Psychologists Describe The Most Interesting Mental Disorders They've Ever Encountered
*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.
The study of mental health is an ongoing one, as we've all become more sensitive and aware of what's going on in our minds.
Talk to someone if you need help, absolutely, but there is still the side of psychology professionals are trying to understand.
Sometimes the clients they handled were so interesting they walked away unable to forget them.
"[Serious] Psychologists of Reddit, what’s the most interesting mental disorder you’ve encountered?"
Imagine not being in control of your body, the movements and processes you take for granted every day, and unable to trust what you see in front of you.
Pretty Hair, Pretty Hair
"A psychologist here. Not someone I worked with, but I did observe someone with Alien hand syndrome. The patients left hand would stroke her hair and pat her face but was not under her control. Each episode would last for about 20 mins. Turned out the cause was a tumour. Amazingly it didn’t seem to cause her any distress."
Speaking A Language We've Never Known
"Foreign Accent Syndrome is rare but is absolutely fascinating."
"Ah yes, my parents have a friend, Native American, never left Canada, got into a bad fight one night and got her head rocked pretty badly and was knocked out, when she regained consciousness she had an English accent and to this day she still has it."
Are The People There Really Even There?
"Mental health counsellor here, the interesting one is schizophrenia with visual hallucinations. Most people with schizophrenia have auditory hallucinations. I did not realize how much more unsettling the visual one is. The client I had with this disorder used to see me and other people he knew. He called me up once yelling at me for coming into his apartment early in the morning. Even if I told him otherwise, the experience of seeing me is very real to him. I can't imagine seeing people in my own home, especially at night. That would freak me the f-ck out."
"Lawyer here, did about 10 yrars criminal law. I've had many clients with schizophrenia. Auditory hallucinations must be disconcerting and terrifying, visual would also be awful but the oddest one I've come across was olfactory delusions."
"Client who had a psychotic break and had a range of hallucinations telling her to hire a car and drive across the country asap. She was arrested doing 180 km/hour through a country town (speed limit 60 km/hour) on a major highway. When I came down to see her, she was obviously unwell - but she also kept sniffing my hand any time I asked her a question."
"Later, when she was well again, she explained it to me - she remembered everything even though she had no history of mental illness prior to this time. Everyone "bad" (ie all the police officers) smelled like rotting corpses to her at that time, but "I knew I could trust you, because you smelled like sunshine and flowers." This stopped along with her other hallucinations when she came out of psychosis. I never knew before then that delusional smells were also possible."
Yet, as we go further down the list, we see the symptoms and diagnoses start to become a little more severe, affecting more than just our bodies but our minds.
Too Much Positivity Is A Negativity
"I once worked with a guy whose voices were positive, like a cheer squad. So instead of “you’re useless, no one likes you”, his voices said “you look amazing today, people think you’re charming and funny”."
"It wasn’t great though. He has enough insight to understand that they were as much a hallucination as if they were giving negative messages. And he felt this crushing, overwhelming pressure that he couldn’t live up to the incredibly high standards of his voices. It was quite crippling for him, really. As much as, if not more so, than if the voices were negative or even benign."
All. About. ME.
"Early on in my career I worked at a Planned Community that functioned as a Partial Hospitalization Program."
"One of the residents would bring magazines and newspapers he'd found to the main office door everyday. Sometimes he'd be upset, sometimes overjoyed, depending on the stories. Because all of them were about him."
"I've never worked with someone with such delusions before or sense. One day he was Michael Jordan offering to buy us cars, the next he was Osama Bin Laden trying to hide with us. He'd read his obituary, his wife cheated on him in a political scandal, he'd surveyed the Congo."
"We restricted and sorted his mail after the Bin Laden incident, but he'd find other residents' or in the community."
Half n' Half
"Hemineglect is a pretty interesting one. The affected person just doesn't realize that they have two halves to their body and only take care of one. Shave one side of their face, brush their hair on that side, wash themselves on that side, and the other side basically becomes dirty mountain man."
The mind is fragile. Never take it for granted.
Not Who They Say They Are
"Medical doctor here (neurologist)... Capgras delusion."
"The patient is convinced that a family member has been replaced by an imposter who is completely identical."
"For example, the patient will tell you the person sitting across from them looks exactly like their spouse, sounds exactly like their spouse, has all the memories of their spouse. But... "that's not actually my spouse"."
"And the patient oftentimes isn't overly distressed by this imposter."
"In 20 years I've only seen the condition twice."
"Ah, I was also going to write about the capgras delusion case I had a few years ago. In this instance it was a mother who was under the false belief that her son was a "clone." We had some success with atypical antipsychotics and I helped her focus her energy on being a good mother to the kid whether it was hers or not, because she could agree that the child was innocent and needed a loving home. Family support was also crucial."
An Inexplicable Link
"Phantom pregnancies are pretty fascinating. A woman can be so convinced that she is pregnant that her periods stop, she gets all the classic symptoms, and her belly might even grow. Nobody is totally sure how this happens."
"Also Share Psychosis is pretty crazy. There was a case a few years ago where twin sisters visited each other. One was mentally ill, the other not. And the ill one went into a psychotic state and then the healthy twin suddenly, for no reason, went into the same psychotic state. They threw themselves into traffic multiple times getting hit by trucks. After being separated at the hospital, the healthy twin snapped out of her psychosis and was fine. The other one stayed in her psychosis and ended up killing someone with a hammer and neither of them remembered anything that happened."
Always Looking For Something Wrong
"Medical doctor here, not a psychiatrist or psychologist but I did encounter a pretty interesting patient case on my psychiatry rotation when I was in medical school:"
"There was a patient at an inpatient psychiatric facility for suicidal ideation. During her admission, she constantly insisted that she had a mass on her breasts and demanded to be physically examined only by male doctors. When the psychiatrist I was rotating under declined to perform a physical exam, she asked me to do it during my daily patient interview. I also declined physical exam, but had a bit of a hunch to check her medical records."
