Everyone has a unique story about their job that no one else outside of their profession understands.
That's what's so great about the proverbial conversation starter, "So, what do you do for work?", when meeting people at any gathering.
Even a job in the customer service industry–like a server or flight attendant–can have amusing anecdotes to share among coworkers because every day and every customer interaction is different.
Curious to hear fascinating workplace stories from strangers online, Redditor sparklingshanaya asked:
"What is the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever had to deal with at work?"
Not all workplace environment foster loving and caring employees.
Tony's At It Again
"A drunk guy in his early 60s who was constantly sh*t-faced at work. He’d have screaming matches with my boss in the middle of the office, he’d call me on the phone from his cubicle to ask why he was cc’d on certain emails (they were short emails sent for informational purposes to everyone and I wasn’t even the author of these emails) and my favorite thing was when he would pass out and fall out of his chair. 'Call 911, Tony collapsed again' was like a monthly thing. I really liked my boss and when she left, the new boss kept asking me to finish Tony’s work. I left shortly after."
"Worked in HR for a nonprofit that hired people who are legally blind. That was the mission. One day, two employees got into a fight. One was partially sighted and the other totally blind swinging his cane. I had four witnesses to the altercation. But they were all totally blind and thus, couldn’t tell me what happened."
"As a teenager while working as a cashier at a store, I was robbed at gunpoint by two dudes with guns pointed inches from my face. The store manager and someone from corporate showed up shortly after the police came to show support. Immediately after the police left, both the manager and corporate rep tried to convince me and my other coworkers that also had a gun in their faces to keep the store open for the remainder of the shift (~6 hours). I was literally still shaking from the ordeal, and somehow they felt that I was good to work until midnight as a teenager. I asked to go home, as did everyone else. Management decided to compensate us for the trauma by paying us for the remainder of our shifts but, said that we still had to work our next shifts and could not call out. It's amazing how insensitive some people in management can be."
The Mystery Pubes
"Call center setting. Someone came to me to complain that there was an inordinate amount of pubic hair on the flat top of the urinal in the men's room. Went to check and there were a remarkable amount of pubes there. Nasty. And clearly placed there by someone on purpose."
"Cleaned them off with a paper towel, washed hands vigorously, and continued on with my day."
"A couple hours later, I'm told the pubes have returned. Not quite as much as the first time, but still too much for the universe to have deposited there naturally."
"I and another manager have our suspicions as to the culprit. We try to catch him, but can't get more than circumstantial evidence. Not enough to confront."
"After a third iteration, I've had enough. And so call all the male staff into the board room and address them as a group that the disgusting behavior had to stop immediately, because there would be grave consequences for whomever was caught doing it. I make sure to make eye contact with the main suspect multiple times during the meeting."
"It never happens again."
"Still boggles my mind that I had to deal with that crazy behavior, but you know...call centers."
People who work remotely from home are spared some of these encounters.
They Were All The Rage
"A coworker screaming at me for leaving food to rot in the shared fridge. It was my first day there and I hadn’t even unpacked my belongings yet."
"Had a coworker eating other peoples lunches instead of bringing her own, or just take one or two things. She'd sneak in the breakroom before breaks."
"Jobs would be so much better if there were no other people."
"Maybe i should be a fisherman. But i like fish. No fish has ever yelled at me on my first day of work. :("
"I was 'counseled' for a good hour because I offended the other ladies in our small office by...get this.....I used big words that they didn't understand. Not bad words. Big words."
"The ridiculous/sad thing? The job was for a book manufacturer and at any given time there were several dictionaries being printed."
People share their workplace drama dealing with interesting customers.
"I work at a library. The amount of people who don't bring their library card with them and then refuse to give me ID so I can look up their account is baffling. I'm just trying to prove they are who they say they are."
"Also a mentally ill lady once told me that Osama bin Laden wanted to steal shoes from the artist formerly known as Prince."
"Yep! Fellow library employee here. The people who act surprised when I ask to see their library card! One guy got ANGRY when I told him he owed 30 cents for a late DVD. He kept insisting 'I turned that in!' Left the desk, marched over to the DVD stacks, found said DVD, came back, plunked it on the counter and insisted 'SEE, I turned it in!!!' I took a deep breath and said 'sir. That’s not the issue. We know you turned it in. You turned it in a day late.' He pauses, says 'oh…' and gets his wallet out."
