Teaching is by no means an easy job––it's grossly under-appreciated, in fact.
Think of how observant teachers are, too. They're the experts, and they've likely noticed a palpable difference between the students of today and the students of yesteryear.
Gather 'round, one and all, and prepare to be schooled thanks to Redditor ihaveacrazyfamoly, who asked the online community: "Teachers/professors of reddit what is the difference between students of 1999/2009/2019?"
"There has been a definite move..."
Computer Science teacher here. There has been a definite move over time from trying to learn how to do something towards trying to find a ready made answer. Whenever I set my students an assignment, we discuss what they should do if they get stuck - typically involving re-reading notes, looking at the resources they've been given, looking at prior work, perhaps finally using web based resources. Students have always (as long as the web has been a thing) skipped straight to the last one, but the subtle change is rather than searching for HOW to do something, most now just search for a fully formed complete answer which they can copy and hand in.
"I've been a teacher..."
I've been a teacher for 15 years and one thing I've noticed is that in recent years the "breakfast club" stereotypes like jocks, nerds, etc. seem to be falling by the wayside and kids seem to be hidden under many layers of irony.
"I've been teaching high school..."
I've been teaching high school since 1993.
Students are less homophobic by a long shot, at least where I've been. There is still homophobia but they can't be open about it.
Students talk about things like depression and mental illness more; whether the prevalence rate for things like depression actually is higher or not I don't know, but it's more talked about.
Attitudes toward school are about the same. Hard workers, average workers, and slackers are still probably the same proportion.
Obviously the use of technology is dramatically increased, which is good and bad. It's definitely made research super easy.
There's more awareness of bullying, though sometimes this term gets thrown around too casually.
Students in special ed are no longer openly mocked.
Students are larger. A lot larger.
Dating in an official sense doesn't seem to occur anymore; just seems like FWB (or without benefits) is the typical arrangement.
Seems like students spend a lot more time inside than 20 years ago.
"I cannot imagine..."
When I taught (having a break to do a masters), I never disguised the fact that I was gay and it wasn't a big deal. That, in itself, is notable, I think. We had a few teachers who made no effort to hide their gayness (by which I mean students sometimes ask what we did at the weekend or if we were married or anything and I'd mention my fiancé - normal conversational stuff) and we had a trans woman on staff. This is in a small town with students who generally had a low level of education or were previously kicked out of other places.
I cannot imagine that being the case 20 years ago. The worse homophobic comments I've heard have actually been from older staff but I am ballsy enough to ask them to repeat what they just said in a "try it and we both know you'll end up in a disciplinary" voice. That's absolutely magical.
But yeah, being gay, and to a lesser extent being trans or non-binary, has been hugely normalised in the younger generations.
In 1999, class was super noisy when you came in. Everyone talking and then quieting down when you started teaching. Now, like walking into a funeral home. cell phone silence.
Lawnmower parents, more emphasis on test scores, and more reliance on technology. Less interest in learning and too much interest in social media.
"In regards to..."
In regards to technology, I think "experts" who have been telling us that the students are going to come in very technologically literate don't actually realize WHAT technology students are using. Students are using cell phones, occasionally tablets, and gaming devices like xBox. They don't use computers actively at home.
Massachusetts switched their standardized testing to computer based testing. 100% of our students have no idea how to type in a computer when they come to us in elementary school. So not only do we have to teach them the content for these ridiculous tests, we have to teach them how to type fluently and accurately before third grade so they can type essays on the computer at 8 years old. They said the switch was because students are more technologically savvy then ever before, which is probably partially true, but not in the way that they want.
Been teaching since 2006. Kids are getting worse with computers due to them mostly using smart devices. I'm spending more time teaching things like how to double click and enter a URL than I used to.
Otherwise they seem the same though. It's the parents that are different--they're overextended and their kids are suffering since their parents don't have the spoons to engage in their education as much as they need to.
"She worked in the private sector..."
