Sometime the most brilliant people can't do the simplest things. I spent 34 years of my life mopping wrong til a Reddit thread made it glaringly obvious that I don't know how to use a dang mop.
I had to read the comment over about ten times and watch a YouTube a mopping tutorial, fam. I truly did.
And it's not like I had just never mopped, I have lived in a home with not an inch of carpet for like the last 20 years. I mop all the time. I was apparently just doing it wrong all the time.
You'll be pleased to know things are much improved and streak-free floors are now a part of my world, thanks to Reddit.
Thing is, I'm not the only one out here taking an average everyday thing and screwing it up wildly.
And this thread, this thread right here, it SO proves it. Come, join me whilst I dance among my peoples.
But The E-mails
I worked deskside IT support at a Fortune 10 company. There was a Director of some super important division, I think it was involved with the launch of new products. Like all Directors there, he had an assistant. Unlike the rest of the directors' assistants, she had THE biggest printer we supported sitting right next to her, and connected directly to her PC. It wasn't even on the network, so no one could use it but her.
Turns out, it's because EVERY DAY, this woman comes in, prints EVERY email the Director got single-sided, and puts a huge pile on his desk when it's done. He then goes through every one (of course, immediately trashing 99% of them), and hand-writes replies on the back. She then stays late EVERY DAY to type them up and send them. All because this dude found Outlook too challenging.
Had a kid at one of my jobs not know how to use a broom. He swept back and forth as a cartoon would.
My wife is a middle school teacher, and her principal is technologically illiterate. He updates the same Powerpoint (not the same template, but the same literal Powerpoint file) for every single presentation he makes. It's now an illegible mix of fonts, font sizes and formats. His bullet lists switch between unordered and ordered, and different types of sub-bullets (so there would be three "bullet" points, followed by a "4" and an "e").
The worst, though, was when he was giving a presentation about the #MeToo movement, talking about how it might potentially impact their students and staff. Thing was, the guy has no idea what a hashtag is, or how to talk about them in a public setting. His entire presentation, he was talking about the "Pound Me Too Movement".
No actual message was communicated that day.
Turn The Page
I was checking into a hotel and asked if I could get access to the conference room to start setting up for the training I would be conducting all week.
The lady at the desk was adamant we hadn't booked their conference room for a full week. It had only been booked for today. We went back and forth for a little bit until she got out the schedule book to show me.
The schedule book was just a spiral bound book with calendar pages. She points at today the 31st and says "see there's nothing after this."
I screamed internally and just turned the page to show that reality didn't end at midnight and our company name was indeed written in every day that week. She didn't give me any trouble after that.
A Teachable Moment
One of my friends asked me if I would go to the gas station with her and fill up her tire with air because she didn't know how. I gave her the same answer I give most people when they ask me to do something simple that they will need to do again at some point.
"I'm happy to go with you. I won't do it for you BUT I will show you how to do it." She thanked me and said she asked me because she knew I wouldn't make fun of her and was worried people would think she was stupid because she didn't know how to do it.
She was always the first person to call herself stupid. In reality she was just sheltered and underexposed. Our overpopulated public school failed her and let her slip through the cracks (she barely graduated high school). She can be a little slow to grasp a new concept and most people wouldn't take the time to help her so she just figured "she was too stupid to figure anything out"
She really is smarter than she gives herself credit for (and smarter than most of her friends whether she believes it or not). She just lacks confidence in herself. Once something "Clicks" for her, she's got it and can easily build upon that knowledge.
My mom and Gmail.
Quote: „No, I don't need a password to log in. Now get my emails back."
I get older generations are not as tech-savy, not having grown up with computers and internet, but come on, you've had that stupid computer for at least ten bloody years. You must have picked up on the basics by now.
I once saw someone in my office start to climb up the wrong side of a common metal A-frame ladder before being stopped.
So I washed cars at a car dealership as a summer job in high school. Part of my job was to take cars to the gas station if they had less than a 1/4 tank of gas in them to make sure they had enough fuel in case a customer wanted to do a test drive.
One day I take new Chevy to the gas station. I think it was a Malibu. I park at the pump, go around to the gas cap, and see that you can't open it from the outside. "Oh, this must be one of those cars that has a release button on the inside", I think to myself. So I go back to the driver's seat and look around for a button/lever. But there's nothing there. I spend a few minutes looking around but I can't find anything.
So I give up and drive back to the dealership and ask my coworker how to get at the gas tank in these new cars. He walks over to the gas cap, pushes it in with one finger, and it springs open. facepalm.
