In a perfect world, we would all know exactly when we needed to nope the F out, and we'd all never need to use that knowledge because everyone would be rational and everywhere would be safe.
That is ten million percent NOT the world we live in. At all. Not even close.
Which is how we end up with Reddit threads like this one:
Be careful out there folks. People are out in these streets pooping, waving shot guns and maybe trying to kill you. So if your gut, your friends, or your friendly neighborhood police officer tell you to leave ... yeah ... maybe heed the message.
My old apartment had an outdoor swimming pool for residents. We were swimming in it one day with my 1 year old son and another family was also there swimming. They had three kids swimming while the mom and her sister were off to the side chatting on the patio. Their kids were probably 3, 5 and 7. I was swimming with my son when I saw my husband's eyes bug out of his head and said, "Let's go NOW!"
While I'm gathering our stuff, he whispers that he just saw the 3 year old poop diarrhea out of their swimsuit into the water. As we're packing up, we then notice the mom notice the kid has shit in her bathing suit. She has the kid take off her bottom bathing suit, put on some underwear and LET HER AND THE REST OF THE KIDS KEEP SWIMMING IN THE POOL!!!
I was so horrified but I also am not good with confrontations. We went back to our apt and called the apt manager who then had to go down to the pool and close up the pool for cleaning which takes 24 hours if it's liquid poop. We lost a little faith in humanity that day.
Back in like, 2007 me and my buddy were in high school and I had just gotten my drivers license. Get tickets to go see a show in Camden, we're from philly burbs. This is also my first time over in jersey without an adult. With my last $5 I buy a T-shirt from a guy outside the show (masters of metal tour, heaven and hell, Judas Priest, testament, and Motörhead. It was sick for high school me).
We go to drive over the bridge and they're like, there's a toll, pull off and go to the 7/11 around the corner, there's an atm. Ok sure. Do that and pull up to the 7/11 and it straight up looks like there's about to be a gang fight. Me and my scrawny friend are in a 1990 Ford Bronco btw. Put it in reverse as soon as we see what's going on.
We found a cop, explained the situation, he called us idiots and told us a way to sneak over the bridge. Fun night.
Had a knock on my door; opened it to find some salesmen trying to get people to sign up for ATT high speed internet. Half humored them since I wasn't thrilled about my internet, but during the conversation one let it slip that they knew where I worked. Tried to play it off as "well we provide service to such-and-such air force base, so we probably got your information from there," but that base has some 30k people and highly unlikely there is some comprehensive list.
He started asking questions about my employment, which was pretty sensitive at the time, and the conversation was getting uncomfortable.They hadn't provided IDs at this point, so I asked and they provided some faded, hardly legible copies and then asked to come inside.
Pretty promptly shut down the conversation and told them to leave. Talked to neighbors later and no one else had them visit. Not sure what they were after.
I was 14.
I was once selling newspapers door to door. Came up to this long apartment complex and before I could step off the sidewalk a guy hung out his top floor window, cocked a shotgun at me and screamed to get off his properly. I ran.
This was years ago. My older cousin (17 at the time) took my little brother (5) and sister (7) and me (9) out in a big city we live near and we were standing at this bus stop that was at a small square grass park, probably about 200 feet across. It was January and the park was surrounded by short bushes that still had Christmas lights on them. My brother and I began to wander, and my brother wandered a bit further than me, following a string of lights. A few minutes later I get this weird feeling and my head shoots up and about 30 feet away is my brother speaking with this old, dirty man. I saw the man reach his hand towards my brother and I heard him say "if you like Christmas lights, I have some really nice ones over here you'd love!" My brother grabbed his hand and they both started to walk away, but I caught up before they could turn the corner and snatched my brother back. The man immediately turned around and hurried away without a word, and I was too young and scared and confused to confront him.
I never told anyone about it until years later for some reason but I was so overwhelmed with the thought that I had just experienced one of those moments that could have completely altered my life in a matter of seconds. If I had looked up 5 seconds later, they would have turned the corner and disappeared into the city without a trace.
