Prison Guards Share Their Scariest Experiences Working Behind Bars
There are few occupations we can think of that would be more high stress than working as a prison guard. Television and film have given us countless depictions of life behind bars, and none of them show it like a walk in the park - for prisoner or guard. One reddit user asked:
The answers were almost all pretty intense, but we managed to pull 20 stories that struck a chord with us. Some of these may be intense for younger or more sensitive readers, so be careful as you move ahead.
Stuck In An Elevator
Setting the scene:
1997; local Jail with a very big budget crisis.
The jail was on the 4th floor of the courthouse and the chow hall was in the basement. So we would have to take the prisoners up and down to eat. The elevator was junk. It broke down with me and 13 felony inmates trapped inside of it. Four were convicted murderers waiting on a bed to come open at the prison. I was trapped in a very tight space with some very bad people unarmed and alone.
They helped me crawl through the escape hatch in the roof of the elevator so I could get help. No escape attempts and no violence. It was scary, but went pretty well considering.
At last, my day has come. In lieu of one "scariest day," allow me, as a CO in the State of Florida, to tell you all of the scariest incidents to occur to me in the past few years.
-From the point you're hired until your graduation from the academy (roughly 6-12 months) you are advised to not get into any physical issues with an inmate. This can lead to awkward and dangerous instances when a new person is assigned to work in the Close Management buildings. On one particular day, I was assigned to assist an officer with escorting CM1 (most dangerous) inmates to their rec cages. For whatever reason, the officer I was with neglected to follow standard procedure and have said inmates step backwards out of his cell. The door rolled, and the cuffed inmates bolted between us, ran up the stairs to the second level, and started attempting to remove his cuffs. This inmate, I found out later, had a reputation for enjoying his beating of COs. It took nine officers to take him down and return him to his cell.
Fun fact; the officer I was with attempted to blame the whole thing on me since I didn't run after the inmate. He was shutdown when cameras revealed that he, as a certified officer, had ALSO not given chase.
So, I worked night shift at this jail for around two years, right before I went to the academy, I was working a control room that looked over four different pods, called F-Block. Easy pod, most of them are trusties and minimum security, so they're whiney, but usually not ones you have to worry about much. This block is set up where three of the pods are set up with cells, and there's one pod that is an open pod, meaning bunks and no cells. So two days a week, we do a razor night, pretty standard stuff, the worst part is making sure you get the razor blade back. After handing out the blades, about thirty or forty minutes pass when inmates start banging on the window to get me and another guy's attention, and hitting the call box rapidly. Sadly, this can be a normal occurrence because they'll play that as prank to get us riled up. So the guy I'm in the control room hits the button to answer the call box.
Other CO: Yeah?
Inmates: You need to get in here now.
Other CO: Is it an emergency?
Inmates: Yes, please get in here.
So since I'm the newest of the two, I get the pleasure of walking into the open pod and seeing what's going on. I walk in and just freeze for a second, there's an inmate laying on his bunk with blood coming from his neck, self inflicted. So I call a signal and wait for back-up to get there. Soon me and another guy (also hasn't been to the academy yet) rush over there. The inmate is still alive and he is determined to die, he kicks the other CO away and he begins to slash the blade towards us in a threatening manner to tell us to back off. The other CO goes to one side and holds the guys arms down to his own chest, so the inmate uses this time to just slash his neck even further.
About that time, nurses and superiors find their way to the pod, but the nurses can't come anywhere near them because he's still holding a blade. He scratches one CO who is one scene (the guy has Hep C) and finally the Captain elbows the guy in the best and gets him to drop the blade. We held tampons to the guys neck and proceeded to take him to medical.
Somehow, this guy lived. Turns out he declined a sentence that would have made him serve just 10 more months, but declined the plea and received 10 years to life.
My brother is a CO at Rikers island and around fall last year an inmate tried to stab him with a shank he had hidden in his rectum. The guy failed but I don't think the experience was pleasant.
Michael Clark Duncan
Obligatory not a CO. My dad, father in law and husband are COs at a max facility.
Each of them have been involved in riots, but the worst one was when my father in law, the commander on shift, was trapped in the yard by a group of inmates.
This area is normally gated off, and my FIL was in that area to make sure it was secure, but they later found out a notoriously lazy CO didn't feel the need to lock it up that day after yard (what could go wrong, right?)
