Satisfying Small Victories
Everyone has heard the stories of hardships and struggles, but sometimes in life, things can be surprisingly easy. Whether an unexpected life hack, trade secret, or just through pure luck, these stories encompass the little victories of everyday people.
I lived in New Jersey, and a friend of mine invited me to a commercial audition at a New York City bar. I went because of the bar and only auditioned after two drinks. I left thinking it was a waste of time. I had no idea what was coming.
A month later, I get a call that they want to use me for the commercial. Plus, it turns out the director was the guy who directed the original Space Jam. I got lines and ended up in two of their commercials. I then got a 40k payday, where I thought someone made a clerical error. This kick-started my acting career.
Staying Linked In
On LinkedIn, I always have my status set to “looking for work” even when I have a job. One day, a recruiter asked me if I wanted a job. I found the position and applied with the company directly, and apparently, they had been looking for someone with my qualifications.
Just like that, I made $20k more and got a super laid-back job with flexible hours where I never had to commute to work. I also have a really nice title now and actually just interviewed for another job that’s a higher title with higher pay. I’ve only been at my current job for seven months.
Not So Common Knowledge
My small victory was overcoming a lifelong speech impediment at 22 years old. A lot of the "common knowledge" around speech impediments is that if you can't beat the thing by the time you're 10 or so, that's pretty much it for you.
The idea is that your speaking patterns have become so ingrained at this point that you basically have to accept that you're stuck with it for the rest of your life. This was the explanation given when I was cut from speech therapy in third grade.
It was a big part of why it took me until I was 22 to return to speech therapy as an adult. I assumed this issue was stuck in stone, and that I was kidding myself by thinking it was something that could be fixed. But someone had made a big mistake. Turns out that common wisdom was all incorrect.
There actually is no deadline for when you can fix a speech impediment; you just need to be given competent speech therapy. So, my lifelong lateral lisp was gone within two sessions, and my lifelong rhotacism (can't pronounce 'r's) was gone within a month.
It was awesome! But also, really? It was that easy? I could've had a happy, normal childhood this whole time but I just...didn't? Because the adults in my life thought the issue couldn't be fixed back when I was only eight years old? Well, that sucks.
I achieved a small victory fixing clogged drains. It started out because my sink drain plug wouldn't stay up. I poked around under the sink and found the pop-up rod had rusted completely through and broken.
It cost me five dollars for a new one at the plumbing supply store next to where I worked at the time. It took five minutes to figure out how to swap, and now I know how sink and shower drains come apart, which makes unclogging them simple.
Maybe it's just me, but in my brain, it seemed like that was something I'd have to call a plumber to come to unclog, but it's all remarkably simple.
Small Victory At Small Claimsman in black shirt sitting beside woman in white shirtPhoto by Saúl Bucio on Unsplash
My small victory was suing someone in Small Claims. It was surprisingly easy because my case was rock solid and I had a professionally printed document of evidence, witness statements, and precise records sent over to the court.
Meanwhile, the defendant did literally nothing but send unlabeled loose printouts of my Facebook page as her so-called evidence. It was a very quick judgment for the plaintiff.
Best Job Ever
I've hated every job I've ever had. Then at 18 years old, I joined the forces for six years. That sucked the whole time, then I went into customer service at Walmart, and the staff was mean to everyone. I tried security and the staff was just degrading.
I had job after job doing what I thought was the "right" thing. One day, my life changed. I decided to apply for a local HVAC company and worked at a call center. Nothing big, I think there were a total of nine of us on the phones. Honestly, it's the best job I've ever had.
We all get along, spend hours a day on our group chat sharing memes, and our management has one-on-one meetings every two weeks with the goal of "this meeting is not work-related but we want to know just how you're doing, how's is life treating you, what do you need".
There's constant communication about expectations and how we can better meet them and how they can help us perform better. The majority of the company's profits are used to better employee lives (I get monthly commission and residuals, and $30 a month in healthcare) along with monthly potlucks, paid lunches, and competitive pay starting at $17 an hour.
I haven't seen any turnover...none! My position was only hiring because too many people got promoted.
Too Good To Be True
For months, I had been applying for tons of jobs on every platform I could find. I was also talking to friends to get critiques on my resume/cover letter. Updating my online portfolio, et cetera.
Then one day a recruiter messaged me out of the blue on LinkedIn and basically handed me a dream job. It was one interview and then a call to say “Hey you're hired”. I legitimately thought it was a joke right up until my first day of work.
How I Doubled My Salary
I got a salary request when applying for a job, and accidentally wrote double what I meant to write since the number keys were right next to each other. They accepted anyway.
The 20-Dollar Flat Screen
I found a 60-inch TV by the dumpster. Plugged it in but it didn’t turn on. Looked up common problems with the model number, bought a part on eBay for $20, replaced the part, and had a huge TV for $20.
Sleep Hackedperson holding white medication pillPhoto by Mariana Rascão on Unsplash
I never slept well. Then one day, there’s an over-the-counter magnesium supplement called “calm”. I drink a cup every night and sleep like a hibernating bear. It was that easy.
No One Else Applied
This is how I got the Erasmus scholarship. We had only two places each term for the 300+ people in my university program. I always thought of applying, but I thought my chance was too small to get into one of the places, so I didn't really push myself to apply.
Until I did. Turns out I was the only one applying, and I spent the next half a year in the lovely city of North Sweden completely financed by the European Union.
When In Doubt, Try Amazon
I had a loose hinge on my door. It kind of drove me crazy for three years, but I had no idea how to fix the wood that had been stripped. Then I found a product on Amazon for $10 where you shove on a sleeve, break it off and then screw in the new screws.
I bought two new hinges that don’t squeak. It took about 10 minutes and cost $20 and it’s no longer a problem.
A Cheaper Fix
The power steering failed on my Acura. My local Acura dealership wanted to charge me well over $1,000 to fix it. But I had a better idea. I bought a power steering pump off Amazon for $70 and found a YouTube video that explained how to fit it.
I don't have any car maintenance experience but it only took a couple of hours to do the job myself and it worked like a charm.
Thank God I’m Fired
I had accepted a new job but was anxious about giving my notice at my old job. I had been there for 8 years and really loved my team. I had also been stressed out that I was taking a week off between jobs because it was a stretch financially.
