Police Officers Share The Craziest Situations They've Ever Been In
Stop! Put your hands up!
We do not give our friends in blue enough credit. They face situations we can only try NOT to dream of. Danger lurks in every second, every second of their shifts. And Lord do they have some stories of survival to tell. Being a police officer is a whirlwind of crazy. And we need to know more.
Redditor u/Yokeyoyo wanted to hear from all the brothers and sisters in blue by asking...
A guy on a sports team I play in is a drug squad cop and told us the following story. They had staked out a meth lab house for awhile and surveilled the house with pinhole cameras for some time. They'd noticed that the occupants were becoming increasingly erratic, someone senior suggested it was due to them not replacing the filters in their protective masks.
Anyway, at some stage they decide it's time to go in, so tactical enter and grab all the guys and clear the rooms. Then a chemical team go in to make sure everything is safe. Eventually my mate and his team go in to collect evidence with a few young uniforms to help.
The house is a bit of a shambles but nothing too unexpected, until one of the uniforms picks up a large rubber dildo and starts playing around with it in front of everybody. The senior then tells him: you know that while reviewing all the footage on this place we never saw any women entering or leaving this house... And why are you the only one not wearing gloves? bPhrea
Not a cop, but a cop friend of mind in SE Washington, DC. He got a domestic disturbance call and arrived to a calm scene. The husband explained he and his wife had been arguing, and that she had gone over the top, but they were both fine now. The wife confirmed the story, but stated she didn't want the husband back in the house that night. My friend asked if the husband had a place to go, and he agreed to go to his mother's house for the night.
The husband left, then my friend and his partner left soon after. About an hour later, they get a call back to the same house. When they get there, the husband is in the kitchen dead. The wife explains that right after the police left, her husband came back and resumed arguing with her. He got in her face and she stabbed in the neck with a chicken bone, hitting his carotid artery. abbrollher
On a hot midnight in The Bronx about 330 am......
On a hot midnight in The Bronx about 330 am got a burg call. Me and my partner found it strange when central gave us the address because it was a funeral home. We arrive on scene of this brownstone building and immediately see the basement lights are on. We look at each other and say "no way ... someone actually broke in here????" So we enter through what is an open door and begin to clear each room of the funeral home/ house. When we reach the basement and open what is a brightly lit body prep storage and prep room we are immediately confronted with several bodies on tables covered in different stages of undress with bed sheets on them.
Our attention is drawn to a very startled naked man holding playing cards . I look at him and simply say "What the heck and who the heck are you?? He looks at me and my partner and nervously responds ... "I'm the Mortician" .... wait .... "Who are you?? And what the heck are you doing??? "I'm the mortician and I'm working and playing cards " "Playing cards ??? My partner says ... "Yeah cards ...see????"... holding his hands out displaying the deck of cards.
I look around and see each of the 4-5 bodies have their own hands dealt to them ...
We asked for His ID .... verified he belonged there and proceeded to leave with a queasy feeling laughing out butts off.
My partner looks at me and says how should we mark this job.... ????
Best job in the world..... I miss the clowns but not the circus. nforcr
Not a police officer, but I know one.
I'm sure he has a million stories, but my favorite that he's told me was the time he was called to a local Mexican restaurant. When he arrived, he was directed to a Cadillac in the parking lot that was a rockin', if you get my drift.
He knocks on the window, and a butt naked 80 year old woman gets out, pissed off that someone interrupted her getting laid. Her 80 year old husband was laying naked in the vehicle still.
This old woman stood outside of her vehicle, completely naked, for a solid 5 minutes, arguing w my friend about how she should be able to get laid whenever she wants.
There was more to the story of course, but as I'm not the first hand story teller, I can't do the story the proper justice it deserves.
He didn't arrest them, even though she stood naked outside for 5 minutes, so she got off easy (pun intended). alwaysmyfault
Still with me....
I babysat for a cop (2 toddler daughters)(10/10 kids, cute and very affectionate) and he told me of one story where he was called to this old lady's home. When they got there they found her husbands rotting body under a pile of newspapers. So apparently the lady had really bad dementia and had thought the husband was a robber and hit him in the back of the head with a rolling pin.
The poor dementia lady went back to bed and he was dead in the morning. She didn't know what to do, so she covered his body with newspapers and somehow managed to survive on her own for a few days. A neighbor started to worry and came to check up on them. The neighbor was the one to call the police. That story haunted me for like a month. ratsoh
I just asked my dad, who was a cop for 30+ years.
He told me he pulled over a car full of "Woodchucks", older drunkards from a rural area in the Northeast area of the US. He was in his late 20's at the time, so in good shape compared to the drunks. I think there were 4. While my dad was processing the driver, he had him in the front seat of his car. Once the guy realized he was probably going to be arrested, he started ripping the radio and anything he could grab out of his car. He grabbed my dad and pulled him out of the passenger side of his vehicle and onto the ground.
My dad landed between this guy's legs and into some kind of leg-lock chokehold. The guy, during all this, has started to scream to his friends to get his gun and kill him. Once he has him in a leg-lock, he looks down and says "now I'm gonna kill you." before he starts to choke my dad with his legs. I guess backup showed up just in time, or had been there, the deputy at the time hit him in the head with a baton and sent him out. tenthplagueb
I went home and hugged my son.
Did a stop on a pretty obvious dope car. Driver is tweaking on meth. Passenger also tweaking and is a female that weighs 95 pounds while being 5'8 or so. She looked like a concentration camp victim. She's offering to provide oral services in exchange for her release. Obviously I decline.
Guy in the back appears to be asleep. I get his ID from the tweaking driver as my backup arrives. We get all 3 out, I can see needles all over the car. The guy in the back wakes up and gets out. Dispatch gives us returns, letting us know the back passenger is has a parole violation (he was released early from prison IYDK) for felon in possession of a firearm.
The dispatcher was supposed to warn us before giving the return out loud over the radio but didn't in this case. Old dude stands up and reaches in his waistband. I see this happening in slow motion and realize it's about to get real. My partner swings from around the other side of the vehicle where he was talking to one of the other suspects. I start to yell gun in time for my partner to straight up linebacker this dude, which we got into cuffs. Had a .45 in the waistband.
I went home and hugged my son, who was 1 at the time.
Edit: was out at a family function. I am about to start replying to all the messages. Thank you.
Second edit: I have a few more good ones if anyone cares to hear them. Also, I don't work patrol anymore. I'm a detective with my agency now.
67 Stitches In....
Not a cop, my dad was. Was backing up a situation where guy allegedly was shooting up on the street. When he came over, guy was arguing with the officer on scene, definitely not being aggressive in any way, or suspicious though. Long story short, the other two officers on scene got aggressive with him and grabbed him and slammed him multiple times into a car parked on the street and he had the get 67 stitches. My dad told the chief and ended up having to quit since everyone was pissed at him for doing so. madiison1461
I legitimately considered law enforcement as a career path, and regularly chat up officers in public or social situations. I used to ask questions like this.
A former Vegas officer told me a story about he and his partner going to break up a party with some expected underage alcohol and narcotics activity.
While there someone brought up an unusual van down the street. They went expecting more kids nonsense. It contained gang members waiting to kill someone leaving the party.
He was shot multiple times. Spent months in the hospital. His partner was murdered. Dead before EMT arrived.
I stopped asking after this answer. official_fox_news
Answered a disturbance call to find a drunk dude climbing in a car while his wife screamed at him. She smacked his windshield with a bat, destroying it as he peeled out. We followed him maybe .5 mile with the sirens and lights while he drove with his head out the window Ace Ventura style. Poor bastard didn't get his head back inside in time passing a UPS truck and his head pieces ended up on my windshield. SgtSavage110
Responded with my partner to a welfare check on an elderly gentleman. Knocked on the door, walked in and couldn't find him. Went to his garage and found him sound asleep behind the wheel. He tried to commit suicide by asphyxiation. Thing is, he only had a small amount of fuel and it was a new Civic. He was pissed when he woke up that I wasn't St Peter. Risin_bison
Showed up to a call once about a baby crying nonstop for hours and no sign of an adult being home. We went into the house and I followed the sound of the crying baby upstairs to find an 18 month old with her arms duct taped to her crib. I undid the duct tape and it was obvious this was not the first time it had happened. I brought the child downstairs and outside. The mom was walking up the sidewalk of the housing unit and flipped crazy on me.
