One time, my freshman year of high school, I really wanted to be 1996 cool, so I wore a floor length skirt and heels to school. Except I had never work either before and I'm not even 5 feet tall (so I was maybe 4'7" for this) so "floor length" skirt on me means floor length ... and then some.
I managed to get myself tangled, fall down a ramp, and cause the domino-style collapse of about 40 other kids.
I will have you know no amount of praying will cause the earth to open up and swallow you whole, body and soul, thus erasing your existence from the fabric of the universe. 9th grade me tried. Really, really hard.
So anyway Reddit wants to share some of their great moments in cringe, too. And I'm going to let them. Cause there's no way I'm taking this tumble by myself. I didn't in high school, certainly not about to start now.
Buckle up, homies. Away we go.
Doing a practice for a play in front of a small crowd of like maybe 35 - 50 people when I pooped my pants. Middle of my lines a felt the wetness and had to run off stage. I kept my self locked in a room the rest of the day.
Went in for an interview for a banquet server position. I had no server experience, but I was imagining standing on the other side of a buffet line scooping food onto people's plates.
First thing this woman asks me to do is carry a tray full of dishes to the other side of the room. I have never done this, at all. But how hard could it be?
So in all my genius, I bend over the top of the tray, grab the sides (including the tray stand underneath) and shuffle to the other side of the room. Technically I did what she asked, but apparently she wanted someone with "experience".
I was raised Mormon, and they have these temples where you can go do rituals as a proxy for dead people so they can go to heaven (yes, its as weird as it sounds lol). The one teens do involves being baptized for someone who never was, and the Mormons do baptism by immersion (ie, they don't sprinkle water on your head, you're dunked, completely submerged, into a pool of water). You do this while wearing special all-white clothes the temple itself usually provides, including the underwear (which are the same as those weird white underwear garments you may have seen online in those "magic Mormon underwear" memes).
I got my first-ever period while in those white clothes, IN the baptismal font, age 12. 😐
Once got my period in the middle of a scene in a junior school play. I was 12/13.
A Little Too Excited
I was 19, working at a small, tightknit smoothie place. We got a new guy, he seemed nice. Not long after he started, he started talking about how his roommate was going to start there soon as well. The first time they worked together, I looked at them and thought, "Oh they are so dating."
They didn't really interact with each other that I noticed, barely even looked at each other. Not long later, I'm working with guy #1, we get to talking about dating and he reveals that him and his roommate are actually partners. I literally started jumping up and down, practically screeching:
"I knew it I knew it I knew it!"
🤮 I remember this every once in a while and hate myself all over again 🙃
I was interested in a guy but didn't know how to start a conversation with him. We were standing next to each other while preparing food for a barbecue and I just thought it was a good idea to start a conversation with "I like the feeling of touching raw meat"
I guess he thought I was the weirdest person ever because after getting out of that situation he never really talked to me again. Don't worry tho, I'm over it.
Groping A Penguin
I was walking into an expensive hotel with a friend and I tripped going up the stairs. As I was stumbling, I reached for the handrail. I didn't notice there was someone standing against the railing until I grabbed his ass instead of the handrail.
He turned around and said "Sorry, guess my ass was in the way."
I couldn't look him in the face as I apologized profusely, but noticed he was a really tall guy (I am only 5'0" tall). While checking into the hotel my friend and I noticed there were lots of big guys walking around and commented on it.
Someone then told us that the Pittsburgh Penguins were staying at the hotel that night, and we realized I had groped a professional hockey player. I have no idea which player I groped as I was too humiliated to really look at him as I apologized.
A Real Puzzler
When I was 16 I got set up with a family friend's daughter. We started dating in a long distance relationship. After a month or so it was school holidays and I went up to visit her. I didn't have alot of money but I wanted to buy her a gift. A settled on a beautiful jig saw puzzle.
She wasn't too happy about the gift. Because she was blind. Yes I bought my blind girlfriend a jigsaw puzzle. In the moment it seemed very appropriate because I thought each piece was unique, right? She can feel the pieces right??
Pure effing cringe. Still haunts me.
One time in like 5th or 6th grade, I was at my friends house playing hide and go seek "ghost" version. Basically it's hide and go seek with all of the lights off so it is dark.
Everyone who was anyone in our tiny town was there. We were the "cool" group. So, I was hiding right behind an open bedroom door. When the "seeker" came into the room I, obviously, couldn't see her. However, I knew she was there and then thought she left the room. So I had the bright idea to slam the door shut by kicking it with all of my awkward-middle-schooler strength. Lo and behold she was still standing in the doorway, super quietly.
That door damn near broke her nose when it hit her with the speed of light. Now, she was always a bit dramatic, but she absolutely LOST it. She yelled and claimed I did it on purpose. I felt absolutely horrible and started sympathy crying instantly. I apologized over and over. Then, she had the AUDACITY to tell everyone I was trying to be the center of attention while apologizing and making sure she was okay by getting ice for her nose and what not.
