Diner Goes Viral After They Charged A Customer For Asking A 'Stupid Question'
No one mentioned you would also be charged for the privilege.
Tom's Diner, a Denver Colorado landmark featured in a song by the same name, recently went viral on Reddit after a customer uploaded their receipt to the site.
The receipt starts with the normal items, listing mashed potatoes and a chicken tenders basket. However, it ends with a $0.38 charge for "1 Stupid Question".
For those who haven't been there, Tom's actually advertises the "stupid question" under its sides menu, so it should come as no surprise when it's added to your bill. Some people actually request it.
Which would make the most common stupid question:
"Would you please take my money?"
I wish someone told me you could charge for stupid questions.
"If I got paid to listen to people's stupid questions I'd probably be a billionaire" - sarahmakennal
"They charge you 38 cents? S***, if I charged for every stupid question I was asked, I'd be f***in rich." - DatBoiDan51
"I got confused after I read the first 2 lines. Read the first word of each line. Was not disappointed there either." - ImmaFukinDragon
"Tom's probably runs out of "stupid questions" when you visit." - santathe1
Tom's Diner is a Denver staple, opened in 1967. The owner and namesake of the establishment, Tom Messina, is looking to retire, and for a while, the future of the restaurant was up in the air.
Recently though, the diner announced that they struck a deal with the GBX Group, who specialize in "preserving and operating historic real estate." They have already successfully listed the building on the National Register of Historic Places to protect the establishment.
They will work together with Tom to keep the diner open. They may change the name of the business, but that might be a good thing.
Right now, it gets confused for the restaurant in the song "Tom's Diner".
"Do do do do, do do do do do." - SuddenlyCelery
"I once searched the song by just typing "tututurut tututurut"." - Blazing117
Still, it's good it will be protected, as many shared their fun memories of the restaurant.
"I go there all the time with my buddies! Good food and good people. Dont get hung up over a funni joke" - brutales_katzchen
"I remember coming to this place after a Zola jesus concert, they had some good milkshakes, good times were had by all" - Thenewfoundlanders
The photo was a fun time and brought up some good memories for those who've been to the diner.
Surprisingly, no one got upset about the concept of charging for asking a stupid question, which I think is a first for the internet.
However, when it comes to this story, you can't charge people for asking their own stupid questions.
@Chappyonthemove Oh no, now you owe me $0,38.— JFC (@JFC) 1578510052.0
😂 and, they do list it on their menu https://t.co/TjjN5pPFtU— Mark Robertson ⏩ (@Mark Robertson ⏩) 1578531853.0
@ProducerWes Would "Does Suzanne Vega ever come in here" qualify as a stupid question?— Berg on a Wire (@Berg on a Wire) 1578369669.0
Is there a discount for inane answers? https://t.co/wSLbRMxSi6— H. P. Oliver 🇺🇸 (@H. P. Oliver 🇺🇸) 1578334242.0
Reddit user Thealexiscowdell1 asked: 'What is a "dirty little secret" about an industry that you have worked in, that people outside the industry really should know?'
When you've spent enough time in your professional industry, you tend to learn secrets about the industry that the general public won't know.
For example, I work in social media. I create social posts for influencers and activists. I have no real affiliation with these people, and I usually don't even get guidelines on what to post, past that I have to post every hour or so.
Every industry has a secret, and Redditors are ready to share secrets about their own industries.
It all started when Redditor Thealexiscowdell1 asked:
"What is a "dirty little secret" about an industry that you have worked in, that people outside the industry really should know?"
All The Same
"Not all that much of a secret, but, i used to work in a peanut butter factory, we produced about 25-30-ish different storebrands ranging from very cheap to stupidly expensive, we had a grand total of 3 recipes, chunky, not chunky and no additives."
"Peanut butter should taste like peanut butter."
"Wash the top of your cans. Mice poop on those things all the time while they are in warehouse or transit."
"I’m so relieved that my mother raised me to do this lmao. I thought it was strange growing up but then I just started to do it automatically without question."
"Absolutely, I did security at a local supermarket warehouse, and doing my walkthrough, I saw rats 🐀 so big the porters used to ride around the warehouse on them (obviously not really) but I did see the rats and they’d be everywhere. Of course, they cr*pped on everything."
Quite The Employee Discount
"I worked at a major jewelry company in the US. When we wanted to buy jewelry, we paid what it costs to make the product (material, labor, shipping), plus 10%. I paid around $115 for a pair of $950 diamond earrings."
"I worked wholesale diamond sales so I had connections throughout the entirety of the industry. Made my wife's 15k+ engagement ring for about 3k."
Keep Track Of Your Belongings
"I worked in the moving and storage industry and if you EVER pay movers to pack and move your family, DEMAND an itemized bill and proof of service."
"These people are out here RAKING people over the coals. Inflating box counts, charging for services not performed, etc. it’s not AS BAD if it’s COD but if it’s a corporate move for your job?? DEMAND IT. You might not be paying for it out of pocket, but it’s still showing on your income as taxable wages."
"special note to say not ALL companies do this but ALL the ones I worked with did."
"High volume recruiters spend an average of 10 seconds looking at a resume."
""You are a perfect fit for this [job title that's not remotely close to what you have done in the past] position based on your experience at [company].""
"Emails are mostly just basic keyword match mass batches. They might not have even read your CV, it just had a keyword."
"Totally. It's usually through LinkedIn. I generally respond with, "Oh wow! What part of my profile do you think makes me a good fit for the position?""
Heavier Is (Apparently) Better
"They put little weights in lipsticks to make them feel more expensive so they can charge more."
"Same for Beats headphones."
The Truth Comes Out
"Zoos and museums are universally held together with double sided tape. The size or prestige of the organization doesn’t matter either."
"You guys can afford double sided tape?"
"We had to use single-sided tape, taped together."
"Also, the dinosaur bones that you're ooh-ing and aah-ing over are probably plaster. The actual bones are stored safely in the basement."
"I imagine most artifacts on display aren't real, just very high-quality fakes. You really can't trust the general public not to f**k it up somehow. Honestly, as long as the museum is using the real ones to learn more about our history, I'm OK with it."
Like Cramming For A Test
"When the health inspector shows up, a mad scramble happens in the back to clean the kitchen while they start the inspection in the dining/bar area of the restaurant."
"Yup. One manager will hold the health inspector up in the front of house while back of house is busy labeling and making sure minor violations they visibly see are dealt with."
"Truer words have never been typed lol send out the king or queen of small talk and people skills while the back of the house tosses anything that isn’t temping correctly and runs ribbons of labeling to the walk in to make sure it’s all labeled."
"If you’re ever buying bulk gravel/sand/crushed stone from a local pit/quarry that has scales to weigh the amount of product you’re getting- you’re getting f**ked because you’re paying for water. Most of these pits/quarries spray the living f**k out of their stockpiles before/during operation to make the material heavier in the truck. Never buy by the ton- always buy aggregate by the cubic yard. It’s a measure of volume- not weight."
"Source: I own a rock crushing business/multiple quarries and I charge by the cubic yard to not screw the public :)"
He No Longer Works For The Company
"I wouldn’t say it’s mostly a secret but agency staffing firms churn and burn college graduates who are basically thrown in the wild. The recruiter you worked with may be gone in six months and that’s why a lot of ghosting happens."
"Yeah, recruitment and headhunting are not altruist professions. They're not social workers looking out for clients best interests."
"I got a high-paying job via a headhunter. After three months at the new place, I realized I hated it, and I quit."
"Three days later, I got a call from the headhunter, and he was IRATE, YELLING at me over the phone at the top of his lungs. He called me every name in the book, and went hoarse from yelling."
"Turns out, he gets paid a commission for placing me at that job ONLY if I stay at least 90 days. I just happened to quit on the 89th day coincidentally."
"So he lost out on a good chunk of money thanks to that."
"The roses you buy at Valentine's Day were harvested around Xmas. It's the worst time of the year to buy roses and I don't mean because they're more expensive. They're also the worst quality because it's a longer holding time between harvest and use than any other time of the year."
"Never ever ever send flowers through an order processing service. Look at the location you're in or sending to and talk to a florist in that area directly. Don't pick a picture off some external website. Ask the florist what they have and can make that fits your budget. If you're worried, ask them to text you a pic of the completed design."
The Psychology Of Groceries
"There is a lot of money spent every year that decides where specific items are placed on grocery store shelves."
"If you're at a grocery store that's part of a chain, and you look at a shelf and there's an item that's approximately at eye level, I guarantee you that the company that makes that item paid a lot of money to put them there. There's lots of weird psychological tricks that go on in terms of how stores are laid out."
"Candy, sugary cereals with mascots, the more expensive toys...etc. all at child height."
"The milk and toilet paper are always in the back because those are what people often make a quick run to the store for. By putting it in the back, it forces the customer to walk past all sorts of tempting end caps. The chances of the person going in for one thing and coming out with a bunch is increased."
"People joke about doing this all the time at Target, but it's not just a joke, Target actually paid a lot of money to get customers to spend a lot of money. All by designing things just so."
"I learned this in the one and only marketing class I took. It was really interesting, while also being kinda horrible."
Turns out the world is even more manipulative than I thought!
Like many people, I spent my time in retail. Customers were by far the hardest part of the job.
In college, I worked as a "bookseller"—our official title—in a mall for a national chain of bookstores. Without fail, every shift one or more customers would ask for something like "that book, the red one, by the guy."
When we'd ask for more information—like genre or if it was new or where they saw it—they'd just repeat, "red book, guy, you know which one I mean."
We most definitely didn't know which one they meant, but customers thought if we worked in a bookstore we should know every book in print from even the vaguest of descriptions. And they'd get mad when we didn't.
Anyone who has worked with customers has war stories.
Reddit user j-rock292 asked:
"What is the dumbest thing a customer has gotten mad at you about that was not your fault?"
Were they blind?
"They asked me to cut a blind."
"When I asked for the dimension they wanted it cut to, it was larger than the original blind length."
"Said I can't make it longer, only shorter and she lost her sh*t."
Tag, you're it.
"Back when I worked at Target, some guy came in about 30 minutes before we closed, and wanted to buy a laptop."
"He wanted to run some obscure software on it for his laser ttagarena and got really nettled when I told him I was unfamiliar with the software and so I couldn't give a definitive answer."
"Then he started going on about how much he made in a week compared to my paycheck."
"So I told him something along the lines of, 'Well then buy this laptop and if it works, it works. If it doesn't, it won't hurt your wallet'."
"He really didn't like that and after some colorful language, was escorted out of the store."
"In an odd twist of fate a few months later the mother of one of my best friends bought his laser tag arena because he ran it into the ground."
Credit where credit is due.
"Not me but a friend of mine worked customer service for a credit card company."
"She said a young guy called and asked why he couldn't use his card. She told him because he had exceeded his $15K limit."
"Dude was like 'yeah but that was for last month. Don't I get another $15K limit this month?'."
Can you hear me now?
"Customer got mad at me because I could barely hear her over a bad connection."
"I was on a landline, she was not."
"After disconnecting the call because it was going nowhere, she immediately called back and complained to me about the a**hole she'd just been talking to, saying, 'He said I was bad at making connections. Why the f**k was he talking about my love life?! You are much more helpful, though'."
No, I can't help you.
"I wasn't even working at this shop, I was just another customer. I didn't even wear a shirt similar to an employee's."
"A woman comes up to me and says, 'Excuse me, do you work here?' But before I can say no, she asks where something is."
"She sounded polite enough so I responded just as politely, 'Sorry, I don't work here. The people with the blue shirts do'."
"She got slightly upset and said someone else had pointed at me when she asked for a worker."
"I look to my side, and literally less than a couple feet away, there was an actual worker. I told her 'I think they meant that guy right there'."
"She then completely lost her cool, screaming various things at me and calling me all sorts of names."
"The employee tried to intervene but she just kept screaming. She eventually stops with, 'I want to see your manager!'."
I told her to f'k off. The employee laughed and she stomped off, then I just went back to shopping.
"Didn't see her again."
Maybe if you hum a few bars?
"I worked at a Music Store in a mall around Christmas."
"A lady came in and wanted to get the album of whatever was playing at the store she was in earlier."
"She got mad when I didn’t know what music they played in other stores."
Full service doesn't include time travel.
"In the ‘60s I worked at a gas station that also did repairs."
"A customer drove in with a flat right rear tire and no spare. I pulled out the nail and plugged it."
"She was good to go and left happy."