Their vocabulary and speaking skills are lacking. Why? Well, the speech/language teacher at my school gave her theory. She worked in the private sector over the summer. Parents would drop off their young kids to her and sit in the lobby on their phones (as we all do). Over the summer she would assess these kiddos and most all of them were of normal intelligence and ability. So why are the kiddos severely behind in speaking and language skills? She claims that parents are not SPEAKING enough to their children. We adults spend so much time on our phones and laptops and are not having enough conversations with our children. I have to agree with this. Fifteen/20+ years ago, we were all not glued to our phones. People CONVERSED more with their kids in the past.
"That, and even my smart..."
They're more alike than different, but students of 1999 were more likely to be able to write their own web page in raw HTML, and students in 2019 aren't sure how to make a basic Powerpoint or attach something to an email. I've been doing this long enough that I remember when the professors were baffled by all things computer-ish and the students were impatient with how clueless we were, and now it's reversed.
That, and even my smart students have zero idea how to use an apostrophe. That's something that's shown up in the past five to seven years. I blame autocorrect.
Mental health. Each semester, I refer at least two or three students per class to campus counseling services.
A couple add-on observations:
- Students obviously now feel much more comfortable talking to their professors about their personal issues. I believe in educating the whole student, so I am OK with this. Also, I legitimately believe students have more stress on their plates now than they did 20 years ago. Increased competition, a weakening (North American) economy, climate change anxiety, the impacts of social media on self-worth, etc.
- At least 50% of the students I refer to counseling have already gone. I am impressed at the proactive nature younger people are taking with regards to their mental health. I agree that the stigma around mental health is decreasing, which I support.
"The students are far more prone..."
My students today are way over protected and far more nervous than when I started teaching in 1994. For example I have had several students ( typically girls) who at 12 or 13 have literally never been alone. Then have not been on a bike ride alone or a walk around their block alone. Their parents are so afraid of stranger danger that they are preventing their students from having the necessary alone time to get into trouble and try to solve problems independently.
The students are far more prone to anxiety, depression, cutting and suicidal idealization than previous generations of students. Probably related, but who knows.
Students are afraid of risk and need teacher support and because it is available all the time they kind of expect it. I had a student email me an hour ago because he did not understand a question on his homework. And I responded with some additional info to support this student. On a Sunday morning. Of course I am the one who taught them how to actually email something and I answered the email, so perhaps I am a contributor to this issue. 20 years ago he would have had to figure it out and give his best guess and let the chips fall.
"I was a university advisor..."
I was a university advisor for many years and now I'm an adjunct professor. Students today refuse to use their textbook/take notes to their detriment. They'll turn in papers with applications of definitions/concepts they found by googling as opposed to ones discussed in class or in the text. It's amazing how much research they'll do that goes against what has been taught (and is easily at their fingertips).
"Not a teacher..."
Not a teacher in the strictest sense, but I do a lot of tutoring, and I briefly taught some junior comp eco courses at the local elementary school. The biggest thing I've noticed is an over abundance of "lawnmower" parents—parents who plow down any obstacle in their kids' paths without ever letting them challenge themselves. I had parents who would do their kids' assignments for them because they were "hard," then yell at the instructors when their children weren't learning.
The other big thing is that knowledge of proper grammar seems to have really decreased. I know high school honors students who can barely string together a coherent sentence. I read and edit essays/resumes/research papers sometimes, and they were often borderline illegible because nobody knew basic spelling and punctuation. I had to actually teach people—some of whom were in AP English classes—that you need to capitalize proper nouns and put quotes around dialogue. People also don't know how to use word processors for some reason—loads of students had no idea how to even center text, so they'd just press space until their titles were roughly in the middle of the paper.
"There's some sense..."
There's some sense of entitlement I've noticed. Like "I deserve a better grade" or "I deserve an extension because this week has been hard." Plus some sense of arrogance: "why should I follow your instructions? My way is better." To be fair, sometimes their way is better and I have learned from them in some occasions.
Students lack the tenacity to stick with a task until they figure it out. Most will try once and if they aren't perfect will give up and blame the teacher if the can't do it. I teach physics, 11th grade, they want me to grade each step of each problem before they move forward. And if I don't, some throw temper tantrums.
