Former Employees Admit What They Did To Customers To Get Themselves Fired
If you've ever worked retail, you understand the nearly countless ways in which the idea that "the customer is always right" just doesn't work. Sure, as a concept the customer demand dictates what an establishment carries and some of it's policies... but that's not what we mean. As individuals, customers can be, and often are very, very wrong. Almost all retail workers have had that moment where they wanted to speak their mind, but they knew it could mean losing their job. For a glorious few, they did it anyway. One reddit user asked:
We gathered up our favorites that made us laugh, cry, cringe, and applaud. We didn't have the courage to go off on Chronic-Expired-Coupon-Lady when we worked at Ross that one Christmas, but we can live vicariously through these verbal victories.
I used to work at pizza place in a small town when I was a teenager. One night I took a phone order from some idiot woman. It went like this:
Me: Thank you for calling "pizza place", may I take your order?
Customer: Yes, I'd like a large pizza. Half pepperoni, half sausage, and half black olives.
Me: Ok, did you want the toppings combined or separated?
Customer: No, I want half pepperoni, half sausage, and half black olives.
Me: _Ok so you want 1/3 pepperoni, 1/3 sausage, and 1/3 black olives?_
Customer: No! I want HALF PEPPERONI, HALF SAUSAGE, and HALF BLACK OLIVES!
Me: _I understand the toppings that you want, but I'm not understanding how you want us to put the toppings on your pizza. Do you want them separated by thirds? Combined together? Or do you mean put half the amount that we usually put on?_
Customer: What's so hard to understand?! I WANT...HALF...PEPPERONI...HALF...SAUSAGE...AND HALF...BLACK OLIVES!!!!!
Me: Lady, there's only 2 halves to a pizza!
Customer: I WANT TO SPEAK TO YOUR MANAGER!!!
I got fired on the spot. It was easier for the manager to just hire another person than it was to lose a customer in a small town.
Oh, and the lady wanted the toppings divided into thirds. She told the manager the same thing and he just went with her math. She also got it for free.
Playing Mind Games
Worked at Gamestop. Some guy came in and had over 100 used games to trade, all with games and cases mismatched. It took about 45 minutes to process his ticket. When I told him the total, it was low - because Gamestop, and also they were all old, scratched games. This man then proceeded to try negotiate with me to which I kept telling him I can't change the price which only made him angrier and louder. Eventually he yelled:
"Listen, I need at least $300 for all of this shit and you're going to give it to me!"
First of all, I don't even have the ability to change the price, at all. Second of all, my coworker proceeded to put all of his games in a bag, walk outside and tossed them into the parking lot.
Store manager came out of the back room and fired my coworker dead on the spot. The guy stormed out, and the second he left my manager said:
"Jesus what was his f*cking problem? Alright, get back to work."
My coworker didn't get fired; it was just theatrics. I felt like an idiot for just standing there, but it was taking everything I had to not hop the counter and hit the guy.
A woman came into a charity/thrift shop and complained about every single item loudly to the other customers. She would say things along the lines of:
"This is all sh*t. Who pays for this?"
Like we're some boutique with clothes from the back of a van.
She clearly didn't understand how rarely new clothes with tags are donated. Then she got in my face about it. I was so angry with her for chasing away the other customers that I lost my cool. There was nobody left in the store except her. She'd annoyed them into leaving.
I told her to get out and I 'didn't give a sh*t' about the clothes or her opinions. She screams her way out of the shop broadcasting it to everyone on the street.
She came back once the manager was off their break and complained about me. I lost my job. I can't blame them, I'd have done the same.
Buffalo Wild Walkout
Working at Buffalo Wild Wings, keep in mind New Year's Eve one of busiest nights of the year. Opening employees have be in by 8 AM to prep food and get the store ready. When they showed up, no manager is there to open the store. The two employees involved had walked to work and stood outside in cold for almost two hours when another shows up with a phone to call the general manager and ask what's going on.
Turns out the opening shift manager forgot they were suppose to open. So the General Manager shows up on her day off to let employees in. She stays until the scheduled manager shows up. Now, keep in mind everyone is nearly two hours behind on their opening duties. Mrs Late Manager shows up does nothing; she sits down to do her make-up! She then asked my friend to do her opening duties while she fixes herself up. He declined because he had his own work to do, and hey you know shouldn't been late and now your here do your own work.
About twenty minutes later after doing her makeup she then said she needs to fix her hair and again asks my friend to do her work at this point after standing in the cold for nearly two hours and rushing to get 3 hours or work into 1 hour because of her tardiness he snaps back:
"Why don't you do it yourself?"
She replies "Well do you just want to go home?"
He says "F*CK YES" and walks out.
General manager texted a bit later asking what happened and he said "She told me to go home so I did and I wont be back."
High Fives On The Way Out.
Had a customer that, for at least a year, came into our store and was a master tactician in getting free goods by making up complaints against our staff. He would do all sorts of maneuvers like wanting products he knew we didn't carry, to making up complaints about our staff, to even complaining that he had been charged incorrectly.