I handed the child off to a patrol and cuffed her. It was the most satisfying clicking of handcuffs I had ever heard.
Edit: This happened when I was in the Army as an MP. The father of the child was deployed at the time. From what I heard, he was granted permission to return home and take custody of the child. They got a divorce and I believe he won custody. I don't know what happened to her as far as a sentencing or jail time. dogballtaster
Put it Back.Giphy
My dad friend who is a cop in NC told me that some teen tried to steal an electric shopping cart from Target with a ton of crap in it and tried to outrun the cops but the cart only went 5mph for like 25 meters then the battery died. The cop just asked him to push the cart back since it died and return the stolen items. Bigbadballer88
With an Axe.
Dad tells the story of a guy he knew who kept getting caught for writing bad checks. He was such a big guy he wouldn't fit in the police car so they would just meet him at the magistrate office and write him tickets. (I know, some trust) but a year or so after this kept happening, he got a call that there was a domestic dispute at the house. So they rush over there and he's got an axe in his hand sitting on the front porch all bloody.
They approach and tell him to put the axe down which he does and proceeded to tell them that his wife is in the bathtub, or at least her head is. But guy was completely open and cooperative, didn't run or anything. Asked if he could meet them at the magistrate office and dad was like yeah nah dawg you're gonna have to get in the car this time.
I was in shock....
While serving in South Korea, my team was on patrol in the local drinking village when we heard someone drunkenly singing the US national anthem. At a loss for where this individual was, we finally looked up and there he was.... tight rope walking on the ledge of a building 3 stories up. This is when precision of language is of vital importance...especially when dealing with a drunk. The sergeant on scene said, "Hey, come down here!" The drunkard said, "On my way!" And proceeded to step off.
Under the impression I was about to witness my first death, I was in shock. Through some bit of weird luck/science, he glanced the hood of a slightly misted Daewoo truck and slid down to the ground. We ran over to him and he said, "Hey guys, how's it going?" He had open fractures on both femurs and after some makeshift splinting and controlling the bleeding, he was transported to the nearest hospital. Soju is a hell of a thing. Reddit
"I'm not crazy!"Giphy
Definitely the time that an older, mentally ill woman tried to burn her house down because she believed that was the only way to disarm the atom bomb in her attic. I got her to walk with me to my car and get in the back by telling her it was the only place she'd be safe. When I got in and started driving, she started yelling that I couldn't take her to jail because she hadn't done anything wrong.
I calmly informed her that we were going to the hospital, which prompted even louder yelling of, "I'm not crazy!" I replied, "I don't think you're crazy." She screamed, "Then why are you taking me to the hospital?!" I told her, "Well, you were next to that atom bomb, right? We gotta get you checked for radiation poisoning." Her eyes got wide and she said, "Oh crap! I didn't think about that, you better hurry!"
For you Rookie.
First time my brother arrested someone was really funny. He and his training officer were working the graveyard shift and got a call for suspicious activity at a house. They arrive and the homeowner says they're is someone sneaking around his house that shouldn't be there. So they start looking around with their flashlights, grass is really overgrown in the backyard and my brother notice one of those Fisher Price kid's car (yellow & red plastic car) moving on its own. They found their guy, naked and high AF trying to hide under the kids toy and crawl away. Training officer says,"Well, he's your's rookie", had my brother cuff him (guy didn't want to go to jail and put up a naked fight) and take the guy to jail. j2142b
In a bunny suit....
Attended a structural fire in a downtown high rise. Was tasked with evacuating local residents in case the building collapsed.
Third house I went to, the guy answers in a full bunny suit with gas mask propped up in his head. English wasn't his first language, and as I was trying to communicate that he needed to evacuate, it became clear he was running a meth lab inside. Arrested Asian Walter White, and then had to sit in the shadow of the structure fire keeping eyes on the house while waiting for CLEAR (clandestine lab) team to show up.
In that time fire trucks basically surrounded my vehicle so I couldn't move it, even after CLEAR team moved in. Walter had his lawyer call in my pc, and it was about 10 hours before we could head back to cells. I've never had to pee so badly in my life. Philosorunner
Former PO, I'll try not to make this long: Early morning about 1 hour before I had to end my shift, dispatch said to go lights and sirens to an address. A pit bull was actively mauling an elderly woman. I get there and the woman is practically hanging on to life, blood all over the home. I tased the dog, twice before it responded. A K-9 unit had a muzzle and a strong leash. Dog was eventually put down, woman survived.
Second situation was an active shooter with officer down. It was a real crap show. Dude was off his rocker, shot at a fellow officer. This officer ended up retiring after this, but I and many others thought he was dead.
Third situation. I respond to domestic violence call, shootout with husband, he shoots me 3x and all 3 hit my vest. This was about 6 months after the second situation. I ended my police career after this. KingNebby
I know a guy, who was a cop in Texas when I was in middle school. He told me about this one time this woman called 911 because her house was haunted. He preceded to put handcuffs on an invisible "ghost" and acted like he was putting it in the police car. austingarrett
Reddit user deadmoby5 asked: 'What was your "Sir, this is a Wendy's" moment?'
Most of us have heard the "Sir, This is a a Wendy's" phrase, said in those moments when someone has said something totally inappropriate given the setting they are in.
And while some of these literally take place in a Wendy's or similar fast-food chain restaurants, these awkward moments can happen... pretty much anywhere.
Redditor deadmoby5 asked:
"What was your, 'Sir, this is a Wendy's,' moment?"
...Actually, This Is a McDonald's.
"I was working at McDonald’s and this lady said, 'Can I get the Wendy’s four-for-four?!'"
"I said, 'Ma’am, this is a McDonald’s.'"
"Without a moment's hesitation, she replied, 'Indeed it is, can I get a Big Mac?'"
Someone Separated from Reality
"I had a guy come into my place of work yesterday p**sed off because he missed his payment date and had to pay extra to turn his phone back on."
"He said something along the lines of, 'It was due at midnight, and y’all aren’t open at midnight, so how was I supposed to pay?'"
"I calmly explained that we are open until 7:00 PM every day except Sunday."
"He screamed, 'Well, unlike you, I actually have a job!'"
"At my job."
"Whilst doing my job."
An Office Mix-Up
"I work for a CPA office that is in an office park with a couple of doctors' offices."
"One day, a guy came in only speaking Spanish, so I grabbed my Spanish-speaking colleague to translate. He talked to the guy in the lobby for a few minutes, and then the guy left, and my coworker came back and asked if that was a joke or if we put someone up to that."
"Apparently, the guy explained that his testicles were extremely swollen and painful, and he was looking for one of the doctors' offices and just walked into the first building in the complex."
"I'll never forget, he said, '...I’m like, sir, we do taxes here, not testicles.'"
A Health Advocate
"I worked in a cell phone store that had a veterans support office behind us."
"One day, an older gentleman was waiting in the queue. When it was his turn, I called him up and asked what I could help him with."
"He stepped up to the counter and told me that the veteran's hospital was claiming his vision impairment was only 20% disability, and he felt it was much higher."
"I agreed, and I offered to walk him to the correct building, and told him I would be a witness for him, lol (laughing out loud)."
The Deck of Entitlement
"I was in Lowes one morning right after they opened. There was a woman at the service desk having a complete meltdown down, yelling and screaming because Lowes didn't have a licensed contractor there at the store for her to hire."
"She apparently woke up that morning and decided she needed a deck, like, that same day, and thought she could just go to Lowes and have someone immediately start building a deck."
"It was dead so I stood with the cashier listening to the show. They ended up having to call the police to get her to leave."
The Coca-Cola Theorist
"I've told this story tons of times to my friends and family because it's one of my favorite Domino's Stories. This happened somewhere around 2017-2018."
