The stress and trauma that a dispatcher's job comes with is insurmountable, and deserves a lot of respect.
Some of the calls they get can be life changing, not just for the people involved, but also the dispatchers themselves.
Redditor King_bob992 asked:
"Emergency service dispatchers, what is the scariest call you have ever gotten?"
You're definitely in the right profession.
"One of the first calls I ever took. Woman calls up and asks about the process of filing a restraining order. She discusses how her boyfriend has been abusive and controlling. Mid conversation the doorbell rings, she puts me on hold opens the door and I hear yelling."
"Guy barges in and starts beating on her and I'm sitting there helpless listening, because I didn't have her address yet. Luckily, I did have her name and within a few minutes we got her address and got help to her. She was pretty badly injured but lived, and he is still in jail."
"That call made me doubt myself and if I was in the right profession, but I stuck with it and it has been a very rewarding (though sometimes sad) profession."
"Not a dispatcher but a paramedic. But a man called, saying his mom had severe chest pains. So we head over to their address in a hurry. However, there was no mom, just the caller waiting for us and then robbing us at gun point saying be were going to kill us. He just wanted the drugs, but was quite shocking still."
"Always going through my mind when entering some shady neighbourhood."Giphy
That's so heartbreaking.
"I work for a sheriff's office and a good friend of mine was a dispatcher. I stepped outside one day for a smoke and my buddy was standing there shaking and crying. I asked him what was wrong and he told me that he had just dispatched a call for his best friend."
"His friend was a former army sniper and had only been out for a few months. He was a volunteer fire fighter and was responding to a house fire, rolled the truck, and had beed decapitated. Guy had 5 young daughters."
"Call came in and was flagged as a frequent caller on the a** end of a very rural county. The dude was just screaming. We couldn't make out anything he was saying but we had his address and sent every available unit we had. After a while the screaming started to die down and his breathing got very labored. He wouldn't talk to us but he just kept muttering. After a few minutes we realized he was praying."
"Few minutes later deputy arrived on scene. Heard him check in on scene and also heard him on the line. First noise I heard was him vomiting. Turned out the dude had been working on his car and the lift collapsed. The guy wasn't under the car but was between it and a tree when the car started rolling. He was impaled on a branch and pinned between the tree and car."
"Dude lived. He's a quadriplegic but he's alive. First legit 911 call he ever made and everyone took their sweet time getting there because it was usually nonsense."
"I am a emergency helicopter dispatcher so I get calls from EMS in rural areas. First question I always ask is, 'what is the closest city to the scene?' I swear 80% of these people do not know how to pronounce it correctly and 50% of them do not know how to spell it."
"One time this guy cut his d**k off on bath salts. When he came too he realized what he did and called us directly."Giphy
"I worked as a jailer for a while after getting out of the Marines. We had a dispatcher who had 2 kids. Both boys one a POS that was always in jail the other younger troubled and riding a dangerous line. She got the call one night that her younger son got shot twice in a drug deal gone wrong at a public park where he was playing ball."
"He was dead before the helicopter got in the air most likely. The dispatch center was connected to the jail where she had to work less than 50 yards from the man who shot her son. She was pretty tore up."
"Not EMS, but work for a domestic violence shelter that offers sexual assault services. Will never forget talking to this one woman, and her husband came home during the call and she must have dropped the phone in the process but then I could just hear her screaming and him yelling. That will stay with me forever I'm sure. I really wish we had been able to get her help before that happened. That is the worst call I've had. But I find it so hard when children call, just always breaks my heart."
Good for them for not pushing themselves.
"When I was younger, I applied to be a 911 operator for the city I was living in northern California. I got through most of their tests and interviews, which there were numerous. The pool of applicants was over 200 for about 8 positions. I got down to the last dozen applicants then they played some recordings for us."
"The recording I listened to was a young girl calling 911 from inside a closet. She was crying and hysterical saying that her dad was in the house with a gun and was going to kill her mom. You could hear the mother screaming in the background and the operator was really calm and collected. She got the little girl to keep her voice down and whisper and tried to keep her on the line. You could hear the gunshots in the background."
"I couldn't listen to it anymore. I didn't want to find out what happened next, so I don't know the outcome. I knew I couldn't handle that then. I don't think I could take something like that now."
