People Share The Things They've Realized During The Pandemic
A recent Reddit thread asked users to share their keenest observations.
Their hot takes spanned the spectrum from the minutest elements of daily life to grand, sweeping cultural tendencies.
And, refreshingly, the Redditors’ impressions contained both positives and negatives.
Sure, the negatives are easy to anticipate, But some unexpected, optimistic surprises are helpful to read and think about
khopoli asked, "What is the one thing you realized during this pandemic?"
Cutting Out A to B
"How much time is wasted by commuting. Working from home, the '8 hours work, 8 hours sleep, 8 hours play' thing actually works." -- 0xMii
"this!! and getting ready takes way less time, if only because you don't have to pack a lunch. 12-hour workdays don't sound that bad until you realize you actually have no free time at all because 'early is on time' and traffic and showering and making lunch and blah blah blah" -- akiramari
No More Excuses
"Self-improvement, and doing all those hobbies I've sworn that I could only do if I had more free time."
"Apparently time is not the bottleneck I thought it was; my biggest enemy is motivation and a lack of inertia."
Acing the Test
"My wife and I get along very well. We are now living AND working together which means we hardly ever have an hour apart. Been doing this since March and not even an argument."
"We have witnessed many other relationships fall but ours is stronger than ever 15 years later."
Emphasizing an Existing Conclusion
"I became even more certain that politicians are stupid and power hungry f***ers who do not care for their people." -- Luxny
"Like when they decided a pandemic was the perfect time to carry out the largest upward transfer of wealth in American history while throwing $1200 to the rest of us one time and then walking away?" -- ThisCityWantsMeDead
A Love Letter to Working From Home
"I really like teleworking because I get sporadic interruptions from my daughter and I get to see my wife nearly all day." -- hidethemilk
"Working from home is exactly as awesome as I always suspected it was." -- Brisco_Discos
Simple, but Difficult
"I am not as good at being alone as I thought I was" -- an0n_us3r
"Same here. I thought I'd love it, but it just stresses me out." -- selfishbutready
"For me, I've discovered that I'm probably too good at being alone." -- CoronaBlue
Cat’s Out of the Bag
"Doctor's offices have been pepetrating some major bullsh** on us for quite some time. Now you call from the parking lot when you arrive, walk right in, see the doctor, done, not sit in a room with other sick people for a damn hour waiting."
"This should be how it is from now on."
Exposed, All at Once
"How much critical infrastructure in the United States has declined. After decades of cutting budgets and prioritizing profits we have a system that can not handle a pandemic on any level."
"Hospitals are going bankrupt, the CDC is underfunded and ignored, schools are forced to reopen without proper precautions, Universities are on the brink of bankruptcy, the federal government can't agree with the state government that can't agree with the local government."
"It's like we've been running on this delusion of greatness while everything crumbled around us."
Principles vs. Actions
"I grew up in a very rural area and got fed the 'when stuff hits the fan, we county folk stand up for each other' line my whole life."
"After seeing my 100th 'you can't make me wear a mask even if it does protect people' post on Facebook I'm more than a little skeptical."
Laying it All Out
"It brought out the true nature of people. For way too long people were allowed to put on whatever show they wanted, and were able to convince everyone of who they wanted others to believe they were."
"This situation has brought a lot of sunlight out, and the true nature of people has been shown. There have been a lot of people that we never thought in a million years would be so unkind, selfish, and uncouth, but they couldn't hold that lie anymore."
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Bizarre dreams that come true, ghostly apparitions, and shared hallucinations. Have you ever had that feeling of being transported to another dimension? These real-life stories of strange and uncanny experiences from Quora and Reddit could be straight out of Twin Peaks.
Lucky Charmwoman in black jacket and white pants sitting on concrete floor during daytimePhoto by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
I lost a jacket at a roller rink when I was in 3rd grade. I had a lucky rabbit foot in the pocket that I bought at the skate shop inside. Months later, my mother, who is adopted, found her birth mother and her half-sister. The first time I went to my newly found Aunt's house, she said she had a jacket that might fit me.
It was my jacket, rabbit foot still in the pocket.
One morning, I woke up and noticed my camera was on top of the sofa opposite my bed. I knew I didn’t put it there because it was a very expensive camera and it could very easily have fallen from this place. I had placed it in my cabinet. I went over, picked it up, turned it on, and clicked the button to view the photos. My blood ran cold.
There were hundreds of photos of me sleeping, all seemingly taken from the back of the sofa. I was literally so freaked out, I couldn’t stop crying. I lived alone. It was just photo after photo of me sleeping. The photos were taken in “quick snap," where the camera takes approx one photo per second.
I later realized the camera didn’t even have a “quick snap” setting so technically it was impossible for the camera to take the photos at all. The time stamps suggest all photos were taken between 2 and 3 am.
I’ve never figured out what happened, how the camera got to the sofa, or how it is even possible for a camera with no quick snap to quick snap, but I still have a USB with the photos on it and it still freaks me out.
It was 1977—and it was a meeting I'll never forget. I had taken time off work to have a baby and stay home with her. But I still needed an income, so my mother hired my younger sister and me to do the dirty, back-breaking work in her shop while she took care of her first infant granddaughter.
My sister and I were working at our mom’s antique store one summer day. Mom had just gotten a truckload of European oak furniture that needed to be cleaned and polished, had the handles screwed on, and so forth.
A nice-looking young man came into the store and started talking to my sister, who was 17 at the time. He introduced himself as Ted Smith, and we laughed and said we must be related as Mom’s maiden name was Smith also. He chatted both of us up but focused on my sister for the most part.
He purchased an armoire but said he’d have to go get his truck since at the moment he was driving his VW Bug—an old VW Bug. He then asked my sister and me if we wanted to go out to dinner that night with him. We were sweaty and dirty from work, I had a baby to care for, and my sister already had a boyfriend, so we said “Thanks, but no thanks, Ted”.
He asked me to ride with him to get his truck so he could drop his Bug off at the auto shop for repairs, but by that point, I had to get home to my infant right away, because I was still nursing her. However, he wouldn’t give up trying to get one or both of us away from the shop.
He said he could come back about 10:00 that evening for his armoire and asked whether one or both of us would be there. We replied, “No, we close the shop at six, and we both have places to be tonight". He was persistent. “How about tomorrow night?" I said, “No, we close at 6:00, except on Saturdays, when we close at 4:00”.
He asked whether one of us could meet him early in the morning, like at 5:30 am, but neither of us wanted to. He was getting to be a bit creepy and my sister and I were eye-rolling at each other. Eventually, he said he was sorry but he couldn’t buy the armoire if we couldn’t be flexible.
We hated to give up the sale, but after he had been there for two hours, we thought he was just looking and taking up our time. We still had a lot of work to do on the furniture that had just arrived in the shop. Finally, we just wanted to finish our work and go home.
At 6:00 pm, as we were leaving, his VW Bug was parked outside and he asked us whether we wanted to go for coffee; he especially wanted my sister to go. We said, “Thanks, Ted, but no thanks, like we said earlier, we have plans," but he continued to be insistent.
Finally, I said, “Sis, let’s go—I’ll take you home”. Even though she had her car there, for some reason I didn’t want to leave her to drive home alone with this guy around. So he drove off in his Bug and we really didn’t think of it again…Until the next year, when his picture appeared in the paper.
He was Ted Bundy. It still sends chills up my spine, writing this, and my sister and I talk about it occasionally. We were two lucky young women that day. If either of us had agreed to go, we would have been goners.
Final Destinationman holding smartphone in close up photographyPhoto by Adrian Swancar on Unsplash
*phone ringing wakes me up from my nap*
“Dude, are you coming or what? All of us are already here”.
I checked the time and it was already 6:17 pm. We were supposed to meet at 6.
“I JUST WOKE UP, I’ll be there by 6:45-ish, just go get dinner first or something”.
I became the Flash for the next 15 mins, got dressed up, and got a cab to the mall.
On the way to the mall, tragedy struck. I got into a car accident. I remember the car in front of my taxi, flipping and crashing into the vehicle I was in. I also remember slowly losing consciousness. That was when I woke up at 5:17 pm, on the same day, before all of that happened.
Later on, when I was eating with my friends at around 6:45 pm, there was a car crash nearby, where one of the cars flipped. Though, a taxi wasn't involved (I think). It was so weird. It was as if my inner self from an alternate reality was telling me what would happen if I didn't wake up on time.
No one believed me, but it sure is a story to tell.
Before I divorced my husband, but while we were still living in California, I used to adore going to thrift shops. One day, while visiting a shop in Venice Beach, I saw, in the “odds and ends” bowl, a very peculiar earring. It was a sort of "seashell" design, handmade, with a pendant black pearl dangling from it.
From the shape of the shell, it would only go “frontways” on the left ear. It was obviously a shop project, but was so unusual, I decided I had to have it. I could always take it apart and use the pearl for something…so I bought it for maybe 25 cents. That was in 1979.
The earring went into my “scraps” box. Years passed. I divorced and found my new love. We moved to Hollywood, then in 1988, to Albuquerque. One day, while walking to the book store I saw a sign “GARAGE SALE” …well…I love garage sales, so I went to the house and looked around.
The lady had a big wooden bowl set out with beads, rings, bits and bobs… and as I sorted through the jumble I saw…a very peculiar earring…with a stylized “seashell” and a dangling black pearl! And it was handmade and fit the right ear! I immediately showed it to the lady: “I have an earring at home…that looks exactly LIKE this!!" The lady's response shook me.
She looked perplexed and said, “Well, dear…I don’t think so…my boyfriend made those for me in Shop…and I lost one of them many years ago”. I froze. “Where?" She smiled “Oh a long way from here…it was in California…I’ve forgotten the place…a beach…named like a place in Italy”.
“Venice Beach?" I said, feeling a bit dizzy. She nodded eagerly. “Wait here," I said, somewhat illogically…after all, it WAS her home… and when I came back with the matching earring, they were a PERFECT match! I offered to give my earring back to her so she would have the completed pair again, but she refused, saying, “I never liked him very much. You keep them, Dear”.
So I still have them, a handmade pair, separated by hundreds of miles and nine years, and reunited completely by chance.
Hold The Phone
I saw a stranger’s phone number in my dream!! And what happened afterward was actually the strangest part. I often see very vivid dreams—but rarely do I see numbers. In fact, except twice or thrice I haven't seen any numbers in dreams. And when I did see them, it’s just 3–4 digits numbers.
But then one day, I see this 10-digit number that starts with 9 and ends with 1. In fact, it consisted of only 9s and 1s. I saw it very vividly. The numbers were red in color with white background. When I woke up, I immediately wrote that number and realized that it could be somebody's phone number.
Out of curiosity, I dialed and it rang!! I immediately disconnected. Having it confirmed as a valid phone number, I was curious to know who that number belonged to. I googled it; no information. I sought help from a friend who was working with a telecom company as customer support.
He told me that it was a VIP no. and so the owner's information was not available to everyone. Now, I was burning with curiosity. But you can't just call a random number and ask about the owner's identity because you saw that number in your dream!! But my curiosity got the better of me and I simply called.
A lady answered. As expected, she asked me why I wanted to know about her. I told her that I saw the phone number in my dream and waited for her amused response. To my surprise, she responded in a very normal tone, “Hmm, okay, I understand. However, I feel it is not the right time to tell you. You will know when the right time comes. Ok? Bye”.
This happened in early 2010. I never called on that number again. I don't know if that lady was just being sarcastic or was really serious. The ‘Right time to know her’ also hasn't arrived yet. And it has become the strangest and most mysterious incident of my life.
