That Time I Quit On The Spot
Imagine starting a new job and learning that the uniform was chaps and a thong, or that the company had just fired most of the staff and you were hired to do the work of three people. These Redditors shared their horror stories of the moment they decided to walk off the job. What would it take for you to do the same?
Signed, Sealed, Deliveredman driving motor scooter delivering goodPhoto by Lucian Alexe on Unsplash
I got fired from a pizza delivery job once and was told I had to finish my shift on a Friday night. They said I was a “no call, no show” the previous day. There was just one problem. I hadn’t been scheduled. They wrote me in but didn't call me. The ink wasn't even the same color as the rest of the schedule. So when I showed up for work the next day they told me I was fired for “no call, no show”, but I had to stay and work. I said screw that and walked two doors over to the Chinese place and asked if they needed a delivery guy. I was hired on the spot. Plus I got free egg rolls.
The owner of a restaurant I was managing spilled boiling freshly made chicken noodle soup on my middle torso all the way down. It was so hot and painful to the point I had to strip my soaking boiling shoes. My reaction was to run and swear. He told me If I swore so vocally again he would let me go. I then needed medical attention, which he refused.
I went to the hospital anyway, came to work the next day with bandages, and was told I would work today's shift as repayment for missing my previous one. I explained that it was against the law and gave him an ultimatum: either he fix it by paying my medical bills or I walk. He laughed, saying I had no control over it. So I walked.
Three months later after filing suit, I supplied all the information needed to indict him on tax evasion, failure to properly insure, and failure to maintain a safe workplace. This and his other businesses had to be sold for him to afford the legal costs, my medical bills, and the mandatory restitution payments. The stupid idiot is still paying me out, and now that he's fulfilled his sentenced time, he lives in a relatively medium-sized town and we frequent the same locations, I consistently remind him of when his next payment is due.
The IT Crowd
I quit a job on the first day. I was hired as an IT tech, however this company did not know what IT techs were. They thought "IT does everything", including making sure their lights were replaced. I had one lady complain about me not changing her lightbulb fast enough because the burned-out one shattered on me and cut my hand open. I knew just what to do to get revenge. I dropped the box of fluorescents, shattering literally all of them, and walked out. I told my supervisor he needs to hire actual maintenance cause IT fixes computers.
All Work And No Playman standing in front of people sitting beside table with laptop computersPhoto by Campaign Creators on Unsplash
A large corporation I worked for kept “downsizing” the workforce but not the workload. Those of us who were left (team of 15 reduced to two) felt so lucky to have a job that we didn’t complain about taking on the jobs of three people, and we worked 60+ hours per week. The company hires a new department head and a couple of months later I have my annual review where he says, “we just need you to do more”, to which I replied, “No”. No forethought. No plan. I just knew I couldn’t take on more. I definitely caught him off guard, and I couldn’t believe “no” came out of my mouth. We were both stunned. But that was effectively my two-week notice.
I was working as an engineer for a big corporation. I was supposed to get a promotion to Senior Engineer at the start of Covid lockdowns, but they told me I wouldn’t get one because of Covid. Fair enough, but a couple of weeks later they told me our salaries would be reduced because the company wasn’t doing well. Not nice, but nothing I could do.
A couple of months later, the company promoted two Vice Presidents to Senior Vice Presidents and gave them a huge bonus. I then asked for my promotion and they told me that no promotions would take place under Covid. I waited a few more months until they finally gave me my promotion…and the salary increase was £100 A YEAR.
This is much smaller than what my salary was reduced because of Covid. I took home the letter indicating I had a promotion, gave my notice, and began looking for a senior engineer role somewhere else. Screw greedy corporations. Of course, I forgot to mention that they removed all our bonuses during this time period, but management got it all.
They changed my schedule and didn't inform me, and then yelled at me when I showed up following the old schedule. Someone had quit just before my three days off and I texted my boss to ask if he was going to need me those three days, and he said no. So Friday rolls around and I come in following the old schedule. The boss is there, he doesn't say anything about me being late, and I just work my shift like normal. Same thing on Saturday.
Sunday I am ten minutes late because of traffic. It was my fault but I am rarely late so I figured I would apologize and that would be the end of it. My boss’s reaction was diabolical. He lays into me for being late three days in a row. Confused, I ask what he's talking about. He had changed the schedule on Friday/Saturday and apparently, I was four hours late for both those shifts.
When I pointed out I wasn't informed the schedule changed and I even asked him on Tuesday if he needed me. He replied, "it's your job to know when you should be here". I just laid my keys on his desk and left.
Too Old For Thisman wearing white dress shirtPhoto by CDC on Unsplash
It was a CNA job for a nursing home. I worked for my facility for three years faithfully. We got bought out in the third year. They cut staffing, supplies, and kicked out patients that weren’t “money makers”. I went through Covid with these guys and kept expecting things to get better. My last straw was the day I came in to 29 patients with just me and one nurse. During the day.
They expected eight baths to be done and almost half of my patients were in lifts. Three-quarters were incontinent. I called my boss in tears because there was no way I could take care of all these people. I told him it was against the law to do this. I told him it was poor treatment of elders. I begged him to send someone in to help me.
He laughed in my face and told me that the law in our state doesn’t specify the number of patients a CNA can take care of so therefore what he was doing was legal. And no help would be coming, so figure it out. I quit right on the spot. I told the nurse I’d finish my shift because I cared for these people for three years and they deserved more. I finished my shift and quit right after.
Do It For The Dough
It was my first night as a pizza delivery boy. It was my second or third delivery of the night. On the walk from the car to the apartment, in the apartment complex courtyard, I was approached by two men. They hit me in the head several times, knocked me to the ground, took the pizza and the money bag, and ran. Good thing they didn't take the car. This was in 1989, so it was long before smartphone apps. I went back to the pizza shop and quit on the spot—but I was in for another surprise.
The owners were very kind, they took me to the ER to be checked out, they paid for the hospital visit, and they totally understood why I'd want to quit.
In The Mines
Let me preface this by saying the mine was shutting down within four weeks anyways...Sand mines have things called "screen towers" which is essentially a tall (60-foot) sifter where the sand gets shaken and separated. It was a Minnesota January, -11 degrees out with 25+ MPH winds so it felt like nearly -40 degrees. The seals went out on the screen tower and we can't run without it. So the six of us went up there in the godawful cold, replaced the seals, and started it back up.
About three hours total, 60 feet up in the air, howling winds. It was absolutely MISERABLE. Now, even though we pleaded with the mine superintendent that we need high-temp seals even though it was terribly cold (those things get to be a few hundred degrees), he made us use the low-temp seals as he figured extremely cold=low temp seals....but they're typically used in water screens where near extremely cold water is constantly running over them.
About 15 minutes after it started back up, the seals failed....as we predicted, and he wanted to send us right back up there for another two to three hours because he was stubborn and didn't listen because he was the one with the apparently meaningless engineering degree, and we were just lowly heavy equipment operators.
I went to my locker, grabbed my stuff, and just drove out of there. I didn't tell a soul. When he called about 20 minutes later, I told him there was no way I can fathom working for someone like him for another minute. I did have a job offer from a mine in Texas so I gave them a call on my way home, told them I accepted, and was down there two weeks later.
In Hot Waterwoman in black headphones holding black and silver headphonesPhoto by Charanjeet Dhiman on Unsplash
I worked for a well-known Australian plumbing company in the call center, booking jobs. I had a call come in from a desperate single mother. Her pilot light had gone out on her hot water system and she hadn't had hot water for over a week. She couldn't afford the repairs and had just been doing her best to cope. One of our technicians was already at her neighbor’s property, so she approached him for help.
He followed procedure and gave her the number for the call center, assuming since he was already next door, that we could waive the $150 call-out fee and he could, at the very least, assess the problem and give her a quote for repairs. Well, my operations manager refused, saying she would cost the company, etc, etc. But then it got even worse.
By this time the woman on the phone was in tears, extremely upset, and my ops manager said, "Well, I guess she can decide what a hot shower is worth", with a big smirk on her face. I packed up my desk and walked out.
I told them I couldn't work Saturdays because I played rugby. That was fine for months until I found myself rostered on a Saturday a few weeks in advance. I told the manager I couldn't do it and reminded her of my sports commitments. She said she would amend it. The following week I noticed I was still rostered on that coming Saturday. She wasn't in at the time so I left a message saying that there might be a mistake because I was still rostered on.
I received a reply in capitals saying something along the lines of "You're rostered to work 9:00 am - 2:00 pm Saturday, come in then or don't come in at all". So, I left that afternoon and didn't return for another shift. I received calls and messages for about two weeks asking when I would be returning, but never answered or replied to any.
Flapjack Faux Pas
I quit working at IHOP after about five minutes. I applied for the job, got hired, and was told to come back a few days later to start. At the time, I had a full beard, and I figured it would be a good idea to trim it up a bit before my first day, so I shaved it down. I walk in on my first day, and the manager who interviewed me started telling me about how they were going to take X dollars out of my paycheck to cover the meal I was allowed to eat while working.
That sucks. I come to work to make money, not give it away, but I can live with it. Then the manager kind of pulls me aside and tells me, "I told you to be clean-shaven during your interview. You need to take care of that". The problem is that he said no such thing, so I responded with something like, "No, you didn't mention that, but I'll”... and he cut me off with, "Yes, I did".
I have no problem being clean-shaven. I have no problem following the rules of the place I'm working. I do have a problem working with people who can't admit even the possibility that they made a mistake and then double down on it. If he'd said, "Oh, I thought I did mention that”... then everything would have been fine. I instantly saw what working for this jerk was going to be like, so I took off my IHOP shirt, handed it back to him, and told him this wasn't going to work out. I never got paid for those five minutes, and I didn't eat at an IHOP again for something like 15 years.
What A Toolblack and silver car wheelPhoto by Tekton on Unsplash
I was working at Goodyear. It was well beneath my skill level, but they were hiring when I needed a job. Their lead tech had to leave because he tore his bicep. The same day they fired the guy below him on the totem pole for smoking a joint on his lunch break. I was assigned all the technician duties. Anything more complicated than an oil change came to me.
I asked if this came with a raise or a promotion and the boss said, "Bring me two ASE's, and three local seminars and I'll give you a promotion, a dollar raise, and a percentage of the work you do". I didn't have enough money for the racket that is ASE testing, and seminars were $200-$500 a person. They hired a new guy from a Firestone across the street.
He couldn't do technician work to save his life, he blew a couple of main fuses on some cars but could bust tires like nobody's business. Several times a week I was coming in to fix his mistakes or bail him out of a job he was not qualified for and did not have the tools for—but the madness didn’t stop there.
The boss called a storewide meeting. The new guy got promoted "In recognition of his service in the industry". No ASE's. No seminars. I gave my notice I was quitting right then and there.
The boss called me later as I was leaving for the day and begged me to stay because he realized no one else was qualified to do work beyond tires and oil changes. He offered a dollar raise if I brought two ASE's in. I laughed and reminded him that's what he offered me several weeks ago, then told him just for that I was going back in to pack my tools.
Not My Job
I was an assistant store manager at Papa John's. I was 19. I was doing nearly everything the General Manager should have been doing: scheduling, inventory, ordering, counting drawers/cashing out drivers, taking deposits to the bank, covering when people called out, working open to close on a regular basis…literally doing his entire job.
After a busy Friday night I just walked into the back office and had a fantastic conversation I will never forget: Me: "Hey man, unfortunately, I won't be able to come in tomorrow". "Oh, got plans or something”? "Nope. I actually won't be able to come in Sunday either, or any day after that”. "What do you mean”? "I mean I quit. Good luck, see ya". Put my keys down and walked out the door, and never looked back.
I was 15 years old. It was my third day on the job at a convenience store. The manager patted me on the head all softly like as I cleaned shelves. Then later the same day, he took me aside alone into the office to accuse me of taking money. The cash register I had used the previous two days had not added up right because I had made a lot of mistakes in using it due to a lack of training.
That and several other staff were dipping in and out of my till all day and I didn't know this wasn't normal. In hindsight, it was probably all a pretext to get me alone in a private space. Nooooooope. €3.50 per hour is not going to keep me here around this creep. See ya. I ran down the street crying and have never worked for anyone except myself since.
Every Day I’m Hustlin’a yellow notepad on a keyboardPhoto by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
I was working at a nursing home in medical records. My micromanaging supervisor, whom I hated, had retired but not recommended me for her position even though I knew as much as she did. They hired someone with zero experience off the street. I asked for time off to go to a conference for my side hustle and was told no.
They said the State might come in and do their yearly inspection, and the new manager had never been through one before so I needed to stay. They cut my hours due to a declining patient population, but the new manager reported I'd been missing shifts (not that she'd cut my hours), so I walked in during the morning meeting, threw the keys on the table, told them I didn't work for liars and left. My side hustle went full-time. Never looked back.
I had a job mostly driving and a lot of heavy loading and unloading. I got a concussion while working (my fault, I wasn’t paying attention and was rushing) and was not feeling right while on the road. I got pulled over and asked to be picked up to go to see a doctor. I got lots of attitude the whole time. The doctor confirmed a concussion and told me no driving, heavy lifting, or repetitive up and down movements for two days.
My boss then says he was putting me on light duty in the warehouse. That was the moment I knew I had to leave. The warehouse is absolutely not light-duty. They paid well enough that we had enough saved to cover a couple of months. So, my wife suggests I just take some time off and look for something new. I had a backup plan if nothing came up. I never showed up the next day.
I’ve never quit a job like that before and probably never will again, but it was a pretty awesome feeling. I already knew I wasn’t going to stay, I was not a good fit and it was affecting my home life…the worst job I ever had.
Plus I got to spend a whole month and a half off with our three-month-old. I feel like it did a lot for our bond…and the whole situation put me where I am today, I suppose.
My mom got me a job bussing (with intent to serve…that never came around) at a brand new up-and-coming bistro/bar in our small town. The pay was horrible (tips were meh...and obviously under-reported), but it was a job while I was in school, and the hours weren't too bad. They had me work Easter (with a bonus) at their country club a couple of months in with a couple of the other wait staff from the bar/bistro.
It was buffet style, so the wait staff and my single busser self were supposed to all be grabbing plates that were finished from tables. MOST of the wait staff from the bar/bistro hid in the kitchen and ate the food the whole time while I and some of the permanent staff from the country club cleared tables with one or two of the bar/bistro staff helping once in a while.
There were over 40 tables for four people...plus the other three to four hiding. When I got my payslip, I asked the food runner what he was paid for the holiday. He told me a sum over $120 more than what I got (which was about $120) and about $100 off from what he overheard the wait staff getting. He told me my pay for what I did was abysmal, and I agreed with him.
So I went to the boss to ask why my pay was so low, considering I did the majority of the work while everyone else hid and ate except the permanent staff. His answer was demented.
