Have you ever had the sense that something you've been doing all along was incorrect but were too afraid to ask?
Others can't bear the thought of coming off as stupid and avoid being possibly humiliated.
At the end of the day, however, the joke's on them for not questioning things as they continue doing things the hard way and get silently judged for it.
Curious to hear about experiences from strangers, Redditor Wijting asked:
"What do you think you are doing wrong, but are too scared to ask somebody?"
When the protocol isn't clear, people make up their own rules. Maybe they should have asked for clarification.
Lunch Break Time
"I have no idea if my lunch break is an hour or 30 minutes."
"Where my office is located in my building, my boss and co-workers can't see me leave for lunch. When I started, I just began taking hour lunches like I did at my last job. Recently I heard a co-worker mention taking her 30 minute lunch."
"I've been taking hour long lunches for 6 years and it's way past the point of asking…."
Looking After Young Ones
"Babysitting, I babysat a few times when I was 13 or 14 and I wasn't sure if I was just supposed to check in on the kid or play with them or just like, make sure they don't die. I'm really good at kid sitting but babysitting (or for me watching a kid under 7 years old) is just hard."
Touch Of Lips
"Kissing. I've had no complaints but it's not really something your parents taught you to do properly"
"Anything related to being an adult, straight up no F'king idea what I'm doing…"
These are examples involving subjects which people assume are common knowledge but really aren't.
"shaving my testicles."
"Take a hot shower (so it will be easier to shave) and when you are done cleaning yourself, apply shaving foam (or watever it is called), when you shave, make it so your skin is not loose : use your second favorite hand to hold the skin and the other to shave. I usually squat when I do it. Optionnal, you can use a small mirror to see what you are doing, especially behind."
People Who Made A Lot Of Money From Something Totally Random | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
"My finances - no idea how to properly manage my money."
"How to handle anger? I'm too embarrassed to ask."
"So a great thing my therapist taught me when I was talking about my anger issues. He said a lot of times we get angry, we feel like we've been wronged or hurt in some way. Like coming home from work and I had asked my partner to do the dishes, but the dishes weren't done. Did he actually wrong me or hurt me? Not really. Did it require the level of emotion I was putting into it? Nope."
"So now when I get angry, because I still get angry, I stop and think about why I'm mad. Was I actually wronged or hurt and does my level of emotion fit the actual scenario. It takes some practice but once you start to view things from 'okay but is this really worth what I'm putting into it, what am I actually mad about, and does the person I'm mad at deserve this reaction'; things start to seem not as bad or as upsetting as I initially thought they were."
Finding Our Purpose
"Like what I supposed to be doing? I have about 80 years total. So far, I've learned stuff, got married, and got a good job. Am I just grinding out the rest of my years?"
The complete lack of confidence in something can be crippling for some people.
Being In Charge
"Supervising. I am put in the position but just rely on the efficiency of my subordinates. As soon as there's someone who's lazy or a troublemaker I've got to figure out how to learn."
"I feel like I'm really articulate when I'm going about my day especially over text, but as soon as I get into a verbal disagreement it's like my f'king brain shuts off and I forget how to think. Like a deer in the headlights."
"I don't remember it always being this way but it's like I've got this huge amount of social anxiety in those situations now and I struggle to accurately express myself."
Not Feeling Adjusted
"Going into my third year and I still don't feel as if I ever adjusted, or developed healthy habits."
"Just trying to take it a day at a time and not procrastinate beyond no return."
"I recently started out in the dating scene and i dont know whats the difference between being a couple and being really good friends."
"Also: sex is really strange to me."
"General conversation I just suck at talking to people I don't really know or don't know at all. Sometimes when I get tips for stuff I respond 'yes' or 'ok' or 'thank you' and even that feels weird or wrong, even the action of saying 'hello' feels off... It even happens with friends sometimes..."
I have the horrible tendency to not ask for directions when I'm in unfamiliar territory.
I rely on Google Maps – which for the most part, is really helpful and usually accurate.
But when I was in Japan and I planned on meeting a friend in a neighboring prefecture, I took the wrong train and my day was, well, derailed.
I didn't want to trouble the locals by asking for directions; my hesitation stems from not wanting to inconvenience people.
But I learned quickly to get over that. I eventually found my way over to where I needed to be, but the trial and error it took to get to my destination was costly and time-consuming.