Served in the army for a brief time with a girl who didn't know you had to rinse clothes after you soaped them while manually doing laundry. We had incidents where our laundry services would be woefully behind schedule, so occasionally, you had to do some sink laundry here and there. She would get hers wet, soap it up, and then just hang it and wonder why hers always came out worse than everyone else's.
A Smug Grin
A housemate of mine once put something in the microwave that was covered in tin-foil (Not a "foil" lid, something she had covered in actual foil to re-heat).
I saw it happen out of the corner of my eye and dived in to open the microwave before anything went wrong. She got very angry and said "what are you doing? I'm trying to cook my lunch, what's your problem?!".
I said something along the lines of "look mate, you can't put tinfoil in a microwave". She told me to f off and I sat down in the corner of the kitchen to eat my food while she tried to do it again. When the microwave sparked and made a fuss like it was going to catch fire, she started screaming and turned the microwave off at the wall, while I sat there with a smug grin on my face.
I wanted to say "see, told you so!" but I felt the smug grin was probably enough.
I was showing a person where I worked once the difference between Office 2003 and 2007 when it first came out. I pointed to a spot on the screen and said "Put your mouse here".
They lifted up the mouse itself and put it on the screen. Maybe I should've been more specific and said mouse cursor but still.
Came in to work one day and a couple of the office staff were huddled around a desk saying that they couldnt turn a computer on.
Now, computers can crash, but they usually turn on, unless they're not plugged in. I go over to where they are and they are trying to turn on a Dell computer by pressing the circular Dell emblem. I showed them the on/off button and explained what the 0 and 1 on the button meant, then started the computer right up.
But, I was curious. They'd worked here for several months (I was new) and i wondered how they turned on their computers in the past. It turns out that they never shut their computers off. I was amazed that people like this existed. I came from the tech world and you always shut off your computer at night due to memory leaks, or to prevent someone from screwing around with your computer.
These people weren't old. They were in their late twenties/early thirties.
There is this person that I work with didn't understand how to use paperclips... This is how she handed a stack of papers to my friend.
I had a girl at my old job ask me to show her how to wring out a towel, like she just didn't understand how to.
My freshman year of college, a guy in the room next to mine blew up his microwave. The dude had wanted to make a pot of soup, and rather than walk 100 ft down the hall to the kitchen, he decided to put the metal pot in the microwave and cook it that way. The fact that this guy now has a PhD in electrical engineering will forever mystify.
I can't use a lighter. I never learned, and I definitely just embarrassed myself at a party for not being able to do it.
As An Old Dude
As an old dude there are some 'simple' things that is surprises me that people don't know how to use and then it surprises me that it surprised me because the younger generation has just never needed to learn how to use it...
- Manual transmission vehicles
- Church keys (bottle and can openers)
- Cassette tapes (respooling them or freeing stuck reels)
It wasn't until... Two years ago that I learned how to copy and paste things into a document. I've been using computers since I was 6.
Raise your hands--who had an emo phase in the 2000s? I know I did, as did a lot of people around me. All of us heard “It's just a phase" from our parents at some point, but when you're a kid, life as we know it seems so permanent.
Of course, most of the time, it was “just a phase". And looking back, those phases are regrettable, to say the least. Here are some prime examples of that.
What was your biggest/most regrettable "It's not a phase, mom. It's my life." that, in fact, turned out to be just a phase and not your life?
The enthusiasm of a young person can lead to some unexpected changes that parents are just not ready for.
I was VERY into The Transformers when I was a wee lad in the 1980s. One day, I decided to change my name to the name of my favorite Autobot. My name was lame, and I wanted an awesome Transformer name. And I was VERY insistent that my parents only call me by my new name. Calling me by my 'old' name would cause a big fat tantrum on my part.
So for the better part of a week, my poor parents had to call me Wheeljack.
Very 2008.Ariana Grande Shrug GIFGiphy
My cat-ear phase. I wore cat ears every single day. Everywhere. I had like 20 pairs of them. Now everyone thinks I'm a furry.
I find that very cute and wouldn't have thought you'd be furry. Even if you'd had cat mittens. I think my suspicions would have started if you moved a bit like a cat, displayed catlike grooming habits or got a cat mask.
Not gonna lie, that car sounds cool.
I went to a car show once as a teen, and the only newer car there was some chick's PT cruiser. It was hot glittery pink, and at the time I was obsessed. I insisted that one day I would have a hot pink car, with pink seats, pink dash, pink carpets, etc. I was pretty heavily goth at the time, so my parents just rolled their eyes.
These phases can often lead to some very strange fashion choices.