A Little Messy
I met a guy off tinder at night, we walked around the park near his house and he suggested we go back inside to play Mario Kart. He warned me that his place was a little messy and I said okay not a problem. I go inside and am absolutely SHOCKED.
He's a hoarder and lives with his parents. The entire apartment smelled like cat piss. Poor cat. I was panicking on the inside cause I have asthma and ! am a clean freak but I didn't want to make him feel bad. It was absolutely horrible and disgusting and so hard to breathe. I was getting some super creepy vibes from him too and I went to the bathroom and texted my friend to call me in 5 min for a level 10 emergency.
She called and was crying hysterically on the phone and I quickly got up and left.
I was a relatively new driver at the time. My little brother and I were driving through Kansas City on a road trip, and took a wrong turn. Got into a pretty seedy part of town and stopped to ask directions (this was way back before Google maps or GPS) from two police officers walking into a store.
They looked at me and then each other and said "Miss, you need to get back in your car. Now." Gave me good directions to get out, though.
A few years ago a man stabbed his brother, got in a car, drove to the city (where I was living) did some donuts in the middle of a busy intersection (right outside my window at the time) and then drove said car down a popular street with many shoppers on it and killed as many as he could. Donut marks were visible from my window for ages.
A couple months ago I was waiting at a different busy intersection in the city and a car started to do donuts in the middle of it. My immediate response was to just bolt and I ran into the nearest store. I didn't even think about it my brain just immediately assumed his next step was to use the car as a weapon. Eventually he drove off but my heart was beating very fast. Not that interesting but yeah
Nursing Home People
My elderly neighbor stopped by one day and asked to borrow my phone as his had broken. When I asked if he was ok, he stated that there were some people from the nursing home in his house that shouldn't have been there. We talked to the police, and he went home.
The police called me back with more information, so I went to my neighbor's house and started asking questions. He invited me in to talk to one of the people in question....but there wasn't anyone there.
Turns out, he was hard-core hallucinating. I noped out of there before calling the police back and asking for a wellness check. They took him away in an ambulance, and I never heard what happened after.
Was one of the scariest moments of my life, though!
I met Peter at work. He was funny and nice to me, even though I shouldn't have shrugged off the red flags. For instance, he's the first flat Earther I've met in real life. He's not dumb like I thought they all were, I thought he was just weird. I later realized it's because he has serious untreated mental issues. Probably schizophrenia.
Anyway, we got along pretty well and he told me he wouldn't come back to work on Monday, he was gonna quit. He asked me if I wanted to go smoke weed with him on Saturday in a big park downtown and I agreed. He told me before that he was pretty lonely, so I agreed partially because I felt bad for him.
A little backstory to understand how much I messed up by meeting him: he told me that he sometimes picture himself destroying someone's head with a baseball bat. I thought we all get those kind of images sometimes and I didn't think much of that. He also told me that when he saw a co-worker of ours bending over, he pictured himself assaulting her. Not You don't need to tell me I was dumb to shrug that off, I already know that. It did raise a red flag, but I chose to ignore it.
So it's Saturday evening and I'm hanging out with him at the park. He told me he was in love with me and he thought I knew it. I didn't. I wouldn't have agreed to meet him if I did. He told me I could kiss him if I wanted, I awkwardly responded that I don't wanna do that. He seemed disappointed, but he took it well.
Then, the flat-Earth thing came up. I asked him what anyone would gain about hiding the fact that it's flat. I don't remember what he responded, I just remember that he was speaking really fast and moving his arms very fast too, he was just saying non-sense like the father creators are hidden in a dome under the Earth. At that moment, it's like I left my body and I was seeing myself, a girl sitting on a bench talking to a clearly mentally ill person. Like, completely out of his mind. It's like an alarm went on in my head, it's hard to describe it. I guess it's survival instinct. All I could think about was "You need to get the hell out of there NOW".
I told him that I wasn't feeling well and that I wanted to go home. He said "Already? But we just got here! Stay a bit for me!" And I insisted that I needed to leave. He got angrier and angrier, then I got up and started walking out of the park and he was following me, still trying to convince me to not leave.
