Retail Workers Share Desperate Scams Customers Tried To Pull On Them
"Don't try to pull a fast one on me."
It takes a lot of guts to try and pull one over on retail people. First, you're assuming to speak to a complete dunces on the other side of the phone and/or service counter. Second, if the first isn't true, you're still presuming to know the ins and outs of that employee's job better than they do. Enough to get away with a crime, that is. Most of these instances lead to ridicule and shame for the customer in question.
Perfect for us, dear reader.
Reddit user, u/RSTLNE3MCAAV, wanted to know about the lamest cons a customer tried when they asked:
Retail workers of Reddit, what is the most desperate scam a customer has tried to pull on you?
"No, I Promise I Paid For These..."
A favorite moment from my old retail days. Customer walks into store and grabs two HP ink cartridges off the ink wall. Walks to the register with an old receipt and says "I want to return these".
Yeah... he was that stupid. I saw him walk in, and the cartridges were still in the security cases.
I called my manager and said "The Brinks guy is pulling up" (our code for "got a criminal customer"). He came running up to his office and dialed the cops real quick, then he walked up to the register. A few minutes pass while he is pretending to do a fake return, and the cops come walking in.
We point at the guy, and out come the handcuffs. F-cking moron.
"I Swear I Bought This ENTIRE Roll..."
Years ago I worked at a small hardware store where they were constantly getting huge rolls of copper wire stolen. One day this guy and his girlfriend come in to return a roll. I was a few months in on the returns counter. They had no receipt and when I scanned the item for the return it was only doing the price per foot. I couldn't figure out how to get the sku or the price for the whole roll.
Called the manager and he comes out and right away knows there's no way these people bought a roll and returned it. So he asks when they bought it and they say two weeks ago ( the common response ) and my manager tells them "oh really because the last time we sold an entire roll was over 3 months ago" the guy starts to get brave and tells him "so you're saying I stole it?!" And my manager says yes.
They end up leaving and left the roll behind. Before they leave the store the guy says "I'm coming back and bringing the cops" manager says "go ahead that way you can explain to them how you stole the roll"
"Sir, This Is Is A Legit Paper Credit Card..."
I used to work a game store a little more than 10 years ago. Once had a woman come in dressed fairly trendy and ask for 2 PlayStation Portables (PSP), 2 Xbox 360s, and a handful of games and accessories. My store was pretty slow so this would be a pretty big sale for the day and I was excited about it.
She goes to pay and hands me a credit card which was not laminated and appeared to be printed out on a home color printer. I told her it wouldn't work and she said just scan it anyway. So I scanned her fake credit card which clearly did not have a magnetic strip and it didn't work (of course). She told me to just "put the numbers in" on the computer. I refused and she asked why, seemingly legitimately confused. I told her I just couldn't.
She told me she would be back with cash. I put everything back on the shelves. She did not return.
"No, Really, It Came Out Of The Box Like This..."
Sold a guy a phone years ago when I worked for a wireless carrier. Spent an hour getting all his information transferred and set up his new phone. He comes in the next day with a shattered screen. Apparently he didn't remember that I was the rep who helped him and proceeded to tell me that is how it looked when he left the store. Needless to say the phone was not replaced.
"Wait, Chickens Aren't Supposed To Look Like This...?"
A woman came in, grabbed an herb-roasted rotisserie chicken, moseyed over to the casual seating, ate 85% of it with her bare hands, then brought the carcass to customer service and tried to return it.
"Trust Me, I Know The Owner Better Than Their Own Daughter..."
We don't deliver the pizzas we make, it's carryout only. Had a customer call and have a long/angry conversation with me because I wouldn't deliver to her.
She proceeds to say (a couple times) "you must be new here. I know the owner personally", to which I responded "well I'm the owners daughter and we don't deliver".
"I Promise, It's Just A Prank On My Son..."
...someone calling wanting to know if we had spare empty boxes for Xbox consoles, because he 'wanted to prank his kid and give him an empty box'.
I know very well he wanted to try to stuff the box with who knows what, and attempt a return.
Of course, the folks at customer service check such boxes for actual product, and match serials to those on the box.
"Good Madame, These Are All For My Son..."
