No one is arguing against this year's status as "terrible." It very much is and we'll be feeling the effects of what's happened for generations to come. Just want to make that clear before we proceed.
2020 has been rough on innumerable people, all over the country, extending its awful reach over the world. While we can live in the awful of the now, it's still critical to understand everything else we've overcome and bounced back from. This knowledge allows us to comprehend how to move beyond and what next steps to take.
Still, there's been some rough years.
Reddit user, u/child_sized_tequila, wanted to hear if we really have it all that bad when they asked:
Oh Yeah. THAT Year...
The last quarter of 2001 was more intensely miserable. 2020 misery is more spread out and not quite as terrifying.
2001 was akin to living in a beehive just after the rock hits.
Let's Get This Perspective Out Of The Way
None of them. Seriously, I can't remember a year this bad. Not even 9/11 was this bad, we're closing in on the number of daily deaths from Coronavirus being as many or more than that single day in 2001.
But, I'm also relatively young, and I'm also a white man. I'm sure there's been far worse sh-t farther back, especially if you are anything other than white or male.
Killed Over Nothing
Relaying this for my dad and stepdad :
They both basically said during the late 60s/early 70s:
"There were a few years during the Vietnam War, and onward when we didn't know if we would be nuked into oblivion, killed by police, or if racial tensions would bubble over into massacres in the street. If all of these idiots just wore a mask, we would be fine. Otherwise most of our problems haven't changed much" - Dad
"Kids were being murdered by police on campus for protesting, and I came to draft age at a time when it was effectively a death-sentence for an 18-year-old kid. Riots were destroying cities, and we thought we were going to have an atomic bomb dropped on us. You had to live your life in a constant state of panic depending on where you lived. I don't mind watching Netflix all day, but everything else has become exhausting." - Stepdad
My dad and I work from home and my stepdad is retired. We text all day.
At Least There Was Butter
My great-grandfather used to tell me about 1944, when it was the Hunger Winter in the Netherlands. There was almost no food and most Dutch people either died or had to live off tulip bulbs. My great-grandfather was lucky though, he knew how to make butter, so he was able to trade food and was off less terrible than most people. It's truly terrible to hear about it, especially when you realise your very own grandpa was born in this time
When You Become An Adult
As a kid growing up through the last bits of the cold war was pretty terrifying once I learned what nuclear weapons were capable of.
2001 after the attacks...but at least we were more together as a nation.
2008 was scarier for me because it was the first real economic crisis of my adulthood, now I'm old hat at this stuff. Now things are a continuous dumpster fire and I just pull out some gallows humor with that thousand yard stare in my eyes.
I imagine the great depression was a bad time to live. Think about how people from that time still hoard everything they can. It becomes part of you. I had some Dutch relatives in Indonesia who were captured by the Japanese and put into prison camps during WWII. That was probably worse. They had kids, too. I remember reading the letters describing their time (I guess they must have eventually been released) and how they tried to make it fun for the children while the adults feared constantly for their lives.
Rough, But Maybe Not As Bad Yet
The year 1970. People dying or being maimed for life (both mentally and physically) in a stupid, nonsensical war. Richard Nixon President. The government refusing to listen to hundreds of thousands of people protesting the war, and people of all sorts not just college kids and hippies.
I participated in a HUGE protest in DC and walked down Pennsylvania Avenue with a lot of other people, holding the hands of my two kids. "We are speaking to our government. Never forget."
1963 was pretty bad with the Kennedy assassination.
But I don't think anything in my 79 years can compare to this year. It's just horrible in so many ways.
Assassination After Assassination
1968-1969. Started with the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. It was a military disaster for the North Vietnamese, but a big surprise to the American public - they had been told the war was effectively won. And from there it just got worse.
Student riots. City riots. MLK was assassinated in early April. Then in early June, I was on a South Vietnamese hilltop firebase. One of our less English-proficient officers came up to the American advisers in the afternoon. "You know Kennedy, ya? They shoot him!" The three of us looked at him. I said, "Yeah Đại Úy (Captain), back in 1963. So?"
"NO!" he said, "They shoot him now!" Then he got frustrated with us and stomped off. Weird. What's up with the Đại Úy? We couldn't get American radio (AFVN) in the daytime, but later that night we found out what he was talking about. Another Kennedy? WTF is going on back home?
