People Share The 'Dirty Secrets' From Their Profession That Their Bosses Don't Want Customers To Know

There's a lot to learn when starting a new job. Not just from the official training seminar you're forced to go to on Saturday morning at 7am when the sun is barely waking up and the coffee has become a lifeline from heaven, but from the on-the-job experiences. The knowledge you might need to survive would be too much to fit into one-day mandatory introductions, but you'll soon discover any workplace has its secrets you'll need to learn to manage to survive. On the other hand, there's secrets not even the bosses want you to learn, because if you do, then you might take to the internet to talk about them.

Reddit user, u/borborygmi_bubble, wanted to know about the most shrouded secrets when they asked:

What is a "dirty little (or big) secret" about an industry that you have worked in, that people really ought to know?

FRA-GEE-LE. Must Be Italian.

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Your package will not be treated any differently if it has the fragile sticker. Sorry



Unless you're extremely lucky and your aircraft just rolled out of the hangar after major maintenance, there will absolutely be something broken in it. An aircraft can have a whole host of parts be broken and still be allowed to fly, the broken parts just get labeled, recorded, and put on the to-do list for the next time it goes to maintenance.


Licensed Pee Tester

Don't know if this counts but not too long ago when I was working to pay for college I worked in a urinal manufacturer facility (it did other ceramics as well). They still use human pee testers to try out their new urinal designs. Apparently the machines they use for testing aren't as good as real humans yet.

Edit: to confirm I wasn't one of the pee guys. I packed ceramics. The peeing presumably happened at the testing place wherever that was. My boss said they just got people who worked there to pee and they measured sh-t like splash-back etc..


We Already All Agreed To Be Traced

Just how much you're being tracked across the web. It's not exactly a secret that there's tracking going on...people know that it's happening in the abstract. But most people don't understand the scale, detail and invasiveness.

For example, there's a very good chance that a website can determine your gender, race, age bracket and socioeconomic status on your very first visit. And many websites are tracking every click, scroll and mouse movement and sending many of them to the large providers (Google and Facebook, mostly). If most people saw the sheer amount of data about them that was being collected and shared, they'd be horrified.


"Soda. Boogers."

Not me but my aunt, she refuses to get fountain drinks from convenience stores. She said shes like this because of the inside of the soda machines, she calls them soda boogers really its just mold inside of the machine. Apparently the gas station she worked for only really cleaned the soda machine out once a year. Meaning they would just refill it but never would clean the machine


Not All Sizes Are The same

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Your weight hasn't changed, the clothing size ACTUALLY IS wrong.

We often had garment production quotas with a a min/max of 5%, i.e. - if a client wanted 1000 units of a design, the least you could ship was 950 and the max was 1050 units. Sometimes we would be short a few units for a specific size(A - not enough material, B - too many damaged pieces) and had a surplus of the next size up/down. To meet the quotas, we would swap sizing labels.

Now you're thinking, "How would this get past Quality Check (QCs)?" Well, when you have hundreds of boxes filled with 80+ pieces, you won't have time to inspect every single piece. You just skim a few off the top and move on, but what you don't know is that the pieces with altered sizes have been distributed evenly amongst the dozens of boxes of each respective size, and none is the wiser.

Not going to mention any specific brand names, but these garments are often sold at large chains like Macy's. JCPenney, etc.


Feels Like Glass, Bounces Like A Ball

When you buy stuff offline and it gets "damaged" during shipping there a good to fair chance someone was pissed off about something and they took it out on your package... the mentality that goes around is "ehh it's not my stuff". So if you have to shop online... be cautious and try not to order the heavy stuff


You Know Those Plastic Owls You Put On Your Roof? Like That.

If you see what looks like a big dead bird hanging from a cell tower, it's usually a bird effigy purchased specifically to hang there to deter birds from nesting. When (US) federally protected birds like ospreys or eagles nest on a cell tower, it severely limits the access to that tower, especially with nesting eagles. The fastest way to lose your job in the tower industry (besides a fatal accident, god forbid), is to get caught tampering with a bird nest without the proper permissions.


