Having children can be a rewarding experience, particularly as you watch them grow and evolve into their own people.
Today's burning question came from Redditor wtdoido, who asked the online community: "Parents, what was the moment when you felt the most proud of your child?"
"I went out and found him playing in the snow..."
There was a snowy day. I was working still in my office. I went into the living room where my son was supposed to be playing videogames and couldn't find him. I searched the house, no where.
I went out and found him playing in the snow (he was 5 or 6).
I said, "Oh buddy, please don't go outside without telling me, and please buddy, wait for me to finish my work and I'll come out and shovel and then you can play."
Then I looked closer, and noticed, he had his little shovel in his hands and was shoveling off part of the sidewalk and he said, "But daddy, if I shovel now there will be less for you to do when you are finished work."
"I went to meet my daughter..."
I went to meet my daughter after a concert and heard a group of kids hanging around outside talking about her.
Kid 1: I know the drummer in the band. Kid 2: Really? You know her? Kid 1: Yeah, we're friends. We were in the same English class, once. Kid 2: you liar!
At this point, my daughter is done getting packed up backstage so I go help her grab her gear. I tell her what I heard so we walk around the front of the building on our way out. She walks up to the girl (whose name she didn't remember anymore) and waves and gives her big "Hey! How's it going?!" The girl breaks into this huge smile, and as we leave, I can see all her friends huddled around her impressed by what just went down.
"I always feel proud of my children but..."
When my youngest daughter gave me all the money in her piggy bank to buy insulin for her friend because her parents couldn't afford it. I always feel proud of my children but for some reason that moment always stood out for me.
"I am a stepdad of two kids..."
I am a stepdad of two kids. It has not been easy, as their dad did not handle the breakup well and did everything in his power to get the kids not to like me (or their mother, for that matter). Over the last decade, it seems to have backfired and the kids see through his irrational, alienating tendencies.
The proudest moment I had was when I found out the daughter wanted to be a writer like me. It really means a lot, even if she doesn't end up writing. I will support her no matter what she wants to do.
Those kids are not my blood, but blood is blood and love is love. I feel I don't really need children of my own. So, cheers to all the step-parents out there!
"My son stood up to a bully..."
My son stood up to a bully recently even though he knew the outcome.
He got the sh*t kicked out of him, but after his defiance landed the bully in juvie, all the kids at his school started standing up for themselves more.
Love that kid.
"That night, when I was looking through her old baby pictures..."Giphy
I just took my 4 year old daughter to her Preschool Open House on Wednesday. It was really fun and I look forward to her starting school, but a small part of me was really sad that she's getting older. As I talked to her teacher and she took me through a regular day, I kept eyeballing my daughter playing with the other kids. It made me feel proud that she wasn't searching around the room looking for me. She was acting like a big kid.
When we made it back to the car, she gave me a big hug and said "thank you, Mommy." She has no idea that school is a mandatory part of life...so she just concluded that I had made the decision for her, and she was sincerely grateful. It made me happy to have such a thoughtful, little girl.
That night, when I was looking through her old baby pictures and watching old videos, (and looking shamelessly sad) she came up to me and said "don't worry... I'll always come home to you. You're a great Mommy."
I had to take a fake "potty break" to let some tears go... ah, that kid.
"Our daughter had wild and troubled teenage years..."
Our daughter had wild and troubled teenage years that led to some life-threatening situations and her dropping out of school. But over a few years, she found steady work, went back and finished school, got accepted to the highest-rated graphic-design program in the country, graduated with excellent grades, and is now working in the field. And, as a reference, something like 5% of people who get degrees in the arts ever work in their chosen discipline, and that includes teaching.
Actually, I'm proud of all my kids, they're strong individuals, all different and all independent and focused.
"Huh, I can read?"
I haven't been a parent very long (only 5 years) but the proudest I've felt is when she started reading. My kindergartener went into the school year only able to read her name and a couple sight words (a, and, the), which is normal. Around the holidays, she picked up a flyer sitting on our kitchen table and started reading it out loud. My wife and I shot each other a glance like "Are you seeing this?" Pretty soon she read the whole thing (it was some Christmas party for kids, so nothing difficult). Then she did the cutest thing. She looked off in the distance and goes "Huh. I can read?" Then put the flyer down and galloped out of the kitchen. My wife and I laughed and hugged and had a mini celebration.
