First date horror stories are seriously some of the best cringe-reads possible, aren't they?
Yeah they are. Thing is, they predominantly come from women complaining about men. It's almost enough to make you think women don't pull crazy first date stunts.
Think again, folks!
Reddit user adrien_68 asked:
Rather than respond with hypothetical red flags, these reddit users responded by telling real-live OMG NO first date stories. These red-flag first dates absolutely prove that women are just as capable of being cringe-worthy as men are.
A girl I dated was really obsessive over her ex, but not like wanting to get back with him, no no no, good sir!
She just wanted to make sure he didn't date anyone, and would force everyone around her to help towards that. Including me. I found out from her ex (who was actually a really nice guy) that on the first date we went on, she chose a specific restaurant because she knew he had a date there, and she wanted to ruin it.
TMI Too Soon
Had a date who mentioned the fact that she only had sex one time, but she got pregnant and then had an abortion three months later. I met her all of ten minutes prior to her telling me this. Quickest I've ever got the hell out of a restaurant.
Dinner Was Lovely
I went on a first date with a young woman. Toward the end we were finishing our meal. Waiter came over and date said, pointing to me. "Dinner was lovely. He'll take the check now."
Not A Groupie
She was a fan of a well known singer. Ok.
She was member of a fan club. Well, why not.
She spent her life travelling through Europe attending each and every concert whenever possible. Uuuuhhh.
And she spent the whole evening telling me everything about this singer I never wanted to know. At least she "never was a groupie."
Anyway. Two hours later I had a couple of beers with good friends and whenever I hear this singer on radio, I have to turn it off.
Like Mexican Food, But...
We went to get Mexican. I asked why she was so rude to the waitstaff, she said she liked Mexican food but "hated illegals." I was supremely uncomfortable.
Daisy Said No
I have a small white fluffy dog. Back when I was dating, I would bring the dog along for the first date - great ice breaker, hit with the ladies etc etc. Daisy (the dog) loves people and tagging along wherever I go, so everyone was happy!
ANYWAY, on one particular occasion we arrived at the pub to meet my date, and rather than the usual wagging tail greeting, Daisy started growling at her, and did not stop until we left, by which time I was convinced my date was a serial killer, and Daisy just saved my life.
So if a dog doesn't like them.... BIG red flag.
Spit, A Suitcase and Another Man's ChildGiphy
Your well meaning coworker sets you up on a blind date with her fun friend. You agree to meet at a bar, but then her friend asks you to pick her up because she lost her license
You get to her apartment and she is arguing with a man out front. She flips him the bird before spitting in his face then gets into your car. It is at this crucial point you notice she brought a suitcase full of her things.
After you finish the drink you ordered with your meal she finishes her fifth one. The entire time you haven't said more than a few words. Not because your being indifferent, but because she always interrupts with anecdotes about her abusive childhood.
The bill comes, she slides it over to you. She informs you that she doesn't have any money and assumed you had intended to pay for the entire date.
On the way to the car she informs you that she wants to have unprotected sex. Don't worry though. She tells you that you cannot impregnate her. She is already carrying another mans child.
While taking her home she begins gesturing to her suitcase while asking to live with you a few weeks. She is broke and destitute till she begins her new job as a stripper on Monday. The man she was arguing with was letting her stay with him till she saved up enough money for her own place.
Unfortunately that man had kicked her out since she was bringing other men over to his apartment. In her opinion it was unfair. After all, she never agreed to only be sleeping with him exclusively.
Unfortunately you live in the same apartment complex. Only a couple buildings around the corner. Far enough from where you park but not so far that she doesn't follow you all the way to your front door.
She assaults you while trying to force her way into the apartment. You panic, but then hear your cellphone ring.
It's a telemarketer telling you about your vehicles expiring extended warranty. You pretend it's work, push your way outside, lock the door and hope she forgets the number scrolling across it.
She follows you to your car, asking when you will come back home. You leave her standing in the rear view mirror while you speed off into the night.
You then spend a few hours sitting in the mall parking-lot; waiting for a chance to sneak back home. While on your third cigarette to deal with the second anxiety attack; even though you previously quit smoking for over one year, you come to a grand realization:
Your coworker is kind of a b*tch.
Never Felt So Happy To Drive Away
I went to meet a woman from an online dating site and at the last minute she texted to ask if I could swing by her house which was only a few blocks away from the Starbucks we were supposed to meet at. That should have been a tip off in retrospect but we'd chatted a lot online so I felt comfortable enough. Maybe she just needed a lift or something.
Instead, I come up to her house and when she opens the door, she is wearing an ankle bracelet.
