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It can be pretty surprising to learn what goes on behind the scenes in an industry you've never worked in. Sometimes it can ruin the magic of it a bit, and sometimes it's just eye-opening.


Reddit user u/juaninamillion asked:

"What is a dirty little (or big) secret about an industry that you have worked in, that people outside the industry really ought to know?"

It's Not Like Anyone's Got Time To Organize It

At stores that magical backroom where you can just go and pick up anything is actually a huge mess where things go missing all the time.

-Nameless_Soldier

If the system tells me I have 1 of something in stock, there's a good chance I'm giving up looking after a couple minutes because I don't believe its accurate.

-Maybe_Not_The_Pope

If Only All Towns Had Recycling Facilities

Starbucks corporate makes us have those recycling bins in the lobby to present this green image, but most of the time all of the garbage ends up going to the dump anyway because the facility doesn't have recycling.

-princesscupcake69

Everybody's Winging It

Almost everyone in the TV and film industry is winging it.

-WiggleSparks

Grip and Electric chiming in here. Can confirm. I went to school for broadcasting and film, but could have probably quit school in 8th grade with the knowledge required to go to work in my department.

-lxyz_wxyz

Meh, Too Complicated

Businesses offer rebates rather than cash discounts because they know the odds of you going to the trouble of mailing in a rebate coupon are minimal. Then they don't pay the first time, because they know the odds of you complaining about it are infinitesimal. But they usually will pay off if you complain.

-RonSwansonsOldMan

Just Make Them Stop Complaining

The official policy for customer dissatisfaction at a particular Canadian coffee franchise I worked at was, "offer them free stuff until they stop complaining."

-aronenark

Dude... Thats most customer service now a days. No one wants to spend the time or money dealing and paying a customer service rep to handle an irate customer. Just get them to shut up and keep moving so they can serve more people....

-babykittykitkit

Surprisingly Wholesome

I work with kids at a daycare and we see babies take their first steps sometimes but we never tell the parents because we don't want them to feel bad about missing it

-theraccoonrobot

My kid got potty trained at preschool.

I don't care what the hell else happened there. They potty trained my kid.

-crestonfunk

Literary Detritus 

The amount of toilet paper, random items, and bills used as bookmarks that are left in returned library books.

-RelicBookends

Use A Headset

I worked at a carwash for three years. When you're on the phone with somebody over speaker inside your car, everybody for a mile can hear what they're saying. Just wait until you're out or don't put it on speaker.

-SpacebornKiller

You're Literally Just Going To Burn It

Funeral homes are businesses, and funeral directors will absolutely take advantage of grieving people.

The most offensive to me are the cremation boxes. They're literally just big cardboard boxes, and should cost less than a hundred dollars. But they also make really expensive boxes, and directors will say things like "grandma would be more comfortable in this". No, she won't, because she's dead. Some of these boxes reach 1000 dollars, and of course are all just burned.

-Loktharion

Mobile Safety Hazards

Mobile Homes are cheaply made and mass produced by people making 9 bucks an hour and don't give a sh*t if it's up to code or safe. Hundreds of people in a factory with little supervision, and the main goal is to get as many made as possible, with little care to protocol, codes and fire stopping. I got hired as a HUD admin, ended up doing inspections so we could stop getting fined by the fire marshal and the amount of crap that is overlooked and not cared about is infuriating.

ETA: Mobile homes as in manufactured homes, single wides, double wides, etc. Anywhere from $50k up to $150k at this particular factory. It's hard for the employees to care when the plant manager doesn't. The more that roll out, the more money he makes. His idea was to roll as many out as possible, take a huge bonus, let the company eat the fines when the fire marshal caught something (they don't check every home) and if you got a house with the furnace not fire stopped, oh well.

-TheMudbloodSlytherin

So Basically It's All About Profits

Half of technical support going on in the background of major platforms is convincing the developers to care about the issue enough to fix it. Also, every platform that interacts in any way with Facebook, hates Facebook. It's so f*cking broken.