I got back on leave in December. America was nuts. I couldn't walk through the airport without starting a fight. I wasn't fighting. Someone would want to yell at me, and someone else would start yelling at him, and eventually they'd forget I was there - because I wasn't. My instructions were to keep walking. The war had come home. Racial justice had graduated to racial war.
It was almost a relief to get back to Vietnam. Seemed saner. Bad year for the USA. 1969 was only better because some of the things people were expecting to happen, didn't. But it wasn't much better.
Bombing of Serbia 1999, NATO was only supposed to bomb military objects, but they bombed hospitals, markets, random populated areas... I was in the hospital with my dad when the sirens came on the whole hospital went to the basement, lucky the hospital wasn't hit, after the danger my dad drove us back he told me not to look out the window, being a kid I did look only to see innocent people dead along the whole street as the flea market was hit on a weekend...
I am 25yo now I still have nightmares about it occasionally. Also NATO used prohibited weapons with uranium which also caused a lot of ppl to get cancer from the radiation years after...
Through The Generations
For my maternal grandfather - 1914, when the crowned heads of Europe and their Ministers thought it would be a good idea to have a great big war.
For my mother - 1946, wandering around as an orphan in a "displaced persons" camp.
For my older cousins - 1962, the Cuban missile crisis was some scary sh-t.
THIS Is The Worst? After All That?
I went through the Viet Nam war, Watergate, a president who was never elected (Ford), a president who had a good heart but was totally ineffective (Carter), hanging chads, the aids crisis, George W. Bush as a puppet president, 9/11, and the 2008 recession where my investments lost half their value.
This is the worst year I've ever lived through.
Quite A Few Off The Top Of Your Head
I'm 63, and have lately been thinking about this very question. For sheer one-thing-after-another craziness, I'd have to say 1968 was a bad time. Assassinations (RFK, MLK), massive riots so much worse than what's currently going on, Vietnam War (My Lai Massacre, Tet Offensive), heroin epidemic, a very divided nation, and more. I was a kid, but I knew things were very bad.
That said, 2020 is the worst year for this country that I've lived through. I'd have to say that if the COVID-19 pandemic had taken place in 1968, people would have masked up and done what it took to get things under control. There was a decent public health system back then and people believed in it and supported it.
I don't lose sight of the fact that, from around 1810-1940, there were lots of awful presidents, many financial scandals and market collapses, and huge injustices for minorities. I just wasn't around then to see it firsthand. Oh, yeah--2001 was not great, not only because of 9/11, but because it set the stage for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. We may have have had business to take care of in Afghanistan, but Iraq was a preventable disaster that we're still dealing with.
This Is Our Nam
I agree Viet Nam and late 60s were violent and there was great unrest. What i see today that makes it worse and potentially more explosive is the income and wealth disparity.
There Has Been A Rough Lead Up To All This, Hasn't There?
2002 the dot-com bubble burst and I lost a cushy job, that was pretty bad.
2008 great recession happened, again was laid off, that was pretty bad too.
2019 was awful. I found out my recently deceased father had an entire other family. I guess technically, we were his other family. Met the ones he abandoned (my new older half siblings) last summer and it was incredibly awkward and for some reason left me hollow and extremely full of guilt.
We're Not Quite That Bad...Yet.
I'm not an oldie but I'd imagine the years between 1939-1945 were pretty rough.
Everytime I feel overwhelmed by Covid, I remember my grandmother lived through the Spanish flu, WW1 and WW2
Remember: We're Not The Only Ones Who Can Suffer
My parents still think the economic crash of 90s that happened in Finland was worse, and in Finland it killed more people in the form of suicides than Corona has thus far.
I was just born around that time. And lots of people just lost everything. Companies folded left and right. Loan intrests were crushing people.
Then right after that we got dotcom bubble.
Yeah. Finland never recovered from that actually. I don't remember the exact numbers but the percentage of people working has never reached what we had before the 90s crash. Remember reading about that when I was doing some uni work on how bad the subprime crisis was compared to ones before it. Turns out Finland did pretty well during the subprime crash.