"It turned out she had an ultrasound done a week before that found only normal breast tissue without masses. However, apparently this this lady had frequented many doctor's offices with various complaints of an unspecific nature and would usually focus on breasts or vaginal complaints when she visited male physician's offices."
"The psychiatrist I was working with diagnosed her with factitious disorder (formerly known as Munchausen syndrome) and also felt she had a personality disorder; he felt it was histrionic personality disorder but also felt it was possibly borderline personality disorder (definitely cluster B though). It seems her goal was mostly attention from medical professionals (she had lots of issues), but we also had to be careful to make sure she wasn't fishing for a lawsuit. Patients like her are why doctors document everything meticulously."
"So the patient wouldn't admit to making things up all the time. According to the psychiatrist I was working with, she didn't actually believe any of her "health problems" exist and her primary goal was the attention from medical professionals. If she actually believed she was sick, we would have diagnosed her with illness anxiety disorder, commonly known as hypochondria."
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
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Reddit user Shafiq09 asked: 'what is the most unsettling unsolved mystery that you're aware of?
There are some great mysteries in this world that will most likely never be solved in our lifetime.
What happens after we die? Who really built Stonehenge? Are there other lifeforms in outer space?
The fact that these not only will, but as of now, CAN never be solved is what fascinates us most.
There are other unsolved mysteries, however, which we view with far more sadness than we do fascination.
Owing to the fact that these mysteries could have, or even still can, be solved but for whatever reason, remain unsolved.
Redditor Shafiq09 was curious to hear the most disturbing and unsettling unsolved mysteries that may never be solved, leading them to ask:
"What is the most unsettling unsolved mystery that you're aware of?"
"This guy broke into a house, killed the single mom, mom's friend, the son, the family dog, and kidnapped the teenage daughter."
"Dismembered the bodies and hid them."
"The girl didn't need to testify in his trial (he pled guilty), but read a letter during his sentencing saying that she knows he had help disposing of the bodies of her family because while she was still tied up in their house, she heard him making phone calls and heard at least one other person show up."
"She heard this person(s) talking, walking around and helping him with the bodies."
"Local pd & prosectutor just wanted a quick & easy trial and conviction, so they swept a lot of details under the rug & the girl's claim in court that this guy had help was very quickly forgotten."- ZormkidFrobozz
9 Mysterious Years...
"The disappearance (and short-lived reappearance) of Johnny Gosch."
"He disappeared one day while delivering newspapers."
"Police did very little to try to solve the crime."
"Nine years later his mother reports that Johnny showed up on her doorstep and explains that he had been held in slavery for the last 9 years."
"Authorities basically say she's making it up and have done no investigating."- in-a-microbus
"Someone keep sh*tting in the holes at the local golf course."
"Been going on for the last twenty years bastard has never been caught."- Odd_Associate8272
Never Came Home
"Old neighbours of ours had their 18-year-old daughter disappear."
"She left work one evening and never made it home."
"No body was ever found either."
"I heard the police have a suspect but not enough evidence to do anything more."- AmigaBob
Long Day At The Beach
"The Beamont children, three young siblings that disappeared in 1966 from Glenelg Beach."- homlessoverland
In The Middle Of The Night...
"Another one is of the Springfield three."
"A woman, her daughter and daughter's friend went missing from their home in the middle of the night with no signs of struggle or major evidence left behind."
"It's been so long since it happened so the chances of this case ever being solved is meager."- epilogueteen
So many Questions...
"One night my husband and I woke up hearing a woman screaming, 'Help me!' "
"He rushed to the window (we’re on the second floor) and saw a car drive past with a woman in a dress hanging on the hood."
"The car sped through the intersection by our place and careened off with her screaming on it."
"We called the police and told them which way it was going and then jumped on our bicycles and rode around the neighborhood to see if she’d fallen off."
"Never found her."
"Never found any news of her."
"I’ve always wondered what happened to her."
"That was over a decade ago."- 2manybirds23
Mysteries of Biology...
"At what point did the brain realize its own consciousness?"
"I find it fascinating."- KinOuttaHer
Paying For Religious Freedom...
"How Scientology still has tax-free status in the USA."- sqoo-5900
And, For That Matter, What Made Them Start?
"Why did the Zodiac Killer and Jack the Ripper stop killing?"
"They were never caught. They could have kept at it."
"So what made them stop?"- AggressiveOkra
"I can't remember exactly what star it was, but there was a star deep in space that astrophysicists saw as relatively unremarkable."
"Just another star they were monitoring."
"Anyway, one day, all was normal, it was in the correct position."
"The next day, they were monitoring all the stars, and this one star had just disappeared."
"No one could figure out why. It could have been that it went supernova, but if it had, they would have seen the residue and the massive explosion, plus all the gaseous residue."
"So it can't have gone bang."
"They also hypothesized that maybe a civilisation had constructed a Dyson sphere (a large construction made to harvest all of a stars potential energy), but if so, it would have been more than likely that we would have seen the star slowly disappear, the light fading as the civilization constructed the Dyson sphere."
"Now, of course, according to the Kardashev scale, there could well be a civilization so advanced that they could have just constructed the entire sphere in a matter of seconds, but we'll never know."
"On that subject, that same civilization could have just absorbed the star instantly to use its power."
"They thought that maybe, other extrasolar objects were just blocking its view somehow, so they continued to monitor its location."
"It never came back."
"Somewhere, out there, a star just miraculously disappeared without a trace."
"And we will never know how or why."
"That's what's so disturbing to me."
"We have such amazing technology to monitor objects millions of light years away, yet we cannot figure out why a star just disappeared without a trace."
"And we may never know."- TheoCross3
No Justice For Their Families
"I have three I'm very invested in."
"One, who murdered Joseph Zarelli (aka the Philadelphia boy formerly known as the 'Boy in the Box')."
"Two, what happened to missing Oklahoma teenagers Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible and who murdered the rest of the Freeman family."
"And three, who murdered the Short family of Henry County, Virginia."- arcana07
The truth behind these mysteries is out there somewhere.
