JOIN
OUR EMAIL LIST!

Filth is everywhere. It's inescapable, even on things we'd assume are clean and healthy to use - like weights at the gym, or soda fountain spigots, or even your own belt. Maybe carrying around some Purell isn't such a bad idea after all...

CSMaNa asked: What is dirtier than people realize?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.


10. Next time I'm wearing gloves.

The holes in bowling balls. The shoes are disinfected after each use, but no one disinfects those holes

backcountryengineer

I'm a germaphobe who very briefly worked at a bowling alley. Sprayed a large amount of disinfectant in all the holes in the balls one day, and the liquid that dripped back out of each ball was either yellow or brown.

m_queen

Please stop.

swimmerhair

9. Back in my day kids played in filth. We turned out alright... ish.

Hey all—microbiology research aid here to remind you of some good news before we go full freak-out about all this. Just because something has a lot of bacteria doesn't mean it's bad for you! In fact, the majority of bacteria by far (~99%) doesn't harm us at all; a lot of it has actually been shown to help us.

A normal human adult has approximately one non-harmful bacterial cell in their body for each human one, and that's a fine thing! Our microbiota is incredibly diverse, and it's this diversity that helps our immune system develop further. Even seemingly unrelated things like allergies, metabolism, and tolerance to specific foods can be traced back to a healthy balance of bacteria within your body.

While I'm not saying to go around licking door handles, keep in mind that an abundance of sterility can be harmful in some ways too. A little dirt can help us!

Generic_Userboi

8. Dirty face.

Old makeup.

Bacteria thrives in such environments.

aplyingtocolege

I would say individuals who don't wash their brushes are a bigger issue but when your see these "haul" videos that is going to be a lot of expired makeup. Mascara is kept at most 6 months from when opened. You can spritz down palettes and such with alcohol. Let them sit out and dry. On the note of makeup brushes, wash them! I prefer mine in closed containers. Don't put them uncovered on the sink next to the toilet. On that note, shut the toilet lid before flushing. I believe the last study was an open toilet when flushed spreads feces 6 feet away.

val319

7. Or anything else.

TV remote controls in hotel rooms. It's touched by almost every person who has stayed in the hotel room. Yet, it is rarely, if ever, cleaned by staff.

SufficientWish

I've done my fair share of hotel bouncing for my traveling job, and I always have a bottle of Clorox wipes with me. All the surfaces I touch get wiped down first. Lightswitches, doorknobs, faucets, toilet handle, remote, nitestand, etc.

If you've got a strange curiosity like myself, bring a blacklight the next time you go to a hotel.

EDIT: Yes, I know a blacklight doesn't show bodily fluids without luminol. It doesn't, however, make some stains more visible than with the naked eye. Some places get cleaned better than others, and that's one way to tell.

EDIT 2: No, I am not Monk.

TheNiteWolf

6. They're supposed to be cleaned.

Restaurant menus.

karatekate

I used to work at a Mexican restaurant and they would serve chips and salsa to every table right away. Those menus would get salsa all over them. That and the sugar and salt from the margaritas.

MichelleInMpls

So you are telling me the menus are flavored.

WitnessMeIRL

5. Mmmm, MRSA.

Dumbbells and barbells at the gym. I clean those at the gym where I work and you would gag at the amount of nastiness that comes off on the rags.

overlyattachedbf

That's why I have an alcohol hand-gel permanently in my gym bag for immediately after workouts!

tian447

4. An unexpected horror.

Doctors' neckties. The rest of their clothes get washed, the white coats are swapped each day, they pump their hands full of sanitizing foam as they enter and exit a room...but that necktie hasn't seen detergent in years.

Hayley9000

Thats why they are banned in clinical environments in the NHS. White coats too.

macncheesee

And why they should be banned in clinical environments in the US.

medschoolprof

3. Yeah, no.

Ice in food service.

housekb

Any sort of fountain machine too. The store I used to work out cleaned the nozzles 2x daily, and it still spewed out some of the nastiest sh*t I've ever seen. Never again.

weatiez

Health inspector here, can confirm the filth in ice machines. Most places are not allotted time to completely disassemble and properly clean all of the lines and tubing inside the machine.

SargeantSassySweats

2. Must be legit.

An episode of Mythbusters revealed that air dryers are actually worse than paper towels, so I guess that could be one.

DiscountOlives

Yep, nothing like blowing drying your clean hands with warm fecal matter infested air.

LovesMeSomeRedhead

1. You're welcome.

I saw a meme that read "we never wash belts, but they're the first thing we touch after we wipe our butts."

That meme haunts me.

Edit: Wow, this blew up. You grab your pants by the waist when you pull them up, that's where your belt is so therefore, you touch your belt at the same time. Also, the button and zipper get washed with the pants in the laundry. The underwear comment though.... good point.

mike_d85

What will you never touch again?

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.

Keep reading... Show less
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 Clinical 

"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 Out 

"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 In 

"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 That 

"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 Happened 

"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 Tragedy 

"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 Home 

"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 Clock 

"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?
Keep reading... Show less
Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

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

Keep reading... Show less