If this guy was in the store, good luck if you were another customer. He would suck up all the oxygen in the place and demand service from multiple people at the same time. He got reduced prices and free merchandise and tons of coupons for his efforts.
My boss would never challenge this guy or protect his own staff from being exposed to losing their job to a customer who would happily see a member of our crew fired so he could get $5 off his next purchase. My boss wasn't entirely at fault since this was a giant corporation and he was merely towing the fabled "the customer is ALWAYS right" mantra.
I was already planning on leaving for a better opportunity and was going to give notice of resignation one week when this customer started giving me an incredibly difficult time about an issue I had nothing to do with and couldn't help him with. It was extremely busy and he was holding everyone up with his bullshit.
I made a quick value judgment, realized I was already out the door and the only thing I was still there to do was to honor my appropriate resignation notice. I had no designs of ever working for this horrible company or any company like it ever again. I found myself in a unique situation and wasn't going to let the opportunity pass. This guy had made life difficult for all of us for a long time.
I cut this guy off mid-sentence and just went off on him in front of a number of customers and part of our staff. I told him he was nothing more than a cheapskate grifter and told him I would no longer recognize him as a living, breathing, member of our species.
Then I told him to go f*ck himself. The look on his face was so goddamned beautiful. The entire store fell into silence and I just stared him down. He asked to speak to my manager and I doubled down by talking over his head, inviting the customer behind him to elbow up to the counter. I apologized to the new customer about the bad behavior of the guy who, at this point, had steam coming out of his ears.
Eventually when he realized he was getting nowhere waiting on me, he stormed off to find a manager. I finished my shift. I came back in the following day, was intercepted by a corporate manager I had rarely seen, taken upstairs and was getting lectured. I interrupted the scolding, revealed my intentions to leave this place, and quit right there.
I got a lot of high fives from the other members of the staff on my way out the door.
"Well Within Your Right" - Still Fired
I cleaned cars for a rental car company. One day, a customer comes in, already in a very bad mood. He saw me standing at the counter, and apparently this offended him to the point that he began to yell at me.
Long story short, I yelled back at him. Nothing came of it for over two months, until I was fired without warning.
The district manager who fired me said that even though everyone in the company who reviewed all the evidence pertaining to the incident had decided I was well within my rights as an employee to yell at the dude, they had to fire me because he was some big shot at a company that had a very lucrative contract with my employer. He had threatened to drop the contract unless they fired me.
Gambling Your Job
I worked in the rewards call center for a casino in my youth. People would call in an book rooms or show tickets with their reward points. Naturally, everyone calling for a free room wants it on a weekend or major holiday - and that just wasn't available.
A lady called to get a free night in the top end suite on Valentine's Day with two days notice. She lost her shit when I told her no. She kept saying she spends so much money and we don't even care enough to reward her loyalty; she even attacked me personally. I just couldn't do it anymore. I calmly explained to her that:
"I see you spend about $20 an hour in the casino, yeah we really don't care about you. You could never come back here again and literally no one would notice. You need to start betting more than your entire family will ever be worth before we actually start caring if you come back or not."
I obliged her request to speak with my supervisor and started packing my things.
3 Strikes Policy
Working at Burger King many years ago. I was working the drive-thru register, which was close enough to the front registers that I could hear conversations. One of my co-workers was taking an order from a lady who kept asking how much her total was, and then cancelling food on it and changing her mind. I guess she was trying to keep under a certain dollar amount?
Well, at the Burger King I worked at, any cancelled food on an order needed a manager's password. So the manager had come by 3 or 4 times at that point. This was during dinnertime, mind you, so there was a line of customers out the door waiting to order.
Finally, my co-worker pulled out a pad of paper and a calculator. He started writing this woman's order down and totaling it out by hand. The woman asked him why he was doing that, and he told her "When you make up your mind about what you want, then I'll put it in the register."
This pissed off the lady, so she grabbed the notebook and tried to hit my co-worker with it. He snatched it back from her and told her "Get the f* out." My manager was only going to write him up for it (since the manager agreed that the lady absolutely deserved it) but my manager had to follow company policy and he already had two write-ups on file, so she had to fire him.
Fired For Refusing To Kill?
Lost my position at a vet clinic.
Story goes like this: woman brought in her 5 year old dog that had diarrhea for the past week and had not been treated for it. She was tired of the dog messing in the house. So instead of having the dog treated for the condition, she decided she would rather just have the dog put down. She would rather see it die than to have a vet treat a simple case of the runs. I proceeded to call her a heartless b*tch while explaining to her the responsibilities that are involved when you decide you want to have a pet.
I was fired... I never looked back
I was working chat tech support for a web host. Customer chatted in complaining of slowness claiming our servers were having issues. I do all the standard steps and we determine that his ISP is having issues. He doesn't believe me and becomes obstinate. So I end the chat by saying:
_"You're wrong!" _
About 10 minutes later I get a new chat. I see the account name and the question. It was the same guy with the same question. Without letting him say anything I write:
_"You're still wrong." _
and close the chat.