Customer Thinking They Were Playing A Midway Game
"I had someone throw a drink at me through the drive-thru window, which is an unwise thing to do to someone standing in front of a shelf of other drinks waiting for the customers behind you."
"Close second: we had a guy that robbed our gas station for like a month with a finger gun before he finally got caught. Everyone knew it was a finger gun, but you have to comply when someone robs the store so.... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯"
"I work at a pet resort/spa. I’m checking in this lady’s dog at like 7 in the morning. Real sweet lady, she has an Australian shepherd. But before I take the dog inside to his kennel for the groomers, she asks me to tell the groomers to separate whatever hair they shave off him into separate ziplock bags based on color and texture. Turns out she makes jewelry out of her dog’s fur. Later in the day I bring out the dog along with probably 7 little baggies of hair and the lady was very excited. She gave me a fat tip so I didn’t complain but that’s by far the weirdest request I’ve heard in all my time working there."
The Missing Bullet
"I work in the funeral industry, so I get to deal with new ridiculous things on a near-daily basis. For example, today I had to look for a bullet in a body bag, because the list of personal effects of a deceased that we got from the medical examiner included 'ammunition x 1.' This person was going for cremation, and bullets in a crematorium are a no-no for obvious reasons."
"So, we looked and looked, inside the body bag, inside the clothing, pockets, shoes, under the body; I even shone a flashlight into the hole that used to be the deceased's face to see if it was maybe still in the head-ish area, but no. So after 20 minutes or so of thoroughly searching this poor dead person, I called the MEO to see if they had the bullet. The girl who answered the phone checks with the morgue and comes back to say 'yep, it's here, we always take and keep the bullets!' Great! Then WHY list it on the personal effects sheet with everything else that is still with the body??"
"My job is weird as hell, y'all."
"Had someone complain that the toilet he used wouldn’t flush, and when I asked which restroom/toilet he made it clear they used one that was blocked off with an out of order sign and he removed it (it’s a sticker you put over the latch) to use the toilet. I told him that that toilet was out of order because it wouldn’t flush, even specifying something was wrong with the flow regulator. He then asked how he was supposed to know that, to which I replied the out of order sign that was on the door. He then got quite angry, giving me reason after reason why he had to use that specific toilet and how it wasn’t his fault he used a broken toilet, culminating in him asking to speak to my manager. I then told him that I was, in fact, the facilities manager and was the one who handled anything involving the cleaning or maintenance of the building. He then nearly shouted 'Fine I guess I’ll just f'k myself!' and stormed out of the building; I assume because he realized he wasn’t going to get a refund because he left a massive sh*t in an out of order toilet, which he wouldn’t have no matter what anyway. It’s a movie theater, not a perfectly operable toilet emporium."
"Either that or teenagers in suits throwing bananas at the movie screen, one of the two."
I worked in retail once when I was 16, selling video games.
During one shift, I had a kid who leaned over the counter and grabbed a Nintendo video game and ran off with it. I contacted security and they managed to apprehend the young teen. Later, the kid's mother came into the store after being asked to pick up his son from the mall, and she chewed me out for accusing him of stealing.
That same shift, my co-worker said she was going to take a break. I didn't know it was going to take an hour. I also didn't know she was shopping inside the mall with her boyfriend–who was the manager of our store and was cognizant of the fact that she was still on the clock. Meanwhile, I was in the store by myself and I had to improvise when dealing with a return transaction.
It was my first day on the job. It was also my last.
I endeavored never to work in retail again after that. So far, I've managed to avoid it.
Some things are deceptively simple.
Oh, skydiving? That's easy.
Love yourself? Simple.
Who can't open a can of pickles?
ME! ME! That's who. I can't do any of the above simply.
It's all hard. And you know it too.
It's just designed to" look" easy only to bamboozle us.
Approach everything as a burden and live by a motto...
Redditor pterv2112 wanted to hear about the things that are truthfully not so simple.
