There are few things quite like dealing with an entitled customer. We stand by it: Everyone needs to work in customer service at least once in their lives (because it'll teach them so much).
But there's absolutely nothing quite like dealing with someone who doesn't realize that you're the one in charge. That's ridiculously satisfying, as we were reminded once Redditor bigzachvapor asked the online community, "Small business owners, who look too young to own the business, what's your favorite "I AM the boss, lady" moment?"
"I ran a small non-profit..."
I ran a small non-profit for a while. It ended up being a kind of big deal at a local level, which I'm super proud of.
I had a sticker of the non-profit on my water bottle. At a party, a friend of a friend had the same sticker on her phone case. I pointed to her phone, then my water bottle, and gave her a thumbs up. She walked over and proceeded to tell me all about the organization and what she thought of it and how she got involved etc etc. She talked for a few minutes before asking how I'd heard of it. I told her that I suppose I'd first heard of the organization while sitting in my kitchen creating it.
"I'd occasionally work behind the bar..."
I owned a popular neighborhood coffeeshop for several years. I'd occasionally work behind the bar pulling shots and making drinks, and I lost count of the number of people who'd come in demanding free coffee or whatever because they "knew the owner and he always gives me free coffee".
It always went down the same way: "I know the owner."
"No, you don't."
"How would you know?"
"Because I don't know you. That'll be $2.50."
"His reaction was priceless."
I'm 20 years old and started a small business earlier this year when I was 19 making art from trash I find on the beach. When we sell the art it helps fund an artificial oyster bed sculpture we're attempting to make and install in the water to help filter pollution from the water. It's called Cilly Sells Sea Shells after a nickname I got when I was younger.
So about a month ago, I met a guy at an event in a gallery I had pieces hanging in (this place hangs a lot of different artists and host music events pretty often). We started talking and mentioned our majors (I'm environmental science, he's marine biology) and he goes "oh you're gonna love this." He brings me over to MY OWN WORK and starts talking about it. Apparently his friend who worked there had told him about my work.
I didn't know what to say, so I just didn't say anything while he talked about it. He said he loved how the pieces looked like glass and that they use stuff from the beach. Dude was clearly super into marine bio and talked about the science behind oyster filtration and all that. He had apparently been super interested in my project for like 2 months before he came to this and really knew his stuff.
He picked up the big UV lamp that was underneath it and proceeds to show me how all of it glows in the dark. I pointed to my SELF PORTRAIT and said I liked how it glowed differently than the others. He looked closer and said nothing. At that point I had to walk away to greet an event organizer.
Ten minutes later, a worker came up to me and said someone would like to meet me. Brought me up to the guy I was talking with earlier. His reaction was priceless.
"The customer doubles down..."
I worked for a landscaping company ran by a man and his brother, Scott. The one brother Jim was the main boss, but his brother ran things when Jim when out of town. Jim was out for a week and his brother gets to one of their houses to cut it, The owner comes out and says, "hHey man, I'm Jim's cousin. He said you guys could trim the hedges while you were here today?"
Scott says "No sorry man, I don't have anything in my notes about trimming your hedges today. I'll talk to Jim tonight and get your hedges sorted out, but it might be a few days."
The customer doubles down, replying, "I told you, I'm his cousin, I think I would know if my family says he can trim my hedges for me."
So Scott laughs and asks, "well how come I've never seen you at any family reunions?"
The guy looks confused for a minute and finally Scott says "I'm Jim's brother, and we're not trimming your hedges today."
"I work in tract housing..."
I'm 21 and started a construction company about 4 months ago. I work in tract housing, and I work alongside other sub contractor for the same builder. I was asked to go into a house to fix another contractors mistake. The electrician, who was in the house when I went in, thought I had made the mistake and basically called me an idiot, saying the house next door was much better built/straighter/cleaner and that my boss shouldn't accept my work. I gladly told him that I was the boss, and I was the one who built the house next door. We both laughed it off, not trying to make enemies with other trades I have to work alongside of.
"One guy came in..."
I run a small wood shop that takes commissions from locals. One guy came in looking to order something as I'm planing a piece of stock. I stop and ask him if he needs anything, the same thing I ask all my customers, and he says, "You can't help me boy, let me talk to the owner." Keep in mind, I started this company when I was 17, and that's probably how old I was at the time. I also had hair down to my shoulder blades and a beard that hadn't fully developed a mustache yet, so he was quite right in his assumption that I wasn't an adult yet, but he left soon after I told him that, "Sir, I do indeed own this building along with everything inside it, and if you don't think i'd be capable in helping you, you are free to leave." He left.
"Most of the time..."Giphy
This happens all the time for me, I'm a younger guy who owns a construction company specifically flipping houses. We also rent them etc. But every time I go over to a tenants house and fix something, or send the crew there its the same story.
"I know you came here to fix this but your boss said you'd also do blah blah blah" Most the time I'll just do it to keep people happy but there's been a few times I've had to tell them I am the boss and that never happened.
"One customer told me..."
I run a retail business with my other half. I'm a 26 year old female but I look around 15/16 and often get mistaken as the student part-timer.
One customer told me I looked 15. When I told her I owned the place he said, "Wow, you're so successful for being so young!" Had to break the news I was 26, not 15.