When I was a teenager (early 00s), I was waiting for my mother to pick me up and was wearing one of those sh!tty sports wristwatches. It was itching me so I took it off for a second, but then she arrived and because I was struggling to get it back on my wrist, I looped it around the equally sh!tty chain I had around my neck in a rush to get out the door.
My mom asked me about it in the car, and I told her this was my new style and I planned to wear it like that every day. She rolled her eyes.
I wore that watch on a chain around my neck every single day for 3 years or so. There are even professional family photos where I'm wearing it because I refused to take it off.
One day, the chain broke and I lost the watch. I was in high school at that point anyway and it was a major lady repellent, so... phase over.
Not everyone can be Eminem.slim shady eminem GIFGiphy
Baggy pants, being a rapper someday and being a professional skater.
When I was about 14 and Eminem was starting to blow up I bought myself a keyboard with a synthesizer. It cost like $200 which was all the money I had saved up. It finally came (this was way before amazon prime and such) and I tried rapping.
My sister told me "you're effing horrible" and I gave up right then and there.
This should be a sin.
I used to button the top buttons of polo shirts.
I must say, this is probably the worst one I've read.
Looking back at our regrettable choices, all we can do is cringe.
An optimistic look at bad tattoos.check me out season 3 GIF by PortlandiaGiphy
Being a tattooer. Regrettable because of those poor people who have my awful doodles on their bodies.
Take heart! My favorite tattoo is the one I drunkenly got my buddy to do in his living room one year during March Madness! It's dumb and frankly mediocre? But such a good story and has such good associations I smile every time I see it.
My friend and I decided we were going to open a bar in Jamaica with exotic snakes in glass cages in the walls at each booth. We convinced ourselves it would be amazing for at least two years in college. It was going to be called Fredro's.
My entire family made fun of me for it. Once we got out of college, we realized it was not feasible and joined the office grind. We're also two white guys with no ties to Jamaica.
Talk about cringey.
I wore a top hat with an anime pin on it for around a year. Met one of my current best friends while wearing it, idk how he could bear to speak to me after that.
My weirdest phase was probably when I insisted on wearing knee-high rainbow socks to school every day. But honestly, I don't regret it. I rocked those socks, and I wish I still have a pair.
To all the people out there cringing over their past selves, remember that you were just a kid, and to be easy on yourselves. After all, we've all been there
It should not take much for a consumer to be satisfied with the products they purchase.
Yet, too often, manufacturers who oversell their products fail to deliver what is promised and are inevitably left with angry customers who want their money back.
Whether the merchandise was defective or ridiculously overpriced, strangers online shared some of their worst purchases when Redditor BooksMcGee asked:
"What is the worst product you ever paid money for?"
Short Life Span
"This NERF gun that's supposed to shoot tennis balls for your dog. I bought it cause I thought you could load 3 at a time and shoot them far, but it's just one and it's super loud and the gun broke after like 4 shots (reading reviews later, this was a common issue)."
"There were these toys called squiggles when I was a kid and the commercials made it seem like the toy was alive. It looked like you would get this crazy little fuzzy worms as pets that would follow you around an so sick tricks and listen to your every command. It was really just a piece of fluffy string tied to another piece of string with googly eyes on it. People may say that it was supposed to be a magic trick but they should also explain that to a 5 year old who really wanted a pet."
"Not their fault, but I paid $70 for a Yugioh card hours before it was limited to one copy. Probably dropped to $20 by the end of the day."
These purchases were bad for your bum.
"A bicycle that literally fell apart before I made it out of the parking lot."
Not Worth Sitting On
"Joybird brand couch. Was so terrible, we returned it. Still hard to believe, we returned a freaking couch."
Going Nowhere Fast
"A 2000 VW Beetle (used)."
"Biggest piece of sh*t that literally had to have just about everything replaced before 100k miles and would still break down every time you left the driveway to the point where the tow-truck driver knew us on a first-name basis."
"An Oldsmobile Achieva from one of those buy here pay here places. I should have known better, but I was young and thought I was getting a good deal. I had the thing for about 5 months, I drove it for maybe 3 weeks. The rest of the time it was either in the shop, or in my driveway waiting until pay day so I could afford to fix whatever broke on it this week. Eventually told the dealer just take it, I'm not paying for it any more. He said nope, and I will make sure your credit is ruined. I said well you sold me a lemon, do you really want to go this route? He came and took it. Never reported anything to credit. I heard he got sued by several other people who sold sh**ty cars too and eventually went out of business."
"Always amazes me when I see them driving around still, I can only assume there's enthusiasts who just love repairing horribly designed cars."
These Redditors were not convinced what they ingested was edible.
"A box of plain Cheerios. Thought they were honey nut, poured a bowl, was very disappointed."
