Keeping secrets can be super hard to do. Especially when it comes to the workplace. Non-Disclosure Agreements are meant to keep company secrets, but every contract has an expiration date. Who knows what will be revealed?
tinyman1199 asked: People who have signed NDAs that have now expired or for whatever reason are no longer valid. What couldn't you tell us but now can?
50. Get Another Phone ServiceGiphy
I wasn't supposed to talk about the billing system of Vodafone but do not trust them and run very far away people. it's a mess, bills are randomly generated whenever, you get random charges, your bills doubled, tripled and more for no reason and often when the money is taken you're promised it back but they're sneaky it just gets taken off of future bills and even that doesn't work most times. They offered 80% off of contracts to employees, I don't know a single person who took it.
49. The Price Of Exhaustion
I didn't voluntarily leave a job. I was harassed to the point of quitting, and took a settlement agreement rather than taking my employer to court for constructive dismissal. On reflection I'd have got a lot more money and possibly stopped them doing the same to others but after the prolonged targeted harassment I was too exhausted to fight any more.
48. Western Westeros
I worked on some of the final scenes of Game of Thrones. I had told someone at a bar one time, "look out for Arya. Remember when she asked what's west of Westeros in Season 6?" He was kinda dumbfounded. But he played along, like a good boy. I kinda wonder sometimes if he thinks I have the winning lottery numbers haha.
47. Beta Beta Gamma
Microsoft is working on a new version of the fundamental system behind Windows called "Windows Core" that allows for updating without rebooting, modular components called "Core Modules" that can add additional native support for various devices, protocols and filesystems, as well as completely rewriting the NT kernel to allow full compatibility of all existing programs with arm processors. This is supposed to make the system faster, more secure, and more reliable.
As I am a systems administrator for a fairly large company, I got to beta test some of these features including the "Live updates" as they're called in a server build of the new system, and yeah it's pretty nice. The NDA expired because these features were pretty much totally shelved at the time I got to test this (early 2016), but I think the project morphed into Windows Core OS, because looking at the screenshots of that, and some of the features they announced, it looks and sounds very similar to the build I tested, including down to the two "Update slot" partitions.
46. Callbacks For Playing Games
So I did some contract work for Bioware, for one of their Old Republic expansions several years ago. Whichever one revamped how ships worked? I haven't actually played the game since shortly after launch.
First time it was about 15 of us at computers logged in to test servers. We had a director and a developer, the dev would literally be in their own character to film us, or sometimes would lock his camera to one of us to follow. We did a lot of ship-based shots. Any shot of us in formation we had to manually line our ships up and count down when we all flew, and to where. This went on for 2 weeks.
The second time about 8 of us were invited back. We did a lot of pvp footage, both in ship and as player models. Different director this time, I guess he had done some of the Titanfall trailers previously?
They treated us pretty well and it was mostly fun. Some of the guys there were trying REALLY hard to get noticed and I guess get hired on full time somehow. One of them I kid you not had the side braid Obi wore in the first prequel.
They provided catered lunch and it paid decently though. I never did see the trailers to see if any of my suggestions (they asked us for input and we tried a few shots some of us suggested) made it in lol.
45. Nothing To Report
I did calligraphy for the Twitch D&D show "Critical Role". They commissioned two pieces from me, which became their new "How Do You Want to Do This?" logo and the "I Would Like To Rage" for a tankard wrap. It was the first NDA I ever signed and I was just so excited.
Good people, would definite work with them again.
44. Just In Case
In the Air Force we were sworn to secrecy about our mission, which involved training to go overseas for the war effort.
Seriously, we didn't even leave base here in the states. Had a fun time telling officers to hold up their training-issued gas masks like children to make sure they got one though.
43. A Lame NDA
I had to sign an NDA when I worked for Pizza Hut in the early 90s as a teenager, promising not to disclose how we made stuffed crust pizza.
Even 17 year old me thought it was pretty lame.
42. This Seems The Opposite Of True
Will Smith is basically in an open marriage, Annie Liebowitz hasn't done any real photography on set for years, Beyonce is just a talented singer and doesn't have anything to do with the content or composition of her songs or other media, Mark Ruffalo actually genuinely cares about all the lefty causes he is involved in, there are multiple closeted gay Republican congressmen, MANY female models are gay even though they may not be out publicly, and rich/famous people smell really really good.
Also the rich are most worried about (in order of concern): climate change, the Trump presidency, Brexit, the refugee crisis caused by war in the Middle East.
41. Sadly Dashing My Dreams
Working at Riot Games was one of the worst experiences in my career. I was a young, dumb idiot who wanted to achieve my dream of working on games. Working there turned my dreams into a sick and twisted nightmare. The people who work there are also young, dumb idiots, including management and the founders. I'll never work for a game company again.