Another time, a woman stormed in with a complaint about the delivery she just ordered. I explained the issue she had wasn't ours to fix (driver problem, they're not our drivers) and she cut me off with, "Can I speak to your manager." I deadpan, "I am the manager." She sizes me up, huffs, crosses her arms and asks what I'm going to do about her problem, then.
I also remember a guy who started with, "So where's the boss today? The guy that runs it?" I pass the guys drink over and say, "Oh, you mean my husband?" He flustered for a bit and followed up telling me he knew I was also a manager and that that "guy" was my husband. Sure, dude.
Oh, but my favourite one is the Asian lady who was unbelievably surprised I ran the shop we do (it's Asian based, my other half is Chinese) because "you're white, I didn't think you'd know what you're doing."
I am a 24 year old PhD student working in IT. I am commonly referred to as ~18. I and a partner own a small service business. I always enjoy people trying to pay me directly for my service rather than going through the business. I don't always correct them, but the malicious ones always have a great look on their face when they realize I'm the owner they're trying to screw.
My girlfriend got to turn down an MLM this way. "How would you like to be your own boss?" "I am..."
"All of them."
All of them. Literally all of them. They jaw drop, the mystified look when they hear it, the stutter, the "oh s*** I f**** up" realization.... I relish each and every moment it happens.
"This place had been in town already..."
Just today actually, and it wasn't even a bad one! I [27F] took over a small used bookstore in my town about a year ago (full year on the 26th, go me!). This place had been in town already for about eight years, and passed through one other person before me since the original owner, who I had actually worked for about five years ago. That said, this lady is in, wandering around and checking things out, making conversation, the usual. She mentions that her son brought her in, and last she heard the woman running it had a kid.
I just laughed and answered that she was speaking of the previous owner, and that I was the new one and had been for a year. To which she seemed properly astonished, and then complimented the store- we have christmas decorations up, and a lot of them are handmade papercrafts because the decoration budget was nil.
"My mum owns a florist..."
Similar but different. My mum owns a florist, and hired some new staff so that she wouldn't be working 10 hours every weekday. Her biggest rule is to NEVER refuse service to a customer, because the shop doesn't get too much foot traffic and all the stock is unusable after a week and gets thrown out, hence why every customer should be served. One day my Dad (who doesn't own the shop but has a lot of authority over it) was walking past the shop while a new staff member was on. He was about to ask if he could help (since just by looking at the shop, he could tell not much had been done) before she, without looking up from her phone, said that the shop was closed.
The shop definitely was not closed. Dad definitely told the employee who he was, and definitely told mum what happened. The employee was definitely fired shortly afterward. As soon as she was fired, the shop went from potentially going bankrupt to profiting.
"I used to help..."
I used to help at adoptions fairs through a local shelter at a local chain of pet shops (multiple shops in the same city) the owner dresses way more comfortably than anyone would expect.
One time a lady was throwing a shitfit over the shelter's policies (the shelter and the pet store chain are partnered but share no management) and the owner the of pet store chain came over to find out what the commotion was all about. He just quietly listened as she raved and ranted about complaining to corporate and how she was going to get him fired and everything. He just took down her info and never bothered to tell her that she was yelling at and being abusive to the owner. Honestly he's kind of a cool dude.
"After three weeks of leash training..."
I'm not a business owner but I do basic dog training and walking and general pet sitting as a side hustle. I'm a very small woman (5' 110 lbs).
I got a call from a dog mom asking if I could leash train her 2 year old Great Dane rescue. She and her husband have just been completely unable to get this boy to walk on a leash. We negotiate a price. I work on the cheap side because I'm not licensed but I want to help people so they don't rehome their dogs.
I show up with my fiance and the husband and wife take one look at me and they are incredibly uncomfortable and a bit skeptical. I have my own slip lead and use their leash and collar. My fiance accompanies me and they ask their roommate to walk with us as well. Totally understandable.
This boy is about 150 lbs and he is STRONG. He is also insecure and almost impossible to walk on a lead. He doesn't follow directions well but I'm determined. This boy has been rehomed six times in his two years of living and his parents are considering rehoming him if this doesn't work. They already have 2 adult female Great Danes and a puppy living with them.
The first walk was horrible but like I said, I'm determined to help this pup and his family. The next day, I show up and he's excited to see me. He's a little bit better but not much. His parents are still skeptical. After a week of walks, when I show up, he actually goes and sits by the door to wait for me to leash him! His dad is amazed. Their lead was grossly wanting because they normally don't have to leash their females. I borrow one from my roommate that can hook around my waist.
After three weeks of leash training, his parents are moving and I will not be able to train him any longer. But this boy has made progress by leaps and bounds! His parents are able to take him for walks around the neighborhood. He follows directions. He doesn't bolt. He's not as insecure as he once was. Our last training session, I meet the rest of the household. They call me a miracle worker. We walked for an hour and the only leash I had to use was the one around my waist. We were able to walk hands free. His parents decided to keep him. I'm especially proud of myself for this one.
"She ended up..."
Me but also not me kinda.
I look older than I am (guy on gfs account) and my old boss looked slightly younger than i. Well some lady came up and asked me if we had a specific phone case. I was honest and said I didn't know and that I could look (we had custom cases). As I started to look, the owner came over and asked if everything was OK. She replied with "yes sir, the owner is looking for a specific phone case."
