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The Biggest Secrets People Learned Cleaning Out A Late Relative's Home

Person holding two vintage photographs of family portraits
Cheryl Winn-Boujnida/Unsplash

How well did you really know the people who are no longer with us?

Many of us present our best selves to our friends and relatives but do you share with them your deepest, darkest insecurities and secrets?

Maybe you do. But there are plenty of others who take their secrets to the grave.

But those closely guarded secrets or the truest identities can come to light posthumously in many forms, giving a glimpse of who they were to the people they've left behind.

Curious to hear from strangers online, Redditor WhoAllIll asked:

"What secret was revealed when cleaning out the home of a deceased family member?"

Not everyone had pure morals or ethics.

Shady Business

"Elderly aunt had a hidden room with staircase to basement area no one knew about. She and her son had a meth lab. This was in the 90’s in Philly. Blew us all away."

– pekepeeps

Here's The Story

"We all knew this one uncle had a second family. We expected drama at the funeral."

"No one was expecting his third family to show up. Wife. Three kids. This new family knew the rest of the family by name from pictures. How we are all related, names, hobbies. That was a wildly bizarre experience."

– z-adventure

Late Discovery

"My dad passed away in 1994 (I was 28). While going through his safe I found some adoption papers. While reading through them I got excited at the prospect I might have a brother out there somewhere (I was raised as an only child) but couldn't understand why my parents never told me that they'd adopted a child but never told me. After rereading them, I realized that they papers were about me. After confronting my family about this turns out everyone - family, close friends, I mean everyone, knew I was adopted. Except me. That was a fun day."

– rolandblais

You never know about a person.

Once Upon A Cash-tress

"Many years ago I went with my dad and aunt to clean out my great uncle’s apartment after he passed away. He was never married, no kids, and lived (we thought) very poor. Tiny apartment with a twin bed, table and chair, a couple of pots and pans, a couple pants& shirts, and that’s basically it."

"As we stripped the bed and moved the mattress, we were shocked. He had hundreds of stacks of 10 dollar bills, wrapped in rubber bands, under his mattress. They were all 10 dollar bills. He lived during the Depression and didn’t trust banks, apparently, but we had no idea he had so much cash. He never spent it on anything. Just bundled it and saved it under his mattress. Some of the bills were so old and yellowed. It equaled thousands of dollars. We had no idea."

– Sostupid246

The Neat Hoarder

"My grandfather, who spoke English as a third language, was a bit of a hoarder. Lots of old sh*t stockpiled in his basement, but well organized. Imagine a generic episode of Hoarders, but with a prepper OCD vibe."

"Everything was sanitized, stacked/nested, and grouped logically. It was like the stock room for a store that wasn't yet sure what products it was selling and wanted to be ready."

"So we find a cylindrical container that was kinda heavy for its size, and it had the label 'OLD PENIS'. It was one of those black plastic film containers."

"Hesitant, but curious, we removed the lid."

"It contained a collection of one-cent pieces which had been minted in the first half of the 20th century."

"Part of me was disappointed, part of me was relieved."

"Edit: I'm glad so many people got a chuckle from the mystery of my grandfather's old penis. It was an innocent typo, but he was a jovial man and would have enjoyed knowing it made so many people laugh."

– funkme1ster

Unpublished

"We knew my originally British, naturalized Canadian great-grandmother had been an enthusiastic amateur historian, who had been fascinated by Britain’s war with Napoleon - not for the least reason because she was herself tangentially related to the Duke of Wellington’s family, via a cousin’s marriage to his son’s nephew, or some connection equally obscure and tenuous."

"What we didn’t know is that, likely in preparation for a book she never wrote, as a young woman she had actually interviewed several dozen elderly English, French and Spanish veterans about their experiences during that war - including three actual survivors of Waterloo (two English, one French), and an aide-de-camp to Spanish General Francisco Javier Castaños, at the time he handed the Napoleonic army its very first defeat in the field, and captured nearly 20,000 French troops at the Battle of Bailen (1808)."

"But there it was, stored in a wooden egg crate under her iron-framed bed, among old calendars, untested recipe clippings and copies of Family Circle magazine: a manuscript with nearly three hundred pages of transcribed military memoirs - all laid out in three languages (in which she was fluent) in her elegant, Spencerian hand."