-omg__really

I work as a developer, half of my time is spent is trying to get the business to care about problems affecting customers. I know this is not true of all developers but I know it's true of many of the teams I have worked on.

We know that something is broken and unusable WAY before you do 99% of the time, but businesses (and product owners especially) just want to look at profit margins and the "next big feature" and are so uninterested in whatever the hell were whining about.

What I'm saying is, unless you call our support teams to bitch and moan about our broken code we will literally never be given the time to fix said broken code.

Also I have worked for companies that have known about system breaking bugs for years and have actively told me not to fix it because it was the "customers fault for not using it correctly". They literally charge the company every time they "use our system wrong" which makes us have to look into the reason it blew up and fix some data on the backend and re run a few things, which we have AUTOMATED. Do you know how stupid this sounds to me! Instead of fixing the actual problem we have automated the fix for when things go wrong. The customer is literally paying us A LOT OF MONEY to click a button every time they get some XML wrong.

-joro550

Pay To Not Get Paid

In academia, you create content for privately owned journals like Science and Nature, but still you have to pay them. Also scientists who review journals articles for the peer review process do it for free.

If you don't participate in this process, you can't get papers and if you don't have papers you don't get funding and subsequently starve and die.

-miss_micropipette

And subscription fees to read the journal too.

So you need (1) money to do the research, (2) money to pay journal fees for publishing your research, and (3) money to access and read the journal articles that other scientists have paid to show their work in.

Edit for clarification: for (3), the money generally comes from the institution as a subscription fee, not from the individual researchers. The issue raised was that money is still being paid to access the journal.

-bluesberryblue

Behind Closed Doors

Terrible and illegal things go on in every strip club. Owners only hire people for upper management who they have trusted for years because they all know this.

-ImportantArtist69

Ah, Queensland:

Cost of a legitimate brothel licence: $$$$, plus regulations, inspections and testing.

Cost of a stripclub licence: $, maybe the cops show up once a year.

Yeah. You can see where this goes.

-disposable-name

Or in Canada, specifically Ontario, there's no such thing as a brothel license as it's illegal, but almost every club operates as one.

-Hegemonikon138

Know Your Insurance

When renting a storage unit you do not need to get the insurance they offer. Even if they say it's "mandatory", it's illegal to force you to get insurance. Also the rent will increase yearly, forever.

-LoweredBap

Courtesy Will Save You Money

Most "subscription services" will raise their prices over time because they expect you to just suck it up. This applies to phone bills, cable packages, internet service, insurance* plans...

Call up, politely complain about the price. Skip the canned "well the price has gone up because inflation/rising costs/age/end of promotion" and continue to politely say it's too much, your budget can't handle all your outgoings and you may need to drop [service]. Either you are speaking to someone who can reduce the price, or they can put you through to a person authorized to reduce the price. Being polite is key to this though as you don't want to be stonewalled by a jaded agent or otherwise sent into a transfer loop to nowhere useful.

Unable to afford the service, found a cheaper deal with a competitor, or questioning what you're really getting for the service works wonders. Demands, declarations of long term loyalty (read: exactly the reason the company can raise the price on you), and disregard for those handling your call will serve to waste your time.

Special bonus: If at first you don't succeed, call back tomorrow. Chances are you will get a different agent who may have a different approach. There ain't a company of any great size where everyone in customer service will give exactly the same response and assistance.

-Ralcom_Meynolds

A used car is priced based on what it will sell.for but the margin is calculated by how deep they are into it. So if a car was just traded in, and they haven't detailed it or advertised it yet you can pay thousands less if you ask.

And so e car dealerships have reward systems based on numbers for the salesmen and the dealer and management so if you are there at the end of the month you can sometimes get a screaming good deal because even at 0 profit, the sale bumps them up to a big bonus.

-audaciousMe7

Can confirm, had this happen at a dealer. Timing was just dumb luck on our part but it was worth it.

-StratPlyr

Plagiarism Is Alive And Well

Other academics will steal your work for themselves and publish it under their name.

