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With Valentine's Day just around the corner at the time of writing it's easy to lose our sense of appreciate for our significant others. Ideally, if you have a partner, you're in a strong relationship built on trust, understanding, and support. Also, being able to binge-watch the same shows repeatedly is a big help. Regardless, it's easy to take our sig-oths for granted...

...Untll you read stories like these.


Reddit user, u/Paradox052, wanted to get sad with the best of them when they asked:

What is the saddest thing you guys have seen on Valentine's day?

The Highest Of Lows

The saddest was when my friend proposed marriage to the girl he loved on Valentine's Day and she flat out turned him down.

He was heartbroken - especially since they'd been dating a long time and got along so well.

Back2Bach

Only Solution: Blasting Out The Toto

I saw a guy crying, eating a burrito alone in his car blasting Toto

HOLD THE LINE LOVE ISN'T ALWAYS ON TIME

me ex (who was there) and I text each other about it every February

LegendOfDylan

At Least He Taught The Roses Who Was Boss?

My buddy in college had his girlfriend break up with him in Feb 13 during a fight so he thought he could win her back and make a big gesture showing up on Feb 14 with roses and a teddy bear.

Didn't go as planned and we were walking to dinner and my roommate starts laughing as we round the corner to see our buddy angrily throw the teddy bear into a tree and drop kick a dozen roses.

Ol_Man_Rambles

Not Even Felines Should Be Alone On Valentine's Day

I found a stray kitty on Valentines day as a kid.

I was in elementary school but big enough to be walking home alone. He was this little black and white cat.

My grandma had him for a while- he eventually passed but she had him for maybe 5/6 years.

Doofy thing- always falling off of sh-t. She called him Fernando

WorfLovesDax

Working Hard For That Action

I have a friend who I've known since I was 5. She and i happened to find ourselves both single and close to each other on Valentine's Day. So we jokingly decided to spend it together so we aren't "total losers".

I dress up, shirt, tie, jacket and drive 30 min to pick her up and she's in a slinky red dress with matching high heels. We went to dinner and then to a club and people watched.

We told people we weren't a couple, just friends making sure we weren't alone Valentine's Day. The number of lonely guys coming out of the woodwork to hit on my friend was insane. The pathetic and desperate guy tried to give her $300 to come home with him. To f*** him, she told this guy that if he could get a girl who wanted to "take care of" me, she'd sleep with him. He went around to all the women in the bar. I'd watch him walk up to a lady, talk her up, point over at me. I would have loved to hear what he was saying.

When my friend and I left, he came running up to is literally begging for her to stay. Probably the most desperate act I've ever seen.

Ol_Man_Rambles

One For Every Day

The same guy I saw at the table yesterday, only with a different woman.

Feb 13th is Valentine's day for mistresses.

Mors_ad_mods

Defiant In The Face Of Loneliness

My husband and I were at a really fancy steakhouse, the type that will coordinate dinner napkins to the guests outfits and brush crumbs off the tabletop with a little metal thing between courses. It was all couples, everywhere, Valentines night right?

And then there was one old guy, well dressed, in the corner at a table by himself. It wasn't that he was waiting; he was having this lavish multi-course meal. It sort of looked like he was talking to someone at certain points of the dinner but there was no one across from him. (It also could have been chewing, steakhouse after all and he was old, so who knows? Dentures?)

Anyways... some people think eating alone, especially alone on VDays, is sad but I was impressed by this guy. Dining alone like a bad ass at a fancy steakhouse on Valentines Day. Looked like he wanted to treat himself to a good meal and DGAF what day it was or what other people are doing/thinking. So I sent him a bottle of the wine we were drinking.

The waiter told me he and his wife have come every year for Valentines and anniversaries for like 25 years and 2 years ago his wife died so he's been coming by himself, eating a big meal and talking to her chair.

So sweet, so sad šŸ’”šŸ˜­

WeddingElly

Have A Box Of Tissues Or A Loved One Nearby? Good.

I travel a lot for work. As a part of it, I spend far too much time in restaurants, most often by myself. No big deal for me, I can eat by myself, see a movie by myself, whatever.

