During my very first week of my very first job I had a woman place a pair of freshly urine-soaked store panties into my hand as "punishment" for not having public restrooms. Florida Woman is so very, very real, fam.
One Reddit user asked:
That's the incident that immediately came to mind, but I'd be lying if I said I was 100% certain it's really the worst job moment. Holiday retail work is a dystopian hell-scape and everyone should be required to serve at least one season.
Think I'm lying? You'll notice a theme that keeps coming up in people's stories ...
I'm a plumber
Owner of a mobile home called and said they had a stinky yard.
I could smell it when I pulled up.
The mobile home was brand new and had only been set up for about 8 months. While setting it up, someone didn't tighten a no-hub band of the toilet in the kids bathroom.
8 months of flushed toilet was all over the ground under the home and had just started being noticed outside.
I told the homeowner to call the guys that set it up to come fix it. I wasn't crawling under there.
Back when I did plumbing went out to a job that required us to crawl into the crawl space of about a 200 year old mill house.
I opened up the crawl space and shined my light in there across the crawl space to see all the rafters and pipes just draped in snake skins and some snakes slithering away into the darkness. Noped the f*ck out of that one.
I'd rather crawl though sh*t than snakes.
DVDon't Carestealing bart simpson GIF Giphy
I worked at Circuit City when I was 17. I heard the noise of packaging being opened in the movie section and found a guy crouched down cutting open DVD boxes & stealing the discs.
He looked at me, held his knife out and said "Got a problem?"
I just replied "I don't get paid enough for this sh*t" & backed off. I went to the back room of the warehouse area to call a manager to tell them what happened.
Never could get a hold of anyone so I just chilled in the warehouse area for a half hour to decompress.
I worked at a movie store in a mall when I was in my early 20's. I probably would've confronted the guy like an idiot. I had a dumb sense of duty back then, a mothaf*ckin' crusader.
One time I chased a shoplifter out of the store down the mall until security was able to tackle them, he did try to steal like 1k+ of merch but it was stupid, people get killed for less.
You did the right thing.
I also worked at Blockbuster in college for chump change.
A bunch of dudes shoplifted the f*ck out of us and when me and the other guy confronted them about it, they ran out of the door. District Manager asked why I didn't put myself between them and the door to protect the merchandise.
I told them for minimum wage I'm not putting myself in danger to keep a giant corporation from losing some twizzlers and a copy of Friday and Armegeddon.
$7.25 Per Hour Either Way
Grocery store cashier. The customer was angry because her cereal had rung up wrong. I called a price check and this lady berated me the whole time. I recall that she accused me of trying to steal from her. Said she was going to get me fired.
I looked at her and said, "I make $7.25 per hour no matter how much you pay for this cereal, so I do not give a sh*t how this situation turns out."
She stared at me in shock. The price check comes back saying the price scanned correctly.
I said, "So do you want the cereal or not?"
She said, "Yes." And that was that. She did not complain to the manager.
A Master's Degree In Pee
I'm a public librarian.
I was helping someone in the computer room and turned to tell someone he needed to keep his exclamations at the video he was watching down. Just then, the woman I was helping leapt aside because the man I was shushing pissed himself.
It ran down onto the jacket he had tied around his waist, down the chair, onto the ground.
Turns out he'd snuck in alcohol and was totally black out drunk. I told him he had to leave. He put the piss covered jacket on and stumbled out.
As I returned with gloves and cleaning supplies, another patron decided this was a good time to complain about some kids who were making noise.
I took a deep breath and said "This is a good time for us all to appeal to our higher selves and do our best in the moment. Please just adapt for a minute."
Then I thought about the student loans I took out for the master's degree as I scrubbed up piss.
A Literal Sh*t Show
Bagging groceries at a major supermarket. The manager came over to tell me that I needed to clean up the bathroom.
An elderly gentleman fell off the toilet while pooping and it was a literal sh*t show. Apparently I was the most qualified because I was 16. I was handed a broom and a dustpan, I sh*t you not (sorry had to.)
My reward for going above and beyond the call of duty? Five dollars in store coupons. Sometimes dreams really do come true.
