People Explain Which Things Their Most Famous Family Members Were Known For
Genealogy can be a real trip. Explore the family tree back far enough and you're guaranteed to come across a few head-scratching details.
Sometimes it's a scandalous pregnancy, or maybe a secret marriage. Tales of stowaways are not unheard of. And then, of course, there are the famous great-uncles or even older matriarchs, notable for some outlandish 1800s behavior.
One Reddit question brought plenty of ancestral discoveries to the surface.
Household names carry long lineages, and some folks are proud to call themselves distant cousins to a legend. For some, it's the more obscure kind of fame: an absurd crime or a coincidental collision with a historical event.
But they are all good stories. They make the historical past feel a bit more human and relatable. After all, these ancestors were simply people like us, full of schemes and blunders. They may have had different wars and technologies, but the resemblance is easy to spot.
DreamSailor01 asked, "Do you have a famous ancestor? If so, what were they known for?"
One of those Faces
"I'm related to the bald guy who posed for the "American Gothic" painting with the pitchfork."
"I looked it up, and it turns out he's my fourth cousin, twice removed."
"One of my great-great-great grand fathers was Chang Bunker, who was conjoined at the stomach to his brother, Eng. They were born in Siam (now known as Thailand) became famous for being in the P.T. Barnum's circus."
"The term 'Siamese Twins' comes from them."
"Johann Jakob Astor"
"John Jacob Astor was a German–American businessman, merchant, real estate mogul and investor who mainly made his fortune in a fur trade monopoly and by investing in real estate in or around New York City."
"Known for: First multi-millionaire businessman in the United States."
"Still living in his home town and he is still sort of getting glorified here."
"I'm poor though."
"My uncle is a Power Ranger, you may know him as the green ranger or Jason David Frank."
"He's known as a Power Ranger and is working on another Kickstarter movie and even has his own karate class."
A Historic Schemer
"I have an uncle who is the reason DUI breathalyzer ignitions have a timer because he would drive to the bar and let it idle while he drank." -- williebobthornton
"He's the problem AND the problem solver. Excellent." -- Mercurial8
"Your uncle is Jean Ralphio Saperstein? You know your boy is a question on the bar exam, right?" -- adjust_the_sails
"Great-grandfather on my mom's side was a samurai. He emigrated to America because that was the point Japan didn't need samurai anymore."
"I still have the family mon (crest), but the sword was lost during WWII... the family that offered to look over the farm while they were gone stole it."
Bit of a Reach, but Acceptable
"Johann Sebastian Bach. One of his daughters married into my family, which makes him my great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather." -- warboy3
"You're within 7 generations of Bach so you may have roughly <1% chance of having some of his DNA!" -- jamjamsify
These Actors Seemed Miscast But Absolutely Nailed The Role | George Takei’s Oh MyyyThe Actors Who Seemed Miscast But Absolutely Nailed The RoleFew people bought into the idea of Bryan Cranston in the role of Walter White before Breaking Bad...
"He was on the Mayflower. And fell off." -- fi55ion
"Thank goodness he made it back on or a lot of us wouldn't be around! My dad and I did our family tree years ago and had fun tracing our ancestors back to him." -- eosean
"He wasn't in a knife fight was he? I had a relative in the Mayflower that was in technically the first knife fight and I think he was the loser." -- Steveisnotcaptain
An Important Trip
"She wasn't famous but my great grandmother was on the ship that rescued the Titanic survivors." -- dahopppa
"Great! My great grandfather was on the titanic himself! He survived so maybe he has met your great grandmother lol" -- tijoyo
"My grandmother was just a child, but she was sailing from Wales at that time and remembers the adults talking about a ship that was sinking." -- JibbityJabbity
Finally Making Amends
"Related to Bridget Bishop, first woman hung in the Salem witch trials." -- dadoliver
"I'm descended from John Hale, who was instrumental in starting the Salem witch trials, and later changed his mind and helped get them stopped."