"She drove in about 2 months later with a flat left front tire."
"I pulled out a screw and plugged it while she screamed that I should have checked it last time she was there."
"She has every right to be mad."
"You’re obviously a terrible tech because you didn’t make a time machine to go into the future and prevent her from getting another flat."
"You must feel terrible that she takes her car somewhere else now."
The call is coming from inside the house.
"A long time ago I serviced someone's Internet connection at their house."
"When I left, my supervisor called to let me know that I had been accused of theft at this house."
"This crazy lady thought I stole a handset for her landline phone, not even the base with it, just the handset."
"She called later to report she found it in between her couch cushions."
I control the weather, but work here for minimum wage.
"Got yelled at for ruining his family’s vacation at Disney world because the rides shut down due to the storm."
"The summer right out of high school I worked at an amusement park."
"We had a massive severe thunderstorm ( heavy rain, lots of lightning, 50+mph winds, whole deal) one day, because giant metal structures and lightning dont mix we had to shut down all of our rides."
"Well this dipshit accused ME of starting this storm just to ruin his day."
Maybe she didn't want to wash it.
"I was refusing her a refund on a kids' duvet set."
"This woman threatened my colleague, so I (manager) stepped in."
"Protocol states we had to check and repack before giving a refund, so I took it to the stock room only to find that she had folded it back into the packaging, complete with the vomit chunks!"
Florida is hot in May
"So, I worked at a chocolate shop in Boston MA."
"Someone called to place an order, for shipment, to Florida."
"I said, 'okay, we do require next day shipping and an ice pack on shipments to Florida, so the chocolates don't melt. The shipping Will be $30 and the ice pack and insulated packaging will be an additional $8'."
"It's my standard spiel."
"The person's like 'the chocolate is only $22. No. I'll pay for the shipping but not the ice pack. It will be fine'."
"'Yadda Yadda warning. Yadda Yadda. When it shows up melted it won't be our fault I'm noting it in the system'."
"So, what phone call does my manager get 2 days later?"
"Oh? Person got melted chocolate? Oh it's our fault is it?"
"But look? There's a note in the system they refused to pay for an icepack."
"Did I warn them the chocolate would melt? Yes I did."
"Do they now have nothing for mothers day? No they dooooon't."
I also sold mattresses and appliances. Maybe because they were a major investment, I had far fewer bad experiences with those customers.
My worst experiences were working a customer service phone line for a Department of Defense agency.
People were almost always angry before they picked up the phone.
Have you had a customer go off on you? Share your experience in the comments.
Friendships can be complicated and messy. However, being betrayed is straight-up the worst. From lying to thieving, these Redditors share their stories of some of the worst betrayals they’ve ever encountered. It seems that sometimes friends are just enemies in disguise.
Betrayed Over A Blokewoman leaning on beige concrete wallPhoto by Raychan on Unsplash
I had just escaped my husband with my kids, and my best friend at the time said I could stay with her. Her husband was in the service, so he'd be deploying soon, and she didn't want to be alone. It worked out great for a month. Then, an acquaintance of mine came over and met my friend. We all hung out one night, just talking and laughing.
My friend's husband left for training, and she tried to get with the acquaintance. She was turned down and blamed me. She had it in her head that I had sabotaged her chances. As a result, she went completely off the rails.
She took money from me, hacked into my email account, and started emailing business contacts and clients with awful lies, took from my kids, and tossed me out on my behind as I was looking for a place to go. I got away from her and finally started a new life. But she wasn't done yet.
Her final act of betrayal was when she ran into my terrible ex and told him that we were with her the whole time and where he could find me and the kids.
He Pilfered My Prom Date
When I was a senior, I had a crush on a girl named Ashley. My three friends and I were hanging out one weekend at a friend's house. We were lying there, and we asked one another who we were taking/asking to the prom.
Chris was taking his girlfriend, Nel was taking some girl he was talking to, and Nich said, "I'm not sure yet. I may not even go". When they asked me, I said, "Guys, tomorrow is the day I grow the balls to ask Ashley on a date".
The next day, I walked up to Ashley and said, "Hey, I have a question! Are you going to prom with anyone?" She responded, "Yeah! I'm going with your friend Nich. He asked me about five minutes ago". I couldn't believe it—but karma came for him in the end. Nich got her pregnant that night. He's paying child support.
My Friend, My Foe
This guy was my closest friend. I lived with him after letting him co-rent a place my mother owned so he could pay lower rent and save up his spare cash. About six months in, he kept vanishing at night, giving reasons like, "I'm going out with work" and "I'm meeting the lads". It turned out he was sleeping with my girlfriend.
He didn't have the guts to confront me about it and talk it through. After months of angry messages, I cut my losses and decided to be the bigger man. I found myself a new girl who was utterly amazing and my now ex-best friend was dating my now ex-girlfriend.
I put my best foot forward and on a trip around Europe, and sent him a message telling him I'm happy to put things behind us and meet up when I get back so we could be friends again. I got back home a couple of weeks later and was about to leave my house to go over and see him when my current girlfriend showed up. She dropped a bombshell on me.
She sat me down and explained that over the past couple of weeks my "friend" had been sending her text messages begging her to sleep with him. She showed me the messages and I haven't spoken to the guy since.
On The Outs
My fiancé and I were living in the Outer Banks with a “friend” in the months leading up to our wedding. We were promised a room when we got down there, only to find out that we would be sleeping on the floor for the next three months. Regardless, we had a good time, and everything seemed great.
I was helping my friend get his business off the ground and offered him money multiple times to help with bills. However, he assured me he had it taken care of. My wedding was back in Michigan, so when the time came to drive up there, my fiancé and I packed up everything and drove up.
We were going to take our dog with us, but they assured us, saying, “He'll just be a hassle and you'll be too busy. Leave him here". So we did. We drove up, got married, and had a great time. We began driving back down, and somewhere around Illinois, I got a chilling text message.
It said, “You kids have put me in so much debt. It’s not working out. Come get your [stuff] and your dog and get out of my house". I understand sometimes things don't work out, but they hadn’t let on that they weren't happy with the situation at all. If things weren’t working out, they could have said something before we left, and we could have stayed friends.
Now, we had to drive halfway across the country and back to get our dog. When we got there, they were nowhere to be found, but the house was unlocked. We went inside to get our stuff and our dog. Half of our things were packed and sitting on the table; the other half was locked in their bedroom.
We grabbed what was out, grabbed our dog, and got in the car to make the journey back. In the process of traveling, we spent all of our wedding money on gas and hotels. I had worked for him, and before I left, he shorted me $400 on my check. I left for my wedding, thinking he'll pay me when I get back. Nope.
I could honestly have forgiven his behavior if he would have just paid me what I was owed. I got his business off the ground, and when it took off, he reaped in the wealth and jerked me around.
He Had A Trick Up His Sleeve
I had found the love of my life. We met at a Halloween party and both fell head over heels for each other. Eventually, I proposed to her at a haunted house, and she said yes. I started a new job and met a developer at the company who seemed like a cool dude. We started hanging out and he quickly became my best friend. The three of us would hang out nearly every day.
I thought it was odd that he didn't have any other friends, especially since he seemed to be such a smooth talker, but I didn't think too much about it. I would tell him how much in love I was, my plans for the future, the troubles we were having, etc. After he went through a breakup, my fiancé and I tried to help him find someone.
Then, I found out the awful truth. Each time he was in a relationship, he duped the girl out of an existing relationship. I thought it was pretty shady. Then, I started to notice that my fiancée and he were becoming closer. I didn’t really think anything of it since he was my best friend, and I thought he had my back like I had his.
I also thought my fiancée felt about me the same way that I felt about her. Things came to a head with my fiancée, and she said she needed to take a break. She told me she was going to stay at our best friend's house while she figures stuff out. Suddenly, my best friend wouldn’t talk to me.
After a few days, I confronted my fiancée, and sure enough, I didn't have a best friend. He had been working on getting her the whole time. It was his little sick game that he enjoyed playing, and then it all made sense as to why he didn’t have any friends.
He was a fake, manipulative, disloyal jerk who preyed on women when they were going through a rough time so that he could "win," get the girl, and come off like a knight in shining armor. Thankfully, she realized what a piece of garbage he was and left him.
A Fairytale Endingwoman in white dress wearing green fairy wingsPhoto by Anthony Tran on Unsplash
When I was in high school, I found it really hard to make friends with other females. For a little while, I hung around with these two girls, who I thought were my friends. I used to make them cupcakes and stuff because I was so happy I'd actually made some “friends”.
One day, they told me they were having a dress-up fairy party, and everyone was invited. They said it was going to be huge. Being young and not having been invited to many parties, I was so excited, I went out and bought heaps of material to make my own fairy costume. I stayed up all night making this ridiculous pink tutu and fairy wings.
I rocked up to this party the next day, and they were all standing outside in the driveway in casual clothes like regular T-shirts and shorts. There I was, with a big smile on my face, jumping out of my mom’s car dressed like a fairy in front of 20 people from school, all of who were ready with cameras and laughing at how stupid I looked in my homemade fairy costume.
THEN, my mom jumped out of the car in my defense, upset and distressed, and then threw me in the car to get me out of there.
When I was 10, my friend said it would be really cool if we put our Pokemon cards together because we would have a full set and extras. This girl walked all over me, and I said yes. We put the cards in deck boxes at her house and would play with them regularly. A few months later, a family friend's son was seriously ill in hospital, and nobody knew if he would live.
One of the things he wanted to do while he was in hospital was complete his Pokemon collection. I said that if he wrote down all the cards he needed, I would get my half of the set back and give him all the ones I had from his list, plus any extras he wanted. The only card I didn't have when he gave me this list was Raichu, but I could get him that one from the shop that sold them singly, so I did.
I went and bought him a Raichu, and then I took the list to my friend's house to get my cards and sort out what he needed from my collection. When I got there and told her I needed my cards back, her response shocked me. She said I couldn't have them and closed the door in my face. But it gets worse.
A few days later, I found out that she had sold them all at a school fair the day before I went to her house. She got over £100 ($125) for all these cards, and not only did she not care that half of them were mine, but she also refused to give me any of the money because "there's no point in giving you the money if you just want to buy cards back for a kid who's gonna be [gone] soon anyway".
Ditched With Some Dudes
When I was 14, my best friend convinced me to come to one of her friends' houses, which was about an hour's drive away. I showed up, and it was a bunch of over 18-year-old guys drinking, lighting up, and whatnot. I immediately told her I was uncomfortable and wanted to leave, but she promised we would only stay an hour. Forty-five minutes later, she completely went back on her promise.
She disappeared with one of the blokes. I was left being the only female with four guys. An hour went by, and two of the guys started touching me up pretty forcefully. I ran out of there until I was a couple of streets away and called her in tears, telling her what happened. She got angry that I interrupted her and hung up.
She didn't answer any more calls, so I was left—at midnight—attempting to walk home from who knows where. This was years ago, and she still doesn't understand why I refuse to hang out with her.
Cue The Drama
My friend had gotten two tickets for a festival. I wasn't her first choice to ask, but when her other friend couldn't go, she asked me last minute. We were 16 at the time. I didn't really like a whole lot of the bands performing or the crowds that the bands brought with them. The venue was in the middle of nowhere and we were dropped off by a friend of a friend.
We were enjoying ourselves for a while until my friend got slightly pushed into the pit. She had a tendency to be completely overdramatic. It was no more than a shove, and without telling me, she suddenly disappeared. I scouted the whole place for her.
I had no phone credit to call or message her and no money, and she knew that. I asked a rando for their phone, but because we were out in the middle of nowhere—there was no reception. I continued to scour the place and all the medical tents for her and finally gave up and saw the last band finish up at about 12:30 AM.
I stood out in front of the venue in hopes of seeing her come out. She didn't. After waiting around for an hour in denial, I admitted to myself she ditched me. Her friend never turned up to pick us up because she probably had told them she was gone. There I was waiting at 1 AM with no money, no way of contacting anyone, and out in the middle of nowhere.
I decided to start walking until I got to a phone or until I had reception on mine. I walked for about an hour down a highway getting yelled at by people coming from the concert or just random drivers. I tried reverse-charging a call to my mom, but she didn't answer. I finally made it to a gas station and reverse-called my boyfriend to tell him where I was.
He had no car, so he couldn't pick me up, but he got a hold of my mom for me and told her where I was. While I was waiting around to be picked up, the most cliche creepy guy in a van pulled into the gas station and started asking me if I wanted a ride.
