People Recount The One Conversation With A Perfect Stranger That Had A Profound Effect On Their Life
The world is full of interesting people with unimaginable backstories and origins. They're journey, just as your own, is unique and full of just as many surprises. This is why when you get a chance to meet one of these unique, interesting individuals, it's time to put away your phone, open your ears, and listen.
You might learn something awesome.
Reddit user, u/wanderingsamquanch, wanted to know about:
The Planet's Are Closer Than You Think
I was on a cruise in the Caribbean, three days out of Miami, to Nassau and back to Miami. Dude at the bar was chillin, about 20 years older than I was. I was already drunk, started talking to him and asked where he was from. "Jupiter!" was his answer. I assumed that this dude is just nuts and I left mid conversation.
Years later I learned that Jupiter, Florida is a real place and I was just oblivious and needed to get out more. The only assumptions I make are about myself now.
When A Hobby Saves A Life
I do digital music production as a hobby and I release tracks every now and then, but I had one guy personally email me telling me that listening to my music helped with his mental health and prevented him from killing himself. It brought a tear to my eye because I was dealing with some heavy mental health (namely depression, anxiety) stuff back then and music is my way of expressing those feelings so to hear that someone understood my story/feelings through my music subsequently impacted me a lot and gave me motivation to continue
Important To Remember They're "People"
I grew up sheltered in a "retirement home" town where there were no homelessness. When I moved to the city, the majority of culture shock I experienced was the amount of homeless people I saw. I went from "Awe poor things" to "They're dangerous, stay away from them" like a child when seeing a stray dog. Either way, they weren't people to me, they were stray dogs.
I called the police on one man who screamed at me for ignoring him, he followed me around the corner and I guess I though it was the right thing to do. Cops showed up just to talk to him. The following month, the same man approached me and politely asked for food from a nearby convenient store. I figured I had the time and he wasn't just asking for "drug money".
When I gave him the food, he just started talking to me about his day and we ended up having a really great conversation. He's actually really smart, has a lot of good ideas and gave me some advice about how to help people like him (what supplies they needs and what bills to vote for).
Marty totally dispelled my "they're all dogs" mentality and I wish it didn't take this long for me to get a clue but I'm glad he helped me.
Open Up In The Communities You Feel Safest In
There's this social media called amino. Like reddit in fact, you got little communities with post, chat and wiki's. Anyways, two of my friends (let's called them by their username, seïka and aï) told to get to an community called "Life Story" it was centered around roleplay. I met a girl called "Shion" (it's her username). She was friend with seïka and aï, I think she wanted to know me.
Anyways, she came to my DM and we began talking, at a certain moment, o told her that I wasn't in the mood, and she told if I wanted to talk about. Usually I don't, as a men, there's sometimes a lot of backfire when that happens and I also didn't want to bother her. But she said "if u don't, I will get mad >:(", it was cute, so I told her about the fact that I felt depressed.
Then, idk how, we began to talk about our fears, insecurities and those kind of things, and it felt so great because for the first time, I find sometimes with who I can open up with no problems. She even help a lot with my mental health and I did the same thing for her.
Puts Things In Perspective
I was in a plane at JFK stuck on the tarmac for three hours, feeling kind of sorry for myself. Struck up a conversation with the elderly man next to me. Turned out he was the youngest child to survive Dachau. Showed me his tattoo. Told me he survived because he ate whatever was left on the dishes he washed.
I don't feel sorry for myself so much any more.
Clearing Things Up...But Not In The Way That You Think
A friend brought an older friend or cousin or something (don't remember) to a school dance when I was 14-ish. I was sad because my crush was with someone else. This dude told me "Think like a dog: if you can't eat it, or f*ck it, piss on it and walk away."
I knew right then I never wanted to be like that guy.
Kids Should Always Be Reading
I've shared this story before, but I'll never forget this interaction.