Ken You See What I See?boy wearing gray vest and pink dress shirt holding bookPhoto by Ben White on Unsplash
As a child visiting my Grandma's house, whenever I left the house I'd wave next door to Ken who was always sitting in the bay window looking out at the sea. They lived right on the coast of the North Sea in Hartlepool (UK). We'd never really talk, but just a little wave before I went to get into the car.
One time, I'm leaving my Gran's house, and I'm in front of my Mum who stopped at the door to talk to my Gran. So I head down the steps and towards the gate. I turn back and see Ken in the window. Big smile as usual, waving at me. I give him a wave back.
He stands up, gives me the thumbs up, and wanders toward the back of the room. My Mum comes walking down the steps and asks "Who are you waving at?" I replied "Ken". To this day, I can remember my mum's face. She just went white but didn't say anything to me.
It was only a few weeks later when she plucked up the courage to tell me that Ken had passed a few days prior to our visit to my Grans. I don't believe in ghosts, but I know I saw him. I can still picture his striped gray sweater with light stripes across it. Him waving and getting up out of his chair.
There was no one else in the house, he lived by himself.
This happened when I was about 25, and working as an English teacher in Tokyo. I had joined up with some other ex-pat Brits who had a football team. We used to play every Saturday. After one game we were having a few drinks. I was talking to Dave, our star player. I asked where he was from.
Wow, that's weird. I'm from Plymouth! What part of Plymouth?
Wow, that's amazing—I used to live in Plymstock when I was about 10. What school did you go to?
No way! I went to Goosewell! How old are you?
Wow me too!
By this time I figured we may have been in the same class.
What's your surname?
Oh my god. I remembered him! He was the headmaster's son! In my class! And here we were 15 years later on the other side of the world in the same football team!
How weird is that!
When my daughter was little and she would get upset, something in the kitchen would randomly break. This happened way too many times to be coincidental and the things that broke did so in inexplicable ways. I clearly remember one instance very early in the morning standing in the kitchen, telling her she couldn’t have cake from the night before.
She immediately looked angry and I heard a weird “plink” sound in the cupboard. I opened it and found the plate on the top of the stack was cracked in several places. No signs of this in later years. She’s 24 now and I often allude to this and remind her boyfriend not to make her mad.
I Smell A Rata rat sitting on a piece of woodPhoto by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash
A few years ago I was living in a two-bed flat with my brother in Shepherd’s Bush, London. It was converted from a basement so you had to walk down some steps to get to the front door, and just outside was a communal trash area where bin bags were just left out to be enjoyed by the city’s smaller, furrier residents (foreshadowing).
My tiny room was under a bathroom and literally had mold growing on the walls, to give you an indication of how salubrious this place was. Oh well, I was only paying enough rent for a 12-bed mansion anywhere else in the country.
On that fateful day, I woke up one morning to hear a panicked scratching noise coming from the bathroom. Further inspection revealed an unexpected (and unwelcome) house guest of the four-legged variety, who had done what we had never dared to do—use the bath.
The rat had obviously fallen in and was struggling to climb up the steep sides of the bathtub, and upon seeing my expression of mingled shock, fear, and disgust, it proceeded to get even more worked up and, not to put too fine a point on it, pooped everywhere.
At this point, I may have (loudly and with plenty of expletives) made this known to my brother, who also came in, and we stood there assessing the slightly surreal situation we found ourselves in. I do have a bit of a soft spot for most animals, and my brother and I decided we didn’t have the heart to end our newest tenant’s life there and then.
My brother had a little bag he (evidently) wasn’t too attached to, and put it down in front of the rat, who needed no second invitation to shoot straight inside, doing his best impersonation of Hansel leaving a trail of breadcrumbs behind him, but substituting said breadcrumbs for something softer and smellier.
We zipped up the bag and assessed the situation once more. We decided that, despite his contemporary bathtub artwork, it was the rat’s lucky day and we’d release him somewhere far away, with the aid of the city’s wonderful public transport system.
So, on a weekday morning, we found ourselves sitting on the bus next to a bag containing a rat that was most likely both metaphorically, and literally, soiling itself. We got out near a park and found a secluded spot where onlookers wouldn’t question our sanity (although, being Londoners, they probably wouldn’t bat an eyelid), and carefully opened up the bag.
Our new acquaintance was quite content to stay in the relative safety of his newfound home, so it took a little bit of a shake before he dropped out and ran off into a hedge without so much as a “goodbye, thanks for not bashing in my head with a rolling pin”. My brother decided he’d rather not keep the bag. But the story doesn’t end here though, unfortunately.
With excellent timing, literally, as we arrived home and opened the door, all warm and fuzzy from doing a good deed, another rat (might have been the earlier one’s brother, he certainly had a striking resemblance) ran past our legs and into the house. This had turned into a problem.
We’d seen them before amongst the trash outside our door, but they’d never been bold enough to run right inside, sans invitation. Further inspection revealed that there were some holes the rats had dug outside, and they were managing to tunnel inside.
Did I mention that this was about two weeks before we had to move out and make sure we got our security deposit back? Stalin once remarked, after losing his wife: "This creature softened my heart of stone. She died and with her died my last warm feelings for humanity".
My brother and I had a similar experience, only with rats rather than wives, and the turning point was a second unwanted house guest rather than the passing of a loved one. I guess not really that similar, on balance. We were angry at ratkind, anyway, is my point, but he had uni and I had work so the plans of revenge had to be postponed.
The next morning I opened the door and walked into the kitchen, and my barefoot made contact with another very alive, and very vocal rodent. I can safely say there are nicer ways to start a day than treading on a rat. But it gets worse.
My brother was out but his then-girlfriend (now fiancée, which is nice because we have a good story to look back on) had stayed over and was alerted to my presence based on my (really deep and manly) shrieks of terror. From the noises coming from various dark corners and inside cupboards we could tell that there were definitely rats, plural, within the house.
This suspicion was confirmed upon opening one cupboard, and the (figurative…honest) pants-wetting that ensued when another one shot out. The humane option was off the table and we went to the shop to get some heavy-duty rat traps, plus a hefty dose of poison.
I did a bit of research and discovered that rats went crazy for peanut butter, so we set the traps, put the poisoned food out, and waited. It didn’t take long. Turns out rats really do love peanut butter, and a combination of the traps and the poison (I assume, for the rats who were MIA) finished them off in a couple of days.
I do have a confession, though. When I was about to leave for work the day after setting the traps, I came across one of the rats slightly worse for wear (i.e. a metal bar turning its face into a Picasso portrait) and thought I’d be a top brother and pretended I hadn’t seen the body so he’d have to deal with it while I was out.
Well, that’s what you get for palming the situation off on me and your girlfriend buddy! We did get the deposit back, so if there were any rats who crawled inside the walls to die at least we moved out before they started smelling. Sorry future tenants, it probably didn’t make much difference to that flat anyway.
Pretty weird couple of days.
I was introducing a business partner to a customer who said immediately that he knew him, as he was his tour guide in NEW ZEALAND 16 YEARS AGO. It took him only a matter of SECONDS to recognize the guy, who now has a beard and gray hair. And we live in BRAZIL.
It seems that some people have an uncanny ability to recognize people with VERY little information. We were amazed but later I was talking to this guy and he told me that his father also has the same ability. He can recognize people passing by in moving cars, just glancing out of the window.
He can also recognize someone at first glance even if they are well inside a pub in a dark area. He does not know how he does it, but he does.
A Murder Of Crows
When I was eight, my father brought home a pair of lovebirds. I was obsessed with them. I cleaned their cages, fed them, and every passing second I would check up on them. The birds were majestic. Both had bright yellow feathers, with spots of blue. They were beautiful little creatures.
Months later, to my abject horror, the female bird passed, to never move again. The consequences were devastating. As we moved her lifeless body away, the other one stopped eating. He became fussy, he would peck me when I would clean his cage, he wouldn't touch his food for days, and he would just lie at the bottom of the cage, to not move.
My eight-year-old brain couldn't understand what was wrong. One day, I decided enough was enough. I thought the bird was sad because he was caged and I made up my mind to release him to the wind so he could be happy again. I didn't tell my parents, and I took my precious little bird to the terrace.
Within minutes of taking him upstairs, I see a flock of crows gather around where I was. My bird would thrash around in his cage, and I thought that he was finally happy. He will finally be free. As I opened the gate to his cage, I saw that he was hesitant, and unwilling to leave the cage. I would shake it, move it, but the bird wouldn't budge.
As young as I was, I tilted the cage and the bird had no option but to leave the four walls that caged him. For a second, he would spread his wings, and I would smile—happy and content that I'd done the right thing. Little did I know, I'd just made the worst mistake possible.
Just then, a pack of crows started chasing him, trying to catch up to him. I was terrified. I started screaming, crying, and throwing rocks at the pack of crows that were chasing him. Within two minutes, the bird, my bird, was pecked at, ambushed, and a goner.
This event would mess me up for years to come, and even today I shake and shudder every time I remember this moment. I would rush back home, hug my Didi, and cry, while she told me how these birds couldn't survive in the city. She told me how the bird was sad after losing its mate. Turns out, they are this way.
This event, as strange as it was, taught me something incredibly important. You can't save everyone and not everyone needs saving. More importantly, just because your intentions are pure, doesn't guarantee that what you're doing is right.
It’s Raining Menman in brown shirt beside woman in black shirtPhoto by Moosa Moseneke on Unsplash
10 days ago, I set a personal goal that would require a significant time investment. I am aware that dating is a HUGE time investment. Therefore, 10 Days Ago, I promised myself that I’m not going to date for the next six months while I focus on this goal.
Nine days ago, I have on no makeup, a messy ponytail, an old comfy sweater, and leggings. I’m trying to get home, but end up slightly lost in the big city. I’m new to Toronto and shockingly challenged with directions. A tall, well-spoken gentleman visiting from England offers to help me on the street.
He’s self-employed, self-sufficient, and very funny. We open Google Maps on his phone and squint at the little screen. He says, “Oh. That’s where you live?" He’s staying at the hotel right by my condo. He walks me home. Says by the courtyard, “Would you like to go for a drink?"
To which I say, “I don’t drink”.
To which he responds, “We could get coffee instead”.
Hmmm, how strange and unexpected.
Four days ago, I’m smelly (probably) after a long day at work. I’ve removed my stained lipstick. Feeling 3/10. A young, handsome gentleman stops me on my way to the grocery store. I just want to buy some bread and juice and go home. He says, “What does a girl like you find herself doing on a Friday night?"
I say, “Buying groceries”. He laughs and comes into the grocery store with me, offering to push my cart. To our mutual surprise, we have a great time. He works for Microsoft and is visiting from LA. He’s even wittier than the Englishman. I run an errand for a friend, and he runs it with me.
He carries my groceries all the way home, where we bump into a friend of mine who I’ve planned to meet after not seeing each other for three years. I let them chat in the lobby while I put my groceries away. I come back down and he politely leaves to let us catch up. My friend looks at me and says, “He just said you have the most character of anyone he’s ever met in his life”.
He texts me the next day: “Can I see you again?"
Hmmm, how strange and unexpected.
Two days ago, I’m wet and out of breath from the rain when I arrive at my destination. A well-dressed, easygoing gentleman meets me at the auto showroom. He’s taking me to test drive a car. I’m impressed with his ability to comfortably and confidently communicate the features while I navigate the $100,000+ vehicle down rainy Toronto streets.
We have a pleasant time. The minute I leave the showroom, he asks me to dinner. “Would I be terribly out of place?" he inquires politely. Not car-related.
Hmmm, how strange and unexpected...That was the moment I had a stunning revelation. I realized that the moment I decided not to chase something, that same thing seemed to start chasing me. I wish this sort of stuff happened with money.
For some reason, I don’t think my rent will cover itself if I say: I’m not going to show up to work for the next six months! Which, to be fair, isn’t that strange or unexpected.
