We are all living out the human journey together, through the good, the bad, and the scary.
Unfortunately, the scary can sometimes be a pretty big part of the whole thing. The world is a strange place. It can easily pit us against each other, and we can make the experience scary for each other. And these brave people have survived such situations.
Here were some of those stories.
Adults Are Honestly The WorstGiphy
My cousin who was like 14 was babysitting us (9 year old me, 4 year old brother), her dad called coming down from I wanna say crack? Heroin? Idk something real bad, he called and screamed at her to tell him where her piggy bank was, she told him to f*ck off and hung up.
He called back, she didn't pick up, and he left a voice message which played as he was leaving it saying basically he was gonna come down there and f*cking murder all of us, with a knife
He was full of sh*t but we were terrified. Can you imagine the pure fear a 9 year old feels when a grown man who sounds crazy says he's going to murder her with a knife? So we prepared. We blocked out the windows, locked everything, put heavy furniture in front of the doors. My brother was asleep in his room, my cousin told me just leave him, but I couldnt stand the thought of him being alone in there so I covert style belly crawled, heart beating out of my chest, across the kitchen, through the living room to his room, scooped him up, and brought him back to my moms room, which we then barricaded ourselves into.
I got no sleep that night and my mom and my aunt came back the next morning like "What the f*ck did you kids do?!" But I was honestly just happy to be alive and that my mom was home again.
The worst part of the whole thing is when she got home her dad had sold all of her belongings. I mean everything, her bed, her dresser, tv, it was all gone. It was just an empty room.
He's clean now but I still hate his f*cking guts. F*ck you uncle donald.
I Could Die Today
When I was 15, I regularly was at home by myself since both of my parents worked full time and my brother had moved away to college. Well one day during the summer i was just relaxing at home, when all of a sudden someone knocks on the front door. I get up and check the peephole, and see two guys just standing in the driveway just off the porch. One of them wearing a suit, the other wearing sweatpants and a hoodie, but facing away from the house like he's playing lookout. I decide to ignore them, cause they'll go away, right?
They continue knocking, knocking, knocking but getting progressively louder and more aggressive. Finally, I decide to call the sheriff's department and ask for a non emergency check since they're trespassing. My dumbass decides to yell through the door that I had called, and before I can even realize how dumb it is, the guy starts kicking the front door. I freak the fuck out, run back toward the center of the house and realize that there's a third guy trying to kick in the back door as well. At this point I call 911 and start screaming about these three guys trying to break into my house.
Notoriously, it took the sheriff's deputies longer to get there than anyone would imagine, and they see the guys walking down the road later. Stopped them to question, but no arrest.
I was driving through a somewhat rough neighborhood at night (late after a movie) and while sitting at a light we saw this guy in a beat up car take a bump of coke next to us. We make eye contact. As the light turns green he merged behind us and then proceeds to follow us around flashing his lights and honking his horn for several blocks. We pull up to another red light he pulls up next to us yelling at us to roll down the window.
Turns out he just wanted to let us know we had a tail light out and then drove away.
This Is What We Call Stranger Danger
When I was 13, I just got dropped off from the school bus, so I had a bit of ways to walk home. As I get close to the corner of my street, some guy in a dark blue car rolls up and asked where I was headed.
Told him I was going home. The guy the excruciatingly slowed his car down to match my walk and asked if I wanted a ride home. I told him no thanks I'm almost home. Then he continued to ask where I live and if I still wanted a ride home.
Luckily I had a phone at this age, and pulled out my Nokia phone (idk why I remember this) and pretend to call my mom (she wouldn't have picked up the phone and I was almost home).
The guy saw what I was doing and sped off like crazy.
From the age of 13, I started carrying pepper spray.
Late 80s, was running errands in town with my mum and two sisters. Back then it wasn't uncommon to leave your kids in the car while you ran inside the store.
We are sitting in the car waiting, and then I see an older guy walking towards our car. I just get a really bad feeling and start yelling at my sisters to lock the doors, while I lock the two on my side.
He comes over and spends the next couple of minutes trying to open all the doors on the car while we are cowering in our seats. Eventually he gave up and left.
We were all 8 and under in age at the time. I just knew that if he got in the car he would take one of us.