"On the plus side..."
Today's students don't know how to struggle or persevere through a problem. If they can't do it immediately, they need help.
On the plus side, they know a lot more about each other and are open to diversity. They communicate their emotions.
"I started in higher ed..."
I started in higher ed six years ago and have noticed plenty of functional type differences that may not be immediately obvious. For instance, when I attended college in the 90s email wasn't used as a primary method of communication. It was still seen as a semi-exotic analog to snail mail. Now that it (and other electronic, digital, and wireless means of communication) are in wide use, showing up to see a class cancellation notice on the door isn't seen as a gift from the gods, but as a justification for students to complain that they made a "pointless trip" to the classroom. Instead of being grateful for an extra hour off, many of students will become indignant that they walked/drove "all the way over" to a certain part of campus/a particular building/campus.
I've also noticed what I believe to be more "blur" about what constitutes plagiarism. Obviously, we warn against it, remind students of that warning, and make sure to define what plagiarism is. But, for whatever reason, they think that uncited CTRL-C + CTRL-V does NOT equal plagiarism. It seems as if they think the only way making an exact copy of someone else's work is if it is done by hand...as in literally writing it by hand. If it's type, and especially copied and pasted, it's OK.
And, finally, the belief that having your ear buds in during class (presumably to listen to music) is perfectly normal and acceptable seems to be almost universal. Even though it was 25 years ago, we had the technology to do the same thing. But, barring some bizarre exceptions, we all understood that it wasn't appropriate. Today, a large proportion of students seem to be seriously considering it worthy of an argument if you ask them to take them out (I only ask during tests or if their "content" is spilling out of their ears and into the room. Yes, it happens from time to time.)
Another odd complication that wasn't even possible "back in my day" (LOL...it seems odd to even type that) is the use of laptops to take notes. I don't mind. I even suggest it...with the explicit and heavily emphasized warning that if you're caught watching cat videos, or whatever, I'll ask you to quit using it. I'll never forget the exchange I had with one student who forgot to mute their laptop and started a YouTube video. It loudly interrupted class. I asked them to mute their laptop and reminded the student that I'd ask them to not have their laptop out if they couldn't exert some discipline (in a real world sense, all I was asking was the courtesy of having the volume turned down as I can't see their screens when I'm lecturing). Ten minutes later, the SAME STUDENT has an autoplayed Facebook video create the same situation. They didn't mute the laptop, they just quit looking at what they thought got them caught. So, I asked them to put the laptop away. "How am I supposed to take notes?!" was the indignant reply. I pointed out that that wasn't what she was doing, that class had already been loudly interrupted twice, that I'd already given her a pass on something I'd given a preemptive warning about, and pens and paper still existed. Still, the combination of "how dare you" and "what am I supposed to do now" was all over her face and body language.
Also, on the days when I give a small quiz (intended to encourage attendance and reading of the textbook), make use of a slide show, or have a significant amount of things written on the board, I can't help but notice how many students rely on the cameras on their phones to substitute for "note taking." I've told them that it can't hurt to do so. In fact, I think it is a useful supplement. But, no matter how many times I explain it, I'll have a half dozen students a semester who stare into the distance and/or look like they are sleeping with their eyes open UNTIL the moment I advance a slide, pick up the eraser, etc. All of the sudden, they perk up and their head is on a swivel. They can pick up their phones and snap pictures of the board/boards and/or screen faster than a Old West gunslinger could draw his revolver.
Just some random observations. I think some of what I mentioned is a result of some of my classes being filled with first year freshman who are treating college as being in the 13th grade. That's especially true in the fall semesters. Given that we're in the middle of one, that's probably why all that comes to my mind so easily now. Hahaha!
If you don't have any experience with construction, it can be pretty interesting to watch those reality HGTV shows (I know I'm addicted at this point). Some of the best episodes can be the one's where they open up the walls to find the builder didn't do anything right, causing a huge blow to the budget. The drama!
As someone who doesn't know much about building, and is dreaming of homeownership, Redditor Vast_Recognition_682 asked a question I wish I had thought of first.