He knew the area pretty well and I didn't. I looked on my phone to get the direction to the nearest subway station, then he told me "You don't need that, I know the way. Follow me, we'll cut through by this alley." Something told me to look at my GPS anyway. It wasn't the right direction at all. I told him that no, it's the opposite way. What he responded confirmed my fear:
"Oh, you wanted the fastest way?"
Yeah, no sht I wanted the fastest, most logical way. Also you wanna "cut" through an alley, but at the same time you want to make a detour? I'm still convinced to this day that he was trying to lure me in this alley to assault me, maybe murder me afterwards.
I was walking at a faster pace and he kept following me. At some point, he started crying and he tried to guilt-trip me by saying he shouldn't try to make new friends anymore. I didn't care about his tears, I knew what he tried to do to me. A miracle happened at that moment, I walked pass a bus stop and there was one coming! I wasn't even sure where it was leading to, but I jumped on it anyway. While I was climbing the bus' stairs and paying my ticket, he was calling me a whore and so on, I thought he was gonna get on the bus with me but fortunately he didn't.
I got home safe and I'm so thankful for that. I'll never ignore the red flags again.
A Crying Woman
I was walking along with my friends at around 6-7 (it was totally dark cause December) and this crying woman approached my friend, begging for help. I don't know what is it with my friend A, maybe she looks friendly or naive, but all strangers/weirdos approach her.
Immediately, A agrees, and the rest of them too, but I'm suspicious. The woman goes "come with me come with me I need help there's someone after me" and I stop her and suggest we should go into some building, or call the police, but she immediately balks and insists we must come with her.
I had to physically drag my friends away from her who still wanted to go back. This is a common trafficker ruse, especially against young women/teenagers, to get them into dark and secluded spaces
When my brother and I were 14 and 12, we were at the park not too far from my house playing on the swings and whatnot, this kid (8-9 maybe?) comes over and joins us, which we were fine with
A couple minutes into playing he says to us "do you wanna come into my daddy's car" we say no, he asks again, we say no, the kid says that he's gonna "get his daddy and that his daddy is gonna take us home so we can play some more"
The kid runs off to get his dad, my brother looks at me and says "we're leaving, right now" and grabs my wrist and takes us home
After that, we had my older siblings come along with us to the park.
Get To The Train
I was young, and me and my brother were downtown. I noticed there was a big dude who'd been following us for the past 10 minutes (And I mean he was blending into the crowd, but seemed to not be going anywhere but where we were.) Said we needed to get into the train and leave, I was tired. We managed to get away, but I saw the guy standing on the platform.
A week later the man was on the news: Serial child rapist.
I was 19, 5 months pregnant. it was like 12 or 1 AM. I had a really bad craving for an apple so I left to go walk to the store which was a 6-7 minute walk. I asked my boyfriend to go with me but he refused.
I got to the store and it was pretty empty. I saw one guy in the produce section. He had a hat on and kind of pulled it down over his face a little bit when he saw me. He also was talking on the phone the whole time but started talking quieter when I got close. He had a cart and every once in a while he'd put something in it.
The entire time I was deciding what kind of apple to get, he kept looking at me every few seconds. Then I went to a different aisle to get something and he'd show up a few seconds later. I thought he just happened to need in the same aisle as me for the first few times that happened but then I started to think he was following me because everywhere I went, he happened to be in not long after I went there.
I started going down random aisles to see if he'd follow and sure enough, about thirty seconds after I came in the aisle, he'd come in from the other end. I went to the checkout and started scanning things. You know how right before you get to the checkout there's candy there? He stopped in front of that and was staring like he was trying to decide what to get but the whole time I could feel him staring at me.
When I paid for my things, I started heading for the doors and noticed that he had turned his cart around and was heading the same direction as me but still in the main aisle. When I walked out the door, I turned around one last time and I saw him ditch his cart full of stuff and start walking faster to the door. I started running when I got outside and saw him get into a car.
This store was connected to other stores and there were sort of pillar things connecting the walkway in front of the store to the roof. I saw his car come closer so I moved behind the pillars so he couldn't see me. I saw him go to the stop sign, wait a few minutes, and turn left. As soon as I couldn't see him anymore, I took off running as fast as I could, which was hard since I was pregnant. I didn't stop running the whole way back and never saw him again. he really freaked me out and I yelled at my boyfriend for not going with me when I got home.