I said no and ran straight into the shop and told the clerk about the creepy guy outside, so he'd let me wait around in there instead. I found out my friend was taken away in an ambulance. Being the over-dramatic attention-seeker she was, she told the paramedics her ribs were broken.
There was absolutely nothing wrong with her, and I later found out that she wasn't having fun and wanted to ditch me and the festival in the quickest way possible.
What Happened To Baby Jane?
My school was pretty small, so everyone knew everything about everyone. I had a cousin Jane and we spent a lot of time together. We'd meet up after school and go to events together. Everyone knew how close we were. In my freshman year, a girl lost her life in a horrible car accident. Not knowing this yet, I went to class as usual, getting some homework done before the teacher started.
A girl that I was friends with, Ashley, came bursting into class gossiping about something that was going on. I wasn't really listening until she came over and said, "OMG, I can't believe it. Jane! Poor Jane. I'm sorry". I asked her what she was talking about and she told me that Jane passed in a car accident that morning. I was stunned.
I felt the color draining from my face and I started tearing up. Before I could react or say anything, one of my best friends ran over and got in her face, saying how the Jane who passed was not my cousin and that Ashley knew this. She just wanted to get a reaction out of me.
I ended up punching her after school when she got into my face lying about it, and we stopped being friends.
A Shattered Friendshipgreen and white abstract paintingPhoto by Ruan Richard Rodrigues on Unsplash
I had a very close friend in college who would continually talk about loyalty within friendships and the need to be a great person by not allowing anything to get in the way of your friendships. We were almost inseparable. On Cinco de Mayo, my roommates and I were throwing a big bash at our house to celebrate. The day went well, and we had a good show of people come over.
Being that it was a nice day, the party was separated inside and outside, with the people inside playing pong and Mario Kart and the people outside playing cornhole. I was up in a pong game while my friend was outside cheering on the cornhole boards. In an attempt to be funny and startle the people inside playing Mario Kart, he made a terrible decision.
He threw his glass at the massive window in front of the house. It shattered, and we knew it was going to be difficult trying to explain this to our landlord. However, my roommates and I were not people who were going to have an event like that ruin a good time, so we laughed it off and continued with the day.
The following day, my roommates and I talked about the situation and realized we were going to need to make reparations. My friend had crashed on the couch, so he was there to discuss it with us, and he promised that he would handle it. My roommates and I promised we'd help as we threw the party and would work out the expenses with him. This conversation was one of the last times I saw my friend.
For all his talk of loyalty and such, something as stupid as a broken window made him quit midway through the semester, screen most of our calls, and left us confused and hurt. At one point, I didn't even care if he paid his portion as long as there was some explanation, and we could work through it and hang out again.
Through the minimal phone contact we did have, he continued to promise to pay off his portion, and we left it at that. Then, my roommates and I decided to move to a different house, and the house was owned by the same landlord. The landlord told me that the window was still something that needed to be addressed.
Apparently, my friend had talked to him, stating that he was going to pay it all himself. Then my landlord received a call a week or two later from his older brother telling him that my friend had lost his life in a car wreck. I lost it and had my girlfriend call him. Within two rings, my friend answered.
My girlfriend said, "Whoa, hey, aren't you supposed to be dead?" He said, “Oh, that's right," and hung up. That was the last we heard from him.
He Graduated To Being A Jerk
My best friend throughout high school was a guy; I'm a girl. We went to the same college. Once there, things became strained between us. He tried to be controlling and just got weird with me. One night he invited me to a party. I went, and he kept trying to goad me into drinking.
Then, one of his new friends kept trying to get friendly with me. I turned him down. We had a big falling out. He then revealed—in an attempt to hurt me—he only took me to that party with the intent of getting me plastered to the point I couldn't say no to the advances of his friend.
I Was Played
A former bandmate of mine planned a small tour on our way to play a show at South by Southwest. They arranged a rental van in NY to drive to TX. When we got there, the car rental agent said that he couldn't rent the van in his name and have me drive it because he didn't have a license. So, I agreed to put the deposit on my credit card so long as he completely paid the balance when we returned. BIG MISTAKE.
He had already collected money from everyone who was going with us, so I figured it was a sure thing I would get paid back. When we returned a week later, he told me, "Hey man, so I don't have all the money for the van ‘cause I had to pay the venue to rent the space. I get paid next week, and I can get you the money then". I had no other option at that point than to trust him.
I had just started a new job, so I was flat broke, and he knew it. Two-thousand dollars was racked up on my low-limit, high-interest emergencies-only credit card. The second I got on the bus, and he said, "I think I'm just gonna walk to the train," I knew I was never getting paid back.
The next week I found out he had been playing shows with a completely new set of band members and playing the music we all wrote together. The dude was awful.
A girl asked if she could sleep in my apartment because she was having some problems with her father and needed some time to think, so I agreed. A few days after she was sleeping there, my company phone went missing. I told my boss, and he was mad.
When I got home, I asked if she had seen it and explained that it was really important and that I could get fired if I didn't find it. We searched every single corner of the apartment for two hours, but it wasn't anywhere. The next day I was desperate, and my boss threatened to fire me if I didn't find it.
I called the service provider and asked if they could use triangulation to find the position on a map, but they informed me that this service was only available with a court order. I finally checked the provider's website, and someone had used it to make a call after I lost it. I Googled the destination phone number, and my jaw dropped.
It was the girl's father. I sent her a message saying that I wanted her out of my house and my phone back. When I got home, she returned the phone and explained that she had taken it because I said something she didn't like, and it was an act of vengeance.
I Saw Her For What She Was
A few years before starting high school, I started losing my sight. I had to use little telescope-type gadgets to see the blackboard, had to have pages from textbooks enlarged from A4 to A3 size, etc. A girl I'd been really close to since we were about three years old thought it'd be funny if she encouraged all of the other kids in my class to run away from me whenever I tried talking to them.
It was hard enough dealing with the change, but being alone like that made it so much worse. Then she'd say I was being a spoiled brat with no sense of humor when I got angry with her. I went to a tiny primary school in a pretty rural area, so there were only nine other kids in my class. You didn't really have much of a say in who you hung out with, so I was stuck with this girl for a couple of years.
It pretty much continued—other girls making fun of how I had to hold books really close to my face, making horrible jokes, and stuff like that. This girl and I went to the same high school, and I stayed with her for the first few months because I was terrified that any new friends I made would just treat me the way she did.
Eventually, she told me that it was embarrassing being seen with me and that her new friends didn't want me trying to fit into their group. They were all shallow girls. People say I should "just move on" or "put it behind me," or even that I should forgive her. However, it's still infuriating to think about, and I don't see myself forgetting it anytime soon.
I'd honestly love for her to end up alone and miserable.
Sneaking Around In Sin Citywoman sitting on yellow armless chair near gray laptop computerPhoto by Mimi Thian on Unsplash
My supposed best friend went to Vegas with my ex-husband weeks after my divorce was final. I probably wouldn't have been mad if either of them had the guts to tell me, but instead, I figured it out when they were both posting Facebook updates from Vegas. She found out later on why he was my ex-husband. It was karma at its finest.
She tried to come crying to me when he was manipulative and just awful to her. My reaction was, "You're joking, right?" We are no longer friends.
He Failed The Friendship Test
When I was in Grade 12, I was trying hard to get good marks for university. I finished a chem lab report that I had been working on for a while. I made all my diagrams and charts and even got them reviewed by my teacher beforehand. The day before it was due, my friend asked if he could view it to see if we got similar results.
In my mind, I thought, sure, why not? I've done this hundreds of times, both comparing and letting friends compare. A month later, when we got our lab reports back, we both got zeros. This lab report and one other test was going on our midterm mark the universities were going to look at, and now under chemistry on my midterm, I had a zero. I was gutted and so confused.
When my teacher called us to talk to us individually, I saw how much he had copied. He had plagiarized all the diagrams, and he didn't even bother changing the font on the text. Afterward, I sent my teacher and principal a letter saying I was sorry and I had no idea he was going to blatantly copy like that.
Instead of a zero for the course, I got a zero for the lab only, which gave me a mark that was enough to get into my preferred program. My "friend" on the other hand ended up repeating high school as he couldn't get into his program with a zero in chem.
She Was A Real Gem-ma
When I was 14, I had a crush on my best friend, Liam, and I told my new friend Gemma about it. She started freaking out about how adorable we'd be together, saying, “You're best friends, you're both short, and you both wear glasses!" She also said I should tell him. I initially said no, because I was sure he didn't like me back, but she egged me on for weeks.
However, during that time, she started behaving quite weirdly around him, like flirting with him in front of me, constantly trying to one-up me when the three of us were having a conversation, going for trips to the mall together, etc. Needless to say, I was rather confused and upset.
I finally couldn't take it anymore, so for some reason, my best solution was to tell Liam that I liked him. He was very nice about it, but as I had suspected, he didn't like me back, and even if he did, he said he didn't really want a girlfriend. I was okay with that. Then, three days later, Liam had a girlfriend, set up by Gemma, of course.
A "friend" of mine couldn't afford an abortion when she was 17. We were still in school and she was too scared to tell the father. I gave her $150 about two weeks before we graduated to help her pay for it. It was her decision, and I knew it was a life-changing one, regardless of the outcome. I took her to the doctor, and I took care of her after the procedure.
I only had a part-time job and made less than what I'd given her in a week; it was a big deal at the time. I asked her to pay me back $50 a week over the next three weeks. She said she could afford it and not to worry. Something came up those next two weeks, and she couldn't pay me back. Then, we graduated, and she wouldn't return my messages, calls, instant messages, or anything.
She came to group things if I wasn't there, but she was still doing things with our other friends otherwise. It was so shady—but then it got worse. She eventually spread rumors about me so our friends would stop inviting me to stuff. I caught onto the situation really quickly—she was avoiding me so she didn't have to pay me back.
I didn't feel good about this next step, but I had been her "best friend" for a few years now, and she had already decided to take the moral low ground. I kept calling her house throughout all of this, where she lived with her parents. We had been really close friends previously, so I'd talk to her mom or dad when she didn't answer.
They must have talked her into speaking with me because I told them I hadn't heard from her and that I was worried; then she spoke to me the next time I called. She tried acting like nothing had happened, but I cut to the chase and told her I'd tell her parents if the money wasn't in my bank account in two days.
She tried saying the bank wouldn't process it that fast, but I told her no excuses. I'd show up in person and tell them everything if she didn't pay. Needless to say, the money was there in no time.
Mean Girls—The Sequel
My best friend and I got into some ridiculous confrontation on MSN Messenger. I'm talking the whole shebang—paragraphs written in capitals, passive-aggressive screen name changes, etc. It was typical girl drama—who was more popular, had the better boyfriend, and all that jazz.
The next day, I didn't go to school for unrelated reasons. I found out later that afternoon that she had printed off the 15-page conversation. She showed it to everybody in our year, with the awful things she said conveniently missing.
Later that year she got my "boyfriend" to break up with me while on a group call with the popular crowd. It was some real Mean Girls stuff.
Standing Up For What’s Righta woman in a pink jacket is sitting on a ledgePhoto by Mike Von on Unsplash
I suffered from severe depression in primary school. I only had one best friend, and we were really close. He got teased a lot for being weird, and I stood up for him every time. I got into confrontations with a few bigger boys even though I was a skinny little girl.
I felt very protective of him, but his family hated me. They thought I was a bad influence. Even though their son was so socially awkward and snobby that he couldn't get any other friends, he was their little angel. One time I got into a bigger argument and both of our families, another boy's family, and a teacher had a sit-down.
I was really emotional through the whole thing and barely held back tears as I explained how I tried to get the other boy to let go of my best friend. But when it was my friend's turn to speak, he threw me under the bus. He didn't even bother acknowledging my help. He only said stuff that made him look good. His parents spoke the same way.
I got mad and thought about our friendship when I got home. I realized that this guy had never stood up for me—even abandoned me more than a few times—and here I was taking heat for him. I tolerated him for a few more years and never made contact with him again after primary school was over, even though we lived 300 meters apart.
My Sister Was A Snake
It was actually my sister who was the double-crosser. When we were young, she was the skinny popular one, and I was the chubby nerdy one. Every single boy I ever had a crush on, she would go out and sleep with.
When I was in 6th grade and she was in 7th, I had a crush on a boy at my school who was a fifth grader. She came to my school and introduced herself and then started going out with him.