We just ran into her teacher last week at the store and she said "Your daughter is reading at a level E now, which is about a year ahead of schedule." We're so f*ckin' proud of that little monkey.
"He's got a huge heart..."
My son is 8 years old. He's got a huge heart and he's so thoughtful. One day my wife had some nursing friends over to study for an exam and he set all kinds of snacks out for them. Then he went outside with an umbrella when he heard one of the girls was close to the house and just waited. When she arrived, he met her at her car and escorted her in. We never asked him to do that. Later around lunchtime I was upstairs watching tv and he brought his lunch up with two forks and wanted to share with me. It was his favorite kind of food too that he doesn't get to eat very often. I told him several times throughout the day how proud of him I am and what a good man he will become. I'm tearing up just typing this lol.
"When my son turned two..."
When my son turned two, someone got him some plastic tools to play with. One day soon after, he found a loose screw on one of our kitchen chairs. I watched him go get his plastic screw driver and try to fix it. The over sized screwdriver didn't fit the screw of course. After about a minute, he dropped the toy and pulled a box over to the kitchen cabinet to stand on, opened the drawer and pulled out a real screwdriver. He then proceeded to use the screwdriver to take the loose screw out of the chair, brought it to me and said "Daddy fix it?"
"We talked for weeks..."
Almost four years ago now I got hooked up with a girl on a blind date/group night out kind of thing which went pretty well. I soon found out that she was a new mom and had a 3mo old son. All of my friends gave me a really hard time about it, said I was stupid etc, but I decided to see this girl again knowing full well that this little boy was part of the package.
We talked for weeks and I finally decided to invite her and her son over to my place for a night. The next morning I decided to let her sleep in and see if I could take care of the poor little guy, I even googled how to change diapers, I kid you not. First diaper change went ok, and he even pee'd on me to show his appreciation.
Now it's more than 3 years later and he will soon be 4. He calls me dad and I consider him my son. One day we were getting groceries and he was riding in the cart saying 'Hello!' to everyone, I was so embarrassed because I am usually very shy but I was so proud that he was friendly to everyone. Sometimes when we go to restaurants complete strangers will come up to us and compliment us on what a good kid he is.
"And I held back some tears..."Giphy
My brother got married for the second time last year -- and his new wife asked my 13 year old daughter to be one of her bridesmaids. So I went with her, my brother, and his fiancée to the mall to find her a dress.
When she stepped out of the dressing room, I couldn't believe it. This kid. This child who I'd diapered, dressed, sang to, read to, comforted, played games with, laughed with... she was a grown woman. I saw in her the woman she would become, and she was beautiful. And I held back some tears as I told her that she looked great.
Fifteen minutes after we leave the store inside the mall, I'm relating this story to my brother and soon-to-be sis-in-law, and talking about how grown up she is, how it's all come and gone, she'll never be a kid again, and all that. My brother points behind us, about 100 yards down the mall concourse.
My "grown up" daughter is trying desperately to shove her 5'11" body into one of the quarter-operated carousel cars made for toddlers.
You can only be young once, kiddo, but you can be immature forever.
"My daughter didn't want to go to bed..."
My son is 5 and my daughter is 3. They sleep in separate bedrooms next to each other. They used to share a room until recently, and have been adjusting. My daughter didn't want to go to bed and was whining a bit in her room. I was on my way to check on her and I saw my son sitting on the edge of her bed. He was holding her hand. He leaned down and hugged her and kissed her. He said "I know you have to sleep alone now and you're scared but I'm just right there. It will be morning soon" and he walked out. I was amazed at his compassion for her. Super proud.
"He's usually reserved..."
I took my 15 year old son to India. He's usually reserved, and doesn't adapt well to change so I was concerned about the culture shock. He stepped so far out of his own self and truly engaged himself in everything we were fortunate to experience there. It was truly watching a boy become a man, And realize he's probably going to turn out to be a pretty cool man.
"After a few nights of zero sleep..."
I've got so many proud moments that I can't really pick one.