Whether anyone will find it, however, is also a mystery that may never be solved.
Rules are stupid. Okay, maybe not always—plenty of rules exist for a good reason. However, everybody knows that there is nothing worse than a dumb rule, especially when it's at school or work. From the cringe-worthy to the downright creepy, here are the most idiotic rules people on Reddit have experienced.
We Jammina white and black printer sitting on top of a counterPhoto by engin akyurt on Unsplash
We are not allowed to refer to the Xerox Machine as "Bob Marley" anymore even though it still jams way more than it Xeroxes. This is because apparently, the CEO had a tween daughter come one day and she got very upset when she thought the staff was keeping her from seeing Bob Marley in real life. She did not know that Bob Marley is not alive. This stressed out the CEO and he yelled at us about the nickname, no now, the Xerox machine is just "the Xerox machine."
Trees Have Feelings Too
At my elementary school, we had a very strict no snowball policy. This doesn't mean “no throwing snowballs at people”; this means picking up snow and forming a ball is not allowed. So anyway, in Grade 6, my friends and I were throwing snowballs at a tree for fun one day. We got caught in the act and had to write a letter apologizing and explaining why it was wrong and whose feelings we hurt. I wrote the tree.
The Importance Of Shorts
I went to a catholic school from first to eighth grade and I think the worst was when we got a male principal and he made a rule that we were no longer allowed to wear shorts under our skirts. At the time I was only upset about it because it made no sense to me since no one could even see the shorts but once I got older, I realized just how sick it was.
Take A Seat
I was on vacation with my girlfriend at the time, and her dad had a no peeing standing up rule. Literally, I was not allowed to pee standing up in his house. He said this to me at the beginning of the vacation, and I thought he meant to make sure the toilet seat was down after I used it since he only had daughters and wanted to protect them or something. But no—it was so much weirder than I thought.
So, one time when I was peeing standing up, as any man would, my girlfriend's mom says from outside the door that she can hear someone peeing while standing up. Still taking this as a joke, I admitted that it was me. I then got a 30-minute lecture on how I should obey his rules and not pee standing up. Still one of my biggest WTF moments in a relationship.
Don’t Stop To Smell The Flowers
My very first job at 15 was at a florist. I was paid under the table, and as a result, didn't really have any rights as a worker. The hours were normal full-time hours, 8 per day, but I wasn't allowed to take any breaks. I could only use the restroom once during my entire shift. I wasn't allowed to speak to anyone besides the owner, and I couldn't look at the flowers.
Breaking one of these rules would result in $15 taken off my "paycheck" (per incident) at the end of the week. I was making $5/hour at the time, so the penalties were huge. Sometimes I'd get paid for the week and would only get around $50. When I asked why, she'd say she caught me looking at the flowers for too long while I was sweeping or cleaning.
The Tardy Tableman and woman sitting on chairsPhoto by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash
At my high school, when someone was late, they would just have the teacher mark "tardy" on their computer. Most students were never more than a minute late. They just couldn't get to class fast enough and would walk in 30 seconds late or so. Our principal had the brilliant idea of instead having a "Tardy Table" all the way across the school where students would go, line up, and register as being tardy.
If you were late to class, the teacher would send you to the tardy table instead of just marking you late themselves. Instead of having a teacher mark the one or two people who showed up tardy to their class, you had late students from ALL classes lining up to register as tardy with only one person to process them at the tardy table.
The result was students ending up 15-30 minutes late to class because they were waiting in line to register as tardy. The parents were not pleased, but the principal insisted that it would reduce the number of students who were late overall. I'm not sure if they kept it or not. The tardy table was started just a few months before I quit school.
The Company That Aims For Less Efficiency
I was temping for a company in a data entry role. They had some standardized input on their website for inquiries and it got parsed into an excel spreadsheet for some reason. I wrote a macro that sucked all of the data out, which meant you could zip through about ninety forms a minute. What a relief it was.
The people the company employed FULL TIME to deal with these forms complained to the IT manager (one of them was married to the IT manager), and I was lectured about how my efficiency would cost people their jobs and had my internet access restricted for six weeks. A little bit too backward for my taste.
The Dangers Of Circles
In my elementary school in Canada, we were not allowed to form circles. During recess and such as you get older, you kind of get into that whole "oh look at me I’m getting older and cooler and I just stand around and talk with people instead of messing around in the snow" type of thing, and apparently, us forming circles was a safety hazard because supervising teachers couldn’t see anything going on in the middle of the circle
I mean, god forbid, what if we were making a circle inside of THAT circle?
That’s Just Plain Dangerous
I am an EMS helicopter pilot. I fly with Night Vision Goggles. Problem: The FAA rules for using NVG's state that the aircraft must also be equipped with a working radar altimeter. So, if I am flying over the Sierra Nevada mountains on a pitch-black night and the radar altimeter fails…I have to remove the night vision goggles.
Attack Of The Colors
In my sophomore year of high school, our old principal got a promotion to the district office. He was replaced by someone who had literally just moved to the area and knew next to nothing of the well-established culture of our small town. After a few weeks, he noticed a "problem" around the campus. This is where the fun starts.
He saw many people wearing purple and gold in copious amounts, often in ridiculous ways every Friday, and he was sure it had to be related to gang involvement. Rather than ask anyone about it, he called an "emergency assembly" in which he lectured us all about the seriousness of this issue.
He informed us that, from that point on, if anyone were to wear either of these colors at school, they would be put in detention for the remainder of the day, and their parent or guardian would have to come to pick them up. People laughed and rebelled, wearing more purple and gold on more days, and the detention room was overflowing almost every day.
Two months later, he found out that purple and gold were our school colors. People were dressing up like that on Fridays to show support and pride for whatever sports team had a game that day, as was the tradition of our town for the past 60 years or so. To show how stupid he felt, he called another emergency assembly to apologize, to which he wore a purple and gold clown suit and a dunce cap.
