In the past hundred years, we've seen incredible discoveries and movements across every field science, literature, art, mathematics... the list goes on. However, due to the sexist nature of the world we live in, women who dedicated their lives to furthering these industries, made revolutionary discoveries, and deserved recognition, were often cast aside or dismissed altogether. These great minds had their work stolen, were tortured, dismissed, left uncredited, and faced huge obstacles, but still managed to contribute in ways that bettered humankind. Below are six stories of incredibly genius women who fit this very bill. For them, we will always be thankful.
Barbara McClintock was a genius scientist whose ideas and discoveries revolutionized science's understanding of genetics. The thing is? Nobody noticed, because nobody would acknowledge she was even there.
McClintock was working at the University of Missouri, and was regularly excluded from staff meetings, and denied advancement, despite her extraordinary abilities. It was there, working alone, that she discovered that chromosomes can break and repair themselves, a process which frequently leads to mutation.
Soon after, McClintock realized that she would never progress at the University of Missouri, due to constantly being undermined and dismissed for being female. She decided to take a job at the Carnegie Institution in New York, hoping this would turn her career around. It turns out, the Carnegie Institution wouldn't take her seriously either. It was there, at the Cold Spring Harbor research facility, that McClintock went on to revolutionize the way we think about genetics. However, nobody would take her seriously, or even pay attention when she tried to talk about it. Everyone just thought of it as a crazy "woman" idea that would never actually be a thing.
Until that point, geneticists around the world strictly adhered to Mandelian genetics. Essentially, the primary point of Mandelian genetics is that parents pass genes on to their offspring via chromosomes that are immutably locked. So if your parents pass a chromosome on to you, you will pass it on to your offspring, and the pattern will continue that way forever and ever amen. Of course, we now know this is wrong. McClintock knew it was wrong, too, but nobody would listen to her.
There was a shift, though, and I'm going to warn you now that it wasn't a good one. Our story of sexism is about to get a whole lot nastier.
In 1948, McClintock discovered that certain parts of chromosomes could swap genes, which essentially negated the Mandelian theory that every other geneticist had been adhering to. This was obviously a revolutionary discovery.
People weren't listening to McClintock, so she persisted. "In fact, Sewall Wright straight up told her she must have done the math wrong." Let's just understand the gravity of this statement here at that point, McClintock was an award-winning geneticist with a Ph.D. she obviously knew how to double check her numbers. What a low blow.
After that, McClintock toured universities, lecturing on her findings, and wrote letters and papers to scientific journals -- all to no avail. Nobody would take her seriously. All those years, (ten, to be precise), McClintock had finally been worn down by the rampant sexism in her industry. She put two middle fingers to the air and moved on to other studies. Just take a moment to think about all the further discoveries McClintock could and would have made, had people just taken a moment to listen to her. Is it making you angry? Well, you're about to be steaming...
Fast forward in time, and in 1961, McClintock opens an article to read, by a male geneticist who had made the same discovery as McClintock, and was now getting famous for it. He had taken it to his cohort, everyone took him seriously, it had been verified by a bunch of other (male) scientists, and was now completely making waves in the scientific world. So what does McClintock do?
No, she didn't do the thing I would have done, which is egg every house of the people who dismissed me for literal decades. She wrote a piece for American Naturalist, pointing out that she'd done the same thing, years before. All of a sudden, since the discovery had now been made and verified by men, McClintock was taken seriously. 35 years later, she saw recognition for her discoveries and was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1983.
There she is, ladies and gentlemen. A totally amazing, determined, and genius, shafted by sexism.
If you've ever watched a Tim Burton film, you've probably noticed that the characters tend to have a similar quality to their eyes they're huge.
And Tim Burton is the first to acknowledge that this influence, of dispoportionately large eyes, is from none other than 1960s painter, Margaret Keane. In fact, Tim Burton even directed a movie about her in 2014, called Big Eyes.
Here is an example of one of her paintings, called "The Stray."
However, it wasn't always that people would have associated this painting with Margaret Keane. For decades, starting in the 1960s, these paintings, and this entire art style, was attributed to Walter Keane, her ex-husband.
Walter Keane became famous for his best-selling "Keane Kids" paintings in the 1960s. It wasn't until later that everyone found out the truth behind the paintings...
