Working in a corporate environment is not for everyone. Some people thrive in them, others (like me) wilt and start to slowly unravel mentally. But what about those companies who pride themselves on their "alternative" corporate culture? We've all heard about companies that let you bring pets or have slides between floors, but even that isn't enough to keep some people there.
One Reddit user asked:
Redditors who left companies that non-stop talk about their amazing "culture", what was the cringe moment that made you realize you had to get out?
The answers are, honestly, kind of killing our hope that any corporate environment can really be different from the others. Having said that, it's also making us really thankful that we can write this article from our sofa while slamming guac and wearing no pants.
Some responses have been edited for content/clarity.
Everyone's A Director.Giphy
They changed the title of the receptionist to "Director of First Impressions."
Working WiFi Was TOO CRAZYGiphy
Had a "wall of crazy" where the CEO wanted to spend 20k on cool and edgy stuff for the office. Staff could make suggestions (Slides, beanbags, napping pods, etc)
Project was scrapped when the top suggestions ended up being:
- Working Heating
- Working WiFi
- Health Insurance
Profits Up? Cut Bonuses!Giphy
I'm in management and we just got the message that bonuses for the last financial year were severely cut across the business, probably going to receive 30% of our usual - at best. Then I attended our financial end of year results meeting the next day to be told that net profits were 18% up (nearly 1 billion total) and the best performance in years, all thanks to us.
So even though our profits were way up, the bonuses were cut? Employees who were not upper management would never have that information. Planning on leaving now.
"Work Hard, Play Hard"Giphy
They had an entire area devoted to foosball, pinball, billiards, console gaming, and videoke booths on the ground floor and it was clearly visible because of the glass windows on street level. Oddly enough, nobody ever used them, and the place was almost always empty save for a few people who use the internet kiosks.
When I learned a friend worked there, I asked why nobody would want to take the opportunity to use the awesome-looking recreational facility, he told me that people who do use the facility often found it used against them during performance evaluations, even when their use wasn't excessive at all. After a while word got around and they started avoiding the place altogether.
The irony is that their recruitment ads always touts a culture of "work hard play hard"
Like A CriminalGiphy
A co-worker was forced to work while her mother was dying in hospice. Mom dies, she quits, they escort her off the premises like a criminal.
"We Were Expected To Sing Along"Giphy
When I went to firm drinks in a public bar and the firm's "fun committee" handed out song sheets and a choir of employees lead by a bad guitarist sang a song about how great the firm was to the tune of 'Cause I'm Happy. We were expected to sing along. It was at that moment I realized I was in a cult.
We (management team) spent months working with a business coach trying to collectively come up with meaningful core values. We devoted a ton of time to it and really tried to decide which direction we wanted to take the company culture. Everybody agreed on teamwork, reliability, a couple others that I can't remember now, and then one day the owner came in and called a meeting.
He sat us down in the boardroom and told us he spent all weekend brainstorming and had decided on the core values. They were:
Meaningful Ownership Neighbourhood Engagement You
Does anybody see what that spells? He literally wanted it to be money and just came up with words that sort of worked the way you do in elementary school writing your name poem.
He rebranded the entire company from t shirts with giant first letters and smaller letters for the rest of the word straight down the arms, to plagues, wraps on the cars, everything.
And that's when we all knew it was going to get bad.
Money is great, but it was mortifying walking/driving around with that plastered everywhere.
Banned From Saying The Word BathroomGiphy
When we couldn't say "bathroom" on the shop floor and instead had to ask a manager for "serenity."
Not me, but my husband worked for two weeks for a "family owned and operated" business that touted how important "family" was and that they were all one happy "family." My husband was on his way to drop our at the time 2 year old son off at daycare before work when son threw up all over himself. Husband called his employer to tell them what happened and that he needed to take son home and clean him up but he'd be in asap.
His manager told him he needed to get his priorities straight. He responded with "You know what? You're right, I won't be back in at all." He was still working part time at his previous job where they had been sad that he was leaving, so he called them and told them to put him back on the schedule full-time. The "family" business is currently in the process of liquidating assets before going out of business and I cackle every time I drive past it.