In The Name Of Securitythree people sitting in front of table laughing togetherPhoto by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash
At my former company, much of my work depended on being able to send and receive email; yet no one except management level was allowed to have their own email address, or even access the outside internet through the company LAN. I was inside an office and had to surreptitiously filch a phone line and get on my own personal dialup account to do my job. Protests to management, of course, proved fruitless; it was all in the name of "security."
When I was about 10, my stepfather's mother would babysit us for several days or sometimes even weeks at a time because my mother wasn't in the picture and my step-father had many business trips. Alright, that’s life. It wouldn’t have been so bad...if she wasn’t completely crazy. She had a rule that if we weren't eating a meal or sleeping, we weren't allowed to be in the house.
This was normally fine, but we were living in Virginia at the time. There was a bad snow storm one winter, and we were out of school for three weeks. This rule still applied then, even with several feet of snow on the ground. Luckily, my best friend's mother was really awesome and would let us come down to her house every day. She fed us lunch and let us watch movies.
Pushing Their Employees To Breakdown
I worked for an inbound call center dealing with the mental health benefits of a certain health insurance company. They had these things called alerts on various accounts, which would give us important instructions like "this group has NO inpatient benefits!" or "this employer does not want us using the word 'eligibility' under ANY circumstances!"
You didn't have to work there very long to familiarize yourself with the alerts for most of the regular accounts that called in. The crazy rule was that you still had to READ the alerts FOR EVERY CALL. Not just click the link and immediately click away–they actually monitored your screen and counted how long you stayed on that page, whether you scrolled down, etc. and expected you to actually re-read every single alert for every single account on every single call.
When upwards of 10 calls every day are coming from the same account, this gets to be EXTREMELY ANNOYING AND STUPID. Of course, this place had a THIRTY-SEVEN step call flow process (as in, 37 things that you had to do for every call), so every call was full of superfluous bureaucratic stuff like this, but the alerts thing was the worst.
I ended up having to go on short-term disability from stress because of all the stuff they made us go through, and eventually I quit after a few months of passive-aggressively refusing to do the parts of the call process that I found pointless/redundant/stupid, and simply taking the hits on my audit scores.
Chinese No Take-Out
Once I worked at a Chinese restaurant where if you forgot to put rice on each customer's table–white or brown rice that was free–the owner expected you to buy the entire table's meal. He implemented this rule by taking the money out of your paycheck. It happened to me once in the six months I was there.
The one time that it actually happened to me, they told me to pay the $50 tab for the table. Yeah, that’s not going to happen. That’s a crazy amount of money when you consider the job I was working. I told them if they enforce that rule, I'd walk out in the middle of service. They didn't enforce the rule. I continued my shift.
In my high school, students would link arms and sway side to side to show school support when the school song was played. One year, we got a new principal who immediately banned swaying due to its suggestive nature. “Any student caught swaying will be suspended.” And we WERE! This was 1972. He was fired in 1973.
Fast Forward to 2002, and my oldest child had this "weird substitute" teacher in one of her high school classes. She thought he was peculiar, commenting about how strange his rules were and that he had a bad attitude. When she said his name, all I could do was laugh. I couldn’t believe it. It was my old principal!
NO TOAST!brown and black bread on white ceramic platePhoto by مشعل زاهد on Unsplash
Working for a 600+ employee marcomms group in the UK: They did free breakfasts for all employees but absolutely no toast was allowed (including toasters) because the CEO hated the smell of toast and thought it made people look unprofessional. This has since been relaxed, I believe, but it was that way for years.
Watch Your Step
In our student handbook at my high school, I found this gem: “Any step measuring longer than 2 feet is to be considered running indoors and to be punished appropriately.” As a 6-foot-tall person with knee problems, basically every step I take is more like 3 feet. The school gave me an in-school suspension for 2 days. Logically, I then organized a 'long step' protest and got about 70 people to take large, exaggerated steps down the main hallway.
It Was A State-Sponsored Cult
I was in Katimavik, which is a Canadian program that is basically a government-sanctioned cult, where youth 17-22 get to travel to three places in Canada doing volunteer work. They cover your transportation, housing, and activities, and you get an "allowance" of $3 a day. It sounds great if you want to travel and have no savings.
However! They have some bizarre rules, which make it sort of like a hippie commune where everyone is supposed to love everyone else equally. You are not allowed to have close friends, OR love partners. At all. So here we were, a bunch of 17-22-year olds, stuck in rural Manitoba in -45 degree winter, no TV or recreation at the house, except lots of snow. And cows. What do you think happened?
Out of 11 people, 8 of them hooked up. We had to meet each other in secret because we would get disciplined if it was found out. On our "weekend off" a bunch of us decided to get hotel rooms, and GASP!, couples shared rooms. Our group leader disciplined us, and gave us "strikes." I already had two strikes for insignificant things, so I was told to leave the program.
I was also disciplined because I spent too much time hanging out with a female friend, instead of like, six people at once singing in a circle like they wanted us to do. It was a pretty bizarre social experiment, kind of like Big Brother. Except nobody wins.
All you city folk might think that this is idiotic, but I think it's pretty sweet. At my redneck high school out in the sticks, there were three categories on the attendance sheet. Present, absent, and hunting. For a month in the fall, students would not get in trouble for being absent if they were out hunting!
Cornering The Cashiers
I worked at a grocery store in Missouri where we got a new front-end manager who was an absolute tyrant. We had to stand in front of our registers with our hands crossed and were not allowed to speak to any of the other cashiers (whether there were customers or not) and if we spoke to the baggers we were written up.
After about 5 write-ups (I treated the baggers like they were actually humans) I contacted the union and she was torn apart.
Desks Need Loving Toobooks and pencil on wooden tablePhoto by ROBIN WORRALL on Unsplash
As a public school teacher, we have what is referred to as "desk warming" where we have to come into school during vacation time to literally sit at our desks. The students are gone, nothing is going on. Our contracts only give a limited amount of vacation time so when our vacation time is up, we must be back in school...students or not.