I was blacklisted from sonic drive in for standing up for myself.
The store in Oak Hill was shut down and everyone fired because the manager was busted selling pot out of the trunk of his car. I was one of the "dream team" of hand picked sonic employees selected from around the city to bring the store back up to speed.
Our new manager had the initials "JT" and he was very proud of the fact that he comes from 5-star fine dining restaurant manager, and this was his first fast food experience. He was strict and that is ok, we were expected to be perfect. But he had a temper. One day he comes in squealing his tires and as soon as he hits the front door, he's screaming and cussing. I'm trying to take orders while releasing the talk button as he''s cussing employees, like reverse censoring. When I finish taking the order and turn around to see what is the issue, I notice the other car hop run to the back crying. He turns to me and says:
"And YOU, you little s*"
... so this guy is 5'-4" and I'm 6' and in roller skates... I rollover to him and stop a bare inch away and in a strong, clear voice I say:
_"Excuse me, SIR! I am a human being and when you speak to me it will be with decency and respect, do you understand?!" _
To which he replied:
_"Give me your apron" _
So I walk out and go directly to home office and talk to one of the executives, son of the owner, and relate how I love my job, I had worked for 9 different Sonics, won multiple awards, over the last decade and had been invited to VIP movie premiers, and was featured in the news with his father - the owner. I tell them I can no longer work with "JT" for creating a hostile work environment and asked to be reassigned back to MY store where I had been working. I was told he would call.
So he called. Turns out, JT had sold his restaurant as part of a messy divorce and invested several million dollars into the Austin Sonics Association of Franchise Owners, becoming full partner and part owner of almost every Sonic in the city. And he had me black listed.
I can no longer work for Sonic. I tried again to get a job several years later, but I was told they couldn't hire me still.
"You F*cked With The Wrong Clown!"
My first job was when I was 12 for a flower shop in town. They used to hire a kid to wear a clown costume and wear a sign that said "Roses 9.99/dozen."
All the job entailed was walking back and forth along a 20 foot strip of the sidewalk and wave at cars. Paid 30 bucks per 2 hour shift with cash at the end of every shift. It was awesome. Didn't work too hard and was allowed to listen to my music while I worked. Some people were really nice and occasionally would stop and ask if they could buy me a soda or something from the convenience store beside the flower shop because it was so hot. Other people were pricks who threw things at me from their car.
Anyway, one normal Saturday morning about 15 minutes before my shift was over, my dad pulls in to the parking lot to wait for me to finish up. A couple minutes later, some kid about my own age, maybe a little older, walking down the sidewalk spits in my face as he's walking past. That pissed me off to no degree. Like throw sh*t at me, whatever, but spitting in my face was fucking gross and I had enough.
*This clown snapped. *
I ripped off my sandwich board and kick the guys legs out from under him. Jump in to my best MMA mount and start raining fists and elbows as if I'm going for the clown college bantamweight championship. He's yelling and bleeding and I just keep hammering in to him and screaming that he f*cked with the wrong clown! My dad runs up and pulls me off of him and carries me in to the flower shop.
I was promptly fired. My dad took me for ice cream because he said nobody deserves to be treated like that, I did what he would have done and it was the funniest thing he's ever seen.
Busting More Than Blocks
I was working at Blockbuster while 17 and in high school. A middle aged guy came in and instead of using the drop slot to return his movie he casually tossed it across the counter and it hit a register hard enough to pop the case open. The people working the registers, myself included, kept an eye on him because our store was a hot spot for kids to come in without adult supervision to mess things up.
He chose a few movies, and walked up to the front of my line and waited for me to help him. I got his information up on screen and let him know we couldn't rent the movies he wanted unless he paid his late fee of $6. He flew off the handle, reached over the counter and grabbed my shirt threatening to have me fired. I punched him in the face trying to protect myself and chased him out into the parking lot.
When I came back in my manager took me into the back room, let me clean myself up and told me they had a zero tolerance policy for altercations in the store and fired me. On my way out there were customers that actually shook my hand and told me they would've done the same thing. That job was s* anyways so I was glad to be gone from there.
Got Hit By A Car, Still Got Fired
Many a year ago I worked at a home improvement store called Menard's. I was a cart pusher, which was nice as I was outside all the time. Anyway we gather about 25-30 shopping carts together and push them up to the entrance where they are stored inside. Now to get them there we do have to cross the main drive of the parking lot in front of the store. We always stop and let customers drive by.
So as I push the carts up I stop because I see a guy in an pretty nice SUV. He is actually stopped in front of the entrance maybe he dropped someone off I do not know. So I'm waiting to see if he drives off and he then looks at me and waves me across, looks like he wanted to finish a call he had gotten or something. So I wave back and start pushing the carts across. I am on the other side when some clips me across the shoulder blades and it stung somewhat and pushed me forward.
And at the same time I heard glass shatter, I turn around and the guy in the SUV clipped me with his side view mirror. It had swung closed and shattered the window in the door, and I'm just standing there wide eyed. 2 seconds later the guy gets out of his car swearing up a storm at me and how I'm a low life piece of s* and how I'm going to pay for a new window and that I'm not going to get anywhere in life because I broke his window.