In our mid twenties, my husband and I lived in a townhome without a yard in a pretty nice area of town. We knew we were purchasing a house soon, so we went ahead and got our first puppy! I'm a morning person, whilst my husband is not, so I would usually get up around 5am and take the puppy out to the little patch of grass across the street from out townhome (still inside the entire complex, mind you). Did this for several months, no big deal.
Well one morning while out waiting on the puppy, an old Ford van, all beat up with no windows, slowly drives by and goes back behind another building. A few minutes later as I'm getting ready to cross the street and go back inside, the van comes back up the road to where I was getting ready to cross, stops in the middle of the road and turns off its lights. I waved them on in front of me and at that point, both doors of the van started to open. All I remember was seeing someone start to get out before both the dog and I felt the undeniable urge to run across the street and inside as fast as possible. Once inside, the van sped off and disappeared.
The creepiest part of this whole thing was when I went upstairs to wake my husband, only to find out he was in the middle of a dream where I'd been kidnapped.....
To this day, I refuse to run outside or go on walks alone, even on our quiet country roads. And big old vans still creep me out.
Why Do People Be Like This
I was about 14/15. School had just ended so the bus home was packed with other school kids too. We were a couple stops away from where everyone got on when this guy with a huge jacket, hood up and mask on (we were in the middle of a heatwave so super odd) got on the bus, stormed upstairs past me and my friends and threw down this huge bag he was carrying. He screamed "THIS IS A BOMB" and ran off the bus.
It took everyone a few seconds to process what just happened, but after those few seconds I experienced the most crazy panic I've ever seen. Everyone bolted downstairs and tried to get out, but the doors were closed. I remember this huge black dude just punched the glass out of the door like it was nothing and people were just dragging themselves through it. When I got to the door I hit the emergency release to make it easier to jump off.
Once we were out we sprinted at least 500m down the road and crouched for the explosion. Except there was no explosion. It was just a hoax. Turns out that the guy that did it was someone from my school that had previously been expelled.
Close Call (TW: Blood)
Me and my boyfriend came back at like 2 am from a night out. We were both quite drunk and stumbled into the hallway to the elevator when we see drops of something on the floor. It definitely was blood. Fresh and wet. The elevator button and door were covered in bloody hand prints aswell.
My boyfriend called the elevator, pushing me aside not knowing what would be in it. Luckily nothing except for a puddle of blood.
The elevator came from the 5th floor. So we went investigating. The trail of blood ended at a door with huge hand smears of blood on the door.
It took all our courage to ring (not the nicest place to live, robbery??) But I am so glad we did. An elderly man opened the door. He looked like straight out of a horror movie. Covered in blood from head to toe. His grey sweater was red. His hair was wet. His shoes were filled with blood.
We immediately sobered up. I called an ambulance which arrived in 2 minutes. My bf went inside the flat helping the man sit down. There was so much blood I have never seen that in my life.
We didn't know what happened to him until we met him yesterday properly for the first time. Recognized my bfs glasses. He was drunk, wanted to ride his bike home, crashed somehow and got a huge cut on his head. He takes heart medicine which thins his blood that's why he lost so much.
If we wouldn't have rung the doorbell he would have bled to death.
He actually gifted us money and a super expensive bottle of champagne for something completely self explanatory
Was walking through campus after a night class, around 9 or 9:30pm. It's a BIG campus (UCF) and pretty empty at this point. The shuttle I took was at the other end of campus so it was a pretty long walk. At one point I'm walking through a swampy area with a raised boardwalk. There are two girls a ways ahead of me walking together, I see them reach the end of the boardwalk and go into the next building.
As I reach the end of the boardwalk, this guy kinda hops up out of nowhere/the surrounding woods. Takes my hand and starts telling me how beautiful I am, what's my name, what year am I at uni, what am I doing tonight, where do I live? I ask him why he wants to know and he says "I'm taking a survey". I'm literally in such shock that it takes me a second to realize he's even touching me/has my hand. Everything he was asking me sounded really unauthentic and like it was scripted, like he was in a rush to get everything out. He also had this really weird, unsettling vibe that he was giving off that instantly freaked me out, but it was DARK outside, and I was ALL ALONE at this point.
