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 AceofSpadesYT asked: 'What is your most specific restriction when it comes to dating?'
When it comes to dating, I have my mental checklist. The guy must be kind, intelligent, funny, and a movie buff. He must be adventurous but also doesn't mind a Netflix and Chill date night.
Most of this is similar to the mental checklists other people have. Of course, I can be flexible. If someone is nice and I'm having fun with them, they don't necessarily have to check all the boxes.
However, I have one specific dating restriction that is a dealbreaker regardless of how many boxes the person checks, and that's religion. I've never been a fan, and now I'm an atheist, and I would want my partner to be as well. That's because I want kids, and the last thing I want is for us to argue about how to raise the kids when it comes to religion.
I'm not the only person who has one specific dating restriction. Everyone has that one thing that is a dealbreaker when it comes to a romantic relationship. Redditors certainly do, and they are ready to share.
It all started when Redditor AceofSpadesYT asked:
"What is your most specific restriction when it comes to dating?"
It's Just A Joke!
"No cruel or rude pranks."
"I saw a post by someone whose boyfriend "pranked" her by pretending to be dead on the kitchen floor. That is exactly how she had found her previous partner, dead on the kitchen floor, which her current boyfriend knew. He was surprised she dumped him and didn't think it was funny."
We're (Not) Gonna Party!
"No party people. Nothing wrong with it, I just ain't dealing with that sh*t."
"True. I like planning weekend stuff, but it has to be something meaningful - visiting a different city, movie marathon, mountain hike, fancy lunch, all okay. But... clubbing and drinking? How f**king old are we, 19? No thank you, I'm old and have no energy for listening to music I don't like while being surrounded by 50 people that I don't give a single half of a sh*t about."
"Same sense of humor. I have 0 interest sharing physical space with someone who doesn't laugh with me."
My Ears Are Bleeding!
"I'm a light sleeper. I cannot date a snorer. I can hear snores through ear plugs AND a fan blowing. It's not you, it's me."
At that point, it does sound like them 😂
"Have a f**king job."
"Found this difficult when I was funemployed. Was fortunate enough to be able to live off savings for a bit."
"People reacted oddly to it. “But what do you do???”"
"Was dating at the same time and some girls had the same sentiment. “You don’t have a job?”"
"I had a good enough job that I didn’t need one anymore. And one lined up 8 months from then. But there were two girls specifically who treated it as a deal breaker."
"I had a similar situation. I worked a high-paying job for a few years that demanded a ton of my time and had crazy hours. It burnt me out badly and I lived off of the savings from that job for a while and tried to date now that I actually had free time. I had more money in my bank account during that time than at any other point in my life but so many people were put off by me being funemployed and assumed I was looking to leech. But I guess there’s really no way to know someone's history and hard not to assume. Now I work full-time and have way less money overall but it looks better..."
"No smoking. Ever. I'm not kissing an ashtray, or smelling an ashtray. Instant turn off."
"100% I broke up with an old gf because she started smoking behind my back knowing I’ve got asthma and it was always a hard pass. She thought I was joking but it showed me that she was also untrustworthy."
That'll Do It
"I guess my husband restricts my dating."
"My wife has the same rule. But the jokes on her, I get around it by dating her!"
"Must like dinosaurs."
"That goes without saying."
What's In A Name?
"Cannot have the same name as any of my relatives."
"My last ex had the same name as my Dad and I reeeeeeaally didn't like it. So, fair."
"If they’re rude to people they’ll never see again (Waitstaff, cashiers, etc) I’m out."
"I can’t respect anyone who doesn’t respect themselves, and when you’re not polite to people you’re disrespecting yourself."
God Only Knows
"When I was dating, you had to be an atheist. I don't mess with religion. And I genuinely just don't think atheists + religious people work out."
"And I know... There's going to be someone who comments (assuming there are enough upvotes) who says "I worked out with my spouse who's religious and I'm not!" but you're the exception. When it comes to making decisions long-term, how to spend your money, where you think you'll go after you die, not to mention basic morality (!), and if you have children - that's a huge hurdle."
"We worked it out. It's absolutely an exception and not the rule. Don't do it if you can avoid it."
Let's Move Tonight (Literally)
"They need to be ok with cold weather."
"I grew up in the north, live in the south, and I'm tolerating it until I can move back north. If someone says they hate the cold it's an instant turn-off because I don't want to drag someone into a climate they hate."
"The same thing also applies to walkability. I want to move somewhere walkable, and I hope to meet someone with that same goal rather than try to talk them into it."
"Let me know when you find this mythical northern walkable community."
My Purr-fect Match
"Cat has to approve."
"They need to be male. Kind of important."
"So weird, I want the complete opposite."
Yeah, the male thing is kind of important for me too!
Do you have anything to add? Let us know in the comments.
