Be honest, most of us aren't exactly thrilled to go to work. Quite a few of us spend the day drudging away through monotony wishing for something to shake things up ... but what do we do when something actually does?
Reddit user zarfytezz1 asked:
It turns out my crazy work story (watching my rage-aholic 'roided up boss chase 2 interviewees around the parking lot because they had questions and he felt disrespected) was pretty tame compared to what some other people have witnessed. So here we go, get ready.
Away we go, folks.
I'm fairly certain that a guest came into our zoo with the intent of receiving a Golden Shower from a lion.
For some backstory, if you've never seen those videos of lions pissing on zoo guests, you should look it up. Males can spray urine 10+ feet, through the caging. It STINKS worse than you could ever believe (we've had guests puke before when they got sprayed), and is just about impossible to wash off. You don't want to put water on that, trust me. It's super musky, and there's hormones in it for territory-marking, so it's meant to withstand water. I'm just going by personal experience, but whenever I hose a puddle of lion urine I feel like I just aerosolize the stench.
We even have signs up warning people that lions can spray urine.
One day, this guy comes in during the morning, and first place he goes is to the lion exhibit. Stands 5 feet from the bars. I caution him about the urine and he ignores me.
Half an hour later, I notice he's still right there, standing almost still. I tell him "I'm not kidding, they spray through the bars sometimes." He nods and backs away a bit...ten minutes later I find him closer to the bars than he was before!
I think okay, whatever...not my fault if you get peed on. I told a couple coworkers about this guy as we went about our morning chores!
Another keeper told me, half an hour later, that he got sprayed by a lion. Apparently he was pretty calm about it and didn't start retching like most people do - walked straight out of the zoo and back to his car, drenched in lion urine.
He must have smelled of sour, muggy lion BO crossed with eau de catbox for the next couple days at least. I wonder how he showed up to work like that.
Worst part is we got complaints from guest the rest of the day, between the lion exhibit and the park exit (where this dude dripped lion pee all over the place), that it stunk like a litter box from hell. Tried out best to clean it but without much luck.
The keepers were all laughing their butts off about this story for a week, though.
The Exact Moment
I was a manager at a small casino running a blackjack tournament.
I watched a man have a heart attack before my very eyes. It was the end of the round for that table the man advanced to the next round. As soon as the hand was over and was about to congratulate him I saw the exact moment that he realized that something was wrong. He grabbed his chest and his lips instantly turned grey.
It just so happened that the person sitting directly to his right was respiratory nurse. She realizes immediately what's happening and throws him on the ground and starts CPR. She took full control of the situation like a hero in the movies. It was horrific and awe inspiring at the same time.
The man made a special visit to the casino two weeks later to let us know that he was okay.
To me, this wasn't crazy because I watched a man almost die. This was crazy because I saw the exact moment that he realized that he was in trouble. I saw the exact moment the nurse's instincts and training kicked in. I'll never forget it.
The Retail Gods
There was a fire in the store I work at, towards the back of the store. We were getting everyone to evacuate and a woman would not leave.. she told me that since the area she wanted to shop in was not on fire, if she wanted to assume the risk of bodily injury that I could not stop her.
I had to try to balance not losing it on her with getting her to leave. Luckily, an older authoritative firefighter had just walked by and heard her, and he turned around and physically picked her up and bitched her out as he took her to the exit. It was as if the retail gods finally cut me a break. He did what we all wanted to do. It was absolutely glorious.
The Boo Boo
I worked in an office with a woman who was definitely high drama. I'm talking to our boss in his office and I hear WAILING coming down the hall towards us. It's that sound a 3 year old makes when he's hurt, wants attention,and is fake crying but somehow louder. I can't handle that kind of thing so I bail in a hurry and hide at my desk.
She reached my boss's office not long after I fled and collapsed Platoon-style still bawling. On her way to lunch, she had tripped and fallen in the mud so her pants were muddy on the knees and she was crying that she had a booboo. Our boss's boss took her to the ladies room to clean her up.
This involved the crying woman removing her pants so our boss's boss could try to get some of the mud out at the sink. They worried entirely too much about getting sued and she got coddled as a result. I believe crazy lady was in a stall while the director cleaned her pants for her. Doesn't make it any less insane. Crying lady spent the rest of the day gleefully telling anyone who would listen what happened. I still can't comprehend any part of this.
She should have been canned. She wasn't particularly good at the job and her frequent outbursts caused a lot of problems. You could never tell if she was on her meds or not. Sometimes she'd throw a temper tantrum because she didn't get to put in her lunch order first (she sent home for that one with pay but she came back the next day with no repercussions.) Ugh, I haven't worked with her in years and this kind of nonsense still irritates me.