"A belated 'sorry' from my family to yours." -- rickpo
Intersecting Family Trees
"William Randolph Hearst. Famous for being Citizen Kane." -- broberds
"Patricia, his daughter, robbed my uncle's gun store with the Symbionese Liberation Army." -- SalesAutopsy
"I've been to his house. Nice place." -- Hazi-Tazi
"Legend has it he was instrumental in getting pot demonized and illegalized because hemp was a major competitor to his business interests, paper or petroleum or something." -- timsstuff
Not a Legend, But a Family Treasure Nonetheless
"He's not extremely famous now but my great great grandfather was Joe Fox. Joe Fox was a famous English boxer in the 1920s, he won a Lonsdale belt by the time he was 23 when that achievement was very competitive and (i think) he ended up winning three total."
"I remember my grandma showing it to me in a glass display box before we sent it to a museum."
A Very Normalizing Comment Thread
"I have two. John Adams, and John Quincy Adams." -- CantSpeakSpanish
"WHAT'S UP RELATIVE. I TOO AM A DESCENDANT." -- counterspell
"WAIT ME TOO, WHATS UP GUYS" -- smith-512
"Same here; that means you're related to a shitload of early American names - from pilgrims on down." -- this_is_trash_really
"Edit: My lineage apparently got around." -- CantSpeakSpanish
Morbid Claims to Fame
"Grandfather was the first person to be sentenced to death after Texas reinstated the death penalty in the 70's." -- OneFeedback3
"Wait they cancelled it then brought it back?!" -- JackofScarlets
"My ancestors Blackjack Ketchum is the only person to have been executed in New Mexico. The executioner botched the hanging and decapitated him, offending the townspeople so much they voted to ban capital punishment." -- greenIdbandit
"My great great (not sure how many greats) grandfather was the checkers champion of England." -- thisnameisfineiguess
"Now this one is the best one on here." -- ThrowRA407
"I wonder how many generations pass before the good-at-checkers gene is gone. I'm sure the checker champ's son is pretty good at checkers, but is his son?" -- [deleted]
"My dad won my church domino tournament once." -- whogonecheckme
The Most Current of Ancestors
"My uncle is a famous singer from Ireland, he's not big in the US but massive everywhere else, he's part of a band called Westlife, his name is Shane Filan He's still alive but yeah there you go." -- bigboomer420
"I am Irish. Can confirm that Shane Filan is very famous." -- fofieflamingo
"Misread that as porn star and was slightly bewildered and also slightly impressed that you were so comfortably dropping your uncles stage name." -- Vibr8_
Wonder if They Were All Friends
"My great great uncle murdered an FBI agent and subsequently spent time in Alcatraz. He was there at the same time as Machine Gun Kelly and Al Capone."
"For those curious, his name is Guy Osborne and he murdered Truett E. Rowe." -- PeavyNeckVeins
"I have an ancestor who was an FBI agent and was shot in the head by Baby Face Nelson. Survived, too!" -- tadadaism
"That rapper that squared up with Eminem?" -- nicholasgnames
Bloodlines to the Losing Side
"Both Robert E. Lee and William T. Sherman. One led the Confederate forces and the other burned down Atlanta and everything in his path on the way there..." -- Gonty_68_RS
"Robert E. Lee is a descendant of George Washington, so you've got that, too." -- JPMcGowan
"But he spared Savannah! Thank goodness!" -- NotWorriedABunch
Reddit user Animeking1108 asked: 'What infamous movie plot hole has an explanation that you're tired of explaining?'
A movie is only as good as its ending.
Unless audiences are left with a major cliffhanger under the premise there's a planned sequel, all plot points should be resolved to a degree.
However, even the best films that are thoroughly satisfying and enjoyable can lead to a disappointing finale that leaves audiences hanging with no promise of a follow-up. It can be frustrating.
And then there are the thin plot holes that are so arcane, it's nerve-wracking trying to make sense out of them.
Yet, there's somehow logic in them that escapes the minds of audiences with short attention spans.
Curious to hear examples of these, Redditor Animeking1108 asked:
"What infamous movie plot hole has an explanation that you're tired of explaining?"
Scenes from these thrilling films left some audiences stumped.
Beast Follows Feast
"In Jurassic World, Claire didn’t 'outrun' the T-Rex (in heels) … because it wasn’t CHASING her. The dinosaur was conditioned to equate the flare with feeding time so it was patiently following her to an anticipated meal. The situation is similar to how zookeepers can have (limited) interactions with lions and bears."