I finally set up a meeting with my boss. I couldn't even sleep the night before. An hour before I was going to give my notice, my boss's boss called me into a meeting with HR. I was being laid off along with a large number of other employees.
They were so sorry, and my boss's boss was in tears. She promised they would "take care of me". Anyway, I got 20 weeks of severance and a full three weeks off between jobs. Definitely, the best thing that's ever happened to me.
I was so shocked that I almost started laughing during the meeting and had to pretend I was trying not to cry.
The Miracle Cureclear drinking glass on white tablePhoto by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash
My small victory was drinking water. I went from having sleeping issues to waking up fully rested. Water has changed my life! I thought it would be super difficult to kick soda, but once I tried, the benefits certainly outweighed the lack of taste.
Lying On The Job
I got a job that required full-time fieldwork for minimal pay. On my first day, they asked about my other skills. I saw other people using AutoCAD so I said I used it in college but I was rusty. This was a lie. I had only ever used it once to draw some circles.
The company was excited and got me a 4-day refresher class. I learned AutoCAD and haven't been in the field in over a year. I later asked for more pay since I wasn't a field tech anymore.
They said “no”, so I got another job using AutoCAD for double the salary. Pro tip: learn AutoCAD C3D, it's not that hard, and people will think you're a tech genius.
“DJ's Got Us Falling In Love”
In my sophomore year of college, my buddies were throwing a party at their house. One of them was a moderately successful DJ in the local college scene. We were having a good time and the DJ was doing his thing when he had to use the washroom. That's when something beautiful happened.
As he's leaving, he taps me on the shoulder and asks me to just stand at his turntables to make sure no one messes with them. He had songs queued up so I just had to stand there and wait.
About 30 seconds later, two women walk up to me and say how much they love the music. I tell them it’s just a playlist and I’m only keeping it running. But they are still super impressed.
A few minutes later the actual DJ comes back and I give up my post. Then one of the girls comes up and asks me to dance with her. One thing leads to another and we ended up having a great time.
At one point I told my friend about this girl I’d met while covering him at the DJ booth. He laughed and said, “Yeah sometimes it’s that easy”.
Worth A Try
My small victory was getting a job working for the US Department of Defense. I'd always thought that those kinds of jobs required prior government service, and a whole host of various degrees or such to get a job with them.
Then I saw a job opening for one site near where I lived and thought to try it. So I applied. I honestly didn't expect to even get a callback or anything. I not only got the callback, but also got hired for the job.
The requirements were far more lenient than I expected. All the job required was a clean criminal record and a willingness to learn. I ended up working as a wastewater treatment tech for them, and eventually got an environmental engineering degree with their help.
Never Too Late
My small victory was going back to school. I've been toying with the idea for years, but telling myself it was too far, too expensive, too time-consuming, et cetera. Because I had a home, job, and child to maintain, I couldn't do it.
Something in me finally cracked recently and I thought to try it and made a call to a tech school nearby. Three days later I'm on a tour. The tour is maybe an hour or two in total. The papers were all done online, and I start Monday!
They also threw a ton of financial aid at me. I'm only going to pay about $50 a month until I've graduated, and then those payments go up to about $95. Still very manageable. My classes are only four hours long and are at night, and I only have to be in class two days a week.
The rest of my studies are done at home with a tablet they provide me, so I didn't even have to buy a computer or anything. I couldn't believe how easy and affordable it actually was.
Up, Up, And Awaywoman in white knit sweater inside aircraftPhoto by Jon Ly on Unsplash
I got my pilot license. To be fair, I did study a lot but it was one of those things I wasn't sure I was going to do well on. My instructor said I'm ready, but I still wasn't sure.
Day of the check-ride, I answered every question correctly without hesitation, and did every maneuver correctly. We parked and my examiner said "So how's it feel to be a private pilot". I thou.ght in my head "There's no way" even though I did everything right with relative ease.
A Little Research Goes A Long Way
I'm a 24-year-old female who knows absolutely nothing about cars. Well, I bought myself a nice front/rear dash cam without considering how to safely wire it and found out I would have to remove parts of my car to wire it behind airbags and stuff so it wouldn't prevent an airbag from deploying properly.
I thought I was going to have to pay someone to install it for me, but then I found an amazing solution. It turns out a simple YouTube video walked me through the whole thing! Now my dashcams look professionally installed. I also learned how to change a blown fuse on the same day because my USB adapter wasn't working.
I was high on the achievement of something new and had a brief hyper-fixation on learning to mod my car but thankfully got over it.
Learning To Love
My small victory was breaking up with someone who wasn't good for me. I stayed way too long in relationships that I didn't want to be in. Once I learned to like myself, I realized I don't have to settle.
I didn't mind being alone in between, and because I liked myself, I started to draw the type of people I actually wanted to be around. The type of people who made me want to keep challenging myself to be better.
If you're in a relationship where your heart aches all the time, where you're accepting less than love and respect and kindness, and if you're in a position to leave and still be safe, just do it.
Even if you don't like yourself yet, you will. This is true for all relationships, not just romantic ones. Surround yourself with people you like to be around, and who like to be around you. Time is all we have, so invest wisely.
The Broken Fridge
Some previous owners left a "broken" fridge in the kitchen when we moved in. They put it in the paperwork that the fridge was broken and that they weren't going to dispose of it. So I made plans to get a new one the week we moved in, but just for fun, I decided to plug the old one in to see what was wrong.
Four years later and we're still using it without issue. We did find that the push-to-connect plastic water line for the ice maker was leaking a bit so we replaced that for about two dollars.
All Little Action
When I was working overseas for a US company, many of my co-workers and I all developed a similar chronic health problem due to our employer's ongoing violation of several workplace health and safety laws.
I repeatedly urged my co-workers to file SPOT reports, because it was not the kind of health issue that goes away on its own. Not one of my co-workers could be bothered to file a report, even though everyone complained constantly about their resulting health issues.
So, I filed a SPOT report. They had no idea what they were missing. I ended up in two years of physical rehab back home, hauling in overseas money tax-free, while not having to work, and ended with a generous five-figure cash settlement.
My health issues, thanks to the medical attention I was able to get by holding my employer accountable, have been resolved. My former co-workers, I imagine, are still just complaining about theirs. There was no lawsuit and no attorney. One single report of injuries was all it took.