Like Nothing Happened
Ok I worked as a spa/salon manager for awhile. I'll make this as succinct as I can...
One day a very professional looking well dressed woman came in for a massage and sauna. She was from out of town, never been in before. During her massage she made some funny sounds and apparently some funny smells. She doesn't say anything or get up or indicate that anything is wrong. After the massage the therapist goes back into the room to discover that this lady has had diarrhea all over the table. We're very concerned about cleanliness and hygiene so there is a mad dash to clean and disinfect.
In the meantime, this woman has put on a robe and walked straight into the sauna. Where she removed her now-poo-filled robe and sat in her puddle of filth for like 30 minutes.
She left the robe and went to the dressing room. She dressed, came out, paid like nothing happened and left. The sauna was shut down to be disinfected. Our poor spa attendant frantically cleaned everything in the dressing room only then to discover this woman had destroyed a bathroom stall. All over the seat, the floor, etc. Spa attendant cleaned it but the smell was still overwhelming and she didn't know why. Until she found the woman's soiled panties in the trash.
No Public Restroom
I worked in a clothing store that didn't have a public restroom. The owners told us that under no circumstances were we to take them to the restroom that the employees use. They micromanaged and watched the cameras like crazy so I wasn't about to break that rule.
Well, one night a woman was pissed because we didn't have a public restroom and so she walked to the big trash can we had by the back where we were doing some work and literally sat in it, peed, and walked out. In front if everyone. Like it was nothing.
I work in a skilled nursing facility, and one of our residents had the ashes of his deceased wife with him following her service. Her son ran in the next morning, through the lobby, past the nurses station and into his room, grabbed the urn and sprinted back out to a getaway car. This was a second marriage, and the son felt her husband didn't "deserve" the remains, so he stole them.
A Pallet SpearGiphy
I saw a pregnant coworker get speared by a wooden pallet.
We worked as order fillers driving around on electric pallet jacks picking cases of product to stack on pallets behind the jack. The bays with the product went two deep and were on rollers. Every time a person picked the last item off a pallet they were supposed to pull the empty pallet out and put it in a return area.
She went to pull the empty pallet out but it was broken or decayed so as she tried to take it out the pallet behind the empty one came forward and the empty pallet shattered. She got pinned against her jack and a piece of wood caught her in the side.
Of course the company we worked for treated its workers like trash, so when one of the supervisors came by and saw she "wasn't bleeding that much" he actually asked her if she was okay to keep working even though she was bawling her eyes out!
If I remember correctly the supervisor talked her out of going to the hospital. Both things were a little shocking to witness, honestly. As far as I know the baby ended up fine but it really sucks when an evil corporation is your daddy.
The Ladies Room
A picture of the shotgun poo in the women's bathroom.
My department is practically all women, so one day one of them is talking about the 4th floor in our building and how she walked into the bathroom to open the door to one of the most horrid smells ever. As she walks in she opens the door to the stall and there the nightmare is. This wasn't like a disgruntled employee doing this to be an ahole. This was straight up shotgun blast of poo.
Turns out it had been going on daily for a few weeks. It got so bad that our work placed a sign on the women's door to the bathroom saying: "If you are the individual causing the mess in the women's bathroom, please see a doctor or contact our health services line @ 1-800-***-****."
There was also a picture I was shown from the women's bathroom on our floor where a lady decided work was the perfect time to shave her lady parts. There was a legit pile of pubes all over the floor.
My dad worked at a big department store as a janitor. He always said the women's bathroom was hands down the nastiest.
Guy found out he was getting fired and ran off and hid somewhere in building. We work in a massive place so 99% of people didn't even know he was being looked for. A few hours later he turns up at managers desk throwing tables and fire extinguishers at anyone who had clothing identifying as a supervisor. He was trying really hard to just hurt a manager - any manager.
A big guy from the dock sees this from distance. Big guy walks over with purpose of a fricken action movie star, grabs rampaging dude by neck, and in one action lifts him in air and shouts "Boy Stop!" Big guy then proceeds to slam the fired man into floor and sit on him until police come.
It was just total one sided dominance. I've never seen a large adult (able to lift a table over head) so easily overpowered. Dock guy probably saved a life or at least saved someone a serious injury. Think they gave him like 2k in shares as a thank you.
Tae Kwon DooDoo
While teaching martial arts 10 years ago, I saw a kid stand in chunbi (ready stance) while soiling his pants. It flew up my face, onto the mirror, and onto the ceiling as soon as we started practicing front snap kicks; it was being flicked off his kicking foot.