Recently, I've been absolutely amazed at my oldest son (6) at the simple fact that he can read and write and use his math skills. Its nothing special or unique I'm just proud that he's growing into his own and can express his ideas in more ways than just verbally.
Another moment that sticks out is not so much of a proud one as a heart warming one for myself is that I go to school full time and work; in general I'm hellish busy. After a few nights of zero sleep, I let my kids know on the way home that I was probably going to be a bit cranky and that it wasn't them at all, I just needed a good night of sleep. Well, when we got home the kids went into my younger son's room and I sat on the sofa to do more homework.
They were being awfully quiet and I was grateful. After a bit longer, My 5 year old came out asking for the vacuum. Now I'm curious, so I go to see what they were doing. They had cleaned their rooms. And I mean CLEANED. Shelves were dusted, toys organized- everything! They had also tidied up my room and made my bed! The next morning was Saturday and I slept in, when I woke up, I went to make coffee and realized that they even did the dishes for me :)
Considering at the ages 5 and 6, kids are so incredibly self absorbed- hell even as an adult I am, but this was so wonderfully sweet.
"The other day..."
The other day as I'm waiting outside the classroom to drop my daughter off at preschool we were looking at all the artwork from her class. Each kid has a picture on their assignment that matches the first letter of their first name. Tommy might have a turtle as his picture, for example. Over the course of the year, they dropped their names from their assignments and only left the picture in an effort to get the kids to associate pictures and letters.
In front of all the parents standing there, with only the pictures to go on, my daughter named every one of the kids' artworks by their name from memory of what their picture is. All the parents' mouths were agape.
"This is when a child becomes an adult..."
The moment when I was most proud of my children is when each of them chose to take responsibility for their actions and their lives.
This is when a child becomes an adult and many people never seem to cross this barrier. My children have done lots of other things that made me proud, but them choosing to be adults is definitely when I felt most proud of them.
"The older guy confronted my son..."
My son was 14 and playing (field) hockey for a men's team. It was getting heated and my son had run rings around one of the older guys.
The older guy confronted my son and said "You're a right little wanker aren't you?"
My son's response?
"Have you been watching?"
"She was at the church..."
I'm not sure this counts, but I have an objectively cute baby who smiles a lot. She brings a lot of joy to strangers. Once I was in my church building and this elderly lady who didn't speak English well saw Baby Girl and came over to say hi. Baby Girl smiled like she does and this lady just broke down. She was at the church getting financial support and counseling for some hard stuff she had been going through (I gathered) and she kept calling my baby her angel. She was crying and smiling and took a picture of herself holding the baby and had me take a picture with my phone of her holding the baby and so on for like twenty minutes. I get that Baby Girl was just doing like she always do, but I was so proud that she had brought happiness into the life of someone going through a hard time.
It occurs to me that this is probably how owners of therapy dogs feel.
"He farted himself awake..."
He farted himself awake at the age of 2.
I knew then that he was truly my son.
What's on the menu? What are the specials? What's popular? What's your favorite item?Tell me everything.
Back when I was in hospitality, these are part of the litany of questions I would get from visitors to our country. It became a bit irritating. I should've made a sign with "Regular FAQs."
I didn't have a lot of answers, due to the fact that I find American food pretty run of the mill. I'm going have to be schooled on what is considered extra yummy only in the states.
Although I must admit, the shoe definitely swaps feet when I travel. Tell me everything. The rest of the world is far more compelling with their menus.
Redditor u/Well_shi__-_- wanted to discuss what menu items we all need to discuss by asking:
What common foods in your country are considered delicacies by foreigners?
The closest "delicacy" for America I can come up with is pizza. Right? But only in NYC. And bagels, but only in NYC. Maybe alligator in Florida? And oranges, but only in Florida. Were very centralized here aren't we?
Berry WayThanks Strawberry GIF by DriscollsBerryGiphy
"Goji berries. We put that stuff in our soups and many people pick that out when they drink the soup."
"(good) Olive oil."
"Kirkland California Extra Virgin Olive Oil is white label Cobram Estates, which is the California grown product of the Australian olive oil company, Boundary Bend. They have an unimpeachable reputation for quality and win many awards!"