I Feel Your Pain
This is the strangest thing that’s happened to me that I feel like sharing with the public. It’s actually happened to me many times…too many times to just be a string of coincidences, I think. The most recent time was just last week. On Tuesday, when I was at work, I suddenly felt a weird sensation low in my throat.
I’d never felt anything like it before. It lasted for about 30 minutes, then it just suddenly went away. I described it to my wife when I got home, and we decided that it might have been acid reflux (which I’ve never had but she gets sometimes), so I should take an acid reducer before I went to sleep. I forgot to take it before I went to sleep, but the pain didn’t come back anyway.
Then, on Friday, I was Facetiming my mother. She lives several states away and I hadn’t talked to her for about a month. During our conversation, she mentioned that she had an endoscopy done that week. She hadn’t told me that she was going to get it done. When I asked her when she had it done, it was at the very same time on Tuesday that I felt the weird, new sensation low in my throat.
If this only happened once or twice in my life, I’d think it was just a coincidence. But it’s happened dozens of times with different people who are close to me: my parents, wife, and my children. I get a sharp pain at the front of my mouth, as though I bit myself, but I didn’t.
A few hours later, when I pick my kid up from school, I see they have a busted lip in the same spot. They fell and hit their face at recess a few hours earlier. I get a sharp pain in my ankle while I’m sitting at work. It lasts about 30 seconds, then stops. I can’t explain it, until about 30 minutes later, when I get a call from my wife.
She tripped and rolled her ankle at work, and her friend is driving her to the doctor’s office for X-rays on it. (It wasn’t broken, just sprained). Anyway, this is the kind of thing you don’t really mention to people you know in real life, because they might think you’re weird and slowly back away from you.
It’s right up there with “I was abducted by aliens” or “I saw Bigfoot” as far as strange things to admit to people. So here I am, sharing it with 50k or so strangers online. Thanks for listening.
I'm too young to remember this, actually. But my mom always tells this story. Apparently, when I was younger, barely able to speak. I was sitting on the floor playing with some toys nonchalantly with my mom when I just said, "When I was in heaven, I met a woman who said you'd be the perfect mommy for me".
I apparently held the belief that I was in heaven before being born, and an angel looked at me and chose the mom I went to. My mom asked me to describe the woman, and my response freaked her out. I apparently described my mom's great-grandmother perfectly. Down to the eye color.
I had never met my great great grandmother, nor seen a picture of her.
Good Will Huntingbrown wooden framed painting of green and brown treePhoto by Marek Okon on Unsplash
My aunt, who was a missionary in Africa, gave me a painting that a patient of hers painted. It was a simple view of the village he came from. Three simple huts, some trees, grass, and native shrubs. This was in 1968. On the back was written his name, to my friend Charlotte. Jos Nigeria 1966.
Well when my first wife and I divorced in Wisconsin, it was amicable. She took her stuff, I boxed up my stuff and by sheer coincidence, we both moved to Florida, different cities. Anyway after I unpacked my stuff I realized I didn't have my African painting. I contacted my ex—and she gave the most infuriating news.
She said she sold it in a garage/ moving sale. I was so mad. I remarried in Jacksonville Florida. My new wife loves thrift stores. I'd usually wander around looking at things and sometimes find something, but I just went because she did. Well two months ago, 23 YEARS after my divorce we were in Brunswick Ga, and we stopped at Goodwill.
As I walked past a customer looking through pictures she flipped past a painting that looked like mine. I stopped, excused myself, and asked if I could look at the one she just passed on. I pulled it out, flipped it over, and there was the writing to my Aunt Charlotte. I let out a little scream.
The lady thought I just discovered a masterpiece. I told her the story of the painting and showed her the writing on the back. $3 later, it was mine again. The Goodwill tag showed that it arrived on Aug 10th, 2022. Somehow the painting made its way from Madison WI, to Brunswick Ga in 23 years.
What To Expect When You’re Not Expecting
A girl texted me to ask if I wanted to have a baby with her. She didn’t mean this as a metaphor…She meant, like, have a baby for real. I hadn’t talked to her in ages. I thought: she can’t be serious. But, no, she actually meant it.
She wanted a baby. She didn’t have a boyfriend. She was sick of white men. She thought our baby would be cute. These were her arguments. I tried to deflect with a joke. She was serious! I asked her if she was high. She said nothing back.
My daughter and I were painting a house I bought, the house was in an old Mafia neighborhood. We were removing the light plates on the walls. All of them were fake, and when you pulled them out, they held secret compartments. We found old gold coins and silver dollars. And two silver bars—pure silver.
Broke The Systemwoman biting pencil while sitting on chair in front of computer during daytimePhoto by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash
It was my 7th standard board examination results day. My result was Withheld. I was chilling in my grandmother’s village, enjoying my summer vacations and the result showed a BLANK in my Mathematics marks.
Everyone assumed that I made some careless mistake of not writing my name or I flunked the exam. Everyone except my father. I was chilling with no effect. A couple of days later, my brother finds out the mystery behind this by querying the board authorities.
It turns out that the server was not able to render three-digit marks. I literally scored a 100. I was chilling with no effect. I want to be that confident again.
Sleep On It
I was in my higher secondary when I had this bizarre experience. I returned home from school and was doing my math homework. But I couldn't find the solution to a particular problem. I ran the question in my head a million times to understand it correctly and yet I couldn't find the answer to it.
I got tired after a time and postponed the homework to the next morning, ate my breakfast, and slept, thinking about the problem. I am not sure about the time when it happened but I was thoroughly relaxed with a clear view of that problem in my head. I suddenly turned right to find a book on my side.
I took it and found the exact solution to the problem in the book. I was so happy at that moment. I closed the book and slept again. At about five in the morning, I woke up and suddenly realized that I found the answer to the problem. But wait a minute, where was the book I used for my reference?
I turned to see if it was there. But it's not there. I felt awe-struck. I still remembered the solution to the problem and finished my homework, thinking about the dream. I realized that it was my brain which performed that miracle. I was in an equilibrium between dream and reality at the time I discovered the answer.
I came to know the wonderful potential of my brain at that time. After that, whenever I wanted solutions to my problems, I slept but unfortunately, it never happened again.
A Stream Come True
This is quite embarrassing but it really happened. One day, I woke up and I felt an intense need to rush to the washroom immediately. I had to pee so badly. I rushed to the washroom, I just saw the toilet seat in front of me. Treasure! Treasure! My heart said. Go ahead Asad, pee it out, go ahead…go ahead…
At once I felt something warm and wet in my pajamas. Haaaaaaaaaah! That great feeling when you pee after hours. That great fall, oh my God, this was good. My vision became blurry and dark. (Warm and wet feeling in my pajamas was continuously increasing in intensity). What was happening?
Bingo! I woke up. Here I am, it was a dream. BUT, the warm and wet feeling in my pajamas wasn't a dream. Yes, in my dream I was peeing in the toilet happily while I was doing it on my bed actually. Bedsheet gone. Mattresses gone. 16-year-old guy peeing on his bed.
Mom gave me a “the heck is wrong with you” look. Dad gave me a “You peed? Well. Ooookkkayyyyy” look. My brother channeled the information as fast as he could to my cousins. Great start to the day. Embarrassing.
Sister Actphoto of woman's face reflectionPhoto by Alexander Grey on Unsplash
A colleague at work married a woman from Ohio. I knew she was a twin. So, I was visiting my brother who lived in Granville, Ohio. I went to the mall with his family, and there she was, no more than 20 feet from me, a woman who was a doppelganger for my colleague’s wife.
So of course I walked up to her and said, “You don’t know me, but I know your sister“. It was probably stranger for her than it was for me.
Running On Empty
In 1996, I had just dropped out of University and was moving home to my parent's place. My tail was firmly between my legs, I had almost no money and no job prospects. Basically, I was screwed. I had an old Jeep Comanche with all my belongings in the back and 200 miles to go.
I borrowed $20 from a friend for gas and started the trip. I got to a point that was 30 miles from home and my tank was empty. I pulled into a gas station/rest stop and sort of cried for a minute in my truck. I needed $5 for gas to make it the rest of the way and had nothing. There was no way I could call my dad and ask for help...he was already so disappointed.
After a minute I started searching around my truck for change...anything...I opened the glove box and there were these paper "loyalty bucks" for a gas station that I never used. It turns out it was the exact gas station that I was stopped at. $4 worth of bucks. I found another $2 in change, put $6 in the gas tank, and bought a coke.
I made it home.d
Fast forward 20 years, I had sorted my life out and am a lawyer...that Gas Station hired me as their outside counsel...I got to tell this story to the President of the company.
When I was 10 years old, I didn't want to go to school one day. I faked a stomach ache so my Grandmother would let me stay home. I've always been a bad liar, so she tried to call my bluff. She told me if I was too sick for school then she would be scheduling me a doctor's appointment.
Three hours later, I was rushed into emergency surgery. My fake illness was actually appendicitis and It was so inflamed that if I hadn't come in that day my appendix would have ruptured potentially fatally. I felt 100% fine that day. Faking sick saved my life…
Curb Your Enthusiasmshallow focus photography of two boys doing wacky facesPhoto by Austin Pacheco on Unsplash
When I was about 12 years old I went up to Lake Tahoe with my friend and his parents who had a condo in Incline Village. One day, the two of us are walking to the bowling alley and cross a street at a crosswalk. Right before we get to the curb, a car comes really close to hitting us.
All of a sudden, we're both up on the curb, like we were lifted a few feet. We both looked at each other strangely.
"Did you jump?"
"No, did you?"
We spent the next hour kind of dumbfounded. It didn't feel like a shove or any use of force. We were still in the street, then we weren't.
Waist Of Time
I once was changing pants in my room before work and took off my belt. After putting on my other pair of pants, I went to put my belt back on but it was gone. No one else was in the room and I spent a good 10 minutes looking for it as I had simply set it on the floor. It’s been 10 years and I’ve never seen that belt again.
The Helicopter Fairy
This one is strange to me because it was so long ago and I'm convinced I have to be remembering things wrong. I was a young kid at the grocery store and I saw this toy helicopter (like hotwheel-sized) that I really wanted for some reason. I, of course, didn't buy it, but the memory of it stuck in my head.
A few nights later, I had a dream where I was playing with the helicopter, but I realized it was a dream and stupid young me thought that if I put it under my pillow, it would still be there when I woke up. After that, I woke up and eagerly checked under the pillow to get it.
For some reason, it was right where I left it in the dream. As a kid, I wasn't surprised to find it there as it all made perfect sense to me then, but years later I have no clue how the toy helicopter actually got underneath the pillow.
Just A Flesh Woundperson holding black knit capPhoto by Terry Shultz P.T. on Unsplash
A car going 50-60 km/h hit both of my knees in 2008 (it was 100% my fault, I wasn't paying attention when I crossed the road) and not only did I have zero broken bones, but I didn't even fall. (I did flinch quite a lot, though).
My knees and leg hurt for about two days, but I really can't explain how a car going relatively fast hit me and I walked away with only a couple of bruises.
My friend was in the garage working on his dirt bike. The driveway was empty because his parents left a while ago. I go inside to grab a soda but decide to look for his cat, who I haven't seen all day. I walk into the office and as I'm calling her name, a deep man's voice goes "Meow" right into my right ear.
I jump and run around the main floor looking for who said that. Didn't find anyone.
Must Be Ninjas
My girlfriend got out of the shower and called me into the bathroom to show me the mirror. I felt a literal chill run down my spine. There was a very strange, distinct handprint placed on the mirror.
I lived alone and she was the only adult that had been to my house in about two years. We each placed our handprints on the sides of the mystery handprint for reference and neither looked anything like the mystery print. I still have no idea how it got there.