"My parents donated her manuscript to the Imperial War Museum, where no doubt it will never have human eyes laid on it again."

– theartfulcodger

These Redditors share heartwarming discoveries.

Preparing For The Onward Journey

"My dad was in hospice at home for a couple months before he died of lung cancer, and when I went to clean out his house I found that he had already sorted and packed away most of his personal treasures in couple storage bins. It was heartbreaking all over again thinking of him sitting there packing up his own life knowing it was coming to an end."

– F0regn_Lawns

Messages From Beyond

"When my husband died a few years ago i found several notes/letters he had scattered in various places around our home, written to me in advance (he had terminal cancer & knew he was dying). some were marked 'open when you can't stop crying' 'open when the holidays are too rough' 'open when you have to put one of the cats to sleep'."

"They didn't contain any secrets, but they are heartbreakingly beautiful."

– miss_trixie

Sweet Keepsake

"My dad kept a handwritten note in his wallet containing my mom’s old address, phone number, and directions to her house from when they first started dating in the 70s. He had moved it from wallet to wallet over the years. ❤️ He just died this past March and that was one of the first things we found."

– Jinx5326

Scavenger Hunt

"That my dad hid money all over the house, not huge amounts mind you, but $60 here, $120 there. Felt like a bit of a scavenger hunt when we were cleaning out his stuff. He was always a bit of a sneakily generous guy, always gave me and my brothers a secret handshake with money tucked in his palm when we’d go back to school after a weekend home, etc, so wouldn’t be surprised if he’d done it intentionally. Made us smile every time we found some, iirc I think the final total was somewhere around $800."

– Mzunguman

Photographs are treasures.

When my family cleaned out the house of my father's aunt who lived in America, we found stacks of vintage photographs well before the advent of digital photography.

There were photos of my great aunt in Japan from when she was a teenager to photos of her and her husband at a Japanese internment camp at Heart Mountain, Wyoming.

There were no secrets uncovered but it was so profound poring through images capturing decades of her life captured on film.

Reasons Why People Quit Their Job On The First Day

Reddit user KJ-The-Wise asked: 'People who quit a job on the first day, what happened?'

Post it note saying "I quit" on a keyboard
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

At one point in our lives, we've all worked jobs that we didn't love, or even hated.

Most of the time, we'll persevere till the allotted time on our contract is complete, just to have money in the bank.

Other times, we give it our best shot, but find the job, boss, or work environment so toxic that we hand in our notice in a matter of months, weeks, or even days.

Then there are the very rare occasions where we follow our gut instinct, and make our first day on the job our last.

Redditor KJ-The-Wise was curious to hear stories of why people felt compelled to quit certain jobs on the first day working them, leading them to ask:

"People who quit a job on the first day, what happened?"

Not By The Book

"I was hired as a cook at a Huddle House."

"On my first day I learned that they lied about which shifts I'd have in the interview, I'd be expected to basically run the restaurant alone on graveyard shift after only a week of training, and this place was violating health codes left and right."- kylegilliscomedy

Closing Time Waiting GIF by Still Not A HippieGiphy

Witholding WATER?!?!

"2nd day:"

"Sweating my a** off in the kitchen on a hot summer day."

"Asked for a glass of water and the owner made me pay for it."

"Finished my shift and never went back."- bigfatgeekboy

Family First

"I worked at Home Bargains and did my first shift on a Saturday, I was off on the Sunday originally, and they waited until 11pm on the Saturday to call me and not ask me but tell me to cover a Sunday but the conversation went as followed.'

“'Hey we’ve changed the rota and you’re working tomorrow 8am-5pm'.”

'I was busy on the Sunday as I had family commitments since I assumed I was free being my day off."

“'Oh I can’t work tomorrow I have plans'.”

“'Well that will go down as an unauthorized absence if you don’t turn up'.”

"'Alright then I quit'.”

“'WHAT?!'”

"I then hung up and never went back."- Lochan2468

Bye Bye Goodbye GIF by Pudgy PenguinsGiphy

Lead By Example...