When Margaret and Walter got married, Walter noticed Margaret's extraordinary painting abilities. However, Margaret was very withdrawn, and didn't quite have the networking-savvy approach that was needed to pursue a career as a successful artist. She also (and this is a key detail) signed her paintings with her last name. Walter, who turned out to be a grade A level horrible person, (and you'll see why in a moment), saw this as an opportunity.
He started taking his paintings and selling them on his own, and people loved them. Walter made millions. He would lock Margaret in a room for up to 16 hours a day and force her to mass produce her paintings. Meanwhile, he blew up in the public eye and got to bask in the glory of being a wealthy, famous artist in the 1960s.
In 1965, Margaret decided to try to do something for once and for all she filed for divorce. Even after their separation, Walter had convinced Margaret that she should keep painting and selling them under his name. This is a perfect example of what 10 years of an abusive relationship can make you think is normal. It wasn't long, though, before Margaret realized how ridiculous their arrangement was, and stopped producing paintings for him. But the battle was far from over, yet.
In 1970, Margaret told the public that she had been behind the paintings all along. How was she planning to prove it? A public paint-off. At first, Walter refused. That's when Margaret took it a step further to court. In court, it was also revealed that Walter had, among other abusive things, threatened to kill Margaret and her child.
In the end, the court ordered a paint-off. Both Walter and Margaret worked beside jurors. Margaret whipped up a Keane Kid painting in just 53 minutes, while Walter spent that same time trying to convince the judge he had an injury that prevented him from picking up the paint brush. In the end, Margaret won (obviously), and was awarded $4 million. It actually seems like a pretty small amount, considering how much her paintings were worth, and all that she went through.
Jocelyn Bell Burnell was born in Northen Ireland in 1943. In the year 1967, while Bell Burnell was still in her twenties, she was studying as a graduate student in radio astronomy at Cambridge University, in England. It was then, that she discovered pulsars.
Pulsars are the remnants of stars that went supernova (exploded). Why are they important? They are tiny fragments of proof that the star once existed, and didn't just disappear after the explosion. It was a huge discovery for astronomy, and it was no small task Bell Burnell analyzed data printed out on three miles of paper from a radio telescope she had helped assemble herself, and found, in all that, the pulsars.
This was so monumental, that the finding earned a Nobel Prize but here's where things get messy. That 1974 award in physics didn't go to Bell Burnell. Instead, they handed it to Anthony Hewish, Bell Burnell's supervisor, and Martin Ryle, a fellow radio astronomer at Cambridge University.
When Bell Burnell—now a visiting astronomy professor at the University of Oxford— was recently interviewed about it, by National Geographic, she said:
"The picture people had at the time of the way that science was done was that there was a senior man—and it was always a man—who had under him a whole load of minions, junior staff, who weren't expected to think, who were only expected to do as he said."
In fact, Bell Burnell had a life of being snubbed in her pursuit of science and academia. In the same interview, she said:
"It was extremely hard combining family and career." This was partly because the university where she worked while pregnant had no provisions for maternity leave.
Bell Burnell hasn't given up the fight yet, though. She recently chaired a working group for the Royal Society of Edinburgh, tasked with finding a strategy to boost the number of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math in Scotland.
The story of Rosalind Franklin is perhaps one of the better-known stories of sexism in the field of research. It's also one of the most horrible.
Rosalind Franklin was born in London in 1920. She graduated from Cambridge University in 1945, with her doctorate in physical chemistry. Afterward, she spent three years at an institute in Paris, learning x-ray diffraction techniques. For all you non-sciencey people, that's a technique used to determine the molecular structures of crystals.
In 1951, she returned to England as a research associate, where she worked in John Randall's laboratory at King's College in London. It was there, that she encountered Maurice Wilkins, who was leading a research group studying the structure of DNA.
According to National Geographic:
"Franklin and Wilkins worked on separate DNA projects, but by some accounts, Wilkins mistook Franklin's role in Randall's lab as that of an assistant rather than head of her own project."
Meanwhile, a couple of other researchers were also trying to determine the structure of DNA, and they showed Franklin's image of DNAknown as Phototo Wilkins, without her knowledge or permission.
According to National Geographic:
"Photo 51 enabled Watson, Crick, and Wilkins to deduce the correct structure for DNA, which they published in a series of articles in the journal Nature in April 1953. Franklin also published in the same issue, providing further details on DNA's structure."
Franklin's image of the DNA molecule was the key to figuring out the complex structure of DNA. It could not have been done without her. Yet, Franklin was totally unaware that her work was being stolen, shared, and used by others.