"One day, it was really slow at work at Domino's. I was still a relatively new Insider (only a few months into what would be about four years) and still in school, so I was hoping that it would stay slow so I could go home early, so I could cheat on my math homework, play some League of Legends, and get some sleep since my school started an hour earlier than other schools in the area."
"A woman, probably mid-40s, came in to order a pizza. She was pretty chill, and we were just chatting while she was ordering because there really wasn't much to do otherwise since we already cleaned the store and oven and all that."
"After she got her pizza all done up, I asked her if she would like any drinks."
"She was like, 'Oh, what do you guys have?'"
"I was running down the drink options and she noticed Coca-Cola and looked at me wide-eyed like she just saw someone get hit by a car."
"She said, 'DON'T YOU KNOW THEY PUT HUMAN EMBRYOS IN COKE?!'"
"She then spent the next SEVEN. MINUTES. Running down pretty much every major conspiracy, from human embryos in Coca-Cola to Flat Earth to the moon landing being faked, etc. If you think of a pre-pandemic conspiracy, she hit it."
"I was stunned. The only words that could come out of my mouth were, '...So no on the drink, then?'"
"She said brightly, 'Coke Zero, please.'"
"I guess the Zero means 'Zero Embryos.'"
Work That Connection
"I work in radio, and got a call on the contest line one time."
"'Yeah, I need a hotel room,' said the caller."
"'OK. How would you like me to help you?'"
"They said, 'Well... book me one!'"
"'You're aware you called a radio station's contest line, right?'"
"'Yeah. Don't you book hotel rooms for rock stars when they do a show in town? Book me one!'"
I Believe the Store You're Looking For is... Sephora.
"Not one specific moment, since it happened all the time when I worked at Ulta."
"She said, 'I'm looking for this lipstick,' and showed me a Sephora brand lipstick."
"I said, 'We don't sell that, but I can show you something similar!'"
"She was indignant. 'No, I want this specific lipstick, don't you sell it?! Well, where can I buy it?!'"
"I deadpanned, 'At Sephora, ma'am.'"
A Misdirected Call
"I worked in a local cafe/newsstand/convenience store type spot. We also had a Ticketmaster outlet for a bit. Our small town had an annual concert that usually ran two or three nights. It was really popular with the local folks, so it brought in a lot of foot traffic with people buying tickets (my boss was honestly a small-business mastermind)."
"That was the extent of our involvement: we sold and printed gate passes."
"On night one of the event, I was closing the store as usual, at 10:00 PM."
"An irate woman called, wanting to 'file a noise complaint' about the concert."
"I was like, 'Ma’am, you must have the wrong number, this is a local cafe.'"
"She INSISTED that she was filing 'an official noise complaint' and demanded to speak to the owner RIGHT NOW."
"I said, 'At 10:00 PM on a Friday? Yeah, he’s not here.'"
"He also isn’t the police and doesn’t deal with noise complaints. Also, it’s only 10:00 PM, and this concert has been widely advertised for months."
"She then went on a wild rant that we needed to do… something?… about the noise, since we sold tickets. She wouldn’t let me off the call and was going berserk."
"I told her I was going to disconnect since we had nothing to do with the event or the noise."
"She called back multiple times, and finally I just let the phone ring… It was still ringing when we locked up. Like, MA’AM, ARE YOU OKAY?"
In Search of the Mystical Dairy King
"I worked at Dairy Queen about ten years ago, and a customer pulled up to our very busy drive-thru."
"Customer: 'Yeah, can I have the 10 nuggets for $1.49?'"
"Me: 'I’m sorry, sir, we don’t carry nuggets, but I can get you a chicken strip basket?'"
"Customer: 'No, I want nuggets! On your commercial! You don’t even know your own food?!'"
"Me: 'Sir, I’m sorry but we don’t carry nuggets. We have chicken strips and steak fingers?'"
"Customer: 'NUGGETS FOR $1.49!'"
"Me: 'Sir, this is Dairy Queen, you are referring to Burger King.'"
"Customer: 'Dairy King?!'"
"Me: 'You are at Dairy Queen, asking for a Burger King menu item.'"
"Customer: 'Oh. (proceeds to wait in line for another five minutes while I watch)"
Deer in Headlights
"I worked at Wendy's throughout high school and some lady ordered a burger meal at the drive-thru. Over an hour later, she comes back to the front counter, slamming the burger on it, saying it was cold."
"I checked our receipts and told her she ordered over an hour ago and that burgers aren't meant to stay hot for that long."
"She said that was absolutely unacceptable and how dare we serve her a burger that gets cold."
"She then proceeded to ask me for my full name and details so she could sue me, at the same time freaking out when I didn't have a pen to give her to write down my info."
"Another customer walking by said, 'Holy s**t, lady, relax,' and she yelled at him to mind his business."
"He said, 'Well, I just feel bad for this poor employee you're yelling at. If you don't wanna eat here, go somewhere else.'"
"Bless his soul, I was only 17 and was so shocked."
Not a Medical Professional
"I work as a cashier at a home goods store. I’m very friendly and honestly treasure my customer interactions."
"I was doing my usual patter, like, 'Hi there, how’re you doing, did you find everything all right?' and this lady tells me that it’s the first time she’s been out of the house in a while."
"I thanked her for choosing our store and went to move on with the transaction. She raised her shirt, showed me a HUGE angry red incision on her stomach, and started telling me about her recent hysterectomy. The stitches hadn’t even been removed yet."
"I sort of nodded and smiled and tried to pivot to her total so I could move on with the MASSIVE line that’s building, and she wouldn’t stop talking."
"I had to call for a back-up cashier while getting a very detailed description of surgery, uterine cancer, and the recovery process. She didn’t drop her shirt the entire time."
Depending on the Pet Supply Department
"I used to work for Kmart. Someone came into the store and wanted to know where the pet department was located. We only had one aisle of pet items and it was mostly items for dogs/cats (food, litter, toys, etc)."
"I took the customer to the aisle, and they said, 'This is it? This is all you have for pet supplies? You don’t have an actual department like other stores?'"
"'Yes sir, we just carry the basics. If you need a bigger selection, there is a Pet Supplies Plus located at the other end of the plaza.'"
"The customer got upset and said, 'But if I wanted to go to Pet Supplies Plus, I would have gone there. But I wanted to go to Kmart. So I’m guessing you don’t have fish food or anything like that?'"
"I showed him the same selection of fish food, and he got upset. He then started asking advice for fish tanks and again, I directed him to the Pet Supplies Plus that was located just a couple storefronts down from Kmart. When he insisted on not going to that store, I gave him directions to 2 other pet stores in the area."
"Eventually he left, but not before saying, 'This is why Kmart is going out of business!'"
"Sure buddy, the lack of a pet department is the sole reason Kmart is going out of business."
"Found the product I needed online. I drove to the store and spent 20 minutes failing to find said product on the aisle it was supposed to be on."
"I showed the picture to multiple staff, none of whom recognized it."
"I finally went to the customer services desk and after 10 minutes of waiting in line got told the website I was looking at was one of their competitors."
Uno Reverse Card
"I went to the drive-thru at a Wendy’s and the person taking the order said, 'Welcome to Walmart.'"
"I was really confused and I heard laughing and he said, 'I’m so sorry,' he works there too and was on autopilot."
"You missed the opportunity for the uno reverse card. Imagine saying, 'Sir, this is a Wendy’s,' as the CUSTOMER."
"A few months ago, I drove up to the Wendy's drive-through and heard through the speaker: 'Welcome to McDonald's, can I take your order?' (There was laughing in the background)."
"I did reply in a serious tone, 'Sir, this is a Wendy's!'"
"Cue uproarious laughter by all... I think they were stoned."
"10/10. Always going to that Wendy's."
From hilarious to jaw-dropping to utterly shocking, it's fascinating to see how awkward things can get when someone does something completely inappropriate for a setting. At least in most of these cases, they made for funny and memorable stories.