Anything Can Happen In Those Car Bays

Former mechanic. Most know we are paid a bonus based on how much business we do so we have a incentive to find issues in your car and act like it's a bigger issue then it is. The part most don't know is some mechanics will purposely damage stuff for customers who clearly can afford to pay for expensive repair. Add on that if you call out a fellow employee for any of this and let a customer know, you will be blacklisted as word will spread fast. This will make a entire education you paid for from a trade school worthless in your area and is why I'm a former mechanic.

Note: I am only really blacklisted locally and could get a job in a different place or perhaps even now as that was over 5 years ago but I have a new career in IT that also pays well that I am much happier doing.

Forgot to mention that this happen in the USA and can only confirm it happens in the USA where the laws allow a dealership to only sell one manufacturer/brand of car along with franchise laws so monopoly style shady stuff like this is allowed to happen. Because of this the smaller shops are almost always (key word, almost! and only if they have a local competitor) decent at least as their reputation is everything to them. One bad rumor spreads and they take a huge hit so the damaging stuff is only really seen in large dealerships which have the back up of car sales and insurance company preference to make up for any bad press or word of mouth. Still I should again emphasis this is only really a issue in the USA and I do not intend to bash mechanics, lot of them are good, hardworking people, and wish these practices of "look the other way" would stop.


For All Of Us In Retail

When we say "we haven't got it", we know that we haven't got it, we work here, this is our literal job, we don't need to "just check in the back."


And when we do "check the back", we're having a drink, catching up with colleagues, or even just standing for a few seconds, only to walk back out with an apologetic shrug and tilt of the head.


A Secret To Keep Hidden

There are a lot of nurses who are substance abusers. And there are more nurses that divert drugs than you would think. A lot of times they get quietly let go because that's easier for the facility they work at then pressing charges and reporting it to the state.


I think you can just say "healthcare professional." I've seen a lot of colleague substance abuse get tragically brought out in the open across disciplines.



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Burger King's veggie burgers are made on the same machine that makes the beef, so if they are using a drip pan to catch the burgers coming off the chain, your veggie burger is soaked in beef juice (grease.) Even if they aren't using the drip pan, unless they're testing temperatures with veggie burgers (they aren't) before lunch, the veggie burgers still come in contact with the beef. (The original ones that were made from around 2005-2019) didn't touch the beef at all.

That's why it tastes like a real whopper.


The Dispenser

I worked at a frozen yogurt/smoothie joint and we were never shown how to clean the juice dispenser (we made fresh juices to sell but had a juice machine - the same as a soda machine, more or less - to dispense premade juice for the smoothies as this was more efficient) until the health department stopped by for a visit.

I was asked how often we cleaned the insides and was direct about how we were never given instructions to do so, nor how. The inspector knew how, so we opened that mess up, and inside found not only the mould clumps you are describing but also bundles of dead and live fruit flies.

You can bet I then cleaned that freaking piece of crap like crazy, all the time, until the day I quit. Horrifying. I wouldn't be surprised if practices have returned to that level of negligence with whatever staff they now have (given myriad similar issues).


Know your Doctors...

I knew a guy who knew a doctor that got caught using drugs from the hospital's supply. He had to do supervised urine tests for a while. He ended up getting caught faking those because the tests revealed that he was pregnant. He'd been using his girlfriend's urine and a catheter to fill his own bladder with her urine.



I had a friend whose father literally made up a car part that was "out of whack" just to "fix" it for over five hundred dollars. He thought it was funny that the guy didn't know a lot about cars. I don't care how much you know about cars or how much money you think that guy makes, you're a nasty little con artist for a move like that.


The Teacher's Target

Teachers can be among the worst bullies to other teachers that you will ever meet. I was horribly bullied all through my training year, undermined, gaslit and generally made to feel terrible. She wasn't alone in this behavior, I've seen it since. It's left a massive mark on me almost a decade later, and despite great observations and good results from and relationships with my students, I still wildly doubt myself. I'm getting better, but it's taking a lot of practice.



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Former Nandos chef here, they buy the chicken for as little as 25 pence per whole chicken, pressure cook it for 7 minutes, leave them in hot boxes for up to 6 hours, add cheap chemicals instead of any actual spices and sell for roughly 20 times what they paid.