The area at the time, for whatever reason, had a roof over the weight pit, and a set of double doors that led back into the prison. The tower guards didn't have a clear view of anything that happened under this roof, and the inmates knew it.
There were young inmates funneling him towards this area, and inmates behind the double doors holding them shut so he couldn't get through to safety. He was fucked.
Now, my FIL is a man that is very "by the rules". He's the kind of guy that just commands respect by the tone of his voice. He's fair, and he gives inmates what they have coming, good or bad. He'll make sure you're getting your mail on time, won't give you petty tickets and make sure you're getting a fair shake at chow. He also won't hesitate to sanction you if you fuck up. Because of this, he has built good rapport with a lot of inmates who are doing long term bids.
One of those long term inmates happened to be on the other side of those doors, trying to stay out of trouble.
My FIL described this man's appearance like that of Michael Clarke Duncan's character on The Green Mile. A quiet, compliant gentle giant.
FIL is by himself, no gun, no taser, no gas, no backup coming. He stands there helpless, trying to reason with the group.
He said he watched the window on the door fill with orange out of the corner of his eye. He turns to look and a huge arm swats these relatively tiny, young punk inmates out of the way. He opens the door for my FIL, threatens the rest of the inmates outside, and brings him inside to safety.
I'm not sure where they went after that, but he said that was absolutely the scariest situation and the most vulnerable he had ever been.
They have since removed the roof and if you EVER missed securing an area, you suffered the wrath of my FIL.
That inmate still locks there to this day, and the respect has continued on between him and my husband. Lucky for me, my husband had a great role model while training at the facility, his dad, and realizes that being a hard ass 100% of the time and being a "bad cop" can get you killed. It doesn't take much to treat people like humans.
"The Guts Guy"
I Had an inmate just come back from the hospital after having some sort of abdominal/stomach surgery. I was doing a round and as I passed his cell, He was sitting on the floor of his cell facing away from me with his arms in front of him and his head looking downward towards his lap.. I saw him moving so I at first didn't think much of it and continued with my round. During the round I had a weird gut feeling that I should go investigate a bit further. He was always pretty odd but never displayed any self destructive behaviors. I walked up to his cell and asked what he was doing. He just said "nothing go away". I had the door opened by the control center and when the door opened It let in enough light into the cell for me to see a bloody handprint on the floor next to him. I directed him to stand up slowly and put his hands behind his back to be cuffed, when he did that I saw both of his hands were literally dripping with blood. I got responders to the area and we pulled him out of his cell where we found his surgical wound was wide open and his innards were visible. We had come to find out that he had pulled his stitches out and had been sticking his hands inside the would to "play with his guts", as he so eloquently put it.
Current CO here, been working for about 4 years now at a federal joint that will remain unnamed.
This happened on my off day, but I was able to watch it on the camera in the control center the next day. One hard, older CO who was known to never let an inmate get by with anything and maybe sometimes said a little to much (cursing at inmates) was dealing with an inmate in a housing unit about wearing the right uniform, well this inmate was apparently having a bad day and started yelling at the older CO. The inmate walked away and went to his cell with the older CO close behind, I assume still talking crap to inmate. At this point you can see the inmate lacing up tennis shoes and putting on gloves on camera. For those of you who are not CO's this generally means they are about to fight. Well long story short, there was this older CO and 1 other unit officer in this housing unit, the older CO starts getting his a** beat and alot of the other inmates (about 120 in the housing unit at a given time) make a circle around the fight.
While there was no audio on the video I saw, word is the inmates that circled the fight told the other unit officer that if he called on the radio or tried to help they would beat him to death. He stood there and watched as the older CO got beat, but luckily the older CO was able to hit is body alarm and help came in about 3min.
3 minutes is a long time to get beat, but he made it out with a broken nose, few ribs and bruises. Older CO still works here and still won't back down from any inmate, he is a scrappy fellow. The other unit officer was forced to quit/got fired. Never leave a brother to get beat even if you get beat. That could have been very very very bad if the older CO had not been able to hit his own body alarm and the unit officer was unable to let anyone know what was happening due to being frozen with fear. No one would have known the older CO was being beaten.