Anyone reading this who wants to enter the game industry, at least stay clear of Riot.
40. Surprise, Trump's A Crazy PersonGiphy
Trump stole most of his ideas for Trump University from a get-rich-quick cult in Utah. I worked for a seminar company that would assemble a collection of money-making schemes into one long day of presentations (think Tony Robbins, but more boring). We'd pay Trump or one of his kids a ton of money to make a 30-minute appearance in the middle of the day, and we'd hand out free paperback copies of one of his books.
We made $200 million in 2006, then some mysterious person turned all our vendors against us and the company went out of business. Later on that year Trump decided to run with the idea himself. He made a lot of money.
The owner was an eccentric (likely) sociopath who joined the Mormon church along with his extended family, and convinced a lot of otherwise decent people to get in on it. At its heyday he had a Bentley and a full-time driver for said Bentley. A few years after it went south, he died under questionable circumstances in Florida. Not saying Trump was involved with that, but the whole thing was crazy.
Everyone involved has wiped the experience off their Linkedin profiles. The domain name was scooped up by a notorious cybersquatter who now claims to have been CEO of the company.
For a long time, a sentence I read in a corporate brief for MacDonalds has stuck in my head:
American parents show love to their children with money. Not every parent can afford a Disney plush toy every day. But every parent can afford a Happy Meal every day.
Women's makeup is made in only 4 places here in my country the last time I looked (2010)
The markup is downright criminal, especially for something "Made in France". That plastic bottle was made in France... the rest was made at a chemical factory a couple of states over. And yes.. you're paying hundreds of dollars for something that costs $5 to make.
The beautician making your wife look pretty is working for min wage, while the boss is making anything up to $200k a month.
My mind boggles at what Americans are making in the Health and Beauty industry.
37. I Love You And You'll Never Know
Not really an NDA, but at my current job I got to have a long email conversation with LeVar Burton's wife about her getting a repair done on the product we sold her. My boss knew that I was a trekkie, and made sure that I knew that I wasn't allowed to bring up her husband at all and to keep it strictly professional. It was really hard, but I got her a new product that worked and she sent in her defective one, and included a handwritten note thanking me by name. I still have it taped to my wall, and I'm keeping her defective product on a special shelf.
36. My Favorite Stars
Yes, even us concept artists for Batman vs Superman thought Jesse Eisenberg was an awful choice.
Ben Affleck put his heart and soul into it, but then turned into a tubby schlock when it came time for Justice League.
Tara Strong + James Gunn was a delight to work on. Short game, but off the walls creativity oozing from the both of 'em.
35. Time In The Service
My Dad was in the service before I was born and signed an NDA regarding files he looked at. The NDA expired after 50 years. I'm 50 now and he told me that he saw transcripts of conversations between pilots and air traffic controllers. All the conversations were about ufo sightings and the maneuvers the ufo's were doing; stopping mid flight, 90 degree turns without slowing, about faces. My dad also said he was ordered to never contact any of the men he served with in that unit once they were out. My dad is 76 now, but rememberers it like it was yesterday.
34. An Ideal Career
I did taste testing for Taco Bell in the 90's for what became the gordita. They actually used the one I thought was best so no real secret. You're welcome America, I got paid to eat Taco Bell.
33. Syrupy Salty Goodness
My pops tried out Hershey chocolate syrup before it came out. Can't remember how he got into all of that but he got to try out a few things. Also when i was in high school a woman from the Kellogg company came to my marketing class and let us try a bunch of Pringles flavors that never came out .
32. We're Not Sure, But Cool!
Nothing that 99.99% of people would even care about, literally how code worked and how servers are setup. Pretty sure the company that bought my previous employer doesn't even know those things since they called me to figure out how to reset the servers a year after they let me go and they didn't have keys for the cage.
31. Capitalism Is Evil
But when I worked at Flight Centre, I was told to mark up flights by 200% when the customers family had died or were ill and there were no earlier / alternative flights.
30. Step By Step GoalsGiphy
My NDA lasted 10 years and also prevented me from working with any other company in the industry for 10 years after leaving my position. It's now been 22 years since I left the position because the company went bankrupt. We made PBU (Pressed Board Underlayment), which generally sucks for home construction but the company I worked for made it from wheat straw and the product was the best on the market at the time, and would still be to this day if they only had had competent management and marketing.