Life is full of shock and surprise.
Apparently, that is part of the fun.
Who hasn't been left stunned by life events?
We always think we're immune to way too many things.
Anything and everything is possible.
It's important to be ready.
Redditor Bob_the_peasant wanted to hear about the things that have left people SHOOK, so they asked:
"What 'That can’t happen to me' thing happened to you?'"
I haven't been left that shocked that often.
I'm always expecting the worst, so I'm prepared.
But you never know.
I'm DeadSnakes Imacelebau GIF by I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! AustraliaGiphy
"A snake fell out of a tree and bit me on the head."
"ETA: I have always been more scared of snakes than anyone I know, so it’s just so ironic that this happened to me of all people."
Crash Into Me
"A car crashed through my kitchen last year."
"I woke up to a truck parking in my bathtub 2 weeks before Christmas a few years ago. I watched my sink roll past my bedroom door followed by a hubcap. The driver managed to cross a median, 3-lane road, up an embankment, through an iron fence and between trees. He'd been involved in an altercation nearby and was fleeing the scene."
Hot AirSwinging Hot Air Balloon GIF by Red BullGiphy
"My family and I were in a hot air balloon crash."
"My friend had one crash into her pool when she was a kid."
This is why hot air balloons and skydiving are just a HELL no for me.
Always have. Always will.
TragicCat No GIF by Looney TunesGiphy
"My wife cheated on me with my best friend. They’re moving in together next month. I’m in a new city thousands of miles away. I found out a month ago."
"Everyone else’s stories are very sad so here’s something a bit lighter. I’ve mentioned this story before but I got bitten on the neck by a penguin."
"I was at an event where the local zoo had a penguin and owl sitting on tables with handlers so you could take a picture next to them. The penguin went for my glass of wine, I moved the wine, and it bit me on the neck hard enough to bruise. They removed the penguin after that. 😂."
"Our house burned in a wildfire, we lost absolutely everything we owned and only salvaged a single coffee 3 cup."
"On the good side: There was a boy I crushed on all through high school. We went to summer camp together and I adored him. We ended up getting together in our 20s after reconnecting, and have now been together more than 20 years, married almost 17. We’re as madly in love as ever."
"Homelessness. It came swiftly and out of nowhere. had no savings and the landlord sold the house I was in. couldn’t afford a new place so lived in my car with my dog for a few months. ended up finding community assistance and got into an apartment."
"I can’t even imagine being in that situation. Hopefully, this is just the start of things turning around for you. Sending you good energy!"
Early Michael Myers
"About 10 years ago, I was stabbed in the arm with a flathead screwdriver. It was a coworker whom I had previously gotten along well with. He had stopped taking benzos and smoking weed a few days before and was on a hair trigger. I said something sarcastic, and he just snapped."
Bad LandingBad Day Seagull GIF by Sound FXGiphy
"I was lying on the beach and a seagull flying very high took a poop and it went straight in my mouth."
This is why I say... "Never trust a seagull!"
They are minions of the devil.
We've all heard the phrase, "You can't eat at everybody's house," but some of us have a few examples of our own to live by.
From not properly cleaning the environment to questionable hygiene ourselves, there are countless reasons why a person may not want to eat what you've cooked after watching you prepare it.
Bracing themselves, Redditor 195901 asked:
"What is your 'you can't eat at everybody's house' horror story?"
Fly Spray Sandwiches
"I told my dad my sandwich tasted like fly spray at my grandma's house. He didn’t believe me."
"Two days later, I caught my grandma spraying the benches 'clean' with the two-dollar fly spray you find at the cheap store."
"Dad figured it was safe to make sandwiches straight on the countertop because they looked clean. I dragged him over to see and he apologized and took my sister and me for fish and chips for lunch."
Special Seasoning Deviled Eggs
"My crackpot aunt served us a lovely tray of deviled eggs, complete with very old paprika sprinkled on top. So old, in fact, the many weevils mixed in it were dead."
A Disturbing Surprise
"I visited a friend's house who was living with his mother, and she asked if I wanted a coffee and I said I would."
"Upon getting to the bottom of the cup and taking the last few gulps, I found there was a used bandaid stuck to the bottom… I never ate or drank there again."
In Need of Child Protective Services
"I was babysitting a kid in a pretty dirty house. I was told to wake him up, supervise bathing and changing clothes, and feed him. I was welcome to whatever was in the fridge. Okay. The house and his clothes were filthy."
"Then, when I opened the cabinets, floods of roaches poured out. There were roaches in every opened box and container."
"I took him back to my house and returned him later that day. I hope the boy ended up in a better situation. I found out CPS (Child Protective Services) got involved shortly after."
Traumatized by Raisins
"I was gonna complain about raisins in the potato salad but the other comments on here are scary. Oh my god."