"I Hold Madonna Responsible"ray of light madonna GIF Giphy
I used to work in a mall music store, back when that was a thing. There was a corporate policy to play new music regularly, y'know, because that's the thing you're trying to sell.
My boss, every single day she worked, would play the entire Madonna album Ray of Light. Hours of the same eight f*cking songs. For most of a year, until it was either go mad, commit murder, or bail.
I bailed. I literally quit over it.
That music franchise went under a little over a year later. I hold Madonna and my old boss responsible.
Prime Location For Thieves And Weirdos
I was a manager for a well known lingerie store. Our location was in a failing suburban mall. The store was giant and shaped oddly. There were dressing rooms in odd hidden corners and a few blind spots.
The store was located at the end of the mall next to other stores no one really went to, so there wasn't much foot traffic. We were also always short staffed because no one wanted to work out there. All of those factors made us a prime location for thieves and weirdos.
I would have to do laps around the store due to its layout, and I would regularly come across people doing sex stuff in this one secluded little dressing room. The dressing room was in a sort of alcove and was the least visible spot in the store, so it was prime real estate for all kinds of shenanigans.
It ranged from women doing strip teases for men, to catching couples having oral sex, to catching couples having penetrative sex.
I couldn't take it anymore. I put in my notice the next day.
What was crazy was that corporate always shrugged or laughed it off when I would call and complain that we needed a security guard. I was 21 at the time, and every woman that worked their was between 19-30; it was a safety issue.
They'd also blame us for all the merchandise theft, which we were unable to prevent because there weren't enough bodies in that gigantic store to prevent it.
I was also dating a guy who also worked in the mall, and he told me that they finally closed up that one dressing room not long after I left. He said a lot of folks were pissed because apparently that one little dressing room was a well-known open secret spot for hooking up.
A Javelina's Head
First day at the health department, I'm left at the reception desk alone while literally everyone else in the office went out to a farewell lunch for the person I was replacing. As I was on 90 day probation, wasn't yet licensed and badged, my pay was $7.96/hr.
I'm sitting at reception, and some redneck comes in with a leaking garbage bag and drops it on my desk. It contains a newly be-headed javelina head.
His buddy had been bitten, and it needed to be tested for rabies ASAP.
I had no fucking clue what to do with a bloody leaking garbage bag of javelina head. He couldn't wait for others to return, so he left a number and split.
Turns out, we don't do that sort of thing at the health department. Guy refused to come back.
The Register Light
I worked at Walmart for less than a month in 2009. I scanned a big box fan for a guy and it didn't ring up, so I said "I gotta do a price check on this, I apologize."
The guy said "It's $24.99 you f*cking idiot."
I stared at him for a moment, then reached up and turned my little register light off, turned around, walked out to my car, and went home.
F*ck that shit.
Alone With An Armed Violent Felon
I used to be a counselor at a methadone clinic. Had a client who was going to prison for slitting the throats of his ex-wife's beloved Rottweiler because "I couldn't kill her and it was the best way to hurt her. "
The day he was supposed to go to prison, he showed up at the clinic well after dosing hours demanding his dose. He was no longer on the clinic so, legally, there was no way to do this.
I stood behind the counter and tried to explain the situation to him. He grew more and more irate and then called his lawyer and put me on the phone with him.
His lawyer explained dude didn't show up for prison, was now a fugitive and had pulled a knife on his own sister in her car just outside my clinic. So, dude had a knife. Lawyer told me not to piss dude off. He was violent and to call the cops.
By this point, every other therapist and office worker had gone home. So I told the lawyer thanks, hung up the phone and mosied the f*ck out of the front office and called the cops from the break room.
Dude hopped over the counter and trashed the place then left.
The bosses asked why I didn't stay and make sure he didn't trash the place and ruin stuff. I explained they paid me $10.50 an hour and refused my raise. I was the only man in the building and was left alone with an armed violent felon.
F*ck their stuff.
Undercover In A Booth
I work the lowest type of paid security. My co-workers are literal grannies, disabled people, and hobos. We are not imposing.
I got put on guard duty outside of some garage. There was literally nothing important anywhere close, but they were paranoid about hooligans after the big local derby. Fair enough. Off I go to "guard" the garage.