The owner replied with "I am?" And he started looking too. I turned around and told the lady that I couldn't find that specific image for her phone but the owner can make one for her if shed like. She stood there confused and then asked who the owner was. I pointed to my boss and said he is and my boss patted my back and said I was. So the lady stood there and was even more confused. A few moments went by and then co-owner came by and asked what the problem was.
The lady said "I am looking for a specific image for my phone and they couldnt find it. Neither one of them could find it and the tall one said the owner can print one for me. I asked who the owner was and the tall guy pointed to [him] and said he was but [he] patted the back of the tall guy and said he was. Are you the owner (asking co-owner)?"
The other owner laughed and said yes. He said he could do it and asked for the picture.
She ended up getting the phone case but I don't think she ever found out who the owner was
"I've been asked..."
I co-own a clothing company and we do a lot of expos and booths. I don't know how many times recruiters, printers, manufacturers, whatever have completely ignored me and have gone to my athletes that come to help for the day to ask if they could be our manufacturer or if we could be a part of their event.
I've been asked how long I've been working for the company, if I can give their card to my "boss", you name it. Even when the other athletes tell them I'm the one to talk to, they kind of talk to my athlete/ambassador or helpful friend instead of me especially if they're male and white. I just toss their card into the trash.
For background, I don't own the business, but I am the general manager at a pool and spa store. I believe this fits here though. I am also a rather short (5ft tall) woman who, despite being in my 30s, gets mistaken for a high schooler at first glance. Also, I try to get a mix of both male and female employees, but not a lot of women apply for a pool store, so besides myself, the other 4 employees that day are guys, and it being seasonal for all but GM and ASM's, they are all between 18-20 year old guys in between college semesters.
Customer comes in with a pump with a frayed/broken cord. I greet him, and am promptly ignored. Knowing I'm the only one that has shopwork training (I was put in this location to fix a failing store and had to train a whole new staff to boot) I walk off the sales floor and into the shop area to work on other equipment while I wait for the customer.
So customer walks up to the young guy on register and tells him he needs his pump fixed, is told that shopwork is done by the manager and gestures to the shop window. Customer proceeds to ask 2 other brand new employees, they tell him they are still in training, but I would be able to help him, and point him towards me.
Exasperated, the customer walks up to the shop window, and in spite of me standing there working on a disassembled robotic pool vac , says in a snippy tone, "hey, I need the manager to fix my pump, where is he?"
I put what I was working on down, and with that "customer service smile" on , ask if his pump is 110v or 220v since the plug is missing (I can tell once i open the pump, but I prefer to collect all the parts needed first if I can) and if there were any other issues he can tell me about to ensure I have all the parts or if i need to get some from other locations.
Customer looks at me, looks at the screwdrivers and test leads and says, "Honey, they told me I needed the manager, they said he was the only one who can do this, is he here?" (All in a tone like i was bothering him)
I kept that smile and reached out to shake his hand, saying "hello sir, I'm the manager, fuzzyoverlordsmom. Besides a new cord, is there anything else I can help you with today?"
Unfortunately this guy was a jerk, and instead of brushing it off, apologizing for dismissing me, or just acting like a normal person, he questioned if i knew what i was doing and if ive ever even fixed anything before. I told him it was his choice to leave it w me to fix or not, but he does need to talk to me w the same courtesy and respect that he is being shown in spite of how hes been acting.
He left and I fixed the cord, the pump seal & gaskets. Pump worked great after, and his wife came and picked it up. He came in a week later and apologized to me, and ended up giving me another tip. Hes been a model customer since.
"I worked for a landscaping company..."
I worked for a landscaping company ran by a man and his brother, Scott. the one brother Jim was the main boss, but his brother ran things when jim when out of town. Jim was out for a week and his brother gets to one of their houses to cut it, the owner comes out and says, "Hey man, I'm Jim's cousin. He said you guys could trim the hedges while you were here today?"
Scott says "No sorry man, I dont have anything in my notes about trimming your hedges today. I'll talk to jim tonight and get your hedges sorted out, but it might be a few days."
The customer doubles down, replying, "I told you, I'm his cousin, I think I would know if my family says he can trim my hedges for me."
So scott laughs and asks, "well how come I've never seen you at any family reunions?"
The guy looks confused for a minute and finally scott says "I'm Jim's brother, and we're not trimming your hedges today."
"When I was 23..."
When I was 23 I has just started a roofing company, put about 40 roofs in this neighborhood. Went to pick up a check for one of sales reps and got a very suprised look when I introduced my self as the owner.
Growing up my mom owned a business. She did the majority of administrative and behind the scenes work while my father and a family friend worked the front end. Occasionally if my father was off, a customer would come in and ask for the boss only to be surprised/annoyed when she said she was the boss. One time this happened she was just over it and walked back into the office put on a jacket my dad bought her as a joke that said "The boss lady" and went back to the customer to say "now do you believe I'm the boss?"
"I'll take my boyfriend..."
I'll take my boyfriend to yearly conferences and when at booths or when I'm getting supplies or reading material the people running booths will usually talk to him first, thinking he's the one in the field I'm in.
Everytime an older (60+) customer comes into my yarn shop and my mother's visiting the shop. Apparently, at 35 I'm too young to own a yarn shop. My mom (62) looks the part, so they all sidestep me to ask her. Even when I'm the one answering they still turn back to her with their questions.