-dudenamedfella

Research assistant here - today I caught the PhD student claim a strain in our database, one that I had constructed for a paper in which we share authorship.

I not only changed his name back to mine, but told him I was doing so because I had made the strain.

This sh*t happens aaaaalllllll the time.

-chanelbeat

"Green" Companies Aren't

If a company has a green or environmental program that they advertise a lot it usually to distract from how harmful the industry is on the environment.

-beautifullybroken10

It's so obvious too! When every decent size company has a fill in the blank program and advertisement. "Here at (insert company name) we care about our community, employees, blah blah blah, and have implemented world class environmental sustainability programs blah blah blah."

Companies don't have environmental departments to save the world, they have environmental departments to navigate the politics and help keep them in compliance so they don't get fined.

-mr_bots

Everybody's Angry

I don't know that this is a secret but flight attendants and pilots don't get paid while boarding, deplaning, and delays. So when you're delayed and angry, so are we. We're not making money and still have to be there.

-boozeandarrows

I still don't get how that doesn't violate some labor law.

"You have to be here, in uniform, doing your job, and helping our paying customers but you don't get paid sheeeeeeeet until the engines are on."

-Saarlak

I worked at a game store a couple years ago, and the lowest we could give for a trade in was 10 cents. As everyone knows, when you trade a game in, you're getting way less than you paid, and way less than what it would be sold for. Well for the Nintendo Wii systems, the way the pos was set up, if someone came to trade in the system itself without and controllers or cables, they would get 10 cents. Not quite a secret, but honestly it's worth just keeping your systems and playing with them again on 5 years when you miss the game.

-Modestasamouse

I recently sold my Xbox 360 after keeping it in my closet for... Quite a while.

When I brought it into the store, the cashier told me the amount I would get from it would be the same whether or not I had the console. What they wanted was the power brick. The console itself had no value.

-lava_lampshade

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

Life is hard. It's a miracle to make it through with some semblance of sanity. We are all plagued by grief and trauma. More and more people of all backgrounds are opening up about personal trauma and its origins. Finally! For far too long we've been too silent on this topic. And with so many people unable to afford mental health care, the outcomes can be damaging.

All of our childhoods have ups and downs and memories that can play out like nightmares. We carry that, or it follows us and the first step in recovery is talking about it. So who feels strong enough to speak?

Redditor u/nthn_thms wanted to see who was willing to share about things they'd probably rather forget, by asking:

What's the most traumatizing thing you experienced as a child?
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Image by klimkin from Pixabay

Being single can be fun. In fact, in this time of COVID, being single can save lives. But the heart is a fickle creature.

And being alone can really suck in times of turmoil. None of us are perfect and it feels like that's all anyone is looking for... perfect.

Now that doesn't mean that all of us are making it difficult to partner up. Sure, some people are too picky and mean-spirited, but some of the rest of us are crazy and too much to handle. So one has to be sure.

The truth is, being single is confusing, no matter how much we try to match. So let's try to understand...

Redditor u/Mcxyn wanted to discuss some truths about love and our own issues, by asking:

Why are you single?
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Tiard Schulz/Unsplash

Whether you're an at home parent, a college student just leaving the nest, or a Food Network junkie, there are a few basic tips that everyone should know.

Chef's gave us some of their top tips for amateurs and beginner at home cooks that will really make a difference. They are trained professionals with years of experience in the kitchen, so they definitely know what we're all missing.

If you're looking to improve some of your cooking skills and techniques, but you're still learning how to boil water correctly, this list is for you.

Redditor BigBadWolf44 wanted in on the secrets and asked:

"Chefs of Reddit, what's one rule of cooking amateurs need to know?"

Let's learn from the masters!


What a common mistake!

"A lot of the time when people add salt to a dish because they think it tastes flat, what it really needs is an acid like lemon juice or vinegar."

- Vexvertigo

"Instructions unclear I drugged my dinner party guests and now they're high on acid."