"How does Sarah Connor know which button to press to crush the Terminator in Terminator(1984)?"
"Because she accidentally presses it a few minutes earlier and it set the crusher off, it what lead the Terminator to find them."
"Oh, like in The Incredibles where Elastigirl has the remote and Bob tells her to push that button again."
The Glitch In The Machine
"The matrix reloaded the scene where Neo is talking to the architect, the screens behind them are not other ones, it is the predictions the machines are making on Neo’s responses, most of the scenes are incorrect in those predictions, except for when Neo must choose between Trinity and all of humanity, the machines nailed that response on all screens."
These classic examples left some viewers completely flummoxed.
"There was a whole topic on the front page a while back about The Truman Show asking about what happens when Truman wants to sleep with his onscreen wife, is that upsetting to her because she’s just an actress, how do they avoid showing it on TV. People offering all kinds of explanations like 'he was raised not to know what sex is.' I thought I was going crazy because not only does the movie directly address this (two guys watching the show complain that the camera always cuts away when Truman and his wife go to bed) but it’s an actual plot point in the movie that she’s trying to have a baby with him so that they can start Truman Show Phase 2, and his obsession with a woman they kicked off the show years ago is ruining the director’s plans."
Remembering Memory Loss
"In Memento, people always wonder how a guy with short-term memory loss remembers he has memory loss. But he’s conditioned himself to say it, just like Sammy was subjected to conditioning in the flashbacks."
"One of Charles Foster Kane’s servants was outside his bedroom when Kane said 'Rosebud.' The door was wide open. The dialogue later confirms that a butler heard Kane’s dying words and reported it to the paper."
Establishing Reality Up Front
"FRIENDS. 'How did they pay for that apartment on their salary in New York?'”
"The very first episode, Monica mentions that her grandma owned the apartment, and she would never be able to afford it otherwise!!"
"And it was rent controlled, plus i think it was an illegal sub lease and they had to hide that from the super."
Playing On A Steretype
"I am so late to the party but… Legally Blonde"
'OMG, a dumb blonde sorority girl studied for the LSAT for a summer and aces it? Bullshi*!
"No. No, the point is that Elle Woods was never a 'dumb blonde.' She was always brilliant. Literally the first scene is her interrogating the salesperson and catching them in a lie because she was observant and smart."
"Rather, Elle was pigeonholed by the circumstances of her looks and her privileged upbringing to pursue a vapid life. While inspired by the wrong reasons, it results in her breaking the mold she was confined in so that she is able to reach her full potential."
Is it too much to ask the audience to suspend their disbelief?
It depends on the movie.
Witnessing The Supernatural
"People sometimes wonder how Indiana Jones initially remains sceptical of the mystical events happening in the second film, when he just witnessed a magical ark mass killing a bunch of Nazis in the first film."
"But that's because the second film is a prequel."
Accepting The Mythical As Real
"Also the majority of artifacts and myths Indiana Jones interacts with are completely mundane. They have fascinating cultural significance and implications on history, but they're ultimately just mundane. The encounters with the supernatural are clearly rare exceptions he gets caught up in, not his primary field of expertise."
"Like, even if literally Atlantis was discovered right here and now today, that doesn't mean the lost continent of Mu, or the city of El Dorado, or the lost colony of Norumbega, or anything else is real. It means Atlantis is, apparently, real."
"On watching The Sixth Sense it may seem completely improbable that Bruce Willis' character didn't realize that he was dead. Yet it's explained right there in the movie: ghosts see only what they want to see."
What makes the moviegoing experience enjoyable is the assessment afterward with other cinephiles.
It's fun to discuss the contrasting takeaways each person may have had from watching the same movie.
Occasionally, there are plot holes that seem easily identifiable, but wind up having a perfectly logical explanation behind them, which warrants a second viewing.
But one movie that my friends and I had a difficult time figuring out was Back to the Future.
Even though Marty successfully corrected the course of time with his parents falling love, wouldn't they have recognized their son when he eventually became a teenager?
They each interacted with the catalyst–their future son–who brought them together in the first place after all.