Really Makes You Ponder How We All Survived Without Phones
My dad told stories of his childhood that I find horrifying. Probably somewhere around 1940, he was a child in what was then, small town in the rural American south. His dad was a salesman, and would travel for weeks at a time, with no one knowing when he may return. They did not have phones. The only way they could get anywhere was walking. Once, it was winter, and they were down to their last bucket of coal. He and his sisters and his mother had gone out into their yard, and picked up every last scrap they could find. They had a coal burning stove, and that was the only way they could keep warm or cook.
They had no idea when his dad would return, and if he returned, how much money he would have. They had no way to call to ask anyone else for help, even if they did, everybody they knew was so poor back then it would have been very difficult to get help. When they were literally down to the last few pieces of coal, the church that they would frequent when their dad was in town, and able to drive them, Sent a truckload of coal to get dumped in their yard. My dad told me that to this day, he still believes that it is an absolute godsend miracle that that happened.
But, Really, Has It Been Worse Than This In The Last Hundred Years?
Okay a topic I am perfect for.
I'm 67 so I've seen a lot. 1968 was previously the worst year I'd ever seen because of race riots, oppression, my older friends getting killed in Vietnam. I've been through the Dotcom bust and a couple of stock market crashes they seem to recover. Challenger was shocking 9/11 was more shocking, I was only 10 for the Kennedy assassination but I did see Ruby shoot Oswald on live TV.
But they are all squat compared to 2020 and it's not even close.
People Break Down The Exact Moment They Realized They Were Being Manipulated By Someone They Trusted
Manipulation is designed to be stealthy. We hardly recognize it when it's happening to us because our abuser has forced it to appear under wraps.
But when we recognize it for what it really is, we really feel like we've been smacked across the face. There is no other descriptor for it. Usually we've trusted and loved those that manipulated us.
A Platitude Of Pleasing<p>You never know where the next blowout is coming from. Any time something needs to be addressed, you might try to bring it up once, gently, if you're feeling brave. If you meet the slightest bit of resistance, or you don't feel like that fight in the first place, you just go "okay dear" instead. You find that you'll put the argument off until next time, and hope that whatever you thought to bring up won't have any consequences, because you'll be hearing about those, too. It sucks, and I'm glad you can speak about it in the past tense.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/TheGreatestAuk/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">TheGreatestAuk</a></p>
Wrong Or Right Or Just Not Agreeing?<p>When I started realizing that I was feeling like I was constantly walking on eggshells. I never knew which version of my friend I'd get when we saw each other, or when we hung out. I also just completely stopped disagreeing with them because I didn't want to hear them tell me how wrong I was if we didn't share the same viewpoint.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/WhatArcherWhat/" target="_blank">WhatArcherWhat</a></p>
Being Used<p>My best friend suddenly distanced herself from me. But every now and then she'd call and ask if I wanted to do something, and I was encouraged because I thought it meant that things were still good between us. It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that she only called when she wanted to do something that required a ride, since she didn't have a car. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I don't use people that way so I didn't recognize user behavior. You can bet I do now.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Goldeverywhere/" target="_blank">Goldeverywhere</a></p>
Hiding The Receipts<p>I was living with my former best friend and his gf at the time. When I asked for grocery receipts (I trusted him & his ex to buy groceries bc I didn't have a car at the time + our work schedules were different so I couldn't go with them) and they wouldn't provide any. The only reason I became suspicious was bc they started asking for a ridiculous amount of money for my half and the actual amount of food wasn't adding up. Up until that point they never asked for a crazy amount and I was content with our groceries, but I noticed they became extremely greedy. When I then asked to see a banking statement, they wouldn't even provide me with that either.</p><p>At that point I just realized they were finessing me out of extra money and I started buying my own food. I just bit my tongue bc we only had like 2 months left on the lease. They tried to gaslight me and make me seem like the bad guy any chance they had (almost the entire time I lived with them actually). Eventually, I grew apart from him once I moved away and the only reason he hit me back up was bc she cheated on him so he probably didn't have anyone else to turn to (go figure). We don't talk anymore.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/0MG1MW3T/" target="_blank">0MG1MW3T</a></p>