When I was a kid we didn't have a lot of money, so we often shopped at thrift stores. What I loved about that was that you could get 10 books for a dollar, so I would plant myself in front of the book section and make piles of which one I wanted to get and then decided after I'd gone through them all.
One day an older lady saw me sitting with my piles and asked if I liked to read. I told her I did and showed her a few of the books I found that I liked. She smiled and then pulled a dollar out of her purse, handed it to me and said, "Promise me that you'll keep reading." I was so happy and immediately stood up and said that I would. She smiled and walked away and I went back to my piles able to pick out an extra 10 books to take home.
It was just a small act of kindness for her, but for me having a random stranger encourage my love of reading and making me promise to never stop definitely had a lot to do with my continued love of reading. This was over 20 years ago, but I still think of her whenever I buy a new book.
When Someone's Gone Further Than You...
Saw a woman sitting in the town sand pile just hanging out looking sad. The sand pile borders my long gravel driveway and I just happened to notice her. Initially I though it was sketchy. What the hell is this person doing here? So I walk over and I say "heyyy.. are you okay?" She didn't hear me at first and I kind of startled her, but I asked again if she was okay throwing a thumbs up or thumbs down.
She said she was okay. I was like cool I'm going to go about my business then. She called me over and we end up having a huge conversation. Turns out she's from Vietnam originally and came to America back in the early 70's when she was young. She told me stories of her time in the US Navy, and her upbringing. She lives in Hawaii but had to come to the east coast to take care of her grandparents that adopted her when she got here.
We ended up talking for a couple hours and I showed her my dog. I'm a lot younger than her and I've never traveled further than a couple states. I was quite fascinated hearing how she'd basically been everywhere. I could tell she really needed someone that could listen to her and not have to hold anything back. Times were very hard for her with all the COVID and dealing with her grandparents who both are starting to develop dementia. I believe I made her whole month better by just stopping and asking if she was okay...
Shirts Are A Billboard For Personality
I went to a concert and the following morning in the hotel, some guy in an elevator started talking to me about the guy I saw because I wore the t shirt I had bought. It was great, he was telling stories about his tours in the 70s and he even met him once.
It was a short conversation but it made me realize how much I could learn about the world just by talking to other people. It really helped get out of my shell
A Glimpse Into What Could Be
I was on a trip with some friends and we came across a car accident where someone had drove off the side of the highway off a steep embankment. I scrambled down to give first aid. The guy had been thrown from his car and it was a miracle he was alive. He was in shock for a while but he snapped out of it eventually and was actually able to comprehend what was going on around him. Turns out he was trying to kill himself by driving off the road.
I sat with him for what felt like at least an hour and a half for EMS to arrive and listened to him talk and tried to reassure him that help was on the way. He kept saying how stupid he felt and how much he regretted his decision to try ending his life. The experience definitely made me think about how I deal with my own mental health and reminded me to never let it spiral out of control to the point where he had gotten to. It was very surreal to have a lengthy conversation with someone who had just had a failed suicide attempt, let alone him being as coherent as he was given the severity of the crash.
"You'll See Me Again...When The Wind Changes."
This is an honest to God true story.
I worked in a subway for the summer years ago. There was a regular customer, 60 odd, rode an old timey bicycle with a basket that he kept his dog in.
Anyway, one time he comes in and it's just me and him in the restaurant. He asks how I am, I tell him I am fine. He asks how I really am, and for no particular reason i told him some of the problems I was facing in my life. Let me note, this was particularly out of character for me, I keep myself to myself and dont tend to open up to my closest friends and family, let alone strangers.
He told me to "breathe, and listen to what the wind has to tell me". I didnt really know what to say to this, so I engaged in a thoughtful conversation with him. The way he spoke was unlike that of anyone I've ever met, so sincere, honest and calm.
He proceeded to explain to me how he has the ability to mentally travel to anywhere in the universe, he simply has to clear his mind and close his eyes and he will travel outside of his body and see the wonders the universe has to offer. He paused to tell me, if I think he is crazy just tell him to stop, as most people thought he was.