Thankfully, a minute or two later a guy walks out through the building , and I use that moment to break my hand away from the weirdo and tell him "I have to go". I've never walked so fast to my shuttle and looking over my shoulder the whole time. I couldn't stop shaking the whole ride home. Something about that guy was OFF and I was sure if that man hadn't have come out when he did that something bad would've happened to me. Exactly what, I don't want to think about. Keep in mind there had been a group of 2 girls walking ahead of me and he hadn't approached them. He was looking for a girl by herself.
The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions, Right?Giphy
My first apartment was part of a complex that was U shaped with a large grassy area in the middle. The neighborhood kids would run around and play in the grass a lot. One day I was sitting on my stoop talking on the phone when one of the kids fell over, grabbed his foot and started crying. He was maybe 5 or 6. He had stepped on a bottle cap and sliced open his foot. I took him inside, had him sit on the edge of the tub, washed his cut and put some neosporin on it and a bandaid and sent him on his way.
A few hours later there is a knock on my my door. When I answered, a massive skinhead with a tattoo of a pentagram on his neck was standing there with his chest out. The boy was peeking around one of his giant thighs pointing at me. He stuck his finger in my chest and yelled, "Did you take my boy in your f*ckin house? That's my son. Did you give him a f*ckin bath?"
"Look at his foot!" I shrieked. "He cut his foot. I washed the cut."
He inspected the kids foot then asked me.what exactly happened. I stumbled through the story. Then he just said, "Alright then." He shook my hand with a vice grip and I never saw him or his son again.
It's Always People In Vans
This happened when I was about 9 or 10. It was around 8:30 on a Tuesday or Thursday. My parents and I were watching TV when there was a knock at the door. My dad got up and answered it, to see a man standing there, with a white van behind him. He looked like he was in his early 30s. My dad went outside to talk to him as I hid behind the TV stand and waited for him to leave. It was hard for me to hear what they were saying but I could hear my dad say, "No thanks" and "We're good". When my dad got back inside, I saw the van leave and asked my dad what had happened. The had guy asked him if he could come inside to do a security system estimate, because he was a door to door salesman. My dad said he could see a bunch of other guys inside the van staring at them. When they left, my mom called the neighbor to ask her what was going on, apparently they had asked almost everyone on our street the same question. My neighbor called the police and started to follow the van. The guys caught on, and when my neighbor turned around to go home they started following her, she eventually lost them but the whole ordeal was still scary nonetheless.
note - I know about my neighbor following them/being followed because my mom was on the phone with her the whole time
Thank Goodness He Wasn't The Joker After All
I used to work as a cashier in a middle eastern restaurant and we'd get a lot of interesting people coming in.
One day while the manager and cooks are busy, a pretty "normal" looking guy comes in and asks for water. No biggie. Then he starts asking questions about what ethnicity the owner's are and if I'm related to them and while those questions aren't inherently threatening, he spoke the same way The Joker does. Like he's about to do something bad to you and you can't escape it because he's already set up a trap.
He leaves. He returns less than a minute later with a black duffel bag and another guy who looked homeless blocking the doorway.
I legitimately thought he was about to pull out a gun and try to rob the place or shoot me. Instead, he tells me to tell the owner exactly what he's been asking me and he leaves. Nothing bad really happened but I was terrified that he'd come back and I eventually left the place because of it.
I got a lift with a semi driver into the Rockies via the old 99. Once we got into the long stretches after Squamish he started talking about how his wife got a restraining order against him because of an ongoing murder investigation. It's okay though because he was acquitted of the last murder accusation. I was having serious flashbacks to Wolf Creek with this guy before he started with the small talk.
Neighbors Are No Help
I got chased down by the neighborhood delinquent teen with a gun when I was walking home from the bus stop with friends. I was 10, my friends were 10/11 years old too. We ran to a house for help, a middle aged woman answered and refused to let us in or help us. She said it could be a prank, we told her it wasn't but she was convinced we were trying to get in her house and rob her. We ran farther to my friends house, her mom happened to be off work early and was home. She called the police. I got to ride in a cop car and watch two cops take down this 17 year old piece of sh*t into the pavement.