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."
Game For Cleaning
"My friend asked me to clean out his Guinea Pig cage because he couldn't be bothered that day."
"In payment he gave me his copy of Zoo Tycoon 2 for PC." – Bubbly-Crew9697
License To Sit
"Twenty five years ago, and in Indiana, the law was that in order to operate nail salon, someone there must hold a full cosmetology license, not just a nail technician license. A nail salon opened next to the hair salon I worked at and they all held nail technician licenses and the one who held a cosmetology license would be delayed in Korea for a week for whatever reason. At 18 years old, I was paid $25 an hour to merely to sit in the nail salon as the 'holder of the license.' I answered no phones, tended to no clients, did nothing but paint my own nails repeatedly and watch tv for an entire week. Was a sweet, sweet gig."
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."
The Worthy Companion
"When I was 19, I meet an heiress (I think she was in her fifties). She paid me $20 an hour to go to lunch with her. She would take me to five star restaurants and we would shoot the shit for 1-2 hours every week. That is literally all she wanted from me... to sit and eat lunch with her at a fancy restaurant. It was nice, I was poor so that extra 20-40 bucks a week made a big difference and I got to eat some of the best food in Houston. She was a nice lady. I taught her how to pump her own gas and took her to a grocery store for the first time in her life. She taught me proper table manners and that not all rich people are narcissistic jerks."
"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."
"Got paid 300$ to shovel my neighbors front steps and driveway while she was away on vacation all winter. It did not even flurry once."
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.
Sometimes, it's the simple things that give us the most trouble.
We can carry a job, manage a complicated schedule full of work, friendship, family, and romance, but we can't do the little things here and there.
Maybe it comes down to priorities: the big stuff is so significant we simply must have that nailed down to lead a satisfying life.
So the minor things sometimes get pushed aside. But every so often, a situation arises that calls attention to our inability to handle that very mundane task.
A recent Reddit thread explored some examples.
anonymouspapayaz asked, "What is one 'ordinary' thing that you can't do?"
Many Redditors set their sights on the social realm. They discussed the social behaviors they just can't seem to navigate, and clearly implied how much they'd prefer to have those locked down.
Alas, with the pandemic they have some time to practice.
One In, One Out
"Remember names. It's like I have only so many slots for people's names and when I learn a new one, an older one needs to go."
"Can get embarrassing."
"I'm a pretty funny guy but can't tell a joke to save my life" -- evanallenrose
"How many men walking into lightbulbs does it take to change a bar... Wait let me start over" -- SchuyWalker
"Like you just casually say funny things? I think I'm the same, I think I'm relatively funny, but when I do it on purpose I can't say it without laughing" -- rice_yummy
Anywhere But There
"Engage in appropriate eye contact." -- Amiiboid
"I've been guilty of this one my whole life. It's reflex to not look at people. Especially when I'm the one speaking."
"I didn't even notice I did it until I was talking to a therapist about how to manage stress more efficiently and within 5 minutes of the first session he pointed it out."
"Everyone I ever talk to regularly just got used to it as something I did and never bothered paying it mind." -- ShuyWalker
Others described the basic life skills they have yet to incorporate into their skill sets. They don't always come up, but when they do, these absences can be a real pain.
"I have a lot of trouble with directions and maps. I can't process it, mostly. I can't do geometry either so I think that's related."
"Ironically I'm a very very good Tetris player tho so I have some spacial reasoning skills but I can barely read a fucking map."
"Drive. I'm paralysed with fear when I'm in control of a killing machine." -- Bagners
"same, and people always insist i should drive because 'you'll get used to it' or 'you're already a better driver than most out there.' "
A Safari Of Social Norms
"Dating. It seems like it's relatively simple for most people, but I've always had horrible luck with it."
"I'm 26 and I've never been on a date, I just figure there's something wrong with me."
"My handwriting is so bad my wife usually can't even read it. And we've been together over 20 year's."
"I forgot, my spelling is worse."
Finally, some people described the more bizarre "skills" and abilities that came to mind. These likely won't be much of a problem any time soon.
Nonetheless, these Redditors would love to be able to do them.