A few years later, I met a boy named Billy. I was head over heels for him. We went out a few times, then he met her. The next thing I knew, they were dating. She brought him over all the time, and I had to see them together every day. I was just heartbroken.
Of course, they only lasted a few months because she treated him like dirt since she was not interested in him in the first place. She was just using him to hurt me, and for his money.
A Cross-border Debacle
My former girlfriend was moving across the US to a Canadian city for a new job and needed someone to go with her as she felt insecure alone. I was recently married to a VERY understanding wife and agreed to help, after she assured me that everything was in order.
At the time, I was going through some very uncomfortable health issues, but she was a friend in need. I am a very experienced road-tripper, having been all over the US and Canada by car. It turned out that "everything in order" meant she had printed out Yahoo driving directions.
We got to the US/Canada border and were in line at the checkpoint when it became apparent that she had no paperwork for working abroad, no paperwork for her dog who was with us, a can of mace in the car, and had never seen the house where we were to stay. When I expressed my concern about this, she screamed me out and said, "We'll just lie". But that wasn't the worst part.
Somehow we made it through customs and shortly thereafter, the driving directions went wrong and we were adrift in this city I had only been to once, without maps, or anything. I "used the force" and got us to the house. It was in shambles—torn to bits in the very early stages of a remodel.
I lost my mind and ditched her, her dog, and her stuff at the place and took a cab to a hotel. By that point, my health was very bad. I rallied, bought an expensive one-way flight home, and lost another friend.
Friend-Zoned For A Friend
My best friend from high school and I had a crush on the same girl. I didn't know he had a crush on her until things between her and I started to pick up. It was nothing serious, just hanging out and talking to each other all the time. One day, he and I were chilling, talking about women and what we wanted in life.
He told me a fishy story about how he and one of his good friends stopped talking because they got into a competition over the same chick. He then said that he likes the chick I've been hanging out with and asked me who I liked, as if to say, "Are we going to have a problem?" So, I backed off from the girl.
Months passed and he never made a move, so I confronted him about it. I told him he needed to make a move or risk the dreaded friend zone. Months passed and he stopped hanging out with EVERYONE. I was left wondering if I should go for it with the girl and lose my friend, or stay in the friend zone.
Shortly thereafter, she started dating someone else completely. I lost my chance with her, and he and I stopped talking altogether. Years later, we started hanging out again, letting bygones be bygones. Over drinks one day, I told him that this mutual chick and I had been talking and it felt like it was going somewhere.
A couple of weeks after I told him that, there was a pub crawl. I couldn’t go because I had work the next morning. I found out from the chick the next day that he was buying her all sorts of drinks and trying to sleep with her.
My mom had a friend, and she had a son about my age. So whenever my mom’s friend would come over, her son would come over too because my mother wanted us to play together. This kid was the worst. We were both really into Pokemon; I had silver, he had gold.
He was really bad at the game, his Pokemon were under-leveled, he couldn't beat the first gym, etc. The Pokemon master that I was, I decided to help him out. I showed him which Pokemon were good, and how to tell which moves to use, etc.
So one day, he asked if he could bring my Gameboy back to his house to look at my Pokemon and then bring it back the next day. Of course, my naive self accepted the offer. I expected him to look through my Pokemon and think that I was the coolest, but no.
He transferred ALL of my Pokemon, including my level 100 Typhlosion. He replaced them with Pidgeys and Caterpies.
League Of Deceptionwoman in brown sweater covering her face with her handPhoto by Dev Asangbam on Unsplash
My "best" friend begged me to join a club at school. I went only to hang out with her. They had a big conference every year, and I went as a helper because I had no interest in doing a project just to go. As soon as we got on the bus to leave, she pretended she didn't know who I was and then made fun of me to her other friends. I was in the same hotel room as them.
I made it home in one piece and broke down when my mom asked if I had fun. My mother called her a name and gave me a hug. The next Monday at school, she went right back to pretending we were best buddies. I decided I was better off without her.
A Tricky Triad
My friend kept insisting I meet her boyfriend's roommate. I had recently broken up with my boyfriend and I wasn't interested in meeting him. She kept telling me how he was such a catch—he was a Marine, he built his house, had a truck and snowmobiles, was a good father, a volunteer fireman, etc. I gave in after a couple of weeks of her bothering me about him.
We went on a few dates, and I really liked him. I was out to dinner with another friend and her boyfriend, and I was telling her how much I liked this guy. Then, she told me my friend who introduced me to him was sleeping with him the whole time. She met her boyfriend online and had a threesome with him and the guy I was dating the first night they met.
We had been going on dates for a couple of months by then.
A Job Undone
We were each other's best men at our respective weddings. I moved into a house with a steep gravel driveway that was all kinds of messed up. He was trying to start his own grading and paving business. I told him that I wanted to hire him to grade and pave my driveway, and that I didn't want a discount because I had to hire somebody to do it anyway, and I wanted to give him the business.
He quoted me a price, I wrote him a check, and he never did the work. A couple of months went by, and I asked him when he was going to do it. He told me, "When I get time". I explained to him that I wasn't asking for a hook-up and that I hired him to do a job just like anyone else. His response made my blood boil.
He got mad that I was "treating him like an employee" and hasn't spoken to me since. He's told other people that I was the one in the wrong because I let "a few hundred bucks get in the way of our friendship". I've tried many times to make contact with him, but he never returns my calls.
It Was Lights Out For This Friendship
My best friend/roommate bailed on a $1,200 electric bill. The bill was in my name. I had been hospitalized, and after I was released, I had to attend a daily outpatient program. Because of a past history with the electric company, she couldn't open an account in her name. So as a favor, I kept it in my name, with the understanding that she would open the bills and pay them, but she didn’t.
So, I took the account out of my name. She called me crying, saying she won't be able to have electricity, so I reluctantly kept it in my name. I started getting calls from debt collectors. I asked if she would be willing to send me something—even $10 a week—just so I know she was making an effort.
She said she couldn't afford that. Because she let all the fees rack up, I had to pay a $1,200 bill.
Hung Out To Dry
I had a lazy, disgusting-excuse-of-a-human-being friend rent a room from me. He lied and said he stopped using substances, but I knew he was doing it all behind my back. The reason why he was lazy was because he never cleaned up after himself and refused to do the agreed chores.
One day, I came back, and most of his stuff was gone. I checked with him, and he said he was out at the end of the month; it was the 28th! He didn't give me the decency of giving me 30 days’ notice, as needed by law. But the cherry on top?
His mom contacted me and started blasting me, saying that she didn’t appreciate me treating her son like a servant or maid, and that she would report me for unclaimed income, which I actually claimed.
A Whole Latte Liesgirl in pink long sleeve shirt and white skirt sitting on brown wooden staircasePhoto by Vitaliy Rigalovsky on Unsplash
My friend told my potential employer that I had pilfered money before so that I wouldn't get the job. It was at Starbucks, and she had some crazy vendetta against the company. As a result, she didn't approve of me wanting to work there. She ended up confessing a few weeks later when she was completely trashed.
He Was A Liarsaurus Rex
When I was in primary school, I was obsessed with dinosaurs. I brought my brand new Velociraptor to school to show it to all my friends! It was so rad, you pressed the legs in and he chomped down on your thumb. At the end of the day, I went to get my bag from the corner of the room.
I was the last to get my bag because I was always a slowpoke, dragging my little feet along. I unzipped to check on my little buddy—and almost dropped my bag in shock. The Raptor was gone. I was pretty upset, but I was sure I knew who took it—Melvin! He was so jealous, I knew it was him.
My mom talked to his grandparents and he denied everything! My mom felt bad and bought me a new Velociraptor. Six months later, Melvin was caught by his grandparents playing with a Velociraptor toy in his backyard. He gave it back under the pretense, "I found it in my bag, I don't know how it got there. I'm so sorry".
Dealing With A Devil
He made sure that the windows in my house were unlocked so when I left for work, he'd break in and deal out of my house. He'd leave before I got home, so I didn't really know. Only recently, years after I moved out of that place, did I find out he was storing a huge load at my home.
I found out through other people that they bought stuff from him at my house all the time.
Cray Cray On The Vacay
A girl I saw once every year at one of those timeshare resorts had a younger sister who had this huge thing for me. She was attractive but very manipulative. The girl would constantly set me up to get in trouble for doing bad stuff around the resort, and I'd always take the blame somehow.
In the end, I tried to stay away from her, and figuring it was only once a year, it wasn't too hard. I went to an all-boys school, and somehow this crazy girl ended up finding out who my group of friends was purely by chance.
She befriended some of them and then told them this huge story about her poor sister, following it up with how mean I was to her and how I treated her badly. All of it was false, of course. My friend group turned on me, branding me as a monster.
He Was A Liar And A Cheat
We shared a group of friends. He was dating my best friend, and I was dating his sister. I caught him cheating on my friend, so I told him to fix it before it blew up in his face. Instead of fixing it, the following week he brought his fling to my house party just to mess with me.
That night, my friend called me, suspecting the guy was up to something, and noticed my tone. She asked for the truth, so I told her. He flipped. Being a convincing liar, he somehow turned it around on me and said I made it up. He then made his sister break up with me. Nobody in the group defended me.
My friend appreciated it and believed me. She forgave him and took him back not even a month later, then ditched me because I couldn't get along with him.
Sixth Grade Psychoman wearing knit cap on grey backgroundPhoto by Andrew Neel on Unsplash
In the sixth grade, I had a friend, Matthew, who I talked to on a regular basis and who was into a lot of computer games, similar to me. Everyone in my class was getting MSN, and having just got mine, another friend, Sam, came over. He gave me the account names of everybody in the class, including Matthew.
While I was playing Gamecube with Sam, my mom called me up and told me she had something important to tell me. She took me to my computer and showed me a conversation she was having with Matthew. He was using foul language, asking how I got his MSN. My mom then proceeded to call his mother.
He was bawling on the phone, crying, saying he was sorry. The next day, he came up to me and told me my mom—who had cancer—was awful and hoped she would succumb to her illness. The next month, the authorities came to the school and took two students from our Grade Six class.
Three of the girls in our class received threats from someone, and they suspected it was two kids in our class because of their bad reputations. It turned out it was Matthew. He was expelled in the sixth grade.
Ousted For No Reason
A few weeks after I graduated high school, I came home from visiting my mom to find my roommates had put all my stuff out on our front porch, except for the few things they wanted to keep.
I'd already paid up my rent, so that wasn't an issue. I don't know how long my stuff had been out there. Even worse, one of those roommates then told my friends that I'd beaten him up and that's why he booted me out. He even had a black eye to show for it, but I had no clue where it came from.
This resulted in all of my friends cutting all contact with me for over a month. This was the same guy who had been living in my house with my mom and me for almost a year, with no job and no contributions. Not long after, I moved away. My friends had come back, but it was never really the same.
Planting The Seed Of Insecurity
When I was fifteen, I got a job at a garden center. It was a tough job, but it was fun. There was a group of kids around my age or a little older who worked there as well, and I became friends with them. I got picked on a lot at school, so it was nice having a group of people who were actually nice to me.
We joked around at work, and it eventually led to us hanging out outside of work. One day, we decided to hang out after work. I got a ride and we went to a bar, but it seemed different. Everybody was ignoring me like I wasn't there. I gave up after a while and just sat there, waiting to leave.
When everybody was ready to go, the group all looked at me and one of them said, "We don't like you. We never liked you. We were only hanging out with you because we felt sorry for you. We don't want you to come out with us anymore". Then, they all left and none of them would give me a ride home like they usually did.
I had to call my mom and she picked me up. It still affects me. I don't really open up and I have a hard time trusting people. I wonder if the friends I have today only hang out with me because they feel sorry for me.
High School Hijinks
I had a group of friends in high school who typed a letter saying they were the dad of a close friend who wanted to teach me how to be intimate. The letter said I wasn't to tell anyone or I'd "get what's coming", and, if I was interested, to tie a red ribbon around the mailbox.
I told my dad, who called the authorities and told my group, who I thought were good people. However, I always had a feeling it was them. Red ribbons started showing up every couple of nights on the mailbox. It caused several arguments between my dad, who was concerned, and my stepmom, who for some reason thought I was doing it for attention.
My shaky home life went into the trash. Rocks would be thrown at my window in the middle of the night, my car was egged, and the house was covered in toilet paper. I was pulled out of class to have my car searched under suspicion of having drinks on the premises.
