When you think of scary or creepy experiences on the job, most people tend to picture a person who works in a relatively scary setting park ranger, haunted house designer, morgue.
But sometimes, there are creepy moments in those everyday, ordinary jobs. Something about it happening in such an unsuspecting place makes it seem way worse.
Thanks to these folks for sharing their incredibly awkward stories with us. If you'd like to read more, check out the source link at the end of the article.
Comments may be edited for clarity.
Every few months, in a department with over 20 women, we'd all come in in nearly identical outfits. It was odd. We were all ages and races and styles, but there'd be a day when everyone would show up in a black skirt and red blouse. A few months later, everyone in brown slacks and a cream colored dress shirt. A few months later, gray skirt and black sweater. We could never figure out the trigger (tv show character looking fly in that outfit the night before, a visitor to the building who appeared polished...nothing). It always creeped me out, as it seemed to represent some sort of group think or collective consciousness working on us.
I work in residential environments as a service technician. I go to houses and apartments and condos to do my thing.
I was working in one particular condo building with over 70 floors and about 8 elevators. The elevators are in two groups of four, with two giant elevator shafts. Just picture one giant square that is the lobby and two smaller rectangles in that room that are the elevator shafts. The two shafts are identical looking.
This is relevant because it's easy to get disoriented as to which direction you are facing when you exit an elevator.
Anyways, after doing a bit of work on the 65th floor unit, I realize I have to go to Parking level 1 to a utility room. No big deal. I hop on the elevator and press P1, and take a lonely ride down 60+ floors.
I reach P1 level, and when the elevator doors open I hear weeping. I'm immediately worried for whoever is crying, so I start to pinpoint where the noise is coming from.
It's a child crying, and since all the walls in this area are bare and concrete, the sound is echoing and seems to be coming from everywhere.
Panic didn't set in until I had searched 4 corners of the square room and hadn't found anyone. Now I'm no mathematician, but I'm pretty sure four corners is all of them...so my mind starts racing.
I decide to nope out and head back to the door that would eventually lead me to the utility room that I was supposed to be working in, which I had already passed earlier on my search.
I round the corner and there I found the source of the noise. It's a little girl, with straight black hair, crouched down, sobbing into her knees, facing the corner. I don't know why I didn't see her before, because I already checked that corner. So either I am mistaken, or she heard me get off the elevator and was actively moving away from me. For a moment I considered running because it looked like it was straight out of The Ring, but that moment of nonsense subsided and I asked her what's wrong.
Turns out she was just lost and scared, so I escorted her back to the concierge desk so security could help her back to her room.
Nothing really creepy after the fact, but for a moment, I thought she would turn around with no face or something.
I am a teacher of adult students, and one student of mine is kind of intense and creepy. Actually, she's based at another school, but specifically started attending classes at my school after meeting me. When I first started, she kept giving me 'welcome presents' as I was new to the country. Just simple things like food, postcards and books, which was a nice idea but it seemed a little excessive. She added me on social media and then got upset when I didn't reply to her constant messages (I told her that I don't really use social media).
Anyway, I didn't see her for a few months and figured she'd just gone back to her own school or stopped studying or whatever, and was relieved that she'd clearly got bored of me. But then last week she comes in and gives me an envelope full of photos of me during lessons that she'd taken... without me knowing. I was a little weirded out to say the least.
For those concerned, I wouldn't worry about me too much guys. The girl's creepy, but she's just a young (20s) girl interested in the foreign teacher. No restraining order necessary. This is China and I get a lot of weird attention for being foreign here, this just happens to be one of the more stand-out cases.
That being said, if you don't hear from me in 24 hours, well you know what happened.
Right after the Virginia Tech shooting my old office got an anonymous death threat in the mail. I was made of cut up magazine letters, calling out the name of the office and its owners. They called the cops and closed the office for a couple days. Turned out to be from an employee who had just been fired for a number of reasons. I don't know what happened to her.
I responded to a "welfare check" for an elderly woman who hadn't been seen in a few days. Found her in a dirt basement wearing her wedding dress, dead. Sad.
New Year's Day, 1995. I was in the middle of 3rd year university, which I guess you could say was my job at the time. A bunch of friends had come down to visit me and my roommate for the festivities. We were all pretty hungover from drinking the night before, and went out for the usual "nice day out, a bit chilly, I don't feel so good" post-greasy-breakfast hungover stroll around the neighbourhood.
Two of these friends were twin brothers. One of them, we hung out with all the time. The other we'd just met for the first time. He was pretty normal the night before, joining in the fun, but on this day, we were all hanging around a local basketball court shooting hoops with an old basketball we'd found in the grass, and this twin brother kept following me around all over the place with the creepiest grin I'd ever seen in my life. Staring right into the nether regions of my soul, the whole time.