Nobody has managed to duplicate their product. But the secret to the strength and longevity of their PBU was to take the boards straight from the high pressure, high heat press, cut it to size while smoking hot, then submerge the boards in a huge tank of ice cold water for 33 minutes. Less than 33 minutes, the boards would be brittle. More than 33 minutes, the boards would start to absorb the water and the surface would slough off. Nothing mattered more than precise timing of removing the boards from the tank.
29. We Lied
It's crazy how often companies will outright lie. When I worked at a credit union, ATMs would regularly get skimmed cos no one did their f*cking job of checking for skimmers but we didn't want customers to know how bad we were at our job so we always said the breach was at a gas pump or a random ATM. Got real awkward when customers would come back with "I've literally only ever used my cards at your ATMs" we'd come back with "oh oops guess someone you know is stealing your information." Cos of course it's more important to throw personal relationships into question than own up to being a pos
28. Juicy Details
- Prince William cheated on Kate Middleton. Only a few American press ran the story (which is true btw) all British press was swamped with a pseudo-story they use to cover up bad Royals stories. They have a vice-like grip on the press, our German monarchs.
- Elton John and David Furnish had a HIGH profile threesome with... someone. Only thing we know is there's a superinjunction and no one has been able to talk about it for years, but everyone knows, kinda thing. Rumoured to be a thought-to-be Straight. I've heard David Beckham being thrown around; failed marriage, very metrosexual, close friend.
I saw the last Pirates of the Caribbean one year before it came out. The CGI was partially done. We were actually the very first people to see it. They recorded our reactions with night vision equipped cameras. We didn't know which movie we were seeing until we all got seated. Jerry Bruckheimer, the actor that played young Henry and somebody else were sitting 3 seats away from me. When I finally saw the finished movie in the theater it was quite different.
26. If Only It Kept Going
Back around 2005 a friend of my father was looking into creating an MMO. He managed to get the rights to Babylon 5 and had the okay from J. Michael Straczynski. I think there's still a short blurb on an old gaming website where he mentions it briefly. It never got off the ground but they had some fun ideas.
25. Lost Opportunities
I was a lifeguard on a film set and I posted a picture on Instagram of me in my ridiculous outfit making a dumb pose. Then, they had me stand in for the lead actor, who is being resuscitated by the gorgeous lead actress. So, I had to pretend be to be dead while she performed CPR on me and they took a picture of it for continuity. Well, I wanted to post it on my Instagram immediately after my first post with the caption of like: "Never mind, I failed. The actress had to save me." But, the NDA we all signed prevented me to do it so it didn't work out. But it would've been really funny, you guys, you don't even know.
24. Keep The Media Away
My unit was forced to sign NDAs about the disappearance and recovery attempt of Bowe Bergdahl after returning from the deployment he went walkabout on.
I'm a bit fuzzy on the details at this point. At the time I just wanted to get drunk and kiss a lady. To the best of my recollection it said something like "You will not talk to the media or tell anyone anything about Bergdahl's disappearance," or something draconic and ominous like that.
I don't remember if there was a statute of limitations on that or not, but the cat is pretty well out of the bag at this point.
23. How To NDA For Public Info
I used to work for an upscale bubble tea bar. When I was hired I had to sign a 5 year NDA saying that I would not use the recipes for the drinks and go and start my own business. I later found out the all the recipies the owner learned from a paid barista workshop, and that these recipes were in fact no secret at all, and are sort of a standard for bubble tea shops.
22. It's Already Out!
Universal Studios in Orlando Florida is going to open up a Simpson's themed ride. Even got to see the movie before it was released in theaters.
It was basically a reskinned version of the Back to the Future ride. Still miss it but I understand why it was replaced/updated.
21. Banned From Canada
A NDA I signed anout a top 40 music artist went to Canada. Tour bus got searched and apparently having a taser is a felony in Canada. One of the road guys, old friend of the artist, took the fall for it. He pretty much got kicked out of Canada and the artist cover all his legal bills on the DL. He cannot return to Canada as far as I know.
20. We Gettin' PlayedGiphy
Mine is kinda mundane but I used to work originations for a large personal loan company called Avant.
If there's an issue, your application will be sent to the "application review manager" which was really just us in the call center.
At the end of receiving all necessary documents, we would say "We have everything we need to make a decision" and hang up. I already knew the decision by then but you could NEVER tell the customer their decision over the phone so they don't get pissy if they get declined.
A good number of people also called in to ask why they were declined. I was told to say I didn't know why but I had it readily available. If they really pressed, I was told to send the reason for decline letter, which would be received within 30 days. The reason why I couldn't send every single person a letter unless they were insistent is it would be too much work for the department who sends them out.