The Family Favoritewoman standing beside black and gray concrete buildingPhoto by ᕈ O W L Y on Unsplash
My parents and grandparents all had this really annoying habit of making anything and everything sound way harder or more demanding than it actually is.
Whenever I'd perform the feat and realize how insultingly easy it was, I'd be left a little offended while my family would cheer me on. I never could tell if I was offended because I expected a harder challenge or offended because my own family thought I couldn't handle something so simple.
Maybe it's an ego thing, maybe it's Maybelline. I don't know. But here's the twist. After I turned 18, I started treating everything like it was easier than it looks so I didn't let my mind get caught up thinking I couldn't do it at all. The result of this was that I became one of the handiest and most skilled people in my group.
A Little Upgrade
My small victory was learning to code. I’m no programmer by any means, but I was working a data management job that heavily utilized Excel to update a database via file drop. We were using formulas to check our work against the master file of the database after loading it.
I showed an affinity for working with data and my manager encouraged me to learn SQL and move into analytics. I was intimidated so I put that off for about two years.
Finally, I was so unsatisfied with the job that I knuckled down and got started learning SQL. I was so surprised at how much easier it was than I expected.
With just the basics I had a new job within three months. Now I use it every day. Not so much writing SQL, but using and tweaking existing code to suit my needs. Reading code to determine what it’s doing is a great way to learn as well. With any luck, this time next year I’ll be starting as an analyst.
One hot Summer night, we had a severe thunderstorm that hit my area hard. Power got knocked out everywhere around me. So the next morning, they were able to get the power back on, and all of my lights and appliances came to life...except for one big problem. The 65-inch TV that I bought two weeks prior still wasn't working.
Obviously, I tried to turn it on, unplug and plug it back in, et cetera. I tried every single thing I could think of, and after hours and hours of attempts and endless research online, I came to the conclusion that my TV was just donezo.
I figured even though I had the proper surge/power protection hooked up to it, it somehow must’ve gotten fried in the storm. I was devastated.
But after more hours of reading sites and forums about how to repair it, I find a post on a forum that describes the exact issue I’m having, and they said that all they did was get a hairdryer and aimed warm air into the back of the TV and all the internal junk inside.
I say to myself, “There’s no way that works, but what’ve I got to lose” so I grab a hairdryer and aim it into the back of the TV for about seven or eight minutes, and then plug the TV back in.
And boom! It comes back to life and turns back on. Crisis averted. Not too sure why it worked, but I was ecstatic, to say the least.
I got an email from Amazon that said I was being invited into their "Amazon Vine" program. I had never heard of it, but the email said that I can just request free stuff, and all I have to do is review it.
It sounded too good to be true. In fact, it sounded exactly like a joke. I was 90% sure it was one, especially since they needed me to sign up with my name, address, and social security information. You know, exactly the kind of information you should never give out on the internet.
But the email seemed to come from Amazon itself, so it made me curious. I did some looking into it just to see if it was a joke and how it worked. However, after looking into it more, it turned out to be completely legit.
In the last year, I've gotten about $45,000 worth of free stuff from Amazon, and all I had to do in exchange was write honest reviews about it. If I like it, I say so, and if I hate it, I say so.
I've gotten all sorts of stuff, like a large-screen HD TV, an ice machine, boxes of snacks like cookies and Doritos, furniture, dash cameras, tablets, tattoo machines, and more. My neighbors must think I have a serious spending addiction, and my poor delivery drivers think I've opened up a retail business or something.
I do owe the IRS a bit because it technically counts as income, but for my income bracket that ends up not being too much anyway. And because people always ask me how they can join, well, you can't. You either get an invite, or you don't.
Nobody knows how they choose whom to invite, but it's based somehow on reviews you've done in the past.
Knowing Your Worth
My small victory was negotiating a pay raise. Rumor got around work that I could use a computer. They tried me out on the CNC machine. Turns out my hobby of playing with computer programming for the past 20 years meant I was absolutely fantastic at it.
It also turns out that fixing the edge banding machine isn't that hard if you learn how it works. Suddenly I was the most valuable person in the place. I expected to just get a pay raise because I have the belief that people should get what they deserve.
No pay raise was forthcoming after 18 months. I am a fairly anxious person, but with some encouragement from my friends and family, I worked myself up to ask for the raise. The response made my stomach drop. The first time I asked, my boss just chuckled.
I don't think he was condescending, I just think the way I framed it sounded like a joke. The second time I asked, my boss said he'd think about it. I immediately started looking for a new job.
Turns out, I am a highly desirable employee. Within two weeks, I had three job offers. I resigned. Everyone was sad. My bosses panicked and asked me what it would take for me to stay. So, I demanded a fairly high wage for my trade to stay.
They didn't even hesitate to give it to me. Now I'm the highest-paid person in the place.
Dream Home Dealbrown and white concrete house near green trees under blue sky during daytimePhoto by Johnson Johnson on Unsplash
I got my place because it was sitting on the market for months. It was slightly more than I wanted to pay and it wasn't exactly my style, but it had "potential". It was only four years old and a 15-minute walk to the beach.
It was also on one of the larger blocks in the street. Anyway, I decided to buy it. The pest and building report came back confirming the house was pretty much immaculate. Two months later value had gone up $50,000.
Two years later, the place is worth $200,000 more than I paid. I think everyone overlooked it initially as it only has one bathroom and one small garage, but it does what I need.
I saved 18 years for a deposit and had a great credit score and savings history. I just found the one unicorn property and am so fortunate for it. I managed to even get a bank loan without having to rely on a broker. I absolutely love the place now.
I have a little garden and am putting in trees for the visiting wildlife. The street is quiet, and the neighbors are friendly. I was so lucky to come across it.
Just Another Lego Set
Building a PC is my small victory. With so many sophisticated videos on YouTube that didn't teach the trade well, I thought it would be hard to build a PC. Then I tried it once, and apparently, it was just an adult Lego set, but easier.
Carefree Car Troubles
I completely ruined the first (and last) brand-new car that I ever financed by being a sloppy driver and never changing the oil. Like, not only did I trash the interior of this car, I completely ruined the engine. But here's the kicker.
