Job interviews can be stressful, and letting them see you sweat can have a negative impact on their impression of you.
With numerous other potential employees vying for the same position, what are the keys to having a successful interview that can increase your chances?
Fear not. Reddit has your back.
Those who have had successes based on their interviewing experiences shared their helpful tips when Redditor Cage_Dreams24 asked:
"What is your # 1 job interview tip that helped you ace your interview and land your dream job?"If you truly want that dream job, you may want to take notes.
A Redditor shared two main points based on his experiences from his recruitment days.
When readers found his contribution helpful, he updated his points by adding a few more examples.
An Expert Weighs In
"I could write a lot on this from my recruitment days, but I'll just keep it to two main points."
- "Answer their questions. Lots of people will start answering the question but never really finish because they go off on a tangent halfway through. It's frustrating as an interviewer to have to ask someone to get back on point, but it's also a little embarrassing for the candidate and it can throw you off your rhythm. I want to know the information because it's important. It also shows you listened to what was being asked of you and you delivered what was required."
- "At the end of the interview, ask if they have any concerns about your resume, your interview answers or your application in general. It's a great way to see if there is anything they perhaps misunderstood or you didn't explain well enough. I've asked this in every interview and in all but one it's given me some immediate feedback and the ability to allay any concerns they might have. For example, I once had someone say I interviewed great but they were concerned I lived too far away, something that didn't come up in the interview. I was able to then say I would be relocating."
"Edit: as requested, a couple more things."
3. "Do interview prep before you go. You should be able to predict most of the questions, but just writing down what your strengths are and thinking about them will increase your confidence. Make notes on the company and role from the job description; how does that match up with your skills and experience? This crossover is important because it's usually why they will hire you."
4. "Take a notepad, for example the one you used for your interview notes. Make sure you ask if it's okay that you have your notes out, or if you can take notes during the interview. You won't always be able to do this because of a strict NDA, but that's why you ask. Good things to write down include the person's name since it can be easy to forget, especially if more than one person is interviewing you."
5. "Ask what the next steps are and when you might be hearing from them. Use your instincts when it comes to follow up. If you interviewed at retail and it went well, check in with the manager in a week and let them know you enjoyed your interview and you'll be available to start very soon if they pick you. But if you interview at a large company that specifically doesn't take phone calls then don't harass them. If I'm in HR you email me asking when you will hear, chances are I'm chasing the hiring manager for an answer too."
6. "Do not be scared of failure. If you perform poorly, you'll know it straight away and my best advice is just to take the rest of the day off and forget it. Then when you're feeling better try to figure out why it went poorly; bad preparation etc. I find a big one is the stress of getting somewhere new, where to park, who to ask for when I get there etc. Then work on these for the next interview."
"If you did well and didn't get it, there was probably someone better. Don't take it personally. I've had to call great people and say no, and by and large the younger people took it rough and the older people took it on the chin."
"On a personal note, I actually really enjoy interviews now. It's you on your own talking about yourself, who doesn't like doing that? If you dread it, it will probably not go as well as if you look forward to it. You have a captive audience listening to you telling them how great you are. How many times do you get that opportunity?"
Some points were expanded on while new suggestions were made.
Turn The Tables
"Start asking them questions - reverse interview always helps your position."
"I always come with a long list of questions. My favorite being, 'What is the company culture like at CompanyX?' Then when I write my thank you letter after the interview, I make sure to include a reference to something they said when answering my questions to make the letter more personal."
Manner Of Speaking
"I've noticed that if you treat it like a conversation with people you're going to work with, it tends to go a lot better than if you're thinking of it answering questions from people who might drag you out of unemployment."
Become The Interviewer
"Wait until they ask if you have any questions, and then HAVE QUESTIONS PREPARED! It makes it seem like you're either a know-it-all or not very thoughtful if you have no questions. Have at least one in mind, even if it's something like 'How long have you been at this location?' or some other question that was not answered on the website or through others."
A Good Grip
"Make sure you know how to shake peoples hands!"
"Though it sucks when the person whose hand you're shaking doesn't know how to shake hands. I had a job interview yesterday and the woman who interviewed me missed my hand initially and had the limpest handshake I've ever experienced, it felt like I was just holding her hand up."