I'd back away and join the group again, and he'd keep following me around. When we were walking back to the apartment, it was just me and him walking down the sidewalk behind the group, and he moved over in front of me, stared at me with that creepy look again, and fell down to his knees as if to worship me or something. I didn't know what to do... "Hey buddy? You all right? We're heading back now, right?" And so on. He wouldn't say anything - he'd just be there on his knees, looking up at me with a clenched face and squinted eyes, as if he were looking directly into the sun or something.
Later that day, my roomie said he was tripping balls, so I thought nothing of it and moved on with my life. A few weeks later, we got a phone call from the twin brother we usually hung out with, and it turned out that this other twin brother went over to his aunt's place with a knife and stabbed her. She didn't die, but you know, still pretty bad. He had even called the police before going, because he knew he was going to do it but he couldn't stop himself from doing it, because you know, "the voices" and so on.
The ensuing court case was widely covered in the media as this was a relatively smaller community where this sort of thing doesn't happen on a regular basis. I was reading one of the articles and one of the testimonies was that this twin brother was hearing voices in his head. He believed to his very bones that his aunt was the devil, and that he had been commanded by God to go and kill her.
So, who was this "God" that told him to go kill her? Well, as the newspaper article described, it was a guy in a group he hung out with on New Year's Day. Didn't take me long to realize that he was talking about me.
This was 22 years ago. I know for a fact it was a mental illness, but just knowing that I had somehow "commanded" him to go kill his aunt stays with me to this day.
When I was 17 and worked in retail as a cashier, I had a very old couple come through my line, buying a wok. The husband who was at least 85 started making conversation with me about the wok, and asked if I liked Chinese food.
Yeah, I like Chinese.
Do you want to go out with me to get some Chinese? He winks at me.
Oh. Well. He looks a bit disappointed and turns to look at his wife who is on the phone with someone. Would you at least like to come home with me and live in my basement?
The rest of the transaction took place in terrified silence. His wife never said a word. I wonder to this day if he was trying to joke, because he sounded so sincere, or if he was suffering from dementia or something else that make him not realize how creepy that sounds to someone young enough to be your great grandchild.
I worked from 2pm - 11pm at a gas station In one of the nicer cities around here and I had a gentlemen look me in the eyes and ask if I'm enjoying my last day on earth? Walked away before I could answer.
I used to manage a small family-owned retail store. It was the 4th of July and the owners of course took the day off and dropped the responsibility on me. We had two stock boys bringing up some items on the forklift when I hear banshee screaming coming from outside the store front. One of them comes flying through the front door on one leg spewing profanity before collapsing on the ground. I look down and see his actual ankle. Like the bone. Blood is going everywhere.
Dude was riding tandem on the forklift (a giant safety no-no) when the driver took a hard turn and sent the kid off the side, running over his foot. The driver screeched to a halt, thought he stopped on the kid's foot (he didn't) so he popped the forklift in reverse and ran over the foot again.
Anyway, I learned that day that I keep my cool in emergency situations. I grabbed and elevated the kid's foot, instructed someone to call 911 (always tell a specific person to call 911, never say "someone call 911") and another person to get towels to try and stop the bleeding. I held his foot up until the EMTs came. They managed to save the kid's foot but he had a battle ahead of him. His foot went necrotic and he went septic (I think that's the right term) at one point, but he survived.
I don't work there anymore. There were a lot of unsafe practices going on and the owners didn't treat their employees very well. I left about 3 years ago and surprise surprise they shut down about a year and a half later.
This happened quite a few years ago when I was at Uni. My friends and I were living on a ground floor flat and my room was at the front of the building, outside my window was the front garden.
My boyfriend (at the time) and I had literally just finished having sex and I put my head on the pillow and glanced to my right, which is where the window was. There was a gap between the curtain and the window and I was met with a pair eyes watching me.
We both (me and the peeper) had the instinct to look away and then quickly look back. At this point, I shouted to my ex, that there was someone watching us from outside. He jumped, opened the window and shouted various amusing warnings. He could see that the grass was disturbed so that someone had been there and by the looks of it more than once.
From further inspection the next morning, we found out that he had jumped the small hedge and exited through my neighbours garden.
I told my friends and was pretty freaked out by the whole event. However, my lovely friends decided to walk by my flat late the next night and bang on the window and make sex noises. I almost crapped myself.
I was 18 yrs old and it was my first time ever operating a dozer with an open air cab n roll cage. I was clearing trees out of a waterway on a farm. All of a sudden I'm knocked out. Come to and blood is running down my face into my lap. Dozer pushing up against a tree just spinning tracks. My neck and head hurt. I thought I'd been shot or something. No idea. Nobody around me. I wasn't told how to shut off the dozer as it was an older 6C so you don't just turn the key off. I called my dad and he runs over and pulls the idle bar all the way down and it shuts off. We both are clueless as to what happens then he sees a branch behind my head that I must have drove thru and pushed it forward pretty far and it snapped back into the cab and hit me in the forehead. Never saw it or anything.