Tallied Down

I used to have a job where I had to check examiners' testing of school exams, basically making sure that they'd correctly added up their own tallies. We'd only check about 20% of exams to begin with and it was pretty shocking. Let's just say a lot of kids get marked down a full grade because of sloppiness. It made me wish I'd requested my own GCSEs and a level papers back.



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Reminds me of a cafe I once worked at. I remember it was a slow day, so the other front worker and I were looking for literally anything to do, when I caught a look at the milkshake mixer. The mixer was fully external, but looked like it hadn't been cleaned in months. At least it gave us something to do for 20 mins? And that thing damn sparkled when we were done with it.


The Replaceable...

Artist. There's the easy dirty secret that is the industry abusing and under paying artists and forcing them to work insane hours.

Then there's the other one: we let them do it. Artists are very egocentric and don't really think about how their actions and cowardice in the face of negotiating pay and better working conditions sets a president for how crappy every other artist will be treated in the future. It's honestly something that disgusts me. We all love to bitch about how crappy the industry treats us but most artists I've talked to also say: well that's just how things are and you really shouldn't complain because you can always be replaced. Lol okay.

I decided early on that I was not gonna allow myself to be mistreated like that for my entire career. If I want better working conditions for artists it starts with myself and how I let others treat me. That isn't easy when you start out but it is slowly starting to pay off and though the nature of the industry (and humans in general) is to try and overwork and under pay you even after you set boundaries, it is YOUR job to negotiate with them and/or tell them no when they squeeze the lemon too hard. Because no one will do it for you and no one gives a crap if you sell your entire life to work for them for minimal pay. They will never value you if you don't value yourself.


Impossible Requests

In the translation industry exists the rule that any translation should be verified and edited by a second, independent translator. It's part of the ISO standard.

But customers demand ridiculous deadlines that can't possibly be met. Instead of saying that, it's common practice to just skip the editing step without telling them because literally lying and breaking contract is apparently better than telling a customer that their demands are just not possible to meet.


Trust Nothing

Hotel Housekeeper here!

There's almost always a bad housekeeper on staff and you never know when you're gonna get put in the rooms they clean. Ask for fresh sheets and towels when you check in. unmake the bed down as far as you can and watch for stains on the mattress pad, pillow protectors, and duvet. Duvets, mattress pads, pillows, and pillow protectors are usually only changed when visibly dirty or wet. Display pillows and blankets, and couch/chair cushions are even worse.

Don't trust anything unless you saw it come into the room clean.

Of the places I've worked The Marriott had the best standards but The Hampton Inn guarantees you a free night if you find ANYTHING wrong.


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Quality Removal

During the last week of open enrollment for medicare plans, one of the biggest health insurance provider in the USA removes all their quality teams (your "make sure they don't do illegal crap" team) to put on the phones to sell and then pushing illegal sales tactics in the name of speed and numbers.

Find an unethical law for over the phone sales, they violated it.


"close enough, nail it"

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With construction it is very common for people to take major shortcuts.. especially when working for national builders. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the phrase "close enough, nail it" in my short time of 4 months while working there.


Out it goes.

Post office (specifically mail sorting): Your letters can be eaten by our sorting machines, even super important ones. If the address becomes unrecognizable, we literally throw those letters out as they cannot be delivered. So whether it be your cheque, a bill, divorce papers, that letter from your little niece with a hand-braided wristband inside, that custom made hairpin you ordered from an artist online or birthday cards with money; If it gets eaten by the sorting machine, we can only try to reconstruct it, seal it and deliver it anyway but if not? Out it goes.

Quite often this happens randomly, just bad luck. But most of the times, it's because the letters are not according to the norm, aka they're too hard/unflexible/thick, they have foreign objects inside (such as coins, rings, other jewelry etc.) or too thin (a lot of brochures/flyers have that issue, they're made out of one single layer of plastic coated paper). These letters then jam our machines, which we use to sort hundred/thousands if not millions of letters every single day. Then the machine may tear them apart and even if the content is still fine, if we can't read an address (or even return address) there is nothing we can do.