She begs me to please understand how she didn't want to mention it on the dating site and to please hear her out. I was naturally uncomfortable by this point but also curious so I sat down for a few minutes in her living room. She told me of this domestic dispute she had with her ex that had turned violent and now she was on 30 days house arrest. A very overweight teenage girl came into the room at this point, and the woman said "oh yea I also forget to mention I come with this."
Now I just wanted to get the hell out of there.
I started making excuses to leave but she kept trying to get me to stay. "Please, just one date after I am done with house arrest. The things I could learn from a man of your smarts.." I said nothing besides "I really have to go, will think about it" I just walked out the door and she followed, explaining that the bracelet had a range of several feet outside.
I got in the car without a word and just drove. I never felt so happy to drive away from a place in my life.
That poor kid. Her mom's on house arrest for a domestic dispute, kid was likely either a witness to it and knows her custodial parent is violent, then to top it off mom invites a strange dude over, and then refers to the gal as "this"? Not even a name, just "this" like a teenager is an ugly lamp or a pile of student debt. WTF.
I was on a date where she couldn't take her eyes off her phone.
Her: "I'm live streaming our date. My ex is watching."
Me: "Excuse me."
I got up, paid my half of the bill with the waitress and left. Funny thing is...a few months later, I was in a Supermarket and I saw someone facing me at a dead standstill out of the corner of my eye.
I turn to look and it's her of course, giving me the finger. I just started laughing my ass off, which made her laugh too. I said, "Have a good night." That was it.
This takes me back to the early 20s version of me and a fine lass named Rebecca. We met at a New Years party, she tall and artsy with some feather arrangement in her hair I complimented. Oooohhh midnight and a proper kiss on the cheek with the promise of a first date to start 1991.
Picked her up for said date a few days later and same hair treatment. She tells me she's obsessed with birds and always wears a feather somewhere. Uh, ok, no problem, she's still cute in full light and this just makes her quirky, right?
I was just a few yrs older and we went to a really nice Italian place near DC. She remarks how nice to be out with a "grownup" as she's finishing college and has been dating "boys". Nice! Dinner's great until dessert. The whipped cream on mine reminds her of her last boyfriend. She then tells me in great detail how she stalked him, hiding in bushes near his house to spy, f-ing with his tires and covering his entire car in whipped cream and eggs. "Isn't that just the funniest?!?"
My brother was in the army when he was set up on a blind date by a friend's girlfriend. Apparently during the first ten minutes of dinner she was talking about how she would be such a great and loyal army wife, and how she thought army wives were so brave and admirable and how she would never leave him if he was injured. He had literally just met this girl.
He stuck it out through dinner, faked sick and left. She pursued him pretty hard after, but he lied and told her he decided he wasn't really over his ex and wasn't ready for a relationship. He said about a month later she tried to text him with a booty call, and said she even tried to "sweeten the deal" by saying he didn't need to wear protection because she was on birth control. Like how many red flags can one girl have?!
The Mean Girls Test
Oh boy here we go...
Long story short, I went on a date with a chick and we were vibing really well before she turned ice cold and began acting super rude.
At that point I just wasn't enjoying it so I made up some excuse about having some stuff to do and left.
Few hours later she texts me she was disappointed that I 'gave up' so easy and she was testing how much I liked her.
Needless to say I didn't ask her on a second date. I'd rather be single/celibate than have a relationship/sex with the entire cast of Mean Girls crammed into a single person with a maturity of a high school freshman.
Steak, Fries, And A Glass Of Champagne
Had dinner with a blind date. Only saw her eyes maybe for 3 minutes before she was glued to her Instagram and Snapchat. Giggling to herself and replying to her followers. Tried to have a decent convo, but she was like "uh huh, that's cool" waitress comes, she doesn't even bother looking at the menu, "steak, fries, and a glass of champagne" then out of the blue
"How much money do you make?"
I got up, told her the date was done and left her at the restaurant. She was so glued to her phone, she just nodded. She blows up my phone a few minutes later raging that I was supposed to buy her her dinner and exclaimed she had NO money or ride to get back to her mans place.
So yeah, she was phishing for free food and drinks.
She was talking about how she went camping for a long weekend, being that she had MLK day off, but with the side note, "Ugh, I f***ing hate Martin Luther King" and then she fully admitted to not caring much for "the blacks."
When Mom Sets You Up
There was this woman 20 years ago that I met because my mom knew her mom and both thought that's a nice idea that their only offsprings could become friends. That's what the premise was "Go and become friends!" Never met her before, she knew nothing about me so... yeah, why not.
