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.


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.


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.


Everybody's Winging It

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


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.


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.


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."


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....


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


My kid got potty trained at preschool.

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


Literary Detritus 

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


Plagiarism Is Alive And Well

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


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.


"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.


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.


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.


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."


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.


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.


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