Now I'm the type of person that if I was the reason I'll take the blame and fix the problem. But this guy hit me, I blew up on him for about 5 minutes before a manager finally had the guts to come over and pull me away. I didn't have to pay for a new window as it was on video, but I lost my job because we are not suppose to yell and cuss at the customer.
A Cutting Exchange
I used to cut hair. I was cutting a lady's hair when the child of lady waiting started running around the shop. I told the child several times to go sit with her mother and asked her mother to please keep her child seated next to her. Well, in the middle of cutting around my client's ear, the child ran into my work area, ran into me and almost caused me to cut my client. I looked at the child and firmly said "you need to go sit down with your mother now." Well her mom didn't like that and came running back to me and yelled:
"Don't tell my child what to do, I'm her parent."
I responded with:
"Then act like it."
She glared at me, grabbed her child and stormed out. Everyone in the shop was relieved the child had left. A few days later the owner came and tried to fire me for it, but luckily there were enough other stylists and clients that came to my defense about the danger of the situation and I only got a write up.
"I Miss Working There."
I worked at a furniture store as a sales associate. One day a husband and wife come in wanting to furnish their sons apartment that's going to college. They find all of the furniture pieces they want and I go to check stock on multiple items. Everything is in except the table top on the dining room set they wanted. I go back and tell the couple.
The husband throws an absolute hissy fit saying that he can't believe that we don't keep our products stocked (keep in mind that we are a huge furniture store). I calmly explain to him that we can't possibly keep all of our product in stock at all times and since the dining room table he wanted was a very popular set, it tended to go out of stock rather quickly. So, we would have to wait for that vendor to send us the table top which was about two weeks. I even tried to show them another table top that was in stock that was very similar to the one they picked out and he would not have it.
He started telling me that I was incompetent and how dare I insult him. He starts increasing his volume and now he is full out screaming at me about 10 inches away from my face. My manager walks from around the corner and looks at me questioningly (like the "do you got this?" face) I nodded at him that I had it, but he continued to stand within earshot. I then looked back to the customer and said in a nonchalant tone:
"I'm not going to help you, in fact no one here is going to help you. Now please get out of my store."
The customer looks at me bewildered and in full rage and demands to speak with my manager. Since my manager is standing right around the corner- he had heard everything. He goes over to the customer and says, "Well, you heard the lady." and asked the customer to leave.
I miss working there.
The People's Car
Back around 1969, I saw a service advisor at a VW dealership get fired for telling an irate customer "If you can't take a joke, you shouldn't have bought a Volkswagen."
The Smartest Place On Earth
Disneyland. I worked in the ticket booths. If you're an annual pass holder, and you're on the monthly contract, Disney takes automatic payments from your credit card. If your card expires or otherwise has to be changed, and you don't call to put a new card on file, the auto-payments stop and your pass freezes. No big deal; Disney doesn't hit you with fees or penalties. You simply call or come to the booth, and we handle it right then and there -- zippety-doo-dah, and in you go.
One day, I get a middle-aged couple whose passes froze. The man was upset, and ready to talk about it. A common question from guests is "Don't you send out late notices?" No, Disney doesn't because they're not practical - and again, there are no penalties anyway. Just come see us and we'll straighten you out. The man says to me in a disgusted tone, "You don't send notices when a pass freezes? How does that work?"
I said, "Well, you receive your credit card statement, you see that a recurring charge is not present on it, and you can expect the service related to the recurring charge to be interrupted, and that it must be related to your card having been replaced recently."
The wife smiled, the man's face reddened, and he leaned in and barked, _"Get your supervisor. I want to talk to somebody smart."
_To my shame, I said, _"Of course. Would you like someone smart enough to stay aware of their credit card use, or merely smart enough to read contracts they sign?"_
My booth lead happened to come over as soon as she heard "supervisor," so she was standing behind me when I said the emotional thing. It isn't how I wanted to go out (I was five days away from leaving for a new job), but I looked at it as a vicariously cathartic mic drop goodbye to my fellow cast members.
For them, it was a thrill.
Y'all know that one Hannah Montana song? “Everybody makes mistakes! Everybody has those days!" That's the song I sing to myself every time I accidentally burn myself while making ramen. It comforts me to know, however, that there are a lot of worse mistakes out there than some spilled ramen. Who knew?
In fact, some mistakes are so astronomical that they're remembered for decades afterwards, leaving the one who made the mistake a legacy of being a dumba**. Here are a few of them!!!
Some may argue that the existence of the Universe was a mistake. I disagree. It was clearly Zayn leaving One Direction. But these next few were pretty bad too.
If you do the math, this is also the reason why Hentai exists.
I'll say the wrong turn Franz Ferdinand's driver made that went right in front of Gavrilo Princip.