Met her at a restaurant, waiter ushered us to our table, we sat and even before the waiter was able to hand out the menus she said "I look for a man to have children with because I want children now."
The waiter had that "bro... I'm so sorry" smile on his face when he gave me the menu.
This ... "entree" was followed by a monologue of a list of guys who all failed in her eyes, because there were either from a bad family, somehow idiots, not able to have kids or had some other background she disliked and that she now has "high hopes" for me because her mom knows my mom and they told her that I am a nice and decent man.
To make one thing clear: she was WAY out of my league. She was fit as hell and just beautiful with long black hair and blue eyes while I (still) look like Shrek. We both were on the same level of intelligence, but I never studied and worked in public service while she was becoming a pharmacist. She said on the first date that she wants kids asap.
Now imagine sitting there in your mid 20s, with a goddess in front of you both intellectual and body wise, that talks for 2 hours just about herself and that she wants to marry asap and also wants kids.
She offered me to drive home to her place but also insisted on telling me that we won't have sex as long as I'm not willing to marry her. So she drove me to my home, we talked about her studies and then she became furious because a woman I know saw me in the car while standing on the crossing and smiled at me. "Why is this woman smiling at you? Do you know her? Do you know many women?"
When we arrived at my place I jumped out of the car, thanked her for bringing me home and almost ran to my door. She tried to contact me for the next 2 weeks but I kinda managed to be "not around". Learned later, she married a guy, had twins and then divorced him.
Weird Food Combos
I went on a date with a girl who ordered a steak and a cheese cake and then proceeded to eat them at the same time, like in the same bite. Look I get weird food combinations, but if you're going to make that combination on the first date there's a strong chance you have some body's under your floorboards.
This happened many years ago and requires a bit of backstory. I was at a house party where I blacked out and woke up naked in an unfamiliar room next to a girl I'd never met before. The friend I came with woke up shortly after I did and told me what happened.
The girl he'd been trying to go home with at the party with came with her friend and was unwilling to leave without her. Her friend liked me. He found me later in the evening in a stupor, hoisted me over his shoulder, and loaded me into the back of his SUV. Evidently I was what made the deal go down.
The girls got up after a while, and we talked for a bit. I was unsettled about sleeping with a woman and not remembering any of it, so I asked her to go out that evening for a date to get to know her to which she said yes.
Fast forward to around six that evening. I'm eating supper and she shows up at my house early. I let her in and say "I'll be done eating shortly and we'll head out. Make yourself comfortable in the living room in the meantime."
A few minutes later I came back into my living room and she'd made a small fire in a large ashtray with paper from my coffee table magazines. I stood there just staring at her dumbstruck while she kept stoking her little fire, not even noticing I'd entered the room. I asked her what the hell she thought she was doing, and she simply said she was bored.
I put it out, then said, "I have tv with cable you're welcome to watch. Do not start fires in my home. I'll be ready in five minutes. If you feel the need to start another fire go outside and do it in the street."
I like to think of myself as a pretty easy going guy and thought the situation was over with. She stopped burning things and I went into my bedroom to quickly change clothes to leave for our date. My phone rings about halfway through doing so and it's my neighbor from two doors down. He wearily asks me how everything's going over there, to which I said "OK, why?"
He then informed me that in the middle of the street in front of my house there's a woman that's started a fire. After talking a bit we hatched a plan. I went outside like the date was still on and nothing was wrong. My buddy came over with an 'emergency' that required my assistance. She went home and was avoided ever after.
Not Accepting It
I picked up an attractive girl for a first date years ago. We started with the small talk, but as we got a few blocks from her house she said something like "I'm feeling like kind of a b!tch tonight, so if I act like it you're just gonna have to accept it".
I didn't say a thing but spun the car around and headed back toward her house. She didn't say a thing but as I turned back onto her block she says loudly "What are you doing?"
I said (really nicely) "Oh... you said you weren't feeling well." Then I pulled up to her house and didn't even look in her direction, just kept the motor running. So she opens the door and gets out. As I drove away I heard her yell "F*ck you!" Very satisfying.
She talked about her ex the whole time during a movie. Then after the movie she took me to meet her family, and then I got to meet her ex - who was working at a gas station.
I thought she just needed to get gas, nope just wanted me to meet her ex and fight him.
He was a cool guy and called me a cab to get back to mechanics so I could get my car and go home. Thank God picked me up from the mechanics and never saw what car I drove.
Hide And SeekGiphy
This is about a girl I was really into, she was into a lot of the same stuff I was. I invited her and a couple friends out to a hibachi restaurant down the road from our uni. She started texting me in the middle of our meal about how she wanted to kill herself. That she was going to kill her ex (who was also there) and another girl who was "stealing" her spot as best girl. What does that even mean?