So I am away on a job over Valentine's Day and I'm in a place seated close to another guy by himself. He's obviously waiting for someone to join him. We start talking, he asks who I am waiting for, I tell him no one. He is waiting for his girlfriend...she had just called him, she's running late as usual, he chuckles.

As the time goes longer, we are talking more. And he confides he wants to ask his girlfriend to marry him. I say that's awesome. He wasn't sure how to do it or when. He even had the ring on him, it was nice, nothing too showy or stupid. This wasn't the kind of restaurant to do that with...and personally, I kinda don't do the whole in public thing. I ask if they have a special place or something that means more to the two of them personally, and he smiles...indeed he does and it now clicks how he wants to do it. Sweet.

His cell rings at some point after that. Dude has been at the restaurant for over 45 minutes by now. I can tell it's not good. Not good at all, but it's not his girlfriend. I hear "How did it happen?" and "Is she ok?" and I watch his face just sink. I've never actually seen someone die in front of me, this is as close as I can imagine.

I am looking at the shell of a man who moments prior was nervous and excited and happy...and I see nothing. There is nothing left. He rises, doing what he can to keep from falling apart, and heads out of the restaurant.

So piecing it together; I am thinking he just found out his girlfriend, to whom he was ready to propose, was either gravely injured or killed on her way to the restaurant...just moments after speaking to him on the phone.

TigLyon

Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Now that college has become a standard requirement for so many jobs and careers, there is a massive push by high schools to get their graduating students accepted and enrolled at an undergraduate college.

On the whole, that's undoubtedly a great thing. A more educated workforce will be prepared to solve the most complex issues facing human beings in the next several decades.

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Image by Gianni Crestani from Pixabay

*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.

The person on the other end of a 911 call has a truly remarkable job.

For those who don't play that professional role, we hope to never encounter the 911 call interaction. But if we do find ourselves making that call, the moment is an anomaly in our lives.

The chaos, the panic, the racing heart, and the desperation are all emotions we, ideally, don't experience on a regular basis.

But for the operator on the other end, our call is one in a long line of calls they've received all day, and all the workdays before that one.

It's difficult to imagine being embedded in those uniquely urgent, emergency moments all the time.

Some Redditors who are on the other end of that call shared their experiences on the job.

WhimsicalxxButcher asked, "911 dispatchers what has been your most creepy/unnerving call?"

For a few, the most unnerving moments were the calm callers.

There was something just so eerie about how level-headed the faceless human being on the other end could be through such a desperate, tragic moment.

Almost ClinicalĀ 

"I had a friend who worked as a 911 dispatcher and he always said the worst call he ever had was a ~20 year old kid who committed suicide by mixing a bunch of chemicals together in his car to produce hydrogen sulfide gas."

"He said that the most unnerving part was hearing him calmly listing off the chemicals, the type of gas produced, and the effects of hydrogen sulfide on the body (namely the almost instant death it causes at high concentrations)."

"He ended the call by providing the address of the parking lot he was in and saying that nobody should approach the vehicle without hazmat equipment."

"Apparently after that there was a whooshing sound as he dumped the last chemical into the mix, and then the line went dead silent aside for a quiet fizzing noise."

"I know that call screwed him up because he almost never talks about stuff that happens to him on the job. He quit a few months later to go into construction management, and frankly I can't blame him."

-- iunoyou

Planned OutĀ 

"A woman called me, saying she was going to kill herself. She was gassing herself. Gave me her name & address then said she was just going to lie down and 'go to sleep.' And stopped responding to me."

"I kept the line open, trying to get her to speak to me, and eventually heard officers forcing their way in to find her body. I guess she just wanted someone to find her body."

-- mozgw4

Before It Set InĀ 

"When I got a call from a 6 year old who got home from school and laid down to take a nap with his dad. His dad never woke up."

"The kid was so calm when calling it broke my heart."

"I ended up leaving dispatch shortly after. I was good at compartmentalizing the job for the year I was doing it, but it would've broken me in the long run."

-- tasha7712

Other 911 operators were unfortunate enough to receive a call from the very last person they wanted to hear from: a loved one.

These dispatchers' unique position gave them the unexpected access to a family member or friend at their most dire moments.