By some insane stroke of luck, I was granted a recall of my entire engine, due to some unrelated issue. They replaced my engine free of charge, and I drove the car for another 60,000 miles. I recently traded it in for a nice used car and am treating this one like my baby. I used my spare life already.
A Breezy Breakup
My small victory was divorce. Maybe this is an unexpected answer but I was dreading it. I worried it'd be this whole huge debacle. Once I mustered the courage and we got over the initial upset after an hour or two, we just began separating.
The divorce paperwork was simple, the court visit took less than an hour, and boom, we’re divorced. We both moved on amicably. I just feel like people always paint divorce as this incredibly difficult thing but it doesn't have to be and isn't always all that hard to get through.
I once was a temp at a tiny office on a construction site around 2003. I was only there for one day while the regular person was on some training.
They sat me down and told me that I just needed to copy all these numbers from one program to another. So, I selected them, hit ctrl c and ctrl v. They stared at me. Turns out about 60% of this woman's time had been spent manually typing numbers from one place to another.
Machine Takeoverblack flat screen computer monitorPhoto by Jake Walker on Unsplash
I used to process HSA claims around 10-plus years ago. One system we had to use back then was an old terminal program that took four line items per page. That's it. For a usual claim, no big deal, and not too hard to keep track of things over two or three pages for a longer claim.
Most fit on one. However, we also had the dreaded shoebox claims. This was the person who saved up every receipt all year in a metaphorical shoebox and sent everything in, once a year, to empty their account. We hated them.
Dozens or hundreds of line items totaling thousands of dollars. Just because you only have $500 in your HSA doesn't mean we get to stop there. If you sent in $4,000 in receipts, I've got to account for it all. Totally ruined my numbers for the day, and they tracked claims per hour religiously.
The main issue was double-checking that everything added up right when you were done entering it, and at four items a page it took forever to tally. But I came up with a genius plan. I made an Excel sheet.
It was laid out so I could enter every single line, then run a macro that would calculate the needed totals and dump all the text to a text file formatted exactly so I could select four items at a time, and paste them directly into the terminal window from the default starting cursor position, and every field would fill in automatically.
Copy, paste, next. Copy, paste, next. Copy, paste, next, et cetera, et cetera. This easily halved my entry times, with way less work. Finding any typos was much easier. I just had to look at a single organized sheet instead of scrolling through hundreds of pages of terminal text. It was great.
I showed it to my manager so the rest of my team could use it. Her reply made me see red. She was horrified I would use something like that, as no human was "double checking as they went along". This is despite demonstrable improvements to my error rates on large claims after I started using it.
She ordered me to stop using it and forbid anyone in her team from automating any part of their job at all. I kept using it for all of the two months I stayed there after that. I had some of the highest claims per hour numbers and lowest error rates on her team.
I never developed any more tools for them. She didn’t deserve them.
I used to have to make two contracts for every person I brought on a traveling training team. I said two contracts were unnecessary and made them into one, sent it to our lawyers, and they approved it.
Still, it took me a long time to update each contract with different names, pay rates, and dates. So I went on an Excel forum and found out how to make a mailer list, and hours of work suddenly took me 10 minutes. I didn’t tell anyone this though, so I just took my time.
Then I had to make floor maps for restaurants to send to the company that puts them into our scheduling program. Well, all of our restaurants are cookie cutter, so I just used Paint to piece them together rather than make all of them each time. I’m a Picasso with Microsoft Paint.
Then they wanted me to use Excel to keep track of training teams. One of my co-workers used Smartsheet and loves to teach people things. So, I jump on Smartsheet with her and she shows me around.
It's way easier to publish it so that people can see the teams but not mess up any information. I used forms to avoid asking them 30 questions that auto-populate my Smartsheet and shared it with payroll so they never have to reach out to me.
I had templates on Outlook and tons of stuff. I basically took a lot of my job and realized there has to be an easier way. So I would ask on Reddit or just look things up, and spend maybe an hour learning something that will save me many hours in the future.
I always tell people to just look things up. They say “I don’t know what to look up” and I say “Whatever your problem is just search it up the exact same way you’d say it to me”. Then when they look up “Excel thing that makes this do that” they are shocked that they find their answer.
A few years ago, my mom was tasked with fixing my grandparent's toilet while we were visiting for the holidays. The toilet reservoir was constantly filling and running, and thus flooding the bathroom, because the buoy arm wasn't lifting high enough from the water in the reservoir to switch off the water flow.
My mom (who is normally a very practical person) had been tackling the issue for hours. She was pretty distraught, thinking we would have to order a new buoy arm, maybe even a new sensor, or switch and pull the whole assembly apart to replace everything.
She was planning out a trip to the store and pricing things out when I walked in. The solution was so simple. I took one look at it and bent the metal arm the buoy was attached to down so the arm had a slight upwards curve.
The buoy still reached the same level in the reservoir but registered on the sensor as higher because of the curve in the arm. Problem solved.
I watched it dawn on her what I had done, and she just looked at me like I had a third eye. She said, “I've been struggling with this thing for four hours and you fixed it in four seconds". She was very happy I saved her from more work and spending more money.
She calls me her “little toilet engineer" from time to time. I work on Aircraft, so it's mildly demeaning.
A co-worker of my husband's got locked in their office. He was out on a Friday night for a few drinks. He walked past the office on the way to the taxi stand and decided to pop into the office to use the washroom.
When he tried to leave, the magnetic lock on the door wouldn't release. This was one of those buildings where the ground floor was a separate unit, a separate business was on the first floor, and their office was on the second floor.
The only other way out was a rolled-up emergency evacuation ladder he could toss out one of the larger windows, but he was drinking and scared of heights so instead he sleeps in the break room.
The next morning, when the co-worker is still unable to leave, he calls my husband who lived nearby. My husband talked him through where to find the management keys and contact numbers for the security company but they were no help.
So, I grabbed our tool kit and my husband and I drove to find him. We get there and the co-worker is chatting through the letter box. Now, these two men are highly educated. The co-worker is a senior software developer with the company.
The first thing I say is "Sure it's a magnetic lock, so do you not have access to the breakers to cut the electric"? They both just stared at me. The breaker box was right beside the door, and all the co-worker had to do to all night was open it up and cut power.