There Is Time For Juice
My dad had some insane rules but my favorite one is regarding juice. He goes crazy on me whenever I drink fresh fruit juice after midday because according to him “fresh juice is for breakfast.” I’ve never really gotten that one, but now that I've moved out, I can enjoy orange juice whenever I want. Oh yeahhhh!
Taking Clapping Seriously
I went to a private Baptist school during my freshman year of high school. Whenever we had an assembly and it was time to clap our hands for someone who had just spoken or performed, we would have to all clap our hands in unison. It would be led by the insane pastor's wife. She felt normal clapping was too chaotic. It was the weirdest thing I've ever witnessed.
Not Appreciating Pidgin
I worked in an international organization for a few years and spoke to people from pretty much every European country, generally in English. Afterward, I was in the UK and got hired by a company there to help them expand their European business. When I started to call people in other European countries from the new job my new bosses started to look oddly at me, then afterward took me aside and told me I had to stop talking to people in a patronizing way.
I was pretty confused but I worked out after a bit that, like most people that have worked in multinational situations, I spoke "International English" when with non-natives. That is to say, speaking a little more clearly, with more obvious gaps between words, a tiny bit slower, and with a slightly smaller vocabulary.
By slowing things down and speaking this way, it makes it much easier for people to understand than if speaking rapid English as I would down the pub. Having been told off for it, I tried to explain, but my bosses were adamant it was a bad thing to do. Apparently, they believed that people were being made to feel dumb.
I accidentally slipped into it several times and got told off each time until I trained myself back out of it, after which many clients asked me to speak more slowly because they couldn't understand me anymore.
Look At Our Shiny Signatures
I used to work as a developer for a web content firm. Our marketing manager was obsessed with two things–awards and email signatures. She managed to combine the two into a hideous mess. We had won a few big awards at a national level. We had also won lots of magazine "Best Of" type awards for garnering lots of positive reviews from blogs and personal websites.
Every time we got a new award or positive review, we had to add that to our email signatures, along with the award or blog logo. 25 images later I told the marketing manager it was getting out of hand and that big email signatures were the internet equivalent of pooping into the mouth of your friends firstborn whilst suffering from dysentery and nasty gut parasites.
She didn't care. Her response was, "We have to blow our own trumpet and let people know how great we are." To enforce the email signature rule, we had to send her two emails each day proving that our signature was correct and to her satisfaction.
Redefining Lunch Timetwo children sitting beside dining tablePhoto by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Our school messed up the periods so the students who were assigned fourth-period lunch had to eat at 9.40 am. Apparently, the school is not allowed to serve lunch before 10. So, the genius administration decided to ban eating during the period until it hit 10. This included the students who packed their own lunch.
It was extra stupid because they allowed eating during study halls, so if I had a third-period study hall and wanted to have part of my lunch, it was no problem. However, as soon as I moved to the lunchroom the very next period…NO EATING. Talk about dumb!
Fear The Ghost
I work for a very superstitious man. He has quite a crazy set of rules. They go like this: No red pens, no shaking your legs, and no whistling after the sun goes down. These rules are not “official” but he gets stern and incredibly serious about these things. Oh yeah, and he also doesn't allow any joking about ghosts or the supernatural.
Not Believing In The Power Of Women
Women aren't allowed to lift anything at my job. Literally, anything. I was going to dump a trash can full of shredded paper in the dumpster last week and my boss caught me, made me put the trash can down, and go find someone to dump it for me. I was lifting the thing with one hand. It was all so ridiculous and patronizing.
As my job requires a lot of lifting and I hate asking for help constantly, I have mastered the art of picking up 50-plus pound boxes and running with them so no one catches me.
Please Be Warned
I work construction. We're not allowed to tell the new guys how many newbies tragically lost their lives in their first week. I hate it. Young guys don't naturally think about safety, many of them think that they'll live forever. Yeah, gravity doesn't care what you think, please stay away from the ledges, and open elevator shafts.
How Many Nurses Does It Take To Screw In A Lightbulb?
I'm entrusted with the care of mentally handicapped clients, including being trained in first aid, CPR, and the Heimlich Maneuver. Yet, apparently changing a light bulb or adjusting the thermostat in the group home where I work is too big of a responsibility for me to be allowed to do. Instead, I have to call someone else in for the simple task.
The Consequences Of A Napwoman in blue dress shirt and blue denim jeans standing beside brown wooden chairPhoto by Daria Pimkina on Unsplash
We weren't allowed to sit at my old job. That is ridiculous enough, but even more when you understand that our job didn't require us to walk, or stand for any particular reason. We weren't allowed to sit because a worker in the past once pushed two chairs together and took a nap. Luckily for him it was a glorious nap.
Winter Wonder Classroom
We couldn’t wear winter clothing in class—whether it was coats, gloves, hats. All the same. The thing was, even with the heat on, it got cold inside the school during the winter because we lived in a farm town in Wisconsin. So, we just had to freeze. They said it was because winter clothing was gang clothing. Again, this was a farm town in Wisconsin.
Dr. Pepper Takes On A New Meaning
No one was allowed to have nor say the word "Dr. Pepper" because it was the password to a shared Brazzers account that the administration found out about.
My Crazy Dad
If I was in the house, I had to be in the same room as my dad. This continued until high school. I couldn't be downstairs when he was upstairs. If he was downstairs, I had to be downstairs. If he was in the back room, I couldn't be in the front room for too long. I couldn't even nap for years (unless I was sick).
When I got a dog, I started going outside more (she was my best friend). We went everywhere together and I taught her lots of tricks and talked to her regularly. So, he also made a rule that I couldn't teach her any "tricks" if she wasn't going to listen to him when he "ordered her to do them." I also wasn't allowed to greet the dog before greeting him when I came back from school.
Still Using Floppy Discs
In the English class of my Junior year of high school, we had a paper that we needed to make look nice and spiffy, with pictures and such. Floppy disks were the only "school-approved" type of storage. My paper with the pictures didn't fit on the floppy disk. I didn't even have a floppy drive in my desktop at home at the time, so a USB flash drive or email were my only options.