I had a friend who seemed a really nice guy. He was my boss/friend's partner and was very supportive as her partner and of the people who worked for her. But as her friend, she started to tell me some of his less fine moments, such as his hitting her, and when they went "on a break" as a result he cheated on her. She told me that when he drank he turned into a completely different person, and she'd told him he should completely stop drinking.
They'd been together a long time but as they got serious thinking about marriage and babies she realised she couldnt deal wtih his lying, cheating and drinking. She realised she couldn't marry him, and dumped him. We went out with some other friends for a drink, to a pub we never usually went for safety. He got drunk somewhere and phoned to say he was coming to "get" us.
In his culture, she was practically considered his. They'd been together long enough to be considered husband and wife despite never marrying. So he and the other men in the city viewed her as his property pretty much. She couldn't just dump him and find a new man, that would be cheating and only men can get away with cheating. So men who knew them and saw which pub she'd gone to, told him where we were.
He turned up with a machete and attacked her date, luckily he hit first with his hand before drawing the machete, but he still did a lot of damage with just that one hit to the ear. Her date and the rest of our friends managed to escape, I've never seen anyone run so fast. He attacked her new car when he couldn't get her new man. When we tried to talk to him he threatened me with the machete.
So my friend pepper sprayed him which incapacitated him (and got me too ouch). When the police arrived my friend got in trouble for using pepper spray. No charges were brought against her ex.
There Is No Justifiable Amount Of Nope
At a party when I was in my late teens. Friend of a friend is there and he's kind of strange. Whatever. No big. I know lots of strange people. We ended up alone in a room next to each other on a couch. He says "you look nice tonight" and I notice he has a knife in his hand. I immediately freeze in terror. At that very moment my friend comes in, and i use the distraction to get up and get out of the room immediately and leave the party.
I have no idea what would have happened if my friend hadn't come into the room.
When I next talked to my friend he "explained" that the guy was on heart medication. Ah okay. Yeah. That explains it. Except. You know. Not at all. I stopped associating with that friend.
Being woken up suddenly is not very good for our health.
Especially for the elderly, it's not something to make a habit of. Sleep interruption can increase blood pressure, cause a worsened self image, and cause a day filled with irritation and confusion.
No one wants to be woken up, but there are definitely some reasons for being woken up that are worse than your alarm clock.
We went to Ask Reddit to find out some of the worst reasons people have been woken up.
Redditor Toothpiicxxk asked:
"What's the worst reason you woke up?"
These truly are the worst.
We love our pets, but sometimes not so much.
"My cat was throwing up right next to me."
"She brought you breakfast how cute."
"I was just about to answer that my cat threw up right on me, specifically my hair, which I had just washed..."
Some horrible news hits you.
"Being woken up to be told someone you know died certainly qualifies."
"Or when you already know, but you wake up in that ignorant bliss that lasts for about a second and then it hits you. And this goes on for a long time."
"It's been about 15 years and I still will wake up on occasion thinking I have to tell my older brother something cool that I know he'd love to hear about. Or have a vivid a** dream about how it was all an mistake and he's still here. Happens less often then it used to but oof does it ever still hurt."
"Woke up at about 3am to a cop repeatedly ringing my bell. my mom had accidentally drowned in the tub. she was really weak from chemo."
"Woke up to a phone call telling me my incredible brother-in-law had been hit and killed by a drunk & high driver, his wife was also expected to pass as her neck had been broken, and their kids were both in surgery. My husband and I were in the will to get the kids, so we needed to fly to Chicago right away. As I sat there in shock, I hung up the phone, turned to see my sleeping husband snoring away, and knowing I would now have to wake him up to tell him the worst news he would ever hear."
2018 false missile alert.
"I live in Hawaii, that time we got the missile scare."
"Oof at least it wasn't real but I would have definitely panicked if that was me."
"Damn, I slept straight through it. My mom literally woke me up, told me; and I still went back to sleep."
"What were you supposed to do? Go outside and witness your annihilation?"
"I think it's the right thing to do to inform people even if there isn't necessarily anything that can be done about it."
"Some people would appreciate being able to conduct prayers, get one last hug with their loved ones, etc."
"Cockroach walking on my lips with no shame. I brutally murdered it as soon as I yeeted it halfway across the room."