I work in a supermarket, early shift, and part of my job is changing the shelf labels for the price changes each day. Just this Wednesday I was putting new labels on a shelf of hand soap when, about two foot along the shelf from me, a bottle shot off and landed in the middle of the aisle. I looked along the aisle at my colleague and she just shrugs her shoulders and says,"happens all the time!"
I've never directly witnessed anything else but, being one of the first on the shop floor each day, I'm now questioning all the items that I see sitting in the aisles first thing and guessing I can't blame untidy customers for them all.
The summer after high school, I worked at a grocery store in the small town I grew up in. I was unfortunate enough to get moved to a stocking position, which meant coming in at 9pm and placing groceries onto shelves every night until 8am. There was only me and one other woman who worked that shift.
One night, we were on our break around 4am. A good portion of the isles had been stocked. As we sat and drank our coffee and conversed, the sound of glass shattering shook us alert.
The conversation immediately stopped and we stared at each other.
"Did you hear that?"
"Yes. It sounded like glass breaking."
We sat for a few more moments listening.
The front of the store was large glass windows and any one of them could have been smashed and someone violent and potentially serial-killerish could gain access to the grocery store. This was our concern.
I stepped out of the break room and looked for any sign of an intruder. It was a big store, so they really could have been anywhere. I was relieved to find that they were not, however, right outside the breakroom.
I slowly made my way to the front of the store. All of the windows were intact.
"What the hell broke then?"
I started walking down the length of the store, scanning each aisle for a sign of an intruder or anything that could have caused the sound of breaking glass.
And then I found it.
(Continued on the next page)
Lying in the middle of the aisle, a glass bottle of ketchup. The bottle was shattered and ketchup was splattered everywhere. My first thought was that it fell off the shelf. However, I quickly realized that since it was in a glass container, it would have been stocked onto the bottom shelf. Sure enough. The other bottles on the bottom were in slight disarray, as well. But how did a bottle that was stored an inch above the floor, fall with such velocity to shatter and splatter? Everything pointed to it being thrown.
By this time, my co-worker had found me investigating the broken bottle. We agreed that had gravity been the culprit, the bottle would have simply fallen and stayed within inches of where it fell. Not land 3 feet away with enough impact to shatter the bottle and send ketchup everywhere.
The answer was clear. Ghosts. The grocery store must have been built on the site of some blood-soaked field of war. And now, an angry ketchup flinging ectoplasmic emanation was lashing out at the living. Jealous and hungry for our life energy and our ability to have tasty condiments atop our burgers and or...if you're that kind of person, mac and cheese.
I bent down and looked at the shelf more closely.
I reached my hand back behind the bottles... and that's when I felt it. It's gnashing teeth biting hard into my hand. It yanked me hard towards it.
Oh. Sorry. Actually. That part didn't happen.
It was biscuits. Someone had thrown a container of refrigerated biscuits behind the ketchup. It had soured, built up pressure, and exploded. The explosion was enough to fling the bottle off the shelf.
So a warning to all of you. Don't be a dick and put a can of biscuits behind non-refrigerated products at a grocery store.
While cutting lawns along this bike trail, me and a coworker found a mostly decayed, severed from the knee down, leg.
Cops were called, they questioned us and we never found out any more about what happened.
My sophomore year in college I ran into this guy that was a year younger than me. Let's call him Mitch. Mitch and I were acquaintances that ran in the same circles. He was a nice guy. Smart. And quiet. At parties he would fold these really cool 3d shapes in the corner instead of interacting. He would always just...watch everybody.
Anyway, I ran into him at a bus stop and I stopped to say hello. We had an awkward chat about our majors (him physics, me chE) and I asked if he had any contact with a mutual friend that went into the army. He said yes and I said 'Great! Could you pass him my number!'
He opened his wallet and pulled out a peice of paper, the only thing in there. It had my name, university address, and phone number.
I'm a stay-at-home parent. My 3 year old, who is normally very happy go lucky, was extremely concerned the other day. He kept looking around the room talking about "the rhino" (who knows what a 3 year old might translate as a "rhino"). This went on for about 20 minutes - he was very concerned and looking around the entire time. So, we get to a point where he says the rhino is moving. My wife asks where the rhino is... "he's coming to Daddy." yeah, um, I'm Daddy and my butthole puckered just a wee bit at that comment....
Fast forward about 4 days (last night), and he starts talking about "the ghost" - my daughter asks my son "where is the ghost", my son says "he's biting Daddy."
What the actual heck.
I work for a company with multiple sites. The couple who own the business tend to acquire new sites from their connections to the Catholic church. We're talking old church buildings, halls, rectories - really anything they're not using anymore.
