ended up having emergency surgery that day."
"The surgeon said she would have starved to death (or maybe dehydrated?) had she gone much longer without the surgery. I gave the doctors in that office a piece of my mind."
Dirt: Not Always the Answer
"Went to the doctor on and off for breathing problems to no avail. A lot of 'rub some dirt on it' mentality. Wound up in the ER as a result of an asthma attack. Kept the bracelet on and everything when I went back the next week to see him."
"Not as satisfying as I would've hoped."
And some people discussed the times they knew or predicted a piece of information, but couldn't seem to persuade someone else through dialogue or conversation.
But, of course, the truth always comes out.
Chose the Wrong Partner
"Lawyer here. Fired a partner who I found some real irregularities in their spending habits vs. what they were making after he couldn't provide a good answer to where it came from. Other partner left and started a new firm with them because they disagreed with my decision and refused to look at the evidence."
"Turns out he stole 500k of a clients money, got disbarred, and is now facing prison time. I told her to look at the evidence and she didn't listen. 🤷🏼♂️"
"Someone started talking about a bottle of Newman's Own salad dressing while at dinner with my family and I said something like 'I'm pretty sure that was started by the Actor/Race car driver Paul Newman.' to which one of my siblings replied 'No it was someone else.' "
"I grabbed the bottle and turned it around and started reading the label out loud. The first sentence was 'Paul Newman's career was acting, but his passion was auto racing.' I stopped reading after that."
He Knew Immediately
"Bed frame wasn't properly lashed down while moving, partner insisted the weight of the frame would keep it in place."
"Flew into the middle of a major intersection on a left turn. We dodged four lanes of oncoming traffic to collect the pieces."
"I fixed my partner with a look that could peel paint, and he said 'I know, I know, you told me so and you're right. I'm sorry.' "
"I still give him sh** for it every time we move something. It's funny now, but god damn was I pissed at the time."
We can draw a couple of lessons from this list.
First, know that, at the end of the day, you can only do your best to share your opinion. You need to accept that they're going to do what they're going to do.
Second, when someone tries to give you advice, maybe take a moment to listen.
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One of the most upsetting aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic––which is saying a lot, frankly––is the number of people who have been so affected by misinformation and disinformation. You know the ones to which I refer: These are the people who are convinced the virus is a hoax despite the lives it's claimed and the devastation it has wrought on society at large. Disinformation kills––there are stories of people who remained convinced that Covid-19 is a hoax even while intubated in the ICU, even up to their last breath.
After Redditor asked the online community, "Doctors of Reddit, what happened when you diagnosed a Covid-19 denier with Covid-19?" doctors and other medical professionals shared these rather unsettling stories.
"The one that sticks out in my mind..."
I'm a doctor working in acute internal medicine. I've seen lots of COVID over the last 12 months, probably 300+ cases. The one that sticks out in my mind the most was a 70-year-old lady with COPD. She refused to have a vaccine because she didn't trust it despite the fact she was eligible for one for weeks beforehand (in the UK). Subsequently caught COVID and was admitted to hospital. She repeatedly doubted this was the diagnosis. She refused to go to our COVID High Dependency Unit despite quite significant respiratory failure. Of course, she deteriorated over a number of days to the point where she was on maximal oxygen on the ward and at that point finally accepted treatment in HDU with high flow oxygen, although continued to doubt she had COVID. Died within 24 hours of her HDU admission having refused to go to ICU.
And of course, what did her family say? They were convinced she never had COVID and even went as far as accusing us of withholding life-saving treatment from her. Unfortunately, there's no treatment for stupidity.
Indeed there isn't.
A completely avoidable tragedy.
"My worst experience..."
My worst experience was when a 2-year-old kid got diagnosed with COVID. His mother had brought him with c/o fever and diarrhea. The child was severely dehydrated and so we had to do a mandatory swab test since we planned to admit him. It came positive and the mother refused to admit it. We were ready to perform a repeat test and we even advised the parents to get tested. Her defense was "The child never left the house. It's just me and the father who go to work daily. The grandmother babysits while we are away. How can he even get COVID without leaving the house." She had called her husband, he came with 10-15 relatives in a car, they broke a few chairs and then left with the baby. We just informed about the case to the COVID control centre.
"Only one patient ever accused me..."
Infectious disease doctor here. Seen about 450-500 COVID patients in the hospital since it all started. Only one patient ever accused me of using the nasal swab to give him COVID (along with a microchip). A handful have ranted nonstop about China. Everyone else has been sick enough to accept it, but lots still refuse the idea of vaccination even after being in the ICU.
"I had a lady who was maxed out..."
I had a lady who was maxed out on high flow (the next step is breathing tube) who still refused to believe she had Covid and was holding a negative test in her hand that she had taken a week prior.
The denial is so strong here.
It would be sad if it wasn't so horrifying.
"I'm an attending physician..."