Breaking The Ice
"When they ask about your weaknesses tell them you are terrible at interviews. I have always gotten laughs when I have said it and after that I find the interview easier because everyone seems to be in a better mood."
About Former Employers
"Don't say bad things about your last employer. You next employer can assume that you will do the same for him."
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"The goal in any job interview is to make the interviewer feel like THEY are losing something if they don't offer you the job. I have interviewed so many people in my life that think that being humble and projecting how badly they want the job is the way to go. It isn't. You aren't trying to get a job, you are trying to convince another human being that it would be stupid of them to let you walk out the door and not come back."
Showing the interviewer you care by putting in the following basic efforts could make you stand out from the rest.
Show Them It's Your Dream Job
"Prepare. If your dream job is something corporate then it is very easy to take an hour or two and read some articles about the company, look over their annual reports. Pick out a few tidbits of information, not super random ones that you would have to say 'I was looking over your annual report and...' because then that sounds like you're boasting (I'm kind of assuming this would be closer to an entry level job than an executive job, the exec job you would need to do mad research and would want to reference that ish). Basically you want to be able to reference a few of the company's key initiatives/policies/strategies as touch points throughout the interview."
"You need to do more than stick your reference into one answer or ask a canned question. You need to be able to create a cohesive story that not only shows you're capable of thinking critically but also demonstrates either how you embody a characteristic of the company/position or that you understand the impact of the company's strategy/business model on the larger market. (Etc. That is by no means an exhaustive list of examples). If you can do that then you'll be much more successful convincing/tricking/demonstrating your abilities."
"Assuming it's genuinely your dream job this part shouldn't be that hard, but you need to actually care about the conversation/questions. You shouldn't care about whether or not it was a good answer, you should care about your talking points and the talking points that are in the question/are teased out in the ensuing answer. Caring is much, much better than having a canned answer."
The Basic 3
"Wear a suit."
"Be on time."
Overall, having the confidence to show you are dependable, easy to work with, and right for the job are essential.
Anyone can be technically prepared to show how knowledgeable they are of the company they want to work for by taking the time to educate themselves.
But at the end of the day, they want to see your personality as well.
Because with artificial intelligence already taking jobs away from people, no one wants to work with a robot.
It's no secret that businesses will cut corners to increase profitability however, there is a line-a big red line that should not be crossed. When it comes to safety or ethics cutting costs should not come first. Almost everyone has had on-the-job experiences where bosses have asked them to do something that didn't sit right with them.
One job I left after being pressured to break my own morals was *surprise* working retail. It was a mall jeweler and we were closely tracked on how many credit card apps we sell in a day and they wanted us to sell a minimum of several hundred dollars to customers per visit. We were given guidance on how to sign people up for the credit cards without actually telling them it was a credit card. It went beyond sales tactics into straight-up dishonesty, we were also encouraged to take advantage of people who may not understand what we were doing and to put pressure on the vulnerable.
Grandma comes in looking around? Tell her you just want to help her save by making her a "member" and need some info, get her into a credit card and then max it out by guilting her into buying hundreds in things she doesn't need because her family will love her so much more for the gifts. It just felt gross.
Right before I left there was a region-wide legal issue that was being investigated. Turns out employees-encouraged by their managers-had been opening credit accounts under customers' names and charging expensive jewelry to them without their knowledge just to reach sales goals and the commission. We weren't supposed to talk about it but it was a company-wide issue not a unique experience.
Bad as it was it was still minor compared to some of the stories below that are outright dangerous.
Redditor Inner-Housing1927 asked:
“What's that one blatantly illegal or unethical thing management forced you to do at work??"
The responses confirmed what we already expected...bare bottom morals.
"The building itself was also a literal death trap.”
“Worked at a little drive through coffee stand. Boss was incredibly cheap. Wanted me to use about half the grounds necessary to pull a good shot. If a cup fell on the floor I was supposed to rinse it and use it anyway (I did not). That kinda thing.”
“The building itself was also a literal death trap. The fire marshal came out for an inspection one day and straight up said they hoped I wasn't inside when it caught fire.”
“The electrical system was overloaded, and the appliances were all situated between the main workspace and the door, thankfully the drive up window wasn't too high so I probably could have jumped if need be. The nail in the coffin though was that they wanted to bring by stock at the very end of my shift and expected me to clock out before putting it away if they were late.”