EDIT: yes I'm aware war may still have broken out even if Franz Ferdinand wasn't assassinated
Imagine you're Gavrilo Princip. The assassination plot you and your friends had been cooking up for about the last year or so has been a complete and total disaster, just a monumental f*ck-up of the highest degree. You're staked out at this deli thinking maybe, just maybe the car will pass by, and by some stroke of sheer luck, it does.
If you're Princip, this is nothing short of serendipity.
Petition to return to the ocean.Ocean Surf GIFGiphy
"Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans."
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move." - Douglas Adams
This was, in fact, a monumental mistake.
Sears not beating Amazon to the punch.
Blockbuster not buying Netflix.
You thought THOSE were bad? Well gear up for their next few, because they are 100% accurate. Except the one about Cats, that movie slaps.
I don’t know sports, but sure.
Seahawks not running it.
I used to wear a Seahawks jersey whenever I took a test because I knew I would pass when I shouldn't.
CATS is great, y'all are just boring.Giphy
The Emoji Movie.
That live action movie about Cats is also up there.
Very fair point.
Humans are not wired to have that many social interactions and maintain that many relationships. Plus the echochambers it allows people to create for themselves, no matter how conspiratorial or vile their beliefs, means that stupid/evil people are no longer shunned into changing their mind.
Not sure it was worth being able to see what a celebrity had for lunch or what new "dance" your younger cousin and her tween friends are doing.
But in all seriousness, some horrible things may now have happened if the right thing was halted at the right time.
Washington called it.George Washington Disney GIF by Hamilton: An American MusicalGiphy
Voting for people based on what side of the political spectrum they're on. George Washington himself advised against political parties because he thought they would cause too much division in this country. Unfortunately for everyone, he was right.
Big oops on that one.
Barack Obama mocking Donald Trump at the Correspondents Dinner might have led directly to his 2016 run....
"Now, I know that he's taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald," Obama said. "And that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter — like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?"
Then he turned serious: "But all kidding aside, obviously, we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example — no, seriously, just recently, in an episode of 'Celebrity Apprentice' — at the steakhouse, the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around. But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn't blame Lil Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled."
This is the best Star Wars and no one can change my mind.
I'll take 'Star Wars Christmas Special' for $100.
That atrocious pile of manure gave us Boba Fett, so without the Christmas Special there won't be The Mandalorian.
Wow, in this article, I openly admitted my love for Cats AND The Star Wars Holiday Special. So maybe my existence was the biggest mistake of all.
ANYWAY, I hope you enjoyed, and I hope you all feel a little bit better about yourself. Because when push comes to shove, at least you didn't accidentally start World War I
When I was younger, it seemed every adult believed that you couldn't swim for several hours after eating. Why did they all believe this? I fought them on this all the time, by the way. I shouldn't have had to, just because I'd eaten some barbecue during a pool party. Guess what, though? That belief is unfounded.
After Redditor MelonInACat asked the online community, "What is a common myth that has been debunked that too many people believe?" people told us about the myths that are still around despite credible evidence.
"Do you know how many wellness checks..."
You must wait 24 hours before reporting a missing person.
- 24 hours from when? The time you realized they were missing? The time you estimate they went missing? The time of the initial report to police?
- Who is the legal timekeeper? If this is a law, it must have a designated timekeeper for official records. City police? County sheriff? Do I hire a private attorney to file a time-keeping motion in court?
- If the most likely time to find a missing person is the first 24 hours, why would you wait 24 hours?
- If the person dies or is severely injured because the county/state refused to initiate a search, doesn't that put some liability on their office? It seems like that would've been tested in court by now.
There's no law governing how long you have to wait before notifying the police of a missing person. It's nonsense. File a report as soon as you suspect the person is missing or in danger.
Do you know how many wellness checks officers go on in a day? Call it in, man...
CALL IT IN!
Why would you wait so long? It's absurd and wastes valuable time. And in the event something has happened, you could very well be saving someone's life.
"Popping your knuckles..."
Popping your knuckles is actually harmless and the "study" that claimed it caused arthritis was heavily flawed. Studies now show that it has nothing to do with causing arthritis.
I heard this one all the time.
I didn't crack my knuckles anyway because I didn't understand the appeal. Why were all the first-graders so fascinated by this?
"That if you get too close..."
That if you get too close to a baby bird, the mother will smell human on the baby and abandon the nest.
You probably should still avoid touching baby birds for other reasons like disease or risking injury to the animal though.
"That waking a sleepwalker..."
That waking a sleepwalker is dangerous for them. They might wake up confused, but they'll be fine unless you scream at them or something.
"That your hair and fingernails..."
That your hair and fingernails still grow after you die. It's mainly an optical illusion. Your skin decays and shrinks, causing hair and fingernails to look like they've grown.
I grew up hearing this.
There are entire generations of people who believe this.
"We all know the story."
The War of The Worlds broadcast in 1938. We all know the story: Orson Welle's broadcast War of The Worlds over the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). But people only tuned in partway through and heard the radio announcing that machines were landing in the country and were advancing and attacking. People panicked in the streets and thought aliens really were invading. There was hysteria on the streets, people were looting and traffic jams backed up as people tried to escape.