"What looks easy peasy lemon squeezy but is actually difficult difficult lemon difficult?"
Monopoly. For the life of me, I can't get the hang of that game. I don't care anymore.
Play it...Saturday Night Live Happy Dance GIFGiphy
"Playing the triangle. A lot of my non-musician friends joke about how easy it is to play it. Then they actually hold the damn thing and look stupid."
It's A Lot!
"Work. I'm a lawyer and had a client call saying she needs a help with a merger, but 'don't worry, it's super easy peasy lemon squeezy.' That project took 6 months and I almost had a breakdown. She didn't understand why the bill was so high since it was SO easy."
"Gotta love how the layman lumps all lawyers together as the sleazy snakeoil salesman type without realizing or appreciating the sheer complexity of the legal work involved."
"Dancing. I wouldn't say it looks 'easy,' but when I see people do it, they're so good at it and it flows so well it looks easy. But damn, I just CANNOT get my body to do anything more than a bop and maybe some stupid arm moves. I'm 25 and dance like a 50 year old at a reunion. Dancers are so delicate and make it look so easy, it's honestly amazing. It's just hilarious when I try to do literally anything and fail horribly."
"Whistling with your fingers."
"My cousin taught me when we were in our tweens. It's come in very helpful whistling for the dogs and horses at feeding time."
"What I always wanted to learn was how my grandpa whistled without having to stick dirty fingers in my mouth. Nothing like cleaning stalls, then trying to whistle for horses with sh*t-covered hands. Washing them in near-freezing buckets of water wasn't a first choice either."
It's a...Studying Hand-Made GIF by Philippa RiceGiphy
"Drawing something from memory. Like a bird or something. In mind - yep that's a bird On paper - that's... a bird?"
Drawing birds is impossible; mine look like mules.
Go DeepDigging Blue Collar GIF by JC Property ProfessionalsGiphy
"Digging. Anytime it's shown in movies or TV it looks easy AF but the second you have to grab a shovel and break dirt... bleh."
"A basic physical exam at the doctor. Looks like a simple 'look at the throat' - 'listen to the chest' - 'yup they have a heart all right.' When in actuality Doctors spend thousands of hours practicing it so that when you come in with a murmur or 'Funny-looking-kid-syndrome' they can recognize it immediately."
"And yes, there are entire class sections on how to respectfully ask your patient to turn their head and cough as you push on their testicles (they're looking for hernias)."
"Street names. Everyone thinks it's great fun and likes to offer suggestions but every tree, lake, and other natural feature has at least a dozen variations which you can't repeat for emergency service reasons. That and you get cities which want a street name change anytime the road changes direction regardless of a logical break point like an intersection."
"'Natural' makeup. More work than 'regular' makeup."
"To be honest this reminds me of a video I watched of a visual effects artist explaining his job, If no one notices your work on the footage you've done your job well, its only when you mess up do people notice."
"This is painfully true for a lot of jobs. When nobody notices, it means you did an excellent job but no one will give you credit because they aren't even aware there is credit due. But the moment you slightly f**k up, you're the worst person in your profession."
The SqueezeAs If Lol GIF by MOODMANGiphy
"Making lemonade. Sure squeezing one lemon is easy peasy, but do you know how much juice that makes? Not a lot."
I love Lemonade... the drink and the album... but I have no patience to make it.
Art is subjective.
As much as movies are universally loved, there are some that leave a big question mark.
Sometimes films, plots, and characters make no sense. AT ALL.
And that is uncomfortable for the ego.
Is it art?
Am I just dumb?
Why do I care?
Redditor erin214 wanted to discuss all the movies most of us just don't get.
"What movie do you just not get?"
There are so many movies to bring up. But we don't have all day... let's discuss.
I'm Lostdavid lynch GIFGiphy
"Mullholland Drive. David Lynch once said there is definitely a coherent story and you can figure it out if you just pay attention. I don't believe him."
"The Nut Job. I get that it's a kid's movie and the expectations aren't high but that movie feels 15 years older than it is and it's full of the cheesiest one liners over and over. It feels so low budget yet the cast is nothing but stars."