Everyone was so mortified that I didn't have time to react. I tried to divert everyone's attention away.
The Missing Nipple
When I worked as life guard at an indoor water park I saw a guy's nipple piercing get ripped off when he went down a body slide. There was blood everywhere. His entire nipple was gone but he was so scared from the ride he didn't even notice the pain till he sat down in the infirmary.
My boss attempted to dress in black face for a Christmas party. We were in a work band together, set to perform to 100 or so workmates. My boss (a senior exec in our government department) thought it would be a good idea to appear dressed as Lenny Kravitz - complete with black face. She used a kind brown foundation that didn't work as she'd intended.
No one noticed. I only knew because I saw her applying the make up and told her it wasn't a good idea. She just thought she was paying homage to Kravitz. I was relieved when it didn't work.
I work in a glorified call centre, and one day we were told that a woman was coming in to do a trial shift was coming in. So far, so good.
About an hour before The Trial (as she will henceforth be known), ALL of our phones went down. They came back on intermittently, so we were still having calls coming through. At one point, an agent (J) turns around to our manager and says:
"Hey, do you have a trial coming in today? Because I think she's drunk...".
So we play it off because we're stressed out about the phones not working and forget about it for half an hour. Just to set the scene, my department is in a small annex off the main office as we're always in the phone, we need to keep the noise down. So we get a knock on the door and one of our big office colleagues is stood there, looking absolutely terrified. She pauses for a minute, steps inside, closes the door, and says,
"Your trial shift has just arrived...She's off her face."
At which point, we all turn around and look at each other. We don't really have time to think because suddenly this very tall, very skinny woman sidles into the office like a giant drunk spider. She's wearing the same clothes she wore to the interview yesterday. Her eyes are the size of the moon. Her tights are completely torn and her leg is bleeding. She is absolutely shitfaced.
Me, and the other three girls in the office spring to attention. I start muttering about getting water. Another girl goes to grab the first aid box. My friend J from earlier just stands up and walks out.
We meet in the kitchen and decide we'll have to go back into the room because our manager hasn't come out. So we come back in and very drunk trial shift girl is lolling around in a swivel chair. (Now is probably the time to mention, we don't sit in a traditional office layout, we are in a U shape around the outside of the room.) We all sit back down, and drunk girl is in the middle of the U. We all have our backs to her and the phones STILL aren't working.
The Trial starts burbling about how she doesn't need to actually learn our job because she already knows it. My manager (who was later fired) is doing to nothing to contain the situation. We start saying "Look maybe you should go home, come back tomorrow, tomorrow is a new day etc" and she loses it. Starts screaming at all of us, waving her arms around, and we are all absolutely terrified because we can't move away from our desks.
My manager finally decides to stand up and do something. She gets The Trial's attention and gently suggests that she might go home. The Trial stands up and start threatening my manager. All the while, we are all still sat at our desks, not able to move. Out of the corner of my eye, I see my friend S inching her hand towards a fruit knife she'd left on her desk. Still not sure whether she was grabbing it to get it out of the way or as a weapon of self defense.
It gets better (or ever so worse) from here. The Trial is now shouting how she deserves a job because she came all the way to our office and hurt her legs (Remember the ripped tights). My manager tells her to leave. She sits down on the swivel chair and starts taking her tights off. In the middle of our tiny office. When her tights are around her ankles and her legs are akimbo, the director of the entire company walks in and says "WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON HERE?"
The Trial swivels around, flashes him, and screeches "WHO. THE. F*CK. ARE YOU?!"
My director replies, very smoothly "I own this company, who are you?"
Drunk girl then goes "YOU NEED TO LEAVE" to the big boss, at which point he turns around to wall and very calmly says "I'm giving you ten seconds to put your tights on, get you bag and leave. Otherwise I am calling the police."
So drunk girl does as she's told, is escorted to the door and very promptly falls down the stairs. This all happened at two in the afternoon in an office. I have never seen anything like it.
A mother used a needle and syringe to suck Morphine out of her child's IV line (the child had cancer) so she could hide in the bathroom of their hospital room and shoot it up.
Stealing Their Youth
The man who would rig the toilets in the boys bathroom to not flush so he could come and collect the pee of boys and drink it so he could "steal their youth". We eventually caught him and he went to jail but god what a mess that was while it was occurring.
I'm a server at a local bakery/deli. One afternoon a lady (probably in her late 50's) comes in and asks me where she could find a crematorium for pets. Nothing too weird as there used to be one just down the street, but they closed down about a year ago.