"I took a phone sales job once."

"It was cold calling people to sell tickets to a country western show to supposedly benefit the local police department."

"The foreman had me sit next to someone named Joe and said 'now you watch Joe for a bit, and see how he turns the no’s into yes’s'."

"First call Joe starts his speech and then slams down the phone and shouts 'F*CK!'

"Second call is pretty much the same and he instead shouts 'F*CKING B*TCH!' while slamming down the phone."

"This goes on for about 3 more calls and then the manager comes over and says 'Ok, so you see how it’s done?'"

"Let’s get you started'.”

"I made about 4 calls and then asked if I could take a smoke break (even though I didn’t smoke), and left and never returned."- dma1965

Want To Get Paid? That'll Cost You...

"When I was around 14 I worked for Dickie Dee Icecream (Think Canadian Good Humor) for ONE DAY riding a bicycle/cooler."

"You were paid a commission based on what you sold, but you had to pay for your dry ice."

"Long story short, you had to ride that thing all day in blazing heat to make virtually no money."

"This was the in the mid 80s, I hope this is illegal now."- Robbie-R

Technically, There Wasn't Even A Job To Quit...

'Turned out the ‘company’ was not registered business and has no license to operate."

"They also threatened us we’d have to pay them an amount if we quit during the 60-day training period."

"Few months later, they were shut down."- Low-Whereas8182

In Fashion, One Day You're In, The Next Day You're Out...

"I was working at Zara."

"They didn't do advertising at the time and instead are very particular about how they set up the store."

"My last hour was being screamed at by the woman in charge of the store's appearance for not folding clothes fast enough."

"She was screaming at all of us."

"Imagine an hour of a woman standing on the top floor alternating between 'Let's go, people!' And shouted insults."

"We finished 15 minutes early."

"Which means we got paid less for doing what the screaming lady wanted."

"Then we were asked to clock out for a 'team meeting'."

"We did and the woman screamed at us so much she drove herself to tears."

"The woman who hired me apologized on my way out and I told her I wouldn't be back."

"I didn't even pick up my check."

"Nor have I ever, ever, ever bought anything from Zara ever again."

"Even secondhand, I won't do it."

"I have like a PTSD reaction to that store."- BaseTensMachine

Talk To The Manager... If You Can Find Them...

"I got hired for the local Taco Bell."

"On my first day it was a busy Thursday night and everyone was stressed and yelling at each other."

"I was asked to come in at 3 but never told when I was supposed to leave so I asked, because if I was going to be there for a long time I also wanted a break."

"The person in charge wasn’t even a manager and they told me they didn’t know what to tell me because they don’t have a manager right now to make schedules."

"She mentioned they were open until 3 am and asked me how long I would stay."

"I got really sketched out so my next question was about how they were counting for my labor since I was new and wasn’t in the computer yet, and there was no manager on site to input my labor manually."

"She had no idea what I was talking about. I never walked out of somewhere so fast in my life."- No_Significance6785

"You may think that I am exaggerating but Venezuela is the land where everything is possible and not exactly for good things."

"A few years ago, I was hired to help run the account of a store that sold online through Mercado Libre (basically the same as Ebay)."

"I was excited because it was in a mall so it would be a nice store I figured, silly me, I had to go through the basement to get to a sort of warehouse that had been converted into something like a store."

'If you are claustrophobic you couldn't work there."

"The owner wanted us to work non-stop, just a few minutes for lunch and we had to do it in the same store and there was no water to drink, we had to respond to the customer in less than 2 minutes after the message arrived."

"I wanted to leave that same day but I needed the money because things are really difficult here."

"When I was about to leave, the owner told me not to forget to bring my own toilet paper because everyone uses their own and he was not going to buy it."- ExiledEverywhere

What's Surprising Is That They Ever Opened

"I worked at a daycare for one day."

"They put me in the 3 year old room with two other staff members."

"The staff members were so mean to the kids."

"They yelled at one child for 'being late', as if she had any control over that."

"They made another child cry by telling her she was going to be sent to the directors office for asking to use the bathroom during outside time."