Statue Deja Vustatue of liberty new yorkPhoto by Arnaud STECKLE on Unsplash
I have a vivid memory of being at the Statue of Liberty as a child, on my dad’s shoulders, and seeing the skyline of NYC. I remember what we ate for lunch that day, etc. I remember the ferry we took. I’ve always thought about this memory and talked about it, but my family denies I ever went to NYC.
I didn’t go for the first time until I was 23, but strangely enough, when I went, I remembered everything just how it had been when I was there with my dad.
Slip ‘N Slide
I hit a patch of black ice in the dark going 60 mph down the highway. At the time, I drove a 1-ton cargo van. It hit the guard rail and flipped. Not only did I walk away without a scratch, but the car was also drivable and I was only 30 min late to work.
Take A Deep Breath
Both of my lungs collapsed at the same time (almost over 50% collapsed)—but that wasn't the shocking part. I was walking around like I was perfectly normal. I didn't realize my lungs had collapsed until I decided to go to the ER for bubble sounds in my chest. None of the doctors could figure out why this had happened to me.
They didn’t know how I was just up and walking around and laughing.
Yellow Solo Cuptwo coffee lattes in yellow cup with saucer on brown wooden tablePhoto by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
When I was in primary school, in the cafeteria, there were all these cups filled with milk every lunch. Red, green, blue BUT ...only one yellow cup. Everyone would fight to get the yellow cup like it was the holy grail and it had been this way for years.
One night, I had a dream that the cafeteria had gotten more yellow cups in, and low and behold the next day...
Hundreds of yellow cups.
I had a sleep paralysis nightmare when I was a kid, where I saw a red-eyed dark figure standing in the doorway. It's always stuck with me, and I've called him the boogeyman ever since. One day I was browsing Reddit and somebody painted a picture of their "sleep paralysis demon". It was like the guy had painted my exact dream.
And then a bunch of people commented that they had seen the same creature. It always makes me uneasy to think about.
Wait For The Other Shoe To Drop
I was at my girlfriend’s house in the kitchen chatting with her and her daughter when I saw one of my shoes, which I’d taken off next to the door, drop from two feet high from thin air. My girlfriend didn’t see it but her ten-year-old daughter did. I still remember the thud sound as it hit the ground and rolled onto its side.
I have no explanation other than it had to be a ghost, which I fully believe in but had never experienced previously.
Number Slumberselective focus photography of multicolored dream catcherPhoto by Megan Thomas on Unsplash
When I was younger, in elementary school, I used to have the same dream every weekend starting on Saturday (when I would go to sleep) and then wake up in the middle of the night (on Sunday) and throw up. The dream was always a bunch of numbers. Nothing happening, just a bunch of random jumbled-up numbers all over the place.
I never understood why that happened where the same dream would happen on the same night every week and I would throw up every single time. I always think about it and wonder what it was or if it was just some weird coincidence. Also, I would not have any signs of being sick before or after. Maybe someone else has experienced this???
Don’t Be Alarmed
On Reddit one night, I read that thread where the OP hallucinated weird stuff until a commenter suggested that he check for a carbon monoxide leak. The commenter probably saved his life. I went to bed thinking, “Oh yeah, I never did check whether my new house’s smoke alarms also detect carbon monoxide. I need to check that out in the morning”.
At maybe 6 AM, my wife and I awoke to our fire alarms screeching, with a recorded voice telling us carbon monoxide was detected. We grabbed the baby and the dog, piled into our car in the driveway, and called the fire department to check it out.
After they tested, they told us no carbon monoxide was detected, but sometimes fire alarms behave unexpectedly when their batteries are low. This was maybe five years after moving into a house that’s new construction, so yes, I was super irresponsible in not checking it. It wasn’t even the first time I’d read that story on Reddit.
Anyway, there is absolutely a logical explanation: an improbable but possible coincidence. But that’s how I ended up spending huge piles of money on a bunch of Nest Protect units, so I could at least get a pleasant phone notification when my alarms’ batteries are low.
Right On Cue
I was walking between bars in a college town and felt something hit me in the back. I turned around and saw a cue ball rolling down the sidewalk. I then spent the next five minutes walking up and down the street trying to figure out who threw it or what happened. I never found anyone, and I still have the cue ball.
Pandemoniumsilhouette photography of womanPhoto by Artem Gavrysh on Unsplash
One time when I was little, I had fallen asleep on the couch and woke up in the middle of the night. When I got up to go to the kitchen, I saw a black silhouette of a woman with a bun and glasses. She went into the kitchen and I heard all of the pans fall.
I rush into the kitchen no one is there and everything is in its place. I know I could've imagined the figure but I cannot explain the sound of the crashing pans and no one else heard it. They were all asleep.
Receiving Live Updates
I turned to the other person in the room, who I barely knew, and said "My sister is getting engaged right now," without having the intent of speaking at all. He politely asked why I said that, and I had to shake my head and say "I don't know".
A few days later I found out that, sure enough, at that exact moment on the far side of the world, she had said "yes" to Mr Right. I hadn't even known she was dating.
When I was 10, I had a radio and bean bag chair in my room. As I was starting to fall asleep the radio suddenly changed the channel multiple times before I heard the bean bag chair in my room slowly fold in on itself making the noise a bean bag chair would make if someone were to sit in it.
Not sure what caused this, but it certainly freaked me out.
Time Fliesperson holding black capPhoto by Alev Takil on Unsplash
I used to fence. I was at a tournament and had just started a bout against a competitor. You win the bout by being the first to five points. I score what I believe to be the first point, but the official indicates the match is over and I've won.
I stood there confused for a second, but my opponent seems to agree and salutes and approaches for a handshake, so I go along with it. I check the scorecard and it says I've won 5-2. I lost probably four or five minutes of time. Hasn't happened since to the best of my knowledge, but it's been 20 years and I still wonder what happened.
Don’t Test Me
It was my 8th semester at IIT Madras in India and I had totally given up on my academics. Then this weirdest incident happens.
In spite of attending only the first class in the semester and bunking the rest, my 'A slot' professor permitted me to take the end-semester exam! (Without sufficient attendance, you are usually awarded a W grade, which means that you have to repeat the course).
With no preparation, I went to give the exam a try. I quickly found out that copying was the only way out and was lucky enough to have an old friend sitting in front of me in the exam. I copied enough to peacefully get an 'E' grade, which was all I needed to complete the course that semester.
I was actually happy because all I did was attend the first class and enroll myself and write the end-semester exam to complete the course. On the way back, I met the guy who was my bench mate on the first day of that class, and asked him about the exam. He replied, "Which exam?" I said 'A slot' and he said.
"Dude it will start in about an hour at 1 PM". That's when I realized that I had written an exam for the wrong course! Basically, I didn't know what that course's title was, which created the whole mess. I ended up taking an 'A slot' course exam scheduled in the morning while the exam I was supposed to write was scheduled in the afternoon post lunch!
The weirdest experience was when I had to meet the professor who conducted this accidental exam I wrote and give an explanation for my good score on the test. Generally, people give explanations for bad scores. Later In the afternoon, I wrote the 'Information theory' test, which was at least the right one!
I drove home at 2 am one night. I live way in the country. I was on back roads I've driven many times, and this car looked like it was coming over the hill quite a ways away. As I got closer, it seemed like it was parked just over the hill waiting. I stopped and waited as it was a long way off when I first saw it so it should have come over the hill a while ago.
I waited five minutes. It seemed really weird for where I was. There were no houses around. I started to drive up to it and the light got super bright and then it went dark. There was this blue stuff in the air above the road as I drove to where I thought it was. "I've gone insane," I thought.
It looked like ozone burning. The second time it happened, my buddy was with me. Same time, same spot. It blew his mind. We never talk about it now.
Time Warpwoman holding clear drinking glassPhoto by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash
I worked at a coffee shop and lived a few blocks away, so I normally just walked to work. Takes no more than 10-15 minutes tops and I like to get there early so I can chill and have a coffee before my shift starts. So I left home 45 minutes early, looked at the clock before heading out and it was 2:00.
I walked in the door to my manager asking me why I was late I looked at the clock and it was 3:00. There's no way it's even humanly possible to turn a 10 min, five-block walk into an hour. Like I have no idea. I even checked my clocks at home after work, none were off or broken, and it never happened again.
Men In Black
My dad owned a small garden shop, so I'd stay behind the checkout after school till the shop closed. This was until I saw a tall man wearing all black, like a trench coat, walking past my dad and smiling at me before going into a staff-only area. I jumped up to stop him, even though I was seven.
This back area was filled with new shipments. I turned the corner—and my jaw dropped. Nobody was there. There was nowhere he could've gone. I asked my dad to check the CCTV after closing, but it only showed me jumping up and running, and running out of frame. Weird stuff, never felt comfortable there again.
When I was in college, an intoxicated dude fell from a 3rd-floor balcony and got up and walked away like it was nothing. Seriously one of the weirdest/freakish things I’ve ever seen in my life.
The Informergreen and white typewriter on blue textilePhoto by Markus Winkler on Unsplash
I met with two FBI agents who gave me a pile of money—cash, not a check—and told me that they would not report it as income to the IRS, so it was my responsibility to do so. This happened years ago.
I’d done some amateur infosec work uncovering a massive hack against an American Web hosting company called iPower Web. The hackers had totally breached their servers and planted a DNSchanger malware called W32/zlob on about 200,000 Web sites hosted by iPower.
…and from there made it onto a bunch of infosec mailing lists and such. What happened next was straight out of a B movie.
I got an email basically saying “Hey, my name is [redacted] and I’m from the FBI cybercrime unit. I want to talk to you about your blog posts, but I know you’re probably skeptical about any email that says it comes from the FBI. If you can Google the phone number for the FBI San Antonio field office, give them a call, and ask for me, I’d really appreciate it”.
I gave the FBI field office a ring, talked to the guy who contacted me, and ended up as an FBI confidential informer. I continued to investigate the network spreading the malware, but instead of blogging about it, I sent the info to my handler.
Fast forward a few years and a bunch of guys responsible for the hack were detained in Tallinn—all but one, who escaped to Russia. They spent a few years behind bars over it. So the FBI gave me a reward. Thing is, since I was a CI, they didn’t pay me in any way that could identify me, they paid me in cash.
It was freaky. They asked to meet me in a public place. A Chevy SUV pulls up, two FBI guys get out, they both witness one of them handing me the money, they both sign a statement saying they’d handed me the money, they tell me that it was on me to report the income to the IRS (spoiler: I did), they drive off.
Probably Peak Freaky in my life. I doubt I’ll ever again experience anything that freaky.
One of the strangest things I’ve encountered was being recognized later in life by a former babysitter that knew me only from when I was a four-year-old. Now, that isn’t all that odd, is it?
BUT, consider that she used to babysit me only periodically when I lived briefly in Idaho. After we moved away, there was no further contact. But, here is where it gets weird: She stopped me—many years later—in a café in GERMANY and asked if I was “little Sammy”.
Tripped me out!
More often than not, when men try to do something "sexy" in an effort to impress a woman, it tends to backfire on them.
Perhaps it is the visible amount of effort behind what they're doing or the fact that they don't do it as well as the movie star they took inspiration from.
Either way, despite their best efforts, women tend to find this sort of behavior anything but sexy.
In fact, more often than not, men have a way of turning people on without them even realizing it.
As it's often the little things that can make someone blush, anything from opening a door or slicing into a ripe tomato.
Redditor finnjakefionnacake was eager to hear all the sexy things men do without their even realizing it, leading them to ask:
"What things do men do that are sexy that they don't realize are sexy?"
When They Don't Even Know Their Own Strength
"Was getting busy with a girl one time and her head was too close to the headboard, trying to save her a potential concussion, I moved backwards and grabbed her under her hips and pulled / lifted her about two feet down the bed towards me."