"Urine Coated Spear"
Correctional officer of 4 years in Texas on a Max security unit working administrative segregation (in their cell 23 hours a day) I was stabbed multiple times with a feces and urine coated spear through a cell door. Thankfully all of them were caught in my stabproof thrust vest but it was terrifying.
My Dad has a great story:
One day he caught someone throwing drugs over the fence so he hopped in his truck and was driving over. When the guy saw him he ran into the woods next to the prison. My dad hopped out and ran after him. Eventually, they made it to a clearing and when my dad caught a glimpse of him, he had his hand on his hip like he was reaching for a gun. My dad wasn't armed. So at this point he was thinking:
"what am I supposed to do now?"
So he puts his own hand on his hip and yells at the guy to get down and my dad pretended to have a gun. The guy freaked and got down. Ends up he was reaching for a phone to get backup. But I think it's funny that my dad pulled a Paul Blart.
"Suicide In Progress"
I work for a small Jail. Nothing too crazy happens. One day, a female threw her sheet over her cell door and tied it to the handle. I just happened to be looking into the cell block and saw her hanging from the door kicking and struggling. I called a code for suicide in progress over the radio and ran to the block. We got her down just as she was slipping out of consciousness. She screamed at us when she woke up.
We placed her on suicide watch in the turtle suit.
About 3 years later I saw her out in public and she ran up and gave me a hug and thanked me for helping her. Apparently, she was struggling with meth really bad at the time of her attempt. When I saw her she had been clean for 2 years. Everyday I wonder why I keep doing this job and that one incident was worth it. When I started the job, I thought everyone in jail was just a sack of sh*t. But in reality, some people just mess up or have a bad day.
What Could Have Happened
I was one for two years before I left. I want to preface this by saying DO NOT WORK FOR NORTH CAROLINA:
So, we are so understaffed that we were working upwards of 80 to 90 hours a week. I was also working nights. Some nights i'd be in a dorm that was set up like military barracks. Those barracks had just two officers to 136 inmates. Also, the equipment we had didn't work. Our radios were fubar'd, our pepper spray had been out of date for six years, and only half of the prison cameras worked.
My other officer was asleep by 9:30 pm - as was pretty usual for my pathetic coworkers. I was walking my rounds when my baton clip breaks off my belt and the baton rolls in front of 34 inmates who are not locked down and freely moving about the room. I calmly walked over to the baton that had stopped right in front of an inmates bed and picked it up and left. Luckily nothing happened.
It was the thoughts of what could have happened that drove me to find another job. I could have died that night or any night with a sleeping officer one room over, without a working radio to call for back up or a camera to even show which person killed me. I saw so much corruption and dirt in that job that I'll never want to work for any law enforcement agency again. I sincerely hope that it turns around one day but it will have to without me.
Pregnancy And The Pencil
CO here. When I was 6 months pregnant, I got followed into a cell as I was doing cell checks. The inmate - whom I had given a warning about something earlier - threatened to stab me with a sharpened pencil. My partner was supposed to be watching my back to make sure I was not followed, but this wasn't the first time he slacked on that. Luckily, the inmate saw that I had my hand on my radio to call in backup and he let me continue on my checks.
I went on sick leave the following week until my maternity leave kicked in. Not worth the risks.
Was a Detention Officer in Max / Super-max. I have two bad stories:
Had a guy that got injured while fighting officers. One of his arteries was damaged. It was pretty frighting trying to get this guy under control so we could get him out to the hospital, at the same time as fighting with him, and having him spray blood everywhere.
The other was holding a guy up that had just hung himself for seven minutes waiting for another officer to respond with a 911 tool to cut him down.
Both inmates were saved.
Endearing, yet completely psychotic
My mom was a prison guard for 12 years. I actually remember a lot of stories but I'm pretty sure the scariest day for her was when her boss tried to assign her to be locked in close quarters with a TB infected inmate while she was pregnant with my sister.
This was the 90's I don't know if you can test for that now but back then you couldn't test the baby until it was born. That was her last day on the job.
She had held that job through all three of her pregnancies. It never caused her problems, in fact she used to tell us how amazed the inmates were by it. Some of them rarely see a women, let alone a pregnant woman.
I recall her telling me of one inmate who started reading about pregnancy because of my mother and would give her "fun facts" on the baby. That same inmate had stabbed another because he swore in front of my mother while while pregnant and he had read that the baby can hear everything.