In 1962, Watson, Crick, and Wilkins all received the 1962 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for their work... and Franklin didn't even get a mention. In fact, she had died in 1958, four years earlier. Since Nobel prizes aren't awarded posthumously, we will never know whether she would have been included in the prize for her work.
Esther Lederberg was born in 1922 in the Bronx. Nobody could have guessed that that little babe would grow up to revolutionize the field of microbiology. That's right Lederberg was behind many advancements that laid the groundwork for future discoveries on genetic inheritance in bacteria, gene regulation, and fenetic recombination.
It doesn't stop there, though!
She is perhaps most famous, (or, not, since she never really received the notoriety she deserved), for discovering a virus that infects bacteria called the lamda bacteriophage in 1951, while at the University of Wisconsin.
Oh, but wait... there's more. Lederberg was one half of a science power couple. Her and her husband, Joshua Lederberg, developed a way to transfer bacterial colonies from one petri dish to another, which, prior to that, was extremely difficult or impossible. They called it replica plating. Inventing this method actually lead to a whole new form of study: the study of antibiotic resistance. This is now known as the Lederberg method, and it's still used today.
Because of this new development, the 1958 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine went to none other than... Joshua Lederberg. Along with two of his colleagues George Beadle and Edward Tatum.
Esther Lederberg was left entirely out of the prize winning a fact that many have tried to speak out against. Stanley Falkow, a retired microbiologist at Stanford University, said, "She deserved credit for the discovery of lambda phage, her work on the F fertility factor, and, especially, replica plating."
That's not where it ended, for Lederberg's struggles, either. Falkow went on to speak at Esther's memorial service in 2006, and touched on the ways that she, and her work in the academic world, were often regarded as less important:
"She had to fight just to be appointed as a research associate professor, whereas she surely should have been afforded full professorial rank. She was not alone. Women were treated badly in academia in those days."
Have you ever heard of Chien-Shiung Wu? Not many people have.
But I bet you've heard of the atom bomb. Guess what? Chien-Shiung Wu was not an instrumental scientist behind the development of the atom bomb, she also overturned a laws of physics. Yeah. She's pretty cool. So where did we go wrong?
In the 1940s, Wu was recruited to Colombia University as part of the Manhattan Project. There, she conducted research on uranium enrichment and radiation detection. After the war, Wu remained in the United States. There, she became known as one of the best experimental physicists of her time (and quite frankly, of all time).
It wasn't until the mid-1950s, that two theoretical physicists, Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen Ning Yang, approached Wu to help disprove the law of parity. That's a huge deal you're essentially being asked to take a law of the universe that everyone believes to be true, and figure out how it's not true. What was this law? The law holded that in quantum mechanics, two physical systems like atoms that were mirror images, would behave in identical ways.
Wu got to work. Leave it to her to figure it out. She conducted experiments using cobalt-60, a radioactive form of the cobalt metal, and ... snap she upended a law that had been accepted as true for 30 years.
So can you guess who received the 1957 Nobel Prize for such a discovery? That's right Tsung-Dao Lee and Chan Ning Yang. Wu was left out. People were outraged, but nothing was ever changed.
Many historians and scientists alike believe it was a combination of Wu's gender and ethnicity that led to this ridiculous snub.
Wu died of a stroke in 1997 in New York.
As a small side note, you might like to know that Wu also had a wicked sense of humor! Here's one of her quotes:
"There is only one thing worse than coming home from the lab to a sink full of dirty dishes, and that is not going to the lab at all!"
We often find ourselves having to guess how to make things work and make things fit--in our lives, but also just in our possessions. Will these pants fit me? These shoes?
Will this screw fit my table? Will this charger fit my phone?
If everything was somehow standard, wouldn't it all be so much easier?
Here were some of those answers.
No More Vanity Sizes
Sizes for clothing.
Especially for shoes. How hard would it be to just list the sizes in centimeters (or inches if you're American)?
WHY DO WE USE STANDARD MEASUREMENTS FOR OUR CLOTHES, BUT THEY ARE DIFFERENT SIZES IN DIFFERENT BRANDS???
Calvin Klein's men's slacks: 32'' waist
Bar III men's slacks: 32'' waist
Perry Ellis slacks: 32'' waist
THEY ARE ALL DIFFERENT WAIST SIZES. WHYY?!?!?!?!