Shedding Tears For AppleGiphy
I worked for Apple back in their heyday and it was always constant and terrible. But one guy who was an assistant manager (or something like that) took time out during a store meeting to evangelize to us (his words) about how Apple was going to change each of our lives so drastically that we wouldn't recognize ourselves any more. About five minutes in to his proselytizing, the tears began to flow and he openly sobbed about how Apple was the greatest thing on the planet.
He was ultimately let go for being late too many times and had to be escorted from the store out the back door because he was crying and refused to leave his "home."
I am still working at the company but am job hunting.
It is a school for troubled youth. One of the perks it lists for the students is if they have a good week (no aggression and good attendance) then they get to hang out in the "club house" on Friday afternoons. The "club house" is never used for anything else.
The issue is none of the staff gets breaks other than the bathroom. There is no where to go. We would all love a break room and a place to eat lunch without students. Some students will steal or touch our food while we are trying to eat. It makes sense for the clubhouse to be a space that the teachers can use for breaks as well. But no.
Only two kids ever get to use it and only for 3 hours on Friday.
There is giant tv and xbox and playstation and fridge with snacks, but most of the time is locked and empty. Why can't we teachers use it too?
When they decided to put the most inept, useless, waste of a human being as the head of the "funshine" club, I knew the place was dog sh!t. The idea was if we got cupcakes once a month we wouldn't want to hang ourselves in the office. Mind you, the dude was the CFO of the company. He just gave himself the title of "Chief Funshine Officer." Ugh.
Not Smiling EnoughGiphy
Worked for a hotel, new managers were absolutely determined to create a different "culture" in the workplace. I realized I had to get out when a waitress got pulled aside and berated for about 10 minutes for not smiling enough. What those idiots didn't know, and never gave her the chance to explain, was that the waitress herself had been hospitalized for depression a year earlier, and her Dad died 2 months ago. I handed in my notice as soon as I could.
Late to this party, but I worked for a large foreign exchange at the head office. They hung awards they had won for being the best place to work all over the entrance. They had a really nice automated coffee machine (back when that was rare and expensive). They had a masseuse come in bi weekly.
The boss, however, would openly berate employees. He would sh!t all over me, and yet, I would get massive bonuses for doing a good job. His office was a floor below ours, and we all shared a large office; about 9 people in an office sized for 3. We had one front line support girl who was truly amazing. Super personable, pretty tech savvy, and always wanting to learn new things.
I worked there for 3 months. One day, she gets a call. I can hear his voice booming through the phone from across the office, berating her, and making her cry in front of her coworkers. Later that day, I called around, had an interview over lunch, and went to HR to quit. In 3 months, I had 4 pages of grievances. HR had never seen something that bad. They called previous people that quit and found out it was a pattern. He was fired later, and she was promoted to his job, basically from near the bottom. Poetic justice.
Building Up The RhythmGiphy
The CEO was creepy, not in a sleazy way but in a "barely human" kind of way. I'd love to know how these "almost people" types are usually in managerial positions.
This guy was a mixture of new age hippie, actor snob, businessman, arrogant rich bastard and just generally the type of person to use pretentious catchphrases and buzzwords to try to sound intelligent and "with it".
When I met him it was clear he had no clue who I was or what I was doing at the business. He gave me one of those airy "what the f^ck" smiles when we met like he'd never heard of an intern before. It was also clear he barely interacted with staff beyond the once weekly group lunches.
At these lunches, he made staff do presentations about their research on some plan/product he might want to invest in one day. But he'd continually interrupt their presentations with questions, and try to trip them up on their lack of knowledge. He'd also critique their "performance". He'd interrupt to talk about the employee's tone of voice, volume, stage presence and use the moment to brag about his own acting classes. Meanwhile the employees just wants to eat their damn lunch.
He also had these creepy ass introduction videos for newbies where he spoke about the "building up the rhythm of business" or some shit, at one point comparing it to sex which.......................................... ew.
Every morning employees had to stand in a circle and do some sort of action to "build up a rhythm" which was some sort of positive reinforcement motivation crapola. He was never present for these, and it was simply humiliating.
When I was told that vacations only mean that one works 5-6 hours a day from the location you are vacationing at as opposed to the usual 10-12 hours a day from the office. Um, no.
I was also asked to carry a portable wifi to be able to work out of a hospital, where I was visiting a loved one.