Endearing, yet completely psychotic.
Flashlight And The Aryan Brotherhood
My friend told me this story of his account so I'll share. He was a prison guard in Arizona some years ago. On his way to work there was a monsoon. By the time he arrived the power was out and the backup generator was also out. When the power goes out like that, at least at this particular prison.
So he arrived to no power and open prison cells. It was his job to go around with a maglite and tell everyone to stay calm, stay in their cells and that food would be coming. Most inmates were cool and did as they were told. One particular man though was not so cool. My buddy approached a mammoth of a man leaning on the railing outside his cell with his arms folded. He towers over my friend, he is built like an ox and certainly outweighs him. When told to go back on his cell the inmate says "what if I don't wanna"
So you're not supposed to back down to images obviously. So my buddy is s***ting bricks but has to remain assertive. He tells him one more time to get back in his cell or else. The inmate doesn't care and takes a step towards him. My buddy swings the maglite into his face knocking him out instantly. He found out later that he had knocked out the leader of the aryan brotherhood at that prison.
He promptly put in his two weeks notice and spent the remainder of his time in a guard tower with a rifle.
My first week on the job I was in the unit where the violent offenders and confirmed gang members are housed. We had a mental health offender who got mad at the person in the cell to his left. When we fed him his dinner, he "jacks the slot." There's a small slot we open to put their food tray in. When we opened the slot, the offender put his arm through it in order to stop us from closing it, thereby "jacking the slot."
He refuses to remove his arm, so we sound the alarm system to request backup. As soon as he heard the alarm, the prisoner grabbed a bag full of "fluid" and hurled it toward the next offender's cell. Inside the bag was a mix of his own feces and urine, which spilled under the other guy's door into his cell and, honestly, all over the place.
The mental health offender then reaches back in his cell and grabs two plastic wrappers covered in his own feces and smears them all over the outside of his windows. There was feces everywhere and stunk up the whole wing. Easily the worst day on the job and it was like my 3rd day.
The Throat Scar
Not a prison guard, but spent 18 months in Illinois Department Of Corrections. There was an older dude that was a major jerk, like BAD. He HATED the inmates. He lived to throw them in seg and did his best to get their good behavior time taken away.
He had a scar across his throat. Turns out in the late 80s/early 90s a few prisoners in Statesville got out of control. They took him and his wife hostage then slit his throat. Both lived.
Why he kept being a guard, I'll never know.
Honestly, that the physical test to work in a maximum security prison is so simple a child could do it. I watched a 60 year old/100lb woman pass it. And 350+ lb woman finish it. As well as many people that couldn't protect them selves from a teenager let alone a large grown man.
And these were the people that I was suppose to trust to watch my back if something bad happened.
I was a prison guard in afghanistan in 2011 at the DFIP. I think somewhere around December, we had a Quran burning incident, and tensions were very high between the US and any of the local nationals or the Afghan National Army. People were dying because of riots outside base, this was some serious shit. We were recieving threats from some of the people we worked with.
The scariest day was when I was searching a communal cell some days after the Quran burning. Usually the detainees would put their Qurans in the front middle portion of the cell, near the airlock, laying on a prayer rug. We would leave them alone and ask our interpreters to search them. Anyway, I finish my search and as I'm walking out, I accidently step on a little carton of milk thats hidden under the edge of a sleeping pad, and it explodes all over the Qurans, all 30 of 'em. As I'm looking up and seeing what I've done, I notice 3 Afghan Army guys standing in the airlock. This momemt was the scariest, my adrenaline fired up and I was ready to fight.
They were pretty cool though. I apologized, and they said they saw what happened (one guy spoke english) and understood it was an accident. They cleaned them up and replaced them with new ones. Good people.
People hard up for cash will do anything. But what about the other way around?
There are a ton of jobs or favors that don't require much skill, experience, or labor, and people who are fortunate enough to get hired walk away with a king's ransom.
Looking for those kinds of "jobs," however, is like finding a teardrop in the ocean.
"What's the dumbest thing you were paid to do and how much were you paid?"
Good luck finding these well-paying tasks.
"Had a WFH gig working sort of as a personal assistant for a rich guy on the opposite coast from me. I did all kinds of wacky sh*t for him. For example, one time I had to break up with my boss's girlfriend because he was too wimpy to do it himself. That was literally my job."