But it turns out, that isn't really true. It turns out barely anyone actually listened to the broadcast, and the few that were listening knew it was Orson Welles and knew it was just a broadcast of War of the Worlds. If there was anyone that did tune in and mishear it and panicked, it was nowhere near the hundreds and thousands that have been reported in this myth.
This one is definitely a popular urban myth by this point.
Cool story, but nowhere near as exciting as you might have heard. If anything, that mythos probably helped Welles get full artistic control of the projects, like Ciitizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, that made him a star.
"You don't have to wait..."
You don't have to wait 3 hours after eating to swim. Every summer I have to fight my in-laws about it.
"Do you really think..."
That not turning your airplane mode on (smartphone) can interfere/jam communications.
Do you really think if a smartphone might endanger a whole plane with passengers they would let it fly?
"No amount of reasoning..."
That cats kill babies.
I've run into this so many times since having kids. And it's not the older grandmas making these statements. I've had 20-year-olds tell me that you can't have cats if you plan to have babies because "they'll steal their breath" or some other variation. No amount of reasoning or rationale will dissuade them of this belief.
"Maybe it's just one of those things..."
YOUR. BLOOD. IS. NOT. BLUE! Seriously tho, I was told that everyone's blood was blue on the inside when I was younger, and I honestly don't know why my Mom thought that. Maybe it's just one of those things that you only believe because your family has been saying it since your Grandma's Grandpa's Grandma's Grandma's Grandpa or something like that.
Here's some valuable advice, guys:
Google is your friend. It's very easy to debunk this stuff. I remember being taught that the tongue had taste zones––we even had to fill out a worksheet labeling the tongue's different zones. That's totally wrong, in case you haven't figured it out.
Have some myths you've heard you'd like more people to know have already been debunked? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
As much as we're not supposed to feel satisfaction upon observing the struggles of other people, it can be hard to resist a silent, internal fist pump when some blunder occurs immediately after we tried to help the person prevent it.
It is all a result of stubbornness.
The person we're trying to help is stubborn. They think they know the best way to do something, or the exact information required for a given moment.
And, on top of that, they think we're being stubborn when we try to intervene.
So all of our attempts to help fall on deaf ears. And the results can be as calamitous as they are satisfying.
TenaciousBrit asked, "What's your 'I told you so' moment?"
Many people chose to talk about the times their friends or family ended up producing some truly entertaining physical comedy.
And the laughter was only enhanced with the knowledge that they'd just predicted the whole thing.
"Was picking beans with my sister and mom. To this day I still don't know why the fence was electric but it was. I touched it and I got zapped. It wasn't too bad but it hurt. I jumped away and my sister saw me, I said that it was an electric fence."
"Of course she just thought I was pranking her. I was trying to tell her the whole time we picked beans but she didn't believe me. Right at the end she touched the fence and she didn't see it coming at all... Her face was just like, 'Oh shi-' "
"Loved the car ride home, 'I told you... Idiot.' "
No Babies, Two Hurt Backs
"My sister and I were out sledding when we were kids at this place with a really steep hill. I had unknowingly gone down a sled path that had a jump in it, and when I landed it really hurt my back."
"So when I got back up to the top of the hill I told my sister 'don't go that way, the jump really hurts.' She called me a baby and didn't believe me that it really hurt so she decided she would go down that path on her sled."
"Well, she hit the jump and didn't get back up, turns out she fell so hard she had broken her leg. When we finally got her back up the hill and to the car, I got to tell her 'I told you so.' "
"This dumb a**hole woman wouldn't leave the llamas at our petting zoo alone, even after I warned her."
"Eventually they had enough and spit alllll over her. Green goopy spit from head to torso."
"She threw up a bunch and I laughed. Until I smelled it and then I was retching too."
Others recalled the times they trusted their instincts, only to be gaslighted by medical professionals.
But they did, eventually, get the help they needed. And the mixture of pride and frustration toward the other doctor was palpable.
"Had a weirdly dark freckle. The color of chocolate. I showed spouse and he called me a hypochondriac and if I go to a doctor, I'd be wasting their time."
"I went to the dermatologist. It was melanoma."
Years of Itchy Apples
"Since I was 14, my throat got itchy when I ate apples. I told my mom but she thought I just didn't want to eat apples and forced me to eat them."
"Went to the doctor's office and got a test for allergies."
"Turns out, I'm allergic to apples, peaches, and many other fruits."
This Was a Baby We're Talking About Here!
"My newborn baby was projectile vomiting after every feeding. I took her to the doctor several times, always ended up being sent away with suggestions to try a different formula. I tried like 4 different ones, no change."
"The 4th or 5th visit, they sent me away again with the same recommendation even though I pleaded with them to figure out what was wrong with my baby. I left the office and drove to the ER instead. She ended up having emergency surgery that day."
"The surgeon said she would have starved to death (or maybe dehydrated?) had she gone much longer without the surgery. I gave the doctors in that office a piece of my mind."