"I have a buddy that can't burp. He can pretty much fart on command though." -- SniffCheck
"Wow, he managed to take his skill points from burping to farting" -- Insertstalem3me
"My friend likes to fart and say: 'can you hear me now?' I hate that it still gets me." -- Dregoralive
Practice, Practice, Practice
"Can't do that whistle thing where you make it louder using your thumb and index finger." -- BoysenberryEasy3653
"You have to bend your tongue back over itself and put your two sets of fingers in pressed again each on top of your folded tongue. As you blow your lips will naturally tighten round your fingers so don't worry too much about them."
"Finger tips should be meeting in a V formation. Change the V angle of your fingers meeting until you hear a whistling noise, try both widening and narrowing the V. It will probably be quite faint at first."
"It works easiest with your index and middle finger from each hand. Once you get you'll be able to do with any 2 sets of finger combo (e.g. thumb + pinkie on same hand or even separate)."
"It took me a good 10 mins from being shown to being able to do it. Just keep trying till you get it."
"Blow a bubble with gum" -- cynical_pragmatism
- "Chew gum til soft
- Tongue condom
- Use lips to firmly grip tongue condom
- Blow" -- HeartXUnderXBlade
Now think about yourself. What minor things can you just not seem to wrap your head around?
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Nobody is perfect. We can't all be great at everything. Even though we so desperately believe we can do it all, that is not the case. That realization can become a haunting issue when it pertains to life's simpler activities. For instance... I can't do math. After years of struggle and self doubt I realized... who cares? I hate math; hand me a calculator. No shame. We are just wired to intake info in different ways. And sometimes certain wires are just not meant to cross. Often times the deceptively simple alludes us and it's a mystery.Redditor u/HarveySteakfries was hoping everyone was wiling to compare notes and admit to all the small things that so many of us just can't seem to conquer by asking.... What are some basic things that you can't do?
Chop-Chopnicole byer chopsticks GIF by NailedItGiphy
Use a chopstick (I'm asian).
Try eating spaghetti, I'm Italian and I hate those pieces of crap, long live the mezze penne rigate.
Sorry. And you are?
Remember names and faces. Don't know what my deal is but unless my brain decides I should remember you for some reason, I will probably forget I've even met you. It's screwed up and embarrassing really.
Ugh, I feel you. It was a great night when I turned to my GF's friend and said "I'm sorry, what was your name again?" and she was like "It's Caitlin! I am literally your GF's best friend, we have met three times!"
1 + 1=.... UM?
Do basic math quickly. Like simple adding and subtracting math. I used to be a bartender, and one of the basic jobs of a bartender is surprisingly enough to check ids. Well whenever any handed me their id I couldn't do the math fast enough to actually be sure they were over 21. So I just said okay. Later they put up the sign with date that the birthday had to be after to be served. Made it slightly easier.
Goodnight....Baby Reaction GIFGiphy
Get to sleep at a reasonable hour.
I always go to sleep after midnight, have done for years now. It just feels natural to me now, any time before that and its too early for me. I've been told to go to bed earlier by a few people. Its definitely easier said than done - as I just lie in bed looking at the ceiling if I'm forced to go to bed before midnight.
Interact with someone that I don't know.
Like anything, it takes practice. I'll admit though, making conversation with strangers doesn't feel as natural as if it was to somebody you know.
Produce dopamine at an acceptable level.
Edit: this is an oversimplification and there are many pathway signals in the brain that we still don't completely understand on the whole. Far from it. So please do not think this one thing will solve a complex issue.
Bite into apples or an ear of corn.
I have to cut up apples and whatnot bc one of my front teeth is partially fake. If there was somehow only apples and corn on the cob available and no knives? You gotta come at it from the side and hope you have floss.
bad cyclebike ride GIFGiphy
I'm 16 and I cant ride a bike.
A common mistake when beginning is trying to keep balance by moving the front wheel. Move your body slightly left or right instead. It is also much easier to keep balance at faster speeds.
Bodies are weird
Process dairy. Thanks for nothing, ancestors.
Yes, I have problems with this. However, when I was pregnant I craved ice cream so bad and ate it several times a day and my body was ok with it. Bodies are weird. Type of ice cream: just one kind, superman.
Don't Pucker.... Blow....whistle whistling GIFGiphy
Whistle, snap my fingers, blow bubbles with gum.