He told me I wasn't worth what I had received. I told the other busser I was sorry and I put my badge and keys on the counter and walked out of there leaving them with one busser for the rest of the day.
Both of us (boss and I) were servicemen at the time, from different branches, but that level of disrespect from another service member was just another level of jerk on top of it all. I called my mom on the way home to tell her what happened, and she quit within a month after me. She was one of their best waitresses and a bartender.
Pack It Upbrown wooden shelf on white floor tilesPhoto by tommao wang on Unsplash
I was working in a warehouse job when I was 17 years old. We'd just moved into a much bigger warehouse and needed another store person. I had a friend, let's call him Greg, looking for work so I got him a job there. Greg was not very good at this particular job but Greg had a driver’s license to do deliveries to customers and I did not.
A month later, the warehouse manager gives me a heads up that apparently head office doesn't want to pay two people, and the head office wants to keep Greg because he has a license. This is a new warehouse with literally hundreds of pallets of items to unpack and put on shelves so I decided to just bugger off…good luck to them. But Greg only liked the job because he got to work with his mate, and with me gone, he felt no need to hang around. Greg emails his resignation that afternoon and leaves them in a lurch with 150,000 different items to unpack without a store person.
In December 2019 the census was looking for part-time workers for the 2020 census. Some global things happened in early 2020 which postponed all the census work. I thought it would be a fun thing to do in the spring, but instead, we didn't get on-boarded until August. I did all the training, got the equipment, and did my first day.
It was over 90 degrees. I drove around (my addresses were spaced out, not walkable) for around three hours doing 30 addresses, and only had three people answer the door. The second day was more localized. It was 90+ degrees again. I walked to ten different houses with no answer before I told myself, "This is ridiculous. I don't need this job, this was supposed to be a fun little side thing to do but this blows". So I walked home and texted my field supervisor that I quit.
She didn't even act surprised or give any pushback. She just set up a time that I could meet her to hand over all my stuff back to her. Little side thing about quitting: All the Census stuff was done on a Government issued iPhone. When I returned all of the items I did not include the headphones from the iPhone. She made me drive back home and get the (used) earbuds to return.
Just The Tip
Many moons ago I worked at PF Chang's as a server, and we were on our third General Manager in one year. He decided to make this rule that if you had a party of eight or more you had to have two servers and split the tip. It was this random rule he had made when we had a bunch of servers that sucked and couldn't handle large parties on their own.
But for the veterans, we basically refused to do it because we would always be paired with a crappy server and end up doing ALL the work anyway. They just became glorified food runners. I have no problem tipping out my food runners but splitting the tip....no. So among the good servers/veterans we would pretend to partner up and just serve the table as normal.
Of course, we would help each other if needed but no splitting the tip (unwritten rule). Now to the story. It was a lunch shift. Super slow. One of the idiot servers was "working", meaning she spent most of the shift in the bathroom or talking to BOH. A party of eight walks in. I had to partner up with her because the General Manager was standing right there.
She got water for the table and then she disappeared. She reappears when they settle the bill and looks me straight in the face and says, "Ohhhh how much did WE get”? This is why I know she was high. "We?!?! No. I'm not splitting this”. She goes to the General Manager who KNOWS she didn't do anything. He watched me take care of the table myself.
He comes over to me and says, “You have to split the tip”. I said, “No, she didn't do anything but get water”. And he says, “I don't care, that's the rule”. I said, “She ain't getting nothin’ and cash me out now. I'm done. And if you don't give me the full tip, I'm calling corporate”. I waited for 10 minutes and then I just left with the full bank plus my tips. I later found out through my friends/coworkers that I only owed $30 or something so they weren't going to charge me for taking the cash or anything. The "I don't care" comment made me so angry. It's literally your job! I don't regret it to this day!
Prime Timeman in blue polo shirt and blue denim jeans standing near brown wooden shelfPhoto by TheStandingDesk on Unsplash
I was working for a small warehouse business which is the middleman between Chinese companies and Amazon (ie, they put the barcodes on Amazon Prime shelves). It was run by three females and one man. This place was a gong show with no health and safety and no system for their warehouse racking or storage for items.
Two of the females (one being the wife of the man who owned the company and co-owner) moved some things around and the next thing I knew he came up to me and started shouting at me calling me an idiot. That was strike one. In the meantime, the three girls in the office became like high school mean girls and would talk to me like I was stupid.
The next week, I was using a pump truck to help put pallets in place so the forklift could come along and put them on a lorry. The male owner snatched my pump truck from me whilst I was in the middle of doing this job, whilst calling me useless. I went, "You know, what screw you! Screw this place", all whilst holding my two middle fingers up at him and I walked away. They conveniently forgot to pay me when payday came and I only got my money when I threatened them with ACAS.
I worked at a company where, every time I pointed out something incorrect about an interpretation regarding how technology works, they would always argue with me, their HEAD OF IT, that I was wrong, and I would always be proved correct. Quite often this would relate to stuff like how Google Ads works or algorithms, etc.
Often they would still not heed my advice which would either result in me having an extra ton of work to do or in the company spending unnecessary money for services that weren’t needed, all because they don't listen to me. One day, I brought this up and the Managing Director of the company said, "When you don't agree with me, I don't trust that you are telling the truth".
I knew just what to say. I told him, "If you don't trust me in this capacity, then you shouldn't still retain me to work in this capacity and I'll be tendering my resignation effective immediately". I walked out of the office, saw them about six months later, and was straight up told that they regret not having me around because every IT guy they've had since has dusted within a week and all the IT services they are provided by external parties aren't anywhere near as effective as they had believed they would be. I dropped a final, "I told you so", and haven't seen any of them since.
Not exactly on the spot as I gave a two-week notice, but…a co-worker quit and they handed me 100% of his projects because they were punishing the other two PMs for lack of performance by scaling their projects back. He quit because he was way too overworked and got a $25k upgrade for 1/4 the effort. Too much is too much. The company got the Covid money, still laid off 30 employees, and left just four of us to run the company.
They took the money and bailed on employees. I didn’t see them for a year and they came back with $100k+ cars and bragging about new vacation homes they were both building on a golf course in Florida. Of course, they sold the company and it is officially a dumpster fire. Only three original employees are left and sales will definitely not break $4m after it was at $25m when they bailed.
Garbage MantextPhoto by Sigmund on Unsplash
I'd been out of the Marines for a couple of years, and I had previously done IT work in California. I couldn't afford to live there anymore so I moved back to Ohio. I couldn't find a job in the dinky town I'd moved to and had burned through everything I had saved, so I went to a staffing agency. They got me set up with a job doing picking at a recycling center.
There's basically a conveyor belt that brings a bunch of garbage through and you have to pick out all the things that aren't specific metals. It wasn't a terribly hard job but it was 12-hour shifts standing in the same spot bent over all day, and my back couldn't handle it. I think I lasted two or three weeks. I was ashamed and embarrassed but I am grateful I had gotten that job. The paycheck got me through until I could find something more suitable for me.
Covid turned my boss into a megalomaniac. He didn't have Covid, he just wanted to jump on every possible opportunity to exploit it. He had become increasingly unhinged over a period of weeks, and one day called me out of the blue because I hadn't completed a checklist or something he had sent me, and he treated me like a child caught by a teacher. Incredibly patronizing and nasty.
I quit on the spot, and that is how I went from a work-from-home job to a warehouse job in the middle of a pandemic. Naturally, he immediately went into the whole, "Let's not be hasty, maybe we can work something out" routine, but I wasn't having it. Was it worth it? 1,000 times over. Now I'm back in my old profession working for a competitor.
I worked at a restaurant for about six months, working my way up from dishwasher/salad maker to line and prep cook. The head chef was always talking about how he is "worker-friendly" and "will get you the schedule you want". Six months later I haven't had more than a few days off with my fiancée despite multiple requests. She worked 9-5, I worked 4-11, so we barely saw each other.
Finally, a full-time prep position opened up which allowed me to work days instead of nights and have full days off with my partner. I was thrilled. I told friends and family about it. I was working on new recipes at home. It lasted a week. The head chef hired someone that they knew to replace me on the line working nights.
One week later he sent me a long text saying how "going forward" I was better working random nights on the line and the new guy was taking my prep shift. I texted back "I quit". They were like What! Why”? I couldn’t help but laugh.
A few months later they fired the guy they replaced me with. I got a kick out of that. I have a much better job now too.
Curtain Callbrown cardboard boxes on white floor tilesPhoto by Mak on Unsplash
I used to work for this small drapery shop as a warehouse guy. I had only been there a year, hired as a cutter/shipping guy, but due to others leaving, I had effectively become the warehouse stock manager. But the pay never reflected that. There was a weird lull in the year where others had quit and new people needed to come in.
I live in a college town and the owner liked to only hire cheap college students. When it came down to just me running solo, I asked for a raise to match the work I was doing. All he offered was a 25¢ raise. I quit on the spot after he told me that. The same boss spent months on vacation but couldn't afford a legitimate raise for his best—and at the moment, only—employee. Screw that guy.
On Your Knees
I was in a supermarket, stocking shelves with newly delivered products. The manager insisted people not sit on anything to reach the lower shelves, so we had to sit on our knees. At some point, this caused a lot of fluid to build up in my knees, making them quite painful. I called in sick for my shift and went to the doctor who confirmed it was likely due to the work conditions.
Later that evening, I went to a theater play my mother was in—sitting on a chair, was OK'd by the doctor. Apparently, the manager had come to our house and noticed I wasn't home, so he left a letter requiring me to come in early the next morning to explain myself. He never saw or heard from me again. I had my work clothes at home and they were technically company property.
I never got asked to return them and I never did. Sometime later, I started the same job at a different supermarket and when the floor manager saw me clumsily trying to fill a bottom shelf he asked me why I didn't just grab something to sit on from the storeroom. I immediately made a much better impression and I worked there for quite a while without any complaints.
I worked in a factory, with three-day shifts, one free day, and then three-night shifts. It's a cycle, every shift is 12 hours. We were working with very old machines. Time is money in that factory, you can't sit around and do nothing, you have to work non-stop. I left because the machine was always breaking, and the mechanic was always sleeping, he wasn't there on the spot when we needed help, and my colleagues were always taking smoking breaks—like eight in a shift, and for 10 minutes, on top of their 20-minute lunch break.
When the machine had a bad day, we made about $14 per shift. The highest per shift was $50, and that was only once every two months. The average per shift was $27. There were months when I got only $450. I worked there for eight months, walked into the office part of the factory, and told them that I quit. She asked why, like she didn't know anything about the situation...
Tax-Freeman wearing grey blazerPhoto by Charles Büchler on Unsplash
Day one, I quit on the spot. The manager/owner was so weird and I was convinced there was no way he was going to pay me. He hired people who were very slow and struggled. I think he was hoping I would be their leader. It was a general labor-type job. He was “managing” the money for the employees and gave them cash when they needed it.
I confronted him when I realized I started but never filled out any tax forms and he didn’t even have my SSN. He said he would work the same deal with me and I wouldn’t have to pay taxes. I quit on the spot and demanded my money. He refused and said I didn’t work there. I said I was walking to the parking lot and I was calling the IRS. He handed me some money. I called the IRS and reported what was going on anyways.
Fresh out of college, I went to work for a company where I had spent every break of at least five days over the prior three years, doing good stuff and improving their processes. This was back when 8-bit machines were common office equipment, and knowing how to do anything more complex than basic typing or Lotus 1-2-3 data entry with them made you a wizard.
And I was very good, creating complex spreadsheets, writing custom software that let account reps do in five minutes what had previously taken half a day, etc. At the end of my final spring break, they said to come back in June and they’d create a role exclusively for me to continue doing my magic to make them better competitors.
I went back in June. They made me a file clerk. A) Not what was promised. B) Not what I enjoyed. C) I really wasn’t good at it. Told the office manager I wasn’t happy a couple of weeks in, and he told me to give him a couple more days and then we’d chat. He set up a meeting specifically for that chat. The day came…and he wasn’t in.
He wasn’t sick, he didn’t reschedule. He just wasn’t there. I let the office’s HR person know about the situation and then left. The office manager was furious when he found out, he called me and tried to beg me to come back, and was apparently stunned when I said no. A few months later I walked in off the street and got a job at the place I have been ever since.
I worked for a generic parcel delivery service. The boss puppet told me before starting my shift that I owed the company $800 for damages to company motor equipment, which is against the law to ask where I am from. Nevertheless, needless to say the puppet had a REAL good double shift that day. I immediately ran to the work court to submit a complaint. I didn't even have to go up to the judge. The thing was settled in no time and they don't do that anymore.
Extra Creditwoman in blue dress shirt and blue denim jeans standing beside brown wooden chairPhoto by Daria Pimkina on Unsplash
I had worked just shy of four years for a company I adored. I would go in early every morning, stay late if need be, I came in on my days off and worked six days if they needed the help. I was good at what I did and I loved the company so it never bothered me. My manager had hired her own daughter a couple of years back and when her daughter got a new job, my manager kept her daughter on the payroll books just in case her new job didn’t work out.
Her daughter was coming back to work for the company and I happened to be offered a job elsewhere where the opportunity was too good to pass up. I sat down with my manager and gave her a month's worth of notice left of me working for her full time, though because I loved working there so much I asked if it was possible to take her daughter’s old position of still being on the payroll and I could work a weekend here and there to help them out. Her reaction was brutal.
My manager told me the position suddenly no longer existed!! She typed up my resignation and made me sign it on the spot and made arrangements to promote a different staff member straight into my role. I was devastated and hurt that the company would hate on me like that. Instead of fighting it/arguing my case, I wished them good luck as Christmas was two weeks away, and I walked out on the spot and enjoyed my Christmas break before starting my new job. It was the best thing I’ve done for myself.
I was a cabinet maker by trade at the time. I accepted a contract role fixing shoddy installs in a building with 16 apartments to go through. I did a walkthrough with the supervisor and oh my god, it was some of the worst work I had ever seen. Some of the kitchens would literally have to be completely pulled apart and reinstalled to make them acceptable.
He gave me a timeline that was so unattainable I literally laughed when he told me. I asked how many others would be working on them with me and I was told I was the only one. I asked if he was "freaking kidding me”? He was completely serious. I told him he had no idea what he was doing and left. I didn't even get my tools out of my car.
I'm a welder/ fabricator and quit my job after about four or five work days. This place had a fairly large workforce (over 100 people on the shop floor) and had recently moved workshops. Some corporates came from another state to do a health and safety audit on the place and decided to ask me why certain things were not up to standards.
After trying to explain to them that I was a temp worker who had been there for four days, and I felt like this was not my responsibility, they carried on trying to berate me. For the rest of the day, I sat in the break room and waited to clock out to make sure I got paid. Also, the health and safety officer who worked full-time at the workshop happened to be off on the same day...