Conference was held in city where I have friends. I decided to have dinner with them rather than attend the optional games night (especially when we just had a mandatory evening activity the night before). I was told to go f^ck myself and my friends. By the boss.
Customers Watching Us Play Musical ChairsGiphy
Worked at a Best Buy and in the morning meetings we had to play stupid games to boost team morale 'culture'. The cringiest moment that made me realize I had to leave was playing musical chairs on a Saturday morning as customers waiting for the store to open were peeking through the windows and watching us.
Pubic Hair And A Ping Pong TableGiphy
When my boss undid his pants in the studio to tuck his shirt in exposing his pubic hair. Also when a ping pong table was put up behind my desk for devs to unwind with. The constant noise made me want to cut myself.
"We Can't Provide A 5-Star Product"Giphy
Extended Stay Hotels. Everything they did could go in a corporate horror movie.
Acronyms. Acronyms. More acronyms.
The company has spent the past 10 years whittling away property budgets to almost nothing. The reception computers are 15 years old, important stuff breaks and they won't fix it. One time the front desk printer ran out of ink and the district manager didn't approve a new order for 2 weeks. That's my bosses, bosses, boss in charge of approving our office supplies. They pay the managers nothing, they pay front desk nothing, housekeepers get 25 minutes to clean each room and also get paid nothing. And they have no clue why a housekeeping position opens and they get 0 applications.
The place is staffed to the bare minimum to save money. A 90 room hotel that has 1 person working, come on man.
They give managers bonuses if they spend under certain amounts. I've filled in at hotels that had no dishes, didn't have enough towels and one property that was putting sheets on the beds with cigarette burns because that was all they had.
Before I left my new district manager sent an email out that said "we can't provide a 5 star product but we can provide 5 star service!" That's corporate speak for "we want perfect customer reviews and we want you to do it with no budget!"
The entire company is ran by B-School grads who have never stepped foot in one of the hotels. Most of the initiatives have no chance of working.
Not that they care. All they see is the bottom line.
Love is crazy. I've finally come to that conclusion. And marriage, you take your life in your hands and just throw caution to the wind in hopes of survival with that step.
When love falls apart, things can get real messy, real fast. And I've always been stunned by people's behavior when love subsides.
More often than not, it's like they become different people. Sometimes people are beset by tragedy and grief and sometimes people smile wide and move on. It's a coin toss.
But my favorite post divorce personality has to be the sudden super villain. Oh honey watch out for them!
Redditor u/hyperyog wanted to hear all the tea from the divorcees out there by asking:
Divorced Redditors, what is the craziest thing you or your former spouse did after divorce?
I once had a friend who burned her ex's house down when he wasn't home. He had started seeing someone almost immediately, so she thought, lemme set their sparks. Yeah, she wasn't well. Whatever happened to just a quick goodbye?
Swipeddean winters crying GIF by MayhemGiphy
"She removed the retaining clips for my windshield wipers, but put the wipers back on the arms. First storm after I got my car back from her, driver side wiper flew off the car on Interstate 40. Good times."
"He wrote suicide notes and put them in my kids backpacks for them/me to find. Then he turned off his phone and went to a coworkers house to play crib and have drinks.. all the while knowing I would be freaking out searching for him thinking he was in danger or worse. Thankfully my kids didn't see the notes and didn't know what was going on. This was just one of the many, many crazy things he did. Two years out and he just recently stopped showing up at my work and driving by my house at night."
A Sad End
"Died of a drug overdose. To be fair, her drug addiction was the reason for the divorce, so maybe that isn't too crazy."
"That's so incredibly difficult to have gone through. I unfortunately know the depths of this kind of pain, and while I'm sure the circumstances surrounding it are different, the loss that still happened is a tragedy. My condolences."
"Stalked me for 5 years. Would make fake social media profiles to try to follow me (which I would block endlessly) and would try to find where I worked so she could talk to me. This lady cheated on me with 7 different men 2 months after we were married. I kicked her a** to the curb and made her sign the court papers."
"When we had our day in court she cried in the judges office while I just wanted to get this crap done. After, my dad was with me and he threw 50 dollars at her and told her to "change your freaking last name." Good guy Pops. I haven't seen or heard from her in about 5 years, thank goodness."