I used to have a window cleaning business. My employee, who is older than me, was standing nearby taking a short break while I continued working.
Typical "Karen" pulls up and starts asking my employee about our prices, how to get an estimate etc, etc. I start answering questions over my shoulder while I'm working (time is money right?). She gets all huffy, and says something sarcastic like "Sir, I was talking to your boss" in her best The Grownups Are Talking voice.
So I turn around, set my window cleaning tools down deliberately and carefully, take one of my cards out of wallet and said "well ok, but I just thought you might like to talk to the owner instead". So satisfying.
"It was glorious."
I was the manager at an EB Games back in the day. This was probably about 2000-2001. I was there for the launch of the PS2 and Diablo 2 (two biggest events I can remember).
We had an older lady come in one day and wanted to "return" a system she had bought for her son. She claimed he had gotten bad grades in school and was returning it as a punishment. She handed me this ridiculously old and beat up cardboard box. I opened it to find a dirty, dusty, cheeto fingerprint covered PS1. I knew that the original PlayStation launched in 1994 (...and now I feel super old), so what I was looking at in the box was at least 6 years old. I paused, looked back at her, and for whatever reason asked if she had the receipt. She actually did. Sure enough, it had the date printed on it, and it was from some time in '94.
I still hadn't said anything more, I was just looking at the mess in front of me when she spoke up and said something along the lines of "and I'll just take the cash back, that will be fine." I laughed, which was probably my first mistake, and said "I'm sorry, but I don't think I'll be able to return this, this is six years old, and clearly used."
She tried to argue that she had bought it here at this store and the manager at the time told her she could return it for "any" reason and went on this crazy diatribe about her kid being bad, etc, etc. It went on for a good 5-10 minutes. When she was done, I just flipped the receipt over and read her the EB return policy. "30 days from date of purchase for unopened merchandise... etc".
She completely lost it. It escalated so quickly I contemplated calling mall security (ha!) and the police. She wasn't having it. Then I told her she could "sell" the system back to us (it was worth about $40 at the time), which would have given her something, but she wasn't biting on that one.
She asked for the manager, demanded to see the manager, wouldn't rest until she told the manager how rude I had been (I was pretty much a saint for most of this) and was going to get me fired. I just pointed to my name tag, and in the most satisfied tone humanly possible said "Lady, I AM the manager, and there's no way on God's green earth that I'm returning an opened, 6 year old, clearly used, dirty PlayStation."
She stormed out, never to be seen again. It was glorious.
I ran an ice cream shop. I must have had to say "Actually, I am the manager" at least once a week.
My favorite was this woman I eventually banned from the shop. She would come in with her husband and shitty kids. Then she would try to order a large (three scoops) and ask me to put it in three single scoop cups, but only charge for the large.
I said no. You either order three single scoops or you order a large. The difference in cost is quite a bit, but it's fairly standard for companies to do it this way. I wasn't having it. She got pissy that I wouldn't do it. First she said "Well the manager let me do it last week."
"No I didn't," I told her flatly.
"Well than whoever was working let me do it and they said they were the manager."
"No they didn't. I believe my workers over you."
"Well I want to talk to the manager."
"I am the manager. You are talking to me. I said no."
"Fine!" And she and her little family stormed out without any ice cream. No skin off my back. She was rude to me and my workers, I wasn't going to let her treat us that way.
Then she proceeds to call the shop the next day, when I am working again (as the manager, I worked a lot.) She said "Hello, I need to speak to the manager."
"Speaking. How can I help you?"
"I was in there yesterday and some little bitch lied and said she was the manager, but she wouldn't let me get what I wanted..."
"That bitch was me. You're banned from our location. Don't come back."
Bonus justice boner: She tried to call corporate to report me. Corporate outsources complaints to the manager with the highest rating in the area. Which was me. So when she called corporate to complain about me, she also got me. I wrote up the details of the conversation and forwarded all of her messages to the district manager, and he agreed with my decision and allowed me to send her an email officially banning her from the store.
"On one night..."
I used to work in the box office for an MLB team. The actual manager was usually extremely busy and couldn't easily respond to issues at 15 different windows, so we frequently pretended to be each other's managers. It was the easiest way to get back up when an annoying customer would not accept one of our policies.
On one night I was helping a very drunk customer who refused to accept a policy (I don't remember exactly what it was). He asked to speak to the manager, but he and everyone else around me were crazy busy. So I turned my back on the customer, turned back around, pretended to be a different person, and backed myself up. He accepted this without issue and went on his way.
"Worked in retail..."
Worked in retail, specifically a specialist bra fitting shop. One day I was working the change room desk upstairs, taking bookings for fittings and helping the 10 or so customers in the rooms for people who didn't need a fitting but needed me to just quickly check things sometimes and fetch different sizes etc. It was busy, and a woman came in on the lunch rush and demanded a fitting.
I politely told her that I was very sorry but all the fitters were booked and with other customers for the next hour or so, so I could help her a bit but can't give 1-1 attention as I'm helping all the other rooms too, so if she wants the full thing she would need to pop back tomorrow or later.