"One day, I bought him a new pickup truck. Meaning, I negotiated the deal and paid for the truck with his credit card. All in all, I'd say the process probably took about two weeks, for which I was paid my usual wage at six hours per day. No big deal."
"Somehow, his dad found out about the new truck and he decided he wanted a new pickup truck too. He called me about a week after I bought the truck for my boss and said he'd pay me $2,000 to buy a truck for him. I called the same dealership back, spoke to the same salesman, told him what was up and basically said give me another truck, same price as before. The salesman was only too happy to comply."
"It took ten minutes to make the phone call and then a day or two to get the title and other paperwork sorted out. So, depending on how you look at it, I made $2,000 for just ten minutes worth of 'work.'"
"Somehow, my boss's rich friend found out about all this. He decided he wanted a new SUV. 'OhYeahThrowItAway, you have to buy it for me!' I told him the last time I bought someone a vehicle, I got paid $2,000. The friend was basically like F'k it, I'll pay you $3,000, just get it for me' and then he emailed me his wish list."
"That deal took a little longer, maybe two weeks."
"I made $5k extra in just two months buying vehicles for lazy (or dumb) rich people."
Staying Out Of The Picture
"I was paid $300 to move my car for a movie that was filming by my apartment."
Pack It Up
"Got paid 10k to leave an apartment because it was sold and new owner wanted to move in. I was tenant (renter) under previous owner. I had 4 months left in my rental contract. This was in Spain (Barcelona)."
"I was flown to Paris to do a compliance audit, the systems weren't set up for the audit, couldn't get access so spent the week being taken to restaurants and shopping. On 1 of the days and at the last minute the company decided to send me to London for a meeting, literally just to meet people. I missed the Eurostar because I forgot my passport (totally blanked that I was entering another country), they had to rebook the Eurostar. Nothing was achieved out of this trip. No audit was completed. Nothing came of the meeting. The cost to the company 25k+ for me to do nothing for a week. Corporate money is ridiculous money."
Not much labor was required for these so-called "jobs."
Ten-Minutes Of "Work"
"I used to work for a PR agency. Every month one of our clients wanted a handful of photos re-sized for their website; nothing fancy, just setting the width to 500px in Windows Photo Manager."
"It was maybe ten minutes of work every month, but the contract said the minimum amount of time we would charge them for was one day - and this was for the full team too, not just me. It must have cost them several hundred pounds every month."
"I showed the client how to do it several times, and explained that they could save a lot of money doing it themselves. They didn't seem to mind."
"In the end I made sure I got it in writing that I'd informed them of their options and let them get on with it."
Thank You, Goodbye
"$175 to do some kind of user study at Netflix, I show up in the lobby and then they go, 'actually we got the data we needed from the studies earlier today, you're free to go!'. Still got paid!"
"I did an event for a national association for deaf people at which they did every presentation in ASL. I am an audio engineer, who specializes in live sound and concerts. I did nothing for 5 days of show, $450 a day."
Paid To Play
"I got asked to do 2 hours of barrier watch (Guarding a barrier ribbon while a crew did x rays inside a power plant). This was asked last minute after a 12 hour shift so the bonuses of staying happening to be a Sunday, etc I was being paid $110 to stand and play on my phone and make sure sure nobody tried to pass all the DO NOT ENTER DANGER DANGER signs during a time of day with minimal personnel."
"I rented my chicken to a photographer for fifty bucks."
Gotta Have Wendy's
"I was driving for uber. Picked up a bunch of drunks at like 2 AM. They were like 'Yo we gotta grab some Wendy' I go 'I'm sorry this is my busy period' they go 'Can we bribe you?' I go 'Absolutely you can bribe me.'"
"One the guys said I'll give you $100...I was shocked it was that high, another guy said '$150' and finally his wife said 'F'k it I want Wendy $200 and we buy you Wendy too.'"
"I finally said yes, FYI I hadn't said yes yet because the reality is $20-$40 would have gotten me to stop at Wendy."
"So there I sat at Wendy as those 3 drunks bought me wendy and paid me $200."