I noticed she was carrying a grocery bag with something white and fluffy in it. At first I thought it was maybe a teddy bear...Then she opened up the bag to show me what was 2 dead cats inside. The smell was awful, like they have been deceased for quite a while.
I felt bad because she smelled like feces, and cat piss. I feel she may have been suffering from a mental illness or going through grief, probably both. So I gave her the best advice I could with a phone number and directions to the closest veterinary clinic, as they might know more and hopefully be able to help her. Made for an interesting afternoon...
Mike Dropped Dead
I work in fancy restaurants as a cook and like in any kitchen, our sous chef was ALWAYS coming high on speed, but he was AMAZING at preforming his job (we shall call him Mike). One morning after having talked to him a few times about his use, Mike comes in to work looking worse than ever. I ask if he is alright, he says yes he just smoked some really strong weed.
I shrug it off, as he wasn't acting intoxicated, and continue on with my day. About an hour into prep and this guy drops dead on line. Heart stopped right then and there! My co worker luckily knew CPR and ran to him immediately, as I called an ambulance. She was lucky enough to have gotten him back before the ambulance came. He is fine. My co worked was traumatized. We all still work at the same place.
Some dude almost got himself killed because he wanted to get his hat back.
Backstory: I work at a world famous amusement park, so naturally we get tourists from around the world coming each day of the year. I was running the Drop Tower ride, the ride that was to the immediate left of the roller coaster. The rides are so close together that on quiet days, the operators of both rides walk over and chat until guests arrive. Now that I think about it, the close proximity of the rides is what probably saved this guy's life.
I'm working the drop tower with my partner, let's call him Bob. I'm saying goodbye to our most recent batch of guests when Bob says to me that he thinks he sees someone running around on the floor in the restricted area of the roller coaster. At first I thought he was joking because who would be stupid enough to jump the fences and gates to run around the tracks of an active roller coaster?
But yup. Sure enough, some redneck looking dummy was casually wandering around the tracks like he was out on a jaunty Sunday stroll. The last train had just finished minutes ago, meaning the next train was due to be run again. It was sheer luck that Bob had noticed because the idiot in question had been walking around behind the pillar that held up one of the loops, meaning the operator couldn't see him from her operation panel. Bob ran to the phone to call our manager, and I ran as fast as I could to the ride operator to signal not to run the ride.
The operation panel for the roller coaster was far on the right, and the drop tower was to the left. Thankfully, I had gotten to the operator just as she had turned everything on but had not dispatched the new train yet. She saw me make a giant 'X' with my arms which is our sign for "DONT RUN THE RIDE" or "STOP THE RIDE" which we only use for emergencies. The rides are so loud we are required by to wear hearing protection or we can be personally fined, so we use hand signals to communicate.
The ride operator hit the emergency stop which cuts the power to the motors and wheels. I explain that there was someone on the floor, then proceed to help the guests off the ride. The operator is screaming into the microphone at this point, which is drawing attention. When the man realized he was caught, he made a bolt for the maintenance shop, climbed the stairs the millwrights used, jumped a gate and ran away into the park.
Security had been called as well but we never caught the guy. The roller coaster was closed for the rest of the day for an investigation. Video camera footage revealed that he had stuck his arm through the bars of the maintenance doors which were kept locked to turn the doorknob on the other side to let himself in. I'd like to add that there is also a giant sign plastered across the front of the door which read "ABSOLUTELY NO ADMITTANCE WHILE TRAINS ARE IN MOTION". The fact that this man ignored the sign, nearly dislocated his arm in the process and STILL proceeded to walk around the tracks of an active roller coaster only furthers my belief that this man was stupidity in human form.
After the operator, Bob and I gave our incident reports to management, operator later told me that the same guy had been causing problems and had been on the coaster earlier. For our park, we have a no loose articles policy. No bags, hats etc. This was because not only could things fall off/get damaged during the rides but they could fall into the machinery and cause mechanical issues. Apparently that this guy had been arguing with her, refusing to take off his hat even though she explained repeatedly that only religious headwear was allowed, that due to the speed and fact that the ride had multiple loops and inversions, that his baseball cap was guaranteed to fall off.
He eventually gave in and put it in his pocket when she told him that either the hat came off the ride or he would. Once the train was dispatched and climbing to the top of the hill, he put the stupid hat back on. The ride operator used the microphone to tell him to take it off but he ignored her.
Surprise, surprise! It fell off.
When the ride was done, he complained that he wanted it back but obviously she showed no sympathy. She explained that he would need to wait for a few hours until our next safety inspection until it could be retrieved, since the millwrights were the only ones authorized to go on the coaster floor. After she told us this, we put two and two together and realized that this idiot had put his life in danger to retrieve a hat.