But that's just an example of the suspension of disbelief.
Sometimes, you just gotta go with it.
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.
There are certain things that are bound to get you fired in just about every profession.
Being nasty to colleagues and clients/customers, misusing company money, and first and foremost, not showing up to work.
When it comes to teachers, however, there are even more rules that others might not think of that are guaranteed grounds for dismissal.
Or so we think.
As some teachers manage to get away with shocking, if not downright apalling behavior and still manage to stay in the classroom, and out of the rubber room.
Redditor stockstandardly was curious to hear some of the most outrageous things ever done by teachers who managed to hold on to their jobs, leading them to ask:
"What DIDNT your teacher get fired for?"
You Thought There Was Only One...
"Y4 teacher put gaffer tape over the mouth of talkative students."
"History Teacher invited me (16yo) over for beers and smokes."- stockstandardly
It Is Possible To Be TOO Close...
"Y5-7 gym teacher showered with us (the boys) because apparently there was chewing gum in the drain in the teacher's shower." - Runkepapir
Nobody Knew, Or Nobody Did Anything?
"I knew of two girls in my grade (age 16-17) that had inappropriate relationships with two separate teachers."
"Nobody was punished because nobody knew."
"Which makes me think this kind of thing probably happens all the time."- Green0livesAndHam
No Harm, No Foul?
"We had this little old lady for our all-male music class(16 years old) and she loved us and we all loved her."
"When we left the class she would slap our bottoms and we'd joke around trying to not get hit and dodging it and just goof off."
"We knew it was absurd and inappropriate and so did she but we all thought it was hilarious."
"I was always worried someone would narc or another teacher would see it and say something."
"She was the best. Hilarious woman and a good teacher."- SkinkaLei
How Much Proof Do They Need?
"Purposely slamming a student’s hand with the door."
"Happened a year after I graduated hs but there’s video footage of it out there somewhere."- lecstasy
Schools Should Be A Safe Haven...
"Telling the whole class to beat me up after school and defending them when I defended myself."- QuiescisMagna
'Spare The Rod And Spoil The Child"?... ABSOLUTELY NOT!
"I remember when I was in elementary school and my sister as well."
"My sister would always come home complaining of her bottom hurting and having trouble sitting."
"Back in school days during the 80s, they would give wooden paddle licks to kids for misbehaving, etc."
"My mother confronted my sister one day for all the complaining."
"She made my sister pull her pants down and saw multiple bruises on her bottom."
"My sister confessed that her teacher was giving paddles to her for however many multiplication problems she missed on her tests."
"Apparently, she was getting licks quite frequently."
"The next morning, when dropping us off at school, my mother was infuriated and stormed into the office and gave them a piece of her mind."
"Showed them the bruises on my sisters bottom."
"My mom fought hard to get the teacher fired, but they never did."
"The only thing they did was move my sister to another room, and the teacher stopped paddling kids."
"My sister never told my mom she got licks."
"I never did either.'
'Because you were scared of getting in trouble at home."
"Because getting licks at school meant you got in trouble at school."
"You didn't want your parents to find out."
"Can you imagine what would happen to the teacher in today's world?"- Safe-Block-7993
"8th grade science teacher was asked if putting hair in dry ice as an experiment would create a reaction."
"Teacher said 'let’s see'."
"And proceeds to grab scissors, walk to said student, and cut off a two inch chunk of hair, close to her face, halfway down her waist length hair."
"You could hear a pen drop as he wordlessly walks over and tosses the chunk of hair into the box of dry ice."
"No reaction but he was put on temporary leave a week later."- InternalDreadIncomin
Learning By Anything But Example
"11th grade, teacher was clearly not heard by even a single student to say during a bomb threat that she hopes they blow the whole place up."
"This is after her husband got fired for knocking up a student."
"Not a single person heard her loudly proclaim she wanted the school to go boom, so she wasn't fired."
"Loved by all is an understatement."
"Another teacher 9th grade year wasn't fired for backing my friend into a corner and looming over her with his hand on the wall above her head."
"F*ck you, Mr Hanks."- GreenOnionCrusader
Far too many students feel unsafe at school for a variety of reasons.