Family Firstwoman holding man and toddler hands during daytimePhoto by Jessica Rockowitz on Unsplash
A very well-known British fashion label pushed me out of seeing my ailing mother on her 60th birthday. I was put in an awful position and they knew it. My mum knew it and she was devastated but knew I had to. So I went to the stupid manager’s conference in Melbourne anyway—but they didn’t stop there. When I returned, they tried to cheat me out of the time off I had booked to spend on our last-ever family holiday.
I also needed to help pack up the holiday unit and bring the folks back—both had terminal cancer and weren't very well by the end of the week. After 15 minutes of back and forth with the area manager, I gave one week's notice. I informed them I was going to lunch. I walked to the local cafe, got myself a new job, and laughed with relief for the rest of the day.
I had just got a new girlfriend a few weeks prior. My job was as a delivery driver for aerospace parts. Most of my driving was in metro LA and our shop was more inland empire. I was coming back from my last trip a little early around 7:30 pm, and along the way, I called my new girlfriend and told her I'd be at her place in about 30-45 minutes.
I pulled into our shop, and they wanted me to run back down to LA with some parts that were getting expedited. I told my immediate supervisor that would bring me back late, and I got PLANS. "I don't care, we need to get these down there ASAP". I took the truck fuel card and my badge and threw them on the flatbed trailer, and said, "I'm not going back down there tonight". Supervisor: "Are you sure you want to do this”? Me: "NO, but I'm NOT going back down there TONIGHT". He said "OK", took my cards, and jumped up in the truck, and did it himself. I went in early the next day to get my last check and bounced.
Sharing Is Caring
I get an interview for a data analysis/mining job. I go to the interview. After repeatedly dodging my questions about their business, they finally admit they are one of those companies that advertises timeshare properties—come and listen to our sales pitch and win a free gift. They need someone to mine prospect data and create their mailing and phone list. I got out of there. I didn't even collect my free gift.
Injury Freeblack corded telephonePhoto by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash
My job was cold-calling people about injury claims. "Have you been injured in the past three years”? That kind of thing. The thing that really irked me was that all of the people I called in those 20 minutes were polite, said they're not interested, and they were just sitting down for dinner. I realized it was a horrible job and I was in no way cut out for it. I left after 20 minutes and just walked out the door without a word.
I worked at a grocery store when I was in high school and told management I needed a day off for my girlfriend's birthday. I told them about a month in advance. No worries. The manager leaves and the new manager tells me I have to work that day. I told him I had already requested the day and made plans so I wouldn't be coming in. His response was that I was fired if I didn't come in. I told him if that was the case then I just quit.
Many years ago I worked at a popular sports bar as a line cook. On the first day they had me train with a guy who didn’t speak English for two hours. Not a huge deal. Mostly you observe people in a kitchen and that’s how you learn. The owner came back and said she was scheduling me to be alone the next day....which was Super Bowl Sunday. I got out of there so fast. Left right then and there.
Knock Knockpeople sitting on chair in front of table while holding pens during daytimePhoto by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash
I went into an office for an interview. They said they had several positions available and I wanted to do some admin stuff...well, after the interview they told me to get in a van to do the next part of the process. Turns out we drove an hour away so I could shadow one of their door-to-door salespeople. They would ask residents to go into their basement to check their hot water heaters to see if they were eligible to replace them with their companies own.
I felt pretty uncomfortable about this and pretty annoyed that my whole day was gone doing this. The worst part was the girl I was shadowing spent half the day sitting around in the truck reading magazines and waiting for people to come home from work. I was sort of asking questions about the job and she got defensive and said, “Well I decide if you get this job or not”, to which I replied, “Yeah I don't know if I want to do this”. But she kept insisting that it was her who decided if I worked. I don't think she understood I meant that I didn't want to do this stuff. Just a waste of a day.
I found out that the educational assistance they touted in their advertisement applied only to full-time employees and that they defined full-time as no fewer than 40 hours, and kept anyone who would apply for that assistance from ever being qualified for it. None of this was advertised and the people I interviewed with assured me, a college student, that working 21 hours a week would get me the benefits.
Too bad I read my contract before signing it and called them out. Don't lie to your employees, especially during an interview on something that can be easily and swiftly disproven. If you're willing to lie to me about this, what else are you willing to lie to me about?
I was interviewing for a contract position at a very small game development company, and they told me they were looking for someone to help finish up an existing project. But then I saw what they were talking about. Literally, the game looked like it was made in MS Paint. As if they had just hired some random guy off the street and asked them to make some art for them.
Granted it's a mobile game and sold for the standard 99 cents, so maybe that's not the worst, but the game itself doesn't look engaging at all either. But I figured, worse comes to worst I could make some money on the side with some low-effort work. Then they told me that my pay would be a percentage of the sales. I got right out of that one.
Secret Ingredientbreads in display shelfPhoto by Yeh Xintong on Unsplash
I worked in a bakery. It was my first day, so I got there in the morning to meet everyone. Then they have me grease up baking trays for the others to fill. I lift up the first tray and like ten to 15 cockroaches just scatter everywhere from under the tray. I told the guy showing me the work that there were cockroaches and he just shrugged.
This was all in the backstore, and customers were about ten feet away. So I tell the guy that I'm not feeling too well after about an hour of doing that and I head to the bathroom. When I came out I told him I couldn't do that job and he told me to get a real job then, so I left and got myself a “proper” job somewhere else.
I had an interview at what I thought was a regular steakhouse in a new town I had just moved to. The interview went well. It was just before the restaurant opened so it was pretty empty. At the end, a waitress starting her shift walked by in chaps and a thong. Turns out that was their uniform. The manager called like 30 minutes later saying I got the job. I had to politely decline that one.
Mine was fast food. It's your regular fast food story, unfortunately. We had two cooks and myself during the day shift. I was running front line, drive-thru, and fry station by myself for four hours straight. I couldn't keep up. For four hours, I was struggling and getting yelled at by customers because of their wait. My manager decided at that point to come out and help the two cooks...I watched her do that so she didn't have to deal with the irate customers for another hour, until I cracked.
The last customer I spoke to was screaming at me in the window for having to wait ten minutes to get his food. I just walked up to my manager and gave her the headset and walked out. I sat in my truck in the parking lot and had a full-on panic attack for an hour before I went home. I was going through a very rough time at that point in my life and just couldn't handle it anymore. That was probably the only time in my life I ever had an actual panic attack. It was not fun at all.
Which Waywoman sitting on chair beside tablePhoto by Johnny Cohen on Unsplash
I was working as a personal assistant to an ad agency exec. He sucked at people skills, and he had a ridiculous rule. He expected me to sit at my desk until he went home at eight, despite me coming in at nine. He came in around noon. My father was sent to emergency for heart problems. I went to tell the exec that I needed to go to the hospital immediately.
His reply was, “No, I need directions first”. It was directions to a place he’d driven to the day before. Another power trip and I was done with them and him. I walked out of his office, and packed up my stuff. I walked out of the building as he paged me continuously. My coworkers knew I was quitting and all stayed quiet as they heard him calling my name. Screw you, Frank. And your snobby wife.
It’s Been A Slice
Working at a late-night pizza place as a driver, the shift manager kept sending his BFF on double and triple runs, and sending me on single far away runs. I protested, but the shift manager blew me off, then sent his BFF to do the Ford truck plant lunch deliveries alone—it was like eight orders. That was my final straw. I spent the next couple of hours fixing myself pizzas and chicken wings and food and taking it to my car.
I took like eight pizzas I wrapped in plastic wrap, several bags of frozen chicken wings, frozen bags of French fries, six 24 packs of sodas, six 24 packs of beer, and a large box full of family-size packs of Double-Stuf Oreos. I told the shift manager I didn't do anything for prep that I was supposed to for that night because he's a jerk. I hope he enjoys the extra work. I quit.
They tried to screw me on my last paycheck, saying it didn't come in. I told the main manager he better pay me now or I'm going to report them for selling booze to minors—another thing the awful shift manager did for his BFFs. My paycheck manifested very shortly after that. The restaurant closed less than a year later.
Medicine is a difficult profession. Thanks to the wonder that is human nature, healthcare workers are subjected to incredible Darwin-award-winning scenarios daily, so it’s no wonder that many of them feel the need to go home and scream into their pillows at night. From self-inflicted injuries to dangerous prescription misuses, these Redditors revealed the most facepalm-worthy patients they’ve ever encountered.
But be warned: They’ll all leave you wondering how we’ve survived this long as a species.
There Is No Plan Cwhite and red cross signPhoto by Markus Winkler on Unsplash
I’m a pharmacist. One evening, I was working a relief shift (not at my usual pharmacy). A man comes in looking distressed. He tells me, “I had intimate relations with a woman I do not intend to pursue a long-term relationship with”. Yes, he said it just like that. I say, “Okay. I’m assuming there was an accident, or it was unprotected. How long ago did it happen”? He answers, “Last night, at 7 PM on the couch”.
Woah, TMI. I just needed to know the approximate time so I’d know if Plan B would work. I start to tell him, “We have this medication called Plan B, and since the incident happened within 72 hours—” but he interrupts me and I was thrown completely off guard: “Oh yes, I got that for her already yesterday, right after we finished. We want to know if there is anything we can do to know if she is pregnant now”.
I answer, “Unfortunately not. She’ll have to wait three weeks or so to see if she gets her period, and if she doesn’t, she can do a pregnancy test then. Theoretically, you could do a blood test for faster results, but that would also not be until a couple of weeks, at least”. He responds, “We’re just really anxious because she doesn’t want to be pregnant. Is there anything that she can take to prevent the pregnancy? Any multivitamin? Minerals? Food”?
I tell him, “She’s already taken it, which was the Plan B. There are some other options, but those are prescriptions. And no, there are no over-the-counter products she can take”. Then he asks, “What about me? Is there anything I can take now to prevent the pregnancy? Any multivitamins or minerals”? A little bemused, I just answer, “…No sir. There isn’t anything you can take now”.
Get A Load Of This Guy
I’m 73, and I’m a former clinical microbiologist from LONG ago. Still, I found myself all over the clinical lab at times, not just infectious diseases. So, one day, this 20-something guy (with his wife and mom in tow) walks in with a paper request for an analysis of his “swimmers”, pre-computer era. Okay, not the most comfortable encounter, but I’m a professional, and I’d done this drill many times.
It turned out he had not been briefed by the doctor and had no idea how establishing infertility in males was done. Well, okay—this would be a challenge, then. I took him aside and, using standard medical terminology, told him how a diagnosis is made and what he needed to do to provide a specimen. He couldn’t believe that I was asking him to “do it” into that container.
Astonished! Then he played dumb as if the concept was unfamiliar to him. We looped through the medical terms and procedure again, and I eventually resorted to every word I knew to describe the “act”. It was like a George Carlin bit! A half-hour later, he emerged from the toilet with two inches of urine in the cup. God almighty.
The report came back: “Patient provided improper specimen”.
This Is How The Elderly Get Their Wrinkles
I’m a paramedic. I had an elderly woman complain that her mouth was dry and she felt a bit dizzy climbing the stairs earlier. So I go through the whole rigamarole of getting a medical history, vitals, and more detail on her symptoms. Then I asked her what she’s had to drink today. Her answer? A cup of tea—ten hours ago. I asked, “Any water”? She says no.
Guess what fixed it within five minutes.
The Mother Got A Lot Of Heat For This
I was at the children’s hospital with my eldest when he was a toddler (ah, the day we found out he was allergic to penicillin) when a rushing team suddenly occupied the bed next to me with a limp, unresponsive infant. This happened on a hot day during the mid-summer. The baby was in a full Canadian winter-level snowsuit.
After they got the baby’s temperature down, I overheard the doctor losing his mind a little bit with the mother as she kept insisting she had to have her baby in the suit lest the baby risk feeling chilly. He explained that the minor discomfort of having to cry for a blanket did not trump the risk of it losing its life or the possibility of literally frying the kid’s brain.
He had to get quite nasty with his wording in that she had almost unalived her baby and might have given it brain damage.
Mr. Hot Shot
I had a buddy who was an EMT, and he was called out to a location for a GSW. What happened was a father was mowing his lawn when he accidentally touched a part of the mower near the engine and burned his hand. He got mad at the lawnmower, pulled out his pistol, and shot it. The shot ricocheted and hit his son in the leg.
Now, He’s Gonorrhea-Valuate All His Conditions…a woman holding a stethoscope in her right handPhoto by Eben Kassaye on Unsplash
I worked in ED for 10 years. Every day. Every day people come in, and it shocks you how they’ve managed to evade unaliving themselves for that long. One of the worst was when we had a guy come in. He was a twin. He told us he needed to get checked for STDs because his sister just got one. We, of course, had to ask if he’d had intimate relations with her, and he said no, but they were twins, so whatever she has, so does he.
After a collective sigh of relief that this wasn’t some weird Alabama, your-my-sister scenario, we had to educate him on how that’s not how it worked at all.
It Was An Arm of Intervention
I got told to go introduce myself to a patient to get vitals, history, and more info on their chief complaint, before starting an IV and drawing blood for labs. She came in for arm pain, and it looked like she had a nasty bug bite on her arm. So her story was she was an exotic dancer, and her Adderall prescription wasn’t doing the trick. So, she had an idea of how to make it more potent.
She heard from a friend that if you crush it up, suspend it in water, and then inject it, it would be more effective. Except she used tap water to dissolve the Adderall before she injected it. This ended up causing a huge abscess and infection at the site of injection. She ended up losing her arm at the elbow...So now she’s a one-armed exotic dancer.
They Must’ve Gone Ballistic
I had a patient who had a bullet lodged in her leg. We had the surgeon come and assess her. Based on its placement, he suggested leaving it because removing it could cause even more danger. We discharged her. She immediately walked to the ER in the same hospital to complain of leg pain. She had prescriptions and wound supplies in her hand.
Still, they brought her back, discovered her injury, and called for a surgical consult. The same surgeon was on-call and came to assess her. Guess what?! The surgeon made the same suggestion to leave it. Then we educated her EXTENSIVELY about never getting an MRI or the metal will fly out of her skin. Eventually, she left.
She returned a few months later to a sister hospital complaining of a headache. She got inpatient admission, and you guessed it: They did an MRI. The slug ripped out, and the MRI machine was down for almost a week!
She Just Couldn’t Seem To Grasp The Conception
I had an 18 or 19-year-old girl come into my ER with some complaint that required an X-ray. It’s standard that we do a urine pregnancy test before imaging on any female of childbearing years. She insisted she’d never “done it”, and there was zero possibility of pregnancy. We did the test anyway, and it resulted that she was pregnant. We then did a blood pregnancy test to confirm the result since she insisted she couldn’t possibly be pregnant because she’d never had intercourse.
That was positive too. We gave her a few minutes to herself to figure out what the heck happened, and when I returned to check on her a short time later, she asked me if she could get pregnant even though her boyfriend “didn’t go all the way in”. She 100% believed that as long as he wasn’t entirely inside her, it didn’t count as intercourse.