By this point, I was completely hooked on his stories. He told me of worlds that rained diamonds, black holes, concious beings made entirely of gases and resin. As he left he said I would see him once again in my life, but only when I was ready. This was about 6 years ago.
I will add, the man did not strike me whatsoever as crazy, and insisted that he had never touched a drug in his life. I honestly believed that he wasn't crazy.
I dont know if he was just f-cking with me, having a bit of fun, or whatever. But the way he told me this story, I honestly believed every word, and I am not a very gullible person. At the time as well, I had never drank or taken any drugs.
The story honestly sounds so ridiculously unbelievable, and I have never spoken to anyone of it. But I hope I see him again.theworldsbestjacket
"Let's Give It A Shot."
The "complete stranger" part is tough. I just don't have in-depth conversations with people I don't know. But I'll volunteer a story of a conversation I had with someone that I only briefly interacted with that they would have NO CLUE how much I took to what they said.
I worked at Arbys years ago. They instituted a policy that we had to complete break down the slicer twice a day, wash/rinse/sanitize all the components, and then reassemble. The problem was we were the busiest store in the area by far. So at the manager meeting where we were discussing implementation, I'm being the stick in the mud. I'm like, "We're too busy. If we pre-cut enough roast beef to handle business during the time it'll take someone to clean the whole thing, the beef will taste like sh-t, and our food quality will suffer..." One of the other managers looks and goes, "Hey, before we say it's impossible, let's give it a shot." And that changed the game for me professionally.
I realized I was a naysayer of work, change, and opportunity. And I tried really hard to change that. Years later, I had a boss who never gave compliments say to me, "You know what I like about you? No matter what we have to do or how comfortable you are with it, you're fine with it." And I thought about that manager back at Arbys that, again, has no idea the impact he had on me in that moment.
We've All Been There Before
Once at the mall I was chasing my 3-year-old. I was feeling real irritated when this guy yells to me "just like his dad, huh?" indicating I was a child too once. Really gave me some perspective, just that one sentence.
Nice, I'll keep that in mind when neice is doing the same in public, thanks!
An A-Class Human
I (f, 22 at the time) was at the airport waiting to go home after visiting my boyfriend that I don't get to see much. A little heartbroken, I just sat there trying to keep the tears in my eyes, but a random stranger noticed my emotional turmoil.
Instead of asking if I was okay, he simply said "I'm sorry to see you're in pain, can I do anything to help you?" And offered me a tissue. He was such a comforting presence. We ended up talking for a while as we were on the same flight that got delayed, and eventually cancelled until the next day. We hung out in the smoking lounge together, he made me promise to quit when I got home. He told me about his travels, I told him about mine. He managed to get my mind out of its pit of sadness, we talked about our shared hobbies, what we'd been doing in that town etc.
Next day we found out we were flying to the same destination via connecting flights, and as he was a flight attendant even on holidays he was able to change his booking to be on my flight and sit with me.
Our ways parted when we lost track of each other at the third airport. I never got to say goodbye or thank him for being such an A class human. His kindness made my trip home so much easier and I will never forget it. Sven if you're reading this, thank you. I hope to be able to pay your gesture forward to someone who needs a friendly face some day.
We Just Want Someone To Say, "We've All Been There"
My daughter was born and she wasn't breathing when they took her from us. I assumed she was dead but she wasn't when they took me to the NICU she was tubed with all these scary monitoring. All the other babies were in incubators but mine wasn't. I remarked to the nurse that that felt like a good sign. It was a gut punch when she said 'We only have her in the open air in case she has a heart attack and we need to move quickly. We will control her environment when the doctor says it's ok' A doctor came in an explained the she is very sick but getting better. I simply didn't believe him I was terrified.