What happens when a therapist's professional veneer cracks? These Redditors and therapists share their most bizarre, harrowing, and hilarious experiences.
1. Not There When It Counts
I’m a social worker who works with children. We got this underaged girl who was raised by a mother suffering from Munchhausen-by-proxy Syndrome, which essentially means the mother pretends that her child is sick to get attention and the pity of other people. This goes as far as poisoning her own child just to have a reason to seek out doctors and get their attention.
The mother in question was incredibly horrible, even when her daughter got taken away from her. For some reason, officials never took child custody from her, which made it easy for her to influence her daughter’s life from far away. She specifically used it to tell her daughter that she loved her and will always be there for her, but every time she needed to be there, she wasn't. This led to an absolutely heartbreaking moment.
One day, her daughter got pregnant. However, the fetus wasn’t viable, so they had to perform an operation. All the mother needed to do was grant permission by email, but although I called her several times and she assured me she would send it, it just never came. It took three whole, agonizing days for that poor girl to get the procedure she needed, simply because her mother just didn't do anything.
We finally reached out to CPS and got permission through them, but her daughter was deeply harmed by this and just never recovered from it. Seeing her like this was my first "I need a minute" moment.
2. Let It Go
I was in a tiny room with this well-known patient of mine. She was a sweet, sweet woman who all of a sudden stood up, said “Excuse me for a second,” went to the opposite corner of the (again, tiny) room, and threw the biggest, loudest, perfect high-pitch toot I’ve heard in my life. Then she came back to the chair (two steps really) and smiled as if nothing had happened.
3. Home Alonewhite and red wooden house miniature on brown tablePhoto by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash
Working with kids has always affected me the most. I had one kid who was in foster care and had been pushed from house to house. He had apparently had a very rough upbringing before that. He was very quiet and didn't talk much. We always gave every child a box that they could decorate and fill with things they made in sessions. At the end of their sessions, they could then take it home if they wanted to. His response to this shattered my heart.
What did this kid do when I first gave him his box? He started making it into a house. Gave it a door, windows, a roof, etc. and then wrote a message to his mother (who he couldn't see anymore) on the side to say that he loved her. In the sessions, he spent the majority of the time playing with the dollhouse where it always went the same way.
He arranged all the furniture and people perfectly. He was very specific about what went where and what people had which rooms. And then he would destroy it all. Saying that “the new people are coming". I have a lot of stories but remembering his pain and his simple desire for a home always breaks my heart. I hope that he is out there doing OK now.
4. Don’t Carry It All
My client told me his family didn't appreciate his interest in guns, to which he proceeded to tell me he is always carrying. He then places his piece on the table in front of me and asked if it made me nervous. It did, but we focused more on why he wanted to know if I was nervous and brought it back around to his family. From then on, I made sure to always have access to a door and never put the client between the door and myself again—just to be safe.
5. Sharing The Burden
I am an intake coordinator at a community mental health center. One day, I had to meet face-to-face with a woman who was wanting services. She desperately needed them. She was hoarding multiple properties and sleeping in her car at a fast-food restaurant. Her children wanted to help but she couldn't let go of the items. It was difficult to politely ignore the strong odor coming from her, but I did.
She's explaining how her life got this way. It was largely because she had to undergo treatment for cancer 10 years ago. My heart stopped for a moment. See, my mother had passed quite recently and very quickly with the same kind of cancer, after having been cancer-free for five years. I started to tear up. She thought it was so compassionate of me to listen to her story and work on getting her help.
After she left, I couldn't hold it in. I sobbed. The office staff teared up and they told me I was so professional and kind. I got a few hugs and I went to my car to process. But here's the ugly truth: I wasn't so much sad for the lady as I was angry that she survived her cancer and my mother didn't. That she lives her life in squalor while my mom perished just when she reached the happiest, most stable chapter of her life.
My therapist heard all about it. We've worked it out in our department to try to avoid cases that would be triggering if possible. My colleague will take the cancer ones for me.
6. A Bridge Too Farwoman in black crew neck shirtPhoto by OSPAN ALI on Unsplash
I used to work as an outreach clinician for people with serious and persistent diagnoses. A person who was experiencing a lot of paranoia was showing my colleague and me “evidence” that the local hospital had harmed them during a medical admission. They handed my co-worker a freezer bag full of grayish-yellow, oily curls. When they explained what it was, I nearly threw up.
The bag was full of skin they’d peeled from their feet and thighs as evidence of “being exposed to contaminants". I can hang with almost anything but we were NOT open to any more contact with the bag.
7. Not Now, Brain!
When I worked in bereavement, a client of mine used the term “skid-marks” when discussing the accident he and his family had been in. For some reason, there and then, the expression just caught me off guard. I joined the dots, and the corners of my mouth started to rise. In actuality, this may have only lasted a moment, but it felt like minutes. All the while I was drawing blood as I chewed down on the insides of my cheeks.
I felt like the worst human being alive.
8. Happy And Unhealthy
I work at a residential group home. We had a kid who we had admitted about four months prior. In a family session, they mention they had parasites. At this point, I’m like what??? The mom goes, “Oh yeah, our whole family has them. We don’t believe in getting rid of them since they’re part of our biological ecosystem". I’m just dumbstruck from here on out.
We spent three weeks afterward convincing this family it was an infectious disease concern for all of our other residents. Three weeks of education, planning, and worst of all convincing this kid and mother that their IQ wouldn’t drop because they had agreed to irradiate the parasites!
9. You Can Do Thiswoman in white tank topPhoto by Molnár Bálint on Unsplash
I worked as a therapist at an agency that dealt with substance misuse before going into private practice. One of my biggest “I need a moment” times happened there. I was working with a young individual (and I myself was around their age) who was an addict. They were bright, intelligent, and deeply empathetic to the world but so, so sick. They had to have not just one open-heart surgery due to cardiomyopathy, but two.
This was prior to ever turning 30. They just kept relapsing despite trying so hard. This client never missed treatment. One day, they didn’t show up for an appointment so I called. No answer. They called back and asked to speak to me. I will never forget the sound of their voice when I answered. They were so broken. They had just relapsed before calling.
They were so afraid and disappointed. I remember thinking that their addiction was going to kill them and it weighed so heavily on me. I will never forget this client. After that call, I sat there awash in the realization that my client would likely die from this and they were my age. Addiction can turn people all out of character, but they were so sweet and kind.
They would give you the shirt off their back. I truly believe they were just too kind for this harsh world. But there was a beautiful ending to all this. See, this was a while ago. My client went to a higher level of care and I found out over a year later that they were sober and doing well and had moved states. I remember crying when I found out they made it all that time later.
10. Rope-A-Dope Diagnosis
I’m an intake clinician and once had this exchange. Me: "What brings you in today?" Him: "I'm here for an addiction. I watch too many adult videos". At this point, not the weirdest thing I've heard, let's go with that. "Okay, tell me about it". Him: "I watch them three times a week, for 15 minutes or so at a time. My girlfriend said I'm an addict and forced me to come in".
I see lots of very extreme cases, but this was so minor that it made me stop for a moment. I sent them to couples' counseling instead.
11. A Few Eggs Short Of A Basket
I had a patient who was psychotic and believed their ex-spouse had been harming their child, when he hadn’t. They went into detail about the unhinged “tests” they would do on their child. I had to go to the door of my office and tell them they had to leave or I was going to call security. For the record, I never asked them about this, either, despite being aware of it from their crisis evaluation.
I'm an activity therapist and my assessment with patients is all about their lifestyle and activity. I was asking them about chores, housework, and their basic routine, and they just came out with this. Eventually, authorities removed the child from their care. The patient eventually cleared from their psychosis and recanted on their belief that their spouse was hurting their child.
12. Just A Momentgrayscale photography of woman in tank topPhoto by Davide Pietralunga on Unsplash
I'm not a therapist, but this stirred some memories for me. Weirdly, throughout the passing of my infant daughter in the hospital, I was quite composed considering. The usual emotions were there with all of us. But it was a few days after I traveled on the ferry to sign her birth and death certificate that it hit me. They gave me a box of all the documents and a few items like her hospital wristband.
