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 WeirdJawn asked: 'Older Redditors, what do young people get completely wrong about past decades?'
I have no aesthetic or emotional issues with getting older as it certainly beats the alternative, so I freely admit I have reached a certain age.
It's the age of sound effects when I get up from a chair and asking younger people to pick things up off the floor for me.
It's the age of having to use Urban Dictionary daily to understand messages I get from younger friends and relatives.
But as much as I don’t understand their language, music or hobbies, there's a lot they'll never understand about my childhood and adolescence.
I was reading an article by writer Eric Chilton who pointed out Gen X—the generation born between 1965 and 1980 of which I'm a part—was the last to live in a world without the internet, cellular phones and social media.
And those are only a few examples of the paradigm shifting innovations in our lifetimes.
Reddit user WeirdJawn asked:
"Older Redditors, what do young people get completely wrong about past decades?"
As a young person, I was fascinated with the idea my maternal Grandmother lived through the transition from horses to combustion engine vehicles, the inception of commercial air travel, the creation of the motion picture industry and the invention of television.
But I've lived through vinyl LPs and 45s, 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs and digital music players.
If I wanted to see a movie as a kid, I went to a theater—or drive-in—or waited for an often heavily edited version to air on TV. Then cable movie channels were introduced, followed by LP size video disc players, then Betamax and VHS, DVDs, HD and Blu-ray and now?
Digital downloads and streaming services—I haven't been to a theater in years.Giphy
"Up until video rental stores in the early 80's, at school the next day every kid was talking about what was on TV the night before, as every single family was watching tv together every single night."
"With some exceptions, most people watched the same thing as their schoolmates or co-workers, just to be a part of the conversation."
"There's something very isolating about modern media.
"You can be into a TV show, or YouTube series, and nobody else you know has heard of it."
"I'm a fan of aYouTube series—RedLetterMedia—that's pretty popular and very well regarded amongst its fans, and only one of my friends has heard about it.
"Probably just how often you had to accept that you couldn't find out the answer to something."
"If you had a question you could ask your family, maybe your friends, maybe your teachers, and your last chance was the check the library."
"But if the library didn't have the answer, then you just had to accept that you weren't going to get an answer (or you'd have to hope to come across that answer someday in the future)."
"Now you just ask Google and get 10 answers in just seconds."
One & Done
"How on-time you had to be for your favorite shows because there was little to no chance you’d see that same episode again until they (hopefully) did re-runs during summer."
"I remember waiting anxiously for the nightly news to be over so I could watch my favorite TV shows."
"Commercial breaks were just mad rushes for the bathroom, or to the kitchen to get something quick to drink."
"Once it was done, it was gone."
"The happy tears I cried when they finally released The Stand miniseries on DVD about a decade after airing."
"I feel I was in the last generation of this, even though channels were much more prevalent and reruns of everything was the norm."
"I remember rushing off the bus with all my friends because we were absolutely SURE Goku was gonna defeat Frieza this episode. And it was a crap shoot whether or not the driver would be fast enough for us to make it."
"Years later when DVDs started becoming more prevalent, they STILL didn't put shows on collectable media regularly. You couldn't just get an entire season of a show and binge it."
"At most you could find a 'best-of' compilation of five or six of the most popular episodes, and that was only if the show was incredibly popular."
"And what I am describing here was considered 'having it good' compared to older people."
"That it was incredibly common to just not have pictures of events or other things we see as important now."
"Not only did we have entire vacations where no pictures were taken, we could go months without a single picture being taken of any member of our family unless it was particularly notable."
"A trip to St Louis? No pictures. A trip to Disneyland? Maybe a picture at the entry gate or one of the souvenir pictures of us with a character."
"A trip to zoo? No pictures. An average day? Forget about it!"
"Frequently, the only pictures taken were at major holidays like Christmas or on someone's birthday."
"I explained that to my kids the other day."
"What if every picture you took cost a dollar?
"And you don’t know if it’s even good until probably weeks later, as long as the photo lab doesn’t f*ck up processing."
"Or your film or pictures don't get lost in the mail going to or from the developer or they don't send you someone else's photos by mistake."
"You had to plan ahead to take a photo."
"'Did you remember the camera? Did you remember to buy film or flashbulbs?”
So Few Options
"It's an exceptional AMOUNT of media to consume now. In the 90s, you had 3-4 super popular channels, and 4-5 low rated channels. They all showed one show at a time."