"It was supposed to be caviar, but now it's also unaffordable for us. cries in Russian."
In the Forest
"Hmm, forest berries perhaps. I live in Finland. We have a lot of forests, so lot of berries such as blueberries and lingonberries. Everyman's Rights mean that you can just go and pick as much as you can find. It's kinda one of those things where if you live near any forested area, and are willing to spent time there come late summer, you'll probably have enough to last until next year in your freezer."
"We have so much berries that people from poorer countries (Thailand is a common one for some reason) are hired to pick them up, because doing berrypicking enough to actually profit monetarily is heavy work. And apparently the pay isn't worth it for most Finns. At the same time, forest berries are considered a superfood around the world, very healthy and trendy. Dunno about actual delicacy status, but definitely a difference in how we think about them."
The Little Lambbaby lamb GIF by The DodoGiphy
"I worked for a charity in Iraq for a year and we'd buy a dozen lamb chops for the equivalent of $5. That's like $60 to buy in the US and it's worse quality."
Ok, now that is what I call a menu. And I actually had a few of these items on my list when I heard the question. Only in Italy can you find true oil. And caviar? Guess I'm flying to Russia. Knock, knock Vlad. LOL
"Hawaii has somehow turned spam into a sought after food, especially by visitors from Japan."
"I would add mushrooms for Finland. Especially porcinis (herkkutatti), chanterelles (kantarelli) and C. tubaeformis (suppilovahvero) are incredible food mushrooms which are sought after e.g. in Italy. We can just go pick them in the forest thanks to our "jokamiehenoikeus", every man's right, which allows anyone to pick mushrooms and berries etc. on public land such as state-owned forests."
When in Mexico...
"Avocados here in Mexico, pretty common and cheap."
"Jamón Serrano, here in Spain is really common and you can find very good product for a very affordable price."
"We are going to Madrid this fall and my husband has already informed me that he plans to eat his weight in Jamón Iberico. We used to get slivers of it from a Spanish importer near our old house for crazy money."
Truth Hurtsbritish crown GIFGiphy
"Englishman here, been scrolling for sooooo long to find my country..."
"Maybe some stereotypes are true."
Spam? Just, no. And I will say, I think the English are in the same boat as the good ole US of A. Empty food treasures. I've been to London... the supermarket sandwiches were good and you can drink in the streets. I guess you make up where you can.
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Standards for dating people are definitely very varied, because we as people are varied, and we as people are flawed. Little things might get to us from the get go, causing us to be very very picky about who exactly we let through a couple rounds of dating.
Those things can be really small. Do they wear white after labor day? Are they one of those weirdos that refrigerates their red wine? Have they recently been spotted at a Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament?
"What's the pettiest reason you've rejected someone?"
The answers were as varied as the humans who gave them.
So She's Making Things Up Again
"We went bowling and she started saying the bowling ball was hurting her fingers."
"She was convinced that there were bugs inside the bowling ball biting her fingers and that was the reason for her pain."-Wacky_Sacky
Okay But Only Psychos Cut Their Spaghetti
"I have a friend who has a whole list of petty reasons she's rejected guys:"
"•He cut his spaghetti before eating it"
"•He wore brown shoes with black jeans"
"•He cut his hair too short"
"•He dropped something and said 'whoopsie'"
"•After watching her favorite movie, Ever After, for the first time he said it was 'just Okay.'"
"And then once a month she cries about how she's still single."-Johannes_Chimp
Avoidant Attachment Style
"She smelled funny. Not bad. It clearly wasn't a case of not washing or anything like that."
"She just smelled... Weird. Couldn't get over it."
"For clarification: I didn't know how to broach the whole 'I like you and you're funny and smart and sex is great but you smell weird,' so I just moved to a different country."-BeefPicklesCheddar
It really is pretty interesting to see how people deal with these petty reasons as well.
Hoppy Beer Made Him Hoppy On Out
"I was rejected because I didn't like the taste of his preferred beer."
"That was it, I wasn't asking him to stop drinking it - I just didn't personally want to drink it. We were about to order another round, he asked if I knew the one he had just had, and offered me a taste."
"I gladly accepted because I try to be open to tasting new things."