On the ferry back, I just sat there on the chair with the box on my lap. As everyone departed the craft, I just sat there. A ferry worker came over to tell me it was ok to leave, and I snapped out of it. I must have visibly had emotion on my face and red eyes. She then said, "Do you need a minute?" with genuine sincerity. I just nodded and sat there for a moment.
She walked away. I took some deep breaths and departed, and I gently nodded to the lady with a smile. She smiled back. I guess I really needed that minute.
13. No Consequences, No Manners
I was working at a camp for children with various psychological disorders, most with some sort of behavioral concerns. The girl I was paired with had a history of aggressive and violent tendencies. We went the whole day without any problems. That was, until we were doing some group physical activity to wind down and focus before leaving for the day.
She didn't like that this meant no longer playing with a certain toy, so she took off her shoe and threw it at the little boy in front of her. He had autism and immediately started crying and screaming. While someone helped him, I turned to the girl to explain to her that what she did was wrong. As I turned towards her, she punched me square in the face, then grabbed a hold of my hair.
She managed to pull out a good chunk. I'm about 5'1 and this girl was maybe one or two inches shorter than me and had about 20 pounds on me, despite being nine years old. Trying to get a safe physical restraint was difficult and comical to say the least. Finally, I got some help from other staff and we were able to calm her down after about 15 minutes.
The kicker was when we told her mom what happened, she basically dismissed the entire thing and laughed about it. SO frustrating because you just know this kind of thing is reinforced at home as there is no punishment. The girl then starts hitting her mom, who grabs and holds down her arms. The little girl laughs, looks at me and the other staff member, and says, "Ugh a little help over here?! Are you going to let her do this to me? She's hurting my arm".
I went home and did this weird laugh/cry for a few hours after that. Luckily you learn pretty quickly not to take things personally and move on, so things were back to normal the next day. I do occasionally look back at that day just baffled at how quickly that whole situation escalated.
14. Believe In Yourself
I was a CPS social worker working in a new country. The first client I met was an addict who turned tricks and was eight months pregnant with an elderly client’s child. She was homeless and disconnected from her family. The plan was to remove the child and place it into foster care immediately, and then she would have supervised visits. The first time I met her she was just such a sad and broken person.
The shame was just seeping out of her. I just tried to love her. I told her what needed to happen to protect her baby. She understood and was willing to work with me for her baby to be safe and healthy. She asked me if she would ever be able to have a child she could be a “proper” mother to. I looked at her and I said: “It will take hard work and determination and there will be lots of hoops to jump through, but I believe you can do it and I will get you help if you are willing to do it".
I wasn’t able to contact her again until I got a call from the hospital where she delivered because of her homelessness situation. I went and saw her. It was a really hard day, she was alone by herself having given birth by herself, and I had to take the baby and place it in foster care. I bawled the entire way there. This beautiful innocent child, this beautiful mother who just got messed up and lost in life.
What a tragedy. And then something changed. Over the next two years of supervised visits, rehab, reconnection with her estranged family, new living arrangements, and therapy, I watched that woman turn her life around through sheer will, blood, sweat, withdrawals, tears, and lots and lots of mental health support and medication.
I was due to go back to my home country, and during the last week there, I was able to share the privilege of starting the transition plan of her baby coming to live with her at her mother’s house for shared care. The baby would still be on the CPS register for a while but the reunification happened. The mother’s smile was dazzling, as she had been gifted dental work to remove all of her damaged teeth and receive dentures.
This woman looked like a new woman, and she was. Honestly, every time I think of her I need a minute to cry. If the only person I was able to help in my career was her, it was worth all of the struggle.
15. Personal Hygiene Is Not Public Hygieneperson with orange nail polishPhoto by sq lim on Unsplash
Needless to say, I’ve seen a lot of things during my time as a therapist, but there is one thing that stays with me. And, uh, it’s not what I would have expected. I once had a client come in, sit down, remove his shoes, and begin cutting his toenails while talking casually about his week. It took everything I had not to laugh, or scream, or somehow do both.
16. I DO See Color
I work in a hospital, and we once had a confused little old white lady who thought she looked like Whoopi Goldberg. She also received a revelation from God saying everyone was going to turn Black by the end of the week. I haven’t noticed any changes yet. When she was saying all this, I was trying so hard to keep a straight face, but I needed a moment after.
17. You Reap What You Sow
I wasn’t the therapist in this situation—I was the client. One day, I’m watching the news and I see my therapist’s face on the television. It was a mug shot. He had apparently been detained for sleeping with one of his clients, which is NOT legal, in case you’re wondering. But here’s the kicker. He was our marriage counselor, and he was married. So was the client.
18. Not Music To My Earsperson playing pianoPhoto by Dolo Iglesias on Unsplash
I’m a music therapist and was engaging with a client when they became very overstimulated and began to thrash their head extremely hard. I was at the piano and they began to slam their head into the piano, so I used my hands to guard their head. Both my hands got completely crushed against the piano and I immediately had bruising and swelling.
By the way, this was all happening within the first five minutes of the session. I spent the remaining 30 minutes trying to regulate the client. They left the session and appeared totally regulated. I left in tears. I’ve been off work for two weeks so far and while my bruises are clearing up, I have nerve damage and pain each day (thankfully, no broken bones).
I miss and love my job, but it’s truly not all rainbows and singing “You Are My Sunshine” every day.
19. Here Today…
I completed an initial assessment with a client, built some great rapport, and agreed to a further appointment to discuss a treatment plan the following week. When that appointment came there was no answer for a while. When I finally found out the truth, I was floored. I got through to the client’s sister, who told me she'd passed from cancer.
She had told me about it the week before, but stated she'd been in remission for a while. It hit me so hard for not just being my first client, but obviously, when working in mental health you're conscious of mental health-related deaths and risk management, so I was completely blindsided and reminded that there are other causes of tragic ends.
It’s stuck with me since and took a while for me to manage my worry when clients don't answer the phone after the first ring.
20. Clean As A Whistle
Not a therapist, but in the mental health field. When I was a nurse on a surgical ward, a guy was being a bit odd and kept wanting his curtains pulled around him. After a while of hearing odd noises, I peeked in and he has SLATHERED himself in hand sanitizer. Head to toe, two full bottles. He looked rather proud of himself for getting rid of the germs, and I had to step outside so as not to laugh in his face.
21. It’s Coming From Inside The Centerblack and tan german shepherdPhoto by Sofia Guaico on Unsplash
I used to work as a Specialist Facilitator for a group of resource centers for people with profound disabilities, behavioral disorders, and mental health conditions. One early morning, my colleagues and I were setting up for the day when someone told us to come to the window quickly. I couldn't believe my eyes...One of our older colleagues was swinging through the trees and making monkey noises directly outside the center.
The center was on a regular domestic public street so we had loads of spectators. But it gets more embarrassing. The worst part was that her massive, unruly German Shepherd was running amok beneath her, barking at said spectators. Things came to a head when our colleague leapt on the roof of the center and started howling non-stop. My boss had to call the firefighters.
This woman then propositioned a male firefighter on the roof, and we ended up having to call animal control for the dog while one of our mental health teams helped our colleague. This was all before our service users arrived at the center.
22. You Are Not Alone
I’m not a therapist, but when I was in the hospital two years ago for mental health reasons, I had to fill out a safety plan. One of the parts is to list three people you can reach out to. I was barely 17, so they told me I could write friends but I had no one to put down beside my mom. The nurse even let me have my phone to look at contacts, but I had no one to reach out to.
The nurse just sat there staring at me and then got up and told me she needed a minute. A different nurse came in and apologized to me and helped me do the rest. When I saw the first nurse later, she apologized to me and told me she has a kid my age and it was just hard for her to see someone like her kid suffer the way I was. It’s something I think about a lot.
23. Foot In Mouth
I work in a community residence for adults with mental illness. Most of them are very capable and independent. One girl who is 27 years old constantly acts really dumb for sympathy and will do dumb things because she can, I guess. The first week she was admitted, she tripped on something getting out of bed and she fell on her foot and broke some of the small bones in the foot.