She flew off the handle, telling me how busy and important she was, that she made a special trip, she can't come back tomorrow, I should help her etc. She was really rude, aggressive and mean. I just politely repeated that I was very sorry but I couldn't help her for the reasons above, we just had no free staff, she ranted a while but then left.
A few minutes after she went downstairs I got a call from one of the till girls saying a customer was complaining about the young girl on the fitting desk who refused to help her even though she could see spaces on the list, and had been rude and had been swearing at her and wanted to see the manager about it. It should be noted I was about 24 at the time, but looked really young - maybe 18. She clearly had no idea I was the manager. I told the desk girl I would be down shortly.
I walked down those steps so slowly with a huge shit eating grin to let the horrible woman slowly recognise who I was. When she saw it was me her face was just a picture. I played along asking for a description of the "girl" who was so rude, as that is very much outside our standards I am shocked to hear such a thing happened, I was upstairs at the time and certainly would have intervened if I had heard such a thing etc. Shit eating grin on full power the whole time.
She had caused such a scene that all the people in the shop were staring at us. So she either had to admit she had been lying and trying to get what she though was some poor shop girl fired, or she had to make up a description with me obviously going to be saying things like "hmm, no one here looks anything like that - try again".
She just was at a loss for words, her mouth agape gasping for air, bright red, not making eye contact. I forget if she said anything at all but she stood there for a long while, and just left.
I have never felt such satisfaction as I did walking down those stairs knowing what was about to happen.
Some years ago, I had to advise a college friend to stop chasing the girl he was interested in at the time. She'd already turned him down. Explicitly. At least two or three times.
He wouldn't take no for an answer and didn't see anything wrong with his behavior.
Perhaps he'd seen too many movies where the guy eventually breaks through the girl's defenses and essentially coerces her into going out with him?
Sadly, this is behavior that is tolerated and yes, normalized in our society.
People were keen to share other observations after Redditor EnoughSandwich_7057 asked the online community,
"What's toxic behavior that's considered socially acceptable?"
"Trying to make people..."
"Trying to make people drink/smoke or drink/smoke more when they have firmly declined the offer."
This is a big one that can have disastrous consequences. I am thankful I got a bunch of terrible nights out drinking out of my system by my early twenties.
Being drunk to the point that you're incoherent is horrible.
"I hate the whole prank thing..."
"I hate the whole prank thing, especially when it's done for likes. Scaring or humiliating people for attention just means you are a bad person."
I don't watch any of those videos and I don't understand what people see in them.
"Overworking yourself and then collectively judging others who don't do the same."
I had a coworker like that once, and she was a (minor) reason why I ended up leaving one job, but still a reason nonetheless.
"Taking your work with you..."
"Taking your work with you on vacation. I mean if you enjoy working then that's your thing, but I get sick of people like going through paperwork and having meetings while on vacation. Like dude, stop."
"Looking down on someone..."
"Looking down on someone because of their job."
When people say things like, "If fast food workers deserve $15 an hour..." that says a lot.
"Deliberately misunderstanding what someone is saying so as to make it easier to argue with them."
"People tend to give drunk people..."
"People tend to give drunk people misbehaving a pass if they regularly do it, 'Oh don't mind Tom, he's just drunk.' That just reinforces that toxic behavior."
You can say that again. How many times have you run into bad behavior like this while out and about, perhaps in a bar? It's not fun.
"The fact that we reward..."
"The fact that we reward customers for being wrong. The number of times my old manager would be so exhausted from arguing over the cost of a carton of milk with a customer that she would just give it to them is appalling."
"It reinforces this mentality because even if the customer KNOWS they're wrong they don't care because they will still win."
Annnnd this is why I don't miss retail. I'm fine where I am.
"Verbally abusing minimum wage employees who don't make the rules. If I could change the laws tomorrow I'd encourage businesses to ban pieces of garbage like these who can't operate in public."
"I'm here to do a job..."
"Toxic workplace behavior needs to be top of the list. I'm here to do a job and go home, not be harassed because you don't like some aspect of my personality. Managers who let this slide should be held personally liable."
When you stop and think about it, you realize we live in an imperfect society. It's astounding that some people just tolerate bad behavior and, in many cases, don't even see anything wrong with it.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
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Parents make mistakes. We want to believe that parents are doing there very best to raise their kids, but sometimes they do more harm than good.
Research into childhood trauma didn't actually begin until the 1970s, so we don't have as much knowledge about our mental health as adults as we might like.
However, a study that followed 1,420 from 1992 to 2015 found conclusive results about childhood trauma:
"'It is a myth to believe that childhood trauma is a rare experience that only affects few,' the researchers say."
"Rather, their population sample suggests, 'it is a normative experience—it affects the majority of children at some point.'"
"A surprising 60 percent of those in the study were exposed to at least one trauma by age 16. Over 30 percent were exposed to multiple traumatic events."
Not all of the things our parents do that were not so helpful technically classify as trauma, but it definitely has an effect on us as we get older.
Redditor Gooncookies asked:
"What could your parents have done better when raising you?"
Here's some of the ways that these Redditor's parents could have done better.
Rules to maintain purity.
"Would've been nice if my dad hadn't convinced me I had to behave in certain ways to maintain my innocence and purity."
"Catholic? I can relate."
"Nope. He's an atheist. He's actually extremely upset that I practice my (non Christian) religion. He just has some really weird ideas about having female children. Like, if I wore spaghetti straps when I was a child he'd say it was like he was living in a brothel."