Redditor Vast_Recognition_682 asked:
"Home inspectors of reddit, what are some horrible things that almost went unnoticed?"
Here's some horror stories that shed a little light on the home owner unknowns.
Behind the closet wall.
"Going through a home with [the] home inspector, didn't find any issues, bring my dad in to look through the house too and he was [incessantly] checking everything. Looks at the Zillow listing with the floor plan, measures the basement, finds out the actual measurements smaller than the floor plan which led us to go looking in a closet and realize they finished a wall and closet around the old oil tank, never decommissioned it, never planned to tell anyone about it, and we would have had to rip walls out to get to it to remove it. It was a non starter and we walked away. So happy to have my dad's sharp eye while home shopping."
If you need a good prank idea when you're renovating, here's one:
"I saw a post once, this guy said his dad's house had a diagonal outer wall and he was installing a combination wall and bookshelf to square the room. Since there was a small dead space on one side, the dad (who was a doctor), got a life-size plastic human skeleton from work and tossed it in there."
"So if someone tore the wall out to remodel in 30 years or whatever, they'd see it and freak out."
Man cave mayhem.
"Not a home inspector, but I did ask our home inspector what crazy stuff he had seen over the years. He had two stories."
"He inspected a modest three bedroom house and found that were very strange structural cracks in the walls. The area where the house was built is primarily clay soil which leads to a lot of foundation issues, but these were really abnormal cracks. He headed to the attic to wrap up his inspection; it was located over the garage so there was absolutely no structural support there. He poked his head up into the attic and couldn't believe his eyes: the owner had a fully furnished man cave in the attic over the garage. It had a couch, big screen tv, weight set, and a huge gun safe. He said he had no idea how in the world all of that stuff didn't come crashing down through the garage ceiling or how the guy had managed to get the giant gun safe up there without some sort of elaborate winch system. He said it was only a matter of time before the house collapsed."
"The only other weird thing he encountered was a cistern (an old well) in a crawlspace underneath a house. He said he was crawling along on his stomach when he almost fell into it; it was left uncovered."
A rats nest of wires.
"I'm sure there will be some stories about wiring above drop ceilings. When I was looking at houses, I saw (not the home inspector) one once where like 10 different wires came into one rats nest of a cluster. To make it even better, there was a regular lamp cord that ran from it to power the hanging kitchen light above the table. And if you want whip cream and sprinkles on that.... the power came into that mess through knob and tube."
"I am an apprentice electrician and this comment just made my soul cry."
"I found an uncapped steel conduit with live wires behind my sink while remodeling. There wasn't even a cap on the wires."
"While ripping out our old kitchen we cut the old crappy countertop with a sawzaw, to our surprise saw a spark and blew a breaker. some mother f**kers who previously renovated this kitchen ran the wiring for a new outlet on the wall around the studs in a crevice in the back of the countertop...."
"My family flipped a house a few years ago. There were four ceilings, each a couple inches lower than the one before, and all but one had old wiring in it. It was like cutting into a weird lasagna, trying to find the studs in that house."
"Grandma was shrinking with old age, but her kids didn't want her to realize."
"Not me, but one I spoke to. Place almost passed, until out the corner of his eye... bam... jack stand holding up a beam under the house."
"Same with a house daughter was interested in. The place was a flip and totally redone. Beautiful. And down in the basement was a brick holding up a big beam."
This inspector had a full list.
1. "Furnace exhaust flue inlet at the attic furnace disconnected and a dead bird below it. Would have dumped all the furnace exhaust straight into the attic area. Obvious safety implication."
2. "Long time vacant house in a very secluded area. Reeked of cat p*ss and burnt plastic. No cats or cat feces in sight and no entry point for cats. Found small balloon in the corner of the floor where the fridge would be. Picked it up (with gloves) and white powder came spilling out. We came to the conclusion there was possibly the presence of methamphetamine in the home at some point and in some fashion."