One of the other parents in the NICU took me aside and told me that the doctors here wouldn't lie to me for liability reasons. If he thinks my girl is going to get better she probably will. It was like he untied a knot in my stomach and made it a little easier. She pulled through and is healthy.
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People Break Down The Exact Moment They Realized They Were Being Manipulated By Someone They Trusted
Manipulation is designed to be stealthy. We hardly recognize it when it's happening to us because our abuser has forced it to appear under wraps.
But when we recognize it for what it really is, we really feel like we've been smacked across the face. There is no other descriptor for it. Usually we've trusted and loved those that manipulated us.
A Platitude Of Pleasing<p>You never know where the next blowout is coming from. Any time something needs to be addressed, you might try to bring it up once, gently, if you're feeling brave. If you meet the slightest bit of resistance, or you don't feel like that fight in the first place, you just go "okay dear" instead. You find that you'll put the argument off until next time, and hope that whatever you thought to bring up won't have any consequences, because you'll be hearing about those, too. It sucks, and I'm glad you can speak about it in the past tense.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/TheGreatestAuk/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">TheGreatestAuk</a></p>
Wrong Or Right Or Just Not Agreeing?<p>When I started realizing that I was feeling like I was constantly walking on eggshells. I never knew which version of my friend I'd get when we saw each other, or when we hung out. I also just completely stopped disagreeing with them because I didn't want to hear them tell me how wrong I was if we didn't share the same viewpoint.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/WhatArcherWhat/" target="_blank">WhatArcherWhat</a></p>
Being Used<p>My best friend suddenly distanced herself from me. But every now and then she'd call and ask if I wanted to do something, and I was encouraged because I thought it meant that things were still good between us. It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that she only called when she wanted to do something that required a ride, since she didn't have a car. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I don't use people that way so I didn't recognize user behavior. You can bet I do now.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Goldeverywhere/" target="_blank">Goldeverywhere</a></p>
Hiding The Receipts<p>I was living with my former best friend and his gf at the time. When I asked for grocery receipts (I trusted him & his ex to buy groceries bc I didn't have a car at the time + our work schedules were different so I couldn't go with them) and they wouldn't provide any. The only reason I became suspicious was bc they started asking for a ridiculous amount of money for my half and the actual amount of food wasn't adding up. Up until that point they never asked for a crazy amount and I was content with our groceries, but I noticed they became extremely greedy. When I then asked to see a banking statement, they wouldn't even provide me with that either.</p><p>At that point I just realized they were finessing me out of extra money and I started buying my own food. I just bit my tongue bc we only had like 2 months left on the lease. They tried to gaslight me and make me seem like the bad guy any chance they had (almost the entire time I lived with them actually). Eventually, I grew apart from him once I moved away and the only reason he hit me back up was bc she cheated on him so he probably didn't have anyone else to turn to (go figure). We don't talk anymore.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/0MG1MW3T/" target="_blank">0MG1MW3T</a></p>
Ah Yes, Good Old DARVO<p>My mother and I have always had a rocky relationship. She's always encouraged me to tell her what's wrong, however, any time I would she'd immediately go "sorry I'm such a terrible mother, I give you everything you want and it's still not good enough! Why don't you just go live with someone you don't hate?" Keep in mind this happens over small things such as "mom, I'd appreciate it if you'd knock before coming into my room. You know how easily I startle and you barging into my room really upsets me"</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/paytonc0510/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">paytonc0510</a></p>