Becoming afraid of failure.
"Encourage me to do more. I was never pushed to do anything. I mean, I get why some athletes are like 'my parents pushed me too hard where I hated it.' But I was never encouraged to go out for it try anything new. I played little league baseball and decided I thought it was a good idea to try and be a pitcher. I told my mom, but got the response along the lines of 'That's a hard position, and the whole game kind of rides on you, and if you mess up, everyone is going to blame you.' As a 37 year old I now see how that kind of stuff screwed my self esteem up and why I'm so afraid of failure as an adult."
"Same here. Also when I wanted to try anything new my mom was like 'But that's too hard for you, are you really sure you wanna do this? I don't think that you want nor can.' What's even worse than just forbidding, in this way the kid won't 'protest doing it' and get too low self esteem to do it."
"I'm really happy now that I overcame this after I moved out. I started doing all those things I wanted to do as a kid and I freaking love it (but kinda hate the fact that I haven't started earlier)."
"But even if I have a good relationship to my mom I hide a lot of things I do from her, since she still does the same and tries to convince me that I actually don't wanna do what ever I planned."
"But dear mom, sometimes you just need to try new things. if it wont work out who cares!? Even got a tattoo with 'What if I fall? Honey what if you fly?' to remind me if I should ever forget. (And no, my mum doesn't know about it)."
We're allowed to feel our emotions.
"Allow me to express my emotions, treat me like an actually person, actually interact with me instead of just ignoring me and them just telling me to kill myself."
"Wow. I'm so sorry. I think a lot of parents forget that their children are actually human beings."
"Its okay. I'm trying to work through some of that trauma, its easier said than done."
Interest is nice.
"They could have shown more of an interest in my mental health and education."
"I didn't get help for my anxiety until after college and it's so frustrating to hear my parents acknowledge I was an anxious child yet nothing was done. I can look back and see how many things could have gone better for me."
"I had diagnosed ADHD and my mom thought that the meds made my brother and I zombies and decided she wanted us to just be kids. My parents never looked into any kind of non-medication help for my ADHD."
"I'll always wonder what school would've been like if I had the tools to properly manage it."
"I got an MFA, but I feel my entire life has been a whole lot of masking."
I also have comorbid sleep/circadian rhythm disorder which they also never did anything about. Going to the doctor for anything, physical or mental, was not prioritized. But, my parents definitely weren't well off financially, so I imagine that that was the biggest contributor."
Kids deserve autonomy.
"Taught me to question adults and trust myself."
"They thought they were doing the best thing by teaching my sister and I 'All adults are always right and you obey them no matter what,' but it made me a dysfunctional employee and vulnerable to abusive relationships."
"The good news is it can be unlearned. But I hope this new generation will teach our kids to assert themselves respectfully instead of blind obedience."
Why keep up the charade?
"My parents are great people who did a good job raising me, but there was one weird thing they did that still kind of annoys to this day (and I'm 44.)"
"Once I got old enough to figure out that things like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny weren't real they still wouldn't admit it for some reason; I think it was more my mom and my dad just went along with her. But even when I became a teenager and all my siblings were teenagers it's like they still thought it was funny and cute to keep pretending that Santa Claus was real. I don't know why."
"They missed the point of that sort of thing. It's a rite of passage for children to eventually get old enough to figure out that this sort of thing isn't real and for the parents to let them in on it. I was denied that and it still bugs me for some reason."
"I could imagine that being infuriating at 14-15 years old. At that age you're wanting to be seen as more of an adult and I can imagine them not acknowledging Santa as a way of not welcoming me into adulthood/making me feel like a little kid."
Yea that's weird. When I got older and looked back I realized that my folks never flat out said Santa was real. My mom would say something like, 'He's only real if you believe in him,' so she never technically lied to me. Maybe it stems from that, they don't want to admit they lied to you?"
"That could be, but I think it was more a matter of my parents (again, my mom especially) thinking that doing the whole Santa Claus thing on Christmas morning, and Easter Bunny thing on Easter was fun and something that she just didn't want to let go of when my sisters and I got older."
Healthy criticism is necessary sometimes.
"They lacked discipline and parental authority which led us to treat them like our friends, disrespect them. We also couldn't be academically successful because they didn't help us develop a healthy studying habit."
"Kids like it when a parent tells them what to do (I mean, parenting is about teaching a kid what to do, if you just leave it like that, it won't learn anything), help them when they can't get through it, never give negative criticism, but constructive criticism when they fail and appreciate them when they succeed."
"Negative criticism: this type only tells them what is wrong. e.g. 'you can't do this,' 'you are doing this badly.'"
"Constructive criticism: this type gives them an insight into what should they do, you can add what is lacking if necessary. e.g. '[...] is not good behaviour, please do [...] next time, then you would succeed,' 'it looks ok (if it is badly done, then don't say this), but if you do [...] it'd be better / [...] is the correct way.'"
Whatever the situation was with your parents or caretakers, there are ways to heal from this trauma.
Psychology Today says we need to process our emotions, especially if we were taught not to when we were children.
It's important that we break these generational curses.
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Breaking up is something that never gets easier.
That kind of thinking, however, does little to keep us from feeling dejected for days on end.