This is the most cringe worthy experience of my life as I obviously couldn't get mad at her for being mean and making everyone hate me since I had just turned her into a short nosed pug puppy on accident in front of all of our friends.
Oh man. Some context, my best friend growing up was black. We were inseparable, we wanted to make video games together when we grew up, all that.
Well, he went with me and my mom to the store. As we were driving, a man nearly ran into her car, and she shouted:
It got quiet in the car, so she turned and said to my best friend in the back "You're not the ni**er I was talking to," as a way to apologize.
I was young, but even then I knew something awful had happened. It completely changed how I looked at my mom and how my best friend looked at my family. We stayed friends, kinda, but I had to hang out at his house since he stopped coming to mine.
Couldn't blame him. Super-cringy, life-changing.
The time my internet access was shot over a weekend, so I went to work as usual on Monday, and stayed and worked all day; and then when I got home my internet was back and I found out I'd been fired via e-mail the week before .
Small, very high-profile business. This was a very small firm. The owner was famous within the field; think of a celebrity with a staff of 7 people. No HR, no manager, just a small group of people glad to work there. I was there as a freelancer. Everyone was acting weird all day.
I soft-broil myself to sleep in this memory.
50 Yard Dash
Late response but I will remember this until I die. If I ever get dementia this will be the one memory I keep.
So I was on the swim team when I was about 11 or 12 and I had my first swim competition and it was finally my turn and I was super excited. Well the announcer said it was a 50 yard dash and I thought that meant two laps not one. Well when I finally finished the two laps I was still super proud of myself until I realized the entire room was now silent.
Oblivious To The Fart
Farted in class during a test back in middle school. Everybody knew it was me but I was too awkward to confirm or deny it so I just acted oblivious. That fart must've been pretty awful because a bunch of classmates around me covered their noses with their shirts and the teacher cracked open a window. Just the complete awkward silence that followed the fart and the feeling of everybody staring at me in disgust still makes me shudder with cringe whenever I think about it.
High School MusicalGiphy
For non uniform day in my last year of primary school I wore a red and grey striped zip up hoodie, a red corduroy skirt and underneath that blue jeans. I though I looked like hot shit, I had never looked so cool in my entire life until that day.
Then a boy in my class said I looked like someone from High School Musical and I started crying and then the teacher had to give a big impassioned speech about how we all have the right to wear whatever we want and nobody should tease each other because of their appearance. The whole time everyone was looking at me because I was still crying while this was going on.
I had done such a good job of burying that memory!
Kate Todd's Lap
I'm a Canadian and we had this show in the 2000's called Radio Free Roscoe. I was obsessed with this show! I watched it religiously on the Family Channel. My aunt had a friend who was a makeup artist for the show and so she managed to get us on set to meet the cast and visit all the different places. My 11 year old self was ecstatic! It was the most incredible thing to happen to me. My brother and make cousin went with us
We get to the set and it's amazing and everything I had hoped it would be. We got to see them film a scene and see all the behind the scenes stuff, it was incredible. We went to do the meet and greet with the cast and I was so nervous but excited. I'm an awkward girl and super oblivious especially when I'm nervous.
Kate Todd (the female co-star) was being super sweet with me because I was the only girl in our group. She called me over to sit with her for the photos and used her hand to pat the seat beside her.
Being oblivious I missed the seat pat and went and sat directly on her lap. I'm 27 years old now and I still remember her saying "Oh! Um, Okay" in a super surprised voice. I was mortified that I just sat on her damn lap like a baby instead of beside her like she intended. I honestly couldn't look anyone in the eyes again after that. I still cringe to this day thinking about sitting on her damn lap. She was super sweet about it but I knew I had fucked up.
So when I was 8 or so, some of my parents' friends came over, and they brought their son, who was a few years older than me. I used to really idolize that kid for some reason...he just seemed cool and was always friendly toward me. So this particular day I happened to be lounging around in my pajamas watching television and I hadn't expected company. I don't know why, because wearing pajamas (especially as an 8-year-old boy) is not that big of a thing, but I was absolutely mortified when the kid came into the room to say hi.
So I ended up running to the closet nearby and shutting the door. This was right in front of the kid. My parents couldn't get me out. The kid came up and through the door was like, "that's totally fine, bud, there's nothing for you to be embarrassed about, come out and play. If you want you can go change first."
But I wasn't having any of it. I was by this point more embarrassed about my reaction than being "caught" in pajamas, so I couldn't bring myself to come out until the kid and his parents left like two hours later.
The Ultimate Cringe
In 9th grade, I wrote a radio DJ a really nasty email because he didn't like Limp Bizkit.
Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or "" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk to him about it.
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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