"Now we have a dozen streaming services with infinite media options."
"It's becoming increasingly difficult to engage in office conversation because so much content is available, people do not have to stray as far from their interest to consume content they want to consume."
Smoking Or Non?
"They understand restaurants had 'smoking sections' and that bars & clubs were filled with cigarette smoke. But I don't think many understood how pervasive smoking was."
"Non-smoking areas or sections didn’t exist before the 1980s. There were ashtrays and people smoking literally EVERYWHERE."
"Jury boxes had ashtrays in front of every juror. Judge smoked, lawyers smoked, the gallery smoked."
"You smoked on planes, trains, busses, taxicabs, and in all transportation centers."
"You smoked at the library, the PTO meetings at schools, the town hall and all city offices. Hell, you could smoke at the courtyard at my High School as a student."
"You smoked in the elevator and on the escalator. The mall. The grocery store. Sports venues. Doctor's offices. Hospitals. Sitting at your desk at work even if you were in a cubicle or open area."
"The movies. The plays, opera, concerts and every other public performance, people smoked."
"A non-smoker would come home often smelling like smoke. One was constantly surrounded by smoke. It was insane."
"You literally made ash trays as a grade school art project, that’s how common it was."
"Probably under estimating how few choices there were."
"Today, it seems like everything imaginable is available in a variety of sizes, delivered to your door over night."
"Catalogs and mail order had 4-6 week delivery."
"Malls were the best thing ever—all the stores in one place, a wide variety of products and sizes and not downtown."
"And also just how little people knew they were missing out. If it wasn't on network evening television (Channels 2, 4, 7, 9, and 11), or on a store shelf in your town, or in the Sunday newspaper... it simply didn't exist for you."
"If you had an inkling something existed—say, tin foil that comes in sheets instead of one giant roll—you could go around asking people, if you wanted. But you were more than likely to just get a shrug and, 'Why would you want such a thing?'."
"Let's say you were particularly enterprising, so you dial '0' and ask the operator for the number for corporate headquarters of Reynolds Aluminum Foil, if you knew the city it was in. Because there was no internet, and the only way to find a number was by dialing '0' and speaking to a telephone operator."
"But even if you spoke to someone at Reynolds, they had no way to exchange money for goods at that level, and they probably would just tell you they sell it in the Ohio area, and that would be that."
"You went to the market. They have one brand of pancake mix, and no one had ever heard of anything different, and why would you want a different brand, anyway?"
"Then you go to the hardware store, and they carry one brand of paint, and no one had ever heard of any other brand of paint."
"And it was that way for a long, long time."
One For the Road
"How common drinking & driving was."
"Until MADD came along, people did this routinely."
"It's where 'one for the road' originated."
"Yes! When my friends and I had our 18th birthdays in late 1979, the thing to do was to celebrate by driving through Beer Barn, where you could literally drive-through to get beer, wine, wine coolers, whatever."
"Then open them up and drive while drinking. At 18. This was in Texas."
"It also was not uncommon for my dad to drive while drinking when he was taking us wherever at night."
"Zero education on why you should not do that."
Good & Bad
"I am definitely older (born in 1949 so Baby Boomer)."
"What today's young people don't appreciate is how, growing up, we had to invent our own sources of fun."
"There were no video games (which I enjoy playing), just 3 channels on a black-and-white tv (we didn't get color until 1967), and no real entertainment aimed at kids."
"All we could do is interact with each other and play established games like marbles or maybe an organized sport like Little League baseball."
"There was a baseball diamond, overgrown with weeds, across the street from us, but mostly we played in the woods that surrounded us, climbing trees pretending to be pirates or some such.
"I loved the bookmobiles that would visit my street, and I must have read every biography (all bound in blue covers) in my elementary school library."
"It was a different era with many fewer distractions and much more time for sustained imagination."
"Being a different place and time, we developed different skills for interacting with the world and each other than young people do today."
"Was it better? That's hard to say. We tended to have an insular view of our own little world, while today it is hard to escape what it happening everywhere on Earth."
"We had to wait days for a letter to arrive, and we shared a party phone line with our neighbor's phone. That is a far slower pace than today's instantaneous texting culture. (Yes, I do text.)"
"Some things have been lost while others have been gained. That's the way it always will be. Just wait."
In Chilton's article—referenced at the beginning—he stated:
"We [Gen X] will be the last generation to know the world without...