It all actually went nicely for a while. But then cops showed up, the big guys from our company showed up (with all kinds of additional equipment I never could use) and whoops they escalated the whole situation. The people were fine and friendly til officers arrived.
I couldn't see anything, I could only hear it around the corner. I even left my post to check, but still didn't see anything.
Apparently a violent mob broke loose and was heading in my direction. I had no protection or anything (unarmed security guard all alone) so I took my boss' keys from the not-so-secret location and opened the garage ticket booth - which was closer in size to a phone booth.
I locked it, turned off all the lights and radios, took off my uniform and wore my regular clothes and acted like I was still there to sell tickets.
Anyone halfway informed would've seen through that disguise for so many obvious reasons. I prayed nobody actually tried to buy a ticket or ask questions. At the same time, I couldn't run away either.
The mob rampage was real.
At many points I thought they were gonna throw the whole booth over, but I was lucky.
Destruction hit everything else but the mob somehow respected me and left my booth untouched.
The boss told me the company was pleased that I "protected" the booth.
Honestly, I don't even know what I was supposed to do.
My boss obviously already knew of the mob, so me radioing them would've done nothing. The cops were already there... Really, I should've gone home, but my task was to stay outside and stand in front of the garage, so I did ... so stupid.
The Big Guy
Worked at a bar back in the day.
This big guy had had WAY too much to drink (think colleagues were scared to stop serving him....he was BIIIIG.) As I went to serve him, I saw his condition and refused him.
I genuinely thought he would pass out or worse if he had any more.
He proceeded to grab me by my shirt collar from the other side of the bar, grab his whiskey glass with his other hand and go to smash me over the head.
Luckily his friend (just as drunk, but not a trash person) tackled him to the ground midway through his motion. This was the first of a few similar instances with the same big guy.
He went after a few colleagues and customers.
Loved The Jobnicki minaj dog GIF by DNCE Giphy
I worked at the front desk of a large humane society doing pretty standard front desk stuff (AKA not a vet or trained professional). I can't count the amount of times people put ziplock baggies of literal dog sh*t infested with living parasites on my desk, near my coffee, or just stuck 2 inches in front of face.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVED that job, but I literally did not get paid enough for that sh*t.
The Excitement He Needed
When I was in college, I had a job taking care of a man who had multiple sclerosis. Basically just helping him with his exercises in the morning, watch TV with him, and then go for a walk in the afternoon. Honestly it is the best job I've had, the man was so nice and had a resilience to him that was unlike anything I've ever witnessed.
Anyway, he is in an electrical wheelchair that he would control. The curbside was very high off the road in his area, so anytime we'd be on a curb side I'd tell him to be careful.
At times one pair of wheels would be on the curb and the other on the road. He could see that I would tense up and go close to him. One day he finally said:
"Don't worry this wheelchair has a strong centre of gravity! It will never fall off"
It did in fact look heavy and sturdy.
Well. We were in front of a baseball field and it made him think of a joke. He had difficulty pronouncing because of the multiple sclerosis, so I had to make him repeat like 5 times.
I finally got the joke and it was really funny. We were laughing. We were on a curbside.
I still remember his wheelchair falling, SO SLOWLY. Because of that strong centre of gravity.
My heart was pounding in my chest. I held his head as he was falling with his wheelchair. I recall being there, sitting in the middle of the road, with his head in my hands, yelling for help as I knew I could never lift up this 200 pound wheelchair and his owner.
I think I can safely say I wasn't paid enough for that job. We eventually got help and he wasn't hurt one bit. Said it was the excitement he needed since nothing ever happened to him. He laughed it off. Such a great soul.
Nearing the end of KB Toys, at least in the mall where I worked.
Assistant manager "found" a bunch of ripped open WWE figure packages. They called loss prevention in. I was accosted over stealing figures, because I was the only employee who bought figures at that store - or I was until that assistant started there.
He was also a big wrestling fan.
After about 20 minutes of continued baseless accusations, I got up, threw my shirt in that assistant's face and said "f*ck you I don't need this" and walked out.
Guessing they closed the investigation off as though I did it and was terminated for it. A couple of years later, I applied to Game Crazy and was declined a position because my name showed up in a national theft database for around $200.