Maggie Simpson Episode 20 GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy

"They also bragged to me multiple times about how the daycare didn’t have cameras and 'never will'."

"Then they both fell asleep at nap time."

"I never went back and told my sister in law to pull her baby from that place."

"For everyone concerned- this daycare closed a few years ago."- nannerbananers

There's no denying that everyone needs money to live.

But your self-esteem and peace of mind should always take priority over a paycheck.

And if your health, safety and well-being feel threatened on the first day, always go with your instincts, rather than "give it a few weeks".


A young woman hugs a young man on a nature trail, as an older couple walks away
Photo by Radu Florin

"I can fix them."

That is one of life's most dangerous sentences.

Love is going to turn out how it turns out.

We can help a significant other.

We can support them.

We can even guide them through the journey.

But fixing someone is not an option.

You can only fix oneself.

Plus, why would you want to fix someone?

Shouldn't we be interested in one another as we are?

Fixing someone implies that they're broken in a way you don't approve of.

That's not a great way to nurture love.

Redditor rest_in_war wanted to hear from the ladies out there about the guys they tried to change, so they asked:

"Women who said 'I can fix him,' what happened?"

If they need fixing, send them to a mechanic. (Therapist)

But don't wait around for the bill.

​Moving On

Seth Meyers Lol GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy

"With his newfound self-esteem, he left me for someone better."

CertainProgram8782

Over & Over

"Well, I failed at fixing him but learned a lot about myself in the process. I have no hate for him- if anything I hope every day he does the work to fix himself because I saw the potential and I did care for him once. I hate to think that he’ll just continue life repeating the same patterns over and over."

"I can say for myself, yes there was some damage done for sure! But I’ve never been the type to linger in my hurt. So, I learned a lot about myself, good and bad, and I’ve chosen to let the hurt go that he caused me and work on me. It’s been rocky here and there if I’m being honest- but if I could put that much effort and time into trying to fix someone else, why would I not do the same for myself?!?"

oreosaregarbage

Worse by the Day

"I didn't and he got crazier. No idea what has happened to him now and I don't care."

Comfortable-Ear-9186

Utterly Broken

"Well, my grandma said 'I can fix him,' ended up pregnant and alone. My mother never had a relationship with her biological dad (luckily my grandma met my grandad who then raised my mom). My mom said 'I can fix him,' and ended up alone with a baby. Was a single mom for 15 years. Luckily she's now married to my stepdad who's a great man."

"I said 'I can fix him' and tried my best and wasted 4 years of my youth. LUCKILY I didn't have kids with him, but he wanted to. I came out the other side utterly broken and it took quite a few years to repair myself. My self-confidence is still nonexistent, even though I've been married to a great man for 15 years."

"So, one word of advice; don't."

NamillaDK

Poison Spreads

"Ended up broken too."

ramonapap1

"Reminds me of that tweet that goes something like, 'I convinced my therapist to confront her husband about not liking her tweets. She may not be able to fix me, but at least I can make us both worse.'"

RilohKeen

A plan like this can only lead to self-harm.

We deserve more.

For the Better

Valentines Day Love GIF by Boomerang OfficialGiphy

"I was the one who was fixed. My husband helped me work through my trauma and got me into therapy after we got married. I learned to take accountability for my actions and became much more honest with him. when we got together, I was absolutely aimless, but now I have a genuine plan for my future and I'm so excited to work hard with him in creating a comfortable and happy life together.

"I have always wanted to change for the better and wanted more for my life but he was certainly the push I needed to get there. He's been such a fantastic influence on me and I can never thank him enough for being my rock; I can only hope to repay him for everything he's done for me."

jwannnnn

Clean it Up

"I actually did 'fix him' while we were together- cleaned up (haircuts and regular shaving, clothes that actually fit, etc) and got him a job. The week after I helped him get his own apartment he cheated on me. He almost immediately reverted to how he was before, last I saw he was back to baggy pants and homeless man hair/facial hair. Lost his job and apartment and the girl left him... lol."

Interesting_Worth570

Closed Off

"Well, I am completely emotionally unavailable, and I no longer wish to give people my heart like that again."