A guy comes in to fill his sons aderall script. Guy is super twitchy and son is chill as could be. For all controls we are supposed to run a report that shows every where in the state they have filled any. Of course the report is a mess, multiple pharmacys, multiple scripts, multiple doctors, all the red flags. To top it off an aderall script within that week had been filled so we really couldnt fill this one.
Dad comes back we tell him that we cant fill it and dad starts going on about how his wife must have filled it but they need some for today blah blah blah. We decline and his last words to us are 'my son needs them for a birthday he has to go to today cant you help?'
No dude we cant help. You're clearly taking your sons pills, get help and stop using your son to get high on prescription drugs.
Honestly, This One Feels Like The Store's Fault
Had a customer return a vacuum cleaner once, my supervisor did the return thankfully. The box went back on the floor unchecked.
The next customer who wanted to buy it checked it out before they went to the register.
The whole f-cking thing had been replaced with a catering size tin of beetroot.
"I Swear, I Left It In The Twin Towers..."
September 12, 2001. USA.
A guy in Spartanburg South Carolina calls and says that his weed trimmer was in the twin towers in NYC the day before and got destroyed by terrorists.
And demanded I replace it under warranty.
Medical No No
Someone tried to alter their Adderall script so they would get a year's supply. (Doctors cannot write more than a three month supply by law). We took the script and called the doctor to report the fraud. The patient got a black mark in his medical record in the Pharmacy and the Dr. Office. Now every script that is sent over comes with a disclaimer stating this person has tried to alter scripts.
That's a Job
Idiot comes in with a coupon for a free iPod. Fine print says "Guaranteed and payable by Bill Gates". I asked why would Bill Gates guarantee and Apple product. Idiot left.
That's almost as good as the guy with the giant photocopy of his ID, with the real ID number replaced with a badly hand written number. He was trying to open a new cell phone account, and get a fistful of lines with free phones. I stopped at telling him I can't accept copies of IDs, and said "If I have to tell you what else is wrong here, I'll have to call the police."
Should Have Stayed In Bed
The store was open until midnight the two last nights of the financial year calendar. Apparently the store thought someone might come in at 11:59 the last chance they had to deck out their entire office with new laptops and chairs and shit. After about 9pm the store was pretty much a complete ghost town. By 10pm-11pm the store was the cleanest it ever was since it was built.
On this one night the phone rang at about 11:30pm. The guy wanted to know if we were still open because he wanted to buy something specific. It turned out we had it in stock and he told me - several times - that he was going to get out of his pyjamas, get dressed and come down to the store. I was, like, "Sure. The item will be at the front counter whenever you're here to collect it."
So he turns up and tells me again that he had to get out of his pyjamas, get dressed and come down to the store to pick up this item. It was about 11:45pm by this point and so I just told him how much it was going to cost and then he asked for a discount. I said "Why?" he said "For being your last customer of the evening!"
I told him no, there's no reason for giving out that kind of a discount and besides, we weren't closed yet. There might be other customers, you know. He might not have been the last one that night and besides, it costs what it costs. He told me again that he had to get out of his pyjamas, get dressed and come to the store to buy this item.
He paid full price for all his troubles
Kmart returns counter, had a guy try to return a CD (with receipt). The shrink wrap had been sliced and the CD taken out. He claimed it was like that when he bought it. I told him I couldn't return it for cash but could swap it for the same thing. He went to get a new CD and brought some other artist. Told him it had to be the exact same thing. I had the electronics employee bring up the right CD. As I checked that they were the same and told him I would give him a new one, a smile grew on his face... which quickly melted away when I took out a knife and cut open the plastic on the CD. No, you can't return that one later.
Another scammer that I actually caught was this guy who was paralysed on the left half of his body. He walked slowly around the store, dropping stuff and drooling. (Never did find out if he was actually paralysed or just part of the scam) One day I caught him bagging Oxy-Clean in his cart. Notified LP and she watched him. He went through self checkout and told me he bought the Oxy-Clean in electronics. LP called electronics, no such sale was made. I think she let him go that time but the next time he came in, he got a police escort.
This one was an insider job. This guy who worked in electronics also did layaway. One of the service desk girls would put a giant bag of dog food in layaway. Then the electronics guy would empty the bag and fill it with expensive electronics. Turns out they had been getting away with this for years then the LP staff changed and the new lady knew how to police the place.