Dirt: Not Always the Answer
"Went to the doctor on and off for breathing problems to no avail. A lot of 'rub some dirt on it' mentality. Wound up in the ER as a result of an asthma attack. Kept the bracelet on and everything when I went back the next week to see him."
"Not as satisfying as I would've hoped."
And some people discussed the times they knew or predicted a piece of information, but couldn't seem to persuade someone else through dialogue or conversation.
But, of course, the truth always comes out.
Chose the Wrong Partner
"Lawyer here. Fired a partner who I found some real irregularities in their spending habits vs. what they were making after he couldn't provide a good answer to where it came from. Other partner left and started a new firm with them because they disagreed with my decision and refused to look at the evidence."
"Turns out he stole 500k of a clients money, got disbarred, and is now facing prison time. I told her to look at the evidence and she didn't listen. 🤷🏼♂️"
"Someone started talking about a bottle of Newman's Own salad dressing while at dinner with my family and I said something like 'I'm pretty sure that was started by the Actor/Race car driver Paul Newman.' to which one of my siblings replied 'No it was someone else.' "
"I grabbed the bottle and turned it around and started reading the label out loud. The first sentence was 'Paul Newman's career was acting, but his passion was auto racing.' I stopped reading after that."
He Knew Immediately
"Bed frame wasn't properly lashed down while moving, partner insisted the weight of the frame would keep it in place."
"Flew into the middle of a major intersection on a left turn. We dodged four lanes of oncoming traffic to collect the pieces."
"I fixed my partner with a look that could peel paint, and he said 'I know, I know, you told me so and you're right. I'm sorry.' "
"I still give him sh** for it every time we move something. It's funny now, but god damn was I pissed at the time."
We can draw a couple of lessons from this list.
First, know that, at the end of the day, you can only do your best to share your opinion. You need to accept that they're going to do what they're going to do.
Second, when someone tries to give you advice, maybe take a moment to listen.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
One of the most upsetting aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic––which is saying a lot, frankly––is the number of people who have been so affected by misinformation and disinformation. You know the ones to which I refer: These are the people who are convinced the virus is a hoax despite the lives it's claimed and the devastation it has wrought on society at large. Disinformation kills––there are stories of people who remained convinced that Covid-19 is a hoax even while intubated in the ICU, even up to their last breath.
After Redditor asked the online community, "Doctors of Reddit, what happened when you diagnosed a Covid-19 denier with Covid-19?" doctors and other medical professionals shared these rather unsettling stories.
"The one that sticks out in my mind..."
I'm a doctor working in acute internal medicine. I've seen lots of COVID over the last 12 months, probably 300+ cases. The one that sticks out in my mind the most was a 70-year-old lady with COPD. She refused to have a vaccine because she didn't trust it despite the fact she was eligible for one for weeks beforehand (in the UK). Subsequently caught COVID and was admitted to hospital. She repeatedly doubted this was the diagnosis. She refused to go to our COVID High Dependency Unit despite quite significant respiratory failure. Of course, she deteriorated over a number of days to the point where she was on maximal oxygen on the ward and at that point finally accepted treatment in HDU with high flow oxygen, although continued to doubt she had COVID. Died within 24 hours of her HDU admission having refused to go to ICU.
And of course, what did her family say? They were convinced she never had COVID and even went as far as accusing us of withholding life-saving treatment from her. Unfortunately, there's no treatment for stupidity.
Indeed there isn't.
A completely avoidable tragedy.
"My worst experience..."
My worst experience was when a 2-year-old kid got diagnosed with COVID. His mother had brought him with c/o fever and diarrhea. The child was severely dehydrated and so we had to do a mandatory swab test since we planned to admit him. It came positive and the mother refused to admit it. We were ready to perform a repeat test and we even advised the parents to get tested. Her defense was "The child never left the house. It's just me and the father who go to work daily. The grandmother babysits while we are away. How can he even get COVID without leaving the house." She had called her husband, he came with 10-15 relatives in a car, they broke a few chairs and then left with the baby. We just informed about the case to the COVID control centre.
"Only one patient ever accused me..."
Infectious disease doctor here. Seen about 450-500 COVID patients in the hospital since it all started. Only one patient ever accused me of using the nasal swab to give him COVID (along with a microchip). A handful have ranted nonstop about China. Everyone else has been sick enough to accept it, but lots still refuse the idea of vaccination even after being in the ICU.
"I had a lady who was maxed out..."
I had a lady who was maxed out on high flow (the next step is breathing tube) who still refused to believe she had Covid and was holding a negative test in her hand that she had taken a week prior.
The denial is so strong here.
It would be sad if it wasn't so horrifying.
"I'm an attending physician..."