It wouldn't faze me, but I visit our centers a lot, and I have heard some weird crap from our workers.
One center is in a really old church, which over the years has been different restaurants and local ventures. When we acquired it, the building was derelict, and there was a homeless man living there. Business there always fails after a few years and to tell you the truth, were not doing so well ourselves. Everything looks like a dark cathedral when you're shutting down and every sound you hear feels like it's coming from the basement, which has a proper old school crypt vibe.
The worst is one in an old house weve occupied for years. Were turning the attic into a new room, and two of the workers refused to go up there. Turns out they had an experience with a trapdoor in the middle of the day. One fell flat on her face, covered in cold sweat after they opened this door.. . and I wouldnt believe it but the other worker was there as witness.
But the best part of the whole thing? We get these centers exorcised on the regular by a local Priest.
Realtor here. I held an open house in a very rough neighbourhood in Vancouver, BC. As I showed a 35-ish year old woman around the townhouse, I saw a drug addict emerge from an alley. As we went upstairs I noticed through a window that the naked-from-the-waist-down addict was shuffling closer to the 'open house' sign in the front lawn. My potential buyer asked to see the front yard again, though I tried to take her out back as I kinda had a bad feeling about the front door. I was correct. As we opened the door, this most nude heroin addict was standing on the doormat. There was a needle sticking out of her boney elbow and she was scratching/picking at it furiously. My buyer screamed and ran out the door as the addict snapped the needle in half, leaving metal in her arm with blood spitting out. I dialled 911 emergency and watched the Vancouver Police/paramedics take care of this poor addict. I took down my 'open house' signs and went home to hug my wife and children. It was a very tough and terribly sad day, but creepy? Heck it was awful.
When I worked fast food, this old man came in, ordered a meal, and sat reading a book for over an hour. He had this horrible cough and when he would talk to random strangers, he just seemed a bit off.
Well, he went to the bathroom and I was busy and when I looked for him again I thought he had left. A little bit later I went to use the bathroom and this old dude had crapped all over the toilet seat and floor, and then rubbed pennies in it. The poop (from his hands) was all over the walls and sink. It was creepy because I had no idea if he had any contagious disease and we had to bleach the bathroom down. Also why was he playing with his poop and pennies???
I once worked as a live-in staff member in a college dormitory.
During the summer we housed the few summer school students who remained on campus (nearly 30). It may be significant to point out these students tended towards the highly academically-motivated, often times high-stress students, if quiet.
One warm day in late June my office received a call from a concerned sibling that she and her family was unable to reach her brother who lived by himself in a room on the summer school floor. This wasn't unusual as our office frequently dealt with students avoiding their kith and kin due to frayed nerves or general social awkwardness.
Our normal protocol to check on a student is to try to reach them by our emergency contact information, failing that - go check their room to verify they're living in the building and perhaps available then and there, then have them call their family to verify we followed up on the original request. Also - we are to only enter a room with another staff member present to ensure personal safety of staff and students. I failed to reach this student on his room and mobile phone, and was working short-staffed so since I was on my own I decided to pop up to his room and check on him. I arrived on his floor around 2 in the afternoon and the floor seemed deserted as I had expected. I found his room number and immediately noticed the sound of a movie playing on a TV or computer from behind the door. I knocked three times and announced that I was a staff member checking on his health and safety.
I didn't think this was that remarkable, college students are notorious for leaving electronics running while not in the room. I checked the floor showers and bathrooms and found them deserted.
I returned to his door and knocked three more times, waiting about 20 seconds between each knock.
This is when my instincts started to buzz. I worked in residence halls a number of years as a professional and something about all the pieces of this puzzle weren't adding up; family concerned about his health and safety, electronics running (someone must have started them recently, within the time frame of a movie run-time), summer school students and their idiosyncratic behavior, something wasn't right.
I was by myself, so I probably let myself get more worked up than if I was with someone else. A deserted dorm floor, even at 2 in the afternoon, oftentimes evokes Kubrician memories of the Overlook Hotel . . . (continued on the next page!)
I decided that for some sense of closure or sanity I needed the immediate resolution of keying into this student's room, even though I was by myself and not technically supposed to do so.
I knocked on the door one more time for good measure, again announced myself as the hall director. I keyed into the room and my spider sense went off even stronger: The room appeared relatively vacant; the student appeared to be living out of a suitcase (which is unusual for someone staying no less than 8 weeks for a summer school session). The bedding was tussled like someone had been sleeping in it and all the lights in the room were on. And as I had suspected, there was an open laptop on a desk running on battery power playing The Matrix. But no student. I began to start rationalizing to keep from feeling unsettled; surely this student and I had crossed paths on my way to his room (I'd never met him before so I wouldn't recognize him otherwise) and perhaps he was just down in the lobby picking up delivery food for a late lunch.