How Do You Do This To Someone<p>8 years into the relationship. As we're sitting down he explains to me that the "first couple years" we were together he only saw me as a place to crash and free rides, but he loved me NOW, and even though I accomplished all the goals HE set for ME so we could get married he said "I never really thought you could do it". Oh and also you got fat, but don't worry we can fix it! It was like a magic veil lifted and I finally saw who he really was. F**k you James.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/DoNotUseOnHumans/" target="_blank">DoNotUseOnHumans</a></p>
Be My Friend And Not Theirs<p>She always managed to make me do things I didn't really want to do but the last straw was when she decided I had to stop being friends with two mates of mine over something stupid that offended her. </p><p>Cut her off over that and she then proceeded to act derisively ("you'll come back"), then badmouthed me and then begged me to take her back. Ten years later I am still friends with those two guys and she's still out of my life.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/FatherTedHackett/" target="_blank">FatherTedHackett</a></p>
Victim Time<p>When literally every time me and my mom talked she played the victim.</p><p>I was trying to help her raise me, ask me about my grades and stuff. For her I just existed, she wasn't responsible at all.</p><p>I grew up watching her play the victim to others, and I was always on her side, cuz she's my mom you know. Also I never really understood what was going on.</p><p>I started getting older and older, and seeing sh*t after sh*t she did. I understood what she did to my father, to my step-dad, to my sister, to her friends.</p><p>Probably I'd be the next one who she would use and throw away.</p><p>I talked to her... and you know the result. The victim. Nothing it's her fault.</p><p>The last time we talked, I was expecting the victim card. When she started speaking, I already knew what was going to happen. I didn't even said a word, I just agreed with her, and the next day I moved out. I'm not wasting my time.</p><p>It was the last day before quarantine, I remember it as if it was yesterday. Friday night: saturday morning I was packing my stuff.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/NotFromHeel/" target="_blank">NotFromHeel</a></p>
Sixteen Years Of Made Up Lies<p>After 16 years of marriage I realized my now ex was manipulating me. I would work and take care of the house and if I asked him to do something like get a job or clean up he would stage a mental breakdown and make me feel bad for asking him for help. </p><p>He would play up a horrible childhood or PTSD from the military to make me feel like I need to take care of him. Then would play on his computer all day and smoke while I worked. </p><p>Found out that a lot of his horrible childhood stories were made up and that he never made it through basic training in the military. I am happily with someone now but still catch myself cringing when he does things like cook or clean thinking that he is going to yell at me for being lazy. Meanwhile he loves me and is just doing things to take care of me. I'm working on deprogramming myself.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/HolyCelestialCow/" target="_blank">HolyCelestialCow</a></p>
Sometimes It's The Mother-In-Law<p>Took me until after the engagement to realize that my cheating ex fiancee was trying to browbeat me into submission.</p><p>Anywho, I quickly recognized emotional blackmail and manipulation from my MIL after getting married to a different girl years later due to that experience. I called her out on it.</p><p>She... Doesn't like that. But since my wife and sister-in-law and brother-in-law also recognize it they've got my back.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/engineertr1gg/" target="_blank">engineertr1gg</a></p>
Just as new mothers encounter the sudden, influential developments of powerful hormone changes, protective instincts, and milk production, so new fathers undergo some key changes of their own.
Their socks become exclusively white, climbing higher up the calf than ever before. All their shorts sprout cargo pockets and clunky belt loop cell phone holders. They start to really lean in to their old records.