- itsyoboi_human

"Yes! Or tomatoes. They're pretty acidic too and go with so many things. Our dinners are so much better once the garden tomatoes are ripe. Or if a dish is too acidic, oil/butter or a little sugar can help add balance to it."

- darkhorse85

"Like tomato and eggs. Every Chinese mom makes those slightly differently and I haven't had a tomato egg dish I didn't like yet."

- random314

"There's a book called 'Salt Fat Acid Heat' that comes highly recommended to amateur cooks."

- Osolemia

"Reading even just the first chapter about salt made a lot of food I cooked immediately better, because I finally understood salt wasn't just that thing that sat on the dinner table that you applied after the meal was cooked."

- VaultBoy42

"Salt is important for sweets. A batch of cookies without that little hint of salt doesn't taste quite right."

- Osolemia

Unfortunately, this tip might not be accessible to everyone. Many people who contracted COVID can no longer use their sense of smell the way they used to.

"Have a friend that lost his smell from COVID, and now he only recognizes if food is salty, sweet, sour or bitter."

- AlphaLaufert99

"Just wait until he gets his sense of smell back and a ton of foods smell like ammonia or literal garbage now. Yeah, that's fun... It's been 7 months for f*cks sake just let me enjoy peanut butter again!!!!!!!!!"

- MirzaAbdullahKhan

You can't take back what you've already put in.

"You can always add, but you cannot take away."

- El_Duende666

"I find people's problems usually are they're too scared to add rather than they add too much."

- FreeReflection25

"I see you also grew up white in the mid-west."

- Snatch_Pastry

Safety first!

"Not really a cooking tip, but a law of the kitchen: A falling knife has no handle."

- wooddog

"I'm always so proud of my reflexes for not kicking in when I fumble a knife."

"If I drop anything else, my stupid hands are all over themselves trying to catch it (and often failing). But with a knife the hardwired automatic reaction is jump back immediately. Fingers out of the way, feet out of the way, everything out of the way. Good lookin out, cerebellum!"

- sonyka

"Speaking of KICKING in. On first full time cooking job I had a knife spin and fall off the counter. My (stupid) reflex was to put my foot under it like a damn hacky sack to keep it from hitting the ground. Went through the shoe, somehow between my toes, into the sole somehow without cutting me. Lessons learned: (1) let it fall; (2) never set a knife down close to the edge or with the handle sticking out; (3) hacky sack is not nearly as cool as it could be."

- AdjNounNumbers

"Similarly, NEVER put out a grease or oil fire with water. Smother with a lid or dump baking soda in there (do not use flour, as it can combust in the air making things worse)."

- Metallic_Substance

How else will you know it tastes good?

"Taste the food."

- OAKRAIDER64

"Also don't be afraid to poke and prod at it. I feel like people think the process is sacred and you can't shape/flip/feel/touch things while you cook them. The more you are hands on, the more control you have."

"No, this does not include situations where you are trying to sear something. Ever try flipping a chicken thigh early? That's how you rip a chunk out of it and leave it glued to the pan until it's burnt."

- Kryzm

Here's one just for laughs.

"When you grab a pair of tongs, click them a few times to make sure they are tongs."

- Kolshdaddy

"People really overlook this one. You've gotta tong the tongs a minimum of 3 times to make sure they tong, or else it can ruin the whole dish."

- BigTimeBobbyB

If you're looking to get into cooking or to improve you technique, pay attention to these few tips.

Salt generously, add an acid to brighten things up, and don't forget to taste your food!

If all else fails, you can always order take out.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Victoria_Borodinova/Pixaba

As part of the learning process, children often do embarrassing things before they learn a little more about the world and all the different implications therein. While the inappropriate moment is usually minor and ends in laugher some instances are truly mortifying.

One such instance involved a little sister who was around 6 at the time. It was the 90s and at the height of the youth-focused PSAs (think the frying egg representing your brain). One type was a safety PSA about stranger danger. The speaker would remind the children that if a stranger tried to take you anywhere to yell “Stop, you're not my mommy/daddy" to raise the alarm.

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