Suddenly, everyone knew about an incident that had happened when I was a child that I had only told my group of friends. Then, the group started showing up at my work to say terrible things to me. One night, someone followed me home from work, honking behind me the entire way.
This all unfolded in about two months. When I graduated high school and stopped talking to any of them, it all stopped. I don't have any proof it was them, but I'm not an idiot. I had the best grades, a steady job, a scholarship, and a boyfriend. They just decided I was an outsider.
She Trashed Our Friendship
I was applying for an internship. My closest friend was part of the committee charged with accepting applicants and the main person in charge of approving applications. An acquaintance of mine, who was also on the committee, told me that my friend threw away my application before it was even reviewed.
Those were grounds for referring her to our university’s judicial review committee, and my acquaintance was willing to go forward with it. I decided not to follow through, since my friend would have had a permanent mark on their record. Obviously, we don't talk anymore.
They Were Playing Mind Gamesperson holding silver iphone 6Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash
My friends and I started playing Minecraft and promptly started our own town. For months and months, when we got home from school, we would log on right away and play all day. After a while, we were a bustling "city" with more than 50 residents, all with their own plots in our jungle town. Another friend played on this kid’s account.
I was playing, managing my plots, and my best friend had shared mayorship of the town. You could only really have one person with mayoral rights, and this other friend got it. He did the unthinkable. He started destroying everything I had built, including my house and our whole town.
I called my friend in tears asking for him to toss this guy out of the town because I cared about that town; I had worked so hard on it. No one could do anything, and I was having a legit panic attack. I couldn't breathe. He finally stopped when my once extravagant city was in ruins, and I decided to stop playing Minecraft.
I later found out this kid was being controlled by all my "best friends" as a joke, and the fact I called one of them while crying made them laugh. They told me it was "super funny".
He Muddied My Mama’s Reputation
My best friend who I'd known since first grade, slept with my mom in high school. Everyone in my life knew about it for three years before I found out because, apparently, he was very proud of himself and bragged about it. The worst part was that it was such news to me; it literally seemed like somebody had made it up.
It inevitably had to become my new reality. My friendships have not been the same since.
Our Friendship Went Up In Flames
My so-called “friends” took my car out after I had gone to bed. They crashed it doing 80 mph in my neighborhood and came back to tell me. I had to walk a mile there, only to find out my car was already engulfed in six-foot flames. I had to call the fire department, and after all of that, I didn’t even get an apology.
Fighting For The Sake Of Mental Health
A long-time friend from my high school days had developed worrying mental health issues, and I didn't know how to deal with it. I confided in a friend that I was worried and not sure how to help him. I explained what I thought was wrong and how it was frustrating because I felt powerless.
A few days later, I found out the friend I confided in told everyone what I'd spoken to him about. He told everyone he knew in an attempt to ruin the friendship I had with my other friend because, "Those with mental health issues should be run out of my society and you shouldn't be near [them]”.
I lost my patience and cool with him and called him out. It turns out I'd saved myself from someone who was a complete headcase. He would later go on to make up rumors about everyone around him.
Catching Heat Over A Housecoat
My friend told her mom that I had taken the housecoat that she herself had borrowed from her mom and then given to me. Her mom called asking about it, so I returned it with no fuss. Then, the mom called the authorities and had me charged with theft on Christmas Eve—a week after I had returned the item to her.
I was considered a thief, even though it had been given to me by the daughter.
A Photo Finishman wearing black and red pullover hoodiePhoto by Ben den Engelsen on Unsplash
In my senior year in high school, a friend took a picture of me and another girl who I was working on an assignment with in the hallway. He then proceeded to show it to my girlfriend of three years for the sole purpose of breaking us up. It worked.
Afterward, he tried to hook up with her. The only thing that made it worthwhile was him getting denied and losing me, his best friend since middle school. My family even let him stay with us for the summer when he was having family troubles in his home.
Banished Blood Brother
This one friend of mine was practically raised by my mother since we met back in 1997 and we became best friends. We sheltered him a few times when his father went on trying to beat the daylights out of him for no reason at all. Earlier in 2012, my mom underwent surgery and needed blood donors. He was a match, so he could give blood to her.
I called him to ask if he could donate blood for my mom, and he agreed, saying he would go the next morning. He never showed up, which was followed by not replying to my texts, answering my calls, and avoiding me altogether. I never saw him again.
Later that year, I heard from some mutual friends that he moved to another city to go to college. We still haven't talked since that incident.
This Christian Girl Was Pure Evil
I befriended this super chipper preppy Christian girl in middle school. I had trichotillomania from fifth grade on, and it was now eighth grade. Half of my head was bald at one point. I got bullied ruthlessly. I had zero friends, and by some miracle, this nice little Christian girl came up to me and started writing me notes in class.
I thought she must be a very good person—she was in all these extracurricular activities helping the community, in youth groups, etc. I was also religious and thought it must've been God answering my prayers.
In addition to the anxiety/trich, I was diagnosed with an 8 mm mass in my left temporal lobe that was deemed inoperable. There was a history of brain tumors in my family. I was relatively at peace with losing my life, but my parents were visibly shaken, and I felt I hadn't really lived yet.
This girl came to school on the last day and wrote me a final letter before we all went home. She seemed distant and told me not to open it until I got home. Its contents shocked me to the core.
It said, "You're really ugly and disgusting. Nobody likes you, so I decided to be your friend because that's what Jesus would want, but you are really really gross, and I am NOT your friend. I was never your friend. People are bullying me for being nice to you. Don't EVER talk to me again after this. Goodbye!"
Left With A Bloody Mess
Andy invited John to sleep over at his house for the weekend. During the same time, Andy invited over this girl he was trying to get with, hoping to get something going. That night, they were hanging out and drinking when John and the girl left for ten minutes or so. After they were done drinking, the girl went home, and John passed out on the couch.
My friend Andy, tired and sloshed, walked into his room in the dark and plopped down on the bed to pass out. As soon as he hit the bed, he heard a squish. The bed felt wet to the touch. He turned on the lights, and his bed was soaked in blood. Apparently, John and the girl got busy on his bed while she was on her period.
Instead of saying, "Let's do this some other time," they left a huge mess. Andy had to clean up the aftermath.
No Misunderstanding Here
I had a friend move in with me after he got booted out of his house. Soon after, my girlfriend didn't want to sleep with me much. He stayed for about three weeks when I noticed things were strange between him and my girl.
It would be little things like kisses on the cheek, or my girlfriend being at my house before I got home from work and they would be sitting right next to each other on the couch watching a movie. I had suspicions, but at the same time, I thought I was just being insecure.
One day, I came home and, as usual, they were sitting on the couch. I went into my bedroom and there was a cell phone on my bed. It was my friend’s. The screen was on and his texts were open. I saw my girlfriend’s name and decided to open it.
Among the messages were things like, "I am alone at his house," and, "He just left, he has work till 7," as well as some revealing photos. I walked out and stared at them for a minute, then said, "Hey friend. Found your phone on my bed". I threw it over to him with a picture of my girlfriend undressed on his screen.
I saw his face go white and that's when I went crazy. I punched my wall as hard as I could and told them both to get out now! They were both screaming that it was a misunderstanding. My girlfriend left saying, "Well, it’s a misunderstanding, and it’s your loss because I was gonna [do] you really good tonight".
A month later, I found out she was pregnant. I hadn't slept with her for about two months prior, and not from a lack of me wanting to. She turned out to be a really nasty person and even tried to tell me that it was my baby.
Medicine is a difficult profession. Thanks to the wonder that is human nature, healthcare workers are subjected to incredible Darwin-award-winning scenarios daily, so it’s no wonder that many of them feel the need to go home and scream into their pillows at night. From self-inflicted injuries to dangerous prescription misuses, these Redditors revealed the most facepalm-worthy patients they’ve ever encountered.
But be warned: They’ll all leave you wondering how we’ve survived this long as a species.
There Is No Plan Cwhite and red cross signPhoto by Markus Winkler on Unsplash
I’m a pharmacist. One evening, I was working a relief shift (not at my usual pharmacy). A man comes in looking distressed. He tells me, “I had intimate relations with a woman I do not intend to pursue a long-term relationship with”. Yes, he said it just like that. I say, “Okay. I’m assuming there was an accident, or it was unprotected. How long ago did it happen”? He answers, “Last night, at 7 PM on the couch”.
Woah, TMI. I just needed to know the approximate time so I’d know if Plan B would work. I start to tell him, “We have this medication called Plan B, and since the incident happened within 72 hours—” but he interrupts me and I was thrown completely off guard: “Oh yes, I got that for her already yesterday, right after we finished. We want to know if there is anything we can do to know if she is pregnant now”.
I answer, “Unfortunately not. She’ll have to wait three weeks or so to see if she gets her period, and if she doesn’t, she can do a pregnancy test then. Theoretically, you could do a blood test for faster results, but that would also not be until a couple of weeks, at least”. He responds, “We’re just really anxious because she doesn’t want to be pregnant. Is there anything that she can take to prevent the pregnancy? Any multivitamin? Minerals? Food”?
I tell him, “She’s already taken it, which was the Plan B. There are some other options, but those are prescriptions. And no, there are no over-the-counter products she can take”. Then he asks, “What about me? Is there anything I can take now to prevent the pregnancy? Any multivitamins or minerals”? A little bemused, I just answer, “…No sir. There isn’t anything you can take now”.
Get A Load Of This Guy
I’m 73, and I’m a former clinical microbiologist from LONG ago. Still, I found myself all over the clinical lab at times, not just infectious diseases. So, one day, this 20-something guy (with his wife and mom in tow) walks in with a paper request for an analysis of his “swimmers”, pre-computer era. Okay, not the most comfortable encounter, but I’m a professional, and I’d done this drill many times.
It turned out he had not been briefed by the doctor and had no idea how establishing infertility in males was done. Well, okay—this would be a challenge, then. I took him aside and, using standard medical terminology, told him how a diagnosis is made and what he needed to do to provide a specimen. He couldn’t believe that I was asking him to “do it” into that container.
Astonished! Then he played dumb as if the concept was unfamiliar to him. We looped through the medical terms and procedure again, and I eventually resorted to every word I knew to describe the “act”. It was like a George Carlin bit! A half-hour later, he emerged from the toilet with two inches of urine in the cup. God almighty.
The report came back: “Patient provided improper specimen”.
This Is How The Elderly Get Their Wrinkles
I’m a paramedic. I had an elderly woman complain that her mouth was dry and she felt a bit dizzy climbing the stairs earlier. So I go through the whole rigamarole of getting a medical history, vitals, and more detail on her symptoms. Then I asked her what she’s had to drink today. Her answer? A cup of tea—ten hours ago. I asked, “Any water”? She says no.
Guess what fixed it within five minutes.
The Mother Got A Lot Of Heat For This
I was at the children’s hospital with my eldest when he was a toddler (ah, the day we found out he was allergic to penicillin) when a rushing team suddenly occupied the bed next to me with a limp, unresponsive infant. This happened on a hot day during the mid-summer. The baby was in a full Canadian winter-level snowsuit.
After they got the baby’s temperature down, I overheard the doctor losing his mind a little bit with the mother as she kept insisting she had to have her baby in the suit lest the baby risk feeling chilly. He explained that the minor discomfort of having to cry for a blanket did not trump the risk of it losing its life or the possibility of literally frying the kid’s brain.
He had to get quite nasty with his wording in that she had almost unalived her baby and might have given it brain damage.
Mr. Hot Shot
I had a buddy who was an EMT, and he was called out to a location for a GSW. What happened was a father was mowing his lawn when he accidentally touched a part of the mower near the engine and burned his hand. He got mad at the lawnmower, pulled out his pistol, and shot it. The shot ricocheted and hit his son in the leg.
Now, He’s Gonorrhea-Valuate All His Conditions…a woman holding a stethoscope in her right handPhoto by Eben Kassaye on Unsplash
I worked in ED for 10 years. Every day. Every day people come in, and it shocks you how they’ve managed to evade unaliving themselves for that long. One of the worst was when we had a guy come in. He was a twin. He told us he needed to get checked for STDs because his sister just got one. We, of course, had to ask if he’d had intimate relations with her, and he said no, but they were twins, so whatever she has, so does he.
After a collective sigh of relief that this wasn’t some weird Alabama, your-my-sister scenario, we had to educate him on how that’s not how it worked at all.