I'm an attending physician at our Triage Unit. On a Friday, an older gentleman (60 + years) came in with his entire family (wife, sister, BIL, 2 nephews, and 3 children), none of them with a face mask. All had mild COVID symptoms except him, he was saturating 80% with evident shortness of breath. We insisted on doing PCR and a chest CAT scan looking for COVID but he and his wife refused, saying that COVID wasn't real and it was just a bacterial infection. The more we talked with him the more agitated he got to the point that his face was red. We suggested hospitalizing him to stabilize him and start treatment, but they accused us of exaggerating his symptoms and that we only wanted to hospitalize him so we could steal the liquid in his knees (a stupid rumor that was going around when this whole thing started).
They both cursed at us and said they were going to a better hospital to get antibiotics. Fast forward 24 hours later on Saturday, I get a call from the hospital next county over telling us that they intubated one of our patients because he went into respiratory failure when he arrived and they had to transfer him here because they don't have the appropriate equipment. We transfer the patient on Sunday only to find out on the CAT scan he had 90% of lung damage. He passed away on Monday morning.
Just before the family took the body away, I gave the widow the death certificate (that I filled out) and before walking away, she turns around and waves the certificate yelling "See! I told you it wasn't COVID! It says here: "Death due to pulmonary pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2! I knew it was a bacteria!" I told her: "SARS-CoV-2 is COVID-19, ma'am."
The lengths people are willing to go to stay in denial astound me.
Basic critical thinking appears to have gone out the window here.
I'm a family doc who mostly does outpatient.
I live in a pretty conservative area with a good proportion of COVID deniers, so I've been seeing COVID deniers since this mess became politicized (I've lost a few patients over the mask mandate).
Anyway, I'm pretty pleased to say that several of my COVID denying patients have completely turned their attitude around when they (or a close family member) contracted COVID. Even if their case wasn't severe, the sudden terror that they could wind up on a ventilator overnight really puts the fear of God into people.
Unfortunately, I still have some patients who are still pretty obnoxious despite their covid diagnosis. They mostly dig deeper into paranoia. If not about the virus itself, then about the circumstances surrounding them contracting it.
"If Fauci had done his job from the beginning, it never would've hit this town."
"It's the entire fault of Obamacare that I can't get the experimental immunoglobulin treatment!" (It's not, your eligibility for the infusion is dependent on a list of risk factors).
And, probably my favorite...
"So I have COVID and it's completely your responsibility to fix it. I need you to send Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, Vit D, Lisinopril, and azithromycin to the pharmacy..." Then they proceed to get pissed at me when I don't.
"During our peak time..."
I'm an emergency department physician in the US. I work in an area that had the highest death rate for a solid couple of weeks in the country.
During our peak time when we had national news crews here covering how we were a s***show, saw numerous people screaming their Covid disease wasn't real despite being hypoxic and on large amounts of oxygen due to Covid. That was an unpleasant time as this was still early (May/June) and it was extremely political like people apparently plotting to kidnap our state governor due to lockdowns.
Saw a lot of people refusing Covid testing who needed admission for non-covid purposes because the swabs would give them covid or put some sort of tracking device. They weren't pleased when they then had to be admitted to our full-blown Covid floors. Our Covid floors resembled a warzone because they were understaffed and relative s***hole conditions as we basically converted hallways into covid floors.
Also saw a lot of people young people who weren't exactly deniers but thought you basically couldn't sick if you were young. Lots of people with their lungs permanently scarred or at a minimum a couple of weeks of misery and/or spread it to their loved ones who got extremely ill.
"The willful cognitive dissonance..."
Physician here. The willful cognitive dissonance is real. It never ceases to amaze me how many patients will refuse assistance from me to register to get vaccinated, make claims that vaccines are harmful, but then accept my medical care on anything else that suits their whim. Patients absolutely have the autonomy to refuse care, but why would you continue to see a physician and accept their medical advice and care if you think they would simultaneously recommend something to you that would be harmful?
I've posed this question to patients who are vaccine-hesitant: "Why would you let me manage your diabetes and hypertension if you think I would harm you by recommending vaccinations?" You cannot get any kind of thoughtful response aside from, "I just don't want to be vaccinated."
"Some denier patients lived..."
RN here with most of 2020 spent in COVID land. I never had anyone refuse treatment when things got serious. I know some of the MDs I worked with got yelled at, like the rest of us...but honestly, that happens frequently anyway.
Some denier patients lived, many of which had accepted reality by the end of their stay after seeing what we all were going through to treat them.
Some died telling me I was a sheep or an idiot or a liar between gasps of air.
COVID didn't care.
This comment is strangely poetic.
Covid definitely doesn't care. The virus lays waste to people and... that's it. Good luck with your games of Russian roulette.
"People are crazy."
I work on a COVID unit and I ran into a patient like this. They'd tell me over and over again about how they weren't really sick and about how I didn't need to be gowned up in PPE. They even tried to take my face shield off. If you test positive for COVID two times then you have COVID! People are crazy.
Covid disinformation is a very serious problem and it's costing people their lives.
What can be done about it?
News literacy matters: It's important to get information from verifiable sources. Scientists and medical professionals are trustworthy. Those with backgrounds in public health know what they're talking about. Some conspiracy theory you received from your distant cousin on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger is not worth your time or consideration.
Have some of your own Covid denial stories to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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