It took nearly a half hour of explaining reproduction for her to understand that, whether it’s halfway in or in, sperm travel.
It Ultimately Wasn’t Very Fun-Knee
I overheard a conversation between a nurse, a doctor, and a patient in the ER. They were trying to figure out whether the patient was very stupid or had a head injury. It was both hilarious and sad. He kept telling them that he was there for a hurt leg, but he couldn’t explain why his leg was hurt, how it was hurt, or how he got there—nearly anything.
I heard them talking in a hallway to each other. The nurse was convinced the patient hit his head. The doctor, without skipping a beat, dropped his unexpected diagnosis: “No, he is just an idiot.” It turned out the doctor was right. They got ahold of the guy’s wife. She told them in the hallway he’s always this dumb, and if she left him, he would get lost in his own house and starve.
It sounded like the patient’s leg was visibly injured or swollen. But when asked what happened or how it felt, he gave nonsensical idiot answers. He wasn’t slurring, but answering in a regular idiot voice, saying things like, “It feels hurt”, and “I was talking to Jimmy, and we were doing our usual work, and my leg hurts”.
The doctor would ask, “Did something happen? What is the work”? But the patient kept responding, “Something always happens; you know how it goes”, or “I just want my leg fixed”.
An Change Of Heartman in white dress shirt wearing black framed eyeglassesPhoto by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash
This one came from a colleague of mine. So, this 60-something-year-old suffered from an acute complication and got a pacemaker to solve the problem. Everything went normally, and as planned, he recovered. Every care and medication that he needed to take got prescribed and explained and his medical appointments with a cardiologist/arrhythmologist were scheduled so he could get the follow-ups he needed. The man then proceeded to never show up to any appointments and never answered any calls from the hospital to know of him and reschedule.
This went on for around three years. Then one day, he showed up without former warning and asked to talk with the doctor who did the procedure to put in his pacemaker. People were weirded out, but since the doctor was present that day and this patient was in clear distress, they talked to him and managed to find a couple of minutes to have the doctor check on him. Inside the appointment room, the doctor noticed that the man was wearing a bra inside his shirt.
The man explained he’d been wearing his daughter’s bra for three months after his “problem” got worse. So the doctor asked that he take off his shirt…and there he stood, this shirtless man wearing his daughter’s bra, showing off the pacemaker that should’ve remained inside his body. It was now dangling outside of it, being held by the left bra cup, with a big infected open wound above it with the pacemaker leads still inserted into his veins and connected to his heart.
Nobody had any idea how the man let that situation come to be or how he didn’t pass from sepsis or any other health problem that might’ve appeared, for that matter.
The Parents Were The Real Suckers
While working the midnight shift in the ER, a family brought in a four-year-old at 2am-ish. I asked them what was wrong. They said, “Ask him. He said he needed to see a doctor”. I further pressed, “Did he say anything was wrong”? They answered, “No. He said he needed to see a doctor, so we brought him”. A quick back and forth firmly established that they actually showed up to the ER at 2 AM, purely because the four-year-old said he needed to see a doctor and that they didn’t know why.
So I asked the child, “Why do you need to see a doctor”? His answer made me shake my head in disbelief: “The doctor has suckers”. To be clear, it was the parents who lacked sense and not the kid.
A Very Delicate Condition
I’m a social worker, and one of my clients kept getting pregnant over and over after having kids. I had a frank conversation with her about birth control or getting her tubes tied because she kept going through horrific births only to get her kids taken away, and she said to me that she didn’t know that birth control or safe intercourse would save her from getting pregnant.
She didn’t realize that intercourse = pregnant because she was mistreated as a child, and her father told her that she could only get pregnant when she fell in love, and she had never been in love, so she didn’t understand why she kept getting pregnant. Intercourse was only a pleasure for her, so she didn’t realize that was what was getting her pregnant.
The Answer Was At Hand
I am a dermatologist in India. As is the culture here, people eat with their hands, and almost all of our curries or even other dry side dishes have a lot of turmeric. It is common knowledge to anyone born and brought up in India that this means the nails of your dominant hand (statistically, the right hand) will be yellow-stained because we have seen this happen since our childhood.
Usually, this wears off in about a day and a half if you wash it a couple of times. Cut to the first patient in my OPD, a young girl in her early 20s, very anxious. I ask her, “What brings you here today”? The patient says, “Doc, my right-hand fingernails keep getting yellow-discolored”. I take a look and confirm, “Only your right hand”? She answers, “Yes, and only after meals”.
So I ask her, “Erm…do you eat with your hands”? The patient confirms, “Yes, always”. I then explain to her, “So...you know it’s just turmeric, right”? And she goes, “Yes, but can you make it stop happening”? Perplexed now, I just tell her, “For God’s sake, use a spoon”! But she’s still not quite getting it. Surprised, she asks, “So you mean there is no medicine to make it stop”?
I just stared at her while she looked at me expectantly. “NO”! This might hit home more with people of South Asian cultures or people who habitually eat turmeric-cooked food with their hands. Anyway, for a grown person to complain about this was just…well, surprising and a little ridiculous.
This Guy Wasn’t Very Treat Smart
I work in emergency medical services. I had a diabetic in his 30–40s who refused to take insulin since 2012. It was 2020 at the time. When I took his blood sugar, it only read as “HI”, meaning it had to be over 700 for the glucometer not to read it. Upon seeing this, he asked me if that was high and then went, “Is this because of all the ice cream I ate”?
He was playing a Facebook Messenger video with his girlfriend the entire time. I met him later on in the parking lot after he got discharged, and it took this man less than fifty paces from the ER door to rip off the bandage covering his IV and play with the IV wound until it started bleeding all over the place again.
He then knocked on our ambulance door and asked for a bandaid to fix it. We had to walk him back into the ER and bandage his entire arm with gauze so that, hopefully, by the time he got it off, it would’ve clotted enough for him not to end up exsanguinating himself.
Rubbing Salt In The Woundbrown and white shell on orange round platePhoto by Arnold Antoo on Unsplash
My sister told me a story of a woman with chronic blisters and lesions on her lips. They couldn’t figure out what it was for weeks. It would heal and come back, heal and come back. The truth was disturbing—it turned out she would jam out on like three bags of salt and vinegar chips a day for weeks at a time until the sores hurt too bad to continue, then she’d go to the doctor.
Details Make A Difference
This was one of the funniest yet cutest ones from when I was a student doing a shift in andrology/reproductive health. Doctor: “So, you’re trying to have kids but not managing to. Do you have any other kids”? Patient: “Yes, Doc. I have one”. Doctor: “Okay, so we need to do [this and this and that]”. Patient: “Okay, great”.
Then he proceeded to visit him and stuff, after which he went away. But after a couple of seconds, he knocked on the door again, saying: “Hello, Doc. My wife told me that it would be relevant to you that the son I have is adopted, but that makes no difference to me. I’ve always considered him my son”!
Do No Farm
I’m a physiotherapist. For those who don’t know, after a total knee replacement, you have a six-week window after the surgery to regain the range of motion. If you don’t regain the range in those first six weeks, it ain’t coming back. I had a patient who was a farmer who was very enthusiastic about regaining the range because he needed to be mobile for his work. I saw him for the first time about five days after his surgery.
I showed him all the basic exercises, told him not to do any farm work for at least six weeks, and told him to come back to see me once a week for the first six weeks. He disappeared and came back about eight weeks later. His range was non-existent, maybe 30 degrees of range in total. He was visibly mad at me as if it was my fault. He was shouting and calling me incompetent.
Our conversation went something like this: Me: “Have you been doing the exercises”? Him: “No”. Me: “How often are you doing farm work”? Him: “Every day”. Me: “Why haven’t you come back since the first appointment eight weeks ago”? Him: “Too busy with farm work”. Me: “So, to summarize here, you did absolutely nothing that I told you to, and this is somehow my fault”?
I never saw him again.
A Jaw-Dropping Encounter
As a pharmacist, I often encounter a lot of people who lack common sense; namely, everyone who comes in to buy homeopathic stuff, especially for serious things. Once, a lady came in with a prescription from the dentist for some heavy antibiotics and painkillers due to an infection that threatened to damage the jawbone.
When I asked if she knew how to take them, she went: “Oh, I’m not gonna take those; they’ll go right into the garbage. But I gotta buy them so that my dentist is happy. I’d rather stick with [insert name of homeopathic stuff here] instead of harming me with some devilish chemicals”!
Throughout the years, I’ve learned to just shrug and accept those Darwin-award candidates instead of arguing with them. It just infuriates me when I see that they’ve got children or/and pets…
That’s Never Gonna Heel Now
This was circa 1983, and I’m a nurse (retired). I had this one guy in his early 20s who went swimming hammered in a notoriously nasty lake in our area. It was a “don’t drink the water” kind of lake, and he went in without shoes, stepped on an old booze tab, and cut his foot open. He didn’t go to the hospital or try to clean it at all for about a week. His girlfriend said he kept saying, “It’s fine, it’s just a cut”, when she pressured him to get it seen, so of course, he showed up in the ER with a foot that blew up like a balloon.
Healing it took two and a half months in the hospital, with his foot completely laid open in surgery, doing debridement and packing, which I can honestly say after over 30 years in healthcare stands as one of the nastiest jobs I have ever had to do—and I had been dealing with things like bedsores and open wounds from radiation treatments and cancer for about seven years at that point.
It was bad, but that's not all—on top of this, he was obnoxious, disrespectful, and, when the opportunity presented itself, cruel. Other nurses, you know the type, they’re everywhere. Hopefully not as open about it these days, but yeah. I had a student nurse I was training come running out of the room in tears and refused to go back in and would not tell any of us what he said, but I can imagine.
Eventually, we finally got it cleaned out, and it’s responding well to antibiotics, and the tissue is granulating well. He gets sent home with antibiotics and strict instructions on how to care for it and to keep it clean and dry. THE DAY he left the hospital, he went back out to the same lake, got inebriated, put on some nasty tennis shoes, and went swimming.
He showed up on our floor again a week after being discharged. He lost the foot. His girlfriend left him.
Fortunately, They Caught Him Red-Handedman in blue scrub suit wearing blue stethoscopePhoto by Bruno Rodrigues on Unsplash
I don’t know if a cleaner in a hospital counts, but this one time, I got to work early on a Saturday morning, and we immediately received a request for help from the ER and got sent over by my boss. When I got there, the first thing I heard was yelling from this guy behind one of the curtains. He was shouting at the nurses, “Don’t touch my downstairs”, and “I didn’t use any substances”!
Then I smelled iron in the air, and then I found out there was blood all over the hallway, with hand prints in blood against the wall. Almost the entire floor was covered in blood, with actual puddles in some places. What happened? The guy pulled out his catheter, causing arterial bleeding, and he decided to run away from the nurses who were trying to help him.
It seems like he lived through that. I had never seen that much blood before that day, nor after.
Thinking Against The Grain
I am a medical professional, but I have two really good ones about my ex-fiancé. Laugh at me all you want; this relationship was not my proudest moment. For starters, at our baby shower for my son, he asked if we were going to pick “innie” or “outie”. I looked at him like he was insane, and he started getting angry and just repeated the question louder until I shushed him and took him aside to explain to him that we don’t choose how the belly button looks; it just happens.
Another time, he had really bad eczema and went to a doctor who suggested oatmeal baths during flare-ups. He bought a couple of boxes of Quaker Oats Maple & Brown Sugar and would dump the entire box packet by packet into the tub. It was a couple of weeks before I found the wrappers and questioned him about it.
He told me (angry again) that he wondered why he was so sticky after getting out and why the freaking literal brown sugar was making his open wounds fester. I explained that an oatmeal bath is not flavored oatmeal and that he had to buy either plain oats or actual oatmeal bath packets. He was furious that I expected him to just know better.
When I asked him why he picked maple and brown sugar, he said he didn’t want to smell like strawberries or peaches after his bath. After our son was born (and we had broken up, thank God), my son also had some occasional eczema, but not nearly to the same degree. The pediatrician recommended oatmeal baths, and GUESS WHAT THIS FREAKING GUY BOUGHT?
He said he only remembered what happened the last time when he picked my son out of the sink, and the towel stuck to him. When I started to scold him for being so stupid, he looked at me like I was an idiot and told me he only used one packet since we were still bathing the kid in the sink instead of in an entire tub.
The Patient Had A Med-ley Bag
I’m a pharmacist. I had a woman bring in a literal sandwich bag that she kept all her meds in, unseparated. She needed help seeing which meds she was low on or out of and was asking different questions about the medications. When she pointed to an Apoquel and stated it was her blood pressure medicine, I immediately became concerned as to why pet medicine was in her bag (and also why she was mixing all her meds in a bag in the first place).
It was then that I found out that she had been throwing her pet’s meds inside her bag of medicine, too. So Lord knows what she’d been giving her dog or taking herself. I immediately stressed how important it is to keep medicine in its original container to protect both the medicine and herself and to know the directions of how to take it.
I’ve seen her a few times since then, and I’m glad to see she has since taken my advice. But how any pharmacist or doctor hadn’t advised her on this before is beyond me.
They Didn’t Air On The Side Of Caution
I used to be a medical oxygen tech, mostly doing in-home work. One guy was on such a high concentration that he would have drawn nearly zero oxygen from breathing regular atmosphere. This required two heavy-duty machines hooked up in tandem just to keep him barely alive. This was explained ad nauseam to him and his wife with fully signed documentation of every conversation.
What they did was absolutely ridiculous—they’d shut one machine off because they decided it was too loud. He’d take his mask off because he decided it was too cold. She would unplug the hose if she decided it was in the way. So on and so on. They did everything you could think of that would restrict or cut off his oxygen intake. Then they would panic and call our emergency service when he started to react to no oxygen intake.
I lived not even five minutes away, right beside our EMS station, and calls would always come for me to “fix” the machines at random times of the day and night, 3–7 days a week. They refused to call 9-1-1 because they “didn’t want to make a scene”. This went on for ages, well over 18 months, until he was having trouble sleeping one night, and they shut the machines off before going back to bed.
It’s been years, and I still see the wife around town. She always glares at me as if I’m the one who unalived him.
She’ll Just See Herself Out, Now…
I’m an ophthalmology surgical technician. A glaucoma patient in her late 50s was going blind despite her drop therapies for the past six months. Her pressure was consistently in the 30s and 40s. I asked her if she was using her drops regularly (twice daily), and she said yes. I asked, as politely as I could, if she’d missed any doses in the past month. She said no. I asked if she was using them properly, and she got super offended.
She asked me very rudely, “Do I look like an idiot to you”? I said, “No, but I just need to be sure. Sometimes patients think they’re doing it right, but they can easily miss it. Can you show me how you use your drops”? So she took out her drop bottle, gave it a good shake (so far, so good), looked up at the ceiling (also a good sign), opened her MOUTH, and swallowed two drops.