Ah Yes, Three Chilis
There's a standard for chili heat levels (the Scoville scale), but food manufacturers never use it. Instead, they use a varying number of chili icons which mean nothing at all.
It's always fun going to like a Thai restaurant in Canada and trying to figure out whether the chili icon means Thai spicy or Canadian spicy.
Ah Yes, This Could Kill Me
Household electrical voltages and sockets.
Interestingly enough, there was an attempt: since 1986, there is an international standard socket, IEC 60906-1. However, only South Africa has implemented it so far.
And it is unlikely it will ever be implemented in other countries, as the EU is even advising against it since 2017:
REFIT found that "the harmonisation of plug and socket outlet systems in Europe, by introducing changes in national wiring legislations (would have) important transitional periods (above 75 years)", and that the cost to "replace the old socket-outlets (and the corresponding plugs of the appliances being used)" was estimated at 100 billion Euro, "generating a huge environmental impact, producing some 700 000 tons of electrical waste". REFIT does not recommend harmonising the plugs and socket-outlet systems in Europe.
Can we just get a little consistency here? Please?!
After working in a grocery store, can diameters should only come in a maybe 4 sizes. And they should all stack.
But they don't. They never do.
I feel your pain. I hate those narrow jars and cans that are slightly narrower than 3 wires of the shelf so they tip over if you don't place them perfectly.
A Computer Mouse, Not A Little Baby Mouse
Modern rechargable batteries.
We spent years with standard size batteries. We are now stuck with proprietary batteries which aren't designed to be user replaceable and often dictate the life of the device.
Yes absolutely. I found this fact especially annoying when looking for a mouse. Most of the more expensive mice come with rechargeable batteries, and it seems that modern tech reviewers are claiming this is better than some standard double A.
All Standard, Yet None Standard
I worked in a hardware store long enough to learn that apparently everything is standardized.
"I need window screens."
Okay, what are your dimensions?
"It's a standard size window."
"I'm looking for a replacement ceiling fan."
Okay, do you want small blades, large blades? A modest 30" span or a robust 56"?
"Just standard size."
"Do you think this large, bulky, cumbersome commodity will fit in my vehicle?"
I don't know. How big your truck?
"It's a standard one."
protip: it's a sedan. it's always a sedan.
Welp, Here's Your Problem
Based on years of helping my Dad in his shop, doing bodywork on vehicles - fastenings. Bolts, screws. rivets, clips... the sheer amount of specialized fastenings and required tools is insane. Even the variety of types in single vehicles is excessive.
Not to mention many of them are so cheaply made that there is no reusing them.
So Many Sign Languages
Not necessarily something that should be standardised because it would affect many cultures negatively, but I've always wondered what it would be like if every country just spoke one language. Sign language should probably be standardised, but re-learning sign language for people who use it may be difficult and time-consuming
Perhaps We Need To Rethink Policing
Police responses to missing persons across the nation, and the information requirements for police reports to be filled out with specific and complete information at the first point of contact by the person reporting the missing person, regardless of the age, status, or suspected reason for disappearing.
Police should NEVER be allowed to decide a case isn't valid at the first point of contact.
A Recipe For A Lint Fire
The laundry exhaust receptacle in homes should be centered exactly eighteen inches (45.7cm) from the floor with eighteen inches (or 45.7 cm) of clearance on both sides.
The exhaust duct of a clothes dryer should be in the middle of the back of the machine, and centered eighteen inches/45.7 cm from the floor. The dryer should have adjustable feet to allow for slight errors in measurement.
Once this is done, a laundry dryer can be pushed into the wall and we won't need to craft a length of ducting to connect the two.
Just a little bit of sameness and consistency could really go a long way here.
Some things ought not be tried again.
Sure, they made sense the first time. It may have held charm, at least some sense of purpose on the second go around. But eventually, surely, an essential truth became clear: never again.
Reddit is apparently crawling with people carrying around that permanent grudge towards some thing they've done in the past.
Lucky for us, we can learn from their mistakes.
senorllama57 asked, "What is something you will never do again?"
There were, of course, plenty of people who discussed horrible jobs they've held in the past. They may have had little choice at the time, but now that it's all in the past they feel free to share how they really felt.