TL;DR: If your letters get messed up by our automatic sorting machines and we can't read the address any longer, you/the recipient are screwed.


Mouthing Off

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Working in IT at a few different firms we had a habit of really bad mouthing the customers behind our back about how stupid they were.


Kitchen Nightmares

Every chef I've ever worked for knows that the second the government pulls into the parking lot, you yell "HEALTH DEPARTMENT," and everyone in the kitchen cleans everything spotless. Meanwhile, the hostess spends five minutes walking in a circle before coming back with the FOH manager who chats up the HD employee for ten minutes. During all of this, sous chefs are putting fresh labels on every container in the walk in, the butcher is putting all meat back in the fridge and then taking a twenty minute smoke break, all sani buckets are replaced, and everything is wiped down, swept, and mopped.

With a brigade of twenty people, a restaurant can go from failing to effortlessly passing. If you go to a full scale sit down restaurant and the inspection is sketchy, dude, that place is a damn Kitchen Nightmares level of disgusting. If you go to a small pizza place or Subway style sized restaurant, it's safe to assume they had zero time to prepare and the rating is close to accurate.


Speed Up

Fast food joints? Yeah they probably aren't following any of the hygiene protocols.

I worked washing my hands up to the elbow every 30 minutes, using the designated spatulas for different objects. Manager showed up with her hands unwashed straight out of her filthy mouse & keyboard, grabbed the burger I was making with her bare hands and assembled it in a fast and messy way. Said ''See? Like that. You gotta be faster.''

I was sorry for the client who was gonna eat that. So yeah, especially during this Covid crisis, be wary. Those places are way dirtier than they look.


The Dots

Realtor here. Builders can put little SOLD dots on any and all condos they want in a development. This convinces buyers that there are "ONLY A FEW LEFT!!" Meanwhile, barely any have sold.


A-HA Moment

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There big secret to therapy is that you, the patient, actually have to do things differently between sessions. In order to "change", you gotta change.

I swear it is like the surprised Pikachu meme when clients find out this information.


Day people

Daycare workers are severely underpaid and understaffed. Most staff don't even earn the equivalent of one child's tuition a year, let alone the 12-20 students in their class. The student:teacher ratio they tell you is a lie. There's high turnover because admin usually sucks.

When choosing a daycare, look at the staff. Are they happy, or do they look tired and overworked? Do the toys/materials look like they need to be replaced? If staff looks surprised when you walk in for a tour, there's zero communication going on between admin and staff.

Also ask for names of staff (most rooms will have 2-3 teachers). If they can't give you the names of 2-3 staff members who will consistently be with your child, the place sucks.

There is no distinction between daycare/learning center/"school". Just be happy that your child will be safely cared for while you work; some staff have an associate's or even a Bachelor's degree, but most only have a high school diploma or GED.


Taking Liberties

Nurses do not always follow doctors orders. Been a nurse for 10 years now and I've seen countless nurses be like "oh Mr. Smith won't stay off his call light and go to bed, I'm gonna give him some Ativan and a Benadryl tonight" Mr. Smith doesn't have orders for these meds so they sign them out from another patients supply and drug Mr. Smith.

They also frequently fake vital signs, pop meds without looking at orders, fake assessments, withhold meds out of laziness, fake notes to make patients they don't like seem more combative... all kinds of crap!

Most of this stuff goes unreported and management turns a blind eye because they desperately need staff.


High End Gross

Recently worked (also quit) at a high-class restaurant with HORRIBLE hygiene standards.

Glasses were all spotted and dirty, again forsaking hygiene for the sake of speed. Tables were COVERED with dry wax, once I cleaned a bunch of them to reveal a white color underneath all that, I THOUGHT THEY WERE BROWN AT FIRST. On top of this, during COVID crisis, they put up ''Table sanitized and disinfected. Wash your hands!'' sign on all the tables, and I can confirm they were lying their asses off.

I decided I was done with the food industry. They don't respect anyone's standards but their own.


Do Room Temp...

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Since I was a waitress a few years ago, I've learned not to trust the hygiene standards around ice and sugar cubes.