You ever entered a Shrike's pantry? Small animals skewered onto thorns as far as the eye can see. A glare from those seemingly cute birds has a sinister undertone.
Hang In There
Me and a friend were walking around some stores near a beach at night. We were walking along and had a good time. Were were walking my friend leans in and whispers "There's a guy following us." I immediately want to look behind but stopped.
We crossed the street and he followed us we went back to some of the stores we were in before and he followed us we eventually went into an arcade and just went into the back and stayed for a while. We called someone to pick us up and were about to leave but were stopped.
This old lady came up to us and started speaking to me and my friend about some very personal things going on in our lives and told us to "hang in there" while giving us both each $20. Our pick up got there right after this and as soon as we saw it we bolted towards it.
I have no clue if those were just a coincidence or not but either way it creeped us out and we never went back there again.
When I used to work at panda express, we had a guy come in and just stand at the back of the line for a good 5 minutes, letting other people go ahead of him. One of the girls who works the front counter, as well as myself, noticed that he was intensely staring at me, and turning his eyes and head to follow me wherever I moved too. It took a minute to register who he was, and when my co-worker commented on how he was staring at me like he wanted to fight me, I made mention to her that i recognize him, and he's my then girlfriend's ex-husband. I had been told that he wasn't the most stable person, and that he had a serious temper. He was also a good 6 inches taller than me, and probably a good 30-40 pounds heavier.
I'm not a coward, but I am disabled (I have gout in my arm, nerve and tendon damage in my right hand, a knee with very little cartilage in it, as well as a partially amputated foot. not really in any position to be fighting anyone), and no one wants to get their ass kicked, so I nope'd out of there to the back of the restaurant, and played it off like I had something to do back there(co-worker played along a bit. The store isn't very big, so it's easy to hear people in the kitchen speaking to each other at normal volume). I sat back there until I was given the all clear.
That night when I saw my girlfriend, I told her what happened. She told me she had told him about me, and where I worked. She then revealed to me that she wasn't divorced, and was in fact still married to him, and told him that she and I were sleeping together.
In the end, despite unknowingly being used to end a marriage, I felt like sht, and eventually messaged the guy on Facebook to apologize for what occurred. He told me I should get tested, because he'd suspected her of cheating on him for a while with several other guys.
We were exploring an abandoned mental asylum that had been overgrown, suffered from squatters over time, and was tucked away where most people wouldn't know exists (this is in western Maryland). After stumbling across some creepy sht, we see a man in the doorway of a building off to the side, and we still somehow didn't say "we need to leave now" just yet.
We advanced to another building and as we are crossing through the doorway, we see a cop car at the corner. Their lights go on and we book it out of there. Someone fell while doing the typical horror film 'look back while running away on uneven terrain' thing and I ended up having to carry them while we ran away (no man - or in this case woman - left behind!) and they ended up on crutches.
Needless to say this was my last time UrbExing.
College Professors Share Their Funniest 'I Don't Know How You Made It Out Of High School' Experiences
Now that college has become a standard requirement for so many jobs and careers, there is a massive push by high schools to get their graduating students accepted and enrolled at an undergraduate college.
On the whole, that's undoubtedly a great thing. A more educated workforce will be prepared to solve the most complex issues facing human beings in the next several decades.