- Cable TV
- Cell Phones
- The internet
- Seat belt laws
- Remote controls for the TV"
What would you add to the list?
We've all gone into at least one business, store, or restaurant that left us completely dissatisfied, and we can understand that sometimes, that's how things work out.
But when we're disappointed by them every single time, we might wonder how that business is still even open to receive customers.
Ready to hear the tea, Redditor Square-Floor8879 asked:
"What company has you shocked that they have not yet gone out of business?"
"On a Wednesday at around 2:00 PM, I received a tap at my door from an elderly woman who wanted to show me a Kirby Hoover."
"Additionally, it appears that door-to-door salespeople will still exist in 2023."
"It’s surprisingly big in B2B (Business-to-Business) sales, as well. Cold-calling on the phone is almost dead, but if you know how to talk with people in person and aren’t afraid of in-person rejection, you can do very well with door-to-door sales."
Are They Really?
"That furniture store that has had the 'Going Out of Business' sale going on for the last four years."
"That’s a whole thing. People will open a store for a year or so and run this kind of going-out-of-business sale and make an absolute killing. Then they’ll dip out and someone else will do the same thing right behind them."
A Constant Reunion
"Classmates.com still trying to charge what you can get for free on Facebook."
"I'll get emails from them: 'John, Mike, Sarah, and Amber want to see what you're up to.'"
"Well, they can all see it on Facebook or Instagram."
A Fading Tune
"Guitar Center. I worked for them for 13 years, they were on the brink of death the whole time."
"I actually just bought something from them for the first time ever. A lot of workers in the store, like every dept had somebody in it. Not that many customers, though."
One Word: McAfee
"I swear, those motherf**kers installed the malware themselves."
"McAfee IS malware."
Physical TV Guides
"TV Guide still exists."
"I see big potential with TV Guide. They could get a lot of traffic and be an amazing source of information if their search engine didn't suck."
"These days, it's so annoying trying to find out what streaming service has that one TV show or movie you want to watch. TV Guide has a 'where to watch' button that will show you what subscription services have it and how much they cost."
"TV Guide, if you're reading this, fix your search engine. You can be the source of information of what and when we watch just like your golden age again."
Affordable Iced Tea
"I hope they don't but Arizona Iced Tea has cost the same my whole life. Good on them."
"They actually just reduced the size from 23oz to 22oz. Fortunately, the 99 cent price holds."
"I'm actually okay with this, to be honest, because I basically have to force myself to finish that last couple of ounces most times."
"All the mattress stores that are somehow across the street from each other and never have any customers but open new locations down the street all the time."
"It's actually crazy going to one. I was mattress hunting last week. While I was there for like two hours, two people showed up and purchased mattresses."
"One for like $2300, and the other for just over $3000. All were financed."
"I had no clue people paid that much for mattresses."
Cheap Claire's Jewelry
"It feels like they have been saying Claire's is on the edge of bankruptcy for 20 years."
"I found myself ordering something online from them a few years back and it still feels like a fever dream."
Sears' Serious Long Game
"Pretty sure Sears is still holding on?"
"Down to only 11 locations left, with plans to close five of them by 2025."
"One of them is near me! In a mall that feels like it has time traveled from the '90s, so that makes sense. It's right near an FYE, which also apparently still exists."
"Man, I absolutely LOVED FYE when I was in middle and high school. Haven’t seen one in a solid 20 years. Granted, I haven’t been to a mall in the better part of 10 years."
Maybe It's an MLM; Maybe It's Mary Kay
"Mary Kay is a MASSIVE business. I also wonder how they survive but there’s a ton of scholarships and research they sponsor in the cosmetic science community. They have a big pull, Mary Kay and Amway."
"Because it's basically a pyramid scheme and they sell their products to wannabe entrepreneurs who are stuck with unsold goods."
A Return Location
"Kohls. Don't get me wrong, I love my Kohl's. But every time I go in there, it feels like 90 percent of the shoppers there are just there to return their Amazon package. Kohls does have some pretty good stuff so I do hope they stay in business (mostly because they are just so convenient for returns)."
"The coupons have so many restrictions anymore that I think they may have doomed themselves. I went in with a 40 percent off coupon and could basically buy their Sonoma brand stuff and that was it."
Questionable Kids Parties
"Chuck E. Cheese’s had its hay day years ago, their business sucks, their shows aren’t that good, and the animatronics are mostly gone at this point. And debt. Lots of it. Surprised they’re still around even though they just filed for bankruptcy three years ago."