When the time came for the next inspection, they found said hat. It was a 'make america great again' hat. This all took place in Canada, but that certainly explains a lot.
I've worked at a golf course for the past 3 years doing course maintenance. One of the people I work with is a hard working 61 year-old man named Mario. One day on the ninth hole, which is a straight par 4 with an island green surrounded by a pond infested with moccasins, Mario was tasked with weed eating. As I finished mowing the tee box and made my way to the green, I heard a blood curdling scream.
It was Mario.
I witnessed him yank a 3-4 foot copperhead off of his Achilles heel and throw it in the pond. Before I could offer to help, he had already rushed to his car and took off. He drove himself to a nearby hospital. He was back at work 2 days later!
Can't Have It Back Now!Giphy
I used to work at a bead store when I was 16 that sold beads, gemstones, chain, and findings for people who like to make jewelry.
One day this woman ran in and started stuffing strands of stuff down her bra and pants. I noticed and when I walked over to her she started running towards the entrance yelling "I already shoved it up my crack! You can't have it back now!"
I called the cops.
How many people do you know battling addictions?
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), addiction is "a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual's life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences."
Hearing from those who have battled addictions––and come out the other side––can be remarkably eye-opening, as we were reminded once Redditor YoshBotArmy asked the online community,
"People who have beaten an addiction... what's your secret?"
"I'd then check off..."
"Alcohol. The "one day at a time" approach was too much. I made a chart with a 24 hour day broken up into 15 minutes. For example: 8:00-8:15. [ ]
8:15-8:30. [ ]
8:30-8:45. [ ]
I'd then check off a box for every fifteen minutes I didn't drink. This really boosted my confidence because although I may have only gone two hours without drinking, my brain focused on the 8 boxes I checked off.
Minutes turned into hours, hours turned into days, etc.
It's now been 8 years."
"You need to want to quit..."
"You need to want to quit, otherwise, it will be a fight against yourself. I quit smoking about 15 years ago after being a smoker for like 18 years. I decided to quit several times but never stuck, always found a reason to fall back into the habit. One day my 4yo daughter told me that she was going to find a way to save me from cancer because smokers are bound to get it. After that, I couldn't stand cigarettes anymore and quit within the week. Never again. I wanted to be there for my girl more than anything else."
"The lesson to take away from this..."
"I realised my binge eating was due to a general lack of self-control. I developed bulimia (exercise is my poison) trying to counteract it, and I still struggle with that.
I struggled with it for years and tried everything under the sun to stop it. It wasn't until I started practicing Stoicism that I started seeing life differently. Then a couple of years into that, I overheard a colleague say "it's all about finding balance" in a conversation about the challenges life throws at you. That quote stuck with me for about a year until I realised I have no sense of balance because I used to be an extremely black and white/all or nothing character.
It's now been 2 years since I completely stopped binge eating, and it was all due to having that epiphany. Took practice to get into good eating habits and a routine with meals but I'm all good now.
The lesson to take away from this - teach your children self-control and the ability to say no to themselves. My parents gave me everything I wanted so I had to teach myself this throughout my early 20s."
"That does not mean..."
"You have to learn to give yourself grace.
Relapses happen. I self-mutilate. I will do incredible for months. Then one negative thought can send me into a spiral and I harm myself.
That does not mean that I undid any of the hard work I had done up to this point. I acknowledge that I made a mistake, identify my triggers, and make an effort to start clear of them. Take a deep breath and try again."
A valuable observation.
"I kicked the habit..."
"I wasn't physically addicted to marijuana, but I had such a mental dependency on it that it was pretty much like being addicted. I couldn't function without it.
I kicked the habit by pursuing a girl. I really wanted to date her, and I didn't want her to know that I was actively smoking weed. I stopped smoking weed because I'd fallen in love with a girl. I'm now married to her, and I haven't smoked weed in over 4 years."
"The most important thing..."
"The most important thing I ever learned was not to fight cravings. I don't mean to give in and use when a craving strikes but for a long time simply feeling the craving was awful. I tried so much to avoid the feeling because I was scared of it.
I saw the suggestion to actually indulge the feeling and just let it wash over you. When I tried it, it was still uncomfortable to want to use but by letting myself feel the craving fully I was able to let it go and move on with my day more easily. Fighting the craving just made me suffer."
"I wore a rubber band..."
"I wore a rubber band around my arm and anytime I thought about my addiction, I would snap it and hurt myself. That way, I associated my addiction with pain and eventually broke my body's natural desire for it."
It turns out this has merit.
"I have no idea..."