Ah Yes, Good Old DARVO<p>My mother and I have always had a rocky relationship. She's always encouraged me to tell her what's wrong, however, any time I would she'd immediately go "sorry I'm such a terrible mother, I give you everything you want and it's still not good enough! Why don't you just go live with someone you don't hate?" Keep in mind this happens over small things such as "mom, I'd appreciate it if you'd knock before coming into my room. You know how easily I startle and you barging into my room really upsets me"</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/paytonc0510/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">paytonc0510</a></p>
How Do You Do This To Someone<p>8 years into the relationship. As we're sitting down he explains to me that the "first couple years" we were together he only saw me as a place to crash and free rides, but he loved me NOW, and even though I accomplished all the goals HE set for ME so we could get married he said "I never really thought you could do it". Oh and also you got fat, but don't worry we can fix it! It was like a magic veil lifted and I finally saw who he really was. F**k you James.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/DoNotUseOnHumans/" target="_blank">DoNotUseOnHumans</a></p>
Be My Friend And Not Theirs<p>She always managed to make me do things I didn't really want to do but the last straw was when she decided I had to stop being friends with two mates of mine over something stupid that offended her. </p><p>Cut her off over that and she then proceeded to act derisively ("you'll come back"), then badmouthed me and then begged me to take her back. Ten years later I am still friends with those two guys and she's still out of my life.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/FatherTedHackett/" target="_blank">FatherTedHackett</a></p>
Victim Time<p>When literally every time me and my mom talked she played the victim.</p><p>I was trying to help her raise me, ask me about my grades and stuff. For her I just existed, she wasn't responsible at all.</p><p>I grew up watching her play the victim to others, and I was always on her side, cuz she's my mom you know. Also I never really understood what was going on.</p><p>I started getting older and older, and seeing sh*t after sh*t she did. I understood what she did to my father, to my step-dad, to my sister, to her friends.</p><p>Probably I'd be the next one who she would use and throw away.</p><p>I talked to her... and you know the result. The victim. Nothing it's her fault.</p><p>The last time we talked, I was expecting the victim card. When she started speaking, I already knew what was going to happen. I didn't even said a word, I just agreed with her, and the next day I moved out. I'm not wasting my time.</p><p>It was the last day before quarantine, I remember it as if it was yesterday. Friday night: saturday morning I was packing my stuff.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/NotFromHeel/" target="_blank">NotFromHeel</a></p>
Sixteen Years Of Made Up Lies<p>After 16 years of marriage I realized my now ex was manipulating me. I would work and take care of the house and if I asked him to do something like get a job or clean up he would stage a mental breakdown and make me feel bad for asking him for help. </p><p>He would play up a horrible childhood or PTSD from the military to make me feel like I need to take care of him. Then would play on his computer all day and smoke while I worked. </p><p>Found out that a lot of his horrible childhood stories were made up and that he never made it through basic training in the military. I am happily with someone now but still catch myself cringing when he does things like cook or clean thinking that he is going to yell at me for being lazy. Meanwhile he loves me and is just doing things to take care of me. I'm working on deprogramming myself.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/HolyCelestialCow/" target="_blank">HolyCelestialCow</a></p>
Sometimes It's The Mother-In-Law<p>Took me until after the engagement to realize that my cheating ex fiancee was trying to browbeat me into submission.</p><p>Anywho, I quickly recognized emotional blackmail and manipulation from my MIL after getting married to a different girl years later due to that experience. I called her out on it.</p><p>She... Doesn't like that. But since my wife and sister-in-law and brother-in-law also recognize it they've got my back.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/engineertr1gg/" target="_blank">engineertr1gg</a></p>
Just as new mothers encounter the sudden, influential developments of powerful hormone changes, protective instincts, and milk production, so new fathers undergo some key changes of their own.
Their socks become exclusively white, climbing higher up the calf than ever before. All their shorts sprout cargo pockets and clunky belt loop cell phone holders. They start to really lean in to their old records.