I take her to get her cast and she gets the usual: “Don't get the cast wet, use your crutches, elevate, etc". Since her bedroom was on the second floor, we had to send her back to her mother's house for a few weeks since she would not be able to exit the building in time in case of an emergency. Well five days later, the boot to put over your cast comes in and we call her up saying we'll bring it over.
Her response: “Well, I don't think it'll fit" “Why not?” We ask. "Because I cut my cast off. I got it wet and it was too tight". They didn't give her a second cast and she never used her crutches, claiming they were unstable and she would fall and get hurt if she used them. Oh, but the worst was yet to come. Her foot never healed properly, and two months later she fell and broke it again.
She's since told us she wants her foot amputated because then it wouldn't hurt so much. ~Logic~
24. You’re A Strange Animaltwo man talking to each other on grass fieldPhoto by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash
I used to work with children who have autism and Down syndrome, which means a lot of play therapy. I had my “I need a minute” moment when one of my clients wanted to sit on my lap while we practiced reciting animal cards followed by their corresponding noises. It ended in disaster. I made a noise that made him laugh so much that he ended up peeing on me from the laughter.
That night was also date night.
25. Gotta Stay Hydrated
Not me, but this was a therapist I was supervising. Her and a client were in her car because it was community-based counseling for severe mental illness. Her client pulled money from her nether regions and put it in her water bottle. She then shook it up and drank the water. She then offers the therapist a sip. Absolutely bizarre and she didn’t know what to do with it.
26. Mistaken Identity
I got a phone call from a co-worker right as my 3 pm client was walking into the office. My co-worker’s words stopped me in my tracks. She said, "Dan’s gone". Now, we had a mutual co-worker named Dan, so my initial reaction was that it was him. I was in shock as she continued to talk about needing to "review the chart". I then realized that she was talking about my client, Dan.
My stomach dropped as my grief changed into something that was still grief but also fear and worry. I was in disbelief that he was gone. He was too young. I was worried it was self-inflicted that I missed something or had failed. I was realized that I had several clients who were friends with him and that they were impacted. It was horrible.
The co-worker hung up the phone with me and I burst out crying in front of my 3 pm client. I had to tell them that I wouldn't be able to meet today because I just had bad news. I needed more than a minute. It was hard. It was never determined if it was accidental or not. My agency provided zero support to me, other than reviewing the chart and telling me "everything looked fine".
It didn't feel fine. It sucked, all around.
27. One Bad Daya man holding his hands to his facePhoto by Charlotte Knight on Unsplash
I’m a school counselor. I was working in a school and one of the young boys I was seeing and helping was in an accident one night and perished. I didn't find out until the next morning when word got out during the first period. I was called in and rushed over to help with the students, a lot of whom I often saw along with this boy. I tried to stay composed and do my job, but we filled the library with over 100 students who were just finding out and breaking down.
Eventually, I had to crawl behind a bookcase and have a meltdown, although I quickly composed myself. The whole day was a nightmare and heartbreaking. At one point, I had to leave campus to track down the boy’s closest friends, who had run off and driven away. When I found them, the state they were in broke my heart. It’s the hardest thing I have ever had to go through as a counselor and took me weeks to emotionally recover. I still think about it.
28. The Truth Is Out
I am not a therapist, but my husband and I were in therapy after losing a daughter to trisomy 18. The truth was all our family was horrible during this time and even before. It was rough. One day, my husband was finally opening up and talking. Then, he let out this loud, 30-second long toot. Him, me, and the therapist had a really good laugh.
It took us a few minutes, but we composed ourselves and continued the session.
29. Too Young To Lose
I used to be a crisis counselor. I once did an assessment of a 13-year-old kid who, years earlier, lost one of his older brothers, and had lost his other older brother just a couple of months earlier. The way he and his mom talked about it, they had only just started to finally process and put the pieces back together after grieving their oldest when the other brother passed.
This boy had really fallen into a deep depression after. I’ve worked with a lot of youth before, but I still have never seen anyone like this. His sadness just radiated off him like that. I was able to keep it together during the assessment and gave his family some resources for therapy and grief support groups but I had a good, long cry in my car on the way back from the office.
30. Boy Meets Real Worldmedication pillsPhoto by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash
Once I was with an adolescent client who wanted help because of his impulsive and antisocial behavior. During our fourth session, he tells me that he had bought pills to calm himself. As he continues explaining that he got them for "cheap," he reaches into his backpack and brings out what I only assume were thousands of very powerful…antipsychotics.
Like, these were STRONG. They were restricted for public use and were like $100 a pill. He was totally unaware of the price and only knew that the "friend” who gave them to him expected "some" value/compensation out of the transaction. He didn't want to sell them and was totally unaware of the danger of dealing with the kinds of people who would sell them.
At some point, I had to stop the session and explain to him the severity of the situation. Thankfully I worked in the public sector and managed to get the family a lawyer and help from the municipality in case they were threatened to give back the money. They immediately left the pills with the authorities. For a couple of months, he thought I "betrayed" him, but he kept coming and finally understood that the law can also bring you protection.
He has been doing much better since then. I have to admit that at some point I was in awe of the unawareness of the boy.
31. Let It All Out
A teen I had been working with for about a year was finally "going there" and talking about her deep pain related to her mother. She had cut ties with her biological mother and was having issues with her stepmother. She looked me in the eyes, sobbing, and asked, "Why can't I get a mom to love me? What's wrong with me?" Her vulnerability in that moment reminded me of a small child.
She has since been doing much better. There was a lot of emotion in the room during that session.
32. Not In The Job Description
Oh, this takes me back. But this time, it was my (terrible) therapist who made me take a minute. She stopped me in the middle of a session to tell me that the real problem was that I made everything about myself. Which would have been a valid point, had she not kept talking.
She continued: "Like right now, you're just talking about yourself, and about your life. Every week you just talk about yourself. You know, I just had a baby a few months ago, but you never ask me how that's going. You never ask me about my life, or my friends, or my relationship with my husband. If you're like this with everyone in your life, I can imagine why people don't like being around you".
I left super ashamed and never went back.
33. Too Much Of A Good Thingshallow focus photography of prescription bottle with capsulesPhoto by Alexander Grey on Unsplash
Went through a couple of years where I was using Xanax too much and eventually got my license taken away. I had to go to a counselor to get it back. She had a weird shed/building she had converted into an office, so I was already feeling uncomfortable walking into someone's backyard for therapy. I got there for my first session and was proven WAY right.
She immediately offered to get me a Xanax prescription after me telling her my history. Thankfully, at this point, I was already clean and had decided to stay that way. It was definitely a what the heck moment I needed to take a minute on. I'm glad I didn't find her at a time when I would have been weak enough to accept the offer. Screw that therapist.
34. Child’s Play
I was 39 and had unearthed my wife's affair only a week previously. I was just a total heartbroken, shattered mess. Well, my therapist’s recovery plan was to "make a man out of me". This guy kept telling me in our sessions that video games were "for children". He was well into his 70s. I fired him. I have since remarried. I still play video games.
35. A Cruel Joke
I am not a therapist, but I was in a therapy program years ago and we got a new patient. Within the span of a week, her mother passed from cancer and her house caught on fire and her dad and sister perished in the accident. The sister passed after slipping from the girl’s hands and falling into flames. I felt so bad for her and I couldn’t comprehend it at first.
36. Pop A Wheelieblack and gray wheelchair on blue floorPhoto by vitor camilo on Unsplash
A client referred to a wheelchair as a "wheely boi". We'd been on a call and I had tears in my eyes from laughing. I don't know why but that humor really gets me. Further context: the client was unable to reassure me of their personal safety and so I had been persuading them to go to the hospital. They responded with, "I'll only go if they give me a wheely boi".
37. At Attention
I was working surveillance one night at a psych ward, keeping a close watch on a mentally ill patient. Right before my shift started, I was briefed that the patient had started eating one of the lightbulbs and went for a nurse. At around 5 am, he woke up and saw me sitting there at the end of his bed. I said good morning and he didn’t reply.