"When I was a young kid, I stayed over at a friend's place, and his mom made veal or something with godd**n raisins INSIDE the meat somehow. It was so nasty, I never forgot it."
You WISH That Was Vinegar
"My MIL fished around in the green bin (compost bin) with her bare hands, didn't wash them, WIPED her GARBAGE JUICE HANDS on the tea towel, and then WENT BACK TO PREPPING THE SALAD."
"She also got horrifically offended if I didn't want to eat at her house."
Poor Home Hygiene
"My first boyfriend’s parents invited me for Thanksgiving. I came over a few days before Christmas and all the same dirty dishes from Thanksgiving were still in the kitchen. I passed on coming over for Christmas dinner."
Every Surface Covered
"I went to a friend's house after school, he was going to teach a group of us to play D&D (Dungeons and Dragons)."
"We got there and his house was disgusting. I'm not the neatest person but the carpet hadn't been vacuumed in forever, clothes were all over the place, and dirty dishes were stacked everywhere."
"I tried to be polite even though the place reeked, but at some point, he was like, 'Who wants snacks!'"
"He picked up a bowl that was crusted with stuff, splashed in some water, wiped it with a towel that clearly hadn't been washed that decade, and poured chips into it. Then he asked if we wanted to stay for dinner. We did not."
O Holy Expiration Dates
"When I was a kid, Christmas Eve was always celebrated at Grandma's. I always got sick afterward. Like, Merry Christmas, you're going to puke now."
"It wasn't until I was all grown up and helping her out in the last weeks of her life that I learned why. She did not believe in expiration dates on anything!"
An Immune System to Remember
"My grandma made me a food phobic from a young age. Whether it was ramen with moths floating on top, or chunky milk in my cereal, it just scarred me for life."
"Dinner at her house was always a fight. Not eating her food was not an option. I'm not sure why that was the hill she would always choose to die on, because she was an amazing grandma other than this."
"Expiration dates aren't a thing. If the cheese was moldy, you cut it off... I think living through the great depression and raising kids in poverty changed her mindset on food."
"I mean obviously, she's doing something right because she's 91. She must have the immunity of a superhero."
"I used to help an old neighbor out with grocery shopping, I’d drop the bags at her door and she’d give me a check for the amount of groceries. She’d give me homemade cookies once in a while, chocolate chips."
"I didn’t ever eat them because one time I caught sight of her apartment. It was a large studio, a small kitchen, and tv, and a bed/couch. And there were about 20 cans of cat food, half-eaten, and one million flies and small maggots in different stages of growth, dishes with crusty food stuck to them, and a wall of empty beer cans."
"After I saw that, and got a whiff of her apartment, I started helping her with taking garbage out and putting groceries away, cleaning out her fridge, and making sure her cat was healthy."
"A couple of months later, she got the virus, ended up at a rehab facility, and passed within two weeks."
"Some people need help and a little company…"
No Longer Rice
"A girl I was interested in at the time had cats. I came to her house one day to pick her up for a date and he had a large sack of rice open in her pantry with the pantry door open."
"One of the cats hopped out of the sack of rice and she just casually laughed at it like, 'Oh, they are always getting into things.'"
"I came over the following weekend that SAME sack of rice was in the pantry and I could hear one of them tussling around in it again, we stopped dating sometime after that but anytime she offered to cook for me I immediately pivoted to taking her out to eat instead."
"Those cats probably used it as litter."
"Yeah, that was my fear."
Could Have Warned Her
"My mom told me one about going over to her aunt Virginia's house. She, her parents, and her siblings were sat around the kitchen while her aunt cooked, and my mom could not figure out why no one else was having ANY of this incredibly delicious bread that was on the table."
"She was on her third slice when her aunt stepped out to do something else, and my mom was told by her brother to go look in the flour bin."
"It was absolutely filled with miller moth larvae. Aunt Virginia had been losing her eyesight for years."
"It's f**ked of her parents not to warn her not to eat the bread... like, what the f**k, you KNOW the bread isn't safe, so you're not eating it, but you're fine with letting your daughter have three slices?"
Bad to the Point of Malnutrition
"I graduated high school at 6' 10" tall, but weighing only 120 pounds."
"That's not skinny, that's emaciated."
"The food prepared by my bio-mom was so bad that it wasn't providing me with the nutrients or calories I needed to survive. I went off to college where I had to cook for myself (I wasn't allowed to cook at home because my father insisted that "cooking was women's work")."
"Not only did I discover that food didn't have to be burnt to a crisp, flavorless, or boiled until everything was grey. I also discovered that food can be made to taste good, and using things like salt, or pepper, spices, or various condiments can make it taste amazing."
"The "freshman 15" likely saved my life."
"The thing is, I don't think that my biomom was even aware that her food was that disgusting. Whenever we went out for dinner (which was more often than what my father wanted, but he was the one who insisted on going), she did nothing but complain about how the food was undercooked, 'practically raw,' or 'too spicy,' to eat."