Sure, that's it.
Then I turned to leave, planning on trying to reach the student later in the afternoon or that night. As I turned to leave I noticed another odd piece of evidence; the accordion closet doors (which are removed in most rooms due to disuse, particularly single rooms like his) were still in this room. And they were closed.
Odd. I couldn't remember the last time I actually saw someone use those cranky, dysfunctional doors. Then my intuition spiked higher than ever. CRAP CRAP CRAP. I realized I was alone in a room with a potentially suicidal student who may, in fact, have completed just that. And I am about to be "that guy" who discovers the body and then has a storm of paperwork and undesirable tasks, not the least of which would be calling the family back to break the news.
I felt like I was talking to myself when my voice cracked as I spoke to the closed doors and announced my name and title and that I would be opening those accordion doors in 3 seconds.
I fumbled with the latch on the doors, and finally managed to get them disengaged, and as I slid the doors apart, I was unprepared. I don't know what I really expected, a hanging? gunshot wound?
I'll tell you what I didn't expect: a very tall man staring at me embarrassingly as though I had found his secret hangout. We stared at each other for a good 15 seconds without blinking, breathing or speaking. I finally realized what was going on and my natural emotion was disbelief. All I could think to say was, "Um . . . are you in here hiding from me?"
He looked at me and said, "Yeah."
My heart was still racing, I turned to leave and before I shut his door I turned back to him and said, "Call your sister, she's worried about you, and, frankly, I am too."
Thanks for reading!
People hard up for cash will do anything. But what about the other way around?
There are a ton of jobs or favors that don't require much skill, experience, or labor, and people who are fortunate enough to get hired walk away with a king's ransom.
Looking for those kinds of "jobs," however, is like finding a teardrop in the ocean.
"What's the dumbest thing you were paid to do and how much were you paid?"
Good luck finding these well-paying tasks.
"Had a WFH gig working sort of as a personal assistant for a rich guy on the opposite coast from me. I did all kinds of wacky sh*t for him. For example, one time I had to break up with my boss's girlfriend because he was too wimpy to do it himself. That was literally my job."
"One day, I bought him a new pickup truck. Meaning, I negotiated the deal and paid for the truck with his credit card. All in all, I'd say the process probably took about two weeks, for which I was paid my usual wage at six hours per day. No big deal."
"Somehow, his dad found out about the new truck and he decided he wanted a new pickup truck too. He called me about a week after I bought the truck for my boss and said he'd pay me $2,000 to buy a truck for him. I called the same dealership back, spoke to the same salesman, told him what was up and basically said give me another truck, same price as before. The salesman was only too happy to comply."
"It took ten minutes to make the phone call and then a day or two to get the title and other paperwork sorted out. So, depending on how you look at it, I made $2,000 for just ten minutes worth of 'work.'"
"Somehow, my boss's rich friend found out about all this. He decided he wanted a new SUV. 'OhYeahThrowItAway, you have to buy it for me!' I told him the last time I bought someone a vehicle, I got paid $2,000. The friend was basically like F'k it, I'll pay you $3,000, just get it for me' and then he emailed me his wish list."
"That deal took a little longer, maybe two weeks."
"I made $5k extra in just two months buying vehicles for lazy (or dumb) rich people."
Staying Out Of The Picture
"I was paid $300 to move my car for a movie that was filming by my apartment."
Pack It Up
"Got paid 10k to leave an apartment because it was sold and new owner wanted to move in. I was tenant (renter) under previous owner. I had 4 months left in my rental contract. This was in Spain (Barcelona)."
"I was flown to Paris to do a compliance audit, the systems weren't set up for the audit, couldn't get access so spent the week being taken to restaurants and shopping. On 1 of the days and at the last minute the company decided to send me to London for a meeting, literally just to meet people. I missed the Eurostar because I forgot my passport (totally blanked that I was entering another country), they had to rebook the Eurostar. Nothing was achieved out of this trip. No audit was completed. Nothing came of the meeting. The cost to the company 25k+ for me to do nothing for a week. Corporate money is ridiculous money."
Not much labor was required for these so-called "jobs."
Ten-Minutes Of "Work"
"I used to work for a PR agency. Every month one of our clients wanted a handful of photos re-sized for their website; nothing fancy, just setting the width to 500px in Windows Photo Manager."
"It was maybe ten minutes of work every month, but the contract said the minimum amount of time we would charge them for was one day - and this was for the full team too, not just me. It must have cost them several hundred pounds every month."
"I showed the client how to do it several times, and explained that they could save a lot of money doing it themselves. They didn't seem to mind."
"In the end I made sure I got it in writing that I'd informed them of their options and let them get on with it."
Thank You, Goodbye
"$175 to do some kind of user study at Netflix, I show up in the lobby and then they go, 'actually we got the data we needed from the studies earlier today, you're free to go!'. Still got paid!"