Enjoy that chocolate & wafer bar

I worked in a chocolate factory making bars with wafers in the middle. The chocolate has to be liquid when the wafer drops in. The wafer machine was on a bridge over the chocolate moulds. Someone had to regularly restock the wafer machine. To keep chocolate in that state it has to be hot. The people working in that hot room sweat. Sweat may or may not fall from the person on the wafer bridge onto the chocolate below.

Enjoy that chocolate & wafer bar.


Keeping the Sexy Fresh...

Hollister, Abercrombie, etc. hire employees and officially call them models so they can be discriminatory and hire the ones that they think are most attractive. They also only give employees a couple of shifts a week so that customers see new people working there regularly.


Gloves Off

In the blood and plasma industries. You don't change gloves anywhere near as often as you should. Frankly, it's because you have to work at a very fast pace and you can't get gloves on sweaty hands fast.



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The principal scientists in competitive research industries don't act like how scientists should.


Road Damage

Ambulances are not well maintained at all. They're on the road for 24 hours, often miss safety checks, documentation is falsified, and get subpar repairs done to get them "roadworthy" again.

I know a lot of people who like to buy ex-service vehicles thinking they've been looked after but it couldn't be farther from the truth.


Trays Up

The trays on the cinemas are dirty as hell, you'll be surprised on how dirty people can be. Technically employees have to wash them properly in the sink but sometimes, (specially weekends) there are so many people that they just use a cloth (that also gets pretty dirty after a couple of trays). I can't assure that this happens in every cinema but just take your precautions don't assume that they are clean.


Being Vocal

Most every vocal recorded has been tuned. All drum sounds have samples layered in. Guitars are most often blended from 3-4 different tones into one. All instruments and vocals have been edited to be more in time. Music takes a lot of artists a REALLY long time to make and most of it is helped in ways that aren't acoustic.


Craft Fail

If the artist feels the need to prove to you that the art is good, it either isn't or they don't think it is. When the artist explains what their piece symbolizes and how it should make you feel on their social media posts, they're often over compensating for what they perceive as lackluster craftsmanship.

Also, those overpriced low effort art pieces you see (and many mock) are probably being used to launder money.


Scrub Please

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Wash your produce. It has definitely been on the floor.


In a 'float'

Transfer money from one bank to another. Until 80's maybe early 90's(?) it was done by sending a magnetic tape in mail or courier, and it really took 2-3 days. Today banks are all hooked up and a transfer takes minutes if not seconds but the money still takes up to 2-3 days, the money are kept in a 'float' where the bank earns, and you lose.


Berry People

I used to work on a blueberry farm. Sprayed Roundup all around the rows, put fertilizer on stuff, harvested by machine.

The law in the state I worked said that after you go over the bush twice to harvest the ripe berries, any OTHER berries you get can be labeled as "wild" berries. So watch out in the store if you see them and have pictures in your head about tiny hidden blueberry patches in the wilderness. Nope.


Security Fail

Security guard.

In the event of an active shooter, we're not going to protect you. Our first priority is to locate the nearest exit and get out of the building; failing that, find the securest room we can & barricade ourselves in it.

This is for unarmed security; armed security may have different orders.



In retail they hardly hire anyone as full time if it means you will be entitled to benefits. They will also schedule you as a "split shift" say 1-5 and 6-9 so that they don't have to offer you paid breaks.


Know It All

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Your nanny knows everything about you. I know when you've been fighting, I know your embarrassing secrets, I know what your underwear looks like and when you're on your period or having marital issues. I spend 50+ hours a week in your home and whatever I don't see myself your kids tell me about it.



ACI logistics Bangladesh. When you're shopping there, chances are you're buying useless crap 95% of the time. the salesmen get daily bonus if they can push sale to a certain amount.


All the Value...

Real estate assistants with little to no experience or knowledge often are the ones who, not only "calculate", but send you the message saying that your home has "gone up in value" and try to convince you to sell... nothing about these properties really has to change. The inflation is all so that people in real estate can make their money. Most of the time, that's the only reason housing values/prices "increase" without any kind of renovation.


Thrown About

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Your checked luggage at the airport gets freaking thrown so hard multiple times and if it says fragile or a guitar case, your screwed.


Person wearing a Pride Equality cap
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