"If I wanted to taste cardboard, I'd just eat the box."
"A burnt frozen pizza at the air and space museum cafe in DC. I Don't wish that experience on anyone. There are some amazing restaurants in DC, don't settle."
The following electronics just gave off a bad charge.
"Asus Transformer Pad TF700"
"This was one of those early 'high end' Android tablets that was grossly underpowered, and it showed. Thing was slow as sh!t in no time flat. Rookie mistake investing into shiny new tech while they were still working all the bugs out. Think I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $350-400 for it..."
"macbook pro 2018 13" touchbar. 2 years old and dead (battery). they're asking $300-$400 to change the battery. malfunctioning keyboard with double presses and missing presses. that's a lot of money for bad design."
"Past winter my old room heater broke down and I had to buy a new one. Went to a store nearby and somehow got convinced to buy a very costly heating device.. It's also my fault, since there were some sligthly cheaper options around, but nope. I wanted the expensive one thinking it will make my small room a volcano with little to no effort/cost (that's also what the seller told me). Long story short the device wasn't doing ANYTHING. No significant temperature changes, too much space, a weird noise, and was doubling my previous device in utility cost. I still gloom over those 80 euros.."
Some of my disappointing purchases was clothing, but only because I purchased them online. Unless they are a brand I'm familiar with, I'm usually fine with buying new jeans off of their websites.
But when it comes to graphic tees only available on specialty shops, an M-size shirt is not necessarily the same size as those found in other reputable stores.
I bought a medium sized T-shirt from a boutique store online because I loved the look of the design. But when it arrived, the supposed medium fit me like an XL.
At least I gained a fierce cleaning rag from this impulsive purchase.
We all know the job interview butterflies.
We sit outside the office or wait for the phone call and our foot taps at rapid speed. We run through some rehearsed answers, but worry that they'll ask a slew of things we never even considered. We try not to sweat too much.
Often, it turns out alright. We may not get the job, but we're respectable, give solid answers, and learn a lot about the place we're trying to get hired.
Other times, however, all of our far-fetched worries seem to come to life.
Curious to hear just how bad an interview can go, Redditor UIGrimsen asked:
"What was your worst job interview?"
Plenty of people had some truly bizarre stories to share. Part of these train wrecks were bad luck, and part were the insane antics of the people giving the interview.
But for us, they're simply hilarious.
"I applied for a job in a Planetarium, the interview was conducted in a big dome."
"Problem was, another part of the Planetarium staff was doing fire alarm tests during the interview. The dome amplified the sound so much, it was deafening. The interview staff acted like nothing was going on. We had to shout so we could hear each other."
"My mom raises chickens … and during COVID one of them got sick (not COVID). She had it inside to feed water hourly to try to nurse it back to life. My mom has to run an errand so I'm in charge of this chicken for the afternoon."
"I was on a phone screening with a candidate for a position in my office and this chicken starts having a seizure and dies on the middle of this phone call. I look over and it's laying almost like it was crucified."
"The candidate heard the commotion and asked if everything was ok … Which I relied 'yeah, the chicken just died.' "
"She withdrew her application the next morning."
"1.) I walked in as the HR lady farted"
"2.) it was a small office with no windows"
"3.) I asked her questions about their employee retention rate that she couldn't answer"
"4.) the fart stayed the duration of the interview"
"5.) I hope the fart got the job, because I didn't want it"
A Very Instructive Moment
"Applied to work at a vet clinic. Veterinarian did the interview while spaying a cat, apparently one of the cleanest and quickest surgeries they do. I fainted."
"Was not offered the job (after I woke up)."
Others shared moments when their excitement was deflated instantly. They encountered such closed-minded interviewers that there was almost no need for discussion.
That Bus Perk
"As an interviewee It was when I applied to a job as a Junior programmer and in 5 minutes the guys goes 'look, I'll be honest, there is no job, you can get an internship, no pay, we offer the bus pass' "
Plains, Trains, and Automobiles Later...
"I took vacation days to interview, bought my own plane ticket, and paid for my own hotel. First thing the interviewer said was, 'I have no intention of hiring you. This is just a courtesy because I knew your brother.' I had 8 more hours left in my interview day. It was painful."
"They ended up offering me the position many weeks down the road because they couldn't fill the position. I politely declined and got a very passive aggressively worded survey to fill out explaining why I passed."
There's a Right Answer??
"Wanted to work at H&M, got interviewed by the worst person ever."
"One question was and I am legit not lying, 'What is your favorite color and why?' "
"I answered 'baby blue because it's calming and not too harsh to the eyes.' My interviewer then said Oooh, sorry! Red is what we were looking for. And then proceeded to show me the exit."