"I just said I found it a little too hoppy for my tastes and I was happy to stick with what I was drinking. I wasn't rude, I said it was nice, but a little hoppy for me."
"His face dropped, it was almost comical. He then said something along the lines that he had changed his mind and he had better get home."
"That was the end of that first date. As in he literally decided he no longer wanted another round. The date was over. He had blocked me on Facebook before I walked the 100m to the bus stop."
"Pretty sure I dodged a bullet there."-Sharkoslotho
"My ex's name was Simone. She was studying business administration and had a horse."
"We broke up after she f**ked another dude."
"I got over it, and met another girl. Her name was Simone. She was studying business administration and had a horse. Nope."-somniumx
A Taste Log Of The Day
"This dude was super sweet and had a lot of good qualities."
"He was a plumber and casually admitted to me that sometimes he will bite/clean his nails after work and taste the remnants of what he touched that day. I could not get over that and had to move on."
"Things were really going great, like he said all the right things and he was a genuinely good person with similar interests. Up until the point he said that, I was considering moving forward with the relationship."
"Also, I see nail biting as a habit that could be changed, and even practicing better hygiene (which he mostly did, except for those damn nails)."
"Once he said it, and he was serious, my views and feelings for him changed. It's just one thing that completely turned me off from him."-AdmiralPendeja
Half The Fun Of Having Cats Is Having Them Be Bratty
"My perpetually single friend has turned rejecting people into a bit of a sport."
"I'll Tinder for her, which is all sorts of amusing, but one day, I had actually met someone for lunch and thought 'here's someone that's kind of her type, I wonder if she'd be interested!'"
"I ended up pulling up his website and showing her some pictures of the guy. We get to about the sixth photo in, of two of his cats, in a treehouse. She explains 'his cats look bratty.'"
"Yeah, well, that's why you're single. Still. Six years later."-disillusioned
And the reasons people will find just to get away from people and keep themselves alone is also very interesting.
Was It Worth It?
"Went on a first date with someone that was out of my league. Couldn't believe my luck! On our way to dinner, everything was going fine and the conversation was flowing. She seemed really into me."
"Suddenly she screamed at me to stop the car. Not pull over, stop right here right now immediately in the suicide lane of a 4 lane major road."
"Just before I came to a complete stop in the middle of this busy road, she opened the passenger door and tried to jump out. If a cop saw all this it probably looked like she was escaping a kidnapping."
"She jumped out of the car and played Frogger across two lanes of traffic, and I sat there stunned with my passenger door hanging open into traffic. A few seconds later, she came running back with something under her arm."
"I couldn't see what it was in the mirror. She had a huge smile on her face and as she climbed back into the car she squealed with delight as she showed me what it was."
"A f**king hubcap. She said it was to commemorate our first date, and that we could share custody of it. I could have it first."
"That was our first and last date."-Uncle_Baconn
Elton John Would Probably Laugh At This Story
"We spent our first date browsing various record shops in Manhattan and Greenwich Village. I took him to my favorite ones. I told him what Elton John album I thought was best."
"He disagreed and was adamant I was dead wrong. He was going to a party at his brother's after and didn't believe in subways (as his dad had died in 9/11)."
"The party was 100 blocks away in Brooklyn. Decided to walk him to the party despite having mild asthma and severe post nasal drip. Once there at the door he decided it wouldn't work out because he couldn't put our differences aside."
"His last words were, 'Do you really believe Honky Chateau is his best work?' Of course I do. He had this horrified disgusted face on and said, 'Yeah, no. That's just wrong. Not gonna work out since you have poor taste.'"
"Literally got rejected over Honky Chateau, but it's okay. My FIL thinks that album is the hottest sh*t."-intothethickofitoh
Tiny Teeth Committee
"I broke things off once because of the size of her teeth."
"They were tiny compared to the size of her mouth. It shouldn't have been an issue, but it creeped me out. I don't know why, but it was one of those things that I couldn't ignore and gradually became the only thing I could see."
"Grown woman with a mouth full of baby teeth... just weird."-CarrollGrey
It is really a wonder how humans are so easily poked, prodded, and annoyed. But it is part of what makes us who we are.