Accessing your personal email from school is a bad idea, so I picked up a 128mb flash drive for about $50, and started using that. The school wasn't happy at all about me installing software on the heavily restricted computers, so I was suspended for three days—at least I scored well on the stupid paper.
Then I got mentioned during an assembly a few weeks later about how people are constantly trying to install software on the school computers to benefit them. The next year, USB flash drives were necessary, and the school made that very clear.
Word Traumaa stack of three towels sitting on top of a tablePhoto by Rinku Shemar on Unsplash
I used to work at a Frisch’s, and the manager there was a total witch. She would nitpick every little thing, but one thing in specific comes to mind. She would not allow anyone to call a hand towel a rag. She policed the usage of the term religiously and if you called a towel a rag, you better be ready to get chewed out.
Taking Video Games Seriously
We were told we could not place stuffed dolls (video game characters mostly) on top of our cubicles because it looks "unprofessional" and "people might be able to see them through the windows from outside." You would imagine that I work in a professional, corporate office. Nope. I work at a video game company.
In 2nd grade circa 1990, I had a teacher that looked like Tammy Faye Baker ask the class to raise their hands if they watched The Simpsons. I raised my hand because my parents were "with it" and I noticed about half did the same. What happened next still blows my mind to this day. She gave the declaration that those with your hands down receive extra credit and will for each week they don't watch that show.
She then went further, extending the extra credit to us watchers if we stopped watching. I told my mother and we didn't abide by it, but I'm sure a few kids did. No idea how she could prove this though to award the credit. But it was pretty much the most prime example in my life of anyone having a cow, man.
Painting The Unpaintable
For a brief point in my life, I was an apprentice in the union of operating engineers in Chicago. I had a temp job in an office building where I was supposed to repaint the equipment in the boiler room. Pipes and such, and even the concrete walls thereof. The building management wanted this and even had butt-ugly colors picked out.
The building engineers thought this was ridiculous, especially when I was told to paint even though there weren't any painting supplies or paint! To make it even worse, the corner of the ceiling had water leaking in, and apparently this happened long enough to erode the concrete and make it look like coral reef. How do you paint that when the water keeps flowing over it?
Walk This Way
I went to a junior high school with all the lockers in a big circular hallway that branched out to the rest of the school. There was a rule that you could only walk around the hallway counterclockwise. This was supposed to promote order and prevent bumping and jostling, or something like that. Good idea, right?
My locker was about 5 feet to the left of the hallway that led to my homeroom (clockwise direction). Nominally, I had to walk a full circuit of the center of the school each time I went to my locker, which I could have spat on from the first pass. I got busted for walking clockwise several times by the VP–the final straw was when I walked to my locker, backward, while holding eye contact with him.
I received a punishment and I had a meeting with the principal and my parents. The principal had a fun time explaining to my parents the rule that I had broken and even harder time convincing them of the need for further punishment. They asked me if I wanted to go to another school. Easy decision.
Not A Strong Enough Punishmenta person with a colorful dressPhoto by Iwaria Inc. on Unsplash
At my high school, a female assistant principal was literally pulling girls aside before they entered a dance in order to check what kind of underwear they were wearing. Apparently, she didn't want students wearing thongs. I don't know if it was an official rule or not, but I have to assume it wasn't. It made national news and the principal only got demoted to a teaching position.
Creeping The Facebook
I went to a private Christian school and they just recently introduced a new rule after I graduated. Now, everyone in 7th grade to 12th grade is required to "friend" at least two staff members on Facebook so they can basically keep tabs on you and whether or not you're bad-mouthing the school or any teachers.
If You’re Late, Don’t Come At All
In one of my college courses we are only allowed to be late three times without our grade being docked but allowed to miss class 6 times without our grade being docked. I'm notorious for being late, so I surpassed my 3 tardies quickly when my professor pulled me aside and told me that if I'm late again my grade will be docked—but I hadn't missed any classes yet.
So now, whenever I'm running late, I go and get a coffee instead, hang out, skip class, because overall that's better for my grade.
One In The Bush
I was in 2nd grade and when it came time for recess, we were all let out onto the playground field area. Well, being a dumb little kid, I didn’t realize that while on an hour-plus recess period I would have to pee. The school didn’t allow students back into the building at ALL while recess was going on. All the doors were locked and there wasn't a supervising teacher around.
Being the enterprising kid I went to the far edge of the field, found a bush, and urinated on it. Well some little witch told the teachers that I had peed on the playground (Technically true because the whole frigging field was the playground.) I was immediately marched to the principal’s office and she convened the school leadership to begin expulsion proceedings immediately.
That would have been the end of it except one little detail that they required my parents to be notified. My mom stormed into the room 10 minutes later and proceeded to yell at them about how stupid it was to not provide bathroom access to a child and then punish the child for finding a solution to the problem that wouldn't hurt anybody.
She took me home that day and we stopped for ice cream So I was happy. Shortly after this the no bathroom rule was rescinded and the principal was fired, presumably from stupidity.
Playing It Safe Against The Rules
In high school I drove a truck, a 4-door F-250. A big truck, but it wasn't raised or anything. So, one day apparently some students were hanging out in the parking lot during break (which is verboten, apparently) and they were hiding behind my truck. Now, I always back into spaces, it makes it much safer leaving the space so I don't accidentally crush someone in a little car who cannot seem to see reverse lights.
It was one of the rules that if I drove the truck to school, I had to back in. Now, the vice principal assumed that I did this so other students could hide behind my truck during break. He brought me into the office and forbade me from backing into parking spaces at school. I explained to him why I did it, and he dismissed it, telling me "I'd have to learn how to back out of spaces someday." Actual quote. He dismissed the idea that I was actually being safer to other students and cars by backing in.