Dates on Dates on Dates<p>"As a college freshman, I took Advanced English with a student who didn't know how to write a research paper or even possibly read (I don't know). When I realized she didn't know how to research, I gave her my sources and showed her how to navigate them."</p><p>"The next class when we were supposed to edit each other's rough drafts. I handed her my paper to edit, she gave it back to me after 10 seconds without reading it and said it was good."</p><p>"She then handed me her 'paper' and it was just a list of random dates."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gptxevt?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">JustEnoughDarkToSee</a></p>
The Be All End All<p>"Not a college professor, but I worked in my university's writing center for a while."</p><p>"I had a girl come in with a research paper bibliography that listed 'my mom' as a source several times."</p><p>"When I pressed, she told me her mom looked up everything and sent it to her and she just...put it in the paper. She told me she had always done it that way."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gpttedl?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">SalemScout</a></p>
Sloppy Writing, Everywhere You Look<p>"I worked at my university writing center and saw a lot of really terrible writing. SO MANY poorly written essays. I really don't know how you can graduate from high school without at least being able to perform simple tasks like 'Point to your thesis statement.' "</p><p>"The whole point of a writing center was to teach students to correct their own work, but there was a direct correlation between how awful a paper was and how likely the student was to throw it at you and say 'I'm going to go have lunch. Will you have it fixed in an hour?' then try to leave."</p><p>"The tutors all got really good at an authoritative, 'Stop right there! Sit down. Now let's talk about how YOU are going to improve YOUR paper.' "</p><p>"The most frustrating papers were the science majors. I could never tell if the paper was terrible or I just wasn't following the details of their experiment on chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons or whatever."</p><p>"The absolute worst was the ENGLISH MASTERS DEGREE STUDENT who came in several times with absolute gibberish. To be fair, English was his second language but... are you absolutely sure you do not want to consider a career change, my good sir?"</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gpulz8a?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">hananobira</a></p>
Gorillas at War<p>"Not me, but a friend who taught in the politics department received a paper about 'gorilla' warfare in South America."</p><p>"It was so poorly written she couldn't tell if it was a typo, or if they genuinely thought Colombia had been overrun by a Planet of the Apes style revolution."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gptfcg3?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ZoeAWashburne</a></p>
Wrong Guy<p>"I once got an exam essay that mentioned how much Mandela hated the Jews. After scratching my head for a bit and wondering if I'd missed some obvious signs of his anti-Semitism I realized she meant Mengele."</p><p>"As in Josef Mengele, the Nazi 'Angel of Death.' Hard to think of a worse person she could've confused him for."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gpu4rn5?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">WhiskyTangoNovember</a></p>
Time Scales<p>"Not a professor but in undergrad I was taking an American history course. Our professor was from Maryland and was probably in her early forties."</p><p>"This kid asked her if she was one of the pearl harbor survivors. He couldn't grasp the fact that she was very much not alive at that time and that Pearl Harbor was not a harbor in Maryland."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gpubapq?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Whowhatwherewhenwhy6</a></p>
Measuring is for Nerds<p>"For a couple years I taught first-year college students in an ENGINEERING program, <em>the majority of whom</em> didn't know how to do unit conversions."</p><p>"Not even, like, inches-to-centimeters. To repeat ... <span style="background-color: initial;">college</span> ... <span style="background-color: initial;">ENGINEERING</span> ..."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gpswuau?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">JSanzi</a></p>
That's the Whole Thing<p>"I once spent an hour explaining to college junior that an even number is divisible by 2." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gpuki9z?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">KingofSheepX</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"wh-, what? how? literally the definition of an even number is a number that's evenly divisible by 2. what?" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gpuyke9?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">TheDonutPug</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Not as big of a deal, but in freshman year, I was the only one out of me and a few friends (including a math major) who knew 0 was even" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gpxmgog?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">StaleTheBread</a></p>
Convenient Reasoning<p>"My first year teaching I had a student who had failed the previous year due to missing too many cooking labs to pass and not handing in half the assignments."</p><p>"I had rewritten the curriculum and assignments."</p><p>"I noticed that this student hadn't been handing certain things in and had been skipping my lectures, so I decided to have a chat with them."</p><p>"They thought their marks for that semester were cumulative with their previous year's mark (with a different curriculum, different assignments, and a different professor) so they just had to make up enough marks to get a passing grade."</p><p>"This is a post-grad program. They had a BSc in dietetics."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gptoeow?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">PM_ME__RECIPES</a></p>
LISTEN"Not a professor, but I used to TA for undergrad organic chem lab courses. Had a... challenging student once who was not great at reading directions or thinking critically. We were setting up an experiment that required GENTLE heating of a volatile solvent.""I explicitly told the class, multiple times, 'only turn your hot plates up to 2 when heating, these things get very hot." Maybe 30 minutes later I'm making my rounds through the lab and I pass said guy's fume hood and notice his reaction is smoking.""I look closer and see that all of the liquid in his flask is gone and its just a charred, black smoking mess (which is still heating). I ask, "Student! What's going on with your reaction??? What's the temperature set at?!" "The guy goes, oh, I wasn't sure how hot to heat it, so I just turned the plate all the way up to 10. Is my reaction going to be ok?' No, no man, it's not going to be ok... he literally boiled the thing dry 🙄"<p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gpswxgm?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">jpiethescienceguy</a></p>
*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.