The Customer Always Seems To Be Wrong
"Work retail. I think every kid fresh out of high school should work a retail job for a year. It builds character." -- ProfessionalTheme415
"How did you get out!?! Lol. It's like a black hole where I work. Everyone that tries to leave comes back." -- threebillion6
A Lot Going On
"Work in a nursing home. The sights, screams and pleas Will haunt me forever." -- M_Lamora
"Honestly working in a nursing home was one of the most weird jobs I ever had. I've never been threatened so many times in my life. I once had a memory care resident ask me if I would help her jump a caregiver."
One After Another
"Work in a call center." -- Evilsmurfkiller
"Sucked the soul right out of me within a year." -- Bandana-mal
"I was at one for 2 and half years and it was not until I left I realized I had work-related depression. I was overeating, not eating, sleep deprived, slept all the time, I had such rage that would come out at times...
"I did not care what happened to me, I left because they were gonna fire me over something dumb because they just fire people for being there long. I left over a year ago, and I have not been this happy to wake up every day in years, my life is so much better now." -- UnusualLight0
Others discussed past struggles they've encountered within the romantic realm. Unfortunately, these lessons came with plenty of emotional struggle.
"Get married. It'll be 19 years this August and my marriage is my marriage. I reserve the right to have a girlfriend at some point if she passes away before I do, but she's the one and only wife, end of story."
"Ignore red flags when talking to someone I want to date. I've done it twice now, and both times sucked" -- YareYareYandere
"Listen to your gut. If something feels off, you're probably not imagining it." -- SurealGod
Don't Forget About You
"Okay first off I'm sorry if this might sound cringe :D . . . That would be hmm become too attached/codependent on a person. Whether it may be of a lover, friend, or just acquaintance."
"Idk if it's coincidence but they either end up gone one day or become total di**s when you least expect it and I'm forced to cut ties."
And some people chose to recall the things they were so certain would be fun and enjoyable, but turned out to be so not.
A Bad Ratio
"I made a super elaborate meal once. It was ... okay. Certainly not worth the effort involved." -- Astramancer_
"Take an hour to make something, only takes 15 minutes to eat. It's bullsh**." -- SurealGod
Hours and Hours
"Times Square on New Years' Eve. It was fun once, never need to do it again." -- AnswerGuy301
"I was going to answer the same thing. It seemed like it would be so much fun but now that I know what it entails — never again" -- hi_its_me
"I have never been and never understood the attraction of waiting for hours and hours in the shivering weather." -- amrodd
Think of Grease Splatters
"Prepare steaks when drunk" -- Kiaulunne
"Not for your reason, but same here. Cooked one at 2am after half a bottle of rum. Quickly ate and passed out after. Woke up around 8am dying for water and realised I left the gas stove on... So glad nothing burned down..." -- schofield101
"I will never get drunk again. Tipsy, buzzed, sure. Thats fine."
"But when I was in front of that toilet for an hour, being so weak I couldn't even sit up, having people constantly come in to check on me, worrying that I might have alcohol poisoning, that is exactly not a fun time"
So take some notes! Or maybe there were some true horrors you went through that this list seems to be lacking.
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You know what they say, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions". Because the people who have our best interests in mind typically have good intentions when they give us advice, but there's a chance that that advice can go horribly wrong.
Try not to follow the bad advice given here, because you don't want to get the results that these guys did.
The workplace can bring a cornucopia of terrible advice. Don’t follow these unless you want to get fired.
Bad jobs are usually not worth it.
Stick with a job no matter how bad it is. I stayed with a terrible job working retail, dealing with horrible customers and sexual harassment. I was told I wouldn't find anything better.
"No, no, you misunderstand. I said you wouldn't find anything better at making you feel like complete garbage."
This gets really creepy really fast.frustrated workplace GIFGiphy
"After you put in a job application, you need to call them at least once a day every day until they hire you."
Note: this did not get me hired. It got me called out by the HR person I was calling and forbidden to ever contact their facility again.
I work for a law firm that employees over 1500 people in the home office alone. Once I received a call from the building security saying, "Insert Name is here to speak with the owner." Well we are run by a committee so that's odd. Found out they just applied for a job and wanted to talk directly to the person that would potentially hire them. Told him the firm will contact them to schedule an interview. They refused to leave without "talking to the owner." Had security escort them out of the building.
This is absolutely not true.
"Sleep is for people who do not want success" great words from my uncle, it almost killed me.
Now I may be oversleeping.
Interpersonal relationships are also a big breeding ground for terrible advice. Don’t listen to any of these.