"I had a weird dream about a cockroach somehow paralyzing a friend then walking towards me in that same room. Then I awoke to find this a**hole cockroach slowly creeping on my lips."
"When I threw it away, what startled me was it did not panic AT ALL. It even slowly headed towards me!"
"I also mouth washed and brushed my teeth and even disinfected my lips with alcohol. It was a surreal experience."
"I seriously loathe roaches and there's no other way to ensure its death than a brutal one."
Screams in the night.
"One time I got woken up by a blood curdling scream in the middle of the night. I live alone and it also woke up my dog who was freaked out the rest of the night. Searched everywhere including outside and didn't find anything."
"Well that was lucky. Imagine what would have happened if you had found it..."
"Hopefully a fox, coyote, cat, or cougar."
"Being clearly asleep, and then someone wakes you to ask, 'Are you asleep?'"
"Bruh my mom be like [this]."
"The only correct answer to this question is 'yes.'"
"I woke up to my mom calling me sobbing because she thought I had died, I was 10 hours away and my blood sugar was severely low and wasn't answering any calls, that was horrifying."
"We've learned what does and doesn't work for waking me up in a medical emergency."
"Blood sugar can be a b*tch, found my mum having a really bad hypo while sleeping when I was a toddler and for years and years after would wake her up to check she was okay without realizing I was doing it for that reason. Glad you're okay!"
Something so relatable.
"My alarm rung. It's a daily struggle."
We've all been there.
If you're not a morning person, waking up in the morning can already be a challenge, but no one wants to get woken up to horrible news or an emergency.
In fact, we should be waking up naturally with our own personal sleeping patterns.
We all know that's easier said than done.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
People have a habit of excusing crap behavior - honestly because it's often easier in the short term. Long term = flaming dumpster fire.
The excuses people use to dismiss behavior range from mundane and meaningless to the sort of leaps normally reserved for kangaroos and Olympians. It's sometimes amazing that these excuses work - but they do.
Some of them work so well that they're just sort of "accepted." That, obviously, kind of sucks and is something we should avoid - so let's talk about 'em.
Can't swerve around what you don't see, ya know?
Reddit user TMTtasmachine asked:
... and away we go.
" 'That's just how they are.' "
"One of the biggest enablers for tantrum throwing, bullying, etc. is that they get treated with kid gloves to avoid dealing with them." - alexrt87
"Oh my God you hit the nail on the head. Whenever someone says 'that's just the way they are' I say:"
" 'Yes, that's the point! Glad you noticed too! Now is it okey-doke for them to be jerks they have special jerk privileges? Or maybe they are just people and should treat everyone else as such?' " - notatrumpchump
"It depends on how it's said."
"People are the way that they are, and you shouldn't be surprised when they continue to be that way."
"This, obviously, doesn't excuse it - but people also shouldn't be surprised when a bad person continues to make bad decisions. Neither should we waste space in our minds being bothered by it." - unlawfulfoxy
Harassment Isn't Humorseason 2 lol GIF by ShamelessGiphy
" 'It's just a joke, bro.' Harassing people isn't humor." - loading__99
"A guy who says/does offensive things and decides whether he was joking based on the reaction of people around him." - Eatsleeptren
"Dude, legit had someone come up to me and start shouting in my face, calling me Madison, pretending I was cheating on him. Literally the most crowded location outside a theater, everyone staring at us, looking at me like I was some horrible cheater while I was out with my then fiancé."
"I started hyperventilating, my fiancé nearly decked the dude, and then someone shouts 'CUT' like this is some big 'YOU'RE ON CANDID CAMERA' moment and everything's supposed to be okay."
"I burst into tears."
"It was the most humiliating moment of my life, and thank god my then fiancé, now husband is not the type to overreact or jump to conclusions, or be abusive. Imagine how bad that could have been for someone with an angry or abusive partner."
"Prank videos are a plague on the internet and there is a REASON so many of them are fake, or involve actors." - Darkovika
Stay Sober, Then!Drunk Drinking Beer GIFGiphy
" 'I was drunk / high / etc.' "
"Then don't drink?! Stay sober if you can't NOT be an a**hole!" - BasedBenjamin
"Alternately, I hear a lot of 'I'm a happy drunk!' "
"Yeah, according to your drunk a$s. That doesn't mean you're not an ahole. Not remembering is not an excuse either." - PepeBabinski
"I was also loud, obnoxious, and I wouldn't remember sh*t the next day."