Reddit user sweet_chick283 asked: 'What do you secretly love that you would never admit to in public?;
What makes us all unique is our passions and the things we love, whether it's singing in the shower, reading books, or listening to specific music artists.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where we are judged for our various tastes and interests thanks to social media, and it makes us consciously selective about sharing the things we love on the internet.
Curious to hear about people's personal desires under anonymity, Redditor sweet_chick283 asked:
"What do you secretly love that you would never admit to in public?"
These aren't really chores for the following Redditors.
Good Clean Fun
"Mopping, im a janitor and generally hate my work... but damn mopping is so good."
"When you have a great rhythm going it is something special. I get the same feeling while I vacuum, but won’t let my wife know I enjoy it."
Act Of Unwrinkling
"Ironing clothes. A dozen of them. Can’t explain how it relaxes me. I told one person and they looked at me like I’m crazy."
"My mum misses the days when dad would be out on a Friday night, my brother out with friends and me upstairs quietly playing PS1. She would pour herself a Bacardi & Coke and do the ironing while watching her TV shows."
"I'm sure she doesn't really miss it now that we've moved out and they've retired but it was her wind-down after a busy working week so I can see how people can find it relaxing."
Our solo actions can spark joy.
Big Brother Is Watching
"pretending to be on the Truman show and whenever im in my house i act all inconspicuous so they dont know that i know that they’re watching me."
"C’mon man, you’re not supposed to let him know. You signed a contract when signing up for live views. I’m reporting you."
"Playing video games naked at home while eating cheese."
Releasing The Kraken
"I love the feeling when you've eaten good fibre and let out a solid long train log in the toilet. That feeling is heavenly."
"Even better when it’s a clean wipe and not a poo crayon."
"My (male 41) weekend routine is coming home from work, make hot chocolate, start a fire, dress in a ugly pink nightgown made for old ladies and watch forensic files."
Some people are obsessed with collecting things.
"Sanrio stationery stores. All those different multicolor pens, a thousand kinds of erasers, spiral bound notebooks galore... my kids sadly have absolutely no appreciation for this wonderland..."
It's A Staple
"Office supplies have a weird, special place in my heart ever since I was a kid. They don't even have to be 'cute' necessarily."
"Japan's legendary stationery stores is unironically a reason I want to go."
Not Caring Anymore
"The older I get the shorter that list gets. Not because I love less things, but because I don't care about hiding it."
"YES!! I'm 53 now. I'm working my first job in public since 2006. Today is Halloween and we're allowed to dress up so I am sitting here waiting to go to work dressed as a VERY bad Wednesday Addams. My bf said I'd 'look stupid' because no one else will probably dress up and I'm like, 'WHO CARES!' My makeup looks horrible and not like I practiced, but I DO NOT CARE! I'm having fun with it anyhow and I don't care if my coworkers dress up or not. I'm bein' ME! :)"
Honorable mentions start here.
"Picking up worms from the street and sidewalks when it rains and moving them into the dirt so they don’t burn in the sun, every time it rains I do this."
Hero Of The Moment
"Yoooo I scoot SO many snails and worms. I work as a tech/mechanic at an automotive shop, I had a peoject car towed to my house the other day and it was covered in snails. I saw them when the tow guy/coworker was unloading and I was like, 'oh! It comes with free snails!' and began moving them. He laughed then realized and said, '... Oh, you're serious. Uh... Okay.'"
"I don't care who knows it. These little things barely can look out for themselves, why shouldn't we if we can take a moment to help? I don't care what happens next, it probably doesn't matter overall but I can help this moment."
Why should some of the hidden desires mentioned above have to be secret?
Redditors opening up about some of these would make them a hit at parties–no shaming.
As a matter of fact, I'll totally be down for a Forensic Files viewing party where we all make hot chocolate, light the fireplace, and cozy up together in our respective pink ugly nightgowns for old ladies.
We've probably all heard some variation of the saying "Truth is stranger than fiction."
Real life isn't just strange, it can also be downright ridiculous.
History is riddled with moments of absurdity.
So ridiculous that people have a hard time believing real life is, well, really real.
A Redditor asked:
"What’s an event in history that is so ridiculous it sounds fake?"