No More of ThatĀ 

"My family member is a long time first responder, and 'retired' into doing dispatch. He heard the address (someone else was taking the call) and realized it was his daughter's house."

"He rushed over there just in time to see them wheeling her body out. Overdose."

"Five months later, he was called to his ex-wife's place because his grandson (son of the daughter who recently passed) had his door locked, lights on, but wasn't responding to his grandma."

"He broke the door down and found him deceased in bed. Overdose."

"He's very stoic after years of all sorts of traumatic situations but my heart hurts whenever I think of what all of this must have felt like. Like sand through your fingers."

-- bitchyhouseplant

Knowing the Address

"Not me, but my grandma. I was sitting in the dispatch office, (very small one only 2 dispatchers including my grandma) but she put out a dispatch that there was a gun shot from my best friends address."

"My heart sank to my stomach and broke later that day. He committed suicide."

-- OntaiSenpuu

When it HappenedĀ 

"My uncle passing away. Worked as a small town dispatcher for a year or so. Had a bunch of messed up stuff happen on shift, but this call came in in the still hours of the night. Small town, so not many calls after midnight."

"I answered and recognized the name and address on caller id. Aunt was in a frenzy so didn't recognize my voice. I remained calm and got ems and fire rolling to them, but by my aunt's own words he was already blue."

"I went thru debriefing and mandated therapy for a couple other things that happened, but never really talked to anyone about this. I just try not to think about it."

"That was the call I figured out I needed to find a different job."

-- dangitjon

Finally, some simply had a front row seat to sudden tragedy.

These operators were flies on the wall when disaster struck. They never asked to witness what they witnessed, but sometimes that came with the territory.

A Holiday TragedyĀ 

"My mom is a 911 dispatcher. Early on she said one Christmas Eve while working she got a call from an elderly lady who's husband had just collapsed(and died) from a heart attack and in the background Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas music was playing on blast."

"The lady was screaming and crying and begging for her husband to wake up but my mom could hear his gurgling in his last breathes. She doesn't listen to or watch Alvin and the chipmunks since."

-- Blueflowerbluehair

What is it About Christmas?

"Christmas night. 911 call with crying child on the other end. A neighbor had run her car over her mom during a domestic."

"The mom crawled to the porch bleeding and the child saw the car coming back. I had her hide quietly in a closet with the cordless phone."

"The 10 year old child was crying and screamed that she hated Christmas. She was afraid of the police when they got there."

"I kept her on the phone until she felt safe enough to give the phone to an officer. I almost fainted after that call was over. Had nightmares for a while."

-- 2FunBoofer

Close to HomeĀ 

"Not a dispatcher but I handle radio communications for the Coast Guard. One night I was on the radio and got a call from an 11 year old kid whose boat had started to sink. He was out with his dad and 6 year old brother."

"They had been hit by another boat and his father got knocked unconscious. I remember the entire conversation up until the radio had gone underwater."

"They ended up finding his dad floating on his back alive but the two boys didn't make it. That one really fu**ed with me because my two littlest brothers were around the same age as the youngest."

-- HIRSH2243

A Horrible ClockĀ 

"Another one that stays with me was the man who called in. It was the anniversary of his adult son having hanged himself. He'd now come home to find his wife had done the same."

"That date is always going to be a black day for him."

-- mozgw4


If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

Again, we hope you never have to use the 911 call in your life. Nobody wants to be involved in a sudden emergency or a tragic incident.

But hopefully, if you do, an operator like one of these thoughtful, sensitive Redditors is on the other end.

Image by Nguyen Dinh Lich from Pixabay

When I was moving on from middle school to high school my parents had me tested for the "gifted" program. By some miracle I passed and was accepted. And then I turned it down. Everyone was irritated. "This will pave the way for any college you want! You'll learn so much!" his path will set you up for life!" Every adult tried valiantly to sell me this merchandise but in my gut I just wasn't buying it. So I "settled" a level below, merely advanced classes. And upon reflection... it was the best choice I ever made.

Redditor u/dauntlessdaisy was wondering how far some in life got by asking... For those of you who were considered "gifted" in school, what are you doing with your life now?
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Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

There's a million things that can happen to you while out on on the road.

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