"The sound she made and the look she gave me is still in my head lol."
"Afterwards she brought it up and said it was incredibly sexy how I could just handle and move her around so easily with so little effort."- Mage2177
So, So, Hot...
"I once changed a radiator in my house and that, without doubt, got me more attention and flattery from the women in my life than anything else I've ever done."- Jasper-Packlemerton
It's The NOT Knowing...
"It’s a trap fellas, just live in ignorant bliss."
"Once you realize something is sexy, you will become a self-conscious dork about it and it will no longer be sexy."- PMMeUrHopesNDreamsWhat Just Happened Wtf GIF by SomeGoodNewsGiphy
"My bf and I went to eat at this restaurant before we knew we had feelings for each other."
"While I would talk he would either laugh or smile and once while doing so he circled the rim of his glass with his finger."
"I later found out that he did it unconditionally but I short-circuited while he did it."- AsasLowkey
To Each Their Own...
"An ex of mine once got turned on when I told her I put a hand on the wall when I pee."
"I’m not sure I fully understand that one."- PaleAleDale
One Hand, One Heart...
"My wife has told me taking my shirt off with one hand is a thing."
"That kind of blew my mind."- trugrav
"One- handed steering wheel grip, reverse parking with their arm resting behind the passenger seat."- getupandstudymotor oil shot GIFGiphy
Doing It For The Thrills... And Then Some...
"My girlfriend was locked out of her apartment and I picked her lock."
"I picked the hell out of that lock."- paulo39Atati
Hits The Spot...
"My heart does a little flip each time my significant other, ever so slightly puts his hand on my back when we’re walking (to guide me), or if he’s trying to squeeze by behind me."
" I don’t know why that gets me fired up lol."- princess19977
Knowledge Is Power!
"If I ask my boyfriend a history question and he randomly knows the answer to it or if I ask about a math problem and watching him figure it out is the hottest thing, like yea you divide those numbers baby."- maneaterlexMatt Damon Math GIF by MIRAMAXGiphy
Nice And Oily...
"An ex said it was hot watching me change her car's oil."- SafeAndSane04
Compassion Is Always The Answer
"Caring for helpless things."- Maleficent_Scale_296
Speed Can Be A Turn On...
"There was a study done in Japan to see what school-aged ladies saw as attractive in their male counterparts and 'running fast' was like number one or two for elementary and middle schoolers."- Embershot89Run Fast Running Man GIF by TRTGiphy
There's Someone Out There For Everyone
"I heard one million power in 'Rise of Kingdoms' gets you any girl you want."- Key_Vermicelli_3138
Strong And Efficient...
"Carrying as many folding chairs as you can at once."- KbossDPT2019
Most of the time, the sexiest things are also the most unexpected.
That being said, any good boyfriend knows that a wet t-shirt now and then can't hurt...
Imagine starting a new job and learning that the uniform was chaps and a thong, or that the company had just fired most of the staff and you were hired to do the work of three people. These Redditors shared their horror stories of the moment they decided to walk off the job. What would it take for you to do the same?
Signed, Sealed, Deliveredman driving motor scooter delivering goodPhoto by Lucian Alexe on Unsplash
I got fired from a pizza delivery job once and was told I had to finish my shift on a Friday night. They said I was a “no call, no show” the previous day. There was just one problem. I hadn’t been scheduled. They wrote me in but didn't call me. The ink wasn't even the same color as the rest of the schedule. So when I showed up for work the next day they told me I was fired for “no call, no show”, but I had to stay and work. I said screw that and walked two doors over to the Chinese place and asked if they needed a delivery guy. I was hired on the spot. Plus I got free egg rolls.
The owner of a restaurant I was managing spilled boiling freshly made chicken noodle soup on my middle torso all the way down. It was so hot and painful to the point I had to strip my soaking boiling shoes. My reaction was to run and swear. He told me If I swore so vocally again he would let me go. I then needed medical attention, which he refused.
I went to the hospital anyway, came to work the next day with bandages, and was told I would work today's shift as repayment for missing my previous one. I explained that it was against the law and gave him an ultimatum: either he fix it by paying my medical bills or I walk. He laughed, saying I had no control over it. So I walked.
Three months later after filing suit, I supplied all the information needed to indict him on tax evasion, failure to properly insure, and failure to maintain a safe workplace. This and his other businesses had to be sold for him to afford the legal costs, my medical bills, and the mandatory restitution payments. The stupid idiot is still paying me out, and now that he's fulfilled his sentenced time, he lives in a relatively medium-sized town and we frequent the same locations, I consistently remind him of when his next payment is due.
The IT Crowd
I quit a job on the first day. I was hired as an IT tech, however this company did not know what IT techs were. They thought "IT does everything", including making sure their lights were replaced. I had one lady complain about me not changing her lightbulb fast enough because the burned-out one shattered on me and cut my hand open. I knew just what to do to get revenge. I dropped the box of fluorescents, shattering literally all of them, and walked out. I told my supervisor he needs to hire actual maintenance cause IT fixes computers.
All Work And No Playman standing in front of people sitting beside table with laptop computersPhoto by Campaign Creators on Unsplash
A large corporation I worked for kept “downsizing” the workforce but not the workload. Those of us who were left (team of 15 reduced to two) felt so lucky to have a job that we didn’t complain about taking on the jobs of three people, and we worked 60+ hours per week. The company hires a new department head and a couple of months later I have my annual review where he says, “we just need you to do more”, to which I replied, “No”. No forethought. No plan. I just knew I couldn’t take on more. I definitely caught him off guard, and I couldn’t believe “no” came out of my mouth. We were both stunned. But that was effectively my two-week notice.
I was working as an engineer for a big corporation. I was supposed to get a promotion to Senior Engineer at the start of Covid lockdowns, but they told me I wouldn’t get one because of Covid. Fair enough, but a couple of weeks later they told me our salaries would be reduced because the company wasn’t doing well. Not nice, but nothing I could do.
A couple of months later, the company promoted two Vice Presidents to Senior Vice Presidents and gave them a huge bonus. I then asked for my promotion and they told me that no promotions would take place under Covid. I waited a few more months until they finally gave me my promotion…and the salary increase was £100 A YEAR.
This is much smaller than what my salary was reduced because of Covid. I took home the letter indicating I had a promotion, gave my notice, and began looking for a senior engineer role somewhere else. Screw greedy corporations. Of course, I forgot to mention that they removed all our bonuses during this time period, but management got it all.
They changed my schedule and didn't inform me, and then yelled at me when I showed up following the old schedule. Someone had quit just before my three days off and I texted my boss to ask if he was going to need me those three days, and he said no. So Friday rolls around and I come in following the old schedule. The boss is there, he doesn't say anything about me being late, and I just work my shift like normal. Same thing on Saturday.
Sunday I am ten minutes late because of traffic. It was my fault but I am rarely late so I figured I would apologize and that would be the end of it. My boss’s reaction was diabolical. He lays into me for being late three days in a row. Confused, I ask what he's talking about. He had changed the schedule on Friday/Saturday and apparently, I was four hours late for both those shifts.
When I pointed out I wasn't informed the schedule changed and I even asked him on Tuesday if he needed me. He replied, "it's your job to know when you should be here". I just laid my keys on his desk and left.
Too Old For Thisman wearing white dress shirtPhoto by CDC on Unsplash
It was a CNA job for a nursing home. I worked for my facility for three years faithfully. We got bought out in the third year. They cut staffing, supplies, and kicked out patients that weren’t “money makers”. I went through Covid with these guys and kept expecting things to get better. My last straw was the day I came in to 29 patients with just me and one nurse. During the day.
They expected eight baths to be done and almost half of my patients were in lifts. Three-quarters were incontinent. I called my boss in tears because there was no way I could take care of all these people. I told him it was against the law to do this. I told him it was poor treatment of elders. I begged him to send someone in to help me.
He laughed in my face and told me that the law in our state doesn’t specify the number of patients a CNA can take care of so therefore what he was doing was legal. And no help would be coming, so figure it out. I quit right on the spot. I told the nurse I’d finish my shift because I cared for these people for three years and they deserved more. I finished my shift and quit right after.
Do It For The Dough
It was my first night as a pizza delivery boy. It was my second or third delivery of the night. On the walk from the car to the apartment, in the apartment complex courtyard, I was approached by two men. They hit me in the head several times, knocked me to the ground, took the pizza and the money bag, and ran. Good thing they didn't take the car. This was in 1989, so it was long before smartphone apps. I went back to the pizza shop and quit on the spot—but I was in for another surprise.
The owners were very kind, they took me to the ER to be checked out, they paid for the hospital visit, and they totally understood why I'd want to quit.
In The Mines
Let me preface this by saying the mine was shutting down within four weeks anyways...Sand mines have things called "screen towers" which is essentially a tall (60-foot) sifter where the sand gets shaken and separated. It was a Minnesota January, -11 degrees out with 25+ MPH winds so it felt like nearly -40 degrees. The seals went out on the screen tower and we can't run without it. So the six of us went up there in the godawful cold, replaced the seals, and started it back up.
About three hours total, 60 feet up in the air, howling winds. It was absolutely MISERABLE. Now, even though we pleaded with the mine superintendent that we need high-temp seals even though it was terribly cold (those things get to be a few hundred degrees), he made us use the low-temp seals as he figured extremely cold=low temp seals....but they're typically used in water screens where near extremely cold water is constantly running over them.
About 15 minutes after it started back up, the seals failed....as we predicted, and he wanted to send us right back up there for another two to three hours because he was stubborn and didn't listen because he was the one with the apparently meaningless engineering degree, and we were just lowly heavy equipment operators.
I went to my locker, grabbed my stuff, and just drove out of there. I didn't tell a soul. When he called about 20 minutes later, I told him there was no way I can fathom working for someone like him for another minute. I did have a job offer from a mine in Texas so I gave them a call on my way home, told them I accepted, and was down there two weeks later.
In Hot Waterwoman in black headphones holding black and silver headphonesPhoto by Charanjeet Dhiman on Unsplash
I worked for a well-known Australian plumbing company in the call center, booking jobs. I had a call come in from a desperate single mother. Her pilot light had gone out on her hot water system and she hadn't had hot water for over a week. She couldn't afford the repairs and had just been doing her best to cope. One of our technicians was already at her neighbor’s property, so she approached him for help.
He followed procedure and gave her the number for the call center, assuming since he was already next door, that we could waive the $150 call-out fee and he could, at the very least, assess the problem and give her a quote for repairs. Well, my operations manager refused, saying she would cost the company, etc, etc. But then it got even worse.
By this time the woman on the phone was in tears, extremely upset, and my ops manager said, "Well, I guess she can decide what a hot shower is worth", with a big smirk on her face. I packed up my desk and walked out.
I told them I couldn't work Saturdays because I played rugby. That was fine for months until I found myself rostered on a Saturday a few weeks in advance. I told the manager I couldn't do it and reminded her of my sports commitments. She said she would amend it. The following week I noticed I was still rostered on that coming Saturday. She wasn't in at the time so I left a message saying that there might be a mistake because I was still rostered on.
I received a reply in capitals saying something along the lines of "You're rostered to work 9:00 am - 2:00 pm Saturday, come in then or don't come in at all". So, I left that afternoon and didn't return for another shift. I received calls and messages for about two weeks asking when I would be returning, but never answered or replied to any.
Flapjack Faux Pas
I quit working at IHOP after about five minutes. I applied for the job, got hired, and was told to come back a few days later to start. At the time, I had a full beard, and I figured it would be a good idea to trim it up a bit before my first day, so I shaved it down. I walk in on my first day, and the manager who interviewed me started telling me about how they were going to take X dollars out of my paycheck to cover the meal I was allowed to eat while working.