19. It's Nice To Afford Things
I worked for a big box electronics store in the US our discount was cost the company paid for the product, plus 10%. Which was cool on some products and not even helpful on others. But where the KILLER deals were at were our in house "generic" brand our company owned.
You could get 20 dollar chargers for literally less than a buck. It was RIDICULOUS how little we actually spent on making the product versus what we sold it for. Really makes you think how absolutely screwed you are getting when you buy electronics due to markup and I'm sure it's like this everywhere. Most of the in-house brand was like that. Product discounts were close to 80% on almost every single thing that our company produced ourselves with the exception of televisions and a couple other things.
18.Trust No One
We covered up a lot of very risky situations and injuries in AmeriCorps, and organizations that violated countless safety and equal opportunity laws.
Means I lied to the American people on behalf of the American government.
That was weird.
17. Could Have Taken Out An Entire Country
Never thought I'd get to share this, but, two other colleagues and myself were assigned to a hush-hush project funded by the Department of Defense when I was employed at a Harvard Medical School research lab in 2010. We were given an Ebola virus cell membrane sample tasked with elucidating it's lipid profile within the week. Afterwards all of our analysis, notebooks, thumb drives and raw data were collected never to be brought up again.
We resumed our work like nothing ever happened. From my understanding there were two other labs in the country that were tasked with elucidating the carbohydrate profile and the protein profile from their samples.
I didn't have to sign an NDA but our boss did and he told us to keep it a secret. Two Ebola pandemics later I'm convinced the US military was involved behind the scenes somehow.
16. Why To Not Trust Elon Musk
For you software people... There is an INCREDIBLE twitter thread from an ex Tesla employee who's NDA expired. He goes into a deep dive on some outstanding vulnerabilities and coding gore on Tesla firmware.
It's like some dude remotely logging into your Tesla and performing updates kinda bad.
Probably not buying a Tesla after reading that. But to be honest I've worked on way worse systems in the past that I'm still under NDA for.
15. This is oddly comforting.
"I was a model for a few big name/well known make up companies. I did several print ads for magazines and a few television commercials.
The makeup artists do use the product advertised, but MINIMALLY. Like that mascara they're touting? It's over REALLY GOOD fake eye lashes and they also used another brand of mascara along with the one they're trying to sell you.
Also - the clothes in the ads you see are pinned to high heaven on the model. They fit nothing like they look. It's not you. It's not your body. It's fake advertising. Most of us models look just like you wearing that crap without all the pins and tucks and double sided tape."
14. NO ONE believed that was real.Giphy
Not me, but a guy I know was on Cash Cab. A lot of it was faked. He was told he would be on a travel food show and would get picked up by a fake taxi at a certain location at a certain time.
There were camera crews all over outside the taxi and there's no way on earth you might mistake it for a real cab."
13. WE KNEW IT!
"Apple 100% replaced the iPhone 4 for users because of a faulty antenna.
We were instructed to dodge, deflect, and deny this was the issue. Cellphone providers were terrible, The phone was a fluke..it didn't matter. Don't admit fault.
But if they were there for reception (vs water damage, buttons or battery life) you had to make sure you were swapping them with the "Newer" batch iPhone 4 swaps rather than the typical batch swaps.
It was a recall without being a recall. But only if you had reception issues."
12. Pretty solid password, though.
"A certain global conferencing company still saves passwords for their web products in plain text. Any, and I mean any, employee that works there can see the password. My password there was NotMyPassYouIdiot because I know other people would see it eventually (and they'd even comment/laugh about it....).
Also, we once discovered that our main conferencing software was letting you sign in regardless of the password you entered. Meaning you could sign in with any e-mail address. Once we brought it up, we first were immediately stonewalled, and told not to say anything about it in written format.
TLDR: they had the dev team and legal on a conference call and they decided it was best to just keep it quiet until they fixed it later that day. No client was to be notified of the issue. And the ones that knew of it were basically given a runaround until they gave up.
They also added call spoofing to the software. They called it something fancier, but it was call spoofing. You could make a call and make it appear from any number you wanted. My team raised this concern many times, but were countered with "no one will actually use it for that." K.
That place was a gold mine of security risks."
11. Not the Krabby Patty secret formula!Giphy
"I signed an NDA to waitress at a local family owned restaurant. The owner was nuts, definitely had a severe personality disorder, and was worried about his recipes getting leaked. The restaurant is dead now and his secret recipes consisted almost solely of frozen packaged food."
10. Katy Perry's personal hero.
"Signed an NDA when I worked as a fit model for Katy Perry's shoe line. Basically a fit model is used for their good proportions to test out the fit of garments. I'm a solid size 7.5 so hooray for being average. I was hired on two occasions and got to hang out and give her my opinion on the fit, feeling, and comfort of different shoes.