Their teachers should never, EVER, be one of them.
And one bad teacher has the ability to ruin it for all the extraordinary teachers out there.
Just because someone is an adult or a parent doesn't mean crazy things can't fall out of their mouths every so often.
Sometimes parents say the darndest things.
That's why we should always have a pen or a recording device at the ready.
I suggest the phone.
Just wear fitted tees with pockets and hit record.
You have know idea how much having receipts will pay off mentally later.
Redditor TheGasMove wanted to hear about what things parents have said to their kids that left kids SHOOKETH, so they asked:
"What has a parent said to you that made you go WTF?"
The amount of things my mother has said to me that has left me gobsmacked is endless.
I should've kept a journal.
The ProofJennifer Lawrence Reaction GIFGiphy
"After I told my mother that I didn't open up to her or my dad because I didn't trust them with my emotions, she started screaming that she hated me. Like, girl, this is exactly why I don't tell you things 😂."
"My mom told me that women pooped babies out of their butt. I believed this until I was 12 or 13. Boy, I got laughed at when I used this as my answer when asked in Sex Ed."
"I (27 F) have divorced parents and my mom always taught me the proper anatomy for things and that it's nothing shameful. On the other end, one day when I was at my dad's, a stray cat gave birth on his porch, and my stepsisters (same age) told my half-sister that it was coming out of the cat's butt, and I was like dude what? I questioned them, and they gave me scornful looks like I just said something offensive. LOL."
"A few months ago I had gone to do a surprise visit to my grandparents on my dad’s side. While I was driving up their property I saw them walking in their groceries and witnessed seeing my dad for the first time. I had never met my dad in my life but knew my grandparents."
"I walked up and greeted my grandmother and she ushered me over to talk to my father. As I went to greet him this dude threw his hood on and jumped in his truck and locked the doors and said no words to me. Never in my life have I witnessed a grown man run away like that."
"My father once told me that between my brother and I, I was his favorite. This caught me off guard because I thought parents weren’t supposed to have favorites."
"My dad once told me I’m not his favorite. So I told him he’s not my favorite either. Proceeded to get angry."
"It's problematic to share with your kids that you have a favorite."
Bald ChoicesRegret No GIF by Outside TVGiphy
"I shaved my head at 21 and kept that hairstyle for the last 28 years. My dad walked into my room when I was 26 and asked me for a comb! He looked at me, thought about it for a second, and laughed. RIP dad. I miss you."
It's my hair. I'll do what I want to.
That's the kid's motto.
Adults not so much.
At least that was my experience.
Why Bother?Ytho GIFGiphy
"When I called my mother to find out a good time of year to visit her she said, 'What for?'"
Sure Papa Joe!
"Wasn’t my parents but my Grandpa."
“'Josh can you take me to see Marge?' Marge was his long-time girlfriend who had Alzheimer’s. My GP was in his 70s at the time and we took away his car because he was a dangerous man behind the wheel, to say the least. 'Sure Papa Joe!' That or PJoe was his nickname."
"Drive him to the place Marge was cared for at. Stop at the front and ask 'How long until I come back?' He replied 'Give me an hour. That should be long enough for us to have sex.' I start crying laughing and he leaves with a giant smirk. I could never look at him again without thinking or saying 'Almost 80 and still getting after it, WTF!"
"Oof. I hadn’t talked to my dad in 15 years. I decided to reach out (for certain reasons and not to restart a relationship). He asked if he could ask me about my life. I let him. I told him, among other things, I was in a wonderful relationship with a terrific gal."
“'Is this a real relationship or like the girlfriends I had when I was with your mother.'”
"I was equally glad I disowned him 15 years ago, disappointed a man and a father would speak like that to his estranged son, and angry that he was the father I was born to. He is just one big joke to me."
Chop ChopSteve Harvey Reaction GIFGiphy
"I would often visit the kitchen to watch how my mother cooks. One day when my father saw me coming out of the kitchen, he said 'You keep visiting the kitchen, your penis and testicles are gonna fall off. That’s how girls are made.” Context: I was 7 when he said that to me and we are a Korean family."
Learning to cook, is a great survival skill.
More dads need to get onboard with that.