Curious to hear from heartbroken strangers on the internet, Redditor whitecheeks-24 asked:
What's your sad love story?
Death never comes at the right time.
A Difficult Decision
"The love of my life and soulmate who I was married to for 20 years and together for 24 passed away about 8 months ago. I feel alone and empty inside. I have nobody to love or to love me. My life is an empty waste of space now."
"I took her off of life support because I know that's what she wanted and I had to respect her wishes but I sometimes wish I was a little more greedy. I just want my doll face back."
"I am so sorry. I had to do the same thing with my love, married 40 years. It's been 28 months and I'm sinking deeper into despair. We had so many plans, did everything together, and I am honestly lost without him. I send you warmest regards."
The Shy Admirer
"I was a shy teenager, in love with a cute neighbor. His sister and my mom were friends. He died in a car accident. Nobody knew how I felt about him. I overheard his sister tell my mom that he was in love with me. We never got to share our feelings with each other."
"I think a guy I found on match.com died but I have no way of knowing. We had only been dating for 2 or 3 months and we were taking things slow. Then he got sick..tumors in his back and he needed surgery. We still hung out but he was in a lot of pain."
"At the time I was frustrated because I felt he was pushing me away. I just adored him and he was sending mixed messages. Now looking back.. I'm thinking he was just trying to survive. He went in for surgery and I never heard from him again. I didn't know his family and he didn't have social media."
"My mom would check the obituaries in the paper for me and I just always wondered. I hope he didn't know how to end things and just felt this was easier. It's been 5 years and I have a family of my own now but Michael..I hope you're okay."
It's hard for these Redditors to accept the fact their love was never meant to be.
Long Distance Fizzle
"I had to leave my first boyfriend behind because I moved out of state and didn't even get to say goodbye because I didn't know we were moving when I left. We left to see my aunt who had been traveling and was diagnosis with brain cancer in another state, she was too sick to travel home so they rented a house and stayed there essentially until she passed away."
"My mom liked the area better than my hometown tho so we ended up staying, our stuff was shipped to us so I never got to say goodbye to my boyfriend in person."
"We kept in contact for a couple years but being 16 and 18, it wasn't easy for me to just pack up and head back to move in somewhere with him. We both knew we weren't ready for that so we tried our best to keep the long distance romance going."
"Eventually he messaged me one day and told me that he can't do it anymore and he didn't want to hear from me again because he couldn't handle it."
"When I was in my early 20s, I've had a love at first sight experience. It completely broke me. He actually was into me too, but not in love like I was."
"I had never had a boyfriend before and I got so excited, I came in like a wrecking ball to cite a great poet. Long story short, I scared him off, he broke up, I couldn't get him out of my head and couldn't imagine a world without him, so I tried to kill myself."
"Though let me reassure you all, it's been years and I'm over him (as long as I don't see him IRL, I just know that I'd fall back in the spiral), I even had a long-term relationship after him."
Tough Reality Check
"I got left out of a 5 year relationship. I got injured, lost my job, and had to go take care of my dying mom. I was not in a good way. I come back from the ER and she calls our entire relationship off because I was not 'passionate' any longer. Right."
"My entire life fell apart. Lost the house we had gone in on. Lost the dog we had gotten together. And I lost my girl. She was my bestfriend, my first love."
"Huge reality check but at least I'm only 22. I'm glad I saw her true colors when things went bad. Easy to stand by someone when times are good. Saddest part is I would take her back in an instant. I lost a piece of my soul with her."
Some of the biggest heartbreaks come when someone shows their true colors.
"FOUND OUT MY BOYFRIEND WAS MARRIED WITH KIDS ON THE INTERNET. I was happy and in love for two years. One day while doing my research for a client work, I come across a research paper. The research paper matched what I was looking for, scrolling through it, I realized the owner had some names as my boyfriend."
"But this time he acknowledges his wife and two children for being patient with him as he was busy doing the thesis. I got curious, I took a screenshot and sent him a picture and asked if it's his paper."
"Also, I asked if it's true that he has two kids and a wife and he why didn't tell me. He answered 'DOES IT MATTER '. That was the end of my relationship. Never talked about it, never told any soul what happened."
"I finally got with my best friend and soul mate. He knows more about me then anyone and knows what I've been put thru my whole life. When we first got together he promised he would never do anything to me that others have."
"One year later he cheated, lied and and broke my spirit. Something i never thought was possible with me, yet he accomplished it. It's been a year since i left him and he still tries to get back into my life. The sad part is I know he doesn't love me and I can't stop loving him."
"After four years of supporting my lover through his depression and alcoholism, he announced tonight that he is leaving me. I'm pretty depressed."
A Devious Scheme
"Wife moves our small family across the country for a promotion at her company. When we arrive and settle into our house, she leaves me for her boss."
"The move was a scheme for her boss to leave his wife and kids, and for her to leave me, while being able to be close to all their children. So I unknowingly left my career, family and friends behind to move to a state where I don't know anyone so she could be with her new guy."
Unexpected tragedy will always be, to me, the saddest break up story.
A co-worker of mine used to date a young man who was a patron at the store where we both worked.
Their budding romance was new and exciting and absolutely adorable to watch.
He told me he planned to propose to her before he went away on a family vacation, but sadly, my friend never got the proposal. The guy drowned in a horrible boating accident during his trip.