Regional Laws<p>"Dad, driving past a cemetery: Did you know anyone living in a 3 mile radius of a cemetery isn't allowed to be buried there?"</p><p>"Me: No, I had no idea. How come?"</p><p>"Dad: Yeah, you're not allowed to bury the living"</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjk1d2k?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">TinyLuckDragon</a></p>
For the Face Plant Image<p>"Why do Scuba Divers fall backwards off a boat?"</p><p>"Because if they fell frontwards they'd still be on the boat" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjjv4mt?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">hatsnatcher23</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Just told this one to my bf and he still has his face in his hands" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjka0w7?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">sxeoompaloompa</a></p>
A Mammal of Few Words<p>"What did the father buffalo say when his child left for school?"</p><p>"Bison" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjjp257?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">TatooineLight</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"LOL" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjjp9p0?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">BennuH</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Told this to my brother, he laughed his a** off." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjk4cvq?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Type10Civilization</a></p>
Baggage<p>"When I do home improvements I always use my step ladder"</p><p>"I never knew my real ladder" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjjlkab?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">DavosLostFingers</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Whoever took the ladder, please return it or further steps will be taken." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjm2htz?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">WaldhornNate</a></p>
Woah Woah Woah, We're in Public<p>"Me: I'm not very hungry, I just want something easy"</p><p>"Server: maybe the chicken strips for $6"</p><p>"Me: maybe it does, but that doesn't help my hunger" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjjuq78?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">mcnoobs_</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"My husband was facepalming for solid 8 minutes after I read that joke to him." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjnee7m?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Madanax</a></p>
Not Wrong<p>"Two dudes were on a boat with a few cigarettes, but they didn't have anything to light them, so they threw one of the cigarettes out of the boat, and the boat became a cigarette lighter." </p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjjkeoz?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">OrangeMirrorJuice</a></p>
Watch the News Before Saying This One<p>"Did you hear about the kidnapping at school?"</p><p>"It's okay, they eventually woke up."</p><p>"I cringe every time." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjk0ej7?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">unicorndreamz94</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"My 10 year old tried this one a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, I had just read news about a missing local girl. 'So I answered that yes I heard about the missing girl' Scared the sh** out of my 10 year old" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjo3ssv?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Aubear11885</a></p>
Got a Million of Em<p>"What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fshhhh."</p><p>"I'm sorry but I'm about to say something tasteless. Water."</p><p>"I got fired from my job at the calendar factory. I took a day off."</p><p>"Unfortunately though, I can't really tell these jokes since I'm not a dad. I'm a faux pa."</p><p> -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjk9igl?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">WholeGrainMustard</a></p>
G-Pa With the Physics Humor<p>"Why does the movie "speed" have no director?"</p><p>"If it had direction, it'd be called velocity!"</p><p>"-my grandpa, earlier today" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjk4wdo?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ConceptUpset4681</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"That's better than a regular dad joke. It's a grand dad joke." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjkuc30?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">VaultBoy9</a></p>
A Surprising Amount of Elevator Humor<p>"I have a joke about elevators."</p><p>"It works on so many levels......." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjk1lrv?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">M0ntgomatron</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Did you hear about the corruption at the elevator company?"</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"It went all the way to the top." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjkyjrp?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">RandomName222222222</a></p>
Cleaning up is hard enough when it's just clearing a month of dust bunnies. Can you imagine cleaning the debris left by murder, suicide and violence? I have a really great friend who used to do crime scene clean-up for a living. The pay is incredible; it starts at $55 an hour. But there is a much higher cost in mental well being. Death affects you in ways you don't always feel immediately. My friend has stories of nightmares, depression and pain after leaving scenes of horror. Why make all that money just to spend it on therapy? It takes a certain type of person.
***TRIGGER WARNING. CONTENTS ARE SENSITIVE ***Redditor u/MemegodDave wanted to hear from the people who have the stomach to come in after crime and tragedy
to try to bring back some form of normalcy to the location by asking... People who make their living out of cleaning murder scenes, accidents and the like, what is the worst thing you have experienced in your career?