"Coffee. I was a serious caffeine addict (like 12 cups a day), and one day for no reason I just woke up and ... didn't feel like having coffee. I've had maybe 5 cups of coffee in the 10 years since then.
I have no idea why it happened, but I haven't felt a craving for it in years. I wish that would happen for my other bad habits."
"I don't think..."
"I don't think it's a secret. Understanding the addiction. Knowing that it takes time for the chemicals in your brain to reset. Knowing it's gonna suck. Being prepared as best you can. Knowing it's going to be a battle."
"I'm not very far..."
"It was really taking a toll on my overall health and one day I woke up and said never again. I'm not very far into recovery and I've never been to a meeting or anything. I know I can't have it around me or I'll relapse."
We are proud of anyone who manages to beat an addiction and who can speak about their experience so candidly. And if any of you out there are struggling, we're rooting for you.
Have some of your own stories? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below.
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I'm just spitballing here, but it seems to me that pretty much that weapons of war are among humanity's worst creations. Sure: We live in an anarchic world. States can never be certain of another state's intentions. Conflicts are bound to break out. But in a perfect world––and a man can dream––none of this would be necessary.
It seems I'm not alone in this, either. People had opinions of their own after Redditor Questwarrior asked the online community,
"What was the worst human invention ever made?"
"Cheap and easy to make..."
"Landmines. Cheap and easy to make, but they remain active and people forget where they put them."
"Styrofoam. It's toxic, can't be recycled, and there are better alternatives."
It also sounds horrible when rubbed against another piece of Styrofoam. Torturous.
"Now idiots can connect to each other..."
"Social Media - It gave people the ability to find others and create echo chambers. Before, idiots were isolated to dealing with just a few in their immediate radius of existence. Now idiots can connect to each other across the world and validate their thoughts/feelings."
This is very true. We're seeing the consequences, aren't we?
Ain't built like they used to - because they can't sell you a newer model if the old one is still performing like new.
If companies didn't have this in mind we wouldn't be running out of resources and messing up the planet in search of more. This would create less conflict and way less pollution. Imagine companies actually making insanely good, long-lasting products instead of cheap ones that needs replacing more often than it should."
"Heroin destroys people's lives every day."
"As a medical student..."
"As a medical student, I basically see people every day whose lives have been wrecked by smoking. Kids and unborn babies get messed over by tobacco smoke. Stupid and plain evil."
A great film about the tobacco industry: The Insider (1999). Really makes you think about the cost we all pay for Big Tobacco.
"I can't believe..."
"The concept of Flat Earth. I can't believe people are still stuck in the seventeenth century and still believe in that crap and try to defend it with their misunderstandings of science and physics, as well as pure ignorance."
People believe the most ridiculous things.
"They exist solely..."
"Torture devices. They exist solely to cause harm."
"How am I going to pay you..."
"Overdraft fees. How am I going to pay you EXTRA money when I don't have money?!"
Human beings are capable of so much innovation, beauty, and joy, but threads like these remind us of all the horrors in the world. There's a lot of darkness in humans, too.
Have some of your own contributions to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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Homelessness is an unfortunate and all-too-common occurrence in the world, particularly in the United States. Homelessness has grown to a huge degree, and while most countries have the resources to help their homeless, many choose not to.
It is also difficult to break the cycle of homelessness once you have entered it. It creates a never-ending loop of failed job searching, lost or stolen goods/items/things of value, and stigmatization by society. More often than not, homelessness is begotten by another condition wherein the state or country fails to provide resources--such as mental health.
"Ex homeless people, what are some things people don't know about the streets?"
Here were some of those answers.
A Sad Reality
"My stint on the streets was about six months and due to some bad decisions I made. But what sticks with me the most was the crushing boredom."
"No intellectual stimulus at all because it's safer to keep your distance from other homeless, and you're not going to have a chat with civilian out of the blue."
"So you're completely alone all the time. And to avoid putting yourself in risky situations you stay on the move as much as possible."
"Most cities you can get some day labor work for quick cash but then you have to be careful about people knowing you have cash. You're always on the lookout."
"The only sound nights sleep I ever got was when I could manage to scrounge up enough cash to get a room in a transient hotel for a night and basically pass out from exhaustion."
"Other than that you're sleep deprived most of the time. And of course all this is made worse if on the streets in winter."-HardALee99
The Worst Side Of A Woman's Life (TW: Rape)
"I'm a psychiatric RN who works with mostly homeless people."
"I have heard SO MANY TIMES where women who tested positive for meth have said they use it to stay awake 24/7 to avoid being assaulted by other homeless."