“I refused so I'd constantly be harassed about how they were poor small business owners and I needed to understand (they weren't poor by any means). I eventually found a better job and quit but they told all my former coworkers they'd fired me for stealing.” caffeineandsarcasm
“Pass a concrete strength test that failed two of the three data points, but the third was high enough that the average was fine. The very small footbridge broke. They got sued, I quit.” sandh035
Good advice: “Take notes of the bad things they do and keep dates.”
“I worked maintenance a plastic molding company. We had a grinder that would destroy plastic chunks turning them into tiny pieces. Well the hopper where the plastic is added has a huge sign on it saying ‘don't lean in’ right on the front near the opening.”
“There was a request from a worker asking for padding because he would hurt his stomach when he leaned in. When I told him I was not going to do it, he glared at me telling me, ‘sometimes you just have to get over yourself and do what you're told.’”
“When I put my two weeks in, the plant manager asked my reasons, I mentioned that as one of them. PM told me he and the safety manager told the maintenance manager that was not to be done. The MM was fired in the middle of my two weeks.”
“On a positive note, I was asked to list off the reasons why I quit in the legal hearing when the MM sued the plastics company for wrongful termination. Advice for everyone. Take notes of the bad things they do and keep dates.” yankstraveler
“notifying them that what they were doing was extortion...”
“Fortunately I wasn't dumb, so I refused. But I had worked for a bakery for five years before receiving a better offer at competing bake shop. I was polite and gave them two weeks notice, they turned around and told me I wouldn't receive my last two paychecks until I signed a NDA.”
“I didn't say a word in return, just calmly walked out and went straight to the department of labor. Sent them an official form notifying them that what they were doing was extortion, it was a class four felony, and they had two weeks to send me my paychecks or I would see them in court. They complied within three days.” Inomsbacon
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Some fishy business practices...
“My first ever job as a teen was at a small fish and chip shop. There was a bit of cod that was getting a bit smelly, so my boss threw it in the bin. A couple of hours later after the evening rush, I was washing up at the sink next to said bin.“
“My boss came out, reached in the bin and dug out the cod. He rinsed it very sparingly under the tap I had running, before going out and dipping it in batter and serving it to a customer.”
“I was a very timid 16 year old at the time and I asked him why he would sell that, he just shrugged and said ‘we didn't have any other medium cod’. The shift after that I was making the pea fritter mix ready to be battered.”
“We used to use an ice cream scoop to get the mushy peas into a ball shape. I accidentally dropped a whole scoop on the sticky floor, and he told me to pick it up and squish it back into a ball. Um, no. I left the next week and went to work in a shop.“ Comfortable_blanket
Heavy equipment with only three wheels...
“I was told to run a remote overhead crane with only 3 wheels. it carried large coils of rolled-up aluminum for Ladle Treatment. The aluminum would swing and cause the missing wheel area to bottom out, causing more swing and making it worse."
“This was moving over my coworker's heads. The foreman told me to keep doing it... i called the safety team and they came up and said 'hell no' another foreman came up and ordered me to run it but have everyone clear the area...ok that's sorta safe I guess but killed production."
“The 2nd foreman later 'reminded' me that I hadn't filled out the daily safety inspection. Well, don't mind if I do. Red section 'if anything is checked in this area do not operate' let's see...missing wheel, check. mechanical problems, check. The first foreman sees what I'm doing and says 'the wheel is on order it's just not here yet.'"
"'OK what's that got to do with this liability checklist I was told to fill out?' Back to the checklist, oh look a write-in section. 'INOP crane ordered to be run by 3rd foreman' signed me 'Smartass Steelworker' the 3rd foreman was the 2nd guy it was 3rd shift."
"What he didn't know was he didn't comeback to my area for the rest of the night and the checklist was picked up by the General Foreman in the morning when I got off. I came in that night to a sh*tstorm."
"he safety team had lost its mind, that paper I filled out went directly to OSHA. That missing wheel showed up in record time and they had been down all day fixing it. I showed up and it had just been certified by the millwrights." BlueFalconPunch
“I was asked to cut off a doctor from getting new clients in an effort to get them to quit, while at the same time lying to them about why they weren't getting new clients. I was asked to do this twice with two different doctors.”