"Quitting drinking has been one of my best choices of my life." - TTungsteNN
"Help"new girl coach GIFGiphy
" 'I'm just trying to help you' " - Miserable-Air1234
"Every time I've heard this, they're manipulating me while helping only themselves." - mykittenfarts
"My Mom to a T. Everything she does is better than anyone else's and she always gets pissed that people don't praise her for 'helping.' "
"She's now a certified (by herself) psychic and I have come to the conclusion that she's not a covert narcissist but an obvious one. I really wish I was joking." - Silent_Discussion657
Parenting ProblemsLeave Me Alone Run GIF by TLC EuropeGiphy
"Any variation of 'I'm a Mother/parent.' "
"Had some lady cut me in line at a coffee shop and she hit me with 'I'm a single Mom of 3!' as her excuse."
"Ok? And? I was still here first." - maid-for-hire
"I'm a single mom and I f*cking haaaate when other single moms/parents pull that sh*t to get special treatment."
"Last week, I was having a rough morning, my kid was being difficult, and I was running late. I was rude to a cashier over a minor inconvenience."
"Not only did I apologize for my shitty behavior, I wrote corporate to let them know how professional and patient she was while I acted like a f*cking toddler."
"Was being a parent part of the reason I was frustrated? Absolutely. Was it an excuse for that behavior? HELL no."
"I acted like a b*tch, and I called myself out, and I apologized. I still feel bad about that - I rarely let things get to me to the point I snap at others." - ClusterfckyShtshow
"Wow. I'm a Mom as well and tired but it doesn't give anyone a right to use it as some sort of ploy to get away with stuff."
"Like, mice become Moms about 12 times a year. You're not special 🤣" - SpoonLoops
Believing Your BossThe Office Monday GIF by 20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentGiphy
"I had a boss say some really racist sh*t around me one day and the next day, out of nowhere, he says:"
" 'Don't believe half the things that come out of my mouth!' "
"It was not really an excuse, more like trying to cover for himself after the fact, but still stuck with me." - sirlongbottom441
"Report them to HR. Seriously." - kokichi--ouma
"Looking past the racist stuff for a bit, that's not a very encouraging thing to hear from a boss…" - WonderfulBlackberry9
Bad Day AgainBad Day Reaction GIF by Schitt's CreekGiphy
" 'I'm having a bad day/week' "
"Okay, so you decide everybody that you interact with deserves the same fate? Get out of here, dude." - myordinaryexistence
"We all got stress, don't take it out on me. I get some people have stress bad enough for it to be passable every once and a while (family member passing, etc) but general, stress should not lead to you being a jerk to me." - willsimpforfree
"Damn, I'm definitely guilty of this. Usually I remember to apologize after but at this point I've learned to just avoid the situation in the first place by minimizing my interaction with people if I'm in a shitty mood." - nozzzrul
"Reminds me of when that White boy went on a murder rampage and killed a bunch of Asian women & that a-hole sheriff gave a press conference telling the media that the 'poor boy had a bad day.' "
"My idea of a bad day involves going home after a rough day at work and just staying in the house."
"Apparently, I should change my ethnicity from Asian to White and go on a murder rampage, see if my @ss gets a sympathetic sheriff to say on my behalf that I had 'a bad day.' " - kingkazul400
It's Not An ExcuseSeason 2 Reaction GIF by FriendsGiphy
"This won't go down well, but using depression as an excuse. As someone who suffers from it, it's still not ok to treat others like sh*t" - Rainbowwallstickers
"Could not agree enough. My partner has a 'friend' who treats everyone like sh*t all the time, has no consideration for others and openly mocks people in public."
"She gets so much grace from those around her under the guise of her 'mental health.' It's so infuriating watching an adult woman never have to take responsibility for her actions." - 34boor
"I get there are some things you can't control, but you are still responsible for keeping that sh*t in check and if you're aware of your mental illness, you should be aware of how you approach people and situations."