I told her to just breathe and think about something else. We get back to my car and we have to stop at the Walmart just down the road.
We get into the store and I'm having fun with my friends and I turn around and she's just gone. This sends everyone into panic mode. They can all tell something is wrong, even though they hadn't a clue that she had just texted me she wanted to kill herself. Not to mention several other people.
We look all over the store and I eventually find her, only for her to run off again. She said she was playing hide and seek.
When I find her again, she's in the jewelry area and threatened to kill herself if I didn't buy her a necklace as well as several other things. Cue me spending over 300 dollars on her that night as well as the money on food.
I went through all of that only to find out two weeks later that she was seeing a guy who lived in a halfway house. A guy she started seeing while she was simultaneously using me and abusing me if we're being honest.
What's on the menu? What are the specials? What's popular? What's your favorite item?Tell me everything.
Back when I was in hospitality, these are part of the litany of questions I would get from visitors to our country. It became a bit irritating. I should've made a sign with "Regular FAQs."
I didn't have a lot of answers, due to the fact that I find American food pretty run of the mill. I'm going have to be schooled on what is considered extra yummy only in the states.
Although I must admit, the shoe definitely swaps feet when I travel. Tell me everything. The rest of the world is far more compelling with their menus.
Redditor u/Well_shi__-_- wanted to discuss what menu items we all need to discuss by asking:
What common foods in your country are considered delicacies by foreigners?
The closest "delicacy" for America I can come up with is pizza. Right? But only in NYC. And bagels, but only in NYC. Maybe alligator in Florida? And oranges, but only in Florida. Were very centralized here aren't we?
Berry WayThanks Strawberry GIF by DriscollsBerryGiphy
"Goji berries. We put that stuff in our soups and many people pick that out when they drink the soup."
"(good) Olive oil."
"Kirkland California Extra Virgin Olive Oil is white label Cobram Estates, which is the California grown product of the Australian olive oil company, Boundary Bend. They have an unimpeachable reputation for quality and win many awards!"
"It was supposed to be caviar, but now it's also unaffordable for us. cries in Russian."
In the Forest
"Hmm, forest berries perhaps. I live in Finland. We have a lot of forests, so lot of berries such as blueberries and lingonberries. Everyman's Rights mean that you can just go and pick as much as you can find. It's kinda one of those things where if you live near any forested area, and are willing to spent time there come late summer, you'll probably have enough to last until next year in your freezer."
"We have so much berries that people from poorer countries (Thailand is a common one for some reason) are hired to pick them up, because doing berrypicking enough to actually profit monetarily is heavy work. And apparently the pay isn't worth it for most Finns. At the same time, forest berries are considered a superfood around the world, very healthy and trendy. Dunno about actual delicacy status, but definitely a difference in how we think about them."
The Little Lambbaby lamb GIF by The DodoGiphy
"I worked for a charity in Iraq for a year and we'd buy a dozen lamb chops for the equivalent of $5. That's like $60 to buy in the US and it's worse quality."
Ok, now that is what I call a menu. And I actually had a few of these items on my list when I heard the question. Only in Italy can you find true oil. And caviar? Guess I'm flying to Russia. Knock, knock Vlad. LOL
"Hawaii has somehow turned spam into a sought after food, especially by visitors from Japan."
"I would add mushrooms for Finland. Especially porcinis (herkkutatti), chanterelles (kantarelli) and C. tubaeformis (suppilovahvero) are incredible food mushrooms which are sought after e.g. in Italy. We can just go pick them in the forest thanks to our "jokamiehenoikeus", every man's right, which allows anyone to pick mushrooms and berries etc. on public land such as state-owned forests."
When in Mexico...
"Avocados here in Mexico, pretty common and cheap."
"Jamón Serrano, here in Spain is really common and you can find very good product for a very affordable price."
"We are going to Madrid this fall and my husband has already informed me that he plans to eat his weight in Jamón Iberico. We used to get slivers of it from a Spanish importer near our old house for crazy money."
Truth Hurtsbritish crown GIFGiphy
"Englishman here, been scrolling for sooooo long to find my country..."
"Maybe some stereotypes are true."
Spam? Just, no. And I will say, I think the English are in the same boat as the good ole US of A. Empty food treasures. I've been to London... the supermarket sandwiches were good and you can drink in the streets. I guess you make up where you can.
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Standards for dating people are definitely very varied, because we as people are varied, and we as people are flawed. Little things might get to us from the get go, causing us to be very very picky about who exactly we let through a couple rounds of dating.