My father always tought me and my brother that "having friends is bad and in the end they will never be there for you" so everytime I told my father about my friends he would get kinda mad and give me the advice to stop talking to them.
Now I am afraid of people and have several trust issues, thanks dad.
This won’t end well.A Christmas Story GIF by filmeditorGiphy
In the fifth grade my teacher was talking about bullying, then she said "if anyone tries to bully you just agree with them." So the next time I got bullied I agreed with the bully and they bullied me more.
Dude one time I saw an anti bullying video that told the victims to just BE NICE TO THE BULLY. Like the bully was hurling insults and the victim was smiling and complimenting him. My first thought was about how much I hated the mere thought that this would work. My second thought was of how the people who came up with that method had clearly never been bullied.
When I met my now wife at the age of 19, one of my coworkers said that it's very important to start at the bottom with presents and work your way up, she still has the socks I gave her on our first anniversary on the wall over our bed as a reminder...
I'm still trying to teach my boyfriend about good presents and bad presents. Biscuits from the supermarket = bad present. Cheap unbranded laptop battery from China as my only present = bad present (and only lasted 2 months). Anything off my 7-page wishlist = good present. It's literally a list of things I want to receive as presents.
Can tell you from experience that this is a bad idea.
Had a falling out with some friends. My husband recommended I reach out to an old friend who ghosted me suddenly in a manner that induced some pretty severe abandonment trauma. Went for it anyways because "it's been so long, surely they changed". Am now experiencing the same things as last time.
When you follow bad advice, it can lead to mistakes that you just can’t come back from.
Buying a house is tricky.for sale dancing GIF by Lisa VertudachesGiphy
"Buy a home now before the prices go up!" -my FIL in 2006.
We bought in 2007 and paid $259,500 for our 1,300 sq ft house (we really couldn't afford it and had an 80/20 so we had 8% interest for one loan and 6% on the other) and in 2008 it was worth $97,000 so refinancing wasn't even an option. We watched all of our neighbors walk away or get foreclosed on but we kept paying our bills and as of this very moment our house is worth $462,000. I'm so happy we stuck it out, we both worked our @sses off and the house will be paid off in 2 years.
It worked out for us, it's a horrible idea. Especially since 1300 sq ft houses are $460+k
My heartbreaks for future generations, I honestly don't know how people are going to afford housing in the future.
It’s there for a reason.
"Never apply for any government assistance."
Cue years of suffering trying to work full-time with a painful disability. Quit a particularly terrible job, and wanted to apply for food aid until I could find another gig; a friend with lots of DHS experience recommended I apply for Social Security "just to get in the system." Turns out my disability was bad enough to get accepted the first time, which I wasn't expecting. Really could've used that support, oh, the 30+ previous years of my life.
Credit is important to have.
I was told to not get a credit card until after college. I was super fortunate to have my college paid for so I had no loans, car paid in cash, no credit card or anything to start building credit. Found myself out in the world at 22 years old with a credit score of 0.
So while a lot of this bad advice came from trusted people, oftentimes they were too misinformed to give that advice in the first place. Don't trust the word of one person--do your research, and make decisions for yourself.
It'll be way better in the long run
Every once in awhile, somebody comes along, enters your life, and catapults themselves to that awful, unique position at the top of your list of the worst people you have ever met.
Sometimes, the person's blindingly terrible behavior and overall essence is actually impressive. We ask ourselves, "how could a person like this actually exist on purpose?"
Alas, they do. And you have to deal with them. Or, if your lucky, you can carve out some distance.
Redditors shared descriptions of the worst people they've ever had the misfortune to meet. Some have escaped the relationship. Some are are still stuck in the clutches.
LoneStar202 asked, "Who is the worst person you have ever met?"
Some chose to talk about the acquaintances they simply couldn't help but encounter. External circumstances beyond their control made the stars align in the worst way possible.
Keeping the Peace
"There was this guy who used to come into the McDonald's where I did security overnight (yes, that's a job), and he was the biggest ahole I've ever met in my life."
"Ginger, 5'6 or so, named Colby, had a perpetual scowl on his face, looked for any reason to start a fight with anyone. He and his friend would come in when it's super busy, not order, and then yell at the staff that he paid and wasn't given a receipt in the hopes that they'd give him free food rather than deal with him."
"I kicked him out for six months on two separate occasions for coming in drunk and throwing things, drinking beer in the restaurant, starting fights, you name it. Only got in my face once and I never had to fight him, but I'm much bigger than him and the law is on my side."