That sucks. I come to work to make money, not give it away, but I can live with it. Then the manager kind of pulls me aside and tells me, "I told you to be clean-shaven during your interview. You need to take care of that". The problem is that he said no such thing, so I responded with something like, "No, you didn't mention that, but I'll”... and he cut me off with, "Yes, I did".
I have no problem being clean-shaven. I have no problem following the rules of the place I'm working. I do have a problem working with people who can't admit even the possibility that they made a mistake and then double down on it. If he'd said, "Oh, I thought I did mention that”... then everything would have been fine. I instantly saw what working for this jerk was going to be like, so I took off my IHOP shirt, handed it back to him, and told him this wasn't going to work out. I never got paid for those five minutes, and I didn't eat at an IHOP again for something like 15 years.
What A Toolblack and silver car wheelPhoto by Tekton on Unsplash
I was working at Goodyear. It was well beneath my skill level, but they were hiring when I needed a job. Their lead tech had to leave because he tore his bicep. The same day they fired the guy below him on the totem pole for smoking a joint on his lunch break. I was assigned all the technician duties. Anything more complicated than an oil change came to me.
I asked if this came with a raise or a promotion and the boss said, "Bring me two ASE's, and three local seminars and I'll give you a promotion, a dollar raise, and a percentage of the work you do". I didn't have enough money for the racket that is ASE testing, and seminars were $200-$500 a person. They hired a new guy from a Firestone across the street.
He couldn't do technician work to save his life, he blew a couple of main fuses on some cars but could bust tires like nobody's business. Several times a week I was coming in to fix his mistakes or bail him out of a job he was not qualified for and did not have the tools for—but the madness didn’t stop there.
The boss called a storewide meeting. The new guy got promoted "In recognition of his service in the industry". No ASE's. No seminars. I gave my notice I was quitting right then and there.
The boss called me later as I was leaving for the day and begged me to stay because he realized no one else was qualified to do work beyond tires and oil changes. He offered a dollar raise if I brought two ASE's in. I laughed and reminded him that's what he offered me several weeks ago, then told him just for that I was going back in to pack my tools.
Not My Job
I was an assistant store manager at Papa John's. I was 19. I was doing nearly everything the General Manager should have been doing: scheduling, inventory, ordering, counting drawers/cashing out drivers, taking deposits to the bank, covering when people called out, working open to close on a regular basis…literally doing his entire job.
After a busy Friday night I just walked into the back office and had a fantastic conversation I will never forget: Me: "Hey man, unfortunately, I won't be able to come in tomorrow". "Oh, got plans or something”? "Nope. I actually won't be able to come in Sunday either, or any day after that”. "What do you mean”? "I mean I quit. Good luck, see ya". Put my keys down and walked out the door, and never looked back.
I was 15 years old. It was my third day on the job at a convenience store. The manager patted me on the head all softly like as I cleaned shelves. Then later the same day, he took me aside alone into the office to accuse me of taking money. The cash register I had used the previous two days had not added up right because I had made a lot of mistakes in using it due to a lack of training.
That and several other staff were dipping in and out of my till all day and I didn't know this wasn't normal. In hindsight, it was probably all a pretext to get me alone in a private space. Nooooooope. €3.50 per hour is not going to keep me here around this creep. See ya. I ran down the street crying and have never worked for anyone except myself since.
Every Day I’m Hustlin’a yellow notepad on a keyboardPhoto by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
I was working at a nursing home in medical records. My micromanaging supervisor, whom I hated, had retired but not recommended me for her position even though I knew as much as she did. They hired someone with zero experience off the street. I asked for time off to go to a conference for my side hustle and was told no.
They said the State might come in and do their yearly inspection, and the new manager had never been through one before so I needed to stay. They cut my hours due to a declining patient population, but the new manager reported I'd been missing shifts (not that she'd cut my hours), so I walked in during the morning meeting, threw the keys on the table, told them I didn't work for liars and left. My side hustle went full-time. Never looked back.
I had a job mostly driving and a lot of heavy loading and unloading. I got a concussion while working (my fault, I wasn’t paying attention and was rushing) and was not feeling right while on the road. I got pulled over and asked to be picked up to go to see a doctor. I got lots of attitude the whole time. The doctor confirmed a concussion and told me no driving, heavy lifting, or repetitive up and down movements for two days.
My boss then says he was putting me on light duty in the warehouse. That was the moment I knew I had to leave. The warehouse is absolutely not light-duty. They paid well enough that we had enough saved to cover a couple of months. So, my wife suggests I just take some time off and look for something new. I had a backup plan if nothing came up. I never showed up the next day.
I’ve never quit a job like that before and probably never will again, but it was a pretty awesome feeling. I already knew I wasn’t going to stay, I was not a good fit and it was affecting my home life…the worst job I ever had.
Plus I got to spend a whole month and a half off with our three-month-old. I feel like it did a lot for our bond…and the whole situation put me where I am today, I suppose.
My mom got me a job bussing (with intent to serve…that never came around) at a brand new up-and-coming bistro/bar in our small town. The pay was horrible (tips were meh...and obviously under-reported), but it was a job while I was in school, and the hours weren't too bad. They had me work Easter (with a bonus) at their country club a couple of months in with a couple of the other wait staff from the bar/bistro.
It was buffet style, so the wait staff and my single busser self were supposed to all be grabbing plates that were finished from tables. MOST of the wait staff from the bar/bistro hid in the kitchen and ate the food the whole time while I and some of the permanent staff from the country club cleared tables with one or two of the bar/bistro staff helping once in a while.
There were over 40 tables for four people...plus the other three to four hiding. When I got my payslip, I asked the food runner what he was paid for the holiday. He told me a sum over $120 more than what I got (which was about $120) and about $100 off from what he overheard the wait staff getting. He told me my pay for what I did was abysmal, and I agreed with him.
So I went to the boss to ask why my pay was so low, considering I did the majority of the work while everyone else hid and ate except the permanent staff. His answer was demented.
He told me I wasn't worth what I had received. I told the other busser I was sorry and I put my badge and keys on the counter and walked out of there leaving them with one busser for the rest of the day.
Both of us (boss and I) were servicemen at the time, from different branches, but that level of disrespect from another service member was just another level of jerk on top of it all. I called my mom on the way home to tell her what happened, and she quit within a month after me. She was one of their best waitresses and a bartender.
Pack It Upbrown wooden shelf on white floor tilesPhoto by tommao wang on Unsplash
I was working in a warehouse job when I was 17 years old. We'd just moved into a much bigger warehouse and needed another store person. I had a friend, let's call him Greg, looking for work so I got him a job there. Greg was not very good at this particular job but Greg had a driver’s license to do deliveries to customers and I did not.
A month later, the warehouse manager gives me a heads up that apparently head office doesn't want to pay two people, and the head office wants to keep Greg because he has a license. This is a new warehouse with literally hundreds of pallets of items to unpack and put on shelves so I decided to just bugger off…good luck to them. But Greg only liked the job because he got to work with his mate, and with me gone, he felt no need to hang around. Greg emails his resignation that afternoon and leaves them in a lurch with 150,000 different items to unpack without a store person.
In December 2019 the census was looking for part-time workers for the 2020 census. Some global things happened in early 2020 which postponed all the census work. I thought it would be a fun thing to do in the spring, but instead, we didn't get on-boarded until August. I did all the training, got the equipment, and did my first day.
It was over 90 degrees. I drove around (my addresses were spaced out, not walkable) for around three hours doing 30 addresses, and only had three people answer the door. The second day was more localized. It was 90+ degrees again. I walked to ten different houses with no answer before I told myself, "This is ridiculous. I don't need this job, this was supposed to be a fun little side thing to do but this blows". So I walked home and texted my field supervisor that I quit.
She didn't even act surprised or give any pushback. She just set up a time that I could meet her to hand over all my stuff back to her. Little side thing about quitting: All the Census stuff was done on a Government issued iPhone. When I returned all of the items I did not include the headphones from the iPhone. She made me drive back home and get the (used) earbuds to return.
Just The Tip
Many moons ago I worked at PF Chang's as a server, and we were on our third General Manager in one year. He decided to make this rule that if you had a party of eight or more you had to have two servers and split the tip. It was this random rule he had made when we had a bunch of servers that sucked and couldn't handle large parties on their own.
But for the veterans, we basically refused to do it because we would always be paired with a crappy server and end up doing ALL the work anyway. They just became glorified food runners. I have no problem tipping out my food runners but splitting the tip....no. So among the good servers/veterans we would pretend to partner up and just serve the table as normal.
Of course, we would help each other if needed but no splitting the tip (unwritten rule). Now to the story. It was a lunch shift. Super slow. One of the idiot servers was "working", meaning she spent most of the shift in the bathroom or talking to BOH. A party of eight walks in. I had to partner up with her because the General Manager was standing right there.
She got water for the table and then she disappeared. She reappears when they settle the bill and looks me straight in the face and says, "Ohhhh how much did WE get”? This is why I know she was high. "We?!?! No. I'm not splitting this”. She goes to the General Manager who KNOWS she didn't do anything. He watched me take care of the table myself.
He comes over to me and says, “You have to split the tip”. I said, “No, she didn't do anything but get water”. And he says, “I don't care, that's the rule”. I said, “She ain't getting nothin’ and cash me out now. I'm done. And if you don't give me the full tip, I'm calling corporate”. I waited for 10 minutes and then I just left with the full bank plus my tips. I later found out through my friends/coworkers that I only owed $30 or something so they weren't going to charge me for taking the cash or anything. The "I don't care" comment made me so angry. It's literally your job! I don't regret it to this day!
Prime Timeman in blue polo shirt and blue denim jeans standing near brown wooden shelfPhoto by TheStandingDesk on Unsplash
I was working for a small warehouse business which is the middleman between Chinese companies and Amazon (ie, they put the barcodes on Amazon Prime shelves). It was run by three females and one man. This place was a gong show with no health and safety and no system for their warehouse racking or storage for items.
Two of the females (one being the wife of the man who owned the company and co-owner) moved some things around and the next thing I knew he came up to me and started shouting at me calling me an idiot. That was strike one. In the meantime, the three girls in the office became like high school mean girls and would talk to me like I was stupid.
The next week, I was using a pump truck to help put pallets in place so the forklift could come along and put them on a lorry. The male owner snatched my pump truck from me whilst I was in the middle of doing this job, whilst calling me useless. I went, "You know, what screw you! Screw this place", all whilst holding my two middle fingers up at him and I walked away. They conveniently forgot to pay me when payday came and I only got my money when I threatened them with ACAS.
I worked at a company where, every time I pointed out something incorrect about an interpretation regarding how technology works, they would always argue with me, their HEAD OF IT, that I was wrong, and I would always be proved correct. Quite often this would relate to stuff like how Google Ads works or algorithms, etc.
Often they would still not heed my advice which would either result in me having an extra ton of work to do or in the company spending unnecessary money for services that weren’t needed, all because they don't listen to me. One day, I brought this up and the Managing Director of the company said, "When you don't agree with me, I don't trust that you are telling the truth".
I knew just what to say. I told him, "If you don't trust me in this capacity, then you shouldn't still retain me to work in this capacity and I'll be tendering my resignation effective immediately". I walked out of the office, saw them about six months later, and was straight up told that they regret not having me around because every IT guy they've had since has dusted within a week and all the IT services they are provided by external parties aren't anywhere near as effective as they had believed they would be. I dropped a final, "I told you so", and haven't seen any of them since.
Not exactly on the spot as I gave a two-week notice, but…a co-worker quit and they handed me 100% of his projects because they were punishing the other two PMs for lack of performance by scaling their projects back. He quit because he was way too overworked and got a $25k upgrade for 1/4 the effort. Too much is too much. The company got the Covid money, still laid off 30 employees, and left just four of us to run the company.