3. "5 year old house, nice neighborhood, great shape, vacant. Everything looked good visually. In the attic, just after it had started raining heavily, a slight but constant drip was noticed from the roof sheathing in one area. Got lucky on that one. Sunny day, there would have been no evidence of any issue whatsoever."
4. "Homeowner DIY replaced the microwave and thought it would be 'clever' to run the exhaust vent into the wall cavity between the kitchen and adjacent laundry room. Just dumped the moisture into the wall. Mold city after a while if you do a lot of cooking while using the exhaust fan."
5. "60s house, well renovated. Range was a gas/electric dual fuel setup. Noticed broiler took forever to even start to warm up and never got hot enough that I couldn't touch it real quick (they usually glow red after like 30 seconds). Found out the range was plugged into a 110v outlet (enough to power the control panel and light) and not the proper 220v outlet (not even present). Oven was essentially useless. That one also had an incomplete drain line from a bathroom sink dumping everything directly into the crawlspace."
6. "New build. Got into the attic and just a quick 360° scan, something was off. Looking closer found a truss web beam that was completely gone, just ripped out (gusset plates bent to hell). Probably knocked out by the framing crews crane or something and they thought no one would notice. Time is money right? Lol"
They saved the day with this good catch!
"I used to work in a hospital, in IT. We were in a back corner of the oldest building. I used an out of the way stairwell, that had a 4 inch cast iron sprinkler main running through it."
"One day when I was leaving, I noticed a little tiny bit of water on the outside of the pipe. I went back to my desk, called maintenance, and asked them to send someone down so I could show them what I noticed. Walked the guy down to the stairwell and showed him, went on home."
"The next day I get to work and there's a letter on my desk. I open it, and it's from the director of maintenance. Seems that they shut down and depressurized the sprinkler line, and when they went to disconnect the section with the leak, the pipe just crumbled. They figured that my call prevented a major flood in materials management (which backed up to the stairwell on the floor below us) as well as a FD call-out, as the alarm would have gone when the pipe ruptured and water started flowing. The director sent me a very nice thank-you, and referred the situation to the cost-saving committee to see if they could get me a bonus based on preventing an accident."
The internet might just save homeowners on a whole lot of money by taking a closer look during the inspection. Thank goodness for this Ask Reddit post shedding light on the horror stories of homeownership and renovation mishaps.
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Unless you've been a member of the armed forces, you may only know drill sergeants as uncompassionate leaders who yell at privates all the time.
War Face GIF Giphy
"Drill instructors, what is the funniest thing you have seen a Private do?"
The following examples were utterly humiliating, but valuable lessons were learned.
"Had 2 guys get in a fight in our bay during basic. The drill sergeant made them hold hands and pretending to be on a date all week. Only time they could let go of each other's hands was rack time. They ended up becoming pretty good friends."
"Ex British Army officer here."
"A corporal went on a nine week mortar course and was accommodated (obviously) while he was away. It turned out he knew one of the DS teaching the course and was invited, regularly, to dine and drink in the Sergeant's Mess."
"The month after coming back from the course, he brought his payslip to me with a puzzled look on his face and, embarrassed, explained he didn't understand what it meant and could I help him?"
"It emerged that the Sergeant's Mess had a chitty system - you didn't pay for your drinks at the time, but signed for them and the total bill was deducted from your pay."
"This legend had managed to drink more than his monthly salary both months he'd been away and his payslip was a negative balance."
"I'm sorry Smith, I'm afraid you owe the Army £235 ($327.50) this month."
Asking For An Advance
"Former European Anti-Air Trainee here."
"Recruit spent his first check on alcohol and sex workers, asked his commander for next months check in advance the next day. Instead of having a good excuse prepared to actually succeed in that proposal he blankly told him in front of 80 other recruits why he'd need it."
"I saw a guy post about how he was like 6'3 and his DS was like 5'2, so whenever he messed up the DS would go up to him face to chest and yell 'Elevator!' and the guy would bend down to eye level with the DS and say 'Ding!' and the DS would proceed to look him in the eye while he chewed him out."
Some experiences were downright hilarious.