Last, some shared the times they arrived for the interview excited and enthusiastic, but quickly learned how out of their league the position was.
These interviews looked more like brutal interrogations from the FBI than job interviews.
All the Principals
"Fresh out of college, I was looking for my first teaching job. I applied at a small district for an elementary school position."
"I walked in, expecting the principal and a few teachers. Instead I had the superintendent of the district, some high-level admin, and every single elementary school principal in the district. Probably 15 people in all. They peppered me with questions for 45 minutes."
"I had zero experience, just my student teaching. I did not get the job."
Shove Your Masters
"Finished up a masters degree in physics. Got a phone interview and was was told it would be an introductory chat. Was confronted with a technical interview panel (over the phone) of 6 PhDs, 4 of which had graduated from the research group I had just left. We walked through my research project in about 10 minutes."
"Then the pain began... felt like I'd only learned kindergarten physics."
An Extremely Intimidating Position
"Got an interview for a job as a floor manager at a gigantic steel foundry. I have some background in metallurgy so I thought it'd fit. It paid $90k and I was qualified resume-wise. I got there, turned out it was a group interview with three other applicants, to hear the pitch."
"If something messes up, the company loses $100,000 (some shockingly high amount, I don't remember if it was exactly 100k) per hour and it's your sole responsibility to fix it. They said you'd have to be on call 24/7 to handle anything that comes up."
"I got to the solo part out of curiosity and the interviewer they put me with said something to the effect of 'I know this job sounds bad, but actually it's even worse.' I was desperate for a job because I didn't land one straight out of college, but I was glad not to hear back from them after the interview..."
Here's hoping you don't have a job interview scheduled and this just amplified your anxiety 1000%. The nice thing to remember is that these horror stories are few and far between.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Believe it or not, Canadians don't live in igloos or freeze to death all year round. If you go to Germany, it's highly unlikely that every German you meet will be cold and uninviting. Hop over to the United Kingdom and you're not going to run into tons of people with terrible teeth and bad hygeine.
These are called stereotypes, my friends, and it's best you leave them at the door. People were more than willing to strike down some stereotypes about the countries they know and love after Redditor HelloThere577 asked the online community,
"What are some false stereotypes about your country?"
"When most folks envision Scotland, they think of kilts, whisky, bagpipes, and red hair.
All of those things exist (and are common) here.
People might also imagine verdant hillsides, rocky bluffs, and skies that randomly switch between clear and cloudy.
Once again, that's completely accurate.
However, one stereotype which has absolutely no foundation, in reality, is the assumption that Scotsmen are constantly hunting haggis. In fact, haggis-hunting only takes place in February (which is the season for deosil haggis) and May (which is the season for widdershins haggis). For the rest of the year, the haggis is more or less left alone."
"I am originally from Portugal and moved to the United States. Around 80% of the people that I have met thought Portugal was either in South America, owned by Brazil, or a part of Spain. When I first came here it made me really sad."
"If the wildlife hurts or kills you in Australia, it's generally because you are f***** stupid. You are 10000 times more likely to be injured or killed in a car accident in Australia than by anything in nature."
This is likely very true, but knowing me, I'd probably be easy pickings for one of those huntsman spiders.
"That we end every sentence with "eh" and drink maple syrup by the gallon and have moose and igloos in our backyards."
You mean... you don't?
Just kidding. Canada is lovely––visit sometime. It's a lovely place.
The United States
"That we always have a shotgun at the ready. A shotgun is a home gun where a pistol is your everyday gun. Your revolver is your dress gun, for special occasions. Then of course your assault rifle is for when you're kicking back and cracking open a cold one with the boys."
"Anything related to The Sound of Music."
Probably gets annoying afer a short while. Great movie, though. Still dreaming about a trip to Salzburg.
"A lot of Americans seem to think we're inbred because we're an island. This is dumb, because it's a very big island (10th biggest in the world), and it's not isolated, we've been invaded, invading, and trading with the mainland for thousands of years."
"That we are car thieves. Crime was widespread in Poland in the 90s but today crime (including theft) rate in Poland is low."
"We do gesticulate a lot, but we definitely don't yell like crazy."
It seems Italian Americans are the ones who could learn a thing or two about being more reserved.
"Iceland. We're not some utopian Disneyland filled with quirky superstitious people that all believe in elves."
Remember: The world is an enormous place filled with people from all walks of life, and they don't take too kindly too stereotypes. Expand your horizons by having conversations with as many people as possible. You'd be surprised how quickly your preconceived notions will vanish.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.