They took the money and bailed on employees. I didn’t see them for a year and they came back with $100k+ cars and bragging about new vacation homes they were both building on a golf course in Florida. Of course, they sold the company and it is officially a dumpster fire. Only three original employees are left and sales will definitely not break $4m after it was at $25m when they bailed.
Garbage MantextPhoto by Sigmund on Unsplash
I'd been out of the Marines for a couple of years, and I had previously done IT work in California. I couldn't afford to live there anymore so I moved back to Ohio. I couldn't find a job in the dinky town I'd moved to and had burned through everything I had saved, so I went to a staffing agency. They got me set up with a job doing picking at a recycling center.
There's basically a conveyor belt that brings a bunch of garbage through and you have to pick out all the things that aren't specific metals. It wasn't a terribly hard job but it was 12-hour shifts standing in the same spot bent over all day, and my back couldn't handle it. I think I lasted two or three weeks. I was ashamed and embarrassed but I am grateful I had gotten that job. The paycheck got me through until I could find something more suitable for me.
Covid turned my boss into a megalomaniac. He didn't have Covid, he just wanted to jump on every possible opportunity to exploit it. He had become increasingly unhinged over a period of weeks, and one day called me out of the blue because I hadn't completed a checklist or something he had sent me, and he treated me like a child caught by a teacher. Incredibly patronizing and nasty.
I quit on the spot, and that is how I went from a work-from-home job to a warehouse job in the middle of a pandemic. Naturally, he immediately went into the whole, "Let's not be hasty, maybe we can work something out" routine, but I wasn't having it. Was it worth it? 1,000 times over. Now I'm back in my old profession working for a competitor.
I worked at a restaurant for about six months, working my way up from dishwasher/salad maker to line and prep cook. The head chef was always talking about how he is "worker-friendly" and "will get you the schedule you want". Six months later I haven't had more than a few days off with my fiancée despite multiple requests. She worked 9-5, I worked 4-11, so we barely saw each other.
Finally, a full-time prep position opened up which allowed me to work days instead of nights and have full days off with my partner. I was thrilled. I told friends and family about it. I was working on new recipes at home. It lasted a week. The head chef hired someone that they knew to replace me on the line working nights.
One week later he sent me a long text saying how "going forward" I was better working random nights on the line and the new guy was taking my prep shift. I texted back "I quit". They were like What! Why”? I couldn’t help but laugh.
A few months later they fired the guy they replaced me with. I got a kick out of that. I have a much better job now too.
Curtain Callbrown cardboard boxes on white floor tilesPhoto by Mak on Unsplash
I used to work for this small drapery shop as a warehouse guy. I had only been there a year, hired as a cutter/shipping guy, but due to others leaving, I had effectively become the warehouse stock manager. But the pay never reflected that. There was a weird lull in the year where others had quit and new people needed to come in.
I live in a college town and the owner liked to only hire cheap college students. When it came down to just me running solo, I asked for a raise to match the work I was doing. All he offered was a 25¢ raise. I quit on the spot after he told me that. The same boss spent months on vacation but couldn't afford a legitimate raise for his best—and at the moment, only—employee. Screw that guy.
On Your Knees
I was in a supermarket, stocking shelves with newly delivered products. The manager insisted people not sit on anything to reach the lower shelves, so we had to sit on our knees. At some point, this caused a lot of fluid to build up in my knees, making them quite painful. I called in sick for my shift and went to the doctor who confirmed it was likely due to the work conditions.
Later that evening, I went to a theater play my mother was in—sitting on a chair, was OK'd by the doctor. Apparently, the manager had come to our house and noticed I wasn't home, so he left a letter requiring me to come in early the next morning to explain myself. He never saw or heard from me again. I had my work clothes at home and they were technically company property.
I never got asked to return them and I never did. Sometime later, I started the same job at a different supermarket and when the floor manager saw me clumsily trying to fill a bottom shelf he asked me why I didn't just grab something to sit on from the storeroom. I immediately made a much better impression and I worked there for quite a while without any complaints.
I worked in a factory, with three-day shifts, one free day, and then three-night shifts. It's a cycle, every shift is 12 hours. We were working with very old machines. Time is money in that factory, you can't sit around and do nothing, you have to work non-stop. I left because the machine was always breaking, and the mechanic was always sleeping, he wasn't there on the spot when we needed help, and my colleagues were always taking smoking breaks—like eight in a shift, and for 10 minutes, on top of their 20-minute lunch break.
When the machine had a bad day, we made about $14 per shift. The highest per shift was $50, and that was only once every two months. The average per shift was $27. There were months when I got only $450. I worked there for eight months, walked into the office part of the factory, and told them that I quit. She asked why, like she didn't know anything about the situation...
Tax-Freeman wearing grey blazerPhoto by Charles Büchler on Unsplash
Day one, I quit on the spot. The manager/owner was so weird and I was convinced there was no way he was going to pay me. He hired people who were very slow and struggled. I think he was hoping I would be their leader. It was a general labor-type job. He was “managing” the money for the employees and gave them cash when they needed it.
I confronted him when I realized I started but never filled out any tax forms and he didn’t even have my SSN. He said he would work the same deal with me and I wouldn’t have to pay taxes. I quit on the spot and demanded my money. He refused and said I didn’t work there. I said I was walking to the parking lot and I was calling the IRS. He handed me some money. I called the IRS and reported what was going on anyways.
Fresh out of college, I went to work for a company where I had spent every break of at least five days over the prior three years, doing good stuff and improving their processes. This was back when 8-bit machines were common office equipment, and knowing how to do anything more complex than basic typing or Lotus 1-2-3 data entry with them made you a wizard.
And I was very good, creating complex spreadsheets, writing custom software that let account reps do in five minutes what had previously taken half a day, etc. At the end of my final spring break, they said to come back in June and they’d create a role exclusively for me to continue doing my magic to make them better competitors.
I went back in June. They made me a file clerk. A) Not what was promised. B) Not what I enjoyed. C) I really wasn’t good at it. Told the office manager I wasn’t happy a couple of weeks in, and he told me to give him a couple more days and then we’d chat. He set up a meeting specifically for that chat. The day came…and he wasn’t in.
He wasn’t sick, he didn’t reschedule. He just wasn’t there. I let the office’s HR person know about the situation and then left. The office manager was furious when he found out, he called me and tried to beg me to come back, and was apparently stunned when I said no. A few months later I walked in off the street and got a job at the place I have been ever since.
I worked for a generic parcel delivery service. The boss puppet told me before starting my shift that I owed the company $800 for damages to company motor equipment, which is against the law to ask where I am from. Nevertheless, needless to say the puppet had a REAL good double shift that day. I immediately ran to the work court to submit a complaint. I didn't even have to go up to the judge. The thing was settled in no time and they don't do that anymore.
Extra Creditwoman in blue dress shirt and blue denim jeans standing beside brown wooden chairPhoto by Daria Pimkina on Unsplash
I had worked just shy of four years for a company I adored. I would go in early every morning, stay late if need be, I came in on my days off and worked six days if they needed the help. I was good at what I did and I loved the company so it never bothered me. My manager had hired her own daughter a couple of years back and when her daughter got a new job, my manager kept her daughter on the payroll books just in case her new job didn’t work out.
Her daughter was coming back to work for the company and I happened to be offered a job elsewhere where the opportunity was too good to pass up. I sat down with my manager and gave her a month's worth of notice left of me working for her full time, though because I loved working there so much I asked if it was possible to take her daughter’s old position of still being on the payroll and I could work a weekend here and there to help them out. Her reaction was brutal.
My manager told me the position suddenly no longer existed!! She typed up my resignation and made me sign it on the spot and made arrangements to promote a different staff member straight into my role. I was devastated and hurt that the company would hate on me like that. Instead of fighting it/arguing my case, I wished them good luck as Christmas was two weeks away, and I walked out on the spot and enjoyed my Christmas break before starting my new job. It was the best thing I’ve done for myself.
I was a cabinet maker by trade at the time. I accepted a contract role fixing shoddy installs in a building with 16 apartments to go through. I did a walkthrough with the supervisor and oh my god, it was some of the worst work I had ever seen. Some of the kitchens would literally have to be completely pulled apart and reinstalled to make them acceptable.
He gave me a timeline that was so unattainable I literally laughed when he told me. I asked how many others would be working on them with me and I was told I was the only one. I asked if he was "freaking kidding me”? He was completely serious. I told him he had no idea what he was doing and left. I didn't even get my tools out of my car.
I'm a welder/ fabricator and quit my job after about four or five work days. This place had a fairly large workforce (over 100 people on the shop floor) and had recently moved workshops. Some corporates came from another state to do a health and safety audit on the place and decided to ask me why certain things were not up to standards.
After trying to explain to them that I was a temp worker who had been there for four days, and I felt like this was not my responsibility, they carried on trying to berate me. For the rest of the day, I sat in the break room and waited to clock out to make sure I got paid. Also, the health and safety officer who worked full-time at the workshop happened to be off on the same day...
Family Firstwoman holding man and toddler hands during daytimePhoto by Jessica Rockowitz on Unsplash
A very well-known British fashion label pushed me out of seeing my ailing mother on her 60th birthday. I was put in an awful position and they knew it. My mum knew it and she was devastated but knew I had to. So I went to the stupid manager’s conference in Melbourne anyway—but they didn’t stop there. When I returned, they tried to cheat me out of the time off I had booked to spend on our last-ever family holiday.
I also needed to help pack up the holiday unit and bring the folks back—both had terminal cancer and weren't very well by the end of the week. After 15 minutes of back and forth with the area manager, I gave one week's notice. I informed them I was going to lunch. I walked to the local cafe, got myself a new job, and laughed with relief for the rest of the day.
I had just got a new girlfriend a few weeks prior. My job was as a delivery driver for aerospace parts. Most of my driving was in metro LA and our shop was more inland empire. I was coming back from my last trip a little early around 7:30 pm, and along the way, I called my new girlfriend and told her I'd be at her place in about 30-45 minutes.
I pulled into our shop, and they wanted me to run back down to LA with some parts that were getting expedited. I told my immediate supervisor that would bring me back late, and I got PLANS. "I don't care, we need to get these down there ASAP". I took the truck fuel card and my badge and threw them on the flatbed trailer, and said, "I'm not going back down there tonight". Supervisor: "Are you sure you want to do this”? Me: "NO, but I'm NOT going back down there TONIGHT". He said "OK", took my cards, and jumped up in the truck, and did it himself. I went in early the next day to get my last check and bounced.
Sharing Is Caring
I get an interview for a data analysis/mining job. I go to the interview. After repeatedly dodging my questions about their business, they finally admit they are one of those companies that advertises timeshare properties—come and listen to our sales pitch and win a free gift. They need someone to mine prospect data and create their mailing and phone list. I got out of there. I didn't even collect my free gift.
Injury Freeblack corded telephonePhoto by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash
My job was cold-calling people about injury claims. "Have you been injured in the past three years”? That kind of thing. The thing that really irked me was that all of the people I called in those 20 minutes were polite, said they're not interested, and they were just sitting down for dinner. I realized it was a horrible job and I was in no way cut out for it. I left after 20 minutes and just walked out the door without a word.
I worked at a grocery store when I was in high school and told management I needed a day off for my girlfriend's birthday. I told them about a month in advance. No worries. The manager leaves and the new manager tells me I have to work that day. I told him I had already requested the day and made plans so I wouldn't be coming in. His response was that I was fired if I didn't come in. I told him if that was the case then I just quit.