It Was An Arm of Intervention
I got told to go introduce myself to a patient to get vitals, history, and more info on their chief complaint, before starting an IV and drawing blood for labs. She came in for arm pain, and it looked like she had a nasty bug bite on her arm. So her story was she was an exotic dancer, and her Adderall prescription wasn’t doing the trick. So, she had an idea of how to make it more potent.
She heard from a friend that if you crush it up, suspend it in water, and then inject it, it would be more effective. Except she used tap water to dissolve the Adderall before she injected it. This ended up causing a huge abscess and infection at the site of injection. She ended up losing her arm at the elbow...So now she’s a one-armed exotic dancer.
They Must’ve Gone Ballistic
I had a patient who had a bullet lodged in her leg. We had the surgeon come and assess her. Based on its placement, he suggested leaving it because removing it could cause even more danger. We discharged her. She immediately walked to the ER in the same hospital to complain of leg pain. She had prescriptions and wound supplies in her hand.
Still, they brought her back, discovered her injury, and called for a surgical consult. The same surgeon was on-call and came to assess her. Guess what?! The surgeon made the same suggestion to leave it. Then we educated her EXTENSIVELY about never getting an MRI or the metal will fly out of her skin. Eventually, she left.
She returned a few months later to a sister hospital complaining of a headache. She got inpatient admission, and you guessed it: They did an MRI. The slug ripped out, and the MRI machine was down for almost a week!
She Just Couldn’t Seem To Grasp The Conception
I had an 18 or 19-year-old girl come into my ER with some complaint that required an X-ray. It’s standard that we do a urine pregnancy test before imaging on any female of childbearing years. She insisted she’d never “done it”, and there was zero possibility of pregnancy. We did the test anyway, and it resulted that she was pregnant. We then did a blood pregnancy test to confirm the result since she insisted she couldn’t possibly be pregnant because she’d never had intercourse.
That was positive too. We gave her a few minutes to herself to figure out what the heck happened, and when I returned to check on her a short time later, she asked me if she could get pregnant even though her boyfriend “didn’t go all the way in”. She 100% believed that as long as he wasn’t entirely inside her, it didn’t count as intercourse.
It took nearly a half hour of explaining reproduction for her to understand that, whether it’s halfway in or in, sperm travel.
It Ultimately Wasn’t Very Fun-Knee
I overheard a conversation between a nurse, a doctor, and a patient in the ER. They were trying to figure out whether the patient was very stupid or had a head injury. It was both hilarious and sad. He kept telling them that he was there for a hurt leg, but he couldn’t explain why his leg was hurt, how it was hurt, or how he got there—nearly anything.
I heard them talking in a hallway to each other. The nurse was convinced the patient hit his head. The doctor, without skipping a beat, dropped his unexpected diagnosis: “No, he is just an idiot.” It turned out the doctor was right. They got ahold of the guy’s wife. She told them in the hallway he’s always this dumb, and if she left him, he would get lost in his own house and starve.
It sounded like the patient’s leg was visibly injured or swollen. But when asked what happened or how it felt, he gave nonsensical idiot answers. He wasn’t slurring, but answering in a regular idiot voice, saying things like, “It feels hurt”, and “I was talking to Jimmy, and we were doing our usual work, and my leg hurts”.
The doctor would ask, “Did something happen? What is the work”? But the patient kept responding, “Something always happens; you know how it goes”, or “I just want my leg fixed”.
An Change Of Heartman in white dress shirt wearing black framed eyeglassesPhoto by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash
This one came from a colleague of mine. So, this 60-something-year-old suffered from an acute complication and got a pacemaker to solve the problem. Everything went normally, and as planned, he recovered. Every care and medication that he needed to take got prescribed and explained and his medical appointments with a cardiologist/arrhythmologist were scheduled so he could get the follow-ups he needed. The man then proceeded to never show up to any appointments and never answered any calls from the hospital to know of him and reschedule.
This went on for around three years. Then one day, he showed up without former warning and asked to talk with the doctor who did the procedure to put in his pacemaker. People were weirded out, but since the doctor was present that day and this patient was in clear distress, they talked to him and managed to find a couple of minutes to have the doctor check on him. Inside the appointment room, the doctor noticed that the man was wearing a bra inside his shirt.
The man explained he’d been wearing his daughter’s bra for three months after his “problem” got worse. So the doctor asked that he take off his shirt…and there he stood, this shirtless man wearing his daughter’s bra, showing off the pacemaker that should’ve remained inside his body. It was now dangling outside of it, being held by the left bra cup, with a big infected open wound above it with the pacemaker leads still inserted into his veins and connected to his heart.
Nobody had any idea how the man let that situation come to be or how he didn’t pass from sepsis or any other health problem that might’ve appeared, for that matter.
The Parents Were The Real Suckers
While working the midnight shift in the ER, a family brought in a four-year-old at 2am-ish. I asked them what was wrong. They said, “Ask him. He said he needed to see a doctor”. I further pressed, “Did he say anything was wrong”? They answered, “No. He said he needed to see a doctor, so we brought him”. A quick back and forth firmly established that they actually showed up to the ER at 2 AM, purely because the four-year-old said he needed to see a doctor and that they didn’t know why.
So I asked the child, “Why do you need to see a doctor”? His answer made me shake my head in disbelief: “The doctor has suckers”. To be clear, it was the parents who lacked sense and not the kid.
A Very Delicate Condition
I’m a social worker, and one of my clients kept getting pregnant over and over after having kids. I had a frank conversation with her about birth control or getting her tubes tied because she kept going through horrific births only to get her kids taken away, and she said to me that she didn’t know that birth control or safe intercourse would save her from getting pregnant.
She didn’t realize that intercourse = pregnant because she was mistreated as a child, and her father told her that she could only get pregnant when she fell in love, and she had never been in love, so she didn’t understand why she kept getting pregnant. Intercourse was only a pleasure for her, so she didn’t realize that was what was getting her pregnant.
The Answer Was At Hand
I am a dermatologist in India. As is the culture here, people eat with their hands, and almost all of our curries or even other dry side dishes have a lot of turmeric. It is common knowledge to anyone born and brought up in India that this means the nails of your dominant hand (statistically, the right hand) will be yellow-stained because we have seen this happen since our childhood.
Usually, this wears off in about a day and a half if you wash it a couple of times. Cut to the first patient in my OPD, a young girl in her early 20s, very anxious. I ask her, “What brings you here today”? The patient says, “Doc, my right-hand fingernails keep getting yellow-discolored”. I take a look and confirm, “Only your right hand”? She answers, “Yes, and only after meals”.
So I ask her, “Erm…do you eat with your hands”? The patient confirms, “Yes, always”. I then explain to her, “So...you know it’s just turmeric, right”? And she goes, “Yes, but can you make it stop happening”? Perplexed now, I just tell her, “For God’s sake, use a spoon”! But she’s still not quite getting it. Surprised, she asks, “So you mean there is no medicine to make it stop”?
I just stared at her while she looked at me expectantly. “NO”! This might hit home more with people of South Asian cultures or people who habitually eat turmeric-cooked food with their hands. Anyway, for a grown person to complain about this was just…well, surprising and a little ridiculous.
This Guy Wasn’t Very Treat Smart
I work in emergency medical services. I had a diabetic in his 30–40s who refused to take insulin since 2012. It was 2020 at the time. When I took his blood sugar, it only read as “HI”, meaning it had to be over 700 for the glucometer not to read it. Upon seeing this, he asked me if that was high and then went, “Is this because of all the ice cream I ate”?
He was playing a Facebook Messenger video with his girlfriend the entire time. I met him later on in the parking lot after he got discharged, and it took this man less than fifty paces from the ER door to rip off the bandage covering his IV and play with the IV wound until it started bleeding all over the place again.
He then knocked on our ambulance door and asked for a bandaid to fix it. We had to walk him back into the ER and bandage his entire arm with gauze so that, hopefully, by the time he got it off, it would’ve clotted enough for him not to end up exsanguinating himself.
Rubbing Salt In The Woundbrown and white shell on orange round platePhoto by Arnold Antoo on Unsplash
My sister told me a story of a woman with chronic blisters and lesions on her lips. They couldn’t figure out what it was for weeks. It would heal and come back, heal and come back. The truth was disturbing—it turned out she would jam out on like three bags of salt and vinegar chips a day for weeks at a time until the sores hurt too bad to continue, then she’d go to the doctor.
Details Make A Difference
This was one of the funniest yet cutest ones from when I was a student doing a shift in andrology/reproductive health. Doctor: “So, you’re trying to have kids but not managing to. Do you have any other kids”? Patient: “Yes, Doc. I have one”. Doctor: “Okay, so we need to do [this and this and that]”. Patient: “Okay, great”.
Then he proceeded to visit him and stuff, after which he went away. But after a couple of seconds, he knocked on the door again, saying: “Hello, Doc. My wife told me that it would be relevant to you that the son I have is adopted, but that makes no difference to me. I’ve always considered him my son”!
Do No Farm
I’m a physiotherapist. For those who don’t know, after a total knee replacement, you have a six-week window after the surgery to regain the range of motion. If you don’t regain the range in those first six weeks, it ain’t coming back. I had a patient who was a farmer who was very enthusiastic about regaining the range because he needed to be mobile for his work. I saw him for the first time about five days after his surgery.
I showed him all the basic exercises, told him not to do any farm work for at least six weeks, and told him to come back to see me once a week for the first six weeks. He disappeared and came back about eight weeks later. His range was non-existent, maybe 30 degrees of range in total. He was visibly mad at me as if it was my fault. He was shouting and calling me incompetent.
Our conversation went something like this: Me: “Have you been doing the exercises”? Him: “No”. Me: “How often are you doing farm work”? Him: “Every day”. Me: “Why haven’t you come back since the first appointment eight weeks ago”? Him: “Too busy with farm work”. Me: “So, to summarize here, you did absolutely nothing that I told you to, and this is somehow my fault”?
I never saw him again.
A Jaw-Dropping Encounter
As a pharmacist, I often encounter a lot of people who lack common sense; namely, everyone who comes in to buy homeopathic stuff, especially for serious things. Once, a lady came in with a prescription from the dentist for some heavy antibiotics and painkillers due to an infection that threatened to damage the jawbone.
When I asked if she knew how to take them, she went: “Oh, I’m not gonna take those; they’ll go right into the garbage. But I gotta buy them so that my dentist is happy. I’d rather stick with [insert name of homeopathic stuff here] instead of harming me with some devilish chemicals”!
Throughout the years, I’ve learned to just shrug and accept those Darwin-award candidates instead of arguing with them. It just infuriates me when I see that they’ve got children or/and pets…
That’s Never Gonna Heel Now
This was circa 1983, and I’m a nurse (retired). I had this one guy in his early 20s who went swimming hammered in a notoriously nasty lake in our area. It was a “don’t drink the water” kind of lake, and he went in without shoes, stepped on an old booze tab, and cut his foot open. He didn’t go to the hospital or try to clean it at all for about a week. His girlfriend said he kept saying, “It’s fine, it’s just a cut”, when she pressured him to get it seen, so of course, he showed up in the ER with a foot that blew up like a balloon.
Healing it took two and a half months in the hospital, with his foot completely laid open in surgery, doing debridement and packing, which I can honestly say after over 30 years in healthcare stands as one of the nastiest jobs I have ever had to do—and I had been dealing with things like bedsores and open wounds from radiation treatments and cancer for about seven years at that point.
It was bad, but that's not all—on top of this, he was obnoxious, disrespectful, and, when the opportunity presented itself, cruel. Other nurses, you know the type, they’re everywhere. Hopefully not as open about it these days, but yeah. I had a student nurse I was training come running out of the room in tears and refused to go back in and would not tell any of us what he said, but I can imagine.
Eventually, we finally got it cleaned out, and it’s responding well to antibiotics, and the tissue is granulating well. He gets sent home with antibiotics and strict instructions on how to care for it and to keep it clean and dry. THE DAY he left the hospital, he went back out to the same lake, got inebriated, put on some nasty tennis shoes, and went swimming.
He showed up on our floor again a week after being discharged. He lost the foot. His girlfriend left him.
Fortunately, They Caught Him Red-Handedman in blue scrub suit wearing blue stethoscopePhoto by Bruno Rodrigues on Unsplash
I don’t know if a cleaner in a hospital counts, but this one time, I got to work early on a Saturday morning, and we immediately received a request for help from the ER and got sent over by my boss. When I got there, the first thing I heard was yelling from this guy behind one of the curtains. He was shouting at the nurses, “Don’t touch my downstairs”, and “I didn’t use any substances”!