Take it All!skin care spinning GIF by Primal Life OrganicsGiphy
"I had an ex-boyfriend go through my apartment and take back every gift he had given me that he could find. Then he went in my bedside table and took the condoms. And the vibrator he had given me."
See now, when I'm out... I'm out! I don't want to see you, hear from you or know you. I wish you well in life, but please live it far from me. Anyone agree? Clearly not the people here. Let's continue...
For the Boybicycling father and son GIF by NETFLIXGiphy
"All I wanted was custody of my son, I gave her everything else except one of our cars. She fought me through 5 hearings, I won. She never came to see him again."
"My ex cheated on me the week my mom died in the hospital. She spent a year and a half trying to get in touch with me. She would call my old work and make fake accounts trying to message me on FB. It was insane. She later sends a certified letter explaining she was sorry that she did what she did and that she aborted our child."
"Wanted me to meet her somewhere so she could apologize face to face. She already married some other guy that she had children with and was still trying to get in touch with me. I never understood her."
"After years of telling me she wanted a child, that she wanted to be a mom, that her life's dream was to be a stay at home mom, she got pregnant with the first guy she slept with while we were getting divorced and put the kid up for adoption even before it was born. This was a long-standing thing with her, she always wanted something (car, house, dog, cat, marriage, etc) and the second she got it she immediately hated it."
"Called me and pretended he had been hit by a car while we were talking. He even tried to voice the crowd that had gathered around his "body." God-awful acting, but pretty funny listening to him try to mimic a woman's voice. Points for trying to be inclusive, I guess."
"I think he was trying to get me to re-live my trauma of being on the phone with a friend who actually HAD been hit by a car while we were talking. Too bad he didn't realize that hearing the real thing is worlds different than hearing a dumba** try to act it out."
"I was sending 600 dollars a month to support my daughter because she's the only thing I give a sh!t about. My ex texts me and tells me I need to be sending 1200 a month because she's broke and can't pay her bills and I should feel guilty about it. She left me for another guy while I was on deployment I told her to go screw herself--call my lawyer."
Pop OffTom Hanks Drinking GIF by The Good FilmsGiphy
"Took the sodas from the fridge as he walked out the door. Dumfounded."
See, I blame Alanis Morissette and her "Jagged Little Pill" album. All I'm going to say is... the secret song. I think she gave people ideas. (I love that song) Y'all, seek therapy if you can't shake people. When it's done, let it be done.
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Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is highly regarded for his delicious plates, his ability to run a solid restaurant, and, let's face it, his stage presence.
He's also a foul-mouthed Brit who is all too willing to dismantle people's self-esteems and compare them to livestock animals.
Alas, as watching all reality television goes, we love to see the crashing and burning.
But what if the shoe was on the other foot? What if you were the one being torn into by the sailor of all chefs, Mr. Gordon Ramsay.
Wondering what horrible dishes were lurking in unknown kitchens all over the place, Redditor FalloutSl*t413 asked:
"What's something you made that was 100% delicious but Gordon Ramsay would slap you for anyway?"
Some people talked about those purely functional meals that are just perfect for piling on enough protein and calories to get through the day.
"My mom used to make us 'Volcanoes.' Mashed potatoes topped with ground beef with some ketchup. I still tear it up to this day."
Quick and Easy
"I make weeknight 'enchiladas.' "
"You stick frozen taquitos in a casserole dish and cover them with canned or frozen chili and cheese. Bake them until everything's hot, serve with a dollop of sour cream. They sound disgusting but they taste amazing, and they take like, five minutes to prep."
"I know it looks like, smells like, and probably tastes like cat food but potted meat sandwiches. Look, when you're poor as hell and you can make 3 sandwiches with one little can that cost like 20 cents, it's pretty good."
"While I'm at it, Treet and bologna are pretty great. I have the taste palette of a raccoon and I like it that way."
"When I was younger I would make this thing where it was a patty melded of:"
- "a can of tuna"
- "two eggs
"And I would eat that almost daily, pan-fried, for lunch. Just slap me now and lets get it over with."
Others shared the recipes they make to feel fancy despite being totally trashy.
A Nuanced Process
"I call them 'chicken puffs.' Some par-cooked chicken (white or dark meat, either works) with sauteed serrano peppers and onions and garlic."