“Before I left I told the doctor in question (the other one had already quit) what I had been told to do. It didn't go well for them. Seriously, just grow up and fire people you don't like. Don't do this.” Gigglekittens
“he said he didn't care, it's how he made his profit...”
“At all butchers I worked at, they had me re-label almost anything that had a short date. This was to give it a longer date. The worst one was the chicken, which would be frozen, defrosted for selling.”
“If it didn't sell, back in the freezer it went, then back out the next day to thaw and sell. Re-labelled. I confronted the owner about this, and he said he didn't care, it's how he made his profit. Safe to say I quit a month later.” CrysisRegrets
A dangerous combination...
“I was asked to sign off on a plan to immediately start receiving, storing, and using huge quantities of an extremely volatile chemical without any of the necessary infrastructure or procedures to do so even remotely safely. It would have almost literally been a ticking time bomb.”
“It was also all for a new product they wanted to get into the market ASAP which they'd skipped 95% of the design control process for and mostly bypassed both the Quality and Regulatory departments on.”
“When I was pulled into a meeting with upper management about it, I told them that if they were going to actually consider this then I needed to quit effective immediately to avoid implicating myself in what they were doing. Oddly they suddenly started taking my concerns very seriously after I said that.”
“Rather than overtly evil, they ended up simply being a terrifyingly dangerous combination of ignorant, eager, optimistic, and overconfident in their own knowledge.” Stylemys
Working in surgery with no medical experience!?
“I got hired as a secretary for a plastic surgery office. Was told I would be answering phones/scheduling and that's it. I had zero medical experience and told them this. On day 1 I was handed a pair of scrubs and told that I was also going to be a scrub tech as well."
“I was instructed to assist the doctor in surgery (basically I handed in tools, held tools that were attached to the patient, etc). I almost passed out on the first day from shock. I was assured over and over again that it was legal. Whether it was legal or not I'm not sure, but I lasted 3 months and quit as soon as I found another job." JustSuze_393
In the corporate world, one thing seems to trump all ethics and statutes--the dollar. However, when faced with these awful and potentially dangerous situations, it's always best to speak up if you're able.
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The advice "fake it til you make it," though often said with at least a hint of sarcasm, does carry quite a bit of wisdom.
By simply putting one foot in front of the other, weathering the chaos of not knowing what's happening as you learn as fast as possible, we can find ourselves further than we expected.
Once we're there, reaping the fruits of all our "faking," we somehow begin to take on a new identity in people's eyes They assume we've always been in control and known what was going on. They defer to us for advice.
But that couldn't be further from the truth. So we keep on faking it.
Redditor espectro11 asked:
"What's your 'I don't know, I didn't think I'd get this far' moment?"
Many Redditors discussed their experiences navigating the intimidating environment of job applications, interviews, and offers.
Oh Right, Getting Paid
"I gave my resume to fancy private school (I'm a teacher, but new to the field) and I didn't expect a call back. But they called me today to ask my expected salary and I said 'I don't know what the average is. Let me Google it.' "
"Ya girl was not prepared."
"When I went for a walk-in interview looking like crap and they hired me on the spot. I get they were hiring for a new store, but they up and said 'if you want the job it's yours, when can you start?' "
"Deada** didn't think I'd make it that far."
Outside the Box
"Years ago I was applying to a bunch of copywriting jobs and feeling frustrated because I wasnt hearing back from any of the places I was applying to."
"It was especially frustrating because I was putting in all this time on cover letters and I felt like nobody was even reading them, so I said, 'Fu** it, I'm gonna write one that is more me.' I thought it was a dumb idea and never imagined that it would work, but somehow it did."
"I applied with this cover letter and the subject line "Copywriter: Will Work for Beer" to a job that I was very underqualified for. It managed to catch the eye of the headhunter for the ad agency and was enough to get me an interview. Shortly after that I was hired and ended up working there for a few years, but I remember thinking on my first day, 'I can't believe that actually worked.' "
Just Not the Right Fit
"An interview at Google. The 20 years younger than me was describing the peer review system."
"I responded with 'Jesus, that sounds awful.' "
"I did not get the job."
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Others also shared experiences that centered on their working lives. But these stories weren't about being hired or interviewed.
These were accounts of long-developing success stories that they never would have predicted.