"Hannibal saved his army by tying torches to the horns of 5,000 cows and driving them in one direction."
"The Romans thought they were the enemy army and converged on them, while Hannibal quietly snuck his 10,000 man force out of the valley by another route."
War Without Casualties
"That time Denmark and Canada (I think) had a 'war' over Hans island."
"Every time a Navy vessel drove by they picked up the flag of the over nation, planted their own and left a bottle of alcohol."
"I heard it stopped not that long ago."
"It also means that both Canada and Denmark now share a land border with more than one country."
"Also (jokingly) means that Canada could potentially join the EU, as it now borders an EU nation."
"The Erfurt Latrine Disaster occurred on 26 July 1184, when Henry VI, King of Germany (later Holy Roman Emperor), held a Hoftag (informal assembly) in the Petersberg Citadel in Erfurt."
"On the morning of 26 July, the combined weight of the assembled nobles caused the wooden second story floor of the building to collapse and most of them fell through into the latrine cesspit below the ground floor, where about 60 of them drowned in liquid excrement."
Running On Empty
"The 1904 Olympic Marathon in St. Louis."
"32 athletes took part, but only 14 were able to finish—there was only one water station in the entire 26-mile course. The 'winner' was later disqualified because they found out he drove half the race in his car."
"The new winner (the guy who came in second) had to be carried over the finish line by his trainers because they’d been dosing him the whole time with a strange mixture of strychnine, brandy, and egg whites."
"Several people almost died of internal injuries. Multiple runners stole things from passersby."
"Most people in the race weren’t even Olympic-level athletes, just amateur runners, many of whom didn’t even have to run a full marathon to qualify."
"When two perfectly working pistols failed to fire on US President Andrew Jackson who then beat his would-be-assassin so badly that the presidential security detail had to pull him off to save the man's life."
The Log Shot First
"The guy who founded Scientology once engaged in a multi-day naval battle with a log. He would then go on to commit an act of war against Mexico."
"In June 1942, Hubbard was given command of a patrol boat at the Boston Navy Yard, but he was relieved after the yard commandant wrote that Hubbard was 'not temperamentally fitted for independent command'."
"In 1943, Hubbard was given command of a submarine chaser, but only five hours into the shakedown cruise, Hubbard believed he had detected an enemy submarine. Hubbard and crew spent the next 68 hours engaged in combat."
"An investigation concluded that Hubbard had likely mistaken a 'known magnetic deposit' for an enemy sub. The following month, Hubbard unwittingly fired upon Mexican territory and was relieved of command."
"In 1944, Hubbard served aboard the USS Algol before being transferred. The night before his departure, Hubbard reported the discovery of an attempted sabotage."
"I believe he had his men fire into hills in Baja California. He must not have realized that you can’t just use another country for target practice."
"The Field of the Cloth of Gold, where King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France tried to out-bling each other."
"The fact that two monkeys covered in gold leaf were far from the most ostentatious display is a good indication of how tasteful it was."
"I assumed you meant two statues of monkeys in gold leaf."
"But no, actual real-life monkeys. Somebody painted actual real-life monkeys gold."
Sorry We Can't Shoot You
"When America went to war with Spain, the Spanish forgot to tell their territory, Guam.
"The US sent a single warship to the island where they took 13 shots at the fort."
"The leaders on the island rowed out to apologize they couldn't return their 'salute' because they had no gunpowder."
"That is why Guam is a US territory."
"The Great Windham Frog War."
"In 1754 Windham, Connecticut was still a frontier settlement. One hot night the residents awoke to gruesome sounds that convinced them that the local Natives were attacking."
"Throughout the night they strove to drive off the attackers with steady gunfire. In the morning they crept out, to find thousands of dead frogs who had spent the night competing for the dwindling water."
"Rather than being ashamed, this has become a central part of the town’s character. The town’s symbol is a frog and the bridge is decorated with large frogs at each corner."
"Basically, the British dressed a random dead guy in a military uniform, put fake invasion plans in his pocket, and dropped him on the shore of Spain."
"The Spanish found the body (and invasion plans) and informed Germany."
"Germany, believing the invasion plans were real, sent an army to Greece—which is exactly what the Brits wanted, because they were actually going to invade Sicily."