Suddenly the letterbox closes, we hear the snap of the breaker being flipped off, and the door is open. We all laughed at the situation as he only then told us he'd been there overnight.
Since they both worked with software and it seemed to be a software fault, that's where they focused. But I just thought "door doesn't open because of the magnet, and the magnet needs power, so remove power".
Funny thing is, this is the second time I'd had to come down to that office and release someone trapped inside.
Serious About Scholarships
My girlfriend didn't realize most scholarships aren't even applied for, so they give it to whoever applies to it by default. With her help, I wrote four essays that were tweaked for each scholarship application.
I did the writing because I'm a writer by trade. By the time she transferred to her new college, she had an excess of $1,500 to spend every month. Because of that, she could focus on her studies instead of trying to balance a job on top.
Suddenly Irishblack and brown electric guitarPhoto by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash
When I applied to college, I applied for an Irish American scholarship. Turns out they had so few applicants they just gave me $40k towards my tuition. I have a secret, though. I am not even remotely Irish.
Never Hurts To Ask
I was at a private concert with maybe 50 people for a band that used to sell out stadiums. My friend was a huge fan but too shy to talk to the band. So, I dragged him up to the edge of the stage after the show and explained the situation to the lead singer.
He dragged my friend onto the stage and took his picture with the whole band. My friend had a great time. Sometimes it is that easy.
Right Place, Right Time
I went to the bar one night with some friends and ran into a girl who had worked for me a few years earlier. I said “hi” and we chatted for a minute. Then she asks me where my girlfriend is, so I let her know that we broke up a couple of months earlier.
Suddenly, she replies "Oh cool, well I'm here with my friends and I'm going to go hang out with them, but if you want to hang out after the bar closes, I've always liked you". I blinked about 10 times in a row before finally saying "That sounds awesome". We ended up having a great time.
This One Weight-Loss Trick Doctors Hate
I lost 25 pounds...and all I had to do was stop eating before bed.
Seriously, Did You Try Turning It On?
I was given a TV because the audio didn't work on it. On the back was a "sound on/off" button.
Did Somebody Say Free Electronics?trash against wallPhoto by Kevin Butz on Unsplash
When I was a kid, I used to regularly dumpster dive for electronics. The vast majority of electronics are thrown away because some minor part was broken. Often, it's as simple as a fuse.
From Home Cook To Chef
Turns out it’s so easy to learn to cook with raw ingredients. Throwing in random things that taste good together usually works as long as you understand what you like.
All It Takes Is A Personal Touch
I was recently looking for an apartment. Rent in my city, like most cities currently, is outrageous. So after three days of looking, I found this 2-bedroom apartment with a price that normally would get you a roach-infested one-bedroom/studio in a bad part of town.
But these apartments look nice and are in a good part of town. The reviews online are all positive. I can't figure out the catch! Then I saw a disappointing detail. I see there is a year-long wait list for this place. As a result, I decided to go to the leasing office directly.
After talking to the property manager, I get bumped to the top of the list for an apartment that becomes available next month. I keep waiting for the bottom to drop out. Most people spend months looking for places in my city and they'd be paying a third more than I'm paying at a minimum for a similar place.
I looked for 3 days and found this place, but I think I just got lucky and it was just that easy.
Did You Try Turning It On?
I worked on an almost five-million-dollar lighting rig for a concert as a junior guy on the job. We get it all plugged in and patched, but it all went so wrong. None of it would turn on. All the guys were freaking out trying to figure out why.
The team collectively had about 150 years of experience...yet no one checked to see if the generators were turned on. I was like “No way this is why but I'll just go check if the generators are good”. Flipped stuff on and voila.
One Man’s Junk, Another Man’s Treasure
When I was a kid in the 80s, my family was broke. Like, we were two paychecks away from living in our car. We actually did have to live in our car for a few months before my mom landed her job.
Anyway, imagine a single mother of three, who works three jobs just to make ends meet. I was just attending 8th grade, and I was playing in the back of our house. I noticed something in the dumpster that I hadn’t seen before.
I fished it out and brought it home. It was a computer. A monitor, keyboard, and a tower thing. At that time monitors sat on top of the box. And they were huge! Not to mention expensive. I managed to set it up and it was already booting into Windows 3.1.
When my mom got home, she was livid! She thought I had taken it from someone. We couldn't afford anything close to that. No way! But once she saw the grass stains on the side, she knew.
We had that computer for four years. It helped me in ways I can’t even believe. Because of that computer, my love of electronics and my curiosity flourished. No, I am not a computer technician now, but I am the resident computer nerd for my family.
I make a living online, and I attribute most of my knowledge to what I can Google. So yeah! It “was” that easy!
Arcade Awakeningbeach under blue sky and white clouds during daytimePhoto by Roland Denes on Unsplash
I was at Carolina Beach last summer around Memorial Day. We got to the boardwalk one afternoon and there was an arcade there.
I found this skill game where you have to press a button that moves a fixture with a razor on it. When you let the button go, the device stops and the razor snaps through the middle. There's a small string close to the glass. If you time it right, the razor cuts the string, and this huge door opens, and you get all the prizes in the machine.
I swiped my card to play, pressed the button, and held it before releasing it. Suddenly, the rope cuts and the doors open. My son was losing his mind, and I'm just regretting the next two hours where I have to lug this giant bear and box of sand castle toys all over the boardwalk.
I still have not decided if I'm a savant at this game, or if it’s just really easy.
Reddit user Veetojek asked: 'What was the worst attempt at flirting you have ever seen?'
Not everyone excels in the art of flirting, and who can blame them?
Getting the attention of someone you admire can be nerve-wracking, and your lack of confidence in the heat of the moment can be amplified and make you appear less attractive to the object of your affection.
Curious to hear examples of what to avoid in the pursuit of passion, Redditor Veetojek asked:
"What was the worst attempt at flirting you have ever seen?"
These advances are just genuinely bizarre.
"My friend in college started hanging out with 'pick up artists' and decided to demonstrate his prowess to us on the quad. His strat was to approach a girl and ask what she thought he should make for dinner that night (I guess it was supposed to lead to an invitation?) He then very-much-not-confidently approached a girl who was clearly in a hurry and, staring at the ground, delivered the line. The girl glared at him and, with great annoyance, said 'I have no idea! Spaghetti, or something?' And my buddy, still staring at the ground, said 'Oh-oh-ok. Uh, thanks' and shuffled away."