A Winding Road
"My entire legal career"
"I have four degrees and a 10 year career in commerical litigation. I just wrapped up a $200mil trusts lawsuit."
"I started at uni doing theatre and stand up comedy. I have no fu**ing idea where I turned to get here."
"Started at a very small company doing sales straight out of college. I went about messaging big corporate players (who obviously would never do business with us since our size) and was laughed at by my new colleagues for even trying."
"2 weeks later My boss was asking me what we (a team of 6) should say on the conference call with Toshiba Buyers."
Putting Fires Out
"Me at work. I feel like every issue that comes up has me unprepared. But I am always praised for my good work."
"So, I assume I have imposter syndrome and keep doing what I am doing."
Others shared their experiences wondering into pretty serious romantic commitments.
Under Your Nose
"When I realized I've been in a stable relationship for 4 years and people start asking when we're getting engaged."
And the Rest is History
"I moved in with an old friend from high school, got horny one night and we slept together, and now we're married. We're discussing having children and I'm like, didn't think it would go this far lmao"
A Place of Their Own
"When me and my fiancé moved into our own apartment together (we'd actually lived together with my moms, his mom and my siblings for a year but that's a long story) anyway I didn't really know what to do because I had never fully considered it as a option- as something he'd want to do. Domestic life was domestic confusing."
"Single and renting at 30yrs old with a cat and no light at the end of the tunnel to 40yrs old with FIVE 3yo goldfish, FOUR chickens, THREE humans, TWO dogs and ONE house."
"Life's not short. Life's fu**ing long. A lot happens. Make the best of it."
So next time you find yourself ruling a possibility out completely, maybe take just a few seconds to imagine it actually occurred and prepare.
You just never know.
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We are living in times when job opportunities have been scarce due to global health concerns. And when an opportunity for employment arises, we go for it.
But there are those jobs that are not worth holding on to. Maybe the job description was deceiving. Or it could be the boss is a tyrant who views their workers as than human beings.
Are these conditions worth the weekly paycheck? Not always. Sometimes, maintaining one's dignity is more valuable than being a cog in a machine.
"People who've quit their job on the spot--what did it for you?"
Bosses are supposed to be the ones setting good examples. Not these bosses.
"Worked at Best Buy years ago. This was my second job, that I worked at for fun and the discount. I only worked weekends because I had a full time job during the week."
"Back then, when the next weeks schedule was done a manager would hand it to a person on the team and they'd put it in our little media backroom. Well, I didn't have my schedule for next week yet and it was Saturday. There were none to be found which was odd. I asked a manager for a copy so I knew when to come in and she refused, 'I'm tired of printing out new copies for people.'"
"Well, I can't come in if I don' t know when I'm supposed to be there. So, I just never showed up again. Best part was that I still got the discount for like 6 months."
The Bad Boss
"Worked at Staples when I was a teen, I had never called in sick before to this job. In fact, I covered other people's shifts when they were sick quite frequently. I would get called in at least once every couple of weeks to work for someone who had called in."
"So the one time I'm sick and call in, the worst manager was working... total b*tch... she told me I had to come in or bring in a doctor's note. I told her to go f'k herself and quit."
"Later that day, the general manager called me to ask me to stay... so I stayed. The s**tty manager lasted another 2 or 3 months, I lasted about 6 months after that and quit for a better opportunity."
Unsatisfied Store Manager
"I was the overnight assistant manager at Walmart a long time ago and was scheduled for 12 hour shifts with only 6-8 associates a night to stock an entire store. It was a pretty high volume store so it would get a GM and grocery truck every night. GM trucks would have about 2000 boxes of merch and the grocery would be about 1300-1500 pieces. You have to prioritize grocery obviously because it expires, so I would put every employee in grocery. Every one of them had their particular aisles and refused to go anywhere else. If someone called in, I did their job on top of managing the entire store. It f'king sucked, and I got regularly yelled at by the store manager for not getting everything done. This meant working 2-4 hours past the end of my shift to finish stocking and scanning overstock."
"One night, I had 4 call ins, this meant I only had 2 employees working and me. I stocked 4 aisles by myself, faced the store, scanned overstock, and still had to run the overnight operations of the store. I messaged my co-managers (the management structure was so convoluted) that I had literally no one and I was doing everything I could. They got the department managers to come in early to help stock their sections, but that meant there wasn't as much coverage for the day."