They Got Worms
"For a very long time the Roman empire was able to acquire silk through trade over 'the silk road' to China, but never able to unlock the secrets of producing it domestically themselves."
"Until 552AD, when two monks preaching in India then travelled to China, where they witnessed the guarded methods of using the live silk worm to spin the famous thread."
"Knowing the importance of what they'd learned, the monks returned to Constantinople to report directly to the emperor Justinian."
"He personally met the monks, heard all the details of what they'd seen, then asked them to return to China and find a way of smuggling these worms back to the empire."
"They agreed, and prepared for the 2 year ~6,500km (4,000mi) trek back to China on foot, hoof and wheel."
"Once back in China they acquired either eggs or young larvae, since the adults are too delicate for transport, and tucked them into hollowed bamboo canes for the long journey straight back home."
"Once the monks made it back to Constantinople (modern Istanbul, Turkey), domestic silk production slowly ramped up and the need for long journeys along the 'silk road' ramped down."
"Over time, this allowed the same type of silk monopoly which China had enjoyed through the prior centuries to now be established in the Mediterranean, becoming one of the bedrocks of the Byzantine economy for the next 700 years.It's crazy to think about these two guys."
"1500 years before you or I were born, making their second multi-year, 6,500km trek back from China, smuggling two bamboo canes full of bugs which would fuel the economy of one of the world's largest civilizations for the next 700 years."
"I wonder if they knew and understood these possibilities when they went to scoop the worms from their baskets in China...Imagine the anxiety trying to keep them hidden and alive the whole way back!"
"The Gombe Chimpanzee War."
"It sounds like something right out of a Planet of The Apes movie."
"The Gombe Chimpanzee War, also known as the Four-Year War, was a violent conflict between two communities of chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park in the Kigoma region of Tanzania between 1974 and 1978."
"The two groups were once unified in the Kasakela community. By 1974, researcher Jane Goodall noticed the community splintering."
"Over a span of eight months, a large party of chimpanzees separated themselves into the southern area of Kasakela and were renamed the Kahama community. The separatists consisted of six adult males, three adult females and their young."
"The Kasakela was left with eight adult males, twelve adult females and their young."
"During the four-year conflict, all males of the Kahama community were killed, effectively disbanding the community. The victorious Kasakela then expanded into further territory but were later repelled by two other communities of chimpanzees."
Hong Xiuquan Christ?
"The Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864)."
"Hong Xiuquan, who failed the imperial exam on the third try to become a civil servant, had a breakdown and dreamed that he was the brother of Jesus Christ."
"He later led a revolution resulting in between 20 to 30 million deaths. That's the bloodiest civil war in the world and the toll of death surpasses the totality of casualties in WWI."
"British diplomats at the time wanted to support the revolution but later discovered that Hong Xiuquan literally never read the Bible and they thus deemed it would be disastrous if he were to get the throne."
"This historical event feels like a fever dream everytime I hear about it."
"John 'Mad Jack' Churchill was a British officer in World War Two. He’s famous because he brought along a Scottish claymore, bagpipes, and a bow and got the 'only confirmed longbow kill of the Second World War'."
"One time he was with part of his commando unit and a shell exploded and injured everyone but him, so he played a Scottish Jacobite song on his bagpipes until the Germans captured him and sent him to a prison camp."
"He promptly escaped via a tunnel he dug and almost got to the ocean before he got recaptured."
"By then, it was April 1945, and the German military was falling apart, so they let him go pretty quickly."
"He’s famous for the quote 'any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly dressed'."
What absurdly, ridiculous event would you add?
Companies and products rebrand for a variety of reasons.
Sometimes they want to revitalize a dying brand.
Or stay fresh and modern.
Other times they're trying to put a negative public image in their rear view mirror.
And sometimes, someone somewhere in a company has low impulse control.
Reddit user PulakHasan asked:
"What's the Weirdest Rebranding of all time?"
"Weight Watchers abbreviated their name down to 'WW' and in doing so, increased the syllables needed to pronounce their new company name."
"You burn more calories uttering the extra syllables."
"Waitr was an extremely successful delivery service here. They had full time employees and you could get food delivered in 30-45 minutes."
"Then, they made everybody an independent contractor and started calling themselves ASAP."
"'As slow as possible' caught on and they lost the majority market share within a month."