Those things can be really small. Do they wear white after labor day? Are they one of those weirdos that refrigerates their red wine? Have they recently been spotted at a Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament?
"What's the pettiest reason you've rejected someone?"
The answers were as varied as the humans who gave them.
So She's Making Things Up Again
"We went bowling and she started saying the bowling ball was hurting her fingers."
"She was convinced that there were bugs inside the bowling ball biting her fingers and that was the reason for her pain."-Wacky_Sacky
Okay But Only Psychos Cut Their Spaghetti
"I have a friend who has a whole list of petty reasons she's rejected guys:"
"•He cut his spaghetti before eating it"
"•He wore brown shoes with black jeans"
"•He cut his hair too short"
"•He dropped something and said 'whoopsie'"
"•After watching her favorite movie, Ever After, for the first time he said it was 'just Okay.'"
"And then once a month she cries about how she's still single."-Johannes_Chimp
Avoidant Attachment Style
"She smelled funny. Not bad. It clearly wasn't a case of not washing or anything like that."
"She just smelled... Weird. Couldn't get over it."
"For clarification: I didn't know how to broach the whole 'I like you and you're funny and smart and sex is great but you smell weird,' so I just moved to a different country."-BeefPicklesCheddar
It really is pretty interesting to see how people deal with these petty reasons as well.
Hoppy Beer Made Him Hoppy On Out
"I was rejected because I didn't like the taste of his preferred beer."
"That was it, I wasn't asking him to stop drinking it - I just didn't personally want to drink it. We were about to order another round, he asked if I knew the one he had just had, and offered me a taste."
"I gladly accepted because I try to be open to tasting new things."
"I just said I found it a little too hoppy for my tastes and I was happy to stick with what I was drinking. I wasn't rude, I said it was nice, but a little hoppy for me."
"His face dropped, it was almost comical. He then said something along the lines that he had changed his mind and he had better get home."
"That was the end of that first date. As in he literally decided he no longer wanted another round. The date was over. He had blocked me on Facebook before I walked the 100m to the bus stop."
"Pretty sure I dodged a bullet there."-Sharkoslotho
"My ex's name was Simone. She was studying business administration and had a horse."
"We broke up after she f**ked another dude."
"I got over it, and met another girl. Her name was Simone. She was studying business administration and had a horse. Nope."-somniumx
A Taste Log Of The Day
"This dude was super sweet and had a lot of good qualities."
"He was a plumber and casually admitted to me that sometimes he will bite/clean his nails after work and taste the remnants of what he touched that day. I could not get over that and had to move on."
"Things were really going great, like he said all the right things and he was a genuinely good person with similar interests. Up until the point he said that, I was considering moving forward with the relationship."
"Also, I see nail biting as a habit that could be changed, and even practicing better hygiene (which he mostly did, except for those damn nails)."
"Once he said it, and he was serious, my views and feelings for him changed. It's just one thing that completely turned me off from him."-AdmiralPendeja
Half The Fun Of Having Cats Is Having Them Be Bratty
"My perpetually single friend has turned rejecting people into a bit of a sport."
"I'll Tinder for her, which is all sorts of amusing, but one day, I had actually met someone for lunch and thought 'here's someone that's kind of her type, I wonder if she'd be interested!'"
"I ended up pulling up his website and showing her some pictures of the guy. We get to about the sixth photo in, of two of his cats, in a treehouse. She explains 'his cats look bratty.'"
"Yeah, well, that's why you're single. Still. Six years later."-disillusioned
And the reasons people will find just to get away from people and keep themselves alone is also very interesting.
Was It Worth It?
"Went on a first date with someone that was out of my league. Couldn't believe my luck! On our way to dinner, everything was going fine and the conversation was flowing. She seemed really into me."
"Suddenly she screamed at me to stop the car. Not pull over, stop right here right now immediately in the suicide lane of a 4 lane major road."
"Just before I came to a complete stop in the middle of this busy road, she opened the passenger door and tried to jump out. If a cop saw all this it probably looked like she was escaping a kidnapping."
"She jumped out of the car and played Frogger across two lanes of traffic, and I sat there stunned with my passenger door hanging open into traffic. A few seconds later, she came running back with something under her arm."
"I couldn't see what it was in the mirror. She had a huge smile on her face and as she climbed back into the car she squealed with delight as she showed me what it was."
"A f**king hubcap. She said it was to commemorate our first date, and that we could share custody of it. I could have it first."