"I'll admit I used to be guilty of using my mental illness to be an @ss, but now I'm trying to better myself" - VeeSquibbles
Florida Gonna FloridaLooney Tunes Florida GIFGiphy
"People are letting Florida off the hook way too damn much. And I live in Florida."
"Just because it's hilarious doesn't mean it isn't still completely f*cked up." - AlphaWhiskeyOscar
"The phrase 'Florida Man' is almost always followed some heinous way a Floridian is being an a$$hole." - PepeBabinski
"I'm also originally from Florida, and that state has serious problems. We need to pay attention to it." - [Reddit]
Moment of honesty ... as a Floridian ... yeaaaah, I'm gonna have to agree with that last one.
We live in a time where we are critically re-examining how we pay workers. After a two-year-long pandemic where some low-income and "unskilled" jobs were deemed "essential," we now must put our money where our mouth is.
For too long in the world have incredibly important jobs been overlooked or else outright maligned. Teachers in the USA make some of the least money, career-wise, and have some of the hardest jobs. Dancers pay to put their bodies through hell with no guarantee of paid work after training.
So how do we fix this problem? By naming it, of course.
Redditor u/NightReader5 asked:
"What professions are severely underpaid?"
Here were some of those answers.
Our Elderly Deserve Better
"I worked as a CNA in a nursing home and I loved it. It's such hard work for such little pay and that's why I had to leave."
"Not only that but I was a rare person in that I LOVED caring for the residents. Nothing was beneath me such as changing a dirty diaper or spoon feeding."
"Everything helped their quality of life. Sucks they can't keep people that genuinely enjoy it cause I couldn't make over $10 an hour."-Dancer9d9
"Came here to say this: Emergency Medical Technicians. I will never not be just a bit salty about this."
"My husband is one of those people who does this job because it's his passion and he loves helping people."
"It would be nice if he earned more than the kid who just got hired at McDonald's this morning."-ThePotterheadHobbit
High School Bathrooms....
"The janitors at my high school. I walked in the men's bathroom there once and there was a mega-giant steaming pile of crap and diarrhea right in the middle of the floor."-satanic-sex-god
"Anyhow. Are you sure that was a high school? We're talking grades 9-12 here, right?"-VoicedVelarNasal
"Unfortunately yes. Other highlights of my oh so great high school men's bathroom that contains teenagers from 14 to as old as 20 are:"
"A dude bringing a sledgehammer to school and smashing a sink, the toilets being blown up, the toilets being frequently clogged with trash..."
"Smashed beer bottle glass covering the floor, and a centimeter of pee flooding the bathroom whenever you walk in. I hate it here."-satanic-sex-god
You know immediately YOU might not want to do this job--so why is someone else getting paid next to nothing to do it?
The More You Help Others The Less You Get Paid
"Statistically speaking, any job that provides significant social benefit to others, the less you will get paid, something that David Graeber discusses in essays and his work, Bullsh*t Jobs."
"This is so sad. I'm currently in a job that pays very well, I just dont find any meaning or fulfillment with it. I want so badly to do something where I'd be helping others- something with purpose- but I honestly dont think I can afford it."-mko0njo9
"Social workers. Dealing with negligent, abusive parents while trying to help the children while in an underfunded, low-paid system is a travesty."-ZRX1200R
"Can also confirm. I like working with my family's but I don't get paid enough to deal with their crap or most of the bureaucracy."-Altowhovian93
Minimum Wage To Go Against FIRE
"Entry level wildland firefighters. They start them at $15 an hour."-NuclearEyedSquirrel
"I live in a small town in Ohio and I think the lowest starting wage I've seen was 11."
"That's the low side and those places are having trouble hiring because there's so many places paying higher. McDonald's here starts at 13 or 14 an hour."-rjoh4459
One Kid, One Para
"Paraprofessionals. Yea, my town increased the pay rate for paraprofessionals to get more people to apply since they have a shortage but the pay increase was not that good IMO."
"For that job, I think you need to be compensated for the physical and mental demands of the job."
"It's a hard job and they should be paid for the work, the pay rate in my community for the job with 60 credits is $14.50 but I think it should be more than that."-YourQueen2Bee
The question then becomes, why won't the people who HAVE money do something to help the quality of these jobs, and make sure that these people get paid?