"I did an event for a national association for deaf people at which they did every presentation in ASL. I am an audio engineer, who specializes in live sound and concerts. I did nothing for 5 days of show, $450 a day."
Paid To Play
"I got asked to do 2 hours of barrier watch (Guarding a barrier ribbon while a crew did x rays inside a power plant). This was asked last minute after a 12 hour shift so the bonuses of staying happening to be a Sunday, etc I was being paid $110 to stand and play on my phone and make sure sure nobody tried to pass all the DO NOT ENTER DANGER DANGER signs during a time of day with minimal personnel."
"I rented my chicken to a photographer for fifty bucks."
Gotta Have Wendy's
"I was driving for uber. Picked up a bunch of drunks at like 2 AM. They were like 'Yo we gotta grab some Wendy' I go 'I'm sorry this is my busy period' they go 'Can we bribe you?' I go 'Absolutely you can bribe me.'"
"One the guys said I'll give you $100...I was shocked it was that high, another guy said '$150' and finally his wife said 'F'k it I want Wendy $200 and we buy you Wendy too.'"
"I finally said yes, FYI I hadn't said yes yet because the reality is $20-$40 would have gotten me to stop at Wendy."
"So there I sat at Wendy as those 3 drunks bought me wendy and paid me $200."
"One time I was at this super fancy dinner party. I'm talking servers and everything, I was in a freaking tux! It was outside and catered by a professional bbq company. I mean these guys had won international competitions. Well get this, they were double booked and didn't show. The other servers didn't know how to grill, and this totally smokin server in her 30s is just staring at the grill like a deer in the headlights. Well I don't want to be a hero but I ask if I can help. The entire staff spend the rest of the night bringing me drinks as I make this bbq and NOBODY realizes the award winning chefs didn't show up!"
Where Do We Apply?
"Ok this wasn't a job or anything.... But I got 10$ to eat half a watermelon."
Some opportunities present themselves.
When I was a kid, I hung out at a Japanese summer festival booth where you roll a bowling ball on a track that had two hills. The objective was to push the ball hard enough to get it over the first hill but not too hard to get it over the second hill.
I was fascinated with the challenge and stayed there for a long time as my parents were over by the food booths with their friends.
It was a slow day, and the dude working the booth wanted to peace out for a bit, so he offered to pay me $50 to "hang out" in his stead.
Of course, I said "sure."
No one ever came, and I earned fifty bucks rolling bowling balls for an hour. Was it the dumbest thing I ever did for money? Maybe, but I laughed all the way to the piggy bank that day.
That guy really must have despised his post enough to give a twelve-year-old kid $50.
Everyone talks about how the 20s are supposed to be the time of our lives. And that's largely true. But it's not all wine and roses.
Among all the freedom and youthful exuberance, so many people spend that decade struggling through the chaos of having absolutely no idea what their passion is.
And when we've internalized the desire to find an occupation that aligns with our values, sounds cool to talk about, and provides us with existential fulfillment, it can be difficult to identify the perfect fit.
So we hum along rather aimlessly.
Thankfully, some people do find their vocation and hunker down. But for others, it takes a little longer.
Perhaps struggling to locate that ideal passion, Redditor wibly_wobly_kid asked:
"People who discovered their passion at a later stage of life, what is it and how did you figure it out?"
Many people talked about making a career switch when they least expected. For the longest time, they new they didn't enjoy their work, but they didn't know what to do instead.
Hiding In Plain Sight
"I went to college twice in my early 20s for journalism and communications, but never graduated. I spent the rest of my 20s in a dead end food service job, miserable and angry at myself. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life"
"My extended family has lots of little ones (cousins having cousins) and every time there was a family get together, I always found myself playing with and entertaining the kids. One day, my uncle pointed out how good I was with kids, and did I ever consider working with them? I laughed it off but later thought 'hey, I have nothing better going on. What's the harm in researching a bit?' "
"I found out I could become an early childhood educator, working in daycares or kindergarten classes. So I applied to a couple of colleges and got in right away (applied on a Monday and got accepted the Friday). I quit my dead-end job and focused entirely on school. I made the dean's list all 4 semesters (something I have never done), and aced all my classes."
"I had a placement at a daycare/before and after school card place, and they hired me right after I finished my placement. So now I'm working there and happier than I ever was in my 20s"
Never Too Late
"Law. I was 45 when I went back to school. I'd worked blue collar jobs all my life, was a high school dropout. My daughter started taking paralegal classes and I thought, 'I could do that.' "
"So I got my GED and signed up for a 2-year paralegal certificate program through the local community college. Fell in love with law. Also discovered I was good at it. I had several professors who were lawyers tell me I'd be wasted as a paralegal and should go to law school."