"There was an accident once on a somewhat busy state road here. An older couple in an suv pulled out onto the road without seeing a motorcyclist that was going well over 100 mph. He rear ended them, died instantly and plowed through the suv, landing halfway through the windshield. The suv flipped a couple times and landed on the passenger side, trapping the wife. Then it caught on fire."
"At my dispatch center we had 3 of us working at all times, and I don't even know how many 911 calls we instantly got when this happened. Dozens, I'm sure. After I sent the FD and they got on the way(this is a rural area and this intersection was probably a good ten minutes south of them), some bystanders managed to get the husband out of the suv but he died in the helicopter on the way to the hospital, I believe. The wife burned alive."
"Honestly the worst part was right after I dispatched the FD, one of the lieutenants on the biggest police department in my county happened to be driving through there with his family and he called 911. I'll never forget how panicked and frantic he was on that call. I had never heard any of our officers like that before, let alone one of the administrators. We were pretty friendly with all of them so it shook me up. After I hung up with him I just started sobbing."
The strength it must take to move past that...
"My sister works as a dispatcher. Her first week on the job, she had a man call in, saying he was going to kill himself. He told her that she couldn't do anything to change his mind; he was simply trying to let her know where he could be found. She heard the gunshot through the call."
"Second one, she had a little girl call in because her dad was unresponsive. She knew that CPR would likely save this man, but the daughter wasn't grown enough and didn't have the strength to perform it effectively. My sister had to tell her to leave the room, because the longer that girl stayed in there trying fruitlessly to save her father, the more scarred she would become by the experience of watching her father die."
Both are horrifying.
"Former 000 calltaker reporting in. Scariest one would have to be one of the very first calls I took while I was training. A young man rang up and it was evident from his voice that he was in shock. His exact words were 'I've just hit a motorbike rider who was coming around a blind bend on the wrong side of the road. I think I've killed him.'"
"From dealing with a few noise complaints to a car accident with a possible fatality was a massive switch, and this was only my second shift taking calls in training. The motorbike rider did not survive that accident."Giphy
"Second scariest would be when someone was working down a well and was overcome by generator fumes. His wife tried to rescue him but she fell off the ladder, injured herself as a result and was unable to help her husband. So there's one possibly dead male in the well and his wife is in danger of dying as well. And all of this is in a remote location that I am completely unfamiliar with. We didn't save the male. We did, however, manage to save his wife."
"My answer from a similar thread:"
"The one that always sticks with me was the time I had to tell a father how to cut his 15 year old son down after he had hung himself. He was actively reciting reasons why he may have been a bad parent while doing it. I'll remember that until the day I die."
"Obligatory posting on behalf of my mom. She answered 000 police emergency calls (Australian 911). The top two: A woman phoned up. She had a restraining order on her ex-husband, had come home to furniture moved positions inside the house."
"Whilst checking rooms she noticed handprints on the wall leading up to the roof cavity access point. This was slightly ajar. Mom tells her to leave. Woman decides nope, she's Dora the explorer and gets a chair. She stands on it, starts to lift the cover and it gets slammed back down. Yep, hubby in the roof. He'd been there a while (days)."
"2nd: a call comes in from a remote outback community. Someone's using a machete to stab their way into a door while laughing maniacally. There are no street addresses or house numbers to ID the location and the caller cannot give a location. Nearest police are 2 hours away. Mom just heard screaming, then gurgling, then silence then whistling."
"I was working at a small agency during a storm. We would work 1 person in dispatch per shift, as it was pretty common to go an entire overnight shift without a single call. The local hospital called and said 'A tornado just hit the hospital.' Turns out, the tornado dropped directly on top of the hospital, moves across the street to the college dorms and destroyed at least one of them. There must have been multiple 'naders because all of our phone lines lit up and everyone was saying a tornado just hit their house."Giphy
"The town close by had a couple fires, our paging system went down (meaning no paging out our volunteer fire guys, 3 officers in total for the entire f**king county, and all of our medics tied up at the hospital."
"The calls would go like this: 'Are you injured? Do you feel safe enough to drive yourself to the hospital?' If they said yes, I'd tell them to make their way to the staging area at the hospital, if no, I had to write it down and have one of the other agencies sending help to check on them."