Regional Laws<p>"Dad, driving past a cemetery: Did you know anyone living in a 3 mile radius of a cemetery isn't allowed to be buried there?"</p><p>"Me: No, I had no idea. How come?"</p><p>"Dad: Yeah, you're not allowed to bury the living"</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjk1d2k?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">TinyLuckDragon</a></p>
For the Face Plant Image<p>"Why do Scuba Divers fall backwards off a boat?"</p><p>"Because if they fell frontwards they'd still be on the boat" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjjv4mt?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">hatsnatcher23</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Just told this one to my bf and he still has his face in his hands" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjka0w7?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">sxeoompaloompa</a></p>
A Mammal of Few Words<p>"What did the father buffalo say when his child left for school?"</p><p>"Bison" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjjp257?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">TatooineLight</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"LOL" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjjp9p0?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">BennuH</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Told this to my brother, he laughed his a** off." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjk4cvq?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Type10Civilization</a></p>
Baggage<p>"When I do home improvements I always use my step ladder"</p><p>"I never knew my real ladder" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjjlkab?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">DavosLostFingers</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Whoever took the ladder, please return it or further steps will be taken." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjm2htz?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">WaldhornNate</a></p>
Woah Woah Woah, We're in Public<p>"Me: I'm not very hungry, I just want something easy"</p><p>"Server: maybe the chicken strips for $6"</p><p>"Me: maybe it does, but that doesn't help my hunger" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjjuq78?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">mcnoobs_</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"My husband was facepalming for solid 8 minutes after I read that joke to him." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjnee7m?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Madanax</a></p>
Not Wrong<p>"Two dudes were on a boat with a few cigarettes, but they didn't have anything to light them, so they threw one of the cigarettes out of the boat, and the boat became a cigarette lighter." </p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjjkeoz?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">OrangeMirrorJuice</a></p>
Watch the News Before Saying This One<p>"Did you hear about the kidnapping at school?"</p><p>"It's okay, they eventually woke up."</p><p>"I cringe every time." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjk0ej7?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">unicorndreamz94</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"My 10 year old tried this one a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, I had just read news about a missing local girl. 'So I answered that yes I heard about the missing girl' Scared the sh** out of my 10 year old" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjo3ssv?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Aubear11885</a></p>
Got a Million of Em<p>"What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fshhhh."</p><p>"I'm sorry but I'm about to say something tasteless. Water."</p><p>"I got fired from my job at the calendar factory. I took a day off."</p><p>"Unfortunately though, I can't really tell these jokes since I'm not a dad. I'm a faux pa."</p><p> -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjk9igl?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">WholeGrainMustard</a></p>
G-Pa With the Physics Humor<p>"Why does the movie "speed" have no director?"</p><p>"If it had direction, it'd be called velocity!"</p><p>"-my grandpa, earlier today" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjk4wdo?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ConceptUpset4681</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"That's better than a regular dad joke. It's a grand dad joke." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjkuc30?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">VaultBoy9</a></p>
A Surprising Amount of Elevator Humor<p>"I have a joke about elevators."</p><p>"It works on so many levels......." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjk1lrv?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">M0ntgomatron</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Did you hear about the corruption at the elevator company?"</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"It went all the way to the top." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjkyjrp?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">RandomName222222222</a></p>
Cleaning up is hard enough when it's just clearing a month of dust bunnies. Can you imagine cleaning the debris left by murder, suicide and violence? I have a really great friend who used to do crime scene clean-up for a living. The pay is incredible; it starts at $55 an hour. But there is a much higher cost in mental well being. Death affects you in ways you don't always feel immediately. My friend has stories of nightmares, depression and pain after leaving scenes of horror. Why make all that money just to spend it on therapy? It takes a certain type of person.
***TRIGGER WARNING. CONTENTS ARE SENSITIVE ***Redditor u/MemegodDave wanted to hear from the people who have the stomach to come in after crime and tragedy
to try to bring back some form of normalcy to the location by asking... People who make their living out of cleaning murder scenes, accidents and the like, what is the worst thing you have experienced in your career?