I got in trouble, but my OD backed me up and told her that’s the stupidest thing he’s ever seen in 25 years. She cried and said we were being mean to her and that the drops burned her eyes, so she didn’t want to put them in there, and since the eyes, ears, nose, and throat are all connected, why did it matter where she put them?
That’s not how glaucoma therapy works. She needed a shunt implant, and we were able to save about 30% of her visual field. But yeah, she was drinking her drops and going blind.
That’s Ill-Adviseda woman in a white shirt holding a stethoscopePhoto by Alexandr Podvalny on Unsplash
I used to volunteer at a free medical clinic to take vitals and histories. A woman came in with pneumonia and wanted to know why her normal treatment of drinking half a bottle of Listerine and inhaling a pack of cancer sticks a day wasn’t working. I asked why she thought ciggies were a good treatment for a lung infection, and she said, “Indians used to purify the ground by burning all the weeds away before planting, so I’m puffing to purify my lungs”.
I left that one to the doctor.
I’m an optometrist. I had a patient booked in for an emergency appointment with a raging red eye. It was very painful. So I looked under the microscope, and the cornea was not happy: wobbly reflexes, haziness, the works. So I asked, “What happened”? The patient said, “It’s my niece’s wedding this Saturday, and I wanted to tint my eyelashes to match my hair, and the color scheme of the wedding is light blue, so I used the same dye for both to match the color”.
I inquired, “Does that hair dye contain ammonia, by any chance”? The patient answered, “I think so. Do you think my eye will be better by Saturday? Will it match the color scheme”? I just responded, “Unless you can convince them to change the color scheme to red, no”.
This Grave Mistake Takes The Biscuit
I heard this story from a sibling; I don’t think he’d mind me sharing it just on the off chance it prevents someone else from making this mistake. Lots of surgeons have a similar story, but thankfully this one doesn’t end in someone’s demise. According to my brother, these parents claimed that their child hadn’t eaten anything before surgery, as they were carefully directed. But it turned out they thought the surgical team was just being cruel to their child.
So when she said she was hungry that morning, they detoured on their way to the surgical center and got her a full Southern breakfast. The result was triggering—she dang near passed from aspirating biscuits and gravy. I’ve rarely seen my brother so angry and disgusted (somehow, biscuits and gravy look even more nauseating the second time around) as he recounted what had happened.
I do not doubt that he tore a strip off the parents once their five-year-old was stabilized, and they probably still felt justified and angry at the surgeon for telling them what they could and could not feed their child right before anesthesia. The parents did feel justified and hard-done-by, although, as far as I know, they didn’t express anger at my brother (knowing him, they didn’t get a word in edgewise).
There was no acknowledgment or realization that they could easily have unlived their own child or that they’d made a bad decision. I remember they were annoyed by her whining for food.
The Outcome Suited Them Just Fine
I’m a pharmacist. One time my coworker, another pharmacist, got served with a lawsuit while I was there. The patient suffered a fall resulting in a concussion, and she claimed it was because her Lisinopril (blood pressure medication) got increased from 10mg to 20mg and that she’d not been informed and passed out as a result. She was suing the pharmacist, the pharmacy, her doctor’s office, and the doctor.
It eventually came out in early discovery that she was at a rave and had a BAC of 0.18, THC, and MDMA in her system. The case against the doctor’s office, doctor, and pharmacy fell apart right away, so she decided to go all-in on trying to sue the individual pharmacist. The pharmacy’s POS system confirmed that she checked, “I decline pharmacist consultation at this time”. So the case was eventually dropped.
He Had To Take A Pregnant Pause
I work in the ER. I have so many stories. The one that left me dumbfounded was a woman who was brought in by her sister for pelvic cramps and amenorrhea for three months. Lo and behold, she’s pregnant. The sister informs me that she sleeps with the Brazilian construction workers building the condo complex next door. I ask if they have any questions.
The patient then asked me if her baby would come out speaking Spanish. After a long pause and her sister staring at the ceiling, I told her, “No, because they speak Portuguese in Brazil”. The patient seemed relieved, and the sister hustled her out of the ER before I could discharge her.
It Cost Them An Amen And A Legman in white dress shirt holding black tablet computerPhoto by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
I worked in cancer research/surgery a couple of years ago. There is a good amount of people who will refuse to have a small removal/surgery because they think holistic medicine or praying it away will work. They always come back, and we always have to remove so much more. One time a patient had melanoma on their calf, and the doctor wanted to do a simple wide excision, but they left because they wanted to pray it away.
They came back a couple of months later because it got bigger, and we had to amputate their leg. I’m pretty sure they had positive lymph nodes at that point too.
They Gave Her A Herbal Warning
A lady brought her baby into the ER with a rectal temp of 103. The kid had tachycardia (i.e. a fast heartbeat) and looked awful. The worst part? The lady refused all medications. She said she didn’t believe in them and wondered why her herbal tea (she brought a jug of it) wasn’t working. She wanted us to just check her out. She thought a children’s emergency room just checked them out. I tried to explain why the kid needed an NSIAD. She kept refusing. She said she didn’t know what was in it.
I brought up the fact she had her kid in a hospital and that she received medication herself (IV, epidural, etc). The lady didn’t budge. Only concerned for herself, I told her that when the kid has a seizure or goes unresponsive and she calls 9-1-1, she can expect the medics to give the kid everything it needs regardless of whether she likes it or not.
Desperate times called for desperate measures, so the doctor threatened to contact social services for child endangerment and mistreatment. Only then did she start to listen…for, like, five whole seconds. She then left against medical advice. People like this exist.
Words Cannot Expresso How Ridiculous This Call Was
I’ve been a firefighter for 18 years. People call 9-1-1 for the dumbest things ever. But the one that takes the cake? It was a guy who called 9-1-1 to say he was choking. He answered the door as high as a Georgia pine with a lit joint in his mouth. I asked him who was choking. He calmly said that he was. He said he swallowed an ice cube, and now he couldn’t breathe.
Just to be sure and partly out of morbid curiosity, I looked in his mouth and then asked him to take a few deep breaths...which he was able to do easily. He still insisted he couldn’t breathe. So I told him to make some hot coffee and then drink it. He asked me, “Why”? I told him that the coffee would melt the ice cube, and he’d be able to breathe again. “Oh, cool. Thanks, man”.
Then I left.
I work in clinical research at a hospital. Basically, for patients who have cancer but don’t have other standard-of-care options, clinical trials, or “experimental treatment”, are a viable option for many. Some people have a negative view of research, but it’s highly regulated and not as scary as it sounds. Anyway, we went through the consent form with this one patient who had a history of substance use.
We don’t know everything about this new medication, but one thing we DO know is that using coke while taking this drug will make your heart “explode”, in layman’s terms. This patient “promised” they were off the sauce and that they “totally wouldn’t do coke while they’re on the trial”. Two weeks later, they relapsed, and well…You can figure out the rest of the story.
Wrestling With Logic
My brother did a rotation in an ER before med school. Paramedics brought in a man with a lacerated neck. He was inebriated and fell into a fish tank. His equally inebriated buddies called 9-1-1. When the paramedics arrived, they realized his friends had put a very tight tourniquet around his neck to stop the bleeding. It turned out that the guy and his buddies had been playing a boozy game of WWE.
He had a two-inch glass shard stuck in his head in addition to the neck laceration, but the dude came into the ER with no idea the glass was there. Four different firefighters had to hold him down as he screamed prejudiced remarks at the female doctor. My brother said that when they removed the glass, blood shot out about 10 feet in the air.
My brother, at that point, silently “noped” the heck out of medicine. He went on to attend Berklee Music School and is living his best life as a musical producer and engineer, and is not arguing with rednecks about whether or not there is a glass shard in their head….
Shear Stupiditya close up of a person laying in a hospital bedPhoto by César Badilla Miranda on Unsplash
I’m an ER nurse with seven years of experience. The list of dumb things I’ve seen is nearly endless. People coming in with massive burns because they smoked in bed is not as rare as you’d think. But the one that got me the most was a guy who came in for chest pain and fatigue. An EKG revealed he was having a really bad heart attack.
We activated the cath lab for emergency stents to hopefully save the guy’s life. They almost always access the patient through the groin for the procedure, so one of our jobs in the ER is to shave the patient’s groin to prep them for the cath lab. We got the clippers out, as we don’t use actual razors anymore, and informed the guy we needed to shave him. This is when things got annoying.
He refused. No problem, we figured we woul adjust let the cath lab do it once he’s knocked out. Nope, the guy refuses to sign the consent for the stents because he doesn’t want his downstairs shaved.
After trying to educate him, pleading with him, and contacting every goddang lawyer the hospital had, the guy signed himself out of AMA and went home.
He would rather die than have his curlies shaved. We looked up his address, and we weren’t the closest hospital to him, so if he passed at home, the medics would have to take him to a different hospital. I doubt he survived the day.
Paws For Thought
I’m a vet. A few years ago, I had a client bring his young cat in complaining of lethargy. Besides being a bit underweight, the physical exam was unremarkable, so I asked more questions about the cat’s diet. I asked him, “What do you feed the cat”? The owner answered, “I feed him [online trendy raw food brand]”. I asked, “How is his appetite? Does he finish what you feed him”? The owner replied, “Yes, he always eats everything”.
Pressing further, I asked, “How much do you feed him”? The owner said, “Half a cup”. For clarification’s sake, I then asked, “Once or twice daily”? What he said next absolutely floored me. He answered, “Once every three or four days”. Shocked, I replied, “…You only feed your cat twice a week”? The owner explained, “I believe in a more natural feeding approach, and based on my research, that’s how often cats eat in the wild”.
This owner was slowly starving his cat into oblivion based on some cockamamie idea he’d made up while watching National Geographic. I had to explain to him that domestic cats are not tigers and that small wildcats eat 10–20 small meals daily. Surprise, surprise, the cat’s lethargy and weight improved with regular feeding.
I once heard a story about a particular patient receiving radiation therapy. It was impressed upon her that she couldn’t miss her fractions of radiotherapy, even if she were busy, so she needed to inform us if she really couldn’t make the appointment. Well, one day, she couldn’t make it. But instead of just informing us, she sent her twin sister to receive the radiation therapy in her place.
Of course, the twin answered yes to all the ID questions and had the same birthday, etc. She was only found out when the radiographers had trouble matching her to the CT. The CT was of a person who had undergone a mastectomy, while this “patient” still had both her mammaries. This story, many years later, is still told to new staff during training to reiterate the importance of ensuring correct identification.
You would be stunned by the number of people who try to skip the queue. The number isn’t high. But it isn’t zero.
It Took Some Arm Twisting
I work in orthopedic rehab. I had a patient with a common fracture of the wrist that a doctor sent over because she was inexplicably getting stiffer and stiffer. I spent 17 sessions with her one on one, 40ish minutes each. But nothing I did worked. For whatever reason, instead of just bending her wrist, she would contort her entire body.
She was married, raised kids, had a career, and was a seemingly functional adult. I tried everything to get her to actively use her muscles to move her wrist. I put her in front of a mirror, filmed videos of myself doing the exercise or her doing it, and tried to get her to spot the difference between moving your shoulder versus moving your wrist.
The last time I saw her, I even strapped her arm to a chair, and she still didn’t understand that she should’ve only been trying to move her wrist. I will never understand it.
There Was No Sugarcoating It
I work at a vet clinic. We get a lot of this sort of thing, oftentimes with diabetic patients. One of the worst I’ve seen was an older owner come in with an extremely overweight, diabetic dog. The owner says the dog has been slow, tires easily, and has been “flopping around”, which is odd for her. The doctor checks the dog’s blood glucose, and it is so high it is literally off the charts.
Normal blood glucose for a dog is around 100 or so. The dog's reading was shocking—it was beyond 1000. We asked the owner how it got so high. Was she eating? She was because she was obese. Were you giving her the insulin? The owner then proceeds to say that they think she’s probably fine without it since she’s a “strong and hardy dog”.
Ma’am, your nine-year-old 80-pound Dalmatian is currently half-alive on the floor because you don’t give her insulin. How they kept that poor dog alive for that long was astounding.
Are You Kidding Me!?a person is holding a picture of a babyPhoto by Amr Taha™ on Unsplash
When I was an intern posted in the obstetric department, I saw a 42-year-old pregnant woman who came for an antenatal checkup. This was her seventh pregnancy, and she had only one living child. So she had five pregnancies previously, which failed (three spontaneous abortions and two stillbirths). The sixth one had been high-risk too, and she’d needed to get a cervical cerclage done (they stitch the cervix because it is too weak to hold a baby in until term).
When the OBGYN asked her why she would put herself through pregnancy again instead of being content with her daughter, she replied, “My in-laws want us to have at least two children”. It was the biggest Pikachu-face moment of my life.
Jesus Took The Wheel Years Ago
I’m an optometrist. I had an elderly patient come in surrounded by concerned family members because the patient ran over one of those pop-up tents on the side of the road that the telephone engineers use to protect themselves from the rain. Luckily no one was hurt as the worker was on lunch. Worried as to how the elderly driver missed seeing a large, red, and white tent in the middle of the day, it was then that the elderly relative admitted to having spent the last three years driving from memory.
Trying Hard To Be Patient
I had a patient come to see me in the clinic on a Monday; everything was fine. By Tuesday morning, she’s on the hospital census with a pending consult for me. When I see her, she says she’s fine and doesn’t know why she was admitted. She then walked out of the clinic, called an ambulance from across the street, and got taken to a different hospital.
She reported her problems were uncontrolled, and nobody was taking her seriously. They transferred her back overnight because I don’t work at that other hospital. She then gets discharged Wednesday morning. On Friday morning, she is again back on the census with a pending consult. I go to see her, and once again, she says she’s fine, and she’s not sure why she’s there.
This time she had a friend pick her up from the hospital and drive her to a small outlying hospital without the services she needed. She walked into the ER and said she was in distress but that nobody was taking her seriously. Yet again, she gets admitted and transferred back to my hospital overnight. She gets discharged on Friday afternoon.
Sure as heck, she came back on Saturday morning. I asked her, “Why do you think you keep getting admitted to the hospital”? She has no clue. Completely baffled. I tell her it’s because she keeps going to hospitals and telling them she needs help. No lights come on. I ask her, “Why do you keep going to other hospitals”?
Finally, she tells me, “I didn’t know what else to do. My apartment is a complete mess. My caretaker won’t clean my apartment because I’m supposed to learn how to do it, and I just don’t want to do it”. Please note that she is not a ward of the state but still gets most of the services, like coaches, guardians, drivers, etc.
So, I follow up with, “But why do you keep telling them that I’m not taking you seriously”? What she said next is forever burnt into my brain. “If I don’t, they just send me home in a cab”.