He also “learned” from this group that you’re supposed to touch a girl’s arm every time she laughs to condition her to associate your touch with a release of dopamine or endorphins or something. So I witnessed this several times as well, never done with any subtlety or charisma. He did finally get laid after about eight months of trying but the whole thing seemed creepy to me."
"It was me. In sixth grade I wrote a girl’s name on a rock and threw it at her during recess. Apparently they don’t like that 🤷🏻♂️"
"Did your approach change much from those days with the introduction of pokeballs?"
"On a walk with my dog, hot sweaty and not in the best clothes. This man drove behind me following me for a few minutes and I looked and said can I help you? He said let’s go on a date! Hop in!"
"I said no thanks and he revved his engine, asked if I was sure then sped off. I was legit scared."
These attempts at flirting are straight from a sitcom.
Down The Rabbit Hole
"A man asked a woman sitting next to me, 'I think your name is Alice since I'm lost in Wonderland.'"
"Oof. That made me cringe, imagining it."
"Guy on a trip saw a new girl in our group that he found cute. Decided to take the insult-as-a-form-of-flirting path and told her she had really hairy arms for a girl. Mind you, she had incredibly fair skin, so her hairs stood out more than usual. She, having too nice of a personality to say anything, laughed it off, covered her arm in a real smooth manner, and went on with whatever conversation was happening. My guy thought it worked because it 'made her laugh;' and you know you've got the green light when she laughs at your jokes. The next day he goes up to her during breakfast thinking he locked it up and exclaims, 'Oh my god your arms are so hairy that it's gonna make me sick!!' She doesn't laugh this time, runs back to her room, and changes into a long-sleeve shirt. She proceeded to wear long-sleeve shirts or sweaters for the remainder of the trip...in the middle of July. They didn't have a single interaction for the remaining 4 days."
Fumbling For Words
"My own. Drunk at a party talking to a cute girl she takes her glasses off. I thought this would be a good time for a genuine compliment. What my mouth said 'I like your face better with your glasses on' she just laughed. Pretty sure what I was trying to say is I like your glasses, and you have a pretty face. I just combined them."
"When I was in 3rd grade I had a crush on my babysitter."
"I decided to impress her by demonstrating my acrobatic prowess. I sprung from the side of a spiral slide and grabbed the monkey bars without touching the ground. Unfortunately, my hands slipped, I flipped through the air, and shattered my wrist in two places upon landing."
"My first thought was, 'Don't cry; be tough.' then I saw my wrist, it looked like a sine wave. I immediately started crying."
Some guys come on way too strong
"I saw two girls talking at a bar, and this guy walks up and interrupts them with a 'Heheheyyy, what are you ladies drinkin tonight eh? (Slaps the bar) Hey Barkeep, lemme get a couple rounds for these two!' They of course took the drinks, but promptly relocated away from that obnoxious dude."
"When I was younger I worked in a bar with a guy nicknamed 'Scooter.'"
"He'd say to any girl that was alone at the bar, 'Hi! My name is Scooter. I like to f'k. How do you like me so far?'"
"Some would glare and walk away, and a couple of times he got slapped across the face...but eventually he'd get a giggle."
"And he never went home alone."
Scene From A Gas Station
"When I was working at a gas station I had a dude just walk up to the register and just go ‘hey you have a boyfriend’"
"Of course he didn’t take ‘I’m not interested’ for an answer after. My assistant manager had to all put shove him out the door to get him to leave."
"I worked in retail for a long time."
"I’ll never forget the time when this late 50s looking guy blatantly cat called an older woman who was wearing black boots. He said, 'Damn baby you gonna wear those boots all day for daddy?'. Then she goes, 'Not a chance.' He went quiet and she walked away. I had to hold in my laughter cause it was just so cringey to see."
Either one's advances can come off as presumptuous and cocky or vulnerable and meek.
In most cases, people looking for love are overthinking it.
Here's a tip: Just relax and be yourself when approaching someone you like.
Being natural will not make you look desperate.
While there are no guarantees in scoring a date with this approach, chances are that with practice, you'll gain more confidence without overdoing it.
As the saying goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Nonetheless, several brands and businesses will sometimes make noticeable changes, be it to reach a wider audience, or simply to shake things up a bit.
In some cases, the effort pays off, like Dunkin' Donuts, who decided to stretch beyond simply selling doughnuts and coffee, eventually even dropping the "Donuts" from their name, but losing none of their popularity.
Other times, things don't go as smoothly, such as when IHOP (an acronym for the International House of Pancakes) temporarily changed its name to IHOB (International House of Burgers), which turned out to be nothing but a weeklong publicity stunt, but was met with anger and vitriol from it's fanbase during that controversial week.
Redditor Fflewddur_Fflam_ was curious to hear what other brands the Reddit community thought betrayed their core audience to disastrous results, leading them to ask:
"Who abandoned their core audience and paid the price for it?"
Humans Are Technically Animals...
"Their tagline became 'surprisingly human.'"
"Nobody wants to watch ANIMAL Planet for people."
"They have other channels."- rainbirdmelody
You Could Say Their Mission Slipped Through The "Cracks"...
"There were a couple years there where they transformed from a second rate Mad knockoff to some of the smartest, funniest stuff on the internet."
"Then the people who held the purse strings decided listicles and photoshop contests were more profitable than a writing staff."- MichaelMyersResple
"It was a small website giving you randomized internet pages which I used to browse for hours as they were so fun."
"Now it turned into Mix and I have no clue what it is."
"Pretty sure no one uses it and it makes me sad."- MightyDaisyWorking On It GIF by KAT BALLGiphy
Less Handcrafted, More Hand-Me-Down
'Used to be a fairly cool place to buy and sell mostly handcrafted stuff and items to make handcrafted stuff."
"Now it's basically shady Amazon with worse shipping."
"Everyone seems to be drop shippers and a lot of the more niche crafter/artisan things are pushed out and overwhelmed by cheaper, mass produced goods."- THIS_IS_MY_JOYSTICK
The Dreaded Paywall...
"Back when forums were still a thing, Photobucket would host your images for free."
"Then one day they decided EVERYONE would have to pay monthly, no free tier, nothing."