"All wrapped in crescent roll dough in little balls (a bit smaller than a baseball), put in a casserole tray filled juuuuust above the top of the little dough balls with cream of roasted chicken soup. Baked to completion/safety."
"Overly indulgent and delicious."
A Famous Side
"I consistently make a box of pastaroni angel hair and herbs as a side with meals I prepare for people. EVERYONE always asks for the recipe LOL please don't tell my secret"
Just a Couple Additions
" 'Fancy Ramen' Ramen made normal. Don't mix seasoning. Drain water. Add Mayo. Then mix in seasoning. And Volia. A lot of people question it. Until they try it."
Others outlined the things they eat that combine some ingredients it may seem disgusting to mix together.
Throw An Egg On There
"Fu** it lasagna, alternating layers of bread and shredded cheese (your choice which, I use cheddar) then crack an egg on top and put it in the microwave. Old depression meal, but it still holds up."
Hard to Wrap Your Head Around
"As a kid I would eat a banana with a cheese slice. Haven't tried it in years but it might hold up" -- Send_it_to_me
"Let's not" -- Sea-Entertainer-4974
"When I was younger I would make toast with peanut butter on it, then add pepperoni. Delicious then but I cringe thinking about trying it today"
The truly horrifying thing? There are so many more recipes out there that would leave Ramsay trembling.
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People love to talk about food. There are blogs, books, television shows, conversations in bars and farmers markets. In all likelihood, there is a recipe swap happening right this second in some deep corner of a suburb somewhere.
But sometimes talk is a lot of hot air. And the topic of food sure isn't immune to that criticism.
You can't get through a day without some telling you what "you gotta try."
The problem is, talking about food is often far more exciting than the food itself.
Redditor anicaodha asked:
"What food is overhyped?"
Many people were angry about garnishes. They hated the way restaurants try to entice people to eat certain menu items by slapping some kitschy ingredient on there.
A Very Expensive Burger
"Anything with gold flakes, absolutely pointless." -- Spend_Total
"ugh, i just remembered throwing up gold flakes from goldschlager, yuck!" -- spaceygracie12
"Aka how to add a crunch to your dish like a douche." -- CakeBot_TheReckoning
Catches the Eye Though
"Any rainbow food, rainbow grilled cheese, rainbow smoothie..."
"Just a cheap money grab."
No Breath On My Meal Please
"Dragon's breath/ nitro puffs or any dessert that contains liquid nitrogen to make it look cool." -- throwjango
"This stuff exists? God, I'm out of the loop." -- -The-Magic-8-Ball
"Truffle oil, usually doesn't contain a single truffle." -- BlckontheMoon
"The 1 thing I love about Truffle oil is I've never seen someone use it on a cooking competition show and not lose." -- igotmadshirts
Some people talked about the big trends that they just never could quite figure out.
That Almighty Nectar
"Remember when people were treating Nutella like it was the second coming of Christ?" -- Grapezard
"I had an Italian friend once invite me to his birthday party in high school. His mom made a Nutella pie and it was one of the greatest desserts I've never had the pleasure of trying again. It was so simple, like a soft flaky dough covered with Nutella."
"I don't want to come out of the blue and ask this kid for his mom's recipe 15 years later so I'll just suffer I suppose." -- JupiterTarts
"Red velvet is literally a red chocolate cake that has nowhere near enough chocolate and to much red food coloring. It literally was invented when done dudes chocolate turned kinda red when he added vinegar to the chocolate cake mix."
"Friends loved the color, but it was finicky to get the red color without changing flavor of cake, so he decided to use red food coloring."
"Fu**ing Avocado Toast.
"Avocado is a buck. Toast is few cents. Avocado Toast is $10+"
And some discussed the things that people insist are fancy and delectable, but are really just run of the mill entirely.
Meat is Meat?
"steak is good, and I'd even say a high quality steak can be very very good. But people act like it's better than busting a nut and that's just not true. It's just meat"
"Lobster. It's good, but poor value given it's almost always the most expensive protein available."
"Plus most places just drown it in butter, which again, fine, but if all you taste is butter, why spend that much?"