I'm an attending physician at our Triage Unit. On a Friday, an older gentleman (60 + years) came in with his entire family (wife, sister, BIL, 2 nephews, and 3 children), none of them with a face mask. All had mild COVID symptoms except him, he was saturating 80% with evident shortness of breath. We insisted on doing PCR and a chest CAT scan looking for COVID but he and his wife refused, saying that COVID wasn't real and it was just a bacterial infection. The more we talked with him the more agitated he got to the point that his face was red. We suggested hospitalizing him to stabilize him and start treatment, but they accused us of exaggerating his symptoms and that we only wanted to hospitalize him so we could steal the liquid in his knees (a stupid rumor that was going around when this whole thing started).
They both cursed at us and said they were going to a better hospital to get antibiotics. Fast forward 24 hours later on Saturday, I get a call from the hospital next county over telling us that they intubated one of our patients because he went into respiratory failure when he arrived and they had to transfer him here because they don't have the appropriate equipment. We transfer the patient on Sunday only to find out on the CAT scan he had 90% of lung damage. He passed away on Monday morning.
Just before the family took the body away, I gave the widow the death certificate (that I filled out) and before walking away, she turns around and waves the certificate yelling "See! I told you it wasn't COVID! It says here: "Death due to pulmonary pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2! I knew it was a bacteria!" I told her: "SARS-CoV-2 is COVID-19, ma'am."
The lengths people are willing to go to stay in denial astound me.
Basic critical thinking appears to have gone out the window here.
I'm a family doc who mostly does outpatient.
I live in a pretty conservative area with a good proportion of COVID deniers, so I've been seeing COVID deniers since this mess became politicized (I've lost a few patients over the mask mandate).
Anyway, I'm pretty pleased to say that several of my COVID denying patients have completely turned their attitude around when they (or a close family member) contracted COVID. Even if their case wasn't severe, the sudden terror that they could wind up on a ventilator overnight really puts the fear of God into people.
Unfortunately, I still have some patients who are still pretty obnoxious despite their covid diagnosis. They mostly dig deeper into paranoia. If not about the virus itself, then about the circumstances surrounding them contracting it.
"If Fauci had done his job from the beginning, it never would've hit this town."
"It's the entire fault of Obamacare that I can't get the experimental immunoglobulin treatment!" (It's not, your eligibility for the infusion is dependent on a list of risk factors).
And, probably my favorite...
"So I have COVID and it's completely your responsibility to fix it. I need you to send Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, Vit D, Lisinopril, and azithromycin to the pharmacy..." Then they proceed to get pissed at me when I don't.
"During our peak time..."
I'm an emergency department physician in the US. I work in an area that had the highest death rate for a solid couple of weeks in the country.
During our peak time when we had national news crews here covering how we were a s***show, saw numerous people screaming their Covid disease wasn't real despite being hypoxic and on large amounts of oxygen due to Covid. That was an unpleasant time as this was still early (May/June) and it was extremely political like people apparently plotting to kidnap our state governor due to lockdowns.
Saw a lot of people refusing Covid testing who needed admission for non-covid purposes because the swabs would give them covid or put some sort of tracking device. They weren't pleased when they then had to be admitted to our full-blown Covid floors. Our Covid floors resembled a warzone because they were understaffed and relative s***hole conditions as we basically converted hallways into covid floors.
Also saw a lot of people young people who weren't exactly deniers but thought you basically couldn't sick if you were young. Lots of people with their lungs permanently scarred or at a minimum a couple of weeks of misery and/or spread it to their loved ones who got extremely ill.
"The willful cognitive dissonance..."
Physician here. The willful cognitive dissonance is real. It never ceases to amaze me how many patients will refuse assistance from me to register to get vaccinated, make claims that vaccines are harmful, but then accept my medical care on anything else that suits their whim. Patients absolutely have the autonomy to refuse care, but why would you continue to see a physician and accept their medical advice and care if you think they would simultaneously recommend something to you that would be harmful?
I've posed this question to patients who are vaccine-hesitant: "Why would you let me manage your diabetes and hypertension if you think I would harm you by recommending vaccinations?" You cannot get any kind of thoughtful response aside from, "I just don't want to be vaccinated."
"Some denier patients lived..."
RN here with most of 2020 spent in COVID land. I never had anyone refuse treatment when things got serious. I know some of the MDs I worked with got yelled at, like the rest of us...but honestly, that happens frequently anyway.
Some denier patients lived, many of which had accepted reality by the end of their stay after seeing what we all were going through to treat them.
Some died telling me I was a sheep or an idiot or a liar between gasps of air.
COVID didn't care.
This comment is strangely poetic.
Covid definitely doesn't care. The virus lays waste to people and... that's it. Good luck with your games of Russian roulette.
"People are crazy."
I work on a COVID unit and I ran into a patient like this. They'd tell me over and over again about how they weren't really sick and about how I didn't need to be gowned up in PPE. They even tried to take my face shield off. If you test positive for COVID two times then you have COVID! People are crazy.
Covid disinformation is a very serious problem and it's costing people their lives.
What can be done about it?
News literacy matters: It's important to get information from verifiable sources. Scientists and medical professionals are trustworthy. Those with backgrounds in public health know what they're talking about. Some conspiracy theory you received from your distant cousin on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger is not worth your time or consideration.
Have some of your own Covid denial stories to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.