"We all collectively agreed we would not be paying, and that was that."
"I feel like it may have contributed to the death of forums."
"Ruined a few of my car build threads, that's for sure."
"To this day they still send me emails a couple times a year threatening to delete all my photos if I don't come back."-pr0b0ner
Arguably, All For The Best?...
"It was a way to have conversations with people in the area anonymously (really popular on college campuses)."
"They made an update to create user profiles and pretty much everyone just stopped using it because anonymity was the whole point."- Fakjbfepisode 16 moe GIFGiphy
Chocolate Lovers Revolt!
"This is incredibly niche, but in Norway there used to be two providers of chocolate powder, the kind you mix with hot or cold milk to make hot chocolate or chocolate milk."
"They were O'Boy brand and Nesquik, equally loved and enjoyed a healthy fanbase 'rivalry'."
"O'Boy is a Swedish product sold in Scandinavia and the Baltics since the 50s, Nesquik is of course Nestlé brand and sold all over the world."
"Sometime in the 2010s Nesquik decided to change the formula of the choco powder."
"I imagine to save money."
"And for making hot chocolate the new recipe was fine."
"What Nestlé underestimated, however, is that most Scandinavians drink their choco powder cold to make chocolate milk."
"The new recipe had a different type of sugar in it that wouldn't dissolve in cold milk, leaving a crunchy powder in the milk."
"Norwegians outraged, Nesquik was deemed useless, nearly everyone in the Nesquik camp migrated to O'Boy, and Nestlé lost almost all its market share overnight."
"A few months later, Nesquik is gone from the shelves nearly everywhere, never to recover from the blunder."- -Yngin-
Tornados Filled With Sharks Are Not For Everyone...
"At some point there was no sci-fi on it."- AlienBeingMeTara Reid Storm GIF by SYFYGiphy
Not Everyone Can Keep Up With The Times...
"They went from selling electronic components, little gadgets, and interesting tech bobbles to nerds to trying to sell expensive cell phone plans and sh*tty batteries to a different audience."
"We saw that the customers who came to RadioShack shifted from middle/upper-income engineers and tech geeks to lower income people in a six year period."
"Then we saw the geeks stop coming in at all because they would come in for some capacitor or breadboard, and the person there wouldn't know what that was."
"If it wasn't a phone, they didn't know."
"Even if it was a phone, they probably couldn't tell you anything about it."
"Old RadioShack employees were knowledgeable and well paid."
"New RadioShack employees didn't give a sh*t about technology."- 001235
Seems FittingThat Their Old Audience Is "History"...
"Anyone else remember when The History Channel was about history and not about aliens?"- rienjaburaFound Footage Video GIF by Eternal FamilyGiphy
There's A Reason They're Not So Well Known For Their Food...
"Every restaurant that opens in the UK goes through the cycle:"
"New and interesting food."
"Very different from most British food."
"Becomes very popular."
"Owners sell to a large company."
"Large company decides that being popular isn't enough, they want everybody to eat there."
"Make the food more British."
"Looming failure is hidden for a while because they attract new customers at exactly the rate they lose old customers."
"New customers have tried it, realize they can get that food anywhere, stop going."
"Chain closes and is replaced by a Greggs or Nandos, depending on the size of the location (not dependent on how far away the nearest Greggs or Nandos is."- skztr
Money Doesn't Solve Everything
"There were excellent groups with intelligent discussions."
"Then it became monetized and people submitted 100s of questions a day."
"'What time does the Walmart close in Boise?'" "
"'My 16 yr old came home with an A- so I took away their phone for 6 months'."- JanuarySoColdBored Sales GIF by EGiphy
Success can be a very dangerous thing.
As it can make you think about nothing but getting bigger, often resulting in your leaving people behind along the way.
A cautionary tale for young entrepreneurs.
What makes someone a 10?
It ain't all about looks, baby.
Looks are fine.
But charisma is everything.
There are a ton of ingredients that make up attractive, though.
That's why it's good to know your strengths.
Redditor Overall_Wish_912 wanted to hear about how hot everybody thinks they are and why, so they asked:
"What is the most attractive thing about you?"
I think my eyes sell the whole package.
Light blue with a slight dusting of gold.
ConnectionsYoga Anatomy GIF by YOGABODYGiphy
"More than a few radiologists over the years have told me I have nice connective tissues, ligaments in particular. Makes a fella kinda proud."
"I have exceptionally long and beautiful eyelashes. I’m working on my flutter. I’m also a guy."
"I get complimented on my eyelashes too as a guy! Women often tell me they’re jealous. I never had a clue that was something women noticed until I reached college/university."
"I started getting compliments in high school. I remember freshman year, I was sitting at a round table and this really cute girl at the table just randomly asked me to close my eyes. I thought it was weird, but I did. Then she told her equally cute friend to look at my eyelashes, that they were so long and pretty like a girl's. At the time I wasn't sure if they were being nice or making fun of me (since they compared them to girl's lashes). I now get the compliment, though, and appreciate it."
"I'm not totally hideous, but easily the most attractive thing about me is my kindness. I hear all the time that people are just magically drawn to me/feel comfortable with me/like being around me. I'm charming, I guess."
"That’s such a good quality."
"I'm 6'2 and the internet tells me that's like the most incredible and attractive thing ever apparently."
"I’m 6’6 and wish I was shorter. My long-term girlfriend tells me I get checked out all the time but I literally never notice, I’d give up all the attention if it meant I’d never hit my head on a doorframe again."
"I'm only 6', but a woman and I have a 36' inseam. I love having long legs, they walk so fast and are my favorite physical feature!"
Light as a Featherthe office therapy GIFGiphy
"My therapist said I’m a good egg, so there’s that."
"Mine told me she never feels heavy when I leave her office. We’ve talked about some heavy sh*t so I took it as a compliment."
Not being the scariest and worst patient is definitely a gold star moment for the mind.
PerfectRegular Season Sport GIF by MLBGiphy
"I’ve been told I have the most perfectly shaped head for a bald man."
"My dermatologist recently told me I had a great shaped head if I were to ever shave my hair off. It really got me thinking."
For the Boys
"The only attractive thing about me is my hair. Even that is debatable since most women don't like men with long hair."