The person on the other end of a 911 call has a truly remarkable job.
For those who don't play that professional role, we hope to never encounter the 911 call interaction. But if we do find ourselves making that call, the moment is an anomaly in our lives.
The chaos, the panic, the racing heart, and the desperation are all emotions we, ideally, don't experience on a regular basis.
But for the operator on the other end, our call is one in a long line of calls they've received all day, and all the workdays before that one.
It's difficult to imagine being embedded in those uniquely urgent, emergency moments all the time.
Some Redditors who are on the other end of that call shared their experiences on the job.
WhimsicalxxButcher asked, "911 dispatchers what has been your most creepy/unnerving call?"
For a few, the most unnerving moments were the calm callers.
There was something just so eerie about how level-headed the faceless human being on the other end could be through such a desperate, tragic moment.
"I had a friend who worked as a 911 dispatcher and he always said the worst call he ever had was a ~20 year old kid who committed suicide by mixing a bunch of chemicals together in his car to produce hydrogen sulfide gas."
"He said that the most unnerving part was hearing him calmly listing off the chemicals, the type of gas produced, and the effects of hydrogen sulfide on the body (namely the almost instant death it causes at high concentrations)."
"He ended the call by providing the address of the parking lot he was in and saying that nobody should approach the vehicle without hazmat equipment."
"Apparently after that there was a whooshing sound as he dumped the last chemical into the mix, and then the line went dead silent aside for a quiet fizzing noise."
"I know that call screwed him up because he almost never talks about stuff that happens to him on the job. He quit a few months later to go into construction management, and frankly I can't blame him."
"A woman called me, saying she was going to kill herself. She was gassing herself. Gave me her name & address then said she was just going to lie down and 'go to sleep.' And stopped responding to me."
"I kept the line open, trying to get her to speak to me, and eventually heard officers forcing their way in to find her body. I guess she just wanted someone to find her body."
Before It Set In
"When I got a call from a 6 year old who got home from school and laid down to take a nap with his dad. His dad never woke up."
"The kid was so calm when calling it broke my heart."
"I ended up leaving dispatch shortly after. I was good at compartmentalizing the job for the year I was doing it, but it would've broken me in the long run."
Other 911 operators were unfortunate enough to receive a call from the very last person they wanted to hear from: a loved one.
These dispatchers' unique position gave them the unexpected access to a family member or friend at their most dire moments.
No More of That
"My family member is a long time first responder, and 'retired' into doing dispatch. He heard the address (someone else was taking the call) and realized it was his daughter's house."
"He rushed over there just in time to see them wheeling her body out. Overdose."
"Five months later, he was called to his ex-wife's place because his grandson (son of the daughter who recently passed) had his door locked, lights on, but wasn't responding to his grandma."
"He broke the door down and found him deceased in bed. Overdose."
"He's very stoic after years of all sorts of traumatic situations but my heart hurts whenever I think of what all of this must have felt like. Like sand through your fingers."
Knowing the Address
"Not me, but my grandma. I was sitting in the dispatch office, (very small one only 2 dispatchers including my grandma) but she put out a dispatch that there was a gun shot from my best friends address."
"My heart sank to my stomach and broke later that day. He committed suicide."
When it Happened
"My uncle passing away. Worked as a small town dispatcher for a year or so. Had a bunch of messed up stuff happen on shift, but this call came in in the still hours of the night. Small town, so not many calls after midnight."