Lucky To Be Alive
"People can and often do develop PTSD from being homeless, especially in rough areas. BF was kicked out at 14 in what was, at the time, the heroin capital of the Northeast, and he very quickly realized that selling drugs was the easiest way to make sure he had food/water/shelter as someone under legal age to work."
"But bouncing from crackhouse to crackhouse— especially as a kid— creates this state of constant hyper-vigilance, possessiveness over your belongings, a lot of hoarding behaviors, etc."
"Basically you wind up living in survival mode the entire time so you don't get assaulted/arrested/kidnapped/shanked."
"To this day if you touch him while he's sleeping he freaks the f**k out. Loud noises at night freak him out, car engines outside, lights in the window, etc."
"He still sleeps better on a couch in the corner of the room than a bed, because 'at least then you have something at your back, makes it harder for people to surprise you.'"
"Nightmares, too. Just... a whole bunch of sh*t, some of which I won't get into because he's embarrassed by it. Here are a few of the choice events he went through, though, just in the first two years or so:"
"He's almost had his throat slit with a half a DVD, woke up with a fork in his chest from some crazy chick, had all his food stolen, even had somebody inject him with heroin against his will while he was sleeping. Sad to think about."
"He's off the streets now, kicked a drug addiction, found a good-paying job, and is about to go to college. But the damage being homeless for his adolesence/early adulthood did..."
"It's going to be a while before he really feels safe. Not to mention he feels like a failure going to college at 30, but... I mean, how many people could have gone through all the horrific sh*t he went through, lived to tell the tale, AND somehow managed to keep going and eventually recover?"-vishuual
Homelessness is even expensive for the country because it leads to more and more problems that resources have to be expended upon in order to deal with the mental health and physical trauma it causes.
Over And Over
"One thing that f**ked me up was my concept of time. Often I'd be up late as f**k trying to sleep and before I knew it, the sun's back up."
"You gotta plan your day differently to use the restroom and it's hard to even find anything 'normal' to do because there are so little resources."
"People don't realize that being homeless is a situation in which no one is really looking to help you to find a sustainable life. It's truly being otherized and ostracized until you die or miraculously get back on the work grind."-SuperDuperChuck
Not An Addict
"I guess the worst part for me was the lasting trauma."
"Sure walking around in sandals because it's all you have when it's raining sucks. Sure sleeping in public is terrifying. Yeah homeless shelters are packed out. Borderline impossible to get a job."
"But the worst part was realising I'd lost some fundamental part of myself and I wasn't getting it back. Innocence maybe?"
"But it's more than that, it's like that Lily Allen music video where she's walking around with rose coloured glasses but the audience sees what's real. Yeah well, you lose the glasses and you never get them back."
"There's nothing that fixes the trauma of knowing people who you thought were your friends or family were fully aware you had nowhere to go and didn't do anything about it."
"You can't fix that feeling of your best friend not returning your texts until you're back on your feet. Or the stares you get in the street when thousands of people walk past and don't stop."
"I'm physically ok now but I'll never see people the same way again. I don't know how to. I used to be a really sociable person and now I steer clear of most people. I don't trust anyone."
"Also as an aside, the people who were kindest to me were always working class. A construction worker who bought me lunch. A taxi driver who got me a blanket. Rich people treat you like utter filth and disappear ASAP."
"I was homeless due to domestic violence as well, but people just assume it must be drugs. I literally barely drink let alone use drugs, but in people's minds homeless = addict."-SunnydaleHigh1999
Stop Stigmatizing Homelessness
"The amount of 'ordinary' people there are that are homeless. I was homeless for about 6 months but you would have never known."
"I had job where I could make just enough to stay fed and get a gym membership. I kept all my clothes in the gym/ back room of the restaurant I worked at."
"I'd hide and sleep in the back office of the restaurant. A lot of homeless people have cars and can sleep in them."
"Gym memberships are the easiest ways to stay clean/ not look homeless. Once my boss found out I was homeless, he let me move into a room at a hotel he managed for free. That man saved my life."-SeamanTheSailor
Food Or Money?
"People seem to have this perception that food is the only thing a homeless person would need to use money on and so they will give food in place of money."
"While giving food is nice, it isn't some one-to-one replacement for money. Food can't help you get cleaned up for job interviews, for example."-CattyPlatty
And homelessness is caused by a number of things--most of which are failures of the government. There are enough vacant homes in the United States for every homeless person to have 6.
Policing Your Own Cleanliness
"What's really important is staying clean. But not so clean people won't give you money if you have to panhandle."
"Don't let people know where you sleep if you can help it."