"Luckily the college was on an extended weekend so hardly anyone was in the dorms. I still have anxiety issues when I'm at work when a storm hits."
Don't do drugs.
"My dad's friend got a call from a man who claimed there was an alien in his stomach. When they got to him they discovered he cut his own stomach open and took his insides outside. The knife was lying in his flesh next to the body. The man was high on some drugs."
"A 3 year old was at a campground with her family and they let her out of their sight for 20 seconds and she wandered down to a creek and drowned. Her mom found her and her father called in. While I was getting details from the understandable distraught father, a random guy camping there was doing CPR managed to resuscitate her. I can't imagine how her parents felt, but it was like physical weight being lifted off of me."
Pain in the moment...
"Was a 911 operator for 10 years. Scariest is probably different than worst. My scariest was an active shooter in a high rise. Just sitting on the line trying to give the best directions so every one makes it out okay."
"When I first started out, I worked for a rural county and some areas were very far from help. One night I got a call from a group of people who were in a3m accident and their car caught fire. The girl I was speaking with was stuck in her seatbelt and as the fire spread she was in terrible amounts of pain."
"She kept begging me to send help and I was but it was far away. I stayed with her until the phone dropped (assumingly the phone and it melted or malfunctioned). The other was a hanging."
"The father called me for a welfare check and I was putting in the call when he got to the house. He said the door was unlocked, so I stayed landline while he went inside and he found his son. The pain in the moment he walked out and told his wife was so horrible and raw."
"I think the most genuine terror comes from child callers. I had this 5 year old call in that her dad was growling and wouldn't wake up. Ok agonal breathing, probably a heart attack scrambling to get a confirmed address for ems, pd dispatched to unconfirmed address."
"Finally confirm the address and start giving directions on CPR. Nope she will not touch him because she is scared then bursts into tears. Luckily pd arrived just after she refused and they were able to do CPR until EMS arrived."
CPR instructions and he kept screaming...
"911 dispatcher here for a large city. I get a little bit of everything and mostly it's BS. But one that stuck with me was something recently. A man called in frantic and it was really hard to get him to calm down. He told me his 35 year old girlfriend was unresponsive and not breathing."Season 5 Nbc GIF by The OfficeGiphy
"I immediately started giving this guy CPR instructions and he kept screaming 'I'm sorry I'm sorry my love.' Tough morning for the guy no doubt. It hit me that he could have been responsible or the last thing he ever said to her was not pleasant. Never followed up on the call. In this line of work, it's on to the next one."
"Too busy to think about it. I have millions of people depending on me not to let the last call effect the next one. I don't know what happened other than she was a DOA. Didn't hit me until the next day. My God, that scream was deafening. All i know is there was more to the story, I could hear it in his voice."
"P.S. I've heard people shot in real time, parents trying to revive their dead kids first thing in the morning, but this for some reason hit me."
On the Roof
"There's a guy up here on the roof. He was wandering around in a daze and not responding to me. He's got his shirt off and he's sitting on top of the parking garage with his legs over the edge and he's rocking back and forth. He's covered in blood."
"Vehicle pursuits aren't fun either."
On the Porch
"Heard this story from a cop I knew. Guy calmly calls 911 to report a man standing on his front porch with a shotgun. Police arrive at the address provided to find a man in his 50s standing on the porch as described in the call. They take cover and prepare to shoot if man decides to open fire. Man points gun to his own face, cops realize what was going on, but it happened too quickly for them to intervene. That man on the porch was the one who called."
the_one_with_no_facescared famous smile GIF by VH1Giphy
Dispatchers seriously aren't paid enough.
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Don't be alarmed: There are some terrible corporations out there (looking at you, Nestle) but there are also some great brands that are selling decent products.
I know, surprising, right? Maybe we've all just gotten used to brands selling things of questionable quality that when we stumble across something worthwhile it stuns us.
Hold on tight when you find a brand deserving of your loyalty!
People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor spwf asked the online community,
"What brand(s) do you swear by and why?"
"Their cast iron pans..."
"Lodge. Their cast iron pans are super durable and can last a lifetime."
Not just a lifetime. Your Lodge cast iron will outlive you, if (and even if you don’t) take care of it. Even if they get rusty they can be resurfaced. And damn is it satisfying to resurface a forgotten cast iron pan.