A Ghost Town
"One of my favorite stores, but it gets pretty depressing to shop there. You see maybe two employees on the entire floor. Products are often never organized and the fitting rooms are even worse. Clothes just dropped on the floor and no one ever checks how many clothes you go in with or what you truly do inside…"
"Some Macy's locations are better but many are really bad. It feels like a complete ghost town."
"Wells Fargo. Considering all the shady ways they try to harvest cash from their customers, I simply cannot believe anyone does business with them."
These accounts were really eye-opening. Most of these companies weren't on the list for potentially closing because of their business practices, but because of how they treat their customers.
It just goes to show how important it is to foster good relationships with customers, to value them, and to treat them with respect.
With the latest advancements in technology, consumers are faced with the challenge of narrowing their list of products to buy.
The anxiety is only fueled by FOMO–fear of missing out–when they see their friends on social media bragging about the latest gadget that supposedly makes life easier.
But some people can't be bothered with all the fancy gadgets that are at the top of consumer reports as the best product so far in whatever year we're in.
They just prefer sticking to the basics and doing things the old-school way–like clicking on the TV with a remote instead of dictating to it what you want it to do after fumbling around for that elusive mic button to activate the function.
Curious to hear from consumers, Redditor WaterWalsh asked:
"What product no matter how innovative it is do you refuse to buy?"
Some people could do without all the bells and whistles of tried and true basic appliances.
"Smart' Refrigerator. I just need something that keeps my food cold. I don't need it to show me advertisements or what foods I might be out of. I can look for myself."
"Unless it can remind me of the box of fresh spinach that I stacked the yogurt in front of and, therefore, forgot existed, I wouldn't even consider it."
Things Get Heated
"A stove also shouldn’t be connected to the internet and should just be a normal stove."
"My stove has an app so you can set the oven temperature from your phone, when I got it I thought 'ok this might be useful if I want to preheat the oven on my way home or something,' but alas, it proved itself useless, you have to touch your phone to the oven to give it the command, like wft?? I'm already here I might as well just turn on the damn oven."
Get The Picture?
"If I could, I wouldn’t even buy a smart tv. That’s what my Apple TV is for. I just need something to turn on and make a nice picture."
"I intentionally locked out my smart TV because I have a secondary device. It doesn't need to be connected to the mothership. My TCL television probably has zero security, and who knows how many backdoors to circumvent my router."
"All these IoT devices are just great "dumb" tools to use for DDOS attacks by unsavory nation states. Blackberry said this years ago."
Just because products are under a famous person's name doesn't necessarily make them top quality.
Clever Marketing, Poor Product
"I’m Irish and Conor McGregor’s whiskey isn’t really drank over here. It’s very average whiskey with a premium price tag. You could buy far superior whiskey for less. His branding is amazing though."
"It’s the same with his stout. No one in Ireland touches it... Again his branding is amazing and people all over the world are buying in to this sh*t."
Refusing The Socialite Family Brand
"Anything promoted by any kardashian… my curling iron broke so I stopped at target on the way home (This was years ago)… all they had were curling irons with Kardashians on the box - I refused."
These consumers just don't get the hype over these smart devices.
"Folding smartphones. They're expensive as all get out, and I've seen a lot of them develop weird screen issues just through normal use, that are prohibitively expensive to repair. I'll stick to my slab phone."
Personal Home Assistant
"My roommate has one and I f'king hate it."
"My girlfriend has an Alexa in our bedroom and it's the most annoying thing in the world. She uses it to set a morning alarm and it always start spouting the weather and playing sh**ty music that we both hate. She refuses to get rid of it because she comes from a third world country and always dreamed of having 'American-life tech.' Of course, I overlook it because I don't want to be an a**hole, but nevertheless I dread waking up in the morning and hearing the Bezos bot."
Undesirable Communication Partner
"As a general rule, I don't like talking to inanimate objects."
"We got one as a gift, put it in the kitchen."
"1. The little kitchen TV was on and had an Alexa commercial and then our Alexa started talking to the commercial because the woman on TV said "Alexa" and it kinda went back and forth."
"I thought some people broke into the house. Our Alexa (don't ask me how) was playing our neighbors having a fight next door through their Alexa."
"The device lasted about a week before it was donated."
People were getting nowhere fast with these cars of the future.
Out Of Touch
"Cars with touch screens."