NocturnalNess

"I know how you feel because I’ve been in that boat before. Please, when the right person comes along, do not be afraid to open up again. Those scars will ruin future relationships if you don’t let them heal. And all that’s obviously to say is let yourself be ready and don’t rush it. It gets better."

Merkaba_987

Back to my country...

"I was the one who was fixed."

"I met an exchange student when I was 19, and dropped out of college (was failing anyway) to follow her to her country. After about a year there, I was so head over heels in love I was sure I’d marry her. There was no way I was going to be a good husband with no job prospects, not knowing her language, etc."

"I went back to my country to get a menial job in a factory, get myself back into school, study her language, make something of myself. Whereas I was failing out of college when I left, I ended up getting a 4.0 when I went back."

"She flew to see me a few times and the last time broke up with me. I was devastated. But the fire had already been lit and I feel I’ve been quite successful in life over the last 25 years, and I am so thankful for her influence."

ThicccNhatHanh

Getting Wild

Lets Go Reaction GIF by Mason RamseyGiphy

"He left me because the grass was greener. I built him up so much that he was sure he could do better and go out to 'sow his wild oats.' 10 years later and he's close to 40 still living at home and hasn't had a girlfriend since."

happyele

What have we learned?

We can only fix ourselves.

And it's ok that love doesn't always conquer all.

woman writing on notes on window
Magnet.me on Unsplash

Growing up, kids talk about the jobs they want as adults.

Once they become adults, they select career paths or cycle through a variety of jobs.

Most people find mainstream jobs, but some luck into really unique professions.

Keep reading...Show less

We've all made our fair share of mistakes; it's in our nature, honestly.

Sometimes we mess up so badly, it can ruin other things in our lives, like important relationships or our jobs.

But some people have messed up so badly at work that they lost their jobs in record time.

Ready to hear the tea, Redditor mango-chocolate asked:

"What's the quickest way you saw a coworker get fired?"

Check Your Pride

"In my old law office, a firm-wide email was sent out announcing the arrival of a new employee. We will call him Paul."

"So Paul decided to reply-all to let all of us know that he was aware of our recent legal defeats, that many people should be fired for these failures, and that his hiring was the first good thing our firm had done in years."

"The dude was a legal assistant right out of college with no experience."

"A minute after the email went out, I heard a crazy shout and then watched one of the senior partners run past my office towards HR (Human Resources)."

"And five minutes later Paul walked past with the HR manager and a security escort. He lasted less than 45 minutes."

- Left_Apparently

Lotto Fraud

"I worked at a lotteries company. A guy working in testing got access to production data and printed off some test tickets with some unclaimed winning numbers."

"He only did low amounts, like 500 dollars, and claimed three of them in three completely different locations around town."

"Of course, the company was interested in the story of someone who found a six-month-old lottery ticket and claimed it, but they were even more interested to find it was the same person going to three locations."

"Needless to say, when they realized the guy actually worked in the company, he got pulled into a room with cops a-waiting him."

- ThroughTheHoops

Weird Brag

"I worked at a bank, we were robbed at gunpoint. One of the tellers was quick to tweet out, 'Woooo, got the rest of the day off!! Feel free to visit me at work with a gun and ski mask anytime!'"

"They were fired upon walking in the next morning."

- seastrat

Totally Stopped Production

"An id**t pressed the emergency stop for fun on his second day at work."

"The emergency stop that he hit switches off all drives on the 100-meter-long paper machine. This means there is a loss of production for three to four hours for the entire paper mill."

"He was immediately escorted from the factory premises by two colleagues."

- daHawkGR

No Point Taking That Test

"I had a coworker get picked for a random drug test. She went back to her desk to grab her purse, and just left the building, never to return."

- brytewolf

Yes, That's What We Meant

"The boss sat her down to talk about her recent behavior at work."

"She whipped out her phone and started taking a video, saying that it was her right to record for 'when it goes to court.'"

"The boss said, 'Okay, this is the kind of stuff I’m talking about, you’re fired.'"

"This was at a Domino’s Pizza."

- kenb99

New Definition for "Side Hustle"

"Evidently, they robbed a bank on their lunch break."

"They came back like nothing happened, and then the cops showed up and took him down. It was crazy."