Lunch Silencewoman in gray dress resting her hands on white tablePhoto by sean Kong on Unsplash
In middle school, we were allowed to talk for the first twenty minutes of our half-hour lunch, and then required to sit in absolute silence for the last ten minutes. I'm an adult now, and able to think logistically and objectively about rules that middle schoolers may get indignant about but may also be completely necessary…and I still can't figure out why that rule was in place.
During my junior year of high school, we had an assistant principal come into my math class to lecture the students on their behavior. I'll admit that the class did have behavioral issues, but myself and a handful of others weren't being problematic students. The assistant principal decided to ask everyone in the room to sign a piece of paper with a list of new rules that this class will be enforcing.
A great many of these rules were pretty ridiculous and threatening suspension for any rule violators. A few that I can still recall were: No leaving your seat under any circumstances without permission; No turning your head or breaking eye contact with the teacher; No talking to another student at any time without permission; Absolutely no speaking out in class without permission.
The entire time the assistant principal is reading off this list, I can't help but feel like I'm being unfairly punished because of the conduct problems of others. It felt to me like I was being drilled by a staff sergeant for something that I didn't do, forced to follow a ridiculously strict set of rules. Even though I really wanted to criticize this new regimen, I continued to hold my tongue.
Finally, the AP asks if anyone in the class disagrees with the new rules or feels as if they are overly harsh. Well, what do you say? Just as I had been hoping. Naturally, my hand shoots straight into the air, and I'm called on by the assistant principal. It's my time to shine—and it was amazing. I dramatically clear my throat and proceed to say:
"Please Mrs. _____, tell me if I'm reading all of this correctly...So, in the event that I needed to borrow a pencil from another student, I would first have to raise my hand to get the teacher's attention, then ask the teacher for permission to turn my head and speak with another student, and again that student would have to raise his hand and ask for permission to turn his head, next I would have to ask that student for permission to borrow his pencil, and after I would have to raise my hand and ask for the teacher's permission to sharpen said pencil…does that sound about right to you?"
The class, which had earlier been pretty somber, bursts into laughter. I'm told to immediately report to the principal's office for my statement, and I'm later suspended for two days because of it for "undermining authority."
Too Small A Slice!
Only use one square of toilet paper. You read that right! I always spent the summer with my dad and step-mom, and one year she decided I was using too much toilet paper when I peed. Her solution was to inform me to only use one square of toilet paper, and hung post-it notes in each bathroom directly in front of the toilet so I couldn't miss it.
I don’t know about most of you ladies, but one square just doesn't cut it. I prefer to be reasonably dry down there!
I was asked to always use the word "mustn't" instead of the word "no" around a friend's child. Their reasoning? They thought it would lessen the chances of their child defiantly asserting "no!" when she got older–the age of 2 seemed to foreshadow doom in their family. I was a teenager at the time and the couple were friends of my parents.
They admonished us if we used the word "no" while they were frequently objecting "mustn't!" when the child did something they didn't like. It looked as ridiculous as it sounds but my parents didn't say anything so I just tried to keep my distance. I still think about it to this day and can’t really believe it.
I used to work at Plato's Closet (which is a used clothing store for teens) and they treated us pretty badly. I always felt like I was being treated like a child who is bound to misbehave at any moment. It was the first job I managed to get after graduating from college, which made it so much worse when our manager tried to make us do homework.
One day our manager comes in and tells us that our sales have been lower than usual lately, and tells us to write a two-page essay about why, what our part in it is, and what we can do to fix it. (Note—this is for a job where we were all making minimum wage, no benefits, etc.) I was livid.
Sometimes, a person can be mature and intelligent and still have some thoughts or theories that are truly stupid. And sometimes, that person says something truly stupid out loud.
It usually makes for a funny memory.
When I was in middle school, a group of my friends were talking about a movie that had just come out and where it was filmed. One boy said it was filmed in New York. A girl's response made all of us cringe:
"That movie wasn't filmed in New York, it was filmed in Manhattan."
When someone told her Manhattan was in New York, she didn't believe it and insisted that was not true! Four years later, she graduated third in our class. Guess she eventually figured it out.
Redditors know people who have said truly dumb things out loud as well, and are eager to share.
It all started when Redditor A_Lice_in_Wonderland asked:
"What is the dumbest thing you've ever heard someone say?"
First Time For Everything
"“Well she never got pregnant before,” after his girlfriend got pregnant and after asking my friend why didn’t he use protection."
"I've never died before so I won't ever."
"Should’ve checked to see if there was a history of pregnancy in the family."
"I was microwaving some food, I hit the 1 so it would automatically cook it for a minute. My friend asked “Why did you put it in for a minute? I usually put mine in for 60 seconds”. I had to explain to him that it’s the same thing. We were in high school."
"I have a similar one. Had to explain to someone that 0:90 on the microwave was the same as 1:30. They kept insisting 1:30 was more, and that I was crazy."
Where Does Our Food Come From?
"That there's no difference between turkey and ham because "they both come from birds."
"I guess pigs really do fly in their world."
"I had a friend in college who asked me very seriously, "so if beef comes from cows, and pork comes from pigs, what animal does chicken come from?""
And When Does It Come Back?
"“How long does it take the meat to grow back on a cow when you shave it off?”"
"Average "Hay Day"-player."
"Making hamburgers is not an outpatient procedure."
This Is The Real World
"A new hire at the cotton mill that had dropped out of school to go to work:"
""How long do we get off for spring break?""
"Oh welcome to real life you poor child."
"This involves a conversation with a guy I used to work with who was trying to lose weight so he was cutting down on pasta."
"Him : I've been doing pretty good, haven't had pasta in 2 weeks."
"Me : That's awesome, what's that you got in your hand there?"
"Him : Mac and Cheese."
"Me : I thought you said you haven't had pasta in 2 weeks?"
"Him : I haven't, this is Mac and cheese."
Not How It Works
"If you drink a coke & then a diet coke, the sugar cancels out."
With Magic, Sure
"I was solving a Rubik's cube and a guy asked me how many sides it has and if I can make them all blue."
"Friend and his girlfriend were over. Watching some TV when an ad for an Anne Frank documentary comes on."