"The store manager comes in at 7:30 every day to inspect work and give notes to assistant managers for what needs fixed for the day. He came in and saw all the department managers stocking their merch, and flipped his sh*t on me. Called me into his office and put me on with our market manager and they both just ripped me apart. I explained the situation and they literally said 'that's not a f'king excuse to not do your job. You should have told them to come in and do their job or write them up.' I looked at my store manager and said 'nope. I'm done.' Threw my badge and keys on the table and walked out. Said goodbye to my (now former) employees and friends, got in my car, and never looked back."
Absolutely No Sympathy
"I worked at a customer support centre for a pretty big company. Employees were just numbers and our manager was a total d*ck."
"An employee's mother had an operation for the removal of a tumor (don't know what kind or where) and it was only a 50% chance she'd survive."
"When he asked for 2 days leave, the manager said no because the influx of calls and emails was too high. The man quit on the spot and so did half the team and I."
"I work at a better company now with a manager that appreciates good work and tells us to take time off himself if we look like we need a break."
"Boss was arrested for murder. Turns out he burnt down one of his buildings for insurance money and someone died. I had been there for only a couple of weeks, he was the most abusive person I've ever worked for by far. I was debating it, so when the police burst in and arrested him, I locked up and left."
Leaders are supposed to set good examples but also have moral codes. These bosses' personal lives were out of control.
"My boss not letting me have a weekend off for my best friend's wedding because a co-worker wanted a dirty weekend away with the married guy she was having an affair with. The married guy was my boss by the way."
"I was a bridesmaid and had booked the weekend off 10 months in advance. I quit on the spot and told my boss' wife he was cheating on her. My best friends wedding was lovely."
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Refusing Illegal Tasks
"Company asked me to forge documentation so we don't get in trouble with health and safety. They choose me cause I needed and love the job. When I said no it got worse. Other started bullying me too. I walked out not knowing how will I pay bills next month. on Thursday evening. Even though I am not religious and I haven't been in church for decades for some reason last thing I thought was 'be the stone that breaks the waves' from old testament. I am ok now. Got new job and long term contract. Half of the management got fired 6 months after that."
"Got food poisoning the night before a shift at a family-owned farm/farm stand/plant nursery. The protocol was to call or text the manager who was on duty the next day as early as possible so they had time to find someone to cover. Well what I got back was a tirade from said manager saying that she feels like shi*t every day and that it's no excuse for missing work, even though I was really the only one busting my a** on the daily - there at 4 am to prep for market, staying late to help fix things and care for the animals, etc. The next day I went in to pick up my last paycheck and told the owner that I would not be returning to work because her daughter was way out of line and I refused to be treated like I had been. Apparently I wasn't the first person to quit because of this."
"My boss in an electronics department told me (and my coworkers) that if my customer was black, don't let them buy the new iPhone with cash and insist that credit is the only option, because that way he can record their names and it prevents them from using 'all the stolen drug money', which is what he called cash whenever it was from a black male."
"I protested, he thought I was joking. My coworkers thought this was run of the mill and just did what he said. Ethics department never raised a finger. I never showed my face there again."
"I worked with that company for 5 years and that was my dream job. Still haven't recovered from the whiplash."
The pressures of the job itself made these Redditors put in their notice.
"I was made to take care of 20 toddlers under 3 with about half an hour of training at a daycare. I quit day 2."
Italian Restaurant Stresses
"Was working a high volume Italian restaurant chain on garmo (salads, appetizers, flatbread pizzas, desserts). Easily over 1000 covers a night. Had been there about a year and the last few weekends I had to solo the station when usually there were 3 of us. One beautiful summer Friday evening I found out I was soloing again, so I asked the chefs if anyone was available to give me a hand. They said they called a guy who'd be in by 6pm. 7pm rolls around and still no one. I was way too burnt out to do another weekend of this alone. I tell the chef right at the window I'm putting in my apron and towel - I'm done. Walked out, waved goodbye to the servers on the patio, and drove home. Best feeling ever."
"I was working as an assistant manager for a large Taco Bell franchise. We were required to work 60 hour weeks (5 twelve-hoir shifts), on a shifting schedule. Each assistant had a roaring schedule (mine was opening Tue, mid shift Wed & Thurs, closing Fri & Sat). We had no general manager, so I was doing a lot of that work."