"It's just mediocre. Saw it once when it came out, laughed about it and enjoyed it then but never have had the urge to watch it again."
So many twists...
"Primer. Can’t follow it. I tried; I even looked up the diagrams. I cannot follow that movie for the life of me."
"I think it's just ok to not get it all. When I watch Primer I don't try to follow it all, I just understand the gist of it and understand that it does all make sense on paper and enjoy the show. Don't get too caught up in following all of the twists, it's too clever for it's own good. Really great movie, though."
"I consider myself a mild movie buff and pay attention diligently when watching any movie. But when I watched I’m Thinking of Ending Things with Jesse Plemons I had no sweet clue what was going on."
"In a nutshell: the only 'real' character in the movie is the old janitor who freezes to death at the end. Everything else is his delusional fantasy of how his life could/should have been, mixed with memories of the grim reality of why it turned out the way it did. We're observing his thought process."
Headaches...Screaming Jennifer Lawrence GIF by mother!Giphy
"I feel like mother is how I feel during a migraine. Everything is happening way too fast and I have no idea what’s going on."
Mother. Oh brother. That movie.
Bad MouthChristian Bale Oooo GIFGiphy
"American Psycho. It’s one of my favorite movies so I’m by no means bad mouthing it, but that ending drives me insane. I can’t figure it out. It makes no sense to me. What was the point supposed to be?"
Second Time Around
"Just to clarify, I didn't (don't) hate the movie, I even found the plot cool. But when trying to give it sense, I can't, because a don't fully get it."
"I actually liked it better the second time and I think it's because I watched it on a crappy sound system that drops all the low end bass and is mostly mids and highs, making the dialogue easier to hear. The basic entropy reversal premise is still too stupid to consider interesting or clever though. I can't suspend my disbelief in that idea."
I see the light...
"The Lighthouse. But I still loved it."
"I think it's about a man who is mentally ill and gets isolated along with someone he cannot stand, middle of the movie he does say that a coworker died and the film indicate that he killed him, which explains the scene where he smokes a cig by the beach and see all those logs approaching and he sees a body and he walks right towards it, maybe he regrets what he had done, his mind is certainly playing tricks on him, that's just my take."
"Cloud Atlas. I’m pretty sure you need to go on a mushroom samba to understand it."
"The book makes more sense. It's weird because there is a whole lot in the movie that is lifted very faithfully from the book but there are lots of little intangible bits that don't translate onto the screen well."
"I loved this one! I can see it's a confusing movie, though."EmileWolf
Jake AlwaysBlack And White Movie GIF by hoppipGiphy
"Donnie Darko. Do I really need a website, a book, and a director’s cut to understand a movie? A little exposition, please."
"I love this film and have seen both versions a number of times over the years. I can't explain it though, it's just a vibe I guess. Like that feeling you get when you've just woken up from a vivid dream and haven't adjusted to reality yet."
So many of these movies are on my list. It's them not us.
They say it's hard for workers to get fired from their jobs. That is unless, of course, the employee is self-sabotaging and has nothing at stake.
While there are many unemployed people desperately looking for work, there are apparently just as many of those who want nothing more than to leave a situation that makes them miserable, despite having a steady paycheck.
Curious to hear about terminated employees, Redditor bartertownbeer asked:
"What is the fastest you have ever seen a new co-worker get fired?"
Fired? How about arrested?
"During their onboarding training, they stole my bosses wallet on camera.... 1 hour in.."
Right Place, Wrong Time
"This is the opposite route here but I found it amusing. My boss was out of town and I managed a tea shop near a Starbucks years ago. This kid came in (foreign) and said he was supposed to start today. We were hiring and I trained him etc. My boss came back two days later and had no idea. The kid was in the wrong place but he stayed with us. Hired on the spot without even applying."
"We had a recent college grad that would use his corporate card for personal purchases. He figured that the company would just keep deducting from his payroll until it was paid off. He was fired after three months of constant reminders to stop doing it. I don’t think it qualifies as the fastest, because he lasted three months, but it was so idiotic."
The Longest Errand
"I work construction. We had 2 new hires that were friends starting the same day. Boss told one take a coffee order and come back. Took everyone's money and said he needed his friend to go with him cause it was a big order. They never came back."