Of course it was after KB was closed, so I had no legal recourse.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Y'all know that one Hannah Montana song? “Everybody makes mistakes! Everybody has those days!" That's the song I sing to myself every time I accidentally burn myself while making ramen. It comforts me to know, however, that there are a lot of worse mistakes out there than some spilled ramen. Who knew?
In fact, some mistakes are so astronomical that they're remembered for decades afterwards, leaving the one who made the mistake a legacy of being a dumba**. Here are a few of them!!!
Some may argue that the existence of the Universe was a mistake. I disagree. It was clearly Zayn leaving One Direction. But these next few were pretty bad too.
If you do the math, this is also the reason why Hentai exists.
I'll say the wrong turn Franz Ferdinand's driver made that went right in front of Gavrilo Princip.
EDIT: yes I'm aware war may still have broken out even if Franz Ferdinand wasn't assassinated
Imagine you're Gavrilo Princip. The assassination plot you and your friends had been cooking up for about the last year or so has been a complete and total disaster, just a monumental f*ck-up of the highest degree. You're staked out at this deli thinking maybe, just maybe the car will pass by, and by some stroke of sheer luck, it does.
If you're Princip, this is nothing short of serendipity.
Petition to return to the ocean.Ocean Surf GIFGiphy
"Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans."
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move." - Douglas Adams
This was, in fact, a monumental mistake.
Sears not beating Amazon to the punch.
Blockbuster not buying Netflix.
You thought THOSE were bad? Well gear up for their next few, because they are 100% accurate. Except the one about Cats, that movie slaps.
I don’t know sports, but sure.
Seahawks not running it.
I used to wear a Seahawks jersey whenever I took a test because I knew I would pass when I shouldn't.
CATS is great, y'all are just boring.Giphy
The Emoji Movie.
That live action movie about Cats is also up there.
Very fair point.
Humans are not wired to have that many social interactions and maintain that many relationships. Plus the echochambers it allows people to create for themselves, no matter how conspiratorial or vile their beliefs, means that stupid/evil people are no longer shunned into changing their mind.
Not sure it was worth being able to see what a celebrity had for lunch or what new "dance" your younger cousin and her tween friends are doing.
But in all seriousness, some horrible things may now have happened if the right thing was halted at the right time.
Washington called it.George Washington Disney GIF by Hamilton: An American MusicalGiphy
Voting for people based on what side of the political spectrum they're on. George Washington himself advised against political parties because he thought they would cause too much division in this country. Unfortunately for everyone, he was right.
Big oops on that one.
Barack Obama mocking Donald Trump at the Correspondents Dinner might have led directly to his 2016 run....
"Now, I know that he's taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald," Obama said. "And that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter — like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?"
Then he turned serious: "But all kidding aside, obviously, we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example — no, seriously, just recently, in an episode of 'Celebrity Apprentice' — at the steakhouse, the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around. But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn't blame Lil Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled."
This is the best Star Wars and no one can change my mind.
I'll take 'Star Wars Christmas Special' for $100.
That atrocious pile of manure gave us Boba Fett, so without the Christmas Special there won't be The Mandalorian.
Wow, in this article, I openly admitted my love for Cats AND The Star Wars Holiday Special. So maybe my existence was the biggest mistake of all.
ANYWAY, I hope you enjoyed, and I hope you all feel a little bit better about yourself. Because when push comes to shove, at least you didn't accidentally start World War I
When I was younger, it seemed every adult believed that you couldn't swim for several hours after eating. Why did they all believe this? I fought them on this all the time, by the way. I shouldn't have had to, just because I'd eaten some barbecue during a pool party. Guess what, though? That belief is unfounded.
After Redditor MelonInACat asked the online community, "What is a common myth that has been debunked that too many people believe?" people told us about the myths that are still around despite credible evidence.
"Do you know how many wellness checks..."
You must wait 24 hours before reporting a missing person.
- 24 hours from when? The time you realized they were missing? The time you estimate they went missing? The time of the initial report to police?
- Who is the legal timekeeper? If this is a law, it must have a designated timekeeper for official records. City police? County sheriff? Do I hire a private attorney to file a time-keeping motion in court?
- If the most likely time to find a missing person is the first 24 hours, why would you wait 24 hours?