"I still don’t understand HBO dropping probably the most prestigious name in cable tv/streaming."
"Right?! Also it literally means Home Box Office - that’s the best name for a streaming service????"
Nordic Choice Hotels
"Nordic Choice Hotels rebranded to 'Strawberry'."
"They have to mention their old name all the time, because Strawberry could be absolutely anything."
"If only it were 'Strawberry Hotels' but it's not. It's just Strawberry."
"They removed the part that explains what kind of business it is."
"USWest-->Qwest-->CenturyLink-->Lumen I don’t care what your name is."
"Can I have more than 10mbps DSL at my address?"
"In Europe, and it's now Level3--> Centurylink--> Lumen--> Colt."
"I'm sure they rename in the hope people forget the incompetence."
"My mom has worked for them since 1977 when they were Northwestern Bell."
"She's been through a billion name changes."
Circuit City IQ Crew
"Circuit City rebranding their PC technician division from IQ Crew (which predated Geek Squad, by the way) to..."
"I worked at a Circuit City from 2005-2008 and we all thought it was a prank when we saw the announcement."
"'The intensity of fire with the loyalty of man's best friend'."
"I sh*t you not—that was the marketing."
"When after a major oil spill, BP changed their branding to Beyond Petroleum for an ad campaign showing how they were investing in renewables."
"Logo change too."
"An oil spilled followed by a huge effort to cover it up, including dumping Corexit into the water to mix with the oil and make it sink."
"So it was no longer visible from aerial shots, but it did far, far more damage mixed with a dangerous chemical and sitting on the sea floor than slowly evaporating or being soaked up on the surface."
"When BP purchased Amoco, they quickly rebranded all the stations to BP."
"Not sure if it is everywhere but Amoco had a lot of brand recognition in the Midwest and a lot of people just didn’t like BP."
"Eventually, they started rebranding some of their stations back to Amoco to cash in on nostalgia."
"I always thought it was dumb but never realized that so many people hated it until after I worked for BP (very briefly) and was told the story of how much pushback they got."
British Petroleum (BP Oil)/Paul Sableman
"Overstock.com I think qualifies for weird rebrand."
"Bed Bath and Beyond went out of business and was bought out by Overstock and then Overstock just rebranded everything to Bed Bath and Beyond."
"If you go to overstock.com it’s just BBB."
"When Snoop Dogg (temporarily) changed his name to Snoop Lion to make a reggae album."
"Snoop’s original name on Death Row was 'Snoop Doggy Dogg'. When he left Death Row and went to No Limit, he had to alter his name (which might have been his original name) to 'Snoop Dogg'."
"Snoop’s mother used to call him Snoopy as a nickname which is the origin."
"The Charles Schulz people would have had a field day."
"Books-A-Million to 'BAM'."
"I was in a parking lot with one and had no idea it was a bookstore, as I was a bit too far out to see more than 'BAM' from where I was parked."
"Everytime I see the new KIA logo I assume its a NIN [Nine Inch Nails] fan."
"I thought it was KN for an embarrassingly long time."
"KIA changed their logo on their cars and Google showed an uptick in the searches for 'K N cars' because people liked the look of them but didn’t realise it was a KIA."
Mark Chan on Unsplash
"Royal Mail deciding Consignia was the way to go forwards."
"They wanted to go international but they lost so much money that year they had to stay national and reversed the name back."
"Twitter to X."
"And then everyone still refers to it as Twitter."
"'A user on X, formerly known as Twitter, posted…'.”
"Rather like to see 'A user on Twitter, erroneously known as X, posted...'."
"'A user on twitter, largely unknown as X, posted...'."
"A few days ago, I saw an article that said 'Twitter, which Elon Musk incorrectly thinks is called X for some reason...'."
"That was pretty funny."
"In Chicago we still call it the Sears Tower [renamed Willis Tower in 2009]."
"And in Pittsburgh, it’s still Heinz Field [renamed Acrisure Stadium in 2022]."
"And in Toronto, it’s still the Skydome [renamed Rogers Centre in 2005]."
"And in New York when you take 287 across the Hudson it's still the Tappan Zee Bridge [renamed Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in 2017]. "
"A lot of LA people still call it Staples Center [renamed Crypto.com Arena in 2021]."