"I could stand a touch-screen, so long as it was supplemented with buttons. A car with only a touch screen? Terrible."
"Have one of those at work. Just changing the heat while driving is a risk of traffic accident."
Some Drivers Musk Need This
"I rented a Tesla on my last trip. I have the electric Volvo as a company car, so I was curious what Teslas were like. What a piece of sh*t. Materials are cheap, fit and finish was like my 95 Saturn, and it took forever to figure out how to control everything. Almost every damned thing has to be controlled by the software. Even the wipers, which is really distracting while you're driving. The key card recognizes when you walk up and unlocks the door, however in order to actually drive you have to tap the card on the arm rest. It's so stupid. Oh, and the 'shifter' is where the wipers should be, on the steering column. It's like they went out of their way to make the whole car as different as they could just to do it. I was happy to get back to the Volvo as it's a normal car that happens to have a battery, and a much better product."
Maybe it's because I'm not a gamer, but I personally don't see the need for an iPad.
I love using my iPhone and MacBook Pro to get all my business and social needs in order. Introducing a third option for going about my daily tasks and interacting with social media will only make my head spin.
I've also seen people walking around with their iPads and taking photos with them, which looks ridiculous in my opinion.
I remember thinking to myself after witnessing the bizarre practice, "I will not be that person."
But hey, that's just me.
We all love our pets.
And be it a dog, cat, parrot, or turtle, we all like to think our pet is cuter and smarter than everyone else's.
Most of the time, that is purely owing to our unending love for them.
But every now and again, we might witness our pet do something truly extraordinary, leading us to believe that our pet truly is the smartest animal on earth.
Redditor CoreyMatthews was curious to hear about the times people were truly blown away by the intelligence of their pets, leading them to ask:
"Pet owners of Reddit, what are some examples of your pet doing something that made your realize how intelligent they are?"
Talk About Coordination!
"I watched both my cats sit in the hallway and roll a ball back and forth between them gently and on purpose."
"They both know how to open doors."- TurbulentStep4399
The Real Truth About Cats And Dogs
"I had a cat that learned to turn on my radio so I would think the alarm was going off and get up to feed him."
"He and my dog would also team up on me in various ways."
"The most memorable was when I had gotten a little water pistol to squirt the cat when he got on the kitchen counter."
"I always kept the water pistol in the very back corner of the kitchen counter."
"I got home one day, and the water pistol was chewed to pieces on the floor."
"It was too far back on the counter for the dog to have reached it by herself (and it’s not the sort of thing she would normally have liked to chew on), so the only explanation is that the cat climbed onto the counter, pushed the water pistol across the counter until it fell on the floor, and then convinced the dog to chew it up."- TheBat3
More Than Most People Can Say About Their Children!
"My 6 month old kitten will alternate bringing his mylar ball to me or my husband to throw--taking turns."
"He plays fetch better than my dog did."
"He puts his toys away at bedtime."
"I have a small basket that we keep his toys in."
"At bedtime, I'll tell him, 'Let's pick up your toys' and he will get any toys that hasn't been eaten by the couch and drop them in his basket."
"No hard balls/toys as he can't pick those up with his mouth."
"I pick up those."- Danivellecat playing GIFGiphy
The Female Of The Species...
"I had two Shelties and one large dog bed."
"The female Sheltie did not want to share the bed with her brother, so whenever he was lying on it she would go to the door and start barking like crazy at … nothing."
"He would leap up barking and race to the door to guard the house alongside her and as soon as he got out of the dog bed, she would run back and curl up in the middle of it."
"He never caught on."- NoNefariousness104
Always On The Lookout
"My dog greeted me at the garage door when I got home."
"He then had me follow him to my daughters room, then my sons room, then the front door."
"My mother in law had picked up the kids."
"He was telling me that 'this one and this one are gone and went that way'."
"Let’s go get them!'”- YourFriendInSpokane
Asking Permission Never Goes Unnoticed
"I had a blue heeled mix that was crazy smart."
"Two of many examples:"
"He was occasionally allowed to eat table scraps off of a plate but was never allowed to beg."
"He had to wait until the plate was put on the floor."
"One day I was caught up working on my laptop and had put the scraps from my dinner on the couch on a plate next to me."
"An hour or so went by and I saw him pick up the plate off the couch and put it on the floor so he was allowed to eat it."
"He slept in my room and was getting up in years."