We wouldn't have fun, funny, interesting stories to tell each other otherwise. We simply have to honor these little, "petty" reasons for not getting with others.
There's nothing funny about having an employee show their true colors after you've already hired them. Upon hiring, they seemed completely normal, pleasant, like they would be a good worker. Then as they get the lay of the land, they show that they actually have a different personality when the manager isn't around to see.
A Redditor wanted to know:
"Employers, what's the most insane complaint you've had about an employee that turned out to be completely true?"
These stories will shock you. The things that these people did were deceitful and, quite frankly, illegal in some cases. How the managers didn't catch them sooner is what makes it so unbelievable.
The hotel party.
"I was the head night auditor at an upscale airport property. Had a youngish night auditor who put a room into out of order status and let his friends in to party and have an orgy that he joined during his lunch break. He got caught because of a noise complaint. Police called, he was fired and blacklisted from being hired back."
"I hope he had a 1hr lunchbreak. If he joined the orgy for 15mins that's kinda disappointing for everyone."
"That is hilarious, I had almost the exact same thing happen at a property I worked at, except:"
"a) It was a tiny 30 room historical property, so it wasn't going to go unnoticed."
"b) He threw his drug fueled party in the "Queen Anne Suite," our most expensive room."
"c) He didn't even have the sense to put the room out of order or even kiiinda clean up afterward, assuming the hotel staff would just not notice or care that a room we didn't rent that night was ABSOLUTELY THRASHED."
"d) He just made keys for his friends that he handed out, and came in through the back or something, rather than just renting the room at a discount or something so it would all be kosher on the books (if you don't have 50 bucks to rent a room at the employee rate then you don't have the money for a party bud)."
"e) He did all this on MY shift rather than his own, thinking I wouldn't catch on that something was fishy on one of our TWENTY FOUR SECURITY CAMERAS."
"f) He really thought he could prevent us from catching him by coming in on my shift, acting like he left something behind on his last shift, then while I wasn't looking, STEALING THE CORDLESS MOUSE TO THE CAMERA MONITOR. IN PLAIN VIEW OF THE FRONT DESK CAMERA. He just. Palms it. Then shifts a guilty lil glance at the camera."
"Surprise surprise, we were able to roll back the security footage and catch all this on tape when we pulled the high tech maneuver of 'Plugging In A Different Mouse.' He was fired so fast. I've never worked with such a dumba** in my life. He really thought he pulled the heist of the year."
"For context, this was not a teenager. He was obviously in his 40's, receding hairline, lanky and always a lil sweaty and dodgy and socially awkward. Not 'quiet and timid' socially awkward, more like... this guy gives me bad vibes, makes inappropriate uncomfortable jokes and laughs too hard, doesn't really get professional workplace boundaries, seems like the sort who would try too hard to impress teenagers because he has a car and can buy them liquor but can't hang onto a friend his own age to save his life. My hiring manager really knew how to pick 'em."
At the bank.
"Working in a bank. Had a teller (about 19 year-old) get pissed about the way a customer (retail store owner) would send in her deposits at the drive up window. The teller complained about the customer on Facebook! Tagged the lady personally, as well as the store! Customer called the bank and told me, furious of course."
"I told the customer we would investigate, I asked the teller. She straight up admitted it, and says "What's the customer or Branch Manager going to do about it? My Grandfather is friends with the bank President." I called HR and Bank President on conference. Girl lost her job in under 15 minutes of me receiving the call from the customer. Breach of customer confidentiality in banking is a MAJOR law violation."
"I love the fact that she thought her grandfather being 'friends' with the bank President was going to do jack for herself. Even if it had been her father being friends with the president she would still be fired. Even if she had been friends with the president she would still be fired. If she was the bank president she would still be fired. The only scenario where she gets out of this untouched is if she had a time machine to slap herself before she tagged the customer."
"This is why it is important to distinguish between nepotism and networking. Networking can look like nepotism but you are actually taking advantage of the fact that you know competent people and thus don't have to play roulette with new hires. The catch is that if you give a bad recommendation it reflects poorly on you and you lose status in the network, and the new hire is not protected at all."
"Though if you break the law even nepotism won't save you most of the time."