"In Denver we will always say Mile High Stadium [renamed Empower Field at Mile High in 2019]."
Some rebrandings make perfect sense to the public.
Others are utterly baffling.
What would you add to this list?
I freely admit I'm of a certain age where my primary education occurred before the age of the internet—when our questions were answered with conversations with experts, encyclopedias or knowing how to use card catalogs.
My knowledge of the Dewey Decimal System is largely useless today.
Research is drastically different now—sorry Melvil Dewey. Internet search engines quickly became the difference between occasionally finding an outdated version of the information we were looking for and rarely not finding current information on the most obscure of topics.
Unless your Google game is super weak, you're likely to find what you're looking for or something close to it unlike the good old days when our chances were hit or mis—with lots of misses.
So what do we use this amazing, life-changing tool for?
Reddit user b-secret asked:
"What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever Googled?"
"what's the alcohol percentage in 70% rubbing alcohol?"
"55% alcohol, 15% rubbing"
"I Googled my work because I couldn’t remember my boss’ name after working there for 8 months."
"I just blanked and couldn’t think of it."
"I Google how to spell restaurant all the time."
"I'm like that but with Febuary."
"I go into incognito mode to check spellings of words I should know how to spell."
"I was trying to find the name of those signs where a word is written down the side and each letter is used for a descriptive word."
"Confusing I know."
"So here’s an example: False Evidence Appearing Real"
"I know it has to have a name. So I googled 'Sign where every word starts with a letter' and Goggle responded with 'Did you mean a sentence?'.”
"Googled green beans once, was super high and forgot what they looked like."
"I did the same thing with beets."
Gaby Yerden on Unsplash
That Movie, With the Guy and the Stuff...
"I'll forget the name of a movie and just type in random sh*t I think I remember. Usually it works."
"Like 'that movie where the kid sleeps and has weird dreams and flies on a bed'."
"Works like a charm."
Did They Have Blue Feet?
"I was only 10."
"I was surprised to find some."
"I’m 39 and I Google this every day."
"They're nice birds but are they really worth Googling everyday?"
"I used to search something like 'no clothes' or 'without clothes' or something like that when I was a kid."
"Then I learnt the word NAKED because of the TV show Naked and Afraid."
"Then searched it so many times that my autocorrect started to show that word first when I wanted to type something."
"I like to Google Bing or Duckduckgo when I need to use them."
"My favorite band growing up was 'The Barenaked Ladies'."
"When I was at school, I once Googled them and clicked on a link that said 'free shows!'."
"I forgot what a 'gondola' was called so I typed in 'Thing that carries you through the mountains in a basket'."
"I once forgot the word for 'door' so my brain reached for adjacent concepts, smashed them together and threw them out my mouth: 'house portal'."
It Just Doesn't Translate
"I have to search a random word 'auf Englisch' or a random word 'auf Deutsch'."
"Every damn day."
"It took me a minute to realize that there was no way to translate Schadenfreude into English."
"I found out that as long as you're logged into Google, all your searches are saved to your Google account (I'm not talking about browser history)."
"So I looked back, and the 1st thing I ever googled after getting a Google account was 'Can ducks fly'."
"I've no idea why I googled this. I know ducks can fly."
You Ate What‽‽
"Once I was with some friends and I was telling them about how when I was a kid we only got to eat nuts as a special treat around Christmas."
"Then I mentioned how much I liked squirrel nuts and no one knew what they were. So I Googled 'squirrel nuts' with image search."
"Not at all what we ate at Christmas time."
"Finally found out what my family called 'squirrel nuts' were actually called hazelnuts."
"A few years ago my coworker and I were looking at the calendar at work. It had pictures of birds and we were trying to figure out what kind of bird was pictured for that month."
"I can’t remember what she thought it was, but I darned sure it was a Great Tit."
"We have a great relationship and have been working together for a long time but we tend to argue like an old married couple. So we went to Mr Google for the answer."
"Let me tell you that Googling Great Tit at work isn’t something I will ever do again."
"For the record, I was right. The bird was a Great Tit."
Great Tit holds an insect in its beak
A Perry on Unsplash
Hope some of these folks remembered to clear their browser and search histories.
So, what's your hilarious—or embarrassing—little Google secret search?