I’m a dental nurse. My favorite story involved a 30-something-year-old woman who came in for a checkup at the low-cost emergency clinic I worked at. Her teeth were broken and almost black, and her gums were angry, swollen, bright red, and bleeding by just moving her tongue against them. She needed multiple scaling and hygienist appointments and a debridement.
An X-ray showed she needed work on all but her wisdom teeth, and the results made me raise my eyebrows—she needed 10 fillings. She also needed root canals to try and save some teeth and extractions for, I think, three teeth or possibly more if the root canal treatment didn’t work. I explained everything and did the usual explanation of proper oral hygiene.
I then asked her if she had any questions, to which she said, “It’s okay if I lose this set of teeth; my others will come through”. The dentist and I just looked at each other, probably a lot longer than we should have. No words. I couldn’t think of anything to reply to that comment. I had a lot of weird and disgusting things happen at that clinic. I miss working there.
When You Just Can’t Sulfa Fools
I’m a paramedic, and I had this call while working on a rural fire/EMS service. A call came in for an allergic reaction. I arrived at a rural farm and found the patient in the kitchen on the ground, wheezing. Her husband said she took sulfa, which she’s allergic to, and after grabbing her blood pressure, we hit her with epinephrine (which is the same as an EpiPen) and Benadryl.
Her breathing improved, and she started to be able to answer my questions. First, I confirmed her allergy by asking, “So, you’re allergic to sulfa”? The patient says, “Yeah”. I reply, “And you took sulfa”? Again, she goes, “Yeah”. So I asked, “Was it mislabeled or in the wrong bottle”? She answers me with a simple “No”. Okay…
Needing more information, I inquired, “Was it your husband’s prescription”? And unbelievably, she tells me, “No, it was for our horse”. Huh? Feeling a lot more confused, I respond, “Was...Wait, did you say a horse? You took sulfa prescribed for a horse”? She then clarifies, “Well, I only took half”. Sure, that makes it better.
Still trying to follow her logic, I guessed, “...You only took half because a horse is much larger than a person”? The patient confirms, “Yeah”. Uh-huh…I’m still not fully understanding, so I respond, “...Okay. Were you intentionally trying to hurt yourself”? And the patient indignantly answers, “No, of course not”. Exasperated now, I pressed, “But you know you’re allergic, right”?
And she goes, “Yeah. I just have a cold and thought it would help me breathe better”. I couldn’t believe it. Incredulously, I then summarized the situation back to her: “So you took horse sulfa—which you’re allergic to—because you had a cold and thought it would help your breathing”? “I took half a horse sulfa”, the patient corrected me. Good Lord.
I just responded, “Sorry, half. Gotchya. Let’s go to the hospital”.
This Patient Was In A Jamopened white and orange travel trailerPhoto by Muhammed Abiodun Mustapha on Unsplash
I’m a paramedic and was called out for a stroke. The man was having a stroke; upon doing a stroke screen, it looked like the patient had something large in his mouth. Thinking maybe this guy had some sort of oropharyngeal cancer or mass, I asked his wife if this was indeed the case, and she looked at me with a very puzzled look.
She said no, and then I asked, “What is in his mouth”? His wife then says it’s a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that she shoved in there. When her husband’s symptoms started, she thought it was just that his blood glucose was low, so she tried to force-feed this poor man an entire sandwich before she called 9-1-1. Ah, job security.
It Was An Oxidant Waiting To Happen
There was a 24-year-old patient who was brought in from a prison in a rural county. He was working roadside cleanup when he found a bottle in a ditch that he thought contained booze, and he quickly chugged it down. To be fair, it did look like booze. It wasn’t. It turned out it was a substance that contained sulfuric acid. Its pH was less than 2.5...It just ate up the litmus paper. So shortly afterward, he gets to the ICU, and he is in excruciating pain and vomiting blood.
The gastroenterologist took him to do an EGD (basically a procedure where they can look at the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum with a camera attached to a flexible tube), and the pictures were horrendous. You could see his stomach and esophageal mucosa eroding. He had to be sent off to another hospital where they had an esophageal surgeon who could repair the mess.
He, of course, needed multiple surgeries and had a very long hospital stay. I saw him a few months later when he was admitted for another issue. He was down to 90 lbs (from about 150) and was getting fed through a PEG tube. He was very lucky to be young and otherwise healthy (but not very smart).
A Rash Decision
I’m a pharmacist. This story comes to mind, although I’m sure there are plenty more I’m not remembering. A woman came in, claiming that her medication was making her vomit. She said she couldn’t remember what it was called. So, I looked up her profile, but there was nothing recent, just some one-off antibiotics and an anti-fungal from almost a year ago.
I asked her if her medication was over the counter, and she said that it was and pointed me to the Monistat cream. I thought it was incredibly strange that a cream meant for “lady parts” had made her vomit, so I asked her how she had been using it. That’s when I learned the disgusting truth—much to my surprise, she’d been taking it by mouth.
She explained that she would fill the plunger with the cream, shoot it to the back of her throat, and swallow it so she wouldn’t taste it as much as putting it directly on her tongue and swallowing.
What A Meathead
I’m a rural ER doctor. A 35-year-old female walked in with right-sided jaw/neck swelling. She says, “I think it happened because I ate some meat yesterday that my body is reacting to…” Then suddenly, 10 minutes later: “Oh yeah, and I accidentally swallowed a bee, and it stung me in my mouth right before this happened. Sorry, I forgot to mention that”.
When Urine Need Of Some Whizdom
I had an adult male patient who needed a Foley catheter. His mother was in the room, and they both lived together in the backwoods of Tenessee. I informed them both of the order for a catheter, how it worked, and why it was needed. His mother stated, “Well, he’s still a virgin, and I’m not sure I’m comfortable with his virginity being taken in a hospital”.
In the United States, it's no secret that sex education for minors is inconsistent at best.
But some people learned very unexpected stories about how babies were made, and those stories had a way of making a lasting impression.
Curious about other's stories, Redditor ILoveYourCat asked:
"How did you think babies were made when you were little?"
One Time's the Charm
"I knew babies came from sex as a fairly young child. My parents never sugar-coated that. But for some reason, as a kid, I thought you only had to have sex once to have multiple pregnancies. I seriously didn't fix that misunderstanding until early middle school."
"At some point, when I finally accepted that you had to have sex to have a baby, I thought the only time people have sex was to make a baby, and it only took one time to get the job done."
"Then when I figured out teenagers were having sex, I thought you had to be married and have sex to make a baby, but then when my unmarried cousin got pregnant, I was just confused."
"But I was sure my parents only had sex four times, and then when my mom got pregnant with number five, I thought, 'Wow, they did it again.'"
"A stork delivered them, of course. What the f**k, lol (laughing out loud)."
"Storks... I thought people trained them to steal babies from a factory and you would leave special treats on your doorstep as payment and encouragement for the stork to steal one for you."
"I was scared to death of birds for the longest time and would have a tantrum at the zoo when I saw a flamingo."
Young Conspiracy Theorist
"The government. I used to think that we lived in a totalitarian society and that the government was in complete control of everything."
"I thought the President sent people their babies when asked by mail."
Scheduled Baby Delivery
"The women in my family explained to me at the age of six that a doctor calls you sometime after reaching adulthood at the age of 18 to schedule a baby delivery date."
"The husband either pays to schedule the appointment or the government does after verifying that you have been married and financially stable for quite some time."
"When two people kissed."
"I thought the same thing, but I understood that when my mom gave me a kiss, there was no risk. Being someone raised in a very Christian background, I assumed that when you got married, God made kissing a reproductive act."
"Since I made this assumption, I remember questioning why teenage pregnancy could possibly be an issue."
The Ultimate Christmas Gift
"I thought Santa was bringing them."
"He was. I mean, Christmas comes but once a year..."
"I MAY NEVER ENJOY CHRISTMAS AGAIN."
A New Meaning to 'Forest Friends'
"When I used to ask my dad where I came from, he'd say he found me under a rock in the forest. Of course, I would go look for babies under rocks, too, but all I ever saw was dirt and those rolly-polly pill bug thingies."
"It was so gross thinking babies were just found THERE that I was actually relieved to find out how they were actually made!"
Pregnant By Proximity
"I thought women got pregnant by just being around a man, and I was always confused about what would happen if a woman still lived with her parents or dad after she’s an adult."
Coming of Age Story
"I thought it was a 'just happens once you reach a certain age' sorta thing. As a woman, I was terrified because pregnancy sounds like the most awful thing, lol (laughing out loud)."
"(I know the end result is worth it but even as a 31-year-old, I'm like, nope.)"
"I thought they grew like a seed inside the mother's belly."
"Technically, that’s true."
"Well, not like that."
The Power of Marriage
"My mum told me you couldn't have a baby if you weren't married. Note that she said 'couldn't', not 'shouldn't'."
"When my unmarried cousin was sleeping a lot my mum told my aunt 'she's having a baby'. I thought 'she can't be having a baby, she isn't married.'"
"A couple of weeks later she had an engagement party, quickly followed by a registry office wedding. She had a baby a few months later."
"I thought they grew on trees. True story."
"Baby trees, lol (laughing out loud)."
"I was surprised when I learned how it really happened, lol. I was like, 'You mean there are no trees?' And Mom just shook her head."
They Were Just There
"I don't recall a time where I gave the matter any thought without knowing the reality of it."
"Like, literally, until the day I was first introduced to the concept of birth, I don't think I cared where babies came from."
"Right, the little guys just EXISTED."
Educated Is Best
"I asked my mom and she told me the truth."
"Educate your kids, folks. They can handle it."
"I didn’t... They just showed up, honestly."
"That’s what I thought. I was terrified as a little kid that I’d wind up being a teenage mother because I thought it just happened spontaneously."
"Exactly what I thought would happen. Like one day you were just, boom, six months pregnant."
While these responses might be funny, it's an important reminder of an area in the educational system that's often lacking.
But in the meantime, while the system's curriculum is getting sorted out, at least we can take comfort in the fact that we weren't alone in believing these tall tales.
One of life's many challenges to being successful and happy is to work hard and stay focused on our respective goals.
There are many obstacles that can discourage us, but persistence and a drive to overcome can be rewarding.
Unfortunately, there are some things that are simply beyond our control, and it has nothing to do with fate.
It's the qualities we're either born with or without that can impede us or prevent us from ever achieving what can only be seen as a pipe dream.
Curious to hear examples of one of life's cruelties, Redditor G00dR1ddance asked:
"How did your genetics f'k you over?"
These Redditors were unhappy with appearances.
"Lazy eye, and a total lack of depth perception."
"Same. Do you struggle with driving? I just moved to a big city and I can’t drive here bc navigating all the traffic is too hard with no depth perception. It’s so scary!"
The Worst Parts
"Moms Family: Perfect teeth, male baldness. Dad's family: Terrible teeth, perfect hairline."
"Me: Sh**ty teeth, bald before 25. My 2 brothers: Perfect Teeth, Perfect Hairline."
"Feels FN bad."
"They should all chip in for a trip for you to Turkey for a cheap hair transplant and dental work."
Made For Farming
"All 4 grandparents were farmers. I look like I was bred to farm and f**k to make more little farm workers. Broad shoulders, big boobs, no waist, no @ss worth mentioning, and thick legs. I just look like I was bred to work forever until I die. 120 years ago."
Stop With The Flattery
"I too am sturdily built. I am not tall but I am muscular and broad with the big boobs and the broad hips and sturdy legs. I could carry very heavy sacks of feed from when I was very small. My family nickname was 'the forklift truck', so that's.. nice."
Room For More
"My mother’s OB said she had a pelvis ‘you could drive a bus through’. I was a natural breach birth and share those genetics. You could host the last supper on my a** and have room for plus ones."
These Redditors are living on borrowed time.
"Bad heart. I'm the first male in at least 4 generations to make it to 40. And that's only because I was finally properly diagnosed and treated. I wouldn't have made it to 35 if I didn't find the right cardiologist."
"Bum ticker - dad’s aorta exploded when I was 11 and my brother died from the second heart at 41. Just hoping to see my 60s."
Being Kept At Bay
"I have a blood condition where I retain iron. It's slowly killing me. Destroyed my liver, pancreas, and led to a massive heart attack."
"Fortunately, I live in the 21st century where modern medicine can keep me going with...bleeding."
"Sad Aspect" Of A Family
"My oldest uncle married a woman who had Huntington's, but they were very young and she wasn't symptomatic yet. In the 70s so no genetic testing or much public awareness. They had 5 daughters. My aunt and their eldest have long since passed away, and the remaining 4 are in various stages of the disease. It's always been a sad aspect of our family. A truly cruel disease."
"I’m BRCA2 positive, giving me roughly 74% chances of developing an incurable genetic breast cancer in my life. It also gives me about 22% of having an ovarian cancer."
"On the other side, double mastectomy lowers my chances to about 3%, but it should ideally be done before I reach 30. I will also need a hysterectomy in my 40s."
"I had 50/50 chance of getting the BRCA2 gene mutation so well, genetics did f'k me over!"
Redditors share more of their crosses to bear in life after being blessed with these traits.
"I'm more attractive to mosquitoes than most people. If I'm out when mosquitoes are around, I end up covered in bites (which I'm also allergic to, so I end up with quarter sized welts that itch for daaaays after the fact)."
It's sobering to realize the ailments your parents struggled with are starting to become our own to bear.
High blood pressure, arthritis, and predisposition to atherosclerosis are some of the undesirable parts of my family's genetic makeup that I never really thought about until I noticed how fatigued and in pain I've become with age.
Although I have so much gratitude for surviving every year I get to celebrate my birthday, getting old still sucks.
Having the support of family is a dream; they're always there when you need them, willing to lend a helping hand. However, sometimes family members are completely clueless, and their assistance has adverse effects. Here Redditors tell of what went down when their family thought they were helping when in reality, their good intentions were horribly misplaced.
My Sister Did Quite The Job On Me
My Sister Did Quite The Job On Me
One day, my little sister asked for my CV so she could base her own on it. A few days later, I got an email from Google Dublin telling me that my job application had been rejected. A conversation with my very embarrassed sister revealed that my mother had put her up to it. They sat down together and filled out the job application. When I saw what they wrote, I wanted to scream.
They included gems such as, “Q: Why do you want to work for Google? A: Because I LOVE technology'”. I imagine whoever viewed my application thought it quite ballsy for a music and Chinese language graduate to apply for the post of “Senior Technical Programmer”.
Grandma Doesn’t Let Up
Grandma Doesn’t Let Up
My girlfriend and I both have great full-time jobs starting in our careers. My family lives about 60 miles away in my hometown. My grandmother sends us clippings from the newspaper of random job postings in hopes I will move back home. They are all completely unconnected to our jobs. Every month when we visit, she also insists that we should set up an apartment in her basement and live there instead of having to pay rent somewhere. I love her dearly, but that would be just a little too weird.