Should have run a background check.
"Hired a guy on a trial basis. He was super polite and careful when speaking to me, but several of my female employees told me when I wasn't around he was creepy. After about 5 days, one came to me and said almost verbatim: 'I think he's a rapist.' She just a had a gut feeling about him. So I ran a background check on him... yep, he was a convicted rapist."
"For those of you saying 'This is why you run background checks BEFORE you hire...' this was almost 20 years ago when it was not standard procedure, and I was not in charge of that regardless. HR would make the decision. In this case I requested it specifically because the safety of my employees appeared to be at stake, but not one other time in my career did I feel the need to ask for one."
Subway stamp cards scheme.
"I knew a guy who worked at subway back when they gave out stamps. Basically for every six inches of sub you bought you earned a stamp and once you filled a card with 8 stamps you could get a free six inch sub."
"So this guy started only giving stamps to customers who asked for them. If they didn't ask he pocketed their stamps and grew a sizeable stack of complete stamp cards."
"Then over time he started cashing them in. When a customer paid with cash he would ring it in as a freebie, place his own completed stamp card in the till, and pocket the cash. Customer got their sub, subway's till was balanced, and he had an extra five to ten bucks in his pocket - everybody was happy."
"He worked there for a few years and word was he racked up a few thousand dollars running this scheme. No idea if anybody complained, or if he was ever caught, but he did buy a motorbike."
Innocent retail worker gone wrong.
"So I worked retail and we got this guy named something like Gus."
"My boss tells me, 'Hey this guy's got anxiety, go easy on him OK?' And so I was like, okay that's cool I get it I can relate. I do everything I can to help him make sense of the infernal godforsaken hellscape that is retail."
"It starts off with little forgivable things -- forgetting a task here, forgetting things there, accidentally giving the wrong info and things like that. You know, newbie retail stuff like that."
"He quickly devolved in popularity as his complacency grew over time and his helpful attitude shrank. My guy started messing around during his shift, getting caught on his phone while ignoring backup cashier calls and things like that. He would make stabbing motions behind the manager's back to other employees, tell off new employees, and play it all off like he was some innocent dope who didn't know any better."
"None of this got him fired. Day after day was a new complaint from an employee about responsibilities he shirked or a customer about blatantly wrong info like, 'Oh yeah we have another location up on the hill,' and we didn't. No idea whose son he was, because that was apparently all kosher."
"What ACTUALLY got him fired is the one day he brought a dog and a super expensive dog collar into work. He claimed he almost hit the dog on the way to work and it was running around wild, etc. He tried to sell the dog collar to a customer, then tried to 'adopt out' the dog to a coworker."
"This coworker was competent enough to take the dog to a vet whereupon they found a microchip and contacted the actual owners. THAT'S where the fun started."
"It came out that Gus never found the dog at all. He straight up KIDNAPPED this dog from his neighbor and tried to pawn it off, knowing full well what he was doing. The guy lawyered up immediately, tried to sue Gus and threatened to sue the store and the store manager if Gus wasn't fired."
"Suffice to say, Gus was gone the very same evening. Nothing else came of it, but we talked about him for years and years."
These stories are unbelievable but true. How some of these people didn't get arrested is beyond us!
Thank goodness there were employees who caught these people in the act.
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The magical, curated experience for paying guests is only the tip of an iceberg of hard work, dicey ethics, and a robust corporation with all the policies and economic motivations that you'd expect.
Lucky for us, some Redditors were there to see all that goes on behind the curtain.
And my goodness do they have some stories.
Redditor memezdankton asked:
"Former Disney theme park employees of Reddit, what are some dirty secrets or stories you can tell us about your time there?"
Many people were cast members: princes, princesses, people in giant, fuzzy costumes. Those smiles, plastered there for hours at a time, aren't always legitimate.
"My SIL got a the role of Cinderealla at Disneyland Paris."
"She had to practice Cinderella's autograph over and over because although different actresses play her all over the world, the signature of the character has to be identical anywhere it's signed for consistency."
"You have to be in specific height ranges to play the different characters. Because Mickey's height range is so short he's usually played by a woman. Likewise for Donald, although the most successful and best known Donald that I knew while I worked there was a little person."