"So I transferred to a 4-year school. Worked full time through undergrad and graduated with honors. Got into law school. I graduated law school at 55, oldest in my class. But I'd gone from being a high school dropout to a lawyer in just 10 years."
"Passed the California bar first try and I've been a public defender ever since, which is the only thing I ever wanted to do with it. I'm 60 now but I'm healthy and energetic and have a lot of years left. I love what I do, I'm very good at it, and it's the best move I ever made."
Every Week an Achievement
"Was 39 when I took a temp job in a social services type industry. Just basic stuff."
"Realised after a couple of years that I'd circled back to my idealistic 17yo self's plan for my career. Spent the previous 20 working sh** jobs I hated."
"Turns out it's really important to do something that aligns with your values. Finish the week feeling like I've contributed to society, rather than working to screw people for money."
Others discussed the passions they've discovered outside of their working life. These won't bring home any income, but their importance to life satisfaction cannot be understated.
"My dad discovered his life's biggest passion at 67. Mountain climbing. Serious mountaineering."
"He climbed Kilimanjaro and Whitney just months apart."
Plenty More Shredding In Store
"I started Rollerskating (on ramps) just before I turned 40 , it's never too late to start, you just need more safety gear :)"
"I've been doing it for years now I'm in my mid 40s and still rollin. It makes me a bit sad I didn't start when I was younger, but I reckon i've got another ten years left in me."
Moving the Needle On Women's Pockets
"Sewing/tailoring clothes. On a whim I took a class at a local community center and got hooked. After learning some basics in the class and following some YouTube videos I can make a passable pair of pants/trousers and basic shirts. I'm lucky that my local library had sewing machines you could check out so I didn't need to commit any real money early on."
"The best thing to come out of learning this new skill was making a pair of pants with actual pockets for my wife. Guys, you have not seen joy until you see your wife get a pair of functional custom pants with human-sized pockets. I thought her head was going to explode she was so happy."
Keep an Ear Out for Jingles
"I always wanted to learn an instrument that wasn't academic related."
"Over COVID lockdown I picked up the guitar."
"I picked it up pretty quick. So I learned the drums."
"Now I'm finishing building a music studio. I wanna write commercial jingles and just throw a bunch of sh** online for fun"
Unexpected, But Sounds Awesome
"I'm 31, but one year ago I discovered camels. Now I own three. I love them 🥰" -- ZhenHen
"I assume you are not talking about cigarettes, so how does one acquire not only one but three camels? Where do you live? How much did they cost? I'm very intrigued." -- dufresne90
"When you're into camels, every day is Hump Day." -- HolIerer
And a few put a finer point on the nature of that work vs. hobbies dynamic. They assured that one's professional career doesn't necessarily have to provide all the fulfillment they're looking for.
Sometimes, we just need to punch the clock.
Earning Free Time
"PSA: you don't have to be passionate about your job. Your passion can be a hobby you do in your free time. I don't think I will ever find a vocational passion."
"Used to think I was broken because of that but really there is no requirement to be head over heels about what puts money on the table and food in the pocket!"
Career's Moving, Still Painting
"Late 40s here. Got a book called Learn to Draw in 30 Days about 4 years ago. Then about 3 years ago I heard about #the100daychallenge where the goal is to create art every day for 100 days. I never stopped and made it a goal to hit 1000 days."
"In that time, I won contests, got about two hundred commissions, raised over $5000 for a charity, and had a great time. When I hit the 1000 days back in December, I decided to go back to college and get an art degree. I signed up for classes and talked with my manager at work to see how much they would pay for college, she was excited that I was going to get a business degree and said she'd work on getting all of the classes covered."
"Free college became too tempting to pass up so now I'm planning on getting the business degree and then on to law school because they'll pay for that too. I just finished my first semester with a 4.0 and I'm on day 1136 of my non-stop painting journey."
So if you're still looking around for your passion and feeling discouraged, rest assured that it might come your way when you least expect it.
And life is long, my friends.
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Don't disturb my beauty sleep! That's the one rule I have––and thankfully I live alone, so there isn't anyone to bother me, which is fabulous. But that doesn't mean I'm immune to getting woken up in the middle of the night. The worst way I can think of off the top of my head? The time a drunk guy wandered into my friend's yard and started banging on the window while I was trying to sleep. It was 3 a.m. The incident also gave me the fright of my life!
People told us about the experiences that yanked them out of dreamland after Redditor GratefulD_86 asked the online community,
"What is the worst way you've been woken up?"
"By raw sewage pouring through my ceiling (in my bedroom) from my upstairs neighbor.
He partied and ripped the toilet out of the floor, then continued using it. Took maintenance almost 16 hours to show up and turn off the flow."
"I literally didn't even know..."
"Cops beating on my door to search my house for someone I was hiding. I literally didn't even know the person."
Terrifying. This could have ended very badly.