Depends on the House
" 'Housemade' ketchup. Give me the damn Heinz and get your banana aoili mess away from me." -- peanutbutterallytime
"I live in Pittsburgh and I have seen multiple restaurants try and fail to make housemade ketchup work. Every single time they go back to Heinz." -- HooBoy401
So if you find yourself tired of hearing people go on and on about something you don't go wild over, know that there are others fuming too.
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It's not easy to always do the right thing.
Which is why most people don't usually do the right thing. Doing the right thing involves a lot of thought, empathy for others, and a self-awareness of your place in the world. You're not making a choice just for yourself, you're more often than not doing it for someone else. This, in itself, presents a difficult hill for most people to climb so, usually, they feel it's easier to make the selfish choice.
Doesn't mean people always do. They can surprise you sometimes.
*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.
What's the hardest moral decision you've ever had to make?
Even when the choice amounts to something small, it can still matter to someone else.
How Dare You Make Me Morally Astute?!
"This is small potatoes compared to most of the people on this thread but many years ago I was travelling and had very little money. I went to a stall at a market, handed them a 10 dollar bill. Item cost 5 dollars but instead of handing me a five dollar note, the handed me a 50."
"I was walking away from the stall when noticed. My first thought was BONUS. But I had lately been hanging out with a bunch of people who were really into karma. So I stormed back to the stall, slammed the 50 down on the counter and told them off for making me make moral decisions. Lady behind the counter was like "ahhhhhh, thanks"
Didn't Believe The First Time, But Can't Deny Visual Evidence
"I told a co-worker his wife was cheating on him. It ruined our friendship for a good amount of time, until he caught her himself."
"To bad he couldn't just believe you."
Owning Up To The Mistake
"Fessing up to an error I made at work that cost the company 5k. I was a manager and misinterpreted a sales promotion. I almost lost my job, this is the one time that telling the truth actually saved me. It's true what they say that the cover up is usually worse than the crime. Lesson learned.."
Doing something morally correct when it comes to family can be tricky. On one hand, you don't want to ruffle the feathers of the people you're going to be related to for the rest of your life...which is how family works.
On the other hand, do the right thing.
Making The Best Call For Your Children
"Removing the mother of my two sons out of their lives completely as she was unfit and abusive while I was on deployment. They were 3-4 years old then and now they are 17 and 15 with their mother never attempting to come back into their lives which I would prefer at this point."
Because They're Going To Be Sad Later...
"My grandmother died, and I lied to my parents about it."
"My grandparents were 95 and my parents hadn't had a vacation in 30 years. So when she passed away with only 5 days remaining on their vacation, my family decided not to ruin it for them; instead, we'd plan the entire funeral and if my mother wanted to make adjustments when she returned, we'd arrange it for her; there was nothing they could do to get her back."
"Having to decide on the DNR (do not resuscitate) order for my father who had been victim to a massive stroke..."
"I know millions have done it before and millions will again but to me it was devastating....."
"As a health worker, you did the right thing by your father. I've come across families of patients who keep them alive for their own peace of mind while the patient themselves is tired and in alot of pain mentally and physically from the constant treatments and would rather rest from it all. Don't feel bad for your decision."
Never doubt your actions when it comes to protecting children.
"Calling CPS on a student's family after she begged me not to. CPS did an investigation and she was pissed at me for months until the vice principal had a talk with her and explained that I only did it because I care and didn't want her to get hurt."
"That VP is awesome. I sat in his office while he coached me through the call, since it was my first time calling CPS."
Standing Up For Your Friend, Even When No One Else Will
"I was in high school and my best friend was being bullied on the bus. She brought a knife to school and had previously mentioned a list of people. I cried a lot when I went to the principal to turn her in. I knew I was ruining her life but I wanted her to get help. I didn't want anyone to get hurt because we were all just kids. She was expelled and forced into therapy. We had been friends since we were 11."
"My mom listened on the phone line when I was trying to comfort my friend (while absolutely not admitting it was me) and my mom jumped on and told her I'm not allowed to be her friend anymore. I had told my mom I had turned her in and she had no empathy for this girl. Because I had been bullied and stood up for myself and never "did anything like that". My friend was getting cornered on the bus by 4 people whereas I was normally taunted in public and was lucky enough to always have an upperclassmen or school employee around to help me out. I felt guilty about turning her life upside down for many years but would do it again because she did get help."
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/