"A 19 year old kid got hired to work the seafood counter. See him twice and then never again. Asked a coworker what happened."
"He had closed seafood one night and was walking out of the store and the 5 pounds of crab legs he'd stuffed down the back of his pants fell out in front of the closing manager."
Being under the influence at work never ends well.
"New guy drove a forklift into a fire hydrant, in front of a safety rep for the company. His supervisor was called over, and he immediately tells the supervisor that he won’t pass a piss test, as he used his only bottle of clean piss earlier that day when he hired in."
"Everybody standing there immediately burst into laughter, which continued as security (also laughing) escorted him off site. Even the supervisor was all smiles...just gave him a pat on the back and wished him the best of luck. It was wild."
"I worked in a bar and a new girl started. At work, she seemed a little rough but was fine."
"One day she finished a shift, sat at the bar and ordered a red wine with lemonade and ice in it (not really relevant to the story; just shows she is clearly insane). Her boyfriend came in, they had a huge domestic in front of my manager and several customers and she threw her drink over her bf and dramatically stormed out."
And That's Why We Don't Hire Off The Street
"Worked at a steel processing plant (polishing, cut to length, etc) Everyone started off as temps, some for years, before getting hired in. Management decided they were short-staffed and the solution was to start hiring people full-time off the street."
"So this dude starts, full-time on day one, full benefits, more money, getting trained by temps who've been there for months, if not years. Everyone is mad resentful of this dude, obviously."
"Halfway through his second day he gets escorted out for testing positive for coke on his drug test."
"They didn't hire any more dudes full-time off the street."
Competence is of utmost importance. Having brains is a good place to start as well.
Fast Food, Faster Firing
"Heard this from a manager I worked with when I worked in fast food. There was this one kid who didn’t show up for work. He ditched work often, so the manager called around, couldn’t get anyone to fill in his shift, so she had to fill it for him."
"A few hours into his shift, the dude ditching SHOWS UP, with his friends, and orders food from that manager. She fired him on the spot."
Careful Who You Denigrate
"First day of work, he walks in, says 'what the f'k is up dumba**' to the guy that parked next to (didn't touch) his new Camaro he bought since he got hired."
"The guy was the CEO of the company I used to work for, on visit to our branch."
"Literally ten minutes into his shift he was signing release papers."
"Worked in a grocery store for awhile: new guy took a lobster out of the tank and removed the elastic bands on its claws, then proceeded to put it back in the tank. The thing murdered all the other lobsters in the tank."
Up In Flames
"Guy had been working a few days at a barn. Decided to smoke right by bales of hay. Manager saw him and fired him right on the spot. At farms, you don’t f'k around with fire."
Remember when I mentioned how it's difficult for people to get fired?
Yeah, let's scratch that.
Apparently, it's super easy.
A trial can hinge on one simple piece of information.
All it could take for a suspect to walk free or go to jail for the rest of their lives is one single fact.
With this in mind, some lawyers will do their best to make sure that this information is buried, legally and ethically one hopes, and will never be brought up in trial.
However, for this to happen, Lawyers will still need to know this piece of information from their clients, as it otherwise could be brought up by the prosecution, effectively ending the case.
"Lawyers of Reddit, what is a detail that your client failed to bring up to you that completely lost you the case?"
The Whole Truth...
"Opposing counsel: 'Isn’t it true you hit Victim in the face with a brick?"'
"Client: 'No. Marcus hit him with the brick. I hit him in the back with a piece of wood'."- lizard96golf
Thought She Was Being Clever...
"A buddy of mine case as a public defender."
"A gal was busted on drug charges, and told him she didn't have any drugs on her when they arrested her."
"He thought, ok we'll use that."
"Turns out, she didn't have any drugs on her when they arrested her because she just sold them to an undercover cop."- CheapCigars
Choice Of Clothes Can Make A Difference...
"My house was robbed."
"In addition to all the stuff the thief took, he also stole a bunch of my suits and all of my neck ties."
"I had a big collection, like 100 or so."
"However, the thief left fingerprints on a hard plastic box that I kept spare change in."