- If the person dies or is severely injured because the county/state refused to initiate a search, doesn't that put some liability on their office? It seems like that would've been tested in court by now.
There's no law governing how long you have to wait before notifying the police of a missing person. It's nonsense. File a report as soon as you suspect the person is missing or in danger.
Do you know how many wellness checks officers go on in a day? Call it in, man...
CALL IT IN!
Why would you wait so long? It's absurd and wastes valuable time. And in the event something has happened, you could very well be saving someone's life.
"Popping your knuckles..."
Popping your knuckles is actually harmless and the "study" that claimed it caused arthritis was heavily flawed. Studies now show that it has nothing to do with causing arthritis.
I heard this one all the time.
I didn't crack my knuckles anyway because I didn't understand the appeal. Why were all the first-graders so fascinated by this?
"That if you get too close..."
That if you get too close to a baby bird, the mother will smell human on the baby and abandon the nest.
You probably should still avoid touching baby birds for other reasons like disease or risking injury to the animal though.
"That waking a sleepwalker..."
That waking a sleepwalker is dangerous for them. They might wake up confused, but they'll be fine unless you scream at them or something.
"That your hair and fingernails..."
That your hair and fingernails still grow after you die. It's mainly an optical illusion. Your skin decays and shrinks, causing hair and fingernails to look like they've grown.
I grew up hearing this.
There are entire generations of people who believe this.
"We all know the story."
The War of The Worlds broadcast in 1938. We all know the story: Orson Welle's broadcast War of The Worlds over the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). But people only tuned in partway through and heard the radio announcing that machines were landing in the country and were advancing and attacking. People panicked in the streets and thought aliens really were invading. There was hysteria on the streets, people were looting and traffic jams backed up as people tried to escape.
But it turns out, that isn't really true. It turns out barely anyone actually listened to the broadcast, and the few that were listening knew it was Orson Welles and knew it was just a broadcast of War of the Worlds. If there was anyone that did tune in and mishear it and panicked, it was nowhere near the hundreds and thousands that have been reported in this myth.
This one is definitely a popular urban myth by this point.
Cool story, but nowhere near as exciting as you might have heard. If anything, that mythos probably helped Welles get full artistic control of the projects, like Ciitizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, that made him a star.
"You don't have to wait..."
You don't have to wait 3 hours after eating to swim. Every summer I have to fight my in-laws about it.
"Do you really think..."
That not turning your airplane mode on (smartphone) can interfere/jam communications.
Do you really think if a smartphone might endanger a whole plane with passengers they would let it fly?
"No amount of reasoning..."
That cats kill babies.
I've run into this so many times since having kids. And it's not the older grandmas making these statements. I've had 20-year-olds tell me that you can't have cats if you plan to have babies because "they'll steal their breath" or some other variation. No amount of reasoning or rationale will dissuade them of this belief.
"Maybe it's just one of those things..."
YOUR. BLOOD. IS. NOT. BLUE! Seriously tho, I was told that everyone's blood was blue on the inside when I was younger, and I honestly don't know why my Mom thought that. Maybe it's just one of those things that you only believe because your family has been saying it since your Grandma's Grandpa's Grandma's Grandma's Grandpa or something like that.
Here's some valuable advice, guys:
Google is your friend. It's very easy to debunk this stuff. I remember being taught that the tongue had taste zones––we even had to fill out a worksheet labeling the tongue's different zones. That's totally wrong, in case you haven't figured it out.
Have some myths you've heard you'd like more people to know have already been debunked? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
As much as we're not supposed to feel satisfaction upon observing the struggles of other people, it can be hard to resist a silent, internal fist pump when some blunder occurs immediately after we tried to help the person prevent it.
It is all a result of stubbornness.
The person we're trying to help is stubborn. They think they know the best way to do something, or the exact information required for a given moment.
And, on top of that, they think we're being stubborn when we try to intervene.
So all of our attempts to help fall on deaf ears. And the results can be as calamitous as they are satisfying.
TenaciousBrit asked, "What's your 'I told you so' moment?"
Many people chose to talk about the times their friends or family ended up producing some truly entertaining physical comedy.
And the laughter was only enhanced with the knowledge that they'd just predicted the whole thing.