"One time I was at this super fancy dinner party. I'm talking servers and everything, I was in a freaking tux! It was outside and catered by a professional bbq company. I mean these guys had won international competitions. Well get this, they were double booked and didn't show. The other servers didn't know how to grill, and this totally smokin server in her 30s is just staring at the grill like a deer in the headlights. Well I don't want to be a hero but I ask if I can help. The entire staff spend the rest of the night bringing me drinks as I make this bbq and NOBODY realizes the award winning chefs didn't show up!"
Where Do We Apply?
"Ok this wasn't a job or anything.... But I got 10$ to eat half a watermelon."
Some opportunities present themselves.
When I was a kid, I hung out at a Japanese summer festival booth where you roll a bowling ball on a track that had two hills. The objective was to push the ball hard enough to get it over the first hill but not too hard to get it over the second hill.
I was fascinated with the challenge and stayed there for a long time as my parents were over by the food booths with their friends.
It was a slow day, and the dude working the booth wanted to peace out for a bit, so he offered to pay me $50 to "hang out" in his stead.
Of course, I said "sure."
No one ever came, and I earned fifty bucks rolling bowling balls for an hour. Was it the dumbest thing I ever did for money? Maybe, but I laughed all the way to the piggy bank that day.
That guy really must have despised his post enough to give a twelve-year-old kid $50.
Everyone talks about how the 20s are supposed to be the time of our lives. And that's largely true. But it's not all wine and roses.
Among all the freedom and youthful exuberance, so many people spend that decade struggling through the chaos of having absolutely no idea what their passion is.
And when we've internalized the desire to find an occupation that aligns with our values, sounds cool to talk about, and provides us with existential fulfillment, it can be difficult to identify the perfect fit.
So we hum along rather aimlessly.
Thankfully, some people do find their vocation and hunker down. But for others, it takes a little longer.
Perhaps struggling to locate that ideal passion, Redditor wibly_wobly_kid asked:
"People who discovered their passion at a later stage of life, what is it and how did you figure it out?"
Many people talked about making a career switch when they least expected. For the longest time, they new they didn't enjoy their work, but they didn't know what to do instead.
Hiding In Plain Sight
"I went to college twice in my early 20s for journalism and communications, but never graduated. I spent the rest of my 20s in a dead end food service job, miserable and angry at myself. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life"
"My extended family has lots of little ones (cousins having cousins) and every time there was a family get together, I always found myself playing with and entertaining the kids. One day, my uncle pointed out how good I was with kids, and did I ever consider working with them? I laughed it off but later thought 'hey, I have nothing better going on. What's the harm in researching a bit?' "
"I found out I could become an early childhood educator, working in daycares or kindergarten classes. So I applied to a couple of colleges and got in right away (applied on a Monday and got accepted the Friday). I quit my dead-end job and focused entirely on school. I made the dean's list all 4 semesters (something I have never done), and aced all my classes."
"I had a placement at a daycare/before and after school card place, and they hired me right after I finished my placement. So now I'm working there and happier than I ever was in my 20s"
Never Too Late
"Law. I was 45 when I went back to school. I'd worked blue collar jobs all my life, was a high school dropout. My daughter started taking paralegal classes and I thought, 'I could do that.' "
"So I got my GED and signed up for a 2-year paralegal certificate program through the local community college. Fell in love with law. Also discovered I was good at it. I had several professors who were lawyers tell me I'd be wasted as a paralegal and should go to law school."
"So I transferred to a 4-year school. Worked full time through undergrad and graduated with honors. Got into law school. I graduated law school at 55, oldest in my class. But I'd gone from being a high school dropout to a lawyer in just 10 years."
"Passed the California bar first try and I've been a public defender ever since, which is the only thing I ever wanted to do with it. I'm 60 now but I'm healthy and energetic and have a lot of years left. I love what I do, I'm very good at it, and it's the best move I ever made."
Every Week an Achievement
"Was 39 when I took a temp job in a social services type industry. Just basic stuff."
"Realised after a couple of years that I'd circled back to my idealistic 17yo self's plan for my career. Spent the previous 20 working sh** jobs I hated."
"Turns out it's really important to do something that aligns with your values. Finish the week feeling like I've contributed to society, rather than working to screw people for money."
Others discussed the passions they've discovered outside of their working life. These won't bring home any income, but their importance to life satisfaction cannot be understated.
"My dad discovered his life's biggest passion at 67. Mountain climbing. Serious mountaineering."
"He climbed Kilimanjaro and Whitney just months apart."