- Bob_the_Brewer

Quite the First Impression

"Pulling into the parking lot on the first day, she ran into a light pole that took out electricity to the whole site."

"She wasn't wearing a seat belt and was thrown into the front window."

"When we went out to see what had happened, she reeked of booze and there were empty liquor bottles in the back of the car."

"She never even made it to the front door, got a guest badge, or started her orientation training."

- LowBudgetViking

Haunting Upcharges

"When I was in high school, I used to do seasonal work at haunted houses which I did for four years."

"A new guy that they hired was supposed to help with parking. Now, in the three years that I worked at this haunted house, they never once charged people for parking (it was a very dark parking lot off of a cliff so had to make sure no one drove off of it trying to park)."

"This cheeky son of b***h started charging people five dollars to park."

"It was only found out after someone complained because they didn't have the money to go in with their friends because they had to pay for parking. I think the guy was only there a couple of hours before he got fired."

- rpgmomma8404

Missed the Training

"They got hired and then fell asleep during a meeting their first day and were asked not to come back."

- Snowstorm-3

"Same here. At a tech company, they hired a new developer, and the owner caught him napping at a desk on day one when he was supposed to be reviewing training materials."

"The owner had a chat with him, and told him whatever the reason, it was really bad form to fall asleep on the job on the first day."

"The new hire apologized, understood, and went back to the training materials. Not 20 minutes later, the owner walks by again and the guy is passed out once again, so he walked over, woke him up, and told him he was fired and to get out."

"I don't even think he made it to his fourth hour of employment."

- badtz-maru

Highly Questionable Explorations

"Early in my career I was an engineer at a refinery in the UK, and I was in charge of the QC lab. By law, we had to have external independent testing on the refinery fuel products to confirm they complied with government regulations."

"It seemed getting a job for the testing company was that you had to be an adult and had a driving license. The lab had a lot of very nasty chemicals either being tested or used in the testing or cleaning of the oil products."

"A new young girl turned up for the testing company and was dipping her finger into a chemical called phenol and stating that 'it makes your hand and arm go numb.' Phenol is a severe muscle relaxant (including your heart) and can kill you at very low concentrations."

"One hour into her employment we had paramedics on the scene monitoring her vitals and was released after eight hours. She didn't last the first hour of the first day and the testing company was fined pretty heavily."

- Nerdymcbutthead

AKA: Paid to Advertise

"A guy got hired in the first firm I ever worked for. He turned up for his first morning at work, and within an hour he had emailed the entire company (6,000 people) about his band and their availability for birthdays, weddings, etc."

"He was dismissed by lunchtime."

- BDATriangle001

"So he got paid half a day's wage to advertise his band to 6,000 people?"

"Man's a freaking genius."

- Oakcamp

Not-So-Quiet Quitting

"One day, Tim announced that he wasn’t paid enough and was going to basically sit at his desk doing nothing until he was paid what he wanted."

"20 minutes later, the boss walked in and asked Tim if he could have a word with him."

"Five minutes later, the boss walked back in and announced that Tim no longer worked there and if there were any questions."

"There were no questions."

- Few_Horse4000

Don't Be That Guy

"Interviewed a guy that was replacing someone who was leaving. Offered the job and was supposed to start the next day."

"Just so happened that we were having a going away party for the leaving dude that night so new guy was invited as a chance to 'get to know the team.'"

"The new guy shows up and proceeds to get absolutely s**t-faced and asked the head of HR if she wanted to go back to his place because he 'got a vibe' during the interview process."

"Next day, the new guy was a no-show so we were thinking bullet dodged. He showed up just before lunch clearly hung over making up some excuse for being late."

"The big boss came out and told the guy to get the f**k out."

- tizod

Optional Hours? Optional Employment.

"I fired someone who decided her second day that she was going to go out to lunch and not come back. The next morning she told everyone all about the shopping she did. She seemed confused about the expectations."

- dunwerking

Some of these stories are absolutely worth shaking our heads over, while others are truly shocking.

It's crazy the lengths people will go to in the workplace, despite the expectations that had already been clearly set.

If you view the rules as optional, your boss might view your employment as optional, too.