"I answered and recognized the name and address on caller id. Aunt was in a frenzy so didn't recognize my voice. I remained calm and got ems and fire rolling to them, but by my aunt's own words he was already blue."
"I went thru debriefing and mandated therapy for a couple other things that happened, but never really talked to anyone about this. I just try not to think about it."
"That was the call I figured out I needed to find a different job."
Finally, some simply had a front row seat to sudden tragedy.
These operators were flies on the wall when disaster struck. They never asked to witness what they witnessed, but sometimes that came with the territory.
A Holiday Tragedy
"My mom is a 911 dispatcher. Early on she said one Christmas Eve while working she got a call from an elderly lady who's husband had just collapsed(and died) from a heart attack and in the background Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas music was playing on blast."
"The lady was screaming and crying and begging for her husband to wake up but my mom could hear his gurgling in his last breathes. She doesn't listen to or watch Alvin and the chipmunks since."
What is it About Christmas?
"Christmas night. 911 call with crying child on the other end. A neighbor had run her car over her mom during a domestic."
"The mom crawled to the porch bleeding and the child saw the car coming back. I had her hide quietly in a closet with the cordless phone."
"The 10 year old child was crying and screamed that she hated Christmas. She was afraid of the police when they got there."
"I kept her on the phone until she felt safe enough to give the phone to an officer. I almost fainted after that call was over. Had nightmares for a while."
Close to Home
"Not a dispatcher but I handle radio communications for the Coast Guard. One night I was on the radio and got a call from an 11 year old kid whose boat had started to sink. He was out with his dad and 6 year old brother."
"They had been hit by another boat and his father got knocked unconscious. I remember the entire conversation up until the radio had gone underwater."
"They ended up finding his dad floating on his back alive but the two boys didn't make it. That one really fu**ed with me because my two littlest brothers were around the same age as the youngest."
A Horrible Clock
"Another one that stays with me was the man who called in. It was the anniversary of his adult son having hanged himself. He'd now come home to find his wife had done the same."
"That date is always going to be a black day for him."
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
Again, we hope you never have to use the 911 call in your life. Nobody wants to be involved in a sudden emergency or a tragic incident.
But hopefully, if you do, an operator like one of these thoughtful, sensitive Redditors is on the other end.
When I was moving on from middle school to high school my parents had me tested for the "gifted" program. By some miracle I passed and was accepted. And then I turned it down. Everyone was irritated. "This will pave the way for any college you want! You'll learn so much!" his path will set you up for life!" Every adult tried valiantly to sell me this merchandise but in my gut I just wasn't buying it. So I "settled" a level below, merely advanced classes. And upon reflection... it was the best choice I ever made.Redditor u/dauntlessdaisy was wondering how far some in life got by asking... For those of you who were considered "gifted" in school, what are you doing with your life now?
"Sounds Nuts"<p>The rigid routine for the gifted kids is just too much for people that age. It almost feels like it's built to make you fail. So that if you succeed, even with a C/D average, at least you're alive. Like, how in the world does 4-5 hours of homework a night sound reasonable? All while engaging in extracurriculars for college and having some kind of life. And what really is the payoff?</p>
Chems & Beats<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTc5NDg3Ny9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMTk5NTkxNH0.qusPPfEvnWh50Geq4LP1HE8sjmkK97WZSrOBjfSVprU/img.gif?width=980" id="95784" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0268259a753568e56c8d749d3c940ef2" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="480" data-height="360" />axl rose GIFGiphy<p>Chemist during the week. Drummer on weekends. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lxlszi/for_those_of_you_who_were_considered_gifted_in/gpo4jgx?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Best_Detective_2533</a></p>
Average People<p>I was "gifted" in elementary school. Looking back, I realize that I was just average in a below average school district lmao. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lxlszi/for_those_of_you_who_were_considered_gifted_in/gppbiln?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">CLE_Till_I_Die32</a></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lxlszi/for_those_of_you_who_were_considered_gifted_in/gppbiln?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"></a>I think that's what it really boils down to. How are you compared to your immediate peers? Then the school can round up a few, put them in a faster class, and justify their jobs. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lxlszi/for_those_of_you_who_were_considered_gifted_in/gppd7ww?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">neveraskmeagainok</a></p>