Plenty More Shredding In Store
"I started Rollerskating (on ramps) just before I turned 40 , it's never too late to start, you just need more safety gear :)"
"I've been doing it for years now I'm in my mid 40s and still rollin. It makes me a bit sad I didn't start when I was younger, but I reckon i've got another ten years left in me."
Moving the Needle On Women's Pockets
"Sewing/tailoring clothes. On a whim I took a class at a local community center and got hooked. After learning some basics in the class and following some YouTube videos I can make a passable pair of pants/trousers and basic shirts. I'm lucky that my local library had sewing machines you could check out so I didn't need to commit any real money early on."
"The best thing to come out of learning this new skill was making a pair of pants with actual pockets for my wife. Guys, you have not seen joy until you see your wife get a pair of functional custom pants with human-sized pockets. I thought her head was going to explode she was so happy."
Keep an Ear Out for Jingles
"I always wanted to learn an instrument that wasn't academic related."
"Over COVID lockdown I picked up the guitar."
"I picked it up pretty quick. So I learned the drums."
"Now I'm finishing building a music studio. I wanna write commercial jingles and just throw a bunch of sh** online for fun"
Unexpected, But Sounds Awesome
"I'm 31, but one year ago I discovered camels. Now I own three. I love them 🥰" -- ZhenHen
"I assume you are not talking about cigarettes, so how does one acquire not only one but three camels? Where do you live? How much did they cost? I'm very intrigued." -- dufresne90
"When you're into camels, every day is Hump Day." -- HolIerer
And a few put a finer point on the nature of that work vs. hobbies dynamic. They assured that one's professional career doesn't necessarily have to provide all the fulfillment they're looking for.
Sometimes, we just need to punch the clock.
Earning Free Time
"PSA: you don't have to be passionate about your job. Your passion can be a hobby you do in your free time. I don't think I will ever find a vocational passion."
"Used to think I was broken because of that but really there is no requirement to be head over heels about what puts money on the table and food in the pocket!"
Career's Moving, Still Painting
"Late 40s here. Got a book called Learn to Draw in 30 Days about 4 years ago. Then about 3 years ago I heard about #the100daychallenge where the goal is to create art every day for 100 days. I never stopped and made it a goal to hit 1000 days."
"In that time, I won contests, got about two hundred commissions, raised over $5000 for a charity, and had a great time. When I hit the 1000 days back in December, I decided to go back to college and get an art degree. I signed up for classes and talked with my manager at work to see how much they would pay for college, she was excited that I was going to get a business degree and said she'd work on getting all of the classes covered."
"Free college became too tempting to pass up so now I'm planning on getting the business degree and then on to law school because they'll pay for that too. I just finished my first semester with a 4.0 and I'm on day 1136 of my non-stop painting journey."
So if you're still looking around for your passion and feeling discouraged, rest assured that it might come your way when you least expect it.
And life is long, my friends.
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Don't disturb my beauty sleep! That's the one rule I have––and thankfully I live alone, so there isn't anyone to bother me, which is fabulous. But that doesn't mean I'm immune to getting woken up in the middle of the night. The worst way I can think of off the top of my head? The time a drunk guy wandered into my friend's yard and started banging on the window while I was trying to sleep. It was 3 a.m. The incident also gave me the fright of my life!
People told us about the experiences that yanked them out of dreamland after Redditor GratefulD_86 asked the online community,
"What is the worst way you've been woken up?"
"By raw sewage pouring through my ceiling (in my bedroom) from my upstairs neighbor.
He partied and ripped the toilet out of the floor, then continued using it. Took maintenance almost 16 hours to show up and turn off the flow."
"I literally didn't even know..."
"Cops beating on my door to search my house for someone I was hiding. I literally didn't even know the person."
Terrifying. This could have ended very badly.
"Cops busted down my door..."
"Cops busted down my door to take me to jail for having meth except. They had the wrong house."
"Neighbor decided to hang shelves in her bathroom after midnight and drilled into our shared wall. Scared the crap out of me."
The walls do indeed have ears.
"The phone woke me up..."
"The phone woke me up a little after midnight. I was informed that my mother had died. It was not totally unexpected. Her health had been declining.
I still dread hearing the phone ring late at night."
"A cockroach entering my mouth on my first day of camp."
"Police department knocking..."