Didn't think she'd actually be there but both times she was present and totally running the show. Super nice woman in person and remembered me when we met again. Also she apologized for making me wait so long which I thought was nice (it was a late night meeting as she'd just wrapped shooting a music video).
Her dog is really cute too and I got to save it when it got stuck behind a wall panel."
9. Sounds familiar.
"Kraft Macaroni and Cheese are coming out with a more "modern and upscale" version to expand their market from lower income folks to higher income folks.
It is almost entirely the same product as the 69¢ blue box, but will have a lighter, less orangey color, they will be sold as "shells" and not macaroni, the box will be shaped differently, and it will go for $2.50 or more.
Stated to be released by 1995."
"I was a translator (contractor) for the US military. I also translated Marvel comic books. Marvel had tighter security."
7. That's depressing.
"I worked as a chef at an addiction treatment facility that went under.
Meh. Everyone was ripped off by the counselors. "No ton, you didn't sign in with 1000. You had $700. You are still a junkie and nobody trusts you."
Everyone thought they were big shots but it was mostly low level Canadian politicians, strung out soccer moms and the step dad of the singer of a universally hated musician."
6. Another unsurprising one.Giphy
"A huge part of The Bachelorette was scripted. The company I worked for at the time was a major tourism service provider and featured prominently in one of the seasons. We were all pulled into meetings with the higher up managers, given a speel about what was in our best interest... and spilling any secrets was punishable by a $5mil lawsuit, "Please sign here".
I gave 0 interest about the show at the time.. still don't. Just wanted to do my job.
The "Bachelorette" herself was clearly there to further her public profile or "acting" career. The scenes were always "set up" before filming. Behind the camera nothing was happening. The cast were told where to go, what to do and how to do it.
If half those guys weren't on their phones texting their real girlfriends most of the time, I would be surprised.
So fake... so 100% fake."
5. A behind-the-scenes look.
"I was in the first test screening audience for John Wick 3 (and I think the NDA has expired since the movie is now out). The visual effects were still unfinished (and several scenes had just placeholder cards that described what occurred in the missing scene). It was really interesting being able to see the animal handlers running along with the animals, wearing full-body black spandex suits, before they were digitally deleted from the final film.
I thought it was really interesting and it's just not something you'd think about being there."
4. Who knows what's in there.
"Technically I never signed it but my boss did, and promptly told me after I guessed it. Justin Bieber has a storage locker where I worked in Stratford, Ontario.
I have since left that job so for all I know he still stores his stuff there."
"My old company I sold mattresses for are still the most overpriced places ever and heavily rely on having their own "exclusive" beds so they can't price match. I've sold one for nearly half price and still made decent commission.
Also, the exclusive beds they sell are exactly the same as the ones in other places, but maybe just rearranged the foam cushions or just got em in different colors and that's it, but they'll be priced an extra few hundred bucks.
We were told that Tempurpedic messed up and that's why they dropped them as a vendor, when in all reality, the company made demands and TempurSealy refused to screw over their other customers and dropped the contract.
We sold clearance beds. We had to say they were overstocks, floor models that never made it to the floors, rejected deliveries, etc. Truth is, sure, a handful we're floor models, but 95% of em we're returns that people slept on for a minimum of 30 days. And no, they were never cleaned. Just sprayed with what's essentially an industrial version of a knock off Lysol with reduced scent so it's not obvious. Idk how they haven't gotten caught by the health department yet...
And finally, if you go to a mattress place for a new bed, don't go for anything priced less than $1k. Instead, find a $1200 one and haggle em down to about $7-800. You're welcome."
2. Scary stuff.
"I did some research on small scale agriculture in South Appalachia. As part of living with and studying the community I stayed with, I was sworn to secrecy for five years after submitting my research to the happenings and names of those I lived with.
I saw arson of federal property, and impersonating officers of the law and clergy. Grand theft auto, meth cooking and moonshining. I had to sleep in a junkyard for a few nights and found dried human scalps hanging in an old bus, ate rotting meat from a dumpster and had to hide for my life from shotgun-wielding thieves in the dead of winter.
Its not all horror shows in the hills; theres good people, tightly knit communities, and beauty in nature I've never seen since. But whats there is very much real and very much a danger. When I finally returned, I submitted my write up and dropped the project at the advisement of my sponsor, delivered over a bottle of mezcal."
1. Also unsurprising.
"In 2009 my professor was doing some consulting work for Blackberry and told us 'This doesn't leave this room, but Blackberry actually actively slows down the release of new products, because they are developing them so fast that they want the customer market to keep pace with the rate of change.'"