"That was our first and last date."-Uncle_Baconn
Elton John Would Probably Laugh At This Story
"We spent our first date browsing various record shops in Manhattan and Greenwich Village. I took him to my favorite ones. I told him what Elton John album I thought was best."
"He disagreed and was adamant I was dead wrong. He was going to a party at his brother's after and didn't believe in subways (as his dad had died in 9/11)."
"The party was 100 blocks away in Brooklyn. Decided to walk him to the party despite having mild asthma and severe post nasal drip. Once there at the door he decided it wouldn't work out because he couldn't put our differences aside."
"His last words were, 'Do you really believe Honky Chateau is his best work?' Of course I do. He had this horrified disgusted face on and said, 'Yeah, no. That's just wrong. Not gonna work out since you have poor taste.'"
"Literally got rejected over Honky Chateau, but it's okay. My FIL thinks that album is the hottest sh*t."-intothethickofitoh
Tiny Teeth Committee
"I broke things off once because of the size of her teeth."
"They were tiny compared to the size of her mouth. It shouldn't have been an issue, but it creeped me out. I don't know why, but it was one of those things that I couldn't ignore and gradually became the only thing I could see."
"Grown woman with a mouth full of baby teeth... just weird."-CarrollGrey
It is really a wonder how humans are so easily poked, prodded, and annoyed. But it is part of what makes us who we are.
We wouldn't have fun, funny, interesting stories to tell each other otherwise. We simply have to honor these little, "petty" reasons for not getting with others.
There's nothing funny about having an employee show their true colors after you've already hired them. Upon hiring, they seemed completely normal, pleasant, like they would be a good worker. Then as they get the lay of the land, they show that they actually have a different personality when the manager isn't around to see.
A Redditor wanted to know:
"Employers, what's the most insane complaint you've had about an employee that turned out to be completely true?"
These stories will shock you. The things that these people did were deceitful and, quite frankly, illegal in some cases. How the managers didn't catch them sooner is what makes it so unbelievable.
The hotel party.
"I was the head night auditor at an upscale airport property. Had a youngish night auditor who put a room into out of order status and let his friends in to party and have an orgy that he joined during his lunch break. He got caught because of a noise complaint. Police called, he was fired and blacklisted from being hired back."
"I hope he had a 1hr lunchbreak. If he joined the orgy for 15mins that's kinda disappointing for everyone."
"That is hilarious, I had almost the exact same thing happen at a property I worked at, except:"
"a) It was a tiny 30 room historical property, so it wasn't going to go unnoticed."
"b) He threw his drug fueled party in the "Queen Anne Suite," our most expensive room."
"c) He didn't even have the sense to put the room out of order or even kiiinda clean up afterward, assuming the hotel staff would just not notice or care that a room we didn't rent that night was ABSOLUTELY THRASHED."
"d) He just made keys for his friends that he handed out, and came in through the back or something, rather than just renting the room at a discount or something so it would all be kosher on the books (if you don't have 50 bucks to rent a room at the employee rate then you don't have the money for a party bud)."
"e) He did all this on MY shift rather than his own, thinking I wouldn't catch on that something was fishy on one of our TWENTY FOUR SECURITY CAMERAS."
"f) He really thought he could prevent us from catching him by coming in on my shift, acting like he left something behind on his last shift, then while I wasn't looking, STEALING THE CORDLESS MOUSE TO THE CAMERA MONITOR. IN PLAIN VIEW OF THE FRONT DESK CAMERA. He just. Palms it. Then shifts a guilty lil glance at the camera."
"Surprise surprise, we were able to roll back the security footage and catch all this on tape when we pulled the high tech maneuver of 'Plugging In A Different Mouse.' He was fired so fast. I've never worked with such a dumba** in my life. He really thought he pulled the heist of the year."
"For context, this was not a teenager. He was obviously in his 40's, receding hairline, lanky and always a lil sweaty and dodgy and socially awkward. Not 'quiet and timid' socially awkward, more like... this guy gives me bad vibes, makes inappropriate uncomfortable jokes and laughs too hard, doesn't really get professional workplace boundaries, seems like the sort who would try too hard to impress teenagers because he has a car and can buy them liquor but can't hang onto a friend his own age to save his life. My hiring manager really knew how to pick 'em."
At the bank.
"Working in a bank. Had a teller (about 19 year-old) get pissed about the way a customer (retail store owner) would send in her deposits at the drive up window. The teller complained about the customer on Facebook! Tagged the lady personally, as well as the store! Customer called the bank and told me, furious of course."