"GF: "oh, wasn't she like Hitler's daughter or something?" The room became very quiet for awhile."
"I guess it's "or something""
"A moment of silence for a dumb friend."
"The question right above this in my feed is: “Why’s a square called a square when it has six sides and eight corners?”"
"The sub was NoStupidQuestions"
"The premise of the sub has been disproven. Time to shut it down."
""Sir, that's called a cube.""
It Never Did
"“What year did this happen?”"
"We were watching The Lord of the Rings."
Not The Lakes
"I was in seventh grade history and the teacher asked a student which ocean Christopher Columbus crossed to get to America. She said she didn’t know and the teacher replied by asking “how many oceans can you name? It’s gonna be one of them.""
"The girl thinks for a moment and says “Lake Champlain… Lake Geo-""
"The teacher cut her off by saying “if it has the word lake in it, it’s probably not an ocean.”"
The Whole Country Does
"Was on the bus headed to class in Honolulu, a Southerner got on and asked the driver"
""Do y'all take American Dollars?""
"The driver pointed at the American flag sticker on the window and with extreme exasperation said"
""You're in America.""
"When I worked at Starbucks it was frequent question from customers to explain the difference between a hot and an iced drink…"
"I work at Starbucks, holy sh*t our customers are a different breed."
"I had one lady ask why her drink had so many small bits of ice in it when she wanted it blended."
"I have had more than one person ask for hot coffees but iced and vise versa."
"I've had people ask if cold brew was/could be made hot."
"The list with Starbucks customers goes on and on..."
"Can I get hot coffee cold? No I don’t want cold coffee! I want hot coffee but cold!"
"I heard a similar story about someone who had driven across border from the U.S. to Canada."
"To paraphrase: "They checked my ID and inspected my entire car! It was like I was entering a foreign country!""
Oh My Lord...
Do you have any similar experiences? Let us know in the comment below.
How can we make money by barely breaking a sweat?
Inquiring minds want to know.
If it's not about a career but just cashing a check, let's make it easy.
Nobody wants to work hard labor for nothing.
If it's for almost nothing, then I should be able to nap while I'm there.
Actually, there's a job that pay pretty well that let's you do exactly that!
Redditor Ubarberet wanted to hear about the jobs where we can collect a check for basically not working, so they asked:
"What job pays you to do literally nothing?"
I will be getting a pen and paper and writing down all of these suggestions.
More money, less work?
Night. Night.Donald Duck Sleeping GIFGiphy
"Professional sleeper. You’re hired by mattress and blanket companies to test their latest products before they go commercial."
"3rd shift security guard. Easiest s**t ever. Just don't get caught sleeping."
"What you're saying is if you want to rob a place, make sure it's during 3rd shift."
"The pros already know this. But scout your location cuz the grave guys aren’t the ones you want catching you."
"Think of it this way; dayshift security is like the crew of a cruise ship (more customer service oriented), graveshift are your old school privateers (pirates). Some have an eye patch, a limp, a penchant for violence, and you don’t want them catching you alone on the open water."
Not a bad gig...
"Knew a guy who worked at a general electronics place. He was a typical retail dude but got promoted to be a 'repairman' in the back. He got no extra training and was just told to do what he could and if he couldn't fix it then refer them elsewhere. He didn't know sh*t about repairs. He would be on his phone most of the day and when someone brought him a broken phone he'd try to turn it on, if it didn't work he handed it back. He spent most of his time on his phone in the back. Not a bad gig.
"I was the white guy for a company in South East Asia. I had no job responsibilities. Just turn up and sit at my desk and Reddit all day. Occasionally I’d put a suit on and go to the owner’s fancy meetings in restaurants, and not say a thing. Or turn up at some building project. I mostly took Xanax and slept on my desk or snuck over to the bar next door."
BoredBored Season 5 GIF by The OfficeGiphy
"My last job. technically I got to send faxes and open the mail, but that was an hour of work tops. It was mostly watching YouTube and being bored out of my mind."
People still send faxes?
I haven't seen a fax machine since the aughts.
AbysmalGIF by Young ThugGiphy
"Firefighter at a rural, but paid, department. Most of my day is napping or binge-watching stuff on my laptop. The pay is abysmal though."
"Security guard for a nonfamous rich person's house."
"Had an unofficial gig doing house sitting for a rich friend of a relative. Was paid decent money to live on the property, and walk around the land a couple of times a day. Dead quiet at night and a pretty big space with no one else, so I can't really say it was relaxing."
"A friend of mine is a 'concierge' in an up-market, small-build apartment block in a leafy suburb. He said the most he usually has to do is take in people's mail/parcel delivery or help older residents if they need to move furniture, etc. (and he said that in itself is quite rare). He mainly sits in a cushy office and listens to music/watches movies."
5 to 30 minutes of pretending...
"Professional white man. In China, I had a side gig to be a white guy at various places. I would just pretend to be working for a company when tours and investors came through. I guess a Chinese company looks more successful if there is a white person. Then there was the sitting on the stage looking important during inevitable presentations."
"No actual work, just 5 to 30 minutes of pretending during a workday. Other than that you do what you want. Just be well-groomed and well-dressed. Sometimes I was told to be on the phone pretending to be making an important deal. Got business cards and everything."
Get that bag, Nana...
"The last time I was at Walmart, there were old people sitting in chairs by the gardening exit, presumably to check receipts or stop shoplifters. But company policy is not to try to stop shoplifters, it is dangerous. So they were all just sitting in their chairs and playing on their phones. I was like, 'Get that bag, Nana. You... deserve to play Candy Crush on the billionaire dime!'"
Spooky SpooksGonna Die Black Metal GIF by KiszkiloszkiGiphy
"Graveyard security. 90% of the job is downtime, 9% is 'Move along, sir' and 1% 'HOLY F**KING S**T!!!'"
I don't care how boring, quiet or easy it is... I am not working ANY Graveyard shifts in a damn graveyard.
No thank you.