"So, here I am with no real, healthy sleep schedule, newly married and never seeing my wife, working insane hours."
"Well, the other assistant (there were only two when there should have been three) was young. Very young. Like, fresh out of high school young. So very immature with a lot to learn."
"I came in on one of my closing shifts (we were open until 3am, so shift was 4p-4a). Store was a disaster. Again. Dirty as f'k. Sh*t all over the lines and the floor. No food prepped or cooking. Again. As it was every day I came in behind this other guy."
"I stood there for like three minutes. Just...in shock. Furious. About to snap."
"Instead of carefully took my store key off my key ring, gave it one of our team leads, and asked him to go back to give it the other manager, and walked out."
Overworked And Underpaid Nanny
"I worked as a nanny during the day and a waitress at night. I nannied for two kids, a 3 month old and his 5 year old brother who was severely autistic. Needless to say it was very challenging but the 5 year old and I eventually got into a good groove. His parents did not offer any support to me or their child. The dad "worked from home" which meant he played call of duty on the couch all day while I took care of his kids and the mom was at work.
Eventually I noticed my paychecks were gradually becoming smaller and smaller so I brought it up. The dad told me he didn't believe I should get paid for the times he was in the room. THEN he asked me to choose between my waitressing job and my nanny job, as they were concerened my waitressing job was making me too tired. I was tired, but I was tired of trying to single handedly handle their son's autism without any support. I immediately handed him his baby and his housekey and quit. The look on his face was priceless."
"Got in trouble working at Walmart one time. Christmas season in the toys dept. Everything was everywhere. Didn't have enough time in the night to put everything away and restock all the shelves. I was given 3 days off without pay (which I probably would have put up with), but then they also wanted me to write an essay on what I did wrong and how I would correct it. I just told them to f'king do it themselves then, and walked out. Best thing, really."
I should have quit my first job working at a video game store inside a mall.
I barely started working there and my co-worker would always "take breaks" that ended up being her private shopping time.
And all the advanced transactions – some of which I wasn't trained for, like returns and exchanges – transpired when she was on her private shopping spree...I mean, break.
One time, a kid leaned over while I was helping another customer and stole one of the games. Of course, this happened when I was manning the tiny store by myself because my co-worker was on her over-extended thirty-minute break.
I called security and dealt with the little crook's angry mother who refused to believe her son helped himself to a five-finger discount on my watch.
When I found out my co-worker was on her hour-and-a-half lunch date with our boss when the theft happened, I was livid. But as a 15-year-old, I hadn't developed the guts enough to make a dramatic exit. So I suffered for another month as an employee and eventually quit when school and band practice resumed.
Babysitting is a common occurrence that has been around for just about forever. But if we unpack it, it's actually a pretty strange concept.
Think about it. A parent or parents entrusts the entire safety and well-being of their flesh and blood children into the hands of a teenager who, in many cases, just happens to be a family friend or a neighbor.
With all those variables in place, any strange or troublesome incident can immediately put the babysitter against the ropes. Then the panic sets in and all becomes chaos.
Sure, the parents are a phone call away, but the babysitter still has to get through the initial insanity of whatever the kids get into.
Curious about people's bad experiences, Redditor _OwOtaku_ asked:
"babysitters of reddit, what is the worst thing you've come across while babysitting?"
Many people shared the times a child's behavior was clearly the result of their parents. The babysitter couldn't exactly blame the kid, but it was uncomfortable nonetheless.
The Mother Load
"The toddler came out into the living room holding the mom's sex toy. I was beyond grossed out! When I went to put it away in their bedroom, they had a whole drawer full of stuff."
"As a 12 year old, it was a bit much to see."
Like Father, Like Son
"This kid was angry bc i wouldn't let him have more candy (his mothers orders) and started saying all these bad words and other things that are very inappropriate for a 6-7 year old."
"I asked him where hes heard those things and he responded saying his dad says those things to her mom when hes mad."
"A kid I was babysitting threatened to tell his parents I was inappropriate with him because I refused to tell him what 'supermaning' meant (this was in 2007, the peak of Soulja Boy)."