Meow Meow<p>After a long battle with depression and burnout at university, I've found repairing electronics to be quite soothing/rewarding. I think mostly, because it's very clear when a project is done (it was broken, now it's not), which really removes the pressure and anxiety of failing to live up to people's expectations.</p><p>I also have a wonderful partner and a very handsome cat.</p><p><em><strong>Edit:</strong></em> <a href="https://imgur.com/a/jd0g7GE" target="_blank">cat tax</a>. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lxlszi/for_those_of_you_who_were_considered_gifted_in/gpnnsx8?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">MarcelLovesYou</a></p>
Say Ahhhh<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTc5NDg4OC9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MDI2NjU3NH0.iRFYsfod945abO2DqTbt3aDEZ5CPlq3OHSqTtkjU-RQ/img.gif?width=980" id="456d4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e86eb4cf1863827259219cd38604077b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="500" data-height="230" />head feels GIFGiphy<p>I'm a doctor, been aiming for this since I was 10! Finally succeeded 18 months ago. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lxlszi/for_those_of_you_who_were_considered_gifted_in/gppbktv?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">grc208</a></p>
Useless<p>I was praised for my intelligence, not my work ethic.</p><p>I got lazy as heeeell.</p><p>I'm trying to instill into my children that hard work and practice is more important than being able to figure it out first try. I praise the effort, not the end result. I hope this works out better for them. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lxlszi/for_those_of_you_who_were_considered_gifted_in/gpnurd1?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">openletter8</a></p>
Days with the Dead<p>I went into a profession that is less about being "gifted" and more about being personable. I studied Funeral Science and all my peers and high school students thought it would be a waste of my time and talents, yet 27 years later, here I am. I actually own my own Funeral Home where we provide affordable funerals and cremations and enjoy helping others through the rough times in their lives. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lxlszi/for_those_of_you_who_were_considered_gifted_in/gpoeiqm?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">iseedeadpeople1973</a></p>
I Object!<p>Went to law school, which I stupidly thought would be a breeze because high school and college were. Quickly discovered that everyone there was "gifted" and the professors didn't give a crap about our prior achievements or LSAT scores, etc. Had to really work hard for the first time in my academic life and definitely did not breeze through with As. <span></span></p>
I wanna Care<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTc5NDkwMC9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyODkyMDYxOX0.oQUbPvjRftqI6V62pYIyN_-CXpIW1B4qO9AVpZjSZ0I/img.gif?width=980" id="dd8d8" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="19540e96f68bf1079ba3279efbb513e3" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="500" data-height="281" />Spongebob Squarepants Reaction GIF by NickelodeonGiphy<p>I work my 40 in logistics to keep the lights on. Its a low-stress gig that pays enough that I can focus on the crap I actually care about. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lxlszi/for_those_of_you_who_were_considered_gifted_in/gpnmuzw?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Reddit</a></p>
Deep Breathes...<p>Panic attacks over the idea of failing. "Gifted" children more often than not weren't taught to work hard because they just 'naturally got it', so they grow up not knowing how to problem solve and tackle difficulties in healthy ways and thus are extremely paranoid over the idea of not being the best. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lxlszi/for_those_of_you_who_were_considered_gifted_in/gpo0dp2?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Ahstia</a></p>
Slackers<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTc5NDkwNy9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MDk4NjE0OH0.Vk6OppgF8-RtV2byZa-Wl75izrGgdi3TAF84y3j70UQ/img.gif?width=980" id="bf81d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="565d606bdd560de62b3f4ffdeef0c865" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="600" data-height="411" />Tired Back To School GIF by OriginalsGiphy<p>Procrastinating.</p><p>The thing about those "gifted" classes is they don't provide you with any work ethic. As a kids we were just expected to meet the criteria, and we expected it too. now as crap gets harder in life, a lot of us procrastinate and slack off. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lxlszi/for_those_of_you_who_were_considered_gifted_in/gpnn5ep?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">asteliia</a></p>
There's a million things that can happen to you while out on on the road.