Although my friend is now happily married with two kids, I wonder if she still thinks about him.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/Want to "know" more?
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On the outside, so many professions and careers look glamorous, financially enticing, and fun.
Often we sit back in our own lives and wallow in our dead-end jobs with that "wish I could do that for a living mentality!"
But if you look a little closer or, much like Dorothy Gale in OZ, just wait for a Toto to push the curtain back, you'll see that a lot more is going on behind the scenes.
And the shenanigans we don't see, make all that fun... evaporate.
So many careers and high power industries are built on a foundation of lies, backstabbing, and stress. And not in that fun "Dynasty" way.
That quiet, dead-end gig may not be so bad after all.
Redditor MethodicallyDeep wanted hear all the tea about certain careers, by asking:
What is a secret in your industry that should be talked about?
I swear if every single person was forced to work in the hospitality industry for at least one month in their life, y'all would be beside yourselves. The amount of craziness and laziness could keep you eating at home for every meal until death.
Play Bigmartin scorsese casino GIFGiphy
"Casino dealers really do want the players to win. We don't work for the house. We get paid crap hourly rates and rely on tips. Unless the player is super nice they only to tip if they win so we really do want you to win." ~ thedevilsgame
Not the Good Stuff...
"That you can take a gallon of paint and give it a different label, price point, and warranty depending on the store it is sold in." ~ big_d_usernametaken
"My professor told me the same thing. He was a job coach and erased the due dates on food products with I believe acetone or some product in nail polish remover."
"Would slap a new date on it, and the food would get shipped to poorer neighborhoods. That crap blew my mind." ~ Additional_Bar_2013
"Oh crap, I may actually go to jail."
"That if everyone being charged with a crime insisted on it going to trial, no plea bargaining, the system would crash." ~ mikenyle
"When I was a juror, the judge also commented before everything started that trial by jury is the only thing causing people to plea bargain and "getting the system moving."
"Many trials sit in limbo for years, and it's only the threat of "Oh crap, I may actually go to jail."
"That really negotiations start. That's exactly what happened in my case - jurors got selected, and that afternoon (after being 2 years in the system), the defendant pleads out." ~ zealeus
"Safety. It's not really about your health and well being. It's about saving the company money from medical expenses, lost time, lawyer costs, etc. Very rarely does your company actually give 2 craps about you, no matter how much they preach safety, they just don't want to pay if you get hurt/killed." ~ WhenThePiecesFit
"pen to paper"New Girl I Give Up GIFGiphy
"TV/screenwriter here. If you're established and well connected, it's very easy to coast and be a TV writer for YEARS and do very little actual writing. Most of TV writing is just talking in a room with other writers spitballing."
"This is why there's so many old, unfunny dudes still "writing" on TV shows. They're hired by their friends and in TV, a lot writers don't actually do much "pen to paper" writing. Plus everything gets rewritten to death." ~ GardenChic
So much mess. Someone hire me to write for TV. Why are you just giving away jobs to unqualified people? Life is so unfair. This list makes me mad. Let's continue...
Carbon Copiesmail GIF by RabbidsGiphy
"I work in the print industry, we print cheques for companies and there is so little security involved in hiring, or keeping the materials secure, or running the actual work, or shipping the work to customers. I'm shocked we haven't had a problem with stolen cheques." ~ Jeff_Cunningham
"Advertising. I keep reading that advertising is leading people to be more woke, or multicultural. Companies don't lead, they follow. They do lots of research and know where the future markets are."
"I worked for a very conservative global brand. 5 years before gay marriage became legal, they told us it would happen and we needed to start targeting the LBGTQ community." ~ leftside72
"Visa agent and I've seen people be refused because the manager didn't like their face." ~ Ok_Albatross9395
"Omg this happened to my sister. She couldn't start her semester in time because she kept being refused a visa even though she fulfilled all conditions."
"Finally my parents found a "connection" in embassy to see what's going on; turns out someone just didn't like her when she came to give her papers the first time. I never knew if I can fully believe that story." ~ animal7239
So much typing...
"I'm a writer, among other things. I used to ghostwrite. You'd be amazed how many popular books are partly or fully ghostwritten. I specialised in taking people's crappy first drafts and rewriting them so they were actually good. Not "good" according to people's taste, which is subjective."
"But objectively better in the sense of being properly spelled, not having gaping plot holes, making sure characters were consistent. By the time I was done there was often very little left of the draft the "writer" had created, but there was a marketable product."
"Pisses me off no end when I see all the bull the publishing industry comes out with about how writers submitting a manuscript must make sure it's perfect because only excellence will get you anywhere."
"I don't know how they can say that and still sleep at night, knowing full well that they're hiring people like me to do large-scale rewrites (or to take a half-baked plot and create a draft from scratch)." ~ iwillckingbiteyou
ThievesJoseline Hernandez Facepalm GIFGiphy
"I work in payroll. The number of payroll reports I see where people are conned out of their overtime is saddening."
"Also, taxes paid by a business shouldn't actively dissuade them from paying employees less. The system shouldn't be based on paying a percentage of employee salary in taxes (FICA, Workers Comp), in other words." ~ ThongofSekhmet
I think some investigations need to be launched. I always knew payroll departments were running a scam. Too many people are being ripped off. Time to expose some people.
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