"Another one was when I had to confront the parents of a kid because he told me he hated Obama because he was black while we were at the playground. I, as well as a bunch of other people, were shocked at what he said. That was a fun conversation that ultimately lead to me quitting."
A Sudden Star
"Got caught in a drug raid while babysitting and local TV station was along to record it all for a show they aired."
"Kids showed cops where all the drugs were, got taken away, I was sent home & my parents had to contact the station to say, they did not have permission to show me in that episode, it never aired bc there were only minors involved. Never babysat again."
"The mind numbing tv designed for babies that somehow disturbingly holds their attention for hours. I'm not sure how healthy that is on a long term basis. I would sometimes babysit for this nanny (like take over for when she was busy), who took care of these 2 babies nearly everyday."
"And she said to leave the tv on, that was preset to a baby channel, for them because they love it. These babies just stared at the screen for hours except when I fed them and then put them down for a nap. I tried to play with them with toys and stuff and they weren't super interested, it might capture their attention briefly but then they'd always go back to the tv. These were 5 month old babies."
Others shared the truly bizarre and unexpected things that happened. These were cartoonishly bad times on the job.
Out of Sight Out of Mind
"A nine year old boy was at a play date and he crapped himself and thought no one would notice if he put the crap in the air conditioner vent. The mom of the house was not happy."
The Rodent Room
"A tiny room FULL of guinea pigs. Cages and cages on shelves on the walls. They all seemed well fed and content but there must have easily have been 30 cages at least!"
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Hard Line Negotiator
"The kid who tried to blackmail me by threatening to cut off all her hair and tell her parents that I did it if I did delay bedtime. Same kid also tried to push me into some exposed nails in their unfinished basement. I babysat her regularly because she drove all the other babysitters in the area away. Her siblings and parents were nice though."
Children of the Corn
"Not my story, but a friends. She would babysit these kids sometimes that were just pure evil. Not in a cute way. They thought it would be funny to sprinkle broken glass into her salad. She caught on to it and was legitimately afraid of these boys and never ever babysat for this family again"
"Looking through photos that where hung up on a wall. One was smaller than others, kinda grainy, I lean in to look at it closer and jump back in shock. It was the moment of birth shot from below, head crowning it's called I think. Even for my horny 12 year old self too much."
"In college, I was babysitting for a family. Absolutely lovely people. Their cat was having some health problems, but at the time, they were under control."
"Poor cat had a seizure when I was babysitting. It was rough, little body twitching, the kids were worried, I was worried. It didn't last long, and he seemed ok afterwards. Poor thing peed on the living room carpet during the seizure, so I found some carpet cleaner and cleaned it the best I could."
"Parents thanked me afterwards for helping out with the cat. They followed up with the vet, and put the cat on a new round of medication, which helped."
Never Got Around To It
"I was 14, babysitting 3 girls. Their dad told them to clean their toys from the backyard because people were coming in the afternoon to look at the house (it was for sale). When we were going outside, the dog escaped and came back with a huge rabbit, now dead, in the middle of the yard."
"Geez, and they're trying to sell the house! So I had to put it in a plastic bag while the 3 year old watched in horror. They didn't have a dumpster and I didn't want to take it into the house so I put it discreetly by the stoop, and told the parents."
"Babysat there again 3 days later and the bagged up dead rabbit WAS STILL THERE. Geez guys."
Other people talked about the times that revolved around food. Of course, babysitters are often tasked with cooking meals for the kids.
These times were a train wreck.
"A friend of mine was hired to be a nanny. She was flown from the midwest plains to a fifth avenue apartment. On the first night the parents went out and told her to feed the kids."
"She got them pizza and the kids loved it, having never had pepperoni before. The family was Jewish, she was fired and sent home the next day."
"First babysitting job at 13. Four kids. Parents gave me a whole fresh salmon to COOK and serve the kids. I learned that day that salmon has pin bones when I had to pull some out of the 3 yo's throat while simultaneously calling my parents down the road because I didn't know what to do, as he's coughing and gasping for air and the other kids are freaking tf out."
"He was fine but I think I lost 10 years off my life that day."
"I stuck my hand in the couch cushions to look for a remote and came up with an uncooked hot dog. 🤢"
If you find yourself surrounded by friends, relatives, or neighbors having kids, bare all of this in mind before agreeing to babysit.
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