"Everything in veterinary medicine. Kennel technicians, Veterinary assistants, Veterinary technicians, Veterinary receptionists, and Veterinarians."-aIsiduous
"Veterinary interns/residents, too. I work 70-120hrs+ per week, am on call about half the days per month, have to pay for my own board exams and accreditation fees out of pocket, and all for ~$33,000 per year."-WyrdHarper
"It's bullsh*t. There's nothing on this planet I want to do more than be a veterinarian, but I simply cannot afford the debt. Hopefully one day we'll get the recognition deserved. Stick in there, I know you got this!"--aIsiduous
In The Classroom
"I work in a special school, I love it but I really don't think we get paid enough for all the times we get yelled at, punched, kicked, bit, spat on, cursed at, have our classrooms trashed, have things thrown at us..."
"And then we also have parents making demands and admin telling us their 'simple' solutions to all of it that we have to carry out while they have zero clue on what it's actually like to spend a day in the classroom."-Sajiri
A Morbid State Of Affairs
"Funeral directors/embalmers/funeral professionals. We didn't get days or holidays off to begin with. Now the pandemic has stretched us to working double overtime, which we are exempt from getting paid for under Florida statutes."
"And forget hazard pay for being exposed to COVID multiple times a day every day via the deceased, the deceased's family members, the general public attending funerals, and the hospital/nursing facilities we remove decedents from."-Lesscute
So why are we holding off on giving these people a raise? Their jobs involve dangerous, mentally and emotionally taxing situations, and yet, we treat them as if society could function without them. The truth is it couldn't.
And society had best learn that as soon as possible.
What causes a small town to die?
Honestly, there can be quite a few factors, but perhaps the biggest one is that small towns often lack the upward mobility opportunities that are more available in urban areas.
As a result, many towns around the United States for instance have lost tens of millions of people as their populations seek jobs and opportunities elsewhere.
And what remains of these places can be pretty sketchy.
People told us more after Redditor RadicalizedSnackWrap asked the online community,
"What's a super sketchy US city that we never hear about?"
"Daytona Beach, FL. Imagine a bunch of alcoholic high school kids who came for spring break in 1984, and never left, and never grew up."
Oh, I don't have to imagine it.
I've seen it!
I lived in a neighboring town for a while and bodies would always turn up in farmer's fields that the cartel in Yakima had dropped off there."
Sounds like Netflix needs to get its hands on Yakima, a new show to go against Ozark.
"I remember a story..."
"Guntersville, Alabama. If I were to ballpark it, over 80% of the population are meth addicts and traffickers.
I remember a story where a man walked into the Walmart, took all the supplies and equipment required to cook, and proceeded to cook meth in the bathroom."
"A run-down town..."
"Reading, PA. A run-down town that is mostly used as a central point to run drugs between New York and Philly."
I am writing this from right nearby actually, and I can smell it from here.
"Small town almost entirely..."
"Butte, Montana. Small town almost entirely comprised of violent meth heads."
"More of a town than a city..."
More of a town than a city, but it's such a weird place, bordering on Twilight Zone. You'll see a meth house right next to a youth theatre."
According to a friend I have who spent a lot of time in Arizona, this sounds about right.
"Used to have..."
"Gary, Indiana. Used to have a prosperous steel economy, but now it's just home to abandoned buildings, failing infrastructure, and lots and lots of crime. Just look up pictures."
"I always said..."
"Amityville. Yes, that Amityville.
I always said the "Amityville Horror" house is for amateurs. You want something scary, put on a nice watch or a gold chain and wander around downtown Amityville after dark."
I went there once.
I have not been back.
"It looks harmless..."
"Harrisburg PA. It looks harmless and maybe a little boring but holy hell that place is a giant puddle of corruption just waiting for someone to step in it. Not just state government, there's a bunch of layers you can use to crawl up the corruption ladder."
"Used to be..."
"Natchez, Mississippi. Use to be the headquarters for the KKK. Not much there besides crackheads, plantation homes, and European tourists. Don't own a nice place if you're black, you'll be stopped by the police and questioned."
It doesn't look any of these are changing anytime soon, and that's sad.
Have some small towns to tell us about? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.