"I told the customer we would investigate, I asked the teller. She straight up admitted it, and says "What's the customer or Branch Manager going to do about it? My Grandfather is friends with the bank President." I called HR and Bank President on conference. Girl lost her job in under 15 minutes of me receiving the call from the customer. Breach of customer confidentiality in banking is a MAJOR law violation."
"I love the fact that she thought her grandfather being 'friends' with the bank President was going to do jack for herself. Even if it had been her father being friends with the president she would still be fired. Even if she had been friends with the president she would still be fired. If she was the bank president she would still be fired. The only scenario where she gets out of this untouched is if she had a time machine to slap herself before she tagged the customer."
"This is why it is important to distinguish between nepotism and networking. Networking can look like nepotism but you are actually taking advantage of the fact that you know competent people and thus don't have to play roulette with new hires. The catch is that if you give a bad recommendation it reflects poorly on you and you lose status in the network, and the new hire is not protected at all."
"Though if you break the law even nepotism won't save you most of the time."
Should have run a background check.
"Hired a guy on a trial basis. He was super polite and careful when speaking to me, but several of my female employees told me when I wasn't around he was creepy. After about 5 days, one came to me and said almost verbatim: 'I think he's a rapist.' She just a had a gut feeling about him. So I ran a background check on him... yep, he was a convicted rapist."
"For those of you saying 'This is why you run background checks BEFORE you hire...' this was almost 20 years ago when it was not standard procedure, and I was not in charge of that regardless. HR would make the decision. In this case I requested it specifically because the safety of my employees appeared to be at stake, but not one other time in my career did I feel the need to ask for one."
Subway stamp cards scheme.
"I knew a guy who worked at subway back when they gave out stamps. Basically for every six inches of sub you bought you earned a stamp and once you filled a card with 8 stamps you could get a free six inch sub."
"So this guy started only giving stamps to customers who asked for them. If they didn't ask he pocketed their stamps and grew a sizeable stack of complete stamp cards."
"Then over time he started cashing them in. When a customer paid with cash he would ring it in as a freebie, place his own completed stamp card in the till, and pocket the cash. Customer got their sub, subway's till was balanced, and he had an extra five to ten bucks in his pocket - everybody was happy."
"He worked there for a few years and word was he racked up a few thousand dollars running this scheme. No idea if anybody complained, or if he was ever caught, but he did buy a motorbike."
Innocent retail worker gone wrong.
"So I worked retail and we got this guy named something like Gus."
"My boss tells me, 'Hey this guy's got anxiety, go easy on him OK?' And so I was like, okay that's cool I get it I can relate. I do everything I can to help him make sense of the infernal godforsaken hellscape that is retail."
"It starts off with little forgivable things -- forgetting a task here, forgetting things there, accidentally giving the wrong info and things like that. You know, newbie retail stuff like that."
"He quickly devolved in popularity as his complacency grew over time and his helpful attitude shrank. My guy started messing around during his shift, getting caught on his phone while ignoring backup cashier calls and things like that. He would make stabbing motions behind the manager's back to other employees, tell off new employees, and play it all off like he was some innocent dope who didn't know any better."
"None of this got him fired. Day after day was a new complaint from an employee about responsibilities he shirked or a customer about blatantly wrong info like, 'Oh yeah we have another location up on the hill,' and we didn't. No idea whose son he was, because that was apparently all kosher."
"What ACTUALLY got him fired is the one day he brought a dog and a super expensive dog collar into work. He claimed he almost hit the dog on the way to work and it was running around wild, etc. He tried to sell the dog collar to a customer, then tried to 'adopt out' the dog to a coworker."
"This coworker was competent enough to take the dog to a vet whereupon they found a microchip and contacted the actual owners. THAT'S where the fun started."
"It came out that Gus never found the dog at all. He straight up KIDNAPPED this dog from his neighbor and tried to pawn it off, knowing full well what he was doing. The guy lawyered up immediately, tried to sue Gus and threatened to sue the store and the store manager if Gus wasn't fired."
"Suffice to say, Gus was gone the very same evening. Nothing else came of it, but we talked about him for years and years."
These stories are unbelievable but true. How some of these people didn't get arrested is beyond us!
Thank goodness there were employees who caught these people in the act.
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The magical, curated experience for paying guests is only the tip of an iceberg of hard work, dicey ethics, and a robust corporation with all the policies and economic motivations that you'd expect.
Lucky for us, some Redditors were there to see all that goes on behind the curtain.
And my goodness do they have some stories.
Redditor memezdankton asked:
"Former Disney theme park employees of Reddit, what are some dirty secrets or stories you can tell us about your time there?"
Many people were cast members: princes, princesses, people in giant, fuzzy costumes. Those smiles, plastered there for hours at a time, aren't always legitimate.