"Fast forward 3 months, the thief is caught in the act of robbing another house in the same neighborhood, same detectives on my case and this new theft."
"They fingerprint the guy and the fingerprints match the ones from my house."
"At the thief’s arraignment, I see him stroll in wearing my suit and my tie."
"I tell the district attorney, he says there’s really no way to prove it."
"However, the tie he chose to wear was a one of kind street map of San Francisco and I still had all the documentation to prove it."
"The district attorney’s eyes widen and he informs the judge."
"The judge has the thief placed under arrest again for possession of stolen property."
"The thief’s lawyer was dumbfounded."
"It was a nice end to a rough situation!"- West-Operationsuit and tie johnny bananas GIF by 1st LookGiphy
Never Depend On Technicalities
"Obligatory not my client."
"Company I worked for at the time was doing due diligence before acquiring a small tech startup."
"The COO of the tech startup was a well-liked guy in the company, friendly and outgoing."
"Though we had heard rumblings that the COO was rather hands-on with the work and with female employees."
"Apparently there was a walk-away package proposed to the COO that would let him keep a sizable portion of his post-acquisition bonus because a young woman who worked in their sales department had filed HR complaints against the COO and obtained counsel."
"I sat in on the meeting with the COO and the company's retained lawyers while they grilled him about his contacts with the young woman."
"The COO denied ever having contact with her within the company without multiple other people present, those people said his behavior toward her in the meetings didn't raise any flag."
"The COO emphatically denied having any contact with her outside of work."
"The lawyers asked the question a half-dozen different ways and each time the COO denied any out of work contact."
"Later we meet with the woman and her lawyer with the COO not present."
"Her lawyer gives us a rather graphic card that came with a bouquet of flowers addressed to her from the COO."
"The guy had an account with a florist linked to his credit card."
"When the company-retained lawyers confronted him he said, 'but I never had contact with her'."
"'It's not like I delivered the flowers myself'."
"COO got terminated for cause so no walk-away package."
"At her request the woman was given PTO until after the acquisition then moved to another one of the companies under our umbrella."- GuiltyLawyerseason 5 episode 21 GIFGiphy
Who Exactly Am I Talking To?
"We got to the deposition of my client and all set up."
"The first question is 'please state your name'."
"The client looks at me and says 'can we take a break?'"
"We do and she pulls me out in the hall to tell me she's lied to me about her identity."
"She's apparently a serial fraudster and has changed identities 7 times since the 90s."
"She apparently thought the other attorneys had some how figured it out and that's why they asked the question."- Philosopher422
It's The Little Ones That Get You...
"Minor traffic cases can be the worst for this, believe it or not, because they are short and simple and often times the client isn't there, so if you get blindsided by something critical there's often no chance to consult with them to turn things around."
"I had a simple speeding case, 70mph in a 55."
"No big deal, if she does a driving improvement course they court will usually dismiss or reduce those, since her driving record wasn't bad."
"When I showed up for her, I found out that she had been driving 70 up an unplowed snow lane, to get around all the others cars traveling in the lane that had been plowed because they were driving too slow."
"I didn't know it was even possible to drive 70 on fresh snow."
"The officer stated he'd already cut her a break by not writing the ticket for reckless driving, and the judge politely agreed he didn't feel comfortable reducing it under those circumstances."
"When I called her up after court to confirm, she did, claimed she'd just forgotten to mention it."
"Now maybe I've lived too much of my life in the south, but that just boggles my mind as a detail you'd forget when hiring a lawyer for that incident."
"I would have told her in advance that hiring us was a waste of money, not to mention the hassle of taking an 8 hour class, and she should probably just go ahead and pay this one."
"I legitimately do that all the time during consults."
"Give my honest assessment if the case is even worth doing, and so by omitting that detail she harmed herself for no reason."
"At least she took it well and didn't get defensive."- AmberWavesofFlameDriving Get Away GIF by Zella DayGiphy
Despite the longstanding negative connotations which come with them, lawyers are there to help you.
So it's always the best decision to tell them the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, especially if you're paying for their services.
That, or just obey the law so you won't need one.