"Was picking beans with my sister and mom. To this day I still don't know why the fence was electric but it was. I touched it and I got zapped. It wasn't too bad but it hurt. I jumped away and my sister saw me, I said that it was an electric fence."
"Of course she just thought I was pranking her. I was trying to tell her the whole time we picked beans but she didn't believe me. Right at the end she touched the fence and she didn't see it coming at all... Her face was just like, 'Oh shi-' "
"Loved the car ride home, 'I told you... Idiot.' "
No Babies, Two Hurt Backs
"My sister and I were out sledding when we were kids at this place with a really steep hill. I had unknowingly gone down a sled path that had a jump in it, and when I landed it really hurt my back."
"So when I got back up to the top of the hill I told my sister 'don't go that way, the jump really hurts.' She called me a baby and didn't believe me that it really hurt so she decided she would go down that path on her sled."
"Well, she hit the jump and didn't get back up, turns out she fell so hard she had broken her leg. When we finally got her back up the hill and to the car, I got to tell her 'I told you so.' "
"This dumb a**hole woman wouldn't leave the llamas at our petting zoo alone, even after I warned her."
"Eventually they had enough and spit alllll over her. Green goopy spit from head to torso."
"She threw up a bunch and I laughed. Until I smelled it and then I was retching too."
Others recalled the times they trusted their instincts, only to be gaslighted by medical professionals.
But they did, eventually, get the help they needed. And the mixture of pride and frustration toward the other doctor was palpable.
"Had a weirdly dark freckle. The color of chocolate. I showed spouse and he called me a hypochondriac and if I go to a doctor, I'd be wasting their time."
"I went to the dermatologist. It was melanoma."
Years of Itchy Apples
"Since I was 14, my throat got itchy when I ate apples. I told my mom but she thought I just didn't want to eat apples and forced me to eat them."
"Went to the doctor's office and got a test for allergies."
"Turns out, I'm allergic to apples, peaches, and many other fruits."
This Was a Baby We're Talking About Here!
"My newborn baby was projectile vomiting after every feeding. I took her to the doctor several times, always ended up being sent away with suggestions to try a different formula. I tried like 4 different ones, no change."
"The 4th or 5th visit, they sent me away again with the same recommendation even though I pleaded with them to figure out what was wrong with my baby. I left the office and drove to the ER instead. She ended up having emergency surgery that day."
"The surgeon said she would have starved to death (or maybe dehydrated?) had she gone much longer without the surgery. I gave the doctors in that office a piece of my mind."
Dirt: Not Always the Answer
"Went to the doctor on and off for breathing problems to no avail. A lot of 'rub some dirt on it' mentality. Wound up in the ER as a result of an asthma attack. Kept the bracelet on and everything when I went back the next week to see him."
"Not as satisfying as I would've hoped."
And some people discussed the times they knew or predicted a piece of information, but couldn't seem to persuade someone else through dialogue or conversation.
But, of course, the truth always comes out.
Chose the Wrong Partner
"Lawyer here. Fired a partner who I found some real irregularities in their spending habits vs. what they were making after he couldn't provide a good answer to where it came from. Other partner left and started a new firm with them because they disagreed with my decision and refused to look at the evidence."
"Turns out he stole 500k of a clients money, got disbarred, and is now facing prison time. I told her to look at the evidence and she didn't listen. 🤷🏼♂️"
"Someone started talking about a bottle of Newman's Own salad dressing while at dinner with my family and I said something like 'I'm pretty sure that was started by the Actor/Race car driver Paul Newman.' to which one of my siblings replied 'No it was someone else.' "
"I grabbed the bottle and turned it around and started reading the label out loud. The first sentence was 'Paul Newman's career was acting, but his passion was auto racing.' I stopped reading after that."
He Knew Immediately
"Bed frame wasn't properly lashed down while moving, partner insisted the weight of the frame would keep it in place."
"Flew into the middle of a major intersection on a left turn. We dodged four lanes of oncoming traffic to collect the pieces."
"I fixed my partner with a look that could peel paint, and he said 'I know, I know, you told me so and you're right. I'm sorry.' "
"I still give him sh** for it every time we move something. It's funny now, but god damn was I pissed at the time."