"Police department knocking on my door at 2 a.m. saying the meth lab across the street might blow up so we needed to get out ASAP."
Is this a deleted episode of Breaking Bad?
"My cats were chasing each other..."
"My cats were chasing each other and one ran across my face while I was sleeping. The scratches were pretty bad all across one side of my face. It was the day before my senior prom too, so I ended up having a scratched-up face for that. I still have a scar right by my eye."
Cats are always at their most unpredictable very late at night!
"My Dad would keep a bag of marbles in the freezer. If you didn't wake up the first time, he dumped them into your bed."
"The neighbor in the building across from us..."
"Glass shattering. Lived in a 6 story apartment building. The neighbor in the building across from us was having some kind of psychotic break and was throwing everything he could get his hands on off his balcony. He was aiming for the windows of other apartments. We were far enough away to not get hit but watching that go down was not super fun."
We don't envy anyone of these people. Hopefully their lives have been filled with plenty of glorious, uninterrupted sleep since.
Have some of your own stories? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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I love food! Maybe a little too much. It's been an especially amorous relationship over this pandemic. And I know I'm not alone.
All of our palettes are tuned to our own personal tastes. And sometimes certain items and combinations of tastes can leave others less than enticed.
I've lost track of all the side-eye I've gotten when I declare how much I enjoy PINEAPPLE on pizza. I said it. I meant it. Fight me. Let's discuss who else has eclectic tastes.
Redditor u/CatVideoFest wanted to discuss the mixing of certain ingredients that don't leave the best taste in one's mouth by asking:
Food is for survival. That was the plan. But over the years it has become somewhat of a way of life. Some of the most annoying people are foodies. They get so uppity about the preferences of others. Like, let me just enjoy what I enjoy.
Mom No!Mom Smile GIFGiphy
"I don't like my mom's cooking."
"Livestock have refused to eat my mother's cooking. She's a terror in the kitchen."
Take them OUT!!
"I hate walnuts in baked goods. It tastes like wood shavings and completely ruins the flavor."
"I love walnuts but I feel this way about raisins in baked goods, raisins are fine by themselves but not in sweets, I once ordered cinnamon rolls at Hardee's and bit into it and found out there were raisins in it, and I was grossed out and didn't want to eat it. At least freakin' McDonald's serves real cinnamon rolls without freakn' raisins!"
The Fart Ingredient
"I don't like kidney beans except in chili."
Oh thew Crunch...
"Pickles and onion make the best sandwich. I make most of my own pickles from stuff I grow or get from local farms in the fall, but I responded to another comment with two different heinous concoctions I enjoy. Crunchy, salty, sour. I really like pickles and onions to begin with."
"I use more than pickled cucumber though. Like the last one I made, I used garlic naan, mayo, red onion, scallions, pickled garlic, green olives, Kalamata olives, garlic dill cucumber, and green beans. Shallot, sour pickled onion, sweet pickled cucumbers, and sushi ginger on sprouted 14 grain bread is also also a favorite of mine."
No Sizzlebacon GIFGiphy
"I do not like bacon."
Who doesn't like bacon? That seems like a sacrilege. Right? But to each their own. Though I will never understand not loving walnuts in comfort food. Y'all need more self love.
Love the Big M
"Fast food tastes amazing, yeah its unhealthy as hell but don't you sit there and lie and say it tastes bad."
Blasphemy!golden girls flirting GIF by HULUGiphy
"Cheesecake is disgusting."
Too Many Legs
"Lobsters and crabs are giant insects."
"I don't really think that's that controversial, in my area of the world we even call this creature a 'Moreton Bay Bug' even though some fisheries try to give it the more appealing name of 'flathead lobster'."
"Boneless wings are vastly superior to bone-in wings. I think bone-in wings are a ripoff because when you get half a pound of them, part of that half-pound is inedible. It's like if you ordered a quarter-pound cheeseburger, but the restaurant considers the weight of the plate to be part of that quarter-pound and you end up with just a slider. Just give me some damn meat."
The Slimeman oyster GIFGiphy
"Oysters are truly disgusting and absurdly overpriced for quarter sized pieces of snot that tastes like salt water and hot sauce."
Ok, I'm trying to stay calm. I don't want to judge. But some of these opinions... are leaving me shook. Except the oysters. That is that work of the devil. Look away...
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