About 15 minutes of silence went by before he stood up and stared out the window. Then he made the most bizarre remark: "A person is most vulnerable while taking a poop". I didn’t sit back down for the rest of my shift.
38. Hard Work
I'm not a therapist, but I go see one. One thing we talk about a lot is that I have a narcissistic mother. She told me that I must be very resilient to be able to put up with my mother because anytime she has an hour-long session with a narcissistic patient, she makes sure to have a break for at least an hour afterward. It kind of helps knowing not even she would be able to stand my mother.
39. Take A Bowman in black knit cap and black hoodiePhoto by Altin Ferreira on Unsplash
As a new therapist, I had a particularly intense client take a dive, Fight Club-style to try and get me in trouble. It wasn’t really a problem because there was a camera in the room, but I was so shocked that I said to him, "I'm going to sit here and breathe a moment," and I did. That's the only time I've ever needed a minute in the session, but it was scary.
40. Let A Little Too Loose
Once, I had a client with a child who did nothing but scream at the parent for about 20-30 minutes straight. As soon as they left, I cried for 20 minutes due to how emotionally charged the words and accusations were. I tried to defuse it at times, but it continued to rebound quickly until I just had to sit there and watch it happening right in front of me.
41. See You Never
I went to an appointment with my therapist and the door was locked. I waited 15 minutes and called him. No response. He texted me back a few minutes later and said he had the flu and was in bed and sorry he didn’t call to cancel. I went to the grocery store instead. I saw him shopping. He ducked when he saw me. I never went back to him.
42. Good On Youcloseup photo of man with beardPhoto by Vinicius "amnx" Amano on Unsplash
I had been working with this client for a while to build their self-esteem and alleviate their depression, and at the end of the session, they told me I was the reason they found the strength to keep going that day. The session had started rough but it ended on such a high note and it felt great to hear that from them. I had to take a minute between sessions and appreciate the improvement the client was able to feel, outside of the compliment.
43. Observing All The Niceties
This past December, I talked to a very angry father of a kid I worked with. He ended the call by shouting down the line, "And you have yourself a happy freaking Christmas!" It was just so funny and weird, I had to take a minute before moving along with my day.
44. Use Your Eyes
A client was going to probate court and thought he'd dress up by putting a non-slip sock on his collar as a tie. Trying to be supportive, I told him, "Nice tie". To which he replied, "It's not a tie, it's a sock, stupid". Yep, that one just about did me in with laughing.
45. We Don’t Deserve Themselective focus photography of orange and white cat on brown tablePhoto by Amber Kipp on Unsplash
Any time anyone tells me about their pets dying, I need a minute. I do not know your cat. But I love your cat.
46. Sticks And Stones
I’m a school counselor going into the second year of my career. I had a student with who I had grown close. She disclosed her major depression, highly impulsive tendencies, and her eating disorder to me as we talked more and more. But she had gone through extensive therapy and treatment and was getting better with it all. Her parents kept in close contact with me as well.
One day she came to me sobbing, wouldn’t say a word, just grabbed my hand and handed me a thumbtack that she had been scratching herself with. I asked her, “What happened?” When she replied, I nearly burst into tears. She said one of her best friends came up to her and told her she no longer wanted to be friends with her because she had too much “baggage".
The girl later called her parents with me in the room and sobbed to her mom. She said, “I wish you and dad didn’t care about me so much so I could just be done with this". That was the first time I simply could not keep my composure. I asked another counselor to come in and stepped out of the room to sob at the fact we simply never know what a person’s going through, and words hurt so much more than we know.
47. One Heck Of A Curveball
I arrived at a client's house for a session one day. I was doing in-home therapy for adolescents at the time, and it was with a 13-year-old kid. He was a little late getting home from school so he wasn't there yet. His mother has me sit down to wait for him and says that while he's not home, she wanted to ask me something. I never could have guessed her next words.
At that point, I'm assuming it's about her son since that's why I'm there. Nope. She proceeds to ask me why I think her boyfriend won't please her in the bedroom and if I have any suggestions to change that. Really didn't see that one coming.
48. The Ones Who Got Awaypink and white flowersPhoto by Mayron Oliveira on Unsplash
It was my first internship on my path to being a counselor and I was working in a funeral home under the grief counselor there (grief and trauma is my focus). We were taught to be strong and supportive to those grieving, of course, and if we needed to cry, we were supposed to go in the back or to the bathroom. On one memorable occasion, I helped an elderly lady view her husband before the service.
I showed her to a chair in front of the casket—and then watched in despair as she completely lost it. The poor woman laid down on the casket, bawling her eyes out and declaring how much she loved him and missed him. She begged him not to leave her and to come back. That totally destroyed me. I immediately started crying behind her.
She stood up and I sucked it up to help her walk back into the hall to start greeting guests. I thought I had done a good job collecting myself, but my mentor took one look at me and softly said "go to the back room," which I did. I completely lost it for a few minutes, cleaned up, and went back to help with the service. I definitely needed that minute.
49. You Never Know What Can Happen
When I was just starting out as a therapist, I worked for a community mental health clinic at the satellite office, which was located in the basement of a community center. Looking back, it was completely unsafe. No other staff worked there except for me. I was in a cinderblock room, alone, with individuals who had varying degrees of mental health issues. One day, it came to a dark climax.
The incident involved a woman with Schizoaffective Disorder. She was typically very odd in her presentation, with loose associations and bizarre speech. However, she really was a sweetheart overall. But one day, she came into my office holding a giant rock. She was agitated and indicated that people were trying to "mess with her," so the rock was for protection.
I'm grateful that I had an established relationship with her and navigated the session without getting bludgeoned. But afterward, I was shaking and needed a bit to center myself for the next client. I also began to raise concerns about the safety issues (and it didn't change a thing).
50. There’s Someone For Everyone
This wasn’t a client, but I once got an inquiry from someone seeking therapy because he was cheating on his wife…with his mother. I’ll admit, I needed a moment. Then I collected myself, put my game face on, and referred him to a colleague of mine who specializes in infidelity. At the end of the day? You just do the job and process personal feelings and reactions afterward.
That’s why maintaining clinical supervision (even after full licensure) is a best practice.
Let's face it. No one looks forward to a doctor's visit.
Anyone declaring otherwise is fibbing and needs to have their head checked–which should be no problem for them to clear their schedule for.
While some visits consulting a medical pro is beneficial for identifying an ailment or for seeking relief, the process can still be unnerving.
Curious to hear from the experiences of strangers online, Redditor sydthakidd asked:
"What was your worst experience at a doctor's office?"
When doctors don't know who or what they're treating, it's a major concern.
"I was getting a bone density scan for some odd reason, and the doc came in a while later and told me I had Osteoporosis. This was not why I was there in the first place and was completely surprised. I asked him if I could see the chart, and it was for a 70 year old woman. I was a 30 something man, and he had the wrong chart! Turns out I did not have any issues at all, well, bone density related…"
"Oh god, this reminded me of the time I took iron pills daily for four months because LabCorp mixed my results with someone who had severe anemia."
"When I went back to be tested again, my iron levels were SO goddamn high it was almost bad."
"I went to a clinic to see a doctor about a fever and body aches and informed him I was allergic to NSAIDs.. he said he'd give me something and it was not an NSAID."
"Went home, swallowed the pill, immediate allergic reaction starts.. rushed to the A&E of a hospital where they pumped me full of drugs to stop the allergic reaction.. and the doc there asked me why I took the NSAID."
"I think the A&E doc reported the clinic doctor because he was never seen again."
"I had a similar thing at a hospital here. Told multiple nurses and staff that I was allergic to aspirin, basically everyone except the doctor. Doctor prescribed me Advil, and assuming he looked at my chart and having no idea that both are NSAIDs, took Advil. Came back to the hospital an hour later in anaphylaxis and difficulty breathing."