Wrapped Up<p>Dad had to saran wrap a guy's intestines back into his body once.</p><p>Dude had surgery and pushed too hard on the toilet. Dude was fine, according to Dad, just holding himself together on the toilet while a group of firefighters tried to figure out why the hell they were sent instead of paramedics.</p><p><em>Update</em> When he pushed too hard he opened a scar on his torso/ab area and it all fell out onto his lap. Should have mentioned this when I wrote the post. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l48wk3/people_who_make_their_living_out_of_cleaning/gko9lq0?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">noblemile</a><span></span></p>
Flesh<p>One that stuck with me was a suicide in a bathtub, we couldn't drain the tub, so had to use a coagulant then scoop up the bloody mess into biohazard bags. Same for the toilet. Another was a suicide by gun in a basement full of boxes which was a nightmare to clean as even the smallest bit of flesh had to be found and cleaned up. The smell of the smallest piece of flesh meant the job wasn't done until it was found. </p>
Walk Away<p>Medic here, first responder to a motorcycle collision. Guy who crashed was a friend. He'd been torn in half and almost decapitated.</p><p>Had to walk away from the scene and let my driver and another crew handle it. Think about it daily. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l48wk3/people_who_make_their_living_out_of_cleaning/gko4y58?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Sabre-23</a><span></span></p>
All over the House<p>I posted this on another thread so just copy and pasted it but this was one that I had to do</p><p>Clean up after a murder. It was a rehab house for ex cons, 4 bedroom house with communal bathroom and kitchen. Sunday morning and guy A is in his room listening to music pretty loud, guy B is in the kitchen cooking his breakfast, B knocks on A's door and tells him to turn it down, there's a small argument and B returns to his breakfast and A turns his music up. So B grabs the biggest knife in the kitchen, kicks in A's door and stabs him through his left shoulder, entering by his collar bone. </p>
"ride-alongs"<p>Not a cleaner, but my brother's best friend is a police officer and I heard all about this horrible experience:</p><p>My brother's friend took him on "ride-alongs," all the time. One day, they were responding to a welfare check. This guy's neighbor saw his apartment door cracked open for several days and called the police. They went to check it out and found a college student (18-19) who had shot himself. </p>
Melt Away<p>When I was a bartender, a couple of clients told me the worst part about the job is cleaning melted bodies.</p><p>I don't know the science behind that, but from what I understand is if a body stays for a while in a certain condition of temperature and humidity, it melts. And those guys have to remove that person's remains in buckets. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l48wk3/people_who_make_their_living_out_of_cleaning/gknsqfm?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Kaynny</a><span></span></p>
Audrey<p>I had a great uncle who helped clean up the bodies left behind by hurricane Audrey in 1957 and he said that the smell persisted in his nose for weeks after. It got so bad that he went to the doctor to see if they could do anything and they clipped all of his nose hairs and the smell went away. It was explained to him that the smell had soaked into the hair but I don't claim to know the validity of that statement.</p>
Hazard<p>One of my first jobs after moving I did this, and the job that had me walking wasn't even a scene as described. We did all types of hazmat cleans and the worst was actually a couple went on vacation and came back to backed up sceptic. Think about 1 ft thick hard dried out crusty sceptic waste spread throughout the entire 1st floor of a house. Not going further into detail here. Was nasty.</p><p>Septic, not sceptic. On break and mobile, so yeah... </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l48wk3/people_who_make_their_living_out_of_cleaning/gknvzn8?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Kamenovski</a><span></span></p>
After the Crash...<p>Working for a tow truck driver that get the calls after crashes. The worst one for me was a family of 6 coming back with over 10 pizzas for a baseball team. It was a head on with a tractor trailer (18 wheeler). The ambulance took the bodies away of course, everyone died but one little guy. There was so much blood and vomit, diapers, toy dolls covered in blood, the pizza was everywhere inside of the car like 2" thick on everything and all over the road. </p>
Fresh Meat<p>Friend of mine does this.</p><p>His worst was an elderly woman who died in a bath. Skin falls off like long cooked meat. So he just saw piles of skin/flesh</p><p>God just writing this makes me gag. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l48wk3/people_who_make_their_living_out_of_cleaning/gknwqwu?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">PlagueDoc22</a><span></span></p>
We all know the telltale signs that something is making us uncomfortable. Suddenly, we begin shaking, either in our hands or knees or toes. Then, usually, sweat starts pouring out of every part of our body, making it look like we just ran through a rainstorm underneath a waterfall. Finally, we lose our regular speech functions. Everything goes out of sync and our words don't match up to what's in our minds.
What's interesting is that what usually brings about these fits of uncomfortableness differs from person to person, as evidenced by the stories below.