Asics, specifically the Gel-Nimbus series. I've suffered from joint pain and unbearable plantar fasciitis from a relatively young age... These shoes are life savers. Very pricey and I don't love the look of tennis shoes of any type but nevertheless I will praise these shoes to the end of days. Hopefully, I will always be able to afford them once a year.
Glad to hear you've found some much-needed relief!
"Warranty and service..."
"Victorinox. Excellent pocket knives, multi tools and their kitchen knives are probably the best ones you can get under 100 USD. Warranty and service is top notch."
Anyone who cooks, but can't afford or doesn't want to invest in a professional-grade chef's knife should get a Victorinox. They aren't nearly as good as a top tier professional chef's knife, but they are night and day compared with everything else in their price range.
"This one brand..."
"This one brand of granola bars called Sunbelt Bakery. Every other granola bar brand is so dry I can't eat them anymore."
Yes, these are so good! An excellent choice.
"Dickies. High quality pants. They're meant to be work pants so they're pretty durable and breathe well. Very comfortable."
"High quality" is right. Those pants last forever.
"It helps clean..."
"Dawn dishsoap. It helps clean dishes and it's great when one of my kids has an accident and I have to wash their clothes. Sometimes leaves a small stain but no smell. It has saved so many outfits."
Fantastic – it sounds like you should be their salesperson.
"They don't use..."
"New Balance. They don't use slave labor to make shoes."
They are comfortable and fit well.
I personally still don't like the aesthetics of many of their shoes, but still recommend them to people who want a good shoe.
"They are a retailer..."
"REI. Stand behind everything in their store. They are a retailer but you can beat something up they sell and they give you a full refund."
Many people use them for shoes, for camping gear... all kinds of stuff. They're very reliable.
"I wear my Timberland boots..."
"I wear my Timberland boots almost every day, I’ve had them for almost ten years, and they’re still just about as sturdy as they were the day I bought them."
These shoes tend to last forever. "Durable" is the perfect word.
"One large bottle..."
"Dr. Bronner's Castile soap. One large bottle lasts me about a year and I use it for everything. No toxic BS in them like pretty much every other soap and they smell fantastic."
"Also when I say everything I really mean it. All purpose cleaner, dish soap, body wash, shampoo, carpet extractor wash, dog shampoo, it’s called 18 in 1 for a reason."
If you're interested in the story behind the company, the documentary Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox might be right up your alley.
See? Not all brands are terrible. After reading about some of these, it might be time to change of your buying habits.
Have some suggestions of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!
You know what would be great?
If society could just stop with arbitrary dress codes. If you're not working with the public, why should you have to dress up so much? If you're a police officer, then it makes sense that you'd wear a uniform that identifies you as a police officer. If you're Ted from IT who sits in the backroom all day, I really don't see why you have to come in every day in a suit and tie.
Let's just toss them out, shall we?
People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor Levels2ThisBrush asked the online community,
"What should be socially acceptable but isn't?"
"Leaving the office..."
"Leaving the office whenever you've finished your tasks for the day."
This is why I'm so glad remote work is the new office.
"And yet, I get it!"
"Taking off sick from work, WITHOUT giving an invasive reason. I supervise a small team and so I see all the OOO emails, and for gods sake I want people to PLEASE not feel the need to explain in detail what kind of diarrhea is afflicting them, or how bad their period cramps are, or how much bad sushi they ate the night before. Just say “I’m under the weather, I won’t be online today.”"
"And yet, I get it! I do it too! I feel guilty or like I’ll be looked at with suspicion if my reason for taking off isn’t sufficiently debilitating enough!"
"But… we need to stop this. As a manager I don’t care, I don’t THINK the people above me who are also on these emails care… let’s just all agree to take sick days without any details from now on!"
I do not miss my retail days where I had to organise someone to cover me and beg on bended knee.
"Cashiers or workers who don’t need to be standing all day not having a stool or chair."
Another thing I do not miss from my retail days. Having to stand for hours and hours only to come home with my feet killing me was not fun.
"Prices on apartments..."
"Prices on apartments and their respectable reasons for such price directly on their websites or advertising without the need for a tour or any secrecy."
I always assume if I have to ask the price I probably can’t afford it.
"Being quiet/not wanting to engage in conversation all the time."