My Mom Hit A Sour Note
My Mom Hit A Sour Note
My mother is a professional musician and had no greater desire than for me to be the same. Immediately after entering college, I completely minimized my time in music as much as possible to maintain my scholarship and put all my energy into medical biology. I was doing two doctorates in the medical sciences, so it is not like I slacked off.
Almost a year after I did this, my mother somehow found out. She then called the school, and multiple people in the music department, demanding that they require me to spend more time with music and get me back to “acceptable” levels of performance.
A Publix Humiliation
My grandfather insisted I call some random teacher he met at the grocery store to "set up an internship" for my last semester of college when I would have to student teach. No amount of explaining could convince him that that was not how it was done. I would have to apply through my university and my county, and they would assign me a classroom and a teacher. It started to get painful.
He would call once a week and say I was ungrateful for not taking him up on his help when he had worked so hard, and why couldn't I just make one small effort to help my future and secure a classroom? I felt awkward because it's pretty weird to call up someone your grandfather met at Publix and explain that you don't need their help.
Eventually, I started feeling guilty and called this woman up. When she picked up, I said, "Hello, my grandfather gave me your number because he thinks that—" and she responded with, "Don't worry, sweetie. He pretty much old man guilted me to give him my number. I know you can't control where you're placed in your internship. Bye". It was really awkward.
The Taste Of EmbarrassmentFormer Quiznos Subs Sign Downtown Miami | Completely empty i… | Flickrwww.flickr.com
When I was 18, my friend who was a cook offered me a delivery job at Quiznos; I told my mom that I was thinking about it. She got mad, emailed Quiznos corporate office, and said how it was irresponsible to offer me a job and that the manager was terrible. But that wasn't the end of the embarrassment. The message went to the manager, who went to my friend, who read it—embarrassingly—in a car full of my friends.
Mom, The Pickup Artist
I'm 26 years old, and every time I'm out with my mom, she tries her hardest to pick up girls for me, no matter the place. She's left my number for cute waitresses, girls that helped me into fitting rooms, bartenders, etc. It's never subtle, either. It’s always, "My son is single, you know? And very handsome and has a job and car".
Stop The Music!
My dad forced me to stop taking guitar lessons because "It is affecting your grades". I maintained a 4.0 in high school, did all of my homework, and would then proceed to play guitar for about eight hours a day. He actually threatened to burn my $800 Schecter. I have no idea why he thought it was ruining my life; I had a job, studied, and just loved music.
The Grass Isn’t Always Greener
My mom once mowed the lawn while I was out to "help me get my chores done”. It was a disaster. She put the blade on as low as it went and it absolutely scalped the lawn. She had shorn it all the way down to bare dirt. There was even dirt blowing all over the yard, but she said she "didn't notice". It took months for the grass to grow back.
What Once Was Too Much Is No More
My mother did a thousand things that drove me insane. She would write my name on my underwear, on every book I owned, and engrave it onto things that wouldn't keep ink. She'd do the laundry, but seemingly had no idea how to do laundry. My entire life she had to straighten things up, which consisted of taking everything in the room and putting it in one pile—papers, cell phones, empty coke cans, you name it.
This even occurred when I was 40 years old and in my own house with a wife and kids. She'd constantly tell me and my wife that we needed more furniture, more things on the walls, more knick-knacks, basically to clutter our house up like she had done to hers. She was a pretty annoying person for the most part, but she did cool stuff too, like give me money like take my wife shopping or babysit our kids.
She volunteered to babysit our kids on her 43rd anniversary despite having a stomach ache. The next day she went to the doctor where she found out she had cancer. The day after that she had an emergency operation which determined it was inoperable. She never left the hospital and passed two weeks later. Now, suddenly all that stuff that drove me insane doesn't seem like such a big deal anymore.
Meddlesome Mom Messed With My Mailpile of printing papersPhoto by Alexander Grey on Unsplash
My mom opens all my letters, especially my bank statements. She once came across an invoice for an adult subscription. You think that's embarrassing? It gets soooo much worse. She instantly assumed someone had gained access to my account. So, she decided to phone the bank and tell them that fraudulent activity was taking place, and had my account frozen. Not only that, but because I am self-employed, she thought she would ring HM&Revenue, and tell them about it.
As a result, I ended up getting investigated to make sure all of my accounts and business purchases were legit. Her response was, “I know my precious baby would not be buying [racy videos]”. I'm 21 years old!
Trying To Put The Hit On Me
My mom insisted I needed a boyfriend since the age of 12 or I was a lesbian. Typical ways for Mexicans to meet other fornicating Mexicans were at weddings and Quinceneras. I've always been a book nerd/tomboy and my mom kept insisting I had to wear fewer clothes and would force short skirts and dresses on me. I hated getting hit on because all the guys that would had already slept with at least three of my cousins.
Thankfully, I was one of the few in my family who ended up not pregnant by the age of 15. I didn't have my first boyfriend until I was 21—most of my cousins were married by then—and got married at the age of 24, and was able to prove once and for all that I liked men.
Duo Lingo Disaster
My wife's grandmother is Russian and wanted me to learn the language. So Babushka bought a huge carton of cassette tapes and handed them to me. When I saw what they said, it was so hard not to laugh. They were tapes...for Russians who wanted to learn English. She figured that I could listen to the Russian prompts, then hear the English parts, and reverse engineer the Russian language. Nyet. That's not how it works.
My mom is very religious and I'm not, so she hides religious icons all over my house. I'll find a crystal statue of the Virgin Mary in my toilet tank, little pictures of Jesus on my storage shelves in the basement, etc. It's always a little amusing when I find some random saint's picture stuffed into a book on my shelf. I probably have dozens of these things lying around that I haven't found yet.
My family is in the class under middle class. Through middle school and high school, going to the doctor was too expensive and our bills weren't ever paid on time. We had the financial credit of a squirrel. But my parents made it so much worse. It makes me sound shallow to say this to most people, but I was given well-intentioned, expensive, material things.
Clothes, cars, jewelry, technology—everything beyond our means—was bought for me and it was forced into my hands. Despite their best attempts, I remained frugal and money conscious. I have handed back 300-dollar watches and said, “Please just pay the bills”, only to be threatened to have them thrown away. Then, there were expensive clothes and shoes that were out of style.
Most of the clothes I liked were thrift store-bought or on sale, but I have 200-dollar coats hanging untouched in my closet. I can't be thankful for being handed essentially junk when there isn't enough food in the fridge or the lights go out.
Meddling Middle School Misfortuneboy leaning on brown wooden railingsPhoto by Tadeusz Lakota on Unsplash
When I was finishing primary school, our school gave us the choice of two middle schools to move to. One was really nice and in a decent area; the other was a little run down, and in a bad area, but was slightly nearer to where I lived. Naturally, even before seeing each school, the choice for me was an easy one. I would rather go to a nice school and suffer an extra 20 minutes of travel than the alternative.
This choice appeared to be shared with nearly everybody else as well and, as a result, we were told that not everybody would get their first choice. They would determine who would get into which school based on several factors. I figured I would be almost guaranteed a spot in the nice school since I was doing well academically.
I was in advanced classes for math and English. I was shocked to later find out that I had been sent to the bad school. This was exacerbated by the fact that nearly all my friends were being sent to the good school. What followed was the worst four years of my life, and some issues that I have no doubt screwed me up as a person, even now. When I found out WHY it had happened, I almost started to cry.
I told my parents I had been assigned to the bad school, and my dad said he was relieved. The thing was, he thought that I would not be able to get to school on time if I went to the nicer school, due to the extra distance, and the travel costs would be higher since I would need to take an extra bus. So, he wrote a letter to the school board.
He mentioned that while I preferred the nicer school, he thought the bad school was more convenient. I love my parents, so I have never told him this, but to this day I have never forgiven him for doing this.
God Mom, Lay Off!
My mom would force me to go to church on Sundays, weekly church youth group, church summer camp, and daily morning scripture study classes before school while I was growing up. Despite all that, she seems to think that I didn't get the memo about the whole God thing. So, she still gives me the conversion pitch every time I see her. I am 36 years old. Thanks, mom, but no means no.
An Invitation For Disaster
My mother-in-law tried to take over my wedding guest list because she “knew exactly who we needed to invite”. We ended up with all of her relatives and very few of my friends or family. She also wanted to invite all of her co-workers, all of her friends, and their children. I finally put my foot down and told her that I had limited room, a limited budget, and it was my wedding. Luckily, my husband agreed with me. All her relatives got mad as well because I refused to have anyone below the age of 13 there.
Dragged On My Dad’s Dates
My dad dragged me around everywhere he went when I was a child. He would take me on his dates too. Although it sounds cute and funny, all he would do was make fun of me and tell them how I spend all my time on computers. I hated every second of it. He did this for a bit until he clued in that women don't like when you trash talk your son or ask him questions like, "Why don't you draw anymore"?
I would reply, "You threw out my artwork in my room, so I gave up". They also don’t like when I just couldn’t take the awkwardness of being an 11-year-old forced to accompany two mid-40-year-olds “trying” to date. I would get up and go to the bathroom or walk around, only to be tripped by my dad, for which he would turn back and laugh. He thought he was teaching me a lesson by taking me because I spent all my time on the computer.
Garage Sale Granny
My grandparents are garage sale junkies. This really helped me out when I was just getting started on my own, as they had so much unused furniture just lying around in the garage. However, it just kept coming. I would get phone calls from home saying, "Oh Hunny, we picked you up a new microwave! It was only $5"! I've been given three different microwaves over the last three years.
They also buy socks for my baby daughter all the time—like every time I come to visit. My daughter hates socks, and she rarely wears them. There are SOCKS EVERYWHERE. I have two giant shopping bags full of unused baby socks in the closet, and I can't donate them because, apparently some places—in my area at least—don't accept socks unless they are in their original packaging.
It Didn’t Make Any Centssilver and gold round coinsPhoto by Art Rachen on Unsplash
I was going to a coin show with my co-worker and his stepfather. They came by and picked me up, and we went to the show. After they dropped me off, the stepfather was stopped and questioned by the authorities near my house. It turned out my dad had called the authorities thinking that the stepfather was a predator, and I didn't know any better.
But here's the messed up part: I was 21 at the time. It was very embarrassing when I heard what happened the next day.
A Numbers Game
Before my wife and I ever met, her mother would often give her phone number to "nice Jewish boys" that she thought would be good dating material. It was weird but not bad or unusual. Except that, for a period of nearly a year after my wife and I had started dating, her mother was still doing this. There were times when we'd go back to her apartment after seeing a movie or something, and there would be a message on her answering machine.
It would be from a guy that she had never met, who got her phone number from her mother. This was happening MONTHS after we were involved with one another, even after I went to her mother's house and had dinner with her.
Single Straight Female
Years ago, my sister jokingly insinuated I was a lesbian. My parents gave me the whole "love you whatever you are" spiel later. I didn't tell them right away that I wasn’t because it made my conservative parents vote “No” on Prop 8, etc. I also didn't think it mattered, and I didn't want them to expect any grandkids. Later, I told my mom I was straight because the whole scenario got a bit aggravating. It only got more excruciating.
Despite telling her this, she kept insinuating certain things like the best places in China (I’m Asian) to find a wife, etc. I have absolutely no interest in having kids EVER, which I made abundantly clear. My mom, therefore, thinks I am a hermaphrodite or a female-to-male trans person. She's even asked me if I have a male organ or if I wanted to change my general doctor to a male one so I can talk about my "man problems". I'm a straight girl, so all of this was quite perplexing.
No Bed Of Roses
I had just moved back in with my mom after having some financial difficulties. I was 28 at the time and broke, sleeping on a twin bed. I was lamenting about how difficult that might make bringing ladies home. Her response was horrifying: "You can use my bed. Just call me first". Suffice it to say, during the two years I was back home with her, there were no romantic times back at my place.
Filling My Fridge For Nothing
Every time my grandparents visit my town, they stock my empty pantry with lots of canned goods and my empty freezer full of frozen entrees. I tell them that I appreciate their generosity, but that it is really unnecessary. They reply by saying they don't ever want to risk me going hungry because I am too proud to ask for food.
The reason my cabinets are consistently bare is that after they leave, I always make a point of donating what they've bought me to a local food bank. I own three restaurants, so there is no reason I would ever cook at home. In a bad year, I have an annual net income of around $2,000,000. They're stocking a $10,000 freezer.
Proper Phone Etiquettebrown rotary dial telephone in gray painted roomPhoto by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
My mom used to make me make phone calls under the guise of “teaching me how to talk on the phone”. But she was having me call adults as a young teen about business stuff like for example, the electric company. She would not give me the information I would need to complete the task, like the account number or whatever, so I’m absolutely sure I was just annoying people who were trying to do their jobs and my phone anxiety as an adult is almost crippling.
No Thanks For The “Expert” Advice
My mother-in-law sent me a text message with advice for editing the language on my personal portfolio website. She told me to change all of the pronouns I use when referring to myself to "my company name". When I told her most illustrators I know don't do this, she simply responded that she was an "expert editor". I am not being ungrateful; she is constantly doing this. Providing "expert advice" to people whose jobs she knows nothing about. When I told her what I did for a living, she responded with, "Well, gee, I could do that".
Coast To Coast Annoyance
My aunt constantly tries to introduce me to women who live 3,000 miles away from me. I have explained many times that I live on the East Coast, so her attempts to find me a girlfriend on the West Coast are not going to help. Not only that, but my girlfriend doesn't appreciate the efforts either. The funniest part is that she isn't even old or senile. She's just a bit nuts.
Grammy Was Out Of Step
When I was really young, my Midwestern, Protestant, fundie grandparents believed that black or gray clothing was exclusively worn by bad people, and they refused to see it on their grandson. They took particular issue with black shoes. As a six-year-old, I was given the chance to pick my own shoes out at the local Sports Authority.
I spent the whole day evaluating my options and settled on a gorgeous pair of black New Balance with orange mesh and white logos. Understandably, I couldn't wait to show them off to Grammy when I went to visit for the summer. I carefully explained the features of the shoes, and how they made me run faster, jump higher, and look older.
When she saw them, she said, "Oh my goodness! Those might be the coolest shoes I've ever seen"! Then, when I woke up the next morning, they had been thrown out and replaced by a pair of entirely white Nike sneakers with no explanation.
I grew up with a dad who had been a high school and college sports legend. I hated sports. I was overweight and liked D&D and drawing. My dad was friends with the high school football coach, so I felt like I had to try out for the team. I hated every second of it. I hated the training and I was terrible. My teammates knew I wasn't into it and wanted me out.
One day, I jumped off the bleachers and tried to land on my leg to break it. I sprained my ankle badly and missed our first scrimmage. Finally, I had to confess to my dad that I hated it and wanted off the team. I was so scared because I thought he'd be so disappointed. However, he told me, "Son, you're you and I'm me. Just because I played football doesn't mean you have to. I want you to do what makes you happy".