Wrapped Up<p>Dad had to saran wrap a guy's intestines back into his body once.</p><p>Dude had surgery and pushed too hard on the toilet. Dude was fine, according to Dad, just holding himself together on the toilet while a group of firefighters tried to figure out why the hell they were sent instead of paramedics.</p><p><em>Update</em> When he pushed too hard he opened a scar on his torso/ab area and it all fell out onto his lap. Should have mentioned this when I wrote the post. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l48wk3/people_who_make_their_living_out_of_cleaning/gko9lq0?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">noblemile</a><span></span></p>
Flesh<p>One that stuck with me was a suicide in a bathtub, we couldn't drain the tub, so had to use a coagulant then scoop up the bloody mess into biohazard bags. Same for the toilet. Another was a suicide by gun in a basement full of boxes which was a nightmare to clean as even the smallest bit of flesh had to be found and cleaned up. The smell of the smallest piece of flesh meant the job wasn't done until it was found. </p>
Walk Away<p>Medic here, first responder to a motorcycle collision. Guy who crashed was a friend. He'd been torn in half and almost decapitated.</p><p>Had to walk away from the scene and let my driver and another crew handle it. Think about it daily. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l48wk3/people_who_make_their_living_out_of_cleaning/gko4y58?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Sabre-23</a><span></span></p>
All over the House<p>I posted this on another thread so just copy and pasted it but this was one that I had to do</p><p>Clean up after a murder. It was a rehab house for ex cons, 4 bedroom house with communal bathroom and kitchen. Sunday morning and guy A is in his room listening to music pretty loud, guy B is in the kitchen cooking his breakfast, B knocks on A's door and tells him to turn it down, there's a small argument and B returns to his breakfast and A turns his music up. So B grabs the biggest knife in the kitchen, kicks in A's door and stabs him through his left shoulder, entering by his collar bone. </p>
"ride-alongs"<p>Not a cleaner, but my brother's best friend is a police officer and I heard all about this horrible experience:</p><p>My brother's friend took him on "ride-alongs," all the time. One day, they were responding to a welfare check. This guy's neighbor saw his apartment door cracked open for several days and called the police. They went to check it out and found a college student (18-19) who had shot himself. </p>
Melt Away<p>When I was a bartender, a couple of clients told me the worst part about the job is cleaning melted bodies.</p><p>I don't know the science behind that, but from what I understand is if a body stays for a while in a certain condition of temperature and humidity, it melts. And those guys have to remove that person's remains in buckets. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l48wk3/people_who_make_their_living_out_of_cleaning/gknsqfm?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Kaynny</a><span></span></p>
Audrey<p>I had a great uncle who helped clean up the bodies left behind by hurricane Audrey in 1957 and he said that the smell persisted in his nose for weeks after. It got so bad that he went to the doctor to see if they could do anything and they clipped all of his nose hairs and the smell went away. It was explained to him that the smell had soaked into the hair but I don't claim to know the validity of that statement.</p>
Hazard<p>One of my first jobs after moving I did this, and the job that had me walking wasn't even a scene as described. We did all types of hazmat cleans and the worst was actually a couple went on vacation and came back to backed up sceptic. Think about 1 ft thick hard dried out crusty sceptic waste spread throughout the entire 1st floor of a house. Not going further into detail here. Was nasty.</p><p>Septic, not sceptic. On break and mobile, so yeah... </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l48wk3/people_who_make_their_living_out_of_cleaning/gknvzn8?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Kamenovski</a><span></span></p>
After the Crash...<p>Working for a tow truck driver that get the calls after crashes. The worst one for me was a family of 6 coming back with over 10 pizzas for a baseball team. It was a head on with a tractor trailer (18 wheeler). The ambulance took the bodies away of course, everyone died but one little guy. There was so much blood and vomit, diapers, toy dolls covered in blood, the pizza was everywhere inside of the car like 2" thick on everything and all over the road. </p>
Fresh Meat<p>Friend of mine does this.</p><p>His worst was an elderly woman who died in a bath. Skin falls off like long cooked meat. So he just saw piles of skin/flesh</p><p>God just writing this makes me gag. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l48wk3/people_who_make_their_living_out_of_cleaning/gknwqwu?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">PlagueDoc22</a><span></span></p>
We all know the telltale signs that something is making us uncomfortable. Suddenly, we begin shaking, either in our hands or knees or toes. Then, usually, sweat starts pouring out of every part of our body, making it look like we just ran through a rainstorm underneath a waterfall. Finally, we lose our regular speech functions. Everything goes out of sync and our words don't match up to what's in our minds.
What's interesting is that what usually brings about these fits of uncomfortableness differs from person to person, as evidenced by the stories below.