"Not that I would necessarily have won. I'm big and strong, but I have no idea how to fight and he did. I called his bluffs because I was pretty sure he wouldn't attack me and he didn't."
"Funny, I just realized I've finally forgotten his last name. Not that I'd mention it. He might be less of a @ss now and he's no longer my business."
You Know 'Em
"I work with a real life, archetypal, Karen. She's two-faced, mean, anti-vax, and just generally the whole nine. The first interaction I ever had with her she had to make fun of me behind my back for being a dude with earrings."
"Recently kicked up a stink by making an 'anonymous' email address and emailing our HR department saying people were discriminating against folks not getting the covid vaccine.
"Luckily she's burned too many bridges for anyone to really take her crazy anymore but man is she frustrating to deal with."
Others discussed the family members that, for obvious reasons, they were forced to put up with for years and years. But even family isn't enough to keep a person like that around.
Marrying Into It
"It sounds cliche, but my ex-MIL. What made her the worst is that she was a covert POS."
"We always lived about 1k miles from them, so I didn't pick up on it for far, far too long, but goddamn, I've never met anyone with as much unacknowledged hate and cruelty in their heart."
A Thing of the Past
"My father. Cheater, never paid child support, verbally abusive to my mother, sister and I. Just all around bad dude."
"Haven't talked to him in about 15 years and am 100% ok with that."
So Many Problems
"My brother. He's like a cross between Kramer (Seinfeld, 'my newest thing' and mannerisms) and Frank from Its Always Sunny (illegal activity and completely illogical 'logic')."
"He's ripped me off for thousands of dollars (getting close to 5 figures). Constantly stealing anything he can, but claims 'borrowed' if caught with it. Been to jail 3 times and is currently on house arrest after over a year of probation violations. "
"The epitome of 'easier to say sorry than ask permission' (but the apologies are hollow) and 'what's yours is mine and what's mine is mine.' No consideration for anyone or anything. Manages to break virtually anything he touches. Hasn't had a job in over 1.5 years, but has been trying to fraudulently collect unemployment."
"Constantly thinks everyone is out to get him and people are stalking the camper he lives in (has security cameras that he watches frequently and often 'patrols' the area). Tries to break into locked doors and safe, and pulls the 'why don't you believe/trust me' line."
"I'm just scratching the surface here. He'd use your clippers/razor to shave his family jewels and not clean up the mess (something he's done multiple times)."
Finally, there were the stories of classmates. Whether it was high school, college, or even graduate school, there were enough people there all in one place that one or two rotten people were never far away.
"Guy from my high school was a wannabe thug. He ended up going to juvi junior year. After a year of juvi. He became a true criminal. Broke into people's homes. Stole from stores and got heavy into drugs."
"Then he eventually died after robbing the wrong store at gunpoint. The owner came out the back and shot him with a shotgun."
Wait for the Twist
"My gf's college classmate. Narcistic. Thought of himself as very important so he came into the church where we were graduating, on his HORSE. He damaged a 1000 or something-year-old church floor in Leiden. He thinks he didn't do anything wrong."
"And the weird thing is, we were graduating LAW SCHOOL"
Ride Like Lightning, Crash Like Thunder
"I had a classmate who wanted to become a stock broker and a millionaire. He said more than once, with absolute pride, 'When I'm rich I wont donate a single penny to the poor!' I asked him why and he said 'I have my own problems, and the poor being poor is not one of them.' "
"He opened his own business when he was 23 and was pretty successful, but suddenly a fire burned the place down while he was in it and he suffered from third degree burns all over his body."
"He later confessed setting the fire himself and was found guilty on insurance fraud. He's only 24 now and his professional life is basically over."
A Sudden Shift
"A teacher I once had. Didn't know me. Never spoke to me much."
"One day just randomly snapped at me. Yelling at me telling me that I had no future, that all the awards I got were to go to waste, that I the article I published which I spent hours working on and submitted didn't matter. That even though I was 14 and had many great achievements, I would end up just like that said teacher."
"Worst person I have ever encountered. Did collateral damage to my life as now I am a high school student with no more ambition. Wanna be a journalist? Wanna be a writer? A lawyer? Not anymore buddy."
Hopefully, you don't have too many of these people in your own life. But, let's face it, there's one or two people on your mind right now.
Here's hoping you managed to let go and get away.
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