Many years ago I worked at a popular sports bar as a line cook. On the first day they had me train with a guy who didn’t speak English for two hours. Not a huge deal. Mostly you observe people in a kitchen and that’s how you learn. The owner came back and said she was scheduling me to be alone the next day....which was Super Bowl Sunday. I got out of there so fast. Left right then and there.
Knock Knockpeople sitting on chair in front of table while holding pens during daytimePhoto by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash
I went into an office for an interview. They said they had several positions available and I wanted to do some admin stuff...well, after the interview they told me to get in a van to do the next part of the process. Turns out we drove an hour away so I could shadow one of their door-to-door salespeople. They would ask residents to go into their basement to check their hot water heaters to see if they were eligible to replace them with their companies own.
I felt pretty uncomfortable about this and pretty annoyed that my whole day was gone doing this. The worst part was the girl I was shadowing spent half the day sitting around in the truck reading magazines and waiting for people to come home from work. I was sort of asking questions about the job and she got defensive and said, “Well I decide if you get this job or not”, to which I replied, “Yeah I don't know if I want to do this”. But she kept insisting that it was her who decided if I worked. I don't think she understood I meant that I didn't want to do this stuff. Just a waste of a day.
I found out that the educational assistance they touted in their advertisement applied only to full-time employees and that they defined full-time as no fewer than 40 hours, and kept anyone who would apply for that assistance from ever being qualified for it. None of this was advertised and the people I interviewed with assured me, a college student, that working 21 hours a week would get me the benefits.
Too bad I read my contract before signing it and called them out. Don't lie to your employees, especially during an interview on something that can be easily and swiftly disproven. If you're willing to lie to me about this, what else are you willing to lie to me about?
I was interviewing for a contract position at a very small game development company, and they told me they were looking for someone to help finish up an existing project. But then I saw what they were talking about. Literally, the game looked like it was made in MS Paint. As if they had just hired some random guy off the street and asked them to make some art for them.
Granted it's a mobile game and sold for the standard 99 cents, so maybe that's not the worst, but the game itself doesn't look engaging at all either. But I figured, worse comes to worst I could make some money on the side with some low-effort work. Then they told me that my pay would be a percentage of the sales. I got right out of that one.
Secret Ingredientbreads in display shelfPhoto by Yeh Xintong on Unsplash
I worked in a bakery. It was my first day, so I got there in the morning to meet everyone. Then they have me grease up baking trays for the others to fill. I lift up the first tray and like ten to 15 cockroaches just scatter everywhere from under the tray. I told the guy showing me the work that there were cockroaches and he just shrugged.
This was all in the backstore, and customers were about ten feet away. So I tell the guy that I'm not feeling too well after about an hour of doing that and I head to the bathroom. When I came out I told him I couldn't do that job and he told me to get a real job then, so I left and got myself a “proper” job somewhere else.
I had an interview at what I thought was a regular steakhouse in a new town I had just moved to. The interview went well. It was just before the restaurant opened so it was pretty empty. At the end, a waitress starting her shift walked by in chaps and a thong. Turns out that was their uniform. The manager called like 30 minutes later saying I got the job. I had to politely decline that one.
Mine was fast food. It's your regular fast food story, unfortunately. We had two cooks and myself during the day shift. I was running front line, drive-thru, and fry station by myself for four hours straight. I couldn't keep up. For four hours, I was struggling and getting yelled at by customers because of their wait. My manager decided at that point to come out and help the two cooks...I watched her do that so she didn't have to deal with the irate customers for another hour, until I cracked.
The last customer I spoke to was screaming at me in the window for having to wait ten minutes to get his food. I just walked up to my manager and gave her the headset and walked out. I sat in my truck in the parking lot and had a full-on panic attack for an hour before I went home. I was going through a very rough time at that point in my life and just couldn't handle it anymore. That was probably the only time in my life I ever had an actual panic attack. It was not fun at all.
Which Waywoman sitting on chair beside tablePhoto by Johnny Cohen on Unsplash
I was working as a personal assistant to an ad agency exec. He sucked at people skills, and he had a ridiculous rule. He expected me to sit at my desk until he went home at eight, despite me coming in at nine. He came in around noon. My father was sent to emergency for heart problems. I went to tell the exec that I needed to go to the hospital immediately.
His reply was, “No, I need directions first”. It was directions to a place he’d driven to the day before. Another power trip and I was done with them and him. I walked out of his office, and packed up my stuff. I walked out of the building as he paged me continuously. My coworkers knew I was quitting and all stayed quiet as they heard him calling my name. Screw you, Frank. And your snobby wife.
It’s Been A Slice
Working at a late-night pizza place as a driver, the shift manager kept sending his BFF on double and triple runs, and sending me on single far away runs. I protested, but the shift manager blew me off, then sent his BFF to do the Ford truck plant lunch deliveries alone—it was like eight orders. That was my final straw. I spent the next couple of hours fixing myself pizzas and chicken wings and food and taking it to my car.
I took like eight pizzas I wrapped in plastic wrap, several bags of frozen chicken wings, frozen bags of French fries, six 24 packs of sodas, six 24 packs of beer, and a large box full of family-size packs of Double-Stuf Oreos. I told the shift manager I didn't do anything for prep that I was supposed to for that night because he's a jerk. I hope he enjoys the extra work. I quit.
They tried to screw me on my last paycheck, saying it didn't come in. I told the main manager he better pay me now or I'm going to report them for selling booze to minors—another thing the awful shift manager did for his BFFs. My paycheck manifested very shortly after that. The restaurant closed less than a year later.
Most people think that by the time they're in their 30s, they'll have their life together.
It's only when they get to that point that they realize that's not totally true.
Maybe those in their 30s have a job, are in a serious relationship, and have a home. Perhaps they're married or have kids.
However, that doesn't mean they don't make mistakes.
According to Reddit, people in their 30s make all kinds of mistakes, and Redditors are ready to share what those mistakes are.
It all started when Redditor cthulhu34 asked:
"What’s a common mistake people make in their 30s?"
"Stay in unhealthy toxic relationships."
"Alternatively, leaving healthy relationships because you’re bored and want to have fun."
"Romanticizing your 20s and fearing your 40s. (live where you are)."
"This is so good. So easy to romanticize the past and fear the future. Life is organic and so are we. We will keep changing and often times in a good way (stronger, wiser, more confident etc.). I'm so happy to be who I am at 37."
Compare and Contrast
"Comparing their lifestyle to other 30-somethings."
"This is a good one. Your peer’s success can seem perfect from afar and make you feel inadequate."
"But if you sit down and talk with them you will learn all sorts of shortcomings and difficulties in their life that will make you appreciate something about yourself and your situation."
"In other words we all just out here tryna function."
It's Never Too Late
"Thinking they are too old. Never too late to switch career paths or look for a new relationship or start taking care of your health."
"Almost 40, just started my MBA. Never too old!"
"It's absolutely never too late. I'm 42 and honestly feel like everything is getting better, ESPECIALLY dating and relationships in general. It's a relief to finally know myself and what I want."
"Also, I'm returning to study next year and looking forward to a career change. Having a beginner's mindset, always curious and learning. My dad is an inspiration, her had a stroke in his 60's and changed his life. After he recovered, he got a divorce, moved countries and decided to study medicine. He's now in his 70's living this dream and working as a doctor. It's never too late!"
"I feel and look younger than when I was 30! I know many people well into their 60's and 80's with this growth mindset and I'm determined to be like that until I die."
"Not exercising enough and eating a crappy diet. You can't get away with those things anymore like you did in your 20's."
"My doc told me at the end of last year that I'm not 16 anymore and now is the time in my life where I get to decide whether I want to see my daughters grow up or whether I wanna die of a heart attack in my 50s. Sh*t cut deep but I got the message lol."
"Dropped 40 pounds since January and might be in the best shape of my life tbh."
"Your 30s is when you are really in the thick of "adulting". It's easy to loose focus on what is really important to you among all the demands and responsibilities."
"Not Fostering Friendships: As you enter your 30s, maintaining and nurturing friendships becomes more challenging. It's a time when connections can fade, and forming new ones becomes harder. It's very important to invest effort in the friendships you currently have. Edit: A few people have commented about what to do when people don't reciprocate? My advise - keep trying! Everyone is under water in their 30's, they likely won't be able to make every attempt at outreach you make. But over time as things become less hectic they will remember you kept trying (without guilt) and will appreciate it and come back to you. But toxic people, yeah cut those out!"
"Not Nurturing Your Romantic Relationship: Responsibilities increase in your 30s like careers, parenthood, and caregiving for aging parents. It's common for the most crucial relationship – your romantic partnership – to be inadvertently neglected. Avoid taking your partner for granted, assuming they'll always be around, or treating them as an outlet for your worst moments."
Be Who You Are
"Not Preserving Your Identity: Similar to the previous points, your 30s come with a whirlwind of conflicting priorities that can lead you to lose touch with your identity. It's easy to forget what truly brings you joy and satisfaction. Maintain a hobby that gives your life purpose and regularly reflect on whether your job still fulfills your needs in terms of purpose, financial stability, and overall satisfaction."
"I'm 33 and in the process of rediscovering who I am, what I like doing beyond just 'filling in time' and how I like to present myself. It's scary to be caught off guard by the realisation that you don't know you and just as scary trying to start down a path to change that."
"I'm happy with my job and my role as a mother. But as an individual... I just feel like a crusty 90's kid, wearing 00's fashion and focusing on everyone else's needs because it's hard to find a direction for me that will 'spark joy'. I want my wonder and whimsy back!"
Change Always Happens
"Thinking you're a finished product, not likely to change all that much."
"Have you tried not moving in the ocean? It’s damn impossible. You can’t be stagnant in the turmoil of this world."
NOT Forever Young
"Biggest mistake I made in my 30's was not enjoying them more."
"Young enough to party, still play some sports, and perfectly in place in any bar. You have energy, you have a circle of friends (that will get smaller, trust me)."
"Try to carpe a diem every once in a while, the decade passes VERY quickly."
"Do whatever you can while you are young. 30s is a peak time. I'm 64 now, forced into early retirement, and I can't do half the things I "thought" I would be able to do in "retirement". Can't bend to do gardening, can't climb the ladder to get into the pool, can't handle a walk for more than a few minutes due to arthritis and more. I'm mentally "still young" but my body is telling me otherwise."
Life Is Tough
"Got laid off at 32? Just said F it, got 2 degrees in different fields (37 now). But I kept expenses really low and saved/invested a lot of money when I did work. I went from medical research, to analytics, to education, to computer science now."
"30's...uhhh not starting investing by 35, because that's the last stop on the compounding train."
"Also, I see people get wrecked by bad marriages/relationships. That's probably one of the biggest wealth and happiness destroyers I've seen."
"Also, waiting over the fertility window. People tried to have kids later on and it looks like an absolutely expensive brutal experience with the OBGYN visits and the $15k USD IVF rounds (multiples). Then dating over your thirties seems like a hopeless market from what I can see. I never really tried so I dunno (data analyst in me looked over the stats as a 5'7 East Asian male in North America, I'm out!)..."
"Oh yeah!!! Health! Working out is crucial. After 40 it gets super tough to achieve any exceptional fitness goals. That's the best case scenario. Some people come down with nasty metabolic diseases like diabetes, and the CVDs - hypertension, cholesterol, and heart disease - these are very difficult to reverse and they kind of stick to you with more aggressively the longer they persist."
"Also, daily brushing/flossing, apparently dentists are expensive in older age. Brushing avoids cavities, flossing avoids gum disease and cavities."
"Also, not constantly learning about economics and economic/social/technological/political trends, because the pace of technology will wipe out people's economic opportunities faster than their head can spin. I see a lot of people get broad sided by economic malaise because they didn't get their financial house in order before a crisis hit. Life can be rough!"
– Deleted User
I'm not 30 yet, but I sure will learn from these stories!