"Cops busted down my door..."
"Cops busted down my door to take me to jail for having meth except. They had the wrong house."
"Neighbor decided to hang shelves in her bathroom after midnight and drilled into our shared wall. Scared the crap out of me."
The walls do indeed have ears.
"The phone woke me up..."
"The phone woke me up a little after midnight. I was informed that my mother had died. It was not totally unexpected. Her health had been declining.
I still dread hearing the phone ring late at night."
"A cockroach entering my mouth on my first day of camp."
"Police department knocking..."
"Police department knocking on my door at 2 a.m. saying the meth lab across the street might blow up so we needed to get out ASAP."
Is this a deleted episode of Breaking Bad?
"My cats were chasing each other..."
"My cats were chasing each other and one ran across my face while I was sleeping. The scratches were pretty bad all across one side of my face. It was the day before my senior prom too, so I ended up having a scratched-up face for that. I still have a scar right by my eye."
Cats are always at their most unpredictable very late at night!
"My Dad would keep a bag of marbles in the freezer. If you didn't wake up the first time, he dumped them into your bed."
"The neighbor in the building across from us..."
"Glass shattering. Lived in a 6 story apartment building. The neighbor in the building across from us was having some kind of psychotic break and was throwing everything he could get his hands on off his balcony. He was aiming for the windows of other apartments. We were far enough away to not get hit but watching that go down was not super fun."
We don't envy anyone of these people. Hopefully their lives have been filled with plenty of glorious, uninterrupted sleep since.
Have some of your own stories? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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I love food! Maybe a little too much. It's been an especially amorous relationship over this pandemic. And I know I'm not alone.
All of our palettes are tuned to our own personal tastes. And sometimes certain items and combinations of tastes can leave others less than enticed.
I've lost track of all the side-eye I've gotten when I declare how much I enjoy PINEAPPLE on pizza. I said it. I meant it. Fight me. Let's discuss who else has eclectic tastes.
Redditor u/CatVideoFest wanted to discuss the mixing of certain ingredients that don't leave the best taste in one's mouth by asking:
Food is for survival. That was the plan. But over the years it has become somewhat of a way of life. Some of the most annoying people are foodies. They get so uppity about the preferences of others. Like, let me just enjoy what I enjoy.
Mom No!Mom Smile GIFGiphy
"I don't like my mom's cooking."
"Livestock have refused to eat my mother's cooking. She's a terror in the kitchen."
Take them OUT!!
"I hate walnuts in baked goods. It tastes like wood shavings and completely ruins the flavor."
"I love walnuts but I feel this way about raisins in baked goods, raisins are fine by themselves but not in sweets, I once ordered cinnamon rolls at Hardee's and bit into it and found out there were raisins in it, and I was grossed out and didn't want to eat it. At least freakin' McDonald's serves real cinnamon rolls without freakn' raisins!"
The Fart Ingredient
"I don't like kidney beans except in chili."
Oh thew Crunch...
"Pickles and onion make the best sandwich. I make most of my own pickles from stuff I grow or get from local farms in the fall, but I responded to another comment with two different heinous concoctions I enjoy. Crunchy, salty, sour. I really like pickles and onions to begin with."
"I use more than pickled cucumber though. Like the last one I made, I used garlic naan, mayo, red onion, scallions, pickled garlic, green olives, Kalamata olives, garlic dill cucumber, and green beans. Shallot, sour pickled onion, sweet pickled cucumbers, and sushi ginger on sprouted 14 grain bread is also also a favorite of mine."
No Sizzlebacon GIFGiphy
"I do not like bacon."
Who doesn't like bacon? That seems like a sacrilege. Right? But to each their own. Though I will never understand not loving walnuts in comfort food. Y'all need more self love.
Love the Big M
"Fast food tastes amazing, yeah its unhealthy as hell but don't you sit there and lie and say it tastes bad."
Blasphemy!golden girls flirting GIF by HULUGiphy
"Cheesecake is disgusting."
Too Many Legs
"Lobsters and crabs are giant insects."
"I don't really think that's that controversial, in my area of the world we even call this creature a 'Moreton Bay Bug' even though some fisheries try to give it the more appealing name of 'flathead lobster'."
"Boneless wings are vastly superior to bone-in wings. I think bone-in wings are a ripoff because when you get half a pound of them, part of that half-pound is inedible. It's like if you ordered a quarter-pound cheeseburger, but the restaurant considers the weight of the plate to be part of that quarter-pound and you end up with just a slider. Just give me some damn meat."
The Slimeman oyster GIFGiphy
"Oysters are truly disgusting and absurdly overpriced for quarter sized pieces of snot that tastes like salt water and hot sauce."
Ok, I'm trying to stay calm. I don't want to judge. But some of these opinions... are leaving me shook. Except the oysters. That is that work of the devil. Look away...
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