So, my dad watched football alone, while I drew and read and later skateboarded. Over the years, we found a lot of common ground, such as music, and cooking together. I lost him almost five years ago, and strangely, now I'm a huge football fan. I sit and watch football alone and I can imagine him with me. I appreciate it now and I understand what it meant to my dad.
Drowning In Questionsman doing swimmingPhoto by Richard R. Schünemann on Unsplash
I used to swim a lot in college, which was many years ago. I got tired of getting in the water, so now I mostly do weights and machines at the gym, like the rowing machine and the elliptical. But every time my mother sees me, she asks, “So, have you been swimming”? We have had MANY conversations about how I don't like swimming anymore and I have no desire to swim, yet I still exercise. But EVERY time I see her, it’s, "Have you been swimming? How's your swimming”?
Years ago, my wife and I went on vacation for two weeks, and we had her parents watch our house and cat for us. Never again. We left the house at a comfortable temperature as it was the middle of summer in Atlanta, and we didn't want our cat to bake. We also wanted the house to be comfortable for them and my brother for the couple of days he stayed.
When we returned, the house was about 90 degrees on the inside, and our cat was chilling in our basement—somewhere she never went—where the temp was a good ten degrees cooler. They also decided to wipe down our kitchen counters, even though the kitchen was 100% clean. They are marble and she used a cleaner on them that left these little spots all over them that never came off.
My brother came over for a couple of days and said that he actually turned the A/C back on and noticed that when he came back a couple of days later, it was back off again. So he turned it on again and when we returned, it was off again. Our cat was not amused and decided that she would hang out in the basement for weeks at a time, and we rarely saw her.
Our power bill was enormous that next month and the constant heating and cooling of the house caused the wallpaper in two of our bathrooms to peel. When we asked them about it, they explained, "We were just trying to save you guys some money on your power bill. You know you shouldn't keep your house so cool all the time! And we wiped the dust off your counters too with the cleaner you had”, which was hardwood floor cleaner as it turned out.
She took all of my pants and cut them into shorts and gave them to my brother because they were "too small for me" when, in reality, they fit perfectly. After she realized that what she did might have irked me a bit, she came back with a few pairs of light blue wrangler jeans that were a 40" waist because they would "fit me better". I wore a 36, so needless to say, they didn't.
She also told my little brother, who was chubby and pretty self-conscious, that he had a gut and that he needed to swim with a shirt on. I wouldn't be critical if she were old enough not to know better regarding what she says, but she just turned 65.
Dressed To Impress
My mother was in love with the idea that I would go to work in an office with a suit and a tie. She had some ideal image from television that this was a great lifestyle. Meanwhile, we came from a farm, and I was an artist. For a year or so after finishing a degree, I worked in tech support and this required a dress code. My mother got me so many collared shirts and ties, it was crazy. I've worked mostly in offices since but rarely need a tie. I know she's always been disappointed.
Temptation Almost Took Over
When I was in my 20s and a dateless wonder, my stepmother tried to talk me into marrying an attractive young woman who was a friend of the family, and was in the US on a green card. It would be for citizenship, but my stepmother also said that whatever other “private arrangements” we worked out were up to us. I was tempted for about five minutes, but then my father caught wind of my stepmom's scheme and put a stop to it.
Harrowing Hook UpGiant Dipper queue entrance | Santa Cruz Boardwalk @ Santa C… | Flickrwww.flickr.com
One day, I was at the wonderful Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk with my family. My dad had been drinking and suddenly asked me, "Why don't you have a girlfriend"? I was around 11 or 12 years old at the time. I told him I just never found one, and that's when he decided to become Cupid. He called over this group of overweight, goth chicks to "hook his son up".
Naturally, I was embarrassed beyond belief. I walked away to go find my mom, who was furious with my dad’s conduct. She even went so far as to ask, "Why did you choose some goth chicks"? His response was terrible and inappropriate. To this day I have never forgotten that.
When I was 11 or so, I was riding my bicycle home from school and the wind started blowing like crazy, hard enough that I had to push my bike the last couple of blocks home. The tornado sirens went off while I was half a block away. I ran straight to the back door that led to the basement, went downstairs, and over to the “safe” corner my parents taught me about.
I sat and worried about the house collapsing on me. Then, the phone started ringing upstairs. I ignored it for as long as I could, probably around two minutes. I finally ran upstairs and answered the phone. It was my mom, and all she said was, "Get your butt downstairs"!
Bound And Gagged
My mom and sister came to visit me for a few days the weekend after I moved into a new apartment by myself. I had to work on the first day they were there and gave them suggestions on a whole bunch of fun activities they could do while I was gone. I asked them to please not unpack any of my stuff so that I would know where I had placed everything.
Obviously, there were also things my mom didn’t need to see. I arrived home after work and everything was unpacked. Then, my mom handed me one bag which she had not emptied. The content had bed straps, and she asked me if I had wanted her to set those up too. It was mortifying.
College Control Freak
My mom took over my entire college experience. She became really controlling about my course schedule and degree options. Somehow, it got worse the older I got. She would contact my academic counselor and bug him about why I couldn’t get into ENGL 3044 or why HIST 4513 didn’t give me the same general ed credit as ENGL 4513 for the multi-disciplinary degree that she pushed on me.
I wanted to major in sociology, but Mom thought that was stupid and it was a hippy-liberal communist degree. It made me hate college, and avoid any professors she had contacted. She would also get really mad if I changed my university password to try and lock her out. Basically, she threatened not to pay for my college if she couldn't control me and she threatened to cancel my car insurance too. All because she was afraid I would leave for greener pastures.
Drop The Dating Advice
My brother, my sister, my sister-in-law, and every aunt and uncle whom I've seen in the past four years all take the opportunity to give me dating advice, ask me about what kind of girls I like, ask me to pick the most attractive girl in the restaurant/building, etc. One of my uncles, in particular, was telling me in none-too-uncertain terms to just find girls to bed, not for relationships.
His reasoning was that, obviously, no 23-year-old guy wants to have a girlfriend metaphorically tying him down, holding him back from things, etc. Of course, every college dude just wants to just go sleep around indiscriminately. This was a dinner conversation with my parents at the table. I wanted to crawl into a hole. Every time it happens, I'm tempted to tell them that I'm gay—which I'm not—so they'll get off my back. But then I know they'll just do the same for dudes.
Something Was Fishy With My Juicebrown and yellow medication tabletsPhoto by Leohoho on Unsplash
I'm a vegetarian and have been for seven years. One summer, my mom was going through a phase of making me these orange juices every day; they were nice. I always thought to myself that the oranges must be coming from a different place this year because they were so sweet. One day, I was scrambling through the fridge and found this jar that looked like some weird medicine.
I opened that baby up and took a whiff. It smelled like oranges—sweet, sweet oranges. When I read the label of the “medicine”, that's when I realized that my mom was spiking my drinks with fish oil. A “vegetarian” who eats fish is called a “vegequarian pescatarian”, not a vegetarian like I was. Needless to say, I was mad and didn't talk to her for a week.
My mother tries to set me up with Jewish men. Our family is Jewish, and I have told them explicitly, many times, that I don't want to marry anyone overtly religious and that I find most Jewish men not to be my type, to put it lightly. So lately, my mother has been trying to hook me up with cute girls. She believes that since I'm a 26-year-old pretty, single girl, I MUST be gay to not be married with kids.
The Devil’s Devices
My grandmother throws out appliances that have the number 666 in the serial number or barcode. She thinks these appliances will eventually turn on us because they’re the devil's appliances. This includes a brand new lawnmower she received as a gift from her children. Of course, she didn't give the lawnmower to anyone because she didn’t want to be responsible for the impending doom the appliance would bring; she just threw it out. She's done this at our house before as well. She's a nut, but I love her!
My Family Was Full Of Gay Abandon
When my mother and father found out I was gay, my mother said it would be best for me to come out to everyone who lived with us. At the time, it was my sister, brother, grandmother, and great-aunt. She said if I didn’t do it, she would do it for me because it would help me have a better relationship with all of them. When I went to talk to my grandmother, she had just had some really intense surgery and she was on some serious pain meds.
So, I sat her down and told her I was gay and she just went on this half-hour rant about how she knew a teacher that was a queer when she was in high school. It turned out she then emailed several relatives about my coming out. An aunt of mine then sent me a letter saying that she wished the best for me and told me that I could "still live my life as a gypsy", I just needed to be careful because "AIDS is really dangerous" and that I shouldn’t sleep with anyone until I was married.
Time To Cut The Cord
My parents can't accept that I am a married adult and don't need them to do everything for me. They did all they could to make me as dependent as possible, and they don't understand that not needing them to do things doesn’t mean I don't love them. For example, I am pregnant and at high risk. My mother calls all the time wanting to take me to my appointments.
I get that she is nervous, but this little girl is very healthy, and I don't want her there. She doesn't help, she only makes me nervous. My husband wants to go with me, after all, it's our baby, and she doesn't get it. She called my last daughter "her" baby, and she is starting again. It infuriates me beyond belief. My parents also hate that I live about two hours away in a different state.
They want us to visit every weekend and get mad that we only visit every few months. I talk to my mom every day, mind you, yet sometimes she calls me several times a day and doesn't get that I have things to do. She also constantly says she and my dad are moving to Las Vegas and she thinks it would be great if we moved there too.
She has all these people call my husband about jobs that are not anything he would be interested in. Plus, my parents don't have any good business contacts. My mom has not had a real job in fifteen years and my father has been looking for a better job for years. They are not even in the same field as my husband. Even if the job sounded perfect, we would never trust it.
We don't want to be associated with anyone they do business with. My parents have some serious separation issues.
Two Sides Of A Shielda person holding a babyPhoto by Polina Kuzovkova on Unsplash
I had cancer twice before I was five years old and so my parents really shielded my life. If I was invited to a kid’s birthday party, my mom would be there too. I wasn’t allowed to play outside until late, and even when I was older, there was no going to nightclubs. I had to be in by 10 PM and had to argue my way to let my boyfriend (now husband) stay the night.
As a result, I'm terrible at socializing, struggle to make my own decisions since someone was always there with an answer for me, and don’t know anything about running a house as it was all done for me and not by choice. When I moved in with my boyfriend, they were all, “Do you not like us anymore? What have we done to deserve this?”
My guy had to show me everything from using the washing machine and paying bills, to cooking. Everything I know is because of him! They continued to message, email, and phone several times a day until I asked for space and to be allowed to live my life. We have a better relationship now, and I have my own little girl, so I do understand to some extent.
However, I know I'd want her to be supported and loved but allowed to scrape her knees and be included in everything. My job as a parent is to make her feel confident about herself and teach her everything I know to help her become a well-rounded and independent individual.
The Only Bad Influence Was Her
My mom tried to protect me from my dad. My dad was a lazy guy when they were together in Vietnam. Even when they had my sister and me, my dad didn't do much for us. My mom had to take care of him and us, so we moved to the US without him. This is when my sister and I were pretty young. He missed us and he would write to us, but for 12 years I never saw his letters.
Then, through the magic of technology, we got into contact again. My mom warned me about him because she thought that he would have a bad influence on me. My dad and I exchanged emails and I told my mom about it. Then, she finally confessed the dark truth. She had kept all of his letters away from us so that we wouldn't think of him and just forget about him.
When I read the letters that he sent us, they were filled with nothing but loving and encouraging words like, "I know I'm not there for you two, but you both are in my hearts". There were no bad words or any negative influences in any of his letters. Then, my mom demanded that I let her read my emails. My email exchanges with my dad were us talking about my life and what I was doing in school.
She thought that he was going to be a bad influence on me by making me quit school and move back to Vietnam. He was doing none of that. He encouraged me to stay in school and told me that I should be grateful for living in America. Then, one time, I left my email open to go and do a quick errand. My mom went into my email, sent my dad a letter pretending to be me, and cursed him out.
I found out about it and asked her why. She said she was trying to protect me. This all happened when I was 21. My grandmother also told my mom to not let my sister and I talk to my dad because she, too, thought that he would have a bad influence on us.
The Cost Of High Tuition
My mom is paying off her student debt 20 years later from a college she didn't even graduate from. She's convinced that if I go to an in-state college, I will save money and never have to do what she was doing. Then, I moved to NYC last year, and now I'm getting in-state tuition at one of the cheapest state school systems in the US.
Even so, my mother keeps suggesting and is trying to guilt-trip me to go to private colleges back home, a couple of which are religious, and most of them don't offer what I need, while at the same time costing four times as much a year compared to where I'm at now. She also went as far as to tell my siblings that I didn't love them and that's why I was moving so far away, in a "one final effort" to try and keep me in the state. That really, really sucked.
Living The High Life
My grandmother was a nasty blue-blood rich woman until she blew all her millions on furniture and stupid material possessions with no resale value. Yet, she still acts like she is rich and demands the country-club lifestyle she is accustomed to from my mom and aunt. She really is insufferable. She has set me up with rich potential husbands, one of whom was a third cousin.
She set up an appointment with the Dean of my school to discuss my merits; she lives nearly four hours away from me. She invited me out to dinner for my 21st birthday at a $90-steak-type place so that she could "culture me" and introduce me to her friends. She then told me to pay for her. The total bill was $459 and I was in college. This list goes on forever and every time, she does things so that she can "help me get ahead in life", but it’s really just for herself.
Out Of Service
This happened to me right before I graduated from high school. The men on my mom’s side of the family were all associated with some form of service like the Navy, Army, etc. My aunt decided that, since I had no job or any college courses, she would go ahead and forge my application to the Marine Corps and the Navy.
I got a call two weeks after my birthday saying to come in for an evaluation test. She went to all my uncles and told them how excited I was to serve, and how I couldn't wait to "be a part of something bigger than me". When I found out, I lost it. I called her and explained to her how that was totally not cool and how much respect I had towards people who serve, but that it wasn't my calling.
I told her that I was very disappointed that she faked an application just because she thought I'd have a better life! I cut all ties with her and had to explain to my uncles how this was all her idea, and to my surprise, two of them were going along with her. So I moved up North to get away from pretty much all my family.
TMI!woman in black long sleeve shirt covering her facePhoto by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash
My parents were way too open about the birds and the bees. Sex positivity should make you feel comfortable and safe; it shouldn't make you uncomfortable or be pushed on you when you aren't ready. I got a comprehensive talk when I was seven. My mom gave me an entire book and told me to tell her if I "had any questions", all because I asked what a word meant.
My mom asked me if I wanted any toys and gave my sister her USED ones. It was definitely unsanitary. My mom also smacked my booty a lot and told me I had a good body. It took a few years of asking her to stop in order for her actually to stop. She would interrupt my sister's dates when she was 14–16 years old to ask her if she needed protection.
That just made my sister feel pressured to use them, even if the date wasn't going in that direction. My dad was just plain gross about the subject too, but he never had talks exactly in the same detailed and crass way my mom did with me.