In Finland, if somebody tries to talk to you, they are probably a tourist.
"Choosing not to..."
"Choosing not to have toxic family members in your life."
It feels very liberating once you accept that you don't have to put up with it.
"Employees calling customers out in public for being a**holes."
Absolutely. Many customers get away with treating employees horribly because they know they can do it without any pushback... most of the time.
"The fact that I sometimes..."
"The fact that I sometimes need to take my insulin in public. No, Karen, I am not doing drugs, I need to live."
You’re getting that sweet sweet insulin high… the high of being not-dead.
"Afternoon naps. I’m on team nap. Give me 25 minutes to charge up and I’ll give you back 3 hours of high quality work. Everyone wins. Plus I go home with extra energy instead of dead tired."
Short naps don't work for me. I can't do a 25 min recharge. When I take a nap it needs to be like a solid 2 hours
"Salary transparency. For some reason, in the US, there’s a taboo or stigma around discussing one’s salary. This should be done openly and freely, with zero embarrassment or judgment. The only winners from avoiding these conversations are the corporations that are able to pay people differently for the same roles. Speak up!"
The "for some reason" you're referring to is simply propaganda on behalf of corporations.
It's evident that something's got to change around here, and we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore!
Have some observations of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
As much as many of us don't like to disrupt the status quo, there is only so much time a person can tolerate a miserable situation before things become so unbearable that they ultimately have to peace out.
For some people, it takes a while for them to reach a breaking point. Eventually, there comes a time when they realize their self-worth is more important than continuing to please others who don't appreciate them for the sake of keeping up with appearances.
Curious to hear from people whose patience ran thin and made a strong decision, Reddit Prestigious-Order-62 asked:
"What made you say 'f'k this sh*t im out?'"
The unwarranted reprimanding was something that was never mentioned in the initial job description.
"In the late 90’s."
"One time I got pulled into the Security office at a Department store I worked at. They accused me of constantly using the sales day coupons for people that didn’t present one (we always kept an extra copy at each register). I had watched my own department boss do it many times so I assumed it was okay. We didn’t even collect the coupons to be counted for the cash office, we just chucked them after use."
"They claimed I lost the store hundreds of dollars and had been watching me 'for months' do this awful, unforgivable crime for people spending 90 bucks on already bloated price designer jeans. I’m sure the occasional 10% discount was just devastating. 🙄""I got this huge lecture of how I was LITERALLY stealing from the store and they COULD call the police but would give me a chance to work off the damage. I couldn’t believe how criminal I was made to feel over it. The best part when they called my boss in who pretended to have never done it before to save her own a**."
"I asked if they were firing me. They said 'Yes and No. You will be let go, but you can choose to work off the damages so we don’t take you to court.' I told them I will just quit and asked for my last check. They said they will deduct what I owe from my last check. And I said 'Well then you need to show me all the footage and prove that I was stealing.' They wouldn’t produce footage, finally called the cops, and when the cops arrived, they were just as confused and called it an internal problem and advised them that this was overblown. I think they felt sorry for me. So finally upper management came in and just said 'just issue the last check, I will sign it here.' So much drama over so stupid a thing."
"It was sad because that actual day my Mom and daughter had come to the mall to meet me for lunch and I had to explain I just was forced to quit that job and was never allowed in that store again like I was some awful jerk."
"It was nice a few short years later, the entire chain bankrupted."
"A coworker waited until we were in front of a large group of people to start 'disciplining' me for something 'wrong' I did (I took my lunch 15 mins late to help another coworker) when she wasn’t even my supervisor. Applied for a job transfer the next day and couldn’t be happier where I am now."
"I had a piece of sh*t of a boss. He'd praise you in private but berate you in public. In front of coworkers and customers. Always about stuff that didn't matter."
"He'd also happily break company policy to side with customers after you spent an hour telling a customer you can't give them stuff for free, for example. Any time he was around, everything was miserable."
"My only regret is that I wasn't there to see him marched out by corporate when he got fired, because I had gone on to a better job by then."
Human Punching Bag
"I used to work in a Kitchen at a pub, it was grim work, but I had freinds there and had worked there for 3 years, So it wasn't too bad."