"My SIL got a the role of Cinderealla at Disneyland Paris."
"She had to practice Cinderella's autograph over and over because although different actresses play her all over the world, the signature of the character has to be identical anywhere it's signed for consistency."
"You have to be in specific height ranges to play the different characters. Because Mickey's height range is so short he's usually played by a woman. Likewise for Donald, although the most successful and best known Donald that I knew while I worked there was a little person."
"When the princess face characters come backstage they have to take off their dresses so they don't get dirty while they're on break so the princesses are usually walking around in a smock and bloomers if you see them back there. There is some serious cognitive dissonance when you walk back and see Snow White in her bloomers on her phone cursing up a storm."
"People sexually harass the characters super frequently. I was working with Ariel and cast members will always count down before they take a photo so people have time to get into position. I counted down and this teen boy decided to try to rip off one of Ariel's shells."
"I had to open his camera and expose his film so the photo didn't get developed and passed around. I found out later that I was supposed to take it to the Kodak shop to have the film developed and that one removed - but I'd always heard the rumors about ruining the film and nobody really trains you on that so I just went with it. The little a**holes deserved it."
The Show Must Go On
"Worked at Disneyland for almost 5 years. I personally haven't gone to see the 'Disney' doctor for cast members but I know friends who have an heard the doctor doesn't give a sh** about the CM's coming in for injuries."
"The time I was there, photographers and other departments weren't allowed to drink water from the water fountains because we are 'on stage.' It was a big issue the last year I worked there and some of the leads were fighting for umbrellas for photographers. It gets really brutal in Carsland where it's 5x hotter. Almost past out from the heat and dehydration."
A Very Hostile Work Environment
"I had a friend who was a gorgeous red head in her early twenties. She got cast to play Ariel at Disney World. She returned home after a few months saying that they were pressuring her into getting breast implants.
"To quote her (quoting her manager), 'There is no way Ariel has such small boobs.' "
Others discussed the employment policies that are sure to leave you scratching your head. Or calling your union rep.
What Can and Can't Be Shown
"Disneyland first interview papers include a blank outline of a person to indicate where you have tattoos."
"It's referenced if you want to change positions internally, to indicate how said tattoos could be revealed, based on what your new uniform would be."
Playing the Part
"I worked in reservations. They give you a name, that is not your own and you better use it. My name is not Robyn Leigh, but in Disney reservations, it was."
Never a Good Sign
"Disney Employees started referring to Disneyland as Mousechwitz due to working conditions."
"Management told them to stop, so they used Duckau instead"
And others shared the obscure and strange stories that only a Disney employee, with a front row seat to a massive institution, could ever know about.
A Big Loss
"During the construction of Pandora at Animal Kingdom, a very beloved superintendent passed away on the project of an immediate heart attack. Mid-sentence and while opening the door to the construction trailer, George Burke just…died."
"The project was very affected by this. His knowledge of the work that needed to be done was deep and irreplaceable. His laughter and personality was loved by all 1400 workers that were there. A couple years after he passed, we were finishing the project and found the perfect way to pay homage to George. They invited his family to the middle of an active construction site to let them view it."
"George's red hard hat, with the black Nordic Cross on top was attached to the rockwork, in the middle of the flowing river, to the left of the entrance to Flight of Passage, and plastered over. The family, friends, and a few Imagineers, were the only people there. Only we can point out where the hardhat is underneath the plaster, theming, and plants. I revisit the spot everytime I go back to Pandora. :-) Peace!"
Truckin' It Out
"Former cast member from the early 90s. There was a central 'bank' near the Magic Kingdom tunnel entrance where all the park gift shops, restaurants etc would deposit the day's cash. Each day an armored truck would drive into the tunnel to haul away the loot. i can only imagine how much cash they took outta there!"
"I worked there for 3 months 2 years ago with my gf at the time and anything news worthy that happens there (usually negative) immediately gets shot down by the official page of Disney (Twitter, insta, Facebook etc) they keep everything hush hush."
"Lighting struck a bathroom building and there was a small fire and my gf and I weren't working that day but we were there enjoying the park for free bc we're cast members and she records it and posted it on her Twitter. News media pages were commenting and asking her questions like when, how, what's being done and before she could reply the Disney page said to disregard the video bc it wasn't true and the video is edited and the media pages stopped asking after that."
"She gets called into the office the next day and was super close to losing her job. The reason she didn't was bc of how much seniority she had but she was basically on probation after that."
It's a list that'll leave your mind wandering a whole lot more if you ever do go to Disney again.
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