"When she went to other people's houses (including her own extended family) she would criticize them for 'doing it wrong' when she watched them cook anything. She would often end up refusing to eat their food because she 'watched them ruin it,' when they cooked it. We never had guests over to eat her cooking. Ever."
"We have a chili contest every year at work around Thanksgiving and I've stopped participating in voting for it because I want to know whose I'm eating before taking any. I work with some great people, but I wouldn't eat at or anything from their house. Strangely enough, the guy I absolutely despise I'll gladly eat his chili because he is clean and well kept and I know his house is."
"I also work with a bunch of people who don't wash their hands after using the bathroom in any capacity and we've secretly kept a list so to avoid any potlucks where they take food or to get food before they do."
We're left with chills after reading these stories.
Where some people might make some mistakes in the kitchen out of just not knowing, like not properly washing rice before cooking it, most of these are just careless mistakes that have disgusting, if not dangerous, results.
What makes us all unique is our passions and the things we love, whether it's singing in the shower, reading books, or listening to specific music artists.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where we are judged for our various tastes and interests thanks to social media, and it makes us consciously selective about sharing the things we love on the internet.
Curious to hear about people's personal desires under anonymity, Redditor sweet_chick283 asked:
"What do you secretly love that you would never admit to in public?"
These aren't really chores for the following Redditors.
Good Clean Fun
"Mopping, im a janitor and generally hate my work... but damn mopping is so good."
"When you have a great rhythm going it is something special. I get the same feeling while I vacuum, but won’t let my wife know I enjoy it."
Act Of Unwrinkling
"Ironing clothes. A dozen of them. Can’t explain how it relaxes me. I told one person and they looked at me like I’m crazy."
"My mum misses the days when dad would be out on a Friday night, my brother out with friends and me upstairs quietly playing PS1. She would pour herself a Bacardi & Coke and do the ironing while watching her TV shows."
"I'm sure she doesn't really miss it now that we've moved out and they've retired but it was her wind-down after a busy working week so I can see how people can find it relaxing."
Our solo actions can spark joy.
Big Brother Is Watching
"pretending to be on the Truman show and whenever im in my house i act all inconspicuous so they dont know that i know that they’re watching me."
"C’mon man, you’re not supposed to let him know. You signed a contract when signing up for live views. I’m reporting you."
"Playing video games naked at home while eating cheese."
Releasing The Kraken
"I love the feeling when you've eaten good fibre and let out a solid long train log in the toilet. That feeling is heavenly."
"Even better when it’s a clean wipe and not a poo crayon."
"My (male 41) weekend routine is coming home from work, make hot chocolate, start a fire, dress in a ugly pink nightgown made for old ladies and watch forensic files."
Some people are obsessed with collecting things.
"Sanrio stationery stores. All those different multicolor pens, a thousand kinds of erasers, spiral bound notebooks galore... my kids sadly have absolutely no appreciation for this wonderland..."
It's A Staple
"Office supplies have a weird, special place in my heart ever since I was a kid. They don't even have to be 'cute' necessarily."
"Japan's legendary stationery stores is unironically a reason I want to go."
Not Caring Anymore
"The older I get the shorter that list gets. Not because I love less things, but because I don't care about hiding it."
"YES!! I'm 53 now. I'm working my first job in public since 2006. Today is Halloween and we're allowed to dress up so I am sitting here waiting to go to work dressed as a VERY bad Wednesday Addams. My bf said I'd 'look stupid' because no one else will probably dress up and I'm like, 'WHO CARES!' My makeup looks horrible and not like I practiced, but I DO NOT CARE! I'm having fun with it anyhow and I don't care if my coworkers dress up or not. I'm bein' ME! :)"
Honorable mentions start here.
"Picking up worms from the street and sidewalks when it rains and moving them into the dirt so they don’t burn in the sun, every time it rains I do this."
Hero Of The Moment
"Yoooo I scoot SO many snails and worms. I work as a tech/mechanic at an automotive shop, I had a peoject car towed to my house the other day and it was covered in snails. I saw them when the tow guy/coworker was unloading and I was like, 'oh! It comes with free snails!' and began moving them. He laughed then realized and said, '... Oh, you're serious. Uh... Okay.'"
"I don't care who knows it. These little things barely can look out for themselves, why shouldn't we if we can take a moment to help? I don't care what happens next, it probably doesn't matter overall but I can help this moment."
Why should some of the hidden desires mentioned above have to be secret?
Redditors opening up about some of these would make them a hit at parties–no shaming.
As a matter of fact, I'll totally be down for a Forensic Files viewing party where we all make hot chocolate, light the fireplace, and cozy up together in our respective pink ugly nightgowns for old ladies.