Then I smelled iron in the air, and then I found out there was blood all over the hallway, with hand prints in blood against the wall. Almost the entire floor was covered in blood, with actual puddles in some places. What happened? The guy pulled out his catheter, causing arterial bleeding, and he decided to run away from the nurses who were trying to help him.
It seems like he lived through that. I had never seen that much blood before that day, nor after.
Thinking Against The Grain
I am a medical professional, but I have two really good ones about my ex-fiancé. Laugh at me all you want; this relationship was not my proudest moment. For starters, at our baby shower for my son, he asked if we were going to pick “innie” or “outie”. I looked at him like he was insane, and he started getting angry and just repeated the question louder until I shushed him and took him aside to explain to him that we don’t choose how the belly button looks; it just happens.
Another time, he had really bad eczema and went to a doctor who suggested oatmeal baths during flare-ups. He bought a couple of boxes of Quaker Oats Maple & Brown Sugar and would dump the entire box packet by packet into the tub. It was a couple of weeks before I found the wrappers and questioned him about it.
He told me (angry again) that he wondered why he was so sticky after getting out and why the freaking literal brown sugar was making his open wounds fester. I explained that an oatmeal bath is not flavored oatmeal and that he had to buy either plain oats or actual oatmeal bath packets. He was furious that I expected him to just know better.
When I asked him why he picked maple and brown sugar, he said he didn’t want to smell like strawberries or peaches after his bath. After our son was born (and we had broken up, thank God), my son also had some occasional eczema, but not nearly to the same degree. The pediatrician recommended oatmeal baths, and GUESS WHAT THIS FREAKING GUY BOUGHT?
He said he only remembered what happened the last time when he picked my son out of the sink, and the towel stuck to him. When I started to scold him for being so stupid, he looked at me like I was an idiot and told me he only used one packet since we were still bathing the kid in the sink instead of in an entire tub.
The Patient Had A Med-ley Bag
I’m a pharmacist. I had a woman bring in a literal sandwich bag that she kept all her meds in, unseparated. She needed help seeing which meds she was low on or out of and was asking different questions about the medications. When she pointed to an Apoquel and stated it was her blood pressure medicine, I immediately became concerned as to why pet medicine was in her bag (and also why she was mixing all her meds in a bag in the first place).
It was then that I found out that she had been throwing her pet’s meds inside her bag of medicine, too. So Lord knows what she’d been giving her dog or taking herself. I immediately stressed how important it is to keep medicine in its original container to protect both the medicine and herself and to know the directions of how to take it.
I’ve seen her a few times since then, and I’m glad to see she has since taken my advice. But how any pharmacist or doctor hadn’t advised her on this before is beyond me.
They Didn’t Air On The Side Of Caution
I used to be a medical oxygen tech, mostly doing in-home work. One guy was on such a high concentration that he would have drawn nearly zero oxygen from breathing regular atmosphere. This required two heavy-duty machines hooked up in tandem just to keep him barely alive. This was explained ad nauseam to him and his wife with fully signed documentation of every conversation.
What they did was absolutely ridiculous—they’d shut one machine off because they decided it was too loud. He’d take his mask off because he decided it was too cold. She would unplug the hose if she decided it was in the way. So on and so on. They did everything you could think of that would restrict or cut off his oxygen intake. Then they would panic and call our emergency service when he started to react to no oxygen intake.
I lived not even five minutes away, right beside our EMS station, and calls would always come for me to “fix” the machines at random times of the day and night, 3–7 days a week. They refused to call 9-1-1 because they “didn’t want to make a scene”. This went on for ages, well over 18 months, until he was having trouble sleeping one night, and they shut the machines off before going back to bed.
It’s been years, and I still see the wife around town. She always glares at me as if I’m the one who unalived him.
She’ll Just See Herself Out, Now…
I’m an ophthalmology surgical technician. A glaucoma patient in her late 50s was going blind despite her drop therapies for the past six months. Her pressure was consistently in the 30s and 40s. I asked her if she was using her drops regularly (twice daily), and she said yes. I asked, as politely as I could, if she’d missed any doses in the past month. She said no. I asked if she was using them properly, and she got super offended.
She asked me very rudely, “Do I look like an idiot to you”? I said, “No, but I just need to be sure. Sometimes patients think they’re doing it right, but they can easily miss it. Can you show me how you use your drops”? So she took out her drop bottle, gave it a good shake (so far, so good), looked up at the ceiling (also a good sign), opened her MOUTH, and swallowed two drops.
I got in trouble, but my OD backed me up and told her that’s the stupidest thing he’s ever seen in 25 years. She cried and said we were being mean to her and that the drops burned her eyes, so she didn’t want to put them in there, and since the eyes, ears, nose, and throat are all connected, why did it matter where she put them?
That’s not how glaucoma therapy works. She needed a shunt implant, and we were able to save about 30% of her visual field. But yeah, she was drinking her drops and going blind.
That’s Ill-Adviseda woman in a white shirt holding a stethoscopePhoto by Alexandr Podvalny on Unsplash
I used to volunteer at a free medical clinic to take vitals and histories. A woman came in with pneumonia and wanted to know why her normal treatment of drinking half a bottle of Listerine and inhaling a pack of cancer sticks a day wasn’t working. I asked why she thought ciggies were a good treatment for a lung infection, and she said, “Indians used to purify the ground by burning all the weeds away before planting, so I’m puffing to purify my lungs”.
I left that one to the doctor.
I’m an optometrist. I had a patient booked in for an emergency appointment with a raging red eye. It was very painful. So I looked under the microscope, and the cornea was not happy: wobbly reflexes, haziness, the works. So I asked, “What happened”? The patient said, “It’s my niece’s wedding this Saturday, and I wanted to tint my eyelashes to match my hair, and the color scheme of the wedding is light blue, so I used the same dye for both to match the color”.
I inquired, “Does that hair dye contain ammonia, by any chance”? The patient answered, “I think so. Do you think my eye will be better by Saturday? Will it match the color scheme”? I just responded, “Unless you can convince them to change the color scheme to red, no”.
This Grave Mistake Takes The Biscuit
I heard this story from a sibling; I don’t think he’d mind me sharing it just on the off chance it prevents someone else from making this mistake. Lots of surgeons have a similar story, but thankfully this one doesn’t end in someone’s demise. According to my brother, these parents claimed that their child hadn’t eaten anything before surgery, as they were carefully directed. But it turned out they thought the surgical team was just being cruel to their child.
So when she said she was hungry that morning, they detoured on their way to the surgical center and got her a full Southern breakfast. The result was triggering—she dang near passed from aspirating biscuits and gravy. I’ve rarely seen my brother so angry and disgusted (somehow, biscuits and gravy look even more nauseating the second time around) as he recounted what had happened.
I do not doubt that he tore a strip off the parents once their five-year-old was stabilized, and they probably still felt justified and angry at the surgeon for telling them what they could and could not feed their child right before anesthesia. The parents did feel justified and hard-done-by, although, as far as I know, they didn’t express anger at my brother (knowing him, they didn’t get a word in edgewise).
There was no acknowledgment or realization that they could easily have unlived their own child or that they’d made a bad decision. I remember they were annoyed by her whining for food.
The Outcome Suited Them Just Fine
I’m a pharmacist. One time my coworker, another pharmacist, got served with a lawsuit while I was there. The patient suffered a fall resulting in a concussion, and she claimed it was because her Lisinopril (blood pressure medication) got increased from 10mg to 20mg and that she’d not been informed and passed out as a result. She was suing the pharmacist, the pharmacy, her doctor’s office, and the doctor.
It eventually came out in early discovery that she was at a rave and had a BAC of 0.18, THC, and MDMA in her system. The case against the doctor’s office, doctor, and pharmacy fell apart right away, so she decided to go all-in on trying to sue the individual pharmacist. The pharmacy’s POS system confirmed that she checked, “I decline pharmacist consultation at this time”. So the case was eventually dropped.
He Had To Take A Pregnant Pause
I work in the ER. I have so many stories. The one that left me dumbfounded was a woman who was brought in by her sister for pelvic cramps and amenorrhea for three months. Lo and behold, she’s pregnant. The sister informs me that she sleeps with the Brazilian construction workers building the condo complex next door. I ask if they have any questions.
The patient then asked me if her baby would come out speaking Spanish. After a long pause and her sister staring at the ceiling, I told her, “No, because they speak Portuguese in Brazil”. The patient seemed relieved, and the sister hustled her out of the ER before I could discharge her.
It Cost Them An Amen And A Legman in white dress shirt holding black tablet computerPhoto by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
I worked in cancer research/surgery a couple of years ago. There is a good amount of people who will refuse to have a small removal/surgery because they think holistic medicine or praying it away will work. They always come back, and we always have to remove so much more. One time a patient had melanoma on their calf, and the doctor wanted to do a simple wide excision, but they left because they wanted to pray it away.
They came back a couple of months later because it got bigger, and we had to amputate their leg. I’m pretty sure they had positive lymph nodes at that point too.
They Gave Her A Herbal Warning
A lady brought her baby into the ER with a rectal temp of 103. The kid had tachycardia (i.e. a fast heartbeat) and looked awful. The worst part? The lady refused all medications. She said she didn’t believe in them and wondered why her herbal tea (she brought a jug of it) wasn’t working. She wanted us to just check her out. She thought a children’s emergency room just checked them out. I tried to explain why the kid needed an NSIAD. She kept refusing. She said she didn’t know what was in it.
I brought up the fact she had her kid in a hospital and that she received medication herself (IV, epidural, etc). The lady didn’t budge. Only concerned for herself, I told her that when the kid has a seizure or goes unresponsive and she calls 9-1-1, she can expect the medics to give the kid everything it needs regardless of whether she likes it or not.
Desperate times called for desperate measures, so the doctor threatened to contact social services for child endangerment and mistreatment. Only then did she start to listen…for, like, five whole seconds. She then left against medical advice. People like this exist.
Words Cannot Expresso How Ridiculous This Call Was
I’ve been a firefighter for 18 years. People call 9-1-1 for the dumbest things ever. But the one that takes the cake? It was a guy who called 9-1-1 to say he was choking. He answered the door as high as a Georgia pine with a lit joint in his mouth. I asked him who was choking. He calmly said that he was. He said he swallowed an ice cube, and now he couldn’t breathe.
Just to be sure and partly out of morbid curiosity, I looked in his mouth and then asked him to take a few deep breaths...which he was able to do easily. He still insisted he couldn’t breathe. So I told him to make some hot coffee and then drink it. He asked me, “Why”? I told him that the coffee would melt the ice cube, and he’d be able to breathe again. “Oh, cool. Thanks, man”.
Then I left.
I work in clinical research at a hospital. Basically, for patients who have cancer but don’t have other standard-of-care options, clinical trials, or “experimental treatment”, are a viable option for many. Some people have a negative view of research, but it’s highly regulated and not as scary as it sounds. Anyway, we went through the consent form with this one patient who had a history of substance use.
We don’t know everything about this new medication, but one thing we DO know is that using coke while taking this drug will make your heart “explode”, in layman’s terms. This patient “promised” they were off the sauce and that they “totally wouldn’t do coke while they’re on the trial”. Two weeks later, they relapsed, and well…You can figure out the rest of the story.
Wrestling With Logic
My brother did a rotation in an ER before med school. Paramedics brought in a man with a lacerated neck. He was inebriated and fell into a fish tank. His equally inebriated buddies called 9-1-1. When the paramedics arrived, they realized his friends had put a very tight tourniquet around his neck to stop the bleeding. It turned out that the guy and his buddies had been playing a boozy game of WWE.
He had a two-inch glass shard stuck in his head in addition to the neck laceration, but the dude came into the ER with no idea the glass was there. Four different firefighters had to hold him down as he screamed prejudiced remarks at the female doctor. My brother said that when they removed the glass, blood shot out about 10 feet in the air.
My brother, at that point, silently “noped” the heck out of medicine. He went on to attend Berklee Music School and is living his best life as a musical producer and engineer, and is not arguing with rednecks about whether or not there is a glass shard in their head….
Shear Stupiditya close up of a person laying in a hospital bedPhoto by César Badilla Miranda on Unsplash
I’m an ER nurse with seven years of experience. The list of dumb things I’ve seen is nearly endless. People coming in with massive burns because they smoked in bed is not as rare as you’d think. But the one that got me the most was a guy who came in for chest pain and fatigue. An EKG revealed he was having a really bad heart attack.