From someone else on reddit:
As someone said, whisper 'Q'. (Elongate the Q, expel all of your air over 4 or 5 seconds of whispering a single Q. You should be close to a whistle if not whistling at the end of the exhale). The idea is that you want to direct a stream of air downwards, across the opening of your lips. It's like blowing across the top of a coke bottle, only you're doing it from the inside.
To do this, you push your tongue up to the roof of your mouth for a cat/lizard/vampire hiss: hhkhkhkkhhhhkkkkkhh.
When you make that noise, you should find yourself blowing on your lower front teeth.
The tip of your tongue should be neutral to start - not all the way forward as for yyyyyyyy, and not all the way back as for aaaawwww. Just a loose, neutral uuuhhh.
Last and least important, the lips. Starting out, keep it relaxed - position them for ooo, like you're going to mutter 'cool' under your breath. Don't pucker, it'll be harder to find the tone.
So, put it all together, and you whisper khlhkhhkkkhkhkkheeeeeeoooooooo - and somewhere in there you should find a lick of tone. Keep practicing until you can home right in on it. It'll be kind of breathy, but we'll fix that in a minute.
You change the pitch by moving the tip of your tongue forward and back. You'll notice that high notes are a bit hard to reach.
Once you've got this down, and can find the tone every time - then you pucker your lips into a wwwww shape.
It's got much less tolerance for finding the tone, but the tone will clean up and lose the breathiness, and high notes will become a whole lot easier.
That's it, that's all you need.
I don't know if it's just me and God I hope it's not but for the life of me I cannot open a resealable package the correct way. You know the packaging that's like tear here along the lines to get to the resealable part? Without fail every time I tear it off and somehow there's just enough to not be able to get to the resealable part. My girlfriend watches me every time I open one with the same disappointed face. She has to watch the man she fell in love with paw at a bag of cereal like a seal wearing oven mitts.
"khhh"season 10 friends GIFGiphy
My native language is Russian, and the phonetics of the letter 'r' are very different to those in English - you have to roll the letter, kind of like in French or Spanish. However, I still can't do this, even after years of practice and failed assistance to try and learn how to pronounce the letter; I replace it with an awkward "khhh."
Saaame. Maybe it's only in the US where it's a shame to not know to swim. I was fine in my home country bc a lot of people don't learn how to swim.
Raise only one eyebrow. How do people do that?
Yeah, I used to know how to do 1 but not the other without compressing muscles of the other one. Then i got face paralysis and couldn't move half my face for about 2 months until i began going to physical therapy where i had to learn to move my face again.
Now i can move both of them independently and without any need of using muscles from other side to keep it down. So basically a lot of looking in the mirror and just thinking about moving it and using imagination to picture it all while helping it with a finger and you can learn it... if you decide its worth your while.
learning lifejohnny depp everything GIFGiphy
Pay taxes, drive a motorcycle, networking, flirting, create ties with people, fix stuff, go to places without a GPS and cooking.
I cant twist my tongue to the left, I encourage you to try this, idk why I cant, I can twist it to the right but no matter how hard I try I can't twist my tongue to the left.
It's genetic, same as the pattern in which you clasp your hands together with fingers interlaced. Whether it feels natural to have your left or right forefinger in the top position is genetic.
Find a girlfriend.
Same, where do you even find them and how do people have the confidence to ask girls out, not something I could ever relate to lol.
Shuffle cards. Embarrassing when I have to mix them all up in my hands. I'm 29.
Here is sexy card shuffle tutorial.
Side to Sidegoogly eyes GIFGiphy
I can't move my eyes to the left and right, only up and down! If I want to look to the side I have to move my whole head. If you see me reading it looks like I'm constantly shaking my head.
Licensed to Walk....
Drive a car (I'm in my early 30s).
I have a friend I went to high school with back in the 80's who was scared to learn to drive. Her mom thought it was because her dad was teaching her to drive and he was being a butt to her so she asked me if I could teach my friend to drive.
She had no interest in learning to drive and finally told me that she didn't want to learn and liked taking the bus and walking. She finally told her mom the same.
She is my age (50) and still has never driven. She lives in a city where she does not have to drive and is very happy there.
I drove as soon as I could but not everyone is in a hurry and some people just aren't interested. I worked with a guy at my last job who was 36 and didn't know how to drive. It's probably more common than you think.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.