We can draw a couple of lessons from this list.
First, know that, at the end of the day, you can only do your best to share your opinion. You need to accept that they're going to do what they're going to do.
Second, when someone tries to give you advice, maybe take a moment to listen.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
One of the most upsetting aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic––which is saying a lot, frankly––is the number of people who have been so affected by misinformation and disinformation. You know the ones to which I refer: These are the people who are convinced the virus is a hoax despite the lives it's claimed and the devastation it has wrought on society at large. Disinformation kills––there are stories of people who remained convinced that Covid-19 is a hoax even while intubated in the ICU, even up to their last breath.
After Redditor asked the online community, "Doctors of Reddit, what happened when you diagnosed a Covid-19 denier with Covid-19?" doctors and other medical professionals shared these rather unsettling stories.
"The one that sticks out in my mind..."
I'm a doctor working in acute internal medicine. I've seen lots of COVID over the last 12 months, probably 300+ cases. The one that sticks out in my mind the most was a 70-year-old lady with COPD. She refused to have a vaccine because she didn't trust it despite the fact she was eligible for one for weeks beforehand (in the UK). Subsequently caught COVID and was admitted to hospital. She repeatedly doubted this was the diagnosis. She refused to go to our COVID High Dependency Unit despite quite significant respiratory failure. Of course, she deteriorated over a number of days to the point where she was on maximal oxygen on the ward and at that point finally accepted treatment in HDU with high flow oxygen, although continued to doubt she had COVID. Died within 24 hours of her HDU admission having refused to go to ICU.
And of course, what did her family say? They were convinced she never had COVID and even went as far as accusing us of withholding life-saving treatment from her. Unfortunately, there's no treatment for stupidity.
Indeed there isn't.
A completely avoidable tragedy.
"My worst experience..."
My worst experience was when a 2-year-old kid got diagnosed with COVID. His mother had brought him with c/o fever and diarrhea. The child was severely dehydrated and so we had to do a mandatory swab test since we planned to admit him. It came positive and the mother refused to admit it. We were ready to perform a repeat test and we even advised the parents to get tested. Her defense was "The child never left the house. It's just me and the father who go to work daily. The grandmother babysits while we are away. How can he even get COVID without leaving the house." She had called her husband, he came with 10-15 relatives in a car, they broke a few chairs and then left with the baby. We just informed about the case to the COVID control centre.
"Only one patient ever accused me..."
Infectious disease doctor here. Seen about 450-500 COVID patients in the hospital since it all started. Only one patient ever accused me of using the nasal swab to give him COVID (along with a microchip). A handful have ranted nonstop about China. Everyone else has been sick enough to accept it, but lots still refuse the idea of vaccination even after being in the ICU.
"I had a lady who was maxed out..."
I had a lady who was maxed out on high flow (the next step is breathing tube) who still refused to believe she had Covid and was holding a negative test in her hand that she had taken a week prior.
The denial is so strong here.
It would be sad if it wasn't so horrifying.
"I'm an attending physician..."
I'm an attending physician at our Triage Unit. On a Friday, an older gentleman (60 + years) came in with his entire family (wife, sister, BIL, 2 nephews, and 3 children), none of them with a face mask. All had mild COVID symptoms except him, he was saturating 80% with evident shortness of breath. We insisted on doing PCR and a chest CAT scan looking for COVID but he and his wife refused, saying that COVID wasn't real and it was just a bacterial infection. The more we talked with him the more agitated he got to the point that his face was red. We suggested hospitalizing him to stabilize him and start treatment, but they accused us of exaggerating his symptoms and that we only wanted to hospitalize him so we could steal the liquid in his knees (a stupid rumor that was going around when this whole thing started).
They both cursed at us and said they were going to a better hospital to get antibiotics. Fast forward 24 hours later on Saturday, I get a call from the hospital next county over telling us that they intubated one of our patients because he went into respiratory failure when he arrived and they had to transfer him here because they don't have the appropriate equipment. We transfer the patient on Sunday only to find out on the CAT scan he had 90% of lung damage. He passed away on Monday morning.