"One Christmas season we were being absolutely pumped, full out functions and busy services. My boss at the time was very stressed and fair enough, We were busy, We were all working overtime and full out. He used any excuse to completely blow up and absolutely scream at me for little to no reason, essentially him yelling at me was his stress relief. But fine, whatever, kitchens are rough places, no appolagies or anything, move on."
"I then go away for 3 weeks over the Christmas holidays and spend the time road tripping around the country having an amazing time."
"First shift back, not pleased being back, he makes a snarky comment."
"F'k this, Im out."
Even though these employees weren't chewed out in front of co-workers, the low salary without room for negotiation made them not wanting to stick around for much longer.
You Only Get One Job
"They cut my hours so I had to get a second job. 3 days before I was supposed to start said second job, my manager at the main job told me that I couldn't get this second job because I had main job first and I needed to make it my priority. That's when I said f'k you and left. I didn't even give a notice, I literally just sent an email saying I wouldn't be coming in the next day, grabbed my sh*t and went home."
"I used to work Retail and after 7 years at the company, I found out I was only making 50 cents more an hour than someone who just started yesterday. I understood if they couldn't pay me more and asked for a good schedule. 7-3 or 8-4 every day and the same two days off every week. I didn't even ask for weekends off."
"I was told that they couldn't give me a good schedule so I quit."
Situations weren't much different outside the work place. Social dilemmas prompted these Redditors to say, "nope."
"Went to a pub because a friend kept asking. When I got there, he was with a group of people I didn't know, so I introduced myself and got the next round. As I come back with the tray, I hear them saying something along the lines of 'why is that b*tch still here? I thought she was just supposed to drop off a bicycle?' 'Ya, we don't want her to come to <this other town with more pubs> and now she is drinking with us?' 'She's so dumb' *proceeds to imitate and ridicule me as I was actively listening and nodding when I was having a conversation with my friend."
"Gave the beer to random people and walked right out after saying good evening to my friend and briefly explaining I did not appreciate being tricked into being a bicycle taxi for people who hate me directly after meeting me."
A Shocking Incident
"I was on my boat fishing for bass. I casted out my line and watched the lure hit the water but the line just floated in the air. Lightning and thunder crashed and the line fell to the water. F'k this sh*t, I'm out."
"She lined my bed with broken glass put the blankets over it and I dove on in lol."
"Edit: She was violent/crazy and on drugs, was like the 20th attack I took and that made me really think lol."– MyLifeForAuir1
Ally For The Ex
"I found nudes of his ex (from ten years ago) that I’d previously asked him twice to get rid of tucked in a pair of MY socks. Our couples counselor asked why he’d kept them and he said, 'You know. In case I ever needed to blackmail her.' He said it like it was a perfectly normal and reasonable thing to plan to do. The therapist and I locked eyes and I noped the f'k out of there and moved out."
Most of these Redditors realized leaving their situation was better than dealing with the consequences of sticking around.
The latter is never a good option. Why remain in a scenario you know is already going to consume your soul?
The lesson for today is–Don't be miserable. Your sanity is worth saving.Besides, you would never know that something better awaits if you just don't get the F out.
As we enter into the summer months, people now have to decide whether or not they want their morning coffee to be hot or iced.
Lucky for them, it's delicious either way.
One could make an argument that foods that are equally delicious hot or cold are perhaps the best, or at least the most reliable.
And this can include foods which are not customarily sold both hot and cold (cold pizza anyone?).
Redditor NectarineOther4989 was curious to hear which foods people enjoy either hot or cold, leading them to ask:
"What is something that tastes good both hot and cold?"
Fresh out of the oven, or the next day!
Chocolate withstands all temperatrues
"Chocolate."Chocolate Satisfying GIF by HuffPostGiphy
Can't go wrong with fruit and pastry
"Apple pie."- Hak_Saw5000
This doesn't only apply to food
"Revenge."- pushthestartbuttonkarine vanasse revenge GIF by HULUGiphy
Let the flavor develop
"2 totally different flavors depending on warm vs cold from fridge."- nonkowledge
So many to choose from!
A matter of textural preference
"Cheese, ya fools."- eat_dontpray_loveCloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs Eating GIFGiphy
Under a hot greek sun, or during a cold winter's eve.
While there's no better smell than a batch of chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven, those eating them the next day likely aren't missing out either.