"Haha for me it’s my bald head! I look a million times better without hair than with it even when my hairline wasn’t balding that bad. I think the pics of me at 28-30 I look better than my 18-25 pics."
"Some men just have the cranial and facial structures that make them look better with bald head. I shave my head every 3 years, so I know how I look with every single hair length there is. It only starts looking decent after at least 9 months of growth."
Share With Me
"I'm very nonjudgemental; it's amazing the things people will share with me!"
"Same. I've had people share some pretty personal things with me soon after meeting them."
"Yup, same. I have 'tell me all your secrets' stamped on my forehead. I do like it, though. Nice to get to know who people actually are and what they’ve been through, as opposed to the robotic small talk. Makes me happy that people see me as a 'safe' person."
"I have bright blue eyes that get me plenty of compliments. The only other thing that gets close is my beard, and now especially the silver streaks lacing it."
"The Silver helps. I was accused of dying it to look more dignified by a coworker, which was puzzling. Not quite a compliment, but compliment adjacent I guess."
"My long nose, it’s perfect for nuzzling the bean while dining out 🤤."
"I had an out-of-the-blue compliment about my nose. A woman approached me and said I had an envied Roman nose. Noticing my confusion, she explained she was an art historian, and my nose was in the mold of Roman marble statutes. I've never heard another compliment about my nose, so who knows."
The BodyThe Simpsons Dance GIFGiphy
"I’m short but I have a very nice figure. I get complimented for my butt a lot. I’m 5’2." I like attention so I don’t mind the compliments for the most part. I don’t get bothered by that as easily as some people do. But I have no respect for men that complement my body when they’re in relationships."
Well, there are a lot of definitions for attractive.
When you're in a relationship, the things your significant other—or sig-O—does hit different.
Teasing remarks you'd laugh off from friends can feel like a knife in the heart when your romantic partner says it.
Minor slights can easily become major issues in your relationship if you feel vulnerable.
Reddit user _Halboro_ asked:
"What was something fairly small that made you feel betrayed by your [significant other]?"
"When he was doing a work contract overseas I sent him love letters every two weeks to feel connected."
"When he got home and unpacked I found many of them unopened."
"My high school girlfriend lent my hoodie to someone else."
"Gah! I had a University BF lend My hoodie to a girl (who was a smoker, too. 🤮)."
"There were at least 15 other single guys there that could have stepped up and lent her their sweaters, but mine was up for grabs!"
"And when I got it back it reeked. So, annoyed with him on multiple levels."
"My sister was in the hospital and he didn't do the dishes while I was gone for 3 days."
"When he got Covid, he was quarantined downstairs. I waited on him hand and foot."
"Three days later, I got Covid but while he was feeling better and still quarantining himself, I had to be sick and care for our son."
"I was stooped over the counter trying to make him dinner and he just went back downstairs. I’ll always remember that."
"My sister, nephew, and mom went on a vacay for about 9 days including travel days."
"When she and my nephew got home, the sink was full of dirty dishes and so was the island in their kitchen. Their island is HUGE, bigger than what I would consider average for a home."
"There were also trash bags just sitting around the house and it was just absolutely disgusting."
"It's small, but one year we were both working 15-18 hour days but had Thanksgiving off. I planned the menu, he didn't give input."
"I ordered the ingredients online during my lunch break to pick up after work because I didn't have time to shop."
"I woke up early, made everything. Cleaned the dishes and the kitchen after."
"All he did was complain."
"I made too much. I had too much wine (3 glasses over 7 hours)."
"After all that work and not even a compliment or a thank you?
"Yeah—we divorced. That was our last Thanksgiving together."
"After complaining for months that I never got to sleep in, despite being the only one to get up to the kids in the night, he finally let me sleep in one morning."
"I woke up hearing him quietly saying to the kids 'Mummy’s had long enough; go wake her up'."
"I only had maybe an hour extra. He always had several."
"I'm almost always up first. I tend the pets, get the kids going and make coffee. 20 min routine."
"Every morning I'd bring him a cup of coffee and open the curtains to let some sunlight in and then leave and he would play on his phone and sip coffee for half hour while I tended the kids and got to work."
"Then he complained that just because I was up didn't mean he had to be up."
"Guess who doesn't get hot coffee in bed anymore."
"My ex would skip the songs I liked that came on the radio."
"Was on my way back from Turkey with a nice stash of dried fruit from Afghanistan (imported to Turkey)."
"Declared it on my customs form."
"Got detained for agricultural reasons, said they would let me go but had to take the dried fruit."
"I looked and looked but could not find it. Was detained for hours."
"Turns out my girlfriend ate it all while I was asleep on the flight."
"We were going through airport security together."
"She went first and when she was being screened, pointed at me and said 'make sure you check my boyfriend, he always has knives' as a joke and then I got detained for a search and questioning and almost missed the flight.
"And no, I didn't have any knives other other contraband on me. Then she got mad at me for almost missing our flight."
"LIKE WHAT DID YOU THINK WOULD HAPPEN HERE EMILY‽‽"
"When we were signing our first lease she joked with the landlord about how rowdy I am, to 0 chuckles or even a smile.
"I wanted to bang my head into a wall."
"I had a friend who dumped his girlfriend when he overheard her making fun of his (admittedly, rather nerdy) sister to her friends."
"He said it wasn’t just about loyalty to his sis, it was about not wanting to be with someone who has to put others down to feel better about herself."
"Always thought it was admirable."
"The most extreme case I know of is my dad and the girlfriend he had before my mom came along."
"He and the gf were high school sweethearts and had been together for three years. They were both dying to see Back to the Future 2, a movie that had been highly anticipated for years."
"He had a family emergency the day it came out so they agreed to see it the following Monday. He found out from friends she went to see it with a douchey guy friend my dad never really liked."
"He was so hurt and she was so unapologetic—her attitude was 'I’ll go see it with you too! Why did I have to wait?' even though they’d agreed to see it together. He told her they needed to take a break."
He fully meant for it to be temporary, just until he cooled off, but then he met my mom when he went to see the movie by himself…and he never looked back.
"He does feel a bit guilty though because his ex was pretty devastated when she found out he’d met someone else and wanted to end things for good."
People felt these were minor slights, but many seem pretty major from the outside looking in.
Most ended the relationship being described.
I guess it's proof positive that little things—good or bad—mean a lot.