We activated the cath lab for emergency stents to hopefully save the guy’s life. They almost always access the patient through the groin for the procedure, so one of our jobs in the ER is to shave the patient’s groin to prep them for the cath lab. We got the clippers out, as we don’t use actual razors anymore, and informed the guy we needed to shave him. This is when things got annoying.
He refused. No problem, we figured we woul adjust let the cath lab do it once he’s knocked out. Nope, the guy refuses to sign the consent for the stents because he doesn’t want his downstairs shaved.
After trying to educate him, pleading with him, and contacting every goddang lawyer the hospital had, the guy signed himself out of AMA and went home.
He would rather die than have his curlies shaved. We looked up his address, and we weren’t the closest hospital to him, so if he passed at home, the medics would have to take him to a different hospital. I doubt he survived the day.
Paws For Thought
I’m a vet. A few years ago, I had a client bring his young cat in complaining of lethargy. Besides being a bit underweight, the physical exam was unremarkable, so I asked more questions about the cat’s diet. I asked him, “What do you feed the cat”? The owner answered, “I feed him [online trendy raw food brand]”. I asked, “How is his appetite? Does he finish what you feed him”? The owner replied, “Yes, he always eats everything”.
Pressing further, I asked, “How much do you feed him”? The owner said, “Half a cup”. For clarification’s sake, I then asked, “Once or twice daily”? What he said next absolutely floored me. He answered, “Once every three or four days”. Shocked, I replied, “…You only feed your cat twice a week”? The owner explained, “I believe in a more natural feeding approach, and based on my research, that’s how often cats eat in the wild”.
This owner was slowly starving his cat into oblivion based on some cockamamie idea he’d made up while watching National Geographic. I had to explain to him that domestic cats are not tigers and that small wildcats eat 10–20 small meals daily. Surprise, surprise, the cat’s lethargy and weight improved with regular feeding.
I once heard a story about a particular patient receiving radiation therapy. It was impressed upon her that she couldn’t miss her fractions of radiotherapy, even if she were busy, so she needed to inform us if she really couldn’t make the appointment. Well, one day, she couldn’t make it. But instead of just informing us, she sent her twin sister to receive the radiation therapy in her place.
Of course, the twin answered yes to all the ID questions and had the same birthday, etc. She was only found out when the radiographers had trouble matching her to the CT. The CT was of a person who had undergone a mastectomy, while this “patient” still had both her mammaries. This story, many years later, is still told to new staff during training to reiterate the importance of ensuring correct identification.
You would be stunned by the number of people who try to skip the queue. The number isn’t high. But it isn’t zero.
It Took Some Arm Twisting
I work in orthopedic rehab. I had a patient with a common fracture of the wrist that a doctor sent over because she was inexplicably getting stiffer and stiffer. I spent 17 sessions with her one on one, 40ish minutes each. But nothing I did worked. For whatever reason, instead of just bending her wrist, she would contort her entire body.
She was married, raised kids, had a career, and was a seemingly functional adult. I tried everything to get her to actively use her muscles to move her wrist. I put her in front of a mirror, filmed videos of myself doing the exercise or her doing it, and tried to get her to spot the difference between moving your shoulder versus moving your wrist.
The last time I saw her, I even strapped her arm to a chair, and she still didn’t understand that she should’ve only been trying to move her wrist. I will never understand it.
There Was No Sugarcoating It
I work at a vet clinic. We get a lot of this sort of thing, oftentimes with diabetic patients. One of the worst I’ve seen was an older owner come in with an extremely overweight, diabetic dog. The owner says the dog has been slow, tires easily, and has been “flopping around”, which is odd for her. The doctor checks the dog’s blood glucose, and it is so high it is literally off the charts.
Normal blood glucose for a dog is around 100 or so. The dog's reading was shocking—it was beyond 1000. We asked the owner how it got so high. Was she eating? She was because she was obese. Were you giving her the insulin? The owner then proceeds to say that they think she’s probably fine without it since she’s a “strong and hardy dog”.
Ma’am, your nine-year-old 80-pound Dalmatian is currently half-alive on the floor because you don’t give her insulin. How they kept that poor dog alive for that long was astounding.
Are You Kidding Me!?a person is holding a picture of a babyPhoto by Amr Taha™ on Unsplash
When I was an intern posted in the obstetric department, I saw a 42-year-old pregnant woman who came for an antenatal checkup. This was her seventh pregnancy, and she had only one living child. So she had five pregnancies previously, which failed (three spontaneous abortions and two stillbirths). The sixth one had been high-risk too, and she’d needed to get a cervical cerclage done (they stitch the cervix because it is too weak to hold a baby in until term).
When the OBGYN asked her why she would put herself through pregnancy again instead of being content with her daughter, she replied, “My in-laws want us to have at least two children”. It was the biggest Pikachu-face moment of my life.
Jesus Took The Wheel Years Ago
I’m an optometrist. I had an elderly patient come in surrounded by concerned family members because the patient ran over one of those pop-up tents on the side of the road that the telephone engineers use to protect themselves from the rain. Luckily no one was hurt as the worker was on lunch. Worried as to how the elderly driver missed seeing a large, red, and white tent in the middle of the day, it was then that the elderly relative admitted to having spent the last three years driving from memory.
Trying Hard To Be Patient
I had a patient come to see me in the clinic on a Monday; everything was fine. By Tuesday morning, she’s on the hospital census with a pending consult for me. When I see her, she says she’s fine and doesn’t know why she was admitted. She then walked out of the clinic, called an ambulance from across the street, and got taken to a different hospital.
She reported her problems were uncontrolled, and nobody was taking her seriously. They transferred her back overnight because I don’t work at that other hospital. She then gets discharged Wednesday morning. On Friday morning, she is again back on the census with a pending consult. I go to see her, and once again, she says she’s fine, and she’s not sure why she’s there.
This time she had a friend pick her up from the hospital and drive her to a small outlying hospital without the services she needed. She walked into the ER and said she was in distress but that nobody was taking her seriously. Yet again, she gets admitted and transferred back to my hospital overnight. She gets discharged on Friday afternoon.
Sure as heck, she came back on Saturday morning. I asked her, “Why do you think you keep getting admitted to the hospital”? She has no clue. Completely baffled. I tell her it’s because she keeps going to hospitals and telling them she needs help. No lights come on. I ask her, “Why do you keep going to other hospitals”?
Finally, she tells me, “I didn’t know what else to do. My apartment is a complete mess. My caretaker won’t clean my apartment because I’m supposed to learn how to do it, and I just don’t want to do it”. Please note that she is not a ward of the state but still gets most of the services, like coaches, guardians, drivers, etc.
So, I follow up with, “But why do you keep telling them that I’m not taking you seriously”? What she said next is forever burnt into my brain. “If I don’t, they just send me home in a cab”.
I’m a dental nurse. My favorite story involved a 30-something-year-old woman who came in for a checkup at the low-cost emergency clinic I worked at. Her teeth were broken and almost black, and her gums were angry, swollen, bright red, and bleeding by just moving her tongue against them. She needed multiple scaling and hygienist appointments and a debridement.
An X-ray showed she needed work on all but her wisdom teeth, and the results made me raise my eyebrows—she needed 10 fillings. She also needed root canals to try and save some teeth and extractions for, I think, three teeth or possibly more if the root canal treatment didn’t work. I explained everything and did the usual explanation of proper oral hygiene.
I then asked her if she had any questions, to which she said, “It’s okay if I lose this set of teeth; my others will come through”. The dentist and I just looked at each other, probably a lot longer than we should have. No words. I couldn’t think of anything to reply to that comment. I had a lot of weird and disgusting things happen at that clinic. I miss working there.
When You Just Can’t Sulfa Fools
I’m a paramedic, and I had this call while working on a rural fire/EMS service. A call came in for an allergic reaction. I arrived at a rural farm and found the patient in the kitchen on the ground, wheezing. Her husband said she took sulfa, which she’s allergic to, and after grabbing her blood pressure, we hit her with epinephrine (which is the same as an EpiPen) and Benadryl.
Her breathing improved, and she started to be able to answer my questions. First, I confirmed her allergy by asking, “So, you’re allergic to sulfa”? The patient says, “Yeah”. I reply, “And you took sulfa”? Again, she goes, “Yeah”. So I asked, “Was it mislabeled or in the wrong bottle”? She answers me with a simple “No”. Okay…
Needing more information, I inquired, “Was it your husband’s prescription”? And unbelievably, she tells me, “No, it was for our horse”. Huh? Feeling a lot more confused, I respond, “Was...Wait, did you say a horse? You took sulfa prescribed for a horse”? She then clarifies, “Well, I only took half”. Sure, that makes it better.
Still trying to follow her logic, I guessed, “...You only took half because a horse is much larger than a person”? The patient confirms, “Yeah”. Uh-huh…I’m still not fully understanding, so I respond, “...Okay. Were you intentionally trying to hurt yourself”? And the patient indignantly answers, “No, of course not”. Exasperated now, I pressed, “But you know you’re allergic, right”?
And she goes, “Yeah. I just have a cold and thought it would help me breathe better”. I couldn’t believe it. Incredulously, I then summarized the situation back to her: “So you took horse sulfa—which you’re allergic to—because you had a cold and thought it would help your breathing”? “I took half a horse sulfa”, the patient corrected me. Good Lord.
I just responded, “Sorry, half. Gotchya. Let’s go to the hospital”.
This Patient Was In A Jamopened white and orange travel trailerPhoto by Muhammed Abiodun Mustapha on Unsplash
I’m a paramedic and was called out for a stroke. The man was having a stroke; upon doing a stroke screen, it looked like the patient had something large in his mouth. Thinking maybe this guy had some sort of oropharyngeal cancer or mass, I asked his wife if this was indeed the case, and she looked at me with a very puzzled look.
She said no, and then I asked, “What is in his mouth”? His wife then says it’s a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that she shoved in there. When her husband’s symptoms started, she thought it was just that his blood glucose was low, so she tried to force-feed this poor man an entire sandwich before she called 9-1-1. Ah, job security.
It Was An Oxidant Waiting To Happen
There was a 24-year-old patient who was brought in from a prison in a rural county. He was working roadside cleanup when he found a bottle in a ditch that he thought contained booze, and he quickly chugged it down. To be fair, it did look like booze. It wasn’t. It turned out it was a substance that contained sulfuric acid. Its pH was less than 2.5...It just ate up the litmus paper. So shortly afterward, he gets to the ICU, and he is in excruciating pain and vomiting blood.
The gastroenterologist took him to do an EGD (basically a procedure where they can look at the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum with a camera attached to a flexible tube), and the pictures were horrendous. You could see his stomach and esophageal mucosa eroding. He had to be sent off to another hospital where they had an esophageal surgeon who could repair the mess.
He, of course, needed multiple surgeries and had a very long hospital stay. I saw him a few months later when he was admitted for another issue. He was down to 90 lbs (from about 150) and was getting fed through a PEG tube. He was very lucky to be young and otherwise healthy (but not very smart).
A Rash Decision
I’m a pharmacist. This story comes to mind, although I’m sure there are plenty more I’m not remembering. A woman came in, claiming that her medication was making her vomit. She said she couldn’t remember what it was called. So, I looked up her profile, but there was nothing recent, just some one-off antibiotics and an anti-fungal from almost a year ago.
I asked her if her medication was over the counter, and she said that it was and pointed me to the Monistat cream. I thought it was incredibly strange that a cream meant for “lady parts” had made her vomit, so I asked her how she had been using it. That’s when I learned the disgusting truth—much to my surprise, she’d been taking it by mouth.
She explained that she would fill the plunger with the cream, shoot it to the back of her throat, and swallow it so she wouldn’t taste it as much as putting it directly on her tongue and swallowing.
What A Meathead
I’m a rural ER doctor. A 35-year-old female walked in with right-sided jaw/neck swelling. She says, “I think it happened because I ate some meat yesterday that my body is reacting to…” Then suddenly, 10 minutes later: “Oh yeah, and I accidentally swallowed a bee, and it stung me in my mouth right before this happened. Sorry, I forgot to mention that”.
When Urine Need Of Some Whizdom
I had an adult male patient who needed a Foley catheter. His mother was in the room, and they both lived together in the backwoods of Tenessee. I informed them both of the order for a catheter, how it worked, and why it was needed. His mother stated, “Well, he’s still a virgin, and I’m not sure I’m comfortable with his virginity being taken in a hospital”.