Just before the family took the body away, I gave the widow the death certificate (that I filled out) and before walking away, she turns around and waves the certificate yelling "See! I told you it wasn't COVID! It says here: "Death due to pulmonary pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2! I knew it was a bacteria!" I told her: "SARS-CoV-2 is COVID-19, ma'am."
The lengths people are willing to go to stay in denial astound me.
Basic critical thinking appears to have gone out the window here.
I'm a family doc who mostly does outpatient.
I live in a pretty conservative area with a good proportion of COVID deniers, so I've been seeing COVID deniers since this mess became politicized (I've lost a few patients over the mask mandate).
Anyway, I'm pretty pleased to say that several of my COVID denying patients have completely turned their attitude around when they (or a close family member) contracted COVID. Even if their case wasn't severe, the sudden terror that they could wind up on a ventilator overnight really puts the fear of God into people.
Unfortunately, I still have some patients who are still pretty obnoxious despite their covid diagnosis. They mostly dig deeper into paranoia. If not about the virus itself, then about the circumstances surrounding them contracting it.
"If Fauci had done his job from the beginning, it never would've hit this town."
"It's the entire fault of Obamacare that I can't get the experimental immunoglobulin treatment!" (It's not, your eligibility for the infusion is dependent on a list of risk factors).
And, probably my favorite...
"So I have COVID and it's completely your responsibility to fix it. I need you to send Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, Vit D, Lisinopril, and azithromycin to the pharmacy..." Then they proceed to get pissed at me when I don't.
"During our peak time..."
I'm an emergency department physician in the US. I work in an area that had the highest death rate for a solid couple of weeks in the country.
During our peak time when we had national news crews here covering how we were a s***show, saw numerous people screaming their Covid disease wasn't real despite being hypoxic and on large amounts of oxygen due to Covid. That was an unpleasant time as this was still early (May/June) and it was extremely political like people apparently plotting to kidnap our state governor due to lockdowns.
Saw a lot of people refusing Covid testing who needed admission for non-covid purposes because the swabs would give them covid or put some sort of tracking device. They weren't pleased when they then had to be admitted to our full-blown Covid floors. Our Covid floors resembled a warzone because they were understaffed and relative s***hole conditions as we basically converted hallways into covid floors.
Also saw a lot of people young people who weren't exactly deniers but thought you basically couldn't sick if you were young. Lots of people with their lungs permanently scarred or at a minimum a couple of weeks of misery and/or spread it to their loved ones who got extremely ill.
"The willful cognitive dissonance..."
Physician here. The willful cognitive dissonance is real. It never ceases to amaze me how many patients will refuse assistance from me to register to get vaccinated, make claims that vaccines are harmful, but then accept my medical care on anything else that suits their whim. Patients absolutely have the autonomy to refuse care, but why would you continue to see a physician and accept their medical advice and care if you think they would simultaneously recommend something to you that would be harmful?
I've posed this question to patients who are vaccine-hesitant: "Why would you let me manage your diabetes and hypertension if you think I would harm you by recommending vaccinations?" You cannot get any kind of thoughtful response aside from, "I just don't want to be vaccinated."
"Some denier patients lived..."
RN here with most of 2020 spent in COVID land. I never had anyone refuse treatment when things got serious. I know some of the MDs I worked with got yelled at, like the rest of us...but honestly, that happens frequently anyway.
Some denier patients lived, many of which had accepted reality by the end of their stay after seeing what we all were going through to treat them.
Some died telling me I was a sheep or an idiot or a liar between gasps of air.
COVID didn't care.
This comment is strangely poetic.
Covid definitely doesn't care. The virus lays waste to people and... that's it. Good luck with your games of Russian roulette.
"People are crazy."
I work on a COVID unit and I ran into a patient like this. They'd tell me over and over again about how they weren't really sick and about how I didn't need to be gowned up in PPE. They even tried to take my face shield off. If you test positive for COVID two times then you have COVID! People are crazy.
Covid disinformation is a very serious problem and it's costing people their lives.
What can be done about it?
News literacy matters: It's important to get information from verifiable sources. Scientists and medical professionals are trustworthy. Those with backgrounds in public health know what they're talking about. Some conspiracy theory you received from your distant cousin on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger is not worth your time or consideration.
Have some of your own Covid denial stories to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!