"When the princess face characters come backstage they have to take off their dresses so they don't get dirty while they're on break so the princesses are usually walking around in a smock and bloomers if you see them back there. There is some serious cognitive dissonance when you walk back and see Snow White in her bloomers on her phone cursing up a storm."
"People sexually harass the characters super frequently. I was working with Ariel and cast members will always count down before they take a photo so people have time to get into position. I counted down and this teen boy decided to try to rip off one of Ariel's shells."
"I had to open his camera and expose his film so the photo didn't get developed and passed around. I found out later that I was supposed to take it to the Kodak shop to have the film developed and that one removed - but I'd always heard the rumors about ruining the film and nobody really trains you on that so I just went with it. The little a**holes deserved it."
The Show Must Go On
"Worked at Disneyland for almost 5 years. I personally haven't gone to see the 'Disney' doctor for cast members but I know friends who have an heard the doctor doesn't give a sh** about the CM's coming in for injuries."
"The time I was there, photographers and other departments weren't allowed to drink water from the water fountains because we are 'on stage.' It was a big issue the last year I worked there and some of the leads were fighting for umbrellas for photographers. It gets really brutal in Carsland where it's 5x hotter. Almost past out from the heat and dehydration."
A Very Hostile Work Environment
"I had a friend who was a gorgeous red head in her early twenties. She got cast to play Ariel at Disney World. She returned home after a few months saying that they were pressuring her into getting breast implants.
"To quote her (quoting her manager), 'There is no way Ariel has such small boobs.' "
Others discussed the employment policies that are sure to leave you scratching your head. Or calling your union rep.
What Can and Can't Be Shown
"Disneyland first interview papers include a blank outline of a person to indicate where you have tattoos."
"It's referenced if you want to change positions internally, to indicate how said tattoos could be revealed, based on what your new uniform would be."
Playing the Part
"I worked in reservations. They give you a name, that is not your own and you better use it. My name is not Robyn Leigh, but in Disney reservations, it was."
Never a Good Sign
"Disney Employees started referring to Disneyland as Mousechwitz due to working conditions."
"Management told them to stop, so they used Duckau instead"
And others shared the obscure and strange stories that only a Disney employee, with a front row seat to a massive institution, could ever know about.
A Big Loss
"During the construction of Pandora at Animal Kingdom, a very beloved superintendent passed away on the project of an immediate heart attack. Mid-sentence and while opening the door to the construction trailer, George Burke just…died."
"The project was very affected by this. His knowledge of the work that needed to be done was deep and irreplaceable. His laughter and personality was loved by all 1400 workers that were there. A couple years after he passed, we were finishing the project and found the perfect way to pay homage to George. They invited his family to the middle of an active construction site to let them view it."
"George's red hard hat, with the black Nordic Cross on top was attached to the rockwork, in the middle of the flowing river, to the left of the entrance to Flight of Passage, and plastered over. The family, friends, and a few Imagineers, were the only people there. Only we can point out where the hardhat is underneath the plaster, theming, and plants. I revisit the spot everytime I go back to Pandora. :-) Peace!"
Truckin' It Out
"Former cast member from the early 90s. There was a central 'bank' near the Magic Kingdom tunnel entrance where all the park gift shops, restaurants etc would deposit the day's cash. Each day an armored truck would drive into the tunnel to haul away the loot. i can only imagine how much cash they took outta there!"
"I worked there for 3 months 2 years ago with my gf at the time and anything news worthy that happens there (usually negative) immediately gets shot down by the official page of Disney (Twitter, insta, Facebook etc) they keep everything hush hush."
"Lighting struck a bathroom building and there was a small fire and my gf and I weren't working that day but we were there enjoying the park for free bc we're cast members and she records it and posted it on her Twitter. News media pages were commenting and asking her questions like when, how, what's being done and before she could reply the Disney page said to disregard the video bc it wasn't true and the video is edited and the media pages stopped asking after that."
"She gets called into the office the next day and was super close to losing her job. The reason she didn't was bc of how much seniority she had but she was basically on probation after that."
It's a list that'll leave your mind wandering a whole lot more if you ever do go to Disney again.
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