"Don't take work offers alone, you never know what kind of sicko's there are out there, especially once they have you alone in their environment."-Tired_of_yer_ish
Read That Part Again About How Close You Are To Homelessness
"Former homeless person here (as a child and an adult) and someone who used to work helping folks who were unhoused due to violence get housing:"
"-You are more likely to become homeless than win the lottery. Most Americans (around 60%, that number has probably changed in the pandemic) are one missed paycheck away from homelessness."
"-As shared above, lack of quality jobs, affordable inventory (meaning not enough affordable housing), and integrative and trauma-informed heath care services are the leading causes that keep people unhoused."
"All this to say, you have far more in common with people on the street than you think you do. Please see them as people. I will never forget what it felt like to have someone's eyes slide right past me like I was invisible. "
"No one is expecting you alone to end homelessness, but you can give someone $10 for a laundromat or shower, or say hello."-AbolitionistCapybara
Why Is It Illegal To Have The System Fail You?
"I was homeless with my single mom at the age of 9. In the US it is basically illegal to be homeless but it is definitely illegal to be homeless and have a homeless kid."
"My mom was a great mom. We just hit a really rough patch in the 2008 financial crisis in the US causing my mom to lose her job."
"She could not get another one and we ended up living in her mini van. However she was always able to get me food and get me to school. I am not sure how she was able to keep our situation a secret but I was so ashamed of living in a car that I wasn't about to tell anyone about it."
"I think it is twisted that the government would rather place kids with strangers and give those strangers money to take care of the kid than to help that kids family find stability."
"Furthermore my boyfriend was in the foster system for a number of years and has a few horror stories from it. I feel lucky that I was homeless with my mother and that we were able to get out of that situation in comparison to what my boyfriend went through in his childhood living with abusive foster parents."-psychologicalfuntime
The bottom line is that homelessness is not the fault of the homeless. It is the fault of a system that criminalizes a lack of resources and support, especially in the USA, the wealthiest country in the world.
What would we gain by continuing to criticize and stigmatize homeless people across the country?
It's amazing what the legalities are from place to place. I live in New England, and in Connecticut, passengers are allowed to drink alcohol in the car, as long as they aren't driving. Weed isn't legal there, but open containers in the car? Totally fine. At least we have something to look forward to as we cross the border.
There are some truly strange laws depending on where you go. Here is a list of the weirdest ones.
Did you know that murder is allowed in certain instances, depending on where you go? Talk about scary.
I’m sure no one will test these laws.
Not sure how much of it is true. But apparently if the Swedes cross the border by walking over the ice given its frozen over, (which it hasn't in like more than 100 years) we are allowed to kill them.
The exact gates they have to be within are defined but I don't remember what they are.
Dying is illegal in France.Kate Mckinnon Snl GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy
Oh boy. France has some history and a love of regulation. Perfect mix for absurd laws. Quick examples:
It's still technically mandatory to have hay at home in case the king's horse is nearby and needs some... Horses have been a pretty rare sight, let alone kings.
A mayor made it illegal to die in his town. The initial problem was an overcrowded cemetery, but he kinda reached the wrong solution.
This probably isn’t enforced anymore.
There is a medieval law here that has never been repealed: all males over the age of 14 are required by law to practice longbow for at least two hours per week.
Some of these laws are so silly, they make you wonder what event happened that put them in place.
I think everyone has done this.
"Forbidden to pee in the ocean". I live in Portugal.
'Like a piss in the ocean' is literally a euphemism for something not mattering. What's the problem?
Tigers are fine, though.film history GIF by DiggGiphy
It's illegal to bring a lion to the movies.
Somebody better have a conversation with MGM.
You can't carry a salmon suspiciously.
"No officer, I was going to eat it later"
"Seems suspicious you were carrying it around in public. I'm gonna have to take you in for questioning."
What is the backstory here?
It's illegal to sleep on top of a refrigerator outdoors here.
I know this is Pennsylvania, but I forget the exact reasoning, but I think it has something to do with homeless people.
These next few laws will definitely make you question these towns’ legitimacy when it comes to lawmaking.
Poor raccoons.raccoon stealing GIFGiphy
In Virginia, it's illegal to "hunt or kill any wild bird or wild animal, including any nuisance species" on Sundays. However, it is permissible to kill raccoons.
How the heck is this enforced?
I don't know if this is still a thing anymore, but in Texas it used to be illegal to own more than six dildos.
It's illegal to own any at all in Alabama unless the owner has a letter from a doctor claiming a legitimate medical need.
Granted, most of these laws were written a very long time ago. But it makes you wonder, what the heck were these original lawmakers doing? And what event happened that needed these laws to be enforced at all?
If some of these laws don't make you want to be a criminal, then I don't know what will