"25 years later, had a minor surgery at the same hospital and now they put a bright band around my wrist immediately, and the first thing any person I interacted with asked is 'Do you have any allergies?' Annoying to be asked that 25 times in a 4 hour period, but nice to see that policy has changed to make sure that kind of thing doesn’t happen again."
"I had pinched my syatic nerve pushing carts at work. He accused me of having very kinky sex while my gf was in the room. I told him it was at work, and he assured me he would not judge me if it was from sex. He then gave me OxyContin and told me when ever I needed a refill I should call him and he’d make sure I had plenty. Very weird."
"The other is super mild but he kept farting. Like the whole time he’d fart every few minutes."
The last thing these Redditors expected was to endure more suffering after seeing their doctor.
Fix It, Don't Break It, Doc
"I thought I had a broken nose. The doc was showing me, on a heavy glass x-ray plate, that my nose was not broken. But as I was looking up, he dropped the plate on my nose and broke it."
"'I, uh, guess you're here for a broken nose after all, huh?'- Dr probably."
The Inappropriate Specialist
"Was 17, had an infected ingrown toe nail. My pediatrician tried cutting and digging it out with what looked like pliers and bracing his leg against the table. After f'king around for a bit he realized he wasn’t going to get it. No numbing gel or anything. Hurt like a mofo. Scheduled an appointment with a podiatrist, he numbed it, had it removed in about two minutes and told me to never see that dr. Again."
More Embarrassment Than Pain
"Laid on my side with my back to the door for a prostate exam. Heard people walk by talking while a finger was in my butt and realized the door was open."
"I want to move to another country on your behalf just from reading this."
If at first you don't succeed...
X Didn't Mark The Spot
"The ENT doctor removed a skin cancer from my nose, leaving an ugly scar. Turns out he excised the wrong area and I went to a different doctor to actually remove the cancer."
"Not me, but a close friend:"
"She was having debilitating migraines, to the point she couldn’t work or function. She waited nearly a month to see a neurologist. Upon a brief examination, he said:"
“You don’t have anything wrong with you. Just exercise and try not having headaches.”
"Three months later, he finally relented and did an MRI. She had massive lesions on her brain. She was diagnosed with MS. The smug bastard was somehow irritated she had a positive diagnosis. Her health wasn’t as important as his ego."
Second Doctor Saves The Day
"I had been sick for a while and had been gaining about 20 pounds a month. I had seen multiple doctors and they just told me I was just eating more than I thought which was ridiculous. I went to a doctor for a skin issue and the new doctor walked in the room and looked at me from across the room and said 'let’s get you to the emergency room' after about five seconds."
"I had end stage cirrhosis of the liver. That kind of sucked. I had a liver transplant 362 days ago and only in the last month have I started to feel like I am getting back to normal."
"Did you know you can get so sick your hair turns gray and then get better and the gray hair goes away? It’s weird honestly."
Hands-down the worst experience ever at a doctor's office was before I met with my actual doctor.
While I was waiting in a separate room waiting to go into the doctor's office, the phlebotomist came in to take some blood samples from me.
I have very prominent veins with the bluish hues making them even more visible. Yet, the phlebotomist managed to miss piercing through my veins.
Not once. Not twice. NOT THRICE.
She had to run out to get my primary care physician to jab the needle into me for my fifth–but thankfully his first–successful time.
It's a wonder how I managed to get back home in my highly woozy state.
If you were to ask most parents these days what they hope their child might be when they grow up, chances are the majority of them will say a doctor or a lawyer.
Or, at the very least, they might say they hope their child marries one.
However, had you been growing up in late Victorian or Edwardian England, being a doctor or a lawyer, let alone marrying one, was not exactly something to brag about.
For if you were someone of any means or rank, you probably wouldn't work at all.
Thankfully, the stigmatization of those jobs wore away over time, and people now respect them for the important professions they are.
Sadly though, the passage of time has not been as kind to other professions, whose pedigree has suffered the reverse fate.
Redditor probablyuntrue was curious to hear which professions people believe no longer carry the same pedigree they once did, leading them to ask:
"What job used to be prestigious but isn't anymore?"
If Anyone Rues The Invention Of The Automobile...
"They were the town engineer, manufacturer, craftsman, and problem solver all in one."
"Now they are mostly just hobbyists."- BaconReceptacle
And All They Told Was The News...
"Newspaper columnist and local news anchor."
"They used to be celebrities when they were the primary mediums people got their news from."- 4Ever2Thee
Blame It On The Name Change...
"Back in the 1970s, if you were dating a 'stewardess', all your friends were jealous."- EarguyCabin Crew Applause GIF by KLMGiphy
Maybe It's People's Taste Which Has Taken A Hit...
"I was a furniture and cabinet maker in the 2000s."
"I designed and built entertainment centers for the new flat-screen tv fad."
"Paid great, everyone thought I was cool."
"No one gives a sh*t anymore and the pay has scaled way down with this economy so I’m back in school."- Low-Abbreviations-38
Owing To Certain Connotations, Perhaps?
"I was of course talking about reading actual spices."
"With the new movie, being a character in Dune is probably more prestigious than it has ever been."- I_might_be_weasel
"Nighttime radio DJ."- Scrappy_Larue
"They used to set what music was cool and not."- laudinumDj Puppet GIFGiphy
Before There Was Kinkos...
"Lithographic or various others."
"Used to be an amazing career and essential to society."
"Since the rise of the internet and decline of printed media the industry has died."
"Not that long ago, the spread of information was made possible through printers, not anymore."- Advanced-Stupid
There Sevice Has Been Expedited, or perhaps "Expedia'd"...
"Finding flights, booking good hotels, knowing the cool places to go, how to get tickets to events, and how to pull it all together for someone used to be fairly useful skills to have."
"Now the job is basically nonexistent apart from super high-end or specialty positions."- MrMojoFomo
Their Cargo Is Seldom Precious...
"Letter carriers for the postal service."
"All I deliver now is junk mail and Amazon packages."
"Certified letters used to be treated like it was a classified gov document(because it could be) that you were responsible for."
"You even had to sign out to receive them because you were accountable for them."
"Now they come mixed in with the bulk junk mail."- flyjumPostal Worker Vintage GIFGiphy
"Bank manager."- biga204
"I would argue that position is still prestigious in towns under 20k pop."- 2cats2hats
Some Money Management Isn't So Glamorous...
"Working at a Bank."- DogusEUW
"Before the credit score was invented, working as a banker was prestigious because you got to decide if someone got a loan or not."
"Everyone want to be buddies with a local banker because he could sign off on a loan and set the terms."
"How do you think grandpa bought the house?"
"Now individuals don’t do that algorithms do."- Limp_Distribution
"...All The Livelong Day..."
"Freight conductor/ engineer."
"Used to be a great career."
"The hours and schedule have always been rough but the pay made up for the inconvenience."
"Now corporate greed, sh*tty contracts, mass company surveillance, and insane attendance policies have turned railroading into a sh*t job."- Boo_Blicker
"3 of the 4 presidents on Mount Rushmore were land surveyors, and owning property was a big deal so people who could give you legal authority over ownership were pretty well respected."
"Now you make $12 an hour starting to dig holes lol."- HandsOfJazz
When You Realize You're On The Wrong Track...
"Working in academia, in a way."
"Over last several decades, tenure tracks got way more competitive."
"Young scientists are now often overworked, underpaid and have uncertain future."
"No wonder that many leave the academia for private sector."- MyKinkyCountess
It's Very Easy To Judge..."
"Is any job considered prestigious nowadays?"
"It feels like the internet has allowed us a deeper look into what every profession really is like and the aura of mystery/awe that used to surround particular jobs just isn't there anymore."- justgonnaknowawayWhat Do You Do For A Living GIF by Hot BenchGiphy
It's certainly worth wondering what makes people think a job is prestigious or not?
The pay? The duties? The qualifications?
None of which should ultimately factor in, as when push comes to shove, all jobs have value.
After all, most of the jobs that were considered "essential" during the height of the pandemic were generally anything but lucrative.
But where would we be today without them?