"One night after I was settled in bed he let me know he needed to go outside, thinking an older bladder, I got up to take him out."
"Instead he went to the kitchen and turned to look at me."
"Curious I followed him."
"Same thing , he went to the family room and waited for me."
"When I turned on the light, he went to an end table near the TV where one of my teenagers had left an uneaten piece of fried chicken."
"He stood and stared and it and then turned to me and I swear he asked if he could have it."
"I laughed and took the meat off the bones and put it in the floor for him, after which we both went back to bed."
"How he knew that chicken had been left there is beyond me!"
"I could share dozens of stories like this."
"He was as smart as most humans I know."
"I will miss him forever."- JCKligmanndog human eating GIFGiphy
Peeing With Purpose
"My mom's cat had a urinary infection."
"So he peed a tiny bit in the bathroom sink and waited by it for my mom to see it."- HyliaSerket
Everyone Wants A Little Attention Every Now And Then...
"A small thing, but my cat will paw at my hand when he wants to be petted."
"The first couple times it happened, I didn't think anything of it, until I realized one day that he basically had me trained/conditioned to pet him whenever he nudged or pawed at my hand."- Square-Raspberry560
And You Thought All They Could Do Was Change Colors
"My chameleon will look me square with both eyes and make a chomping movement with his mouth when he’s hungry."
"He’ll also pat at the glass if he wants to come out."
"He’ll hold a grudge, calculate ways to go or get what he wants."
"One of my Boas will only look at me when hungry."
"She had a go at caudal luring whilst doing it the other day."
"Like 'look, dude, I know you bring the food'."
"I’m hungry, look I’m even trying to lure you to give me some food'."
"It worked."- UgglugGiphy
A Kind Gesture Is Never Forgotten
"My brother’s cat, Coconut."
"We live 2,600 miles apart."
"The first time I met her, I gave her a little pink fuzzy kitty toy."
"2-3 years later was the next time I was able to visit her again for the 2nd time ever."
"She immediately disappeared & came back with this filthy, dusty, brown toy that had obviously been hidden away somewhere."
"We dusted it off & it was the toy I had gifted her years before."
"She remembered me."
"My brother said he had never seen the toy again until that day."
"She’s also very precious with her toys & will leave them outside his bedroom door as bribes."- emilyyancey
"When she was a baby I said, 'Go get your toy!' in the same pitch I always do."
"Never trained her with that phrase."
"She went a grabbed her toy and came back."
"I tested her again the next day and the next day."
"She went to her toy pile and brought back a toy each time."
"She picked up the phrase by herself."
"She's also the first dog I've had that looks at planes in the sky when they fly overhead and recognizes dogs on TV even on mute."- Spare-Bread8416
Get The Tissue Ready...
"I have two cats and a dog."
"A little backstory about my dog:"
" I don't know anything about dog training."
"I wasn't even thinking about adopting a dog but it seems like it was one of those things that 'meant to be'."
"My sister found him on the street at a winter night."
"We thought he was lost and there is an owner looking for him."
"Because where I live we have so many strays and you wouldn't see many 'specific breeds', they are just strays and specific breeds have an owner 99% of the time."
"So we took him home and start to search for the owner but it was obvious that poor dog went through some sh*t."
"And we learned about his story from an animal society; that he had a few owners but all of them left him to the streets because he was barking a lot (we haven't heard him barking even once during that time), he was peeing everywhere (he did it once and that was probably because he was nervous of being in a new environment and that was it), he wasn't listening at all (we had 3 cats at that time and I said no one time when he tried to run at them and that was it, never did it again)."
"And we learned that he has been in the shelter twice with big wounds."
"And I said I'm not going to let him go through more, he stays with us."
"He learned how to let me know he needs to go out all by himself."
"He learned to pee on the pads all by himself on the days that I can't take him for a walk."
"He learned to give me my slippers when I come home all by himself because I wear slippers when I get home."
" He learned how to clean his face by watching cats doing it."
" I still don't know how to train a dog other than a few basic stuff."
"He just learns."
"That's been a really long comment."
"So I'm going to leave that how I know my cats are clever for another time."
"Thank you for reading my sweet dogs story."
"I'm glad to have him and I don't know who was lucky about all those; me or him."- LittleBitOff2Daydog pies GIFGiphy
Never underestimate your pets.
As sometimes you have no idea of the things they might see or notice.
Making it all the more important to give them the love and attention they deserve.