"Not an RDC, but in boot camp I was over the laundry crew. One recruit sh*t himself because he thought he couldn't leave his rack after taps. It was funny at the moment before I realized I had to wash it."
"This was the funniest f'king thing I ever read from u/odomotto"
"Recruit fired all his blank ammo during 'ambush training.' He crawled in ditch opposite where the aggressors were, and started throwing rocks at them. DI came running in middle of the road blowing his whistle and screaming 'what the f'k are you doing?' Recruit screamed back, 'throwing hand grenades drill sergeant!' Without missing a beat, the DI screamed 'out f'king standing.' And walked away."
"My sides hurt and I was wheezing laughing so hard at this when I first heard it!"
These punishments made no sense. And that's why they're memorable.
"When I was in basic, a kid we called 'Albino' shot off a blank round accidentally in the field. The sergeants were pissed and took his weapon away and replaced it with a broomstick for the remainder of the week in the field."
"Man I remember some dude didn't put the sheet on his bunk the right way and had to wear the sheet as a cloak and go to all the other barracks dancing around sing about how he was the 'Catch Edge Fairy' or something. It was pretty silly, he owned it though. He was doing twirls the whole time. This was Navy bootcamp."
Despite how they are depicted on film, drill instructors are people who care.
Like, Beals – a drill sergeant at Fort Knox, Kentucky – who said:
"We provide more than just physical, mental and emotional guidance for them. You are a father, a preacher, a financial advisor, a counselor-you provide so many different services to the Soldier that the regular public doesn't see on day to day basis."
"They see what they see in movies and what they hear about by word of mouth. But you are fulfilling so many roles other than just being a trainer and teaching an individual how to be a Soldier in the Army."
And occasionally, they are having a laugh at the crazy things their trainees do.
Sometimes, it becomes extremely clear that it's time to leave.
That goes for short term situations like a bizarre social moment, or longer term commitments like work or relationships.
Whatever the context, there is typically a tipping point moment when all the variables appear to suggest things have become unsafe, wildly uncomfortable, or maybe even a tad illegal.
It's those moments when all you can think about is the door.
Redditor Thotus_Maximus asked:
"What was your biggest 'I'm out' moment?"
Many people talked about the times they went to parties that turned out to be very different from what they had in mind.
"Went to a friend of a friend's 35th birthday party. There were like 3 people there when we showed up. Birthday boy says everyone's in the basement. Okay cool."
"We go down to the basement. Someone's DJing, they've got cool lighting, there's like 30 people dancing. After a minute or 2 we realize everyone in the basement is like 13. Nope Nope Nope."
THAT Kinda Party
"Lived in a hotel for a while when I was 18-19. One day a bunch of people I've met at the pool wanted to go up to this dudes room and party. I thought we were gonna drink, smoke, and have a conversation, but that's not how it went."
"While everyone went up there, I had to go back to my room and change clothes. When I finally went to join them, I walked in and saw this dude injecting hard drugs. I sh** you not, this dude turned completely blue and dropped to the ground like a rock. When I saw that, I just dipped."
"He got picked up by an ambulance and survived. When I saw him in the elevator the next day, he seemed like a completely different person. Seein' stuff like that (that wasn't my first time witnessing od's), I think kept me away from the drugs that can kill you easily."
The Great Escape
"I was at a party when I was a teen. Cops turned up. I was stuck upstairs. But there was a balcony and underneath a pool. And beyond the pool a gate leading to an alley."
"So I jumped in the pool."
"But when I resurfaced there were already two cops standing there looking at me."
Other Redditors recalled the times they encountered strangers that did not appear to have their best interest at heart, to say the least.
"Was approached by someone and we talked about how we went to the same college and I showed him some of my art work, he thought it was pretty cool and offered me an opportunity and wanted to talk more later because I was at work at the time."
"I met up with him and his girlfriend and he told about what he mentioned. As I say there listening, it sounded familiar and BAM! It hit me. It was a pyramid scheme, it had nothing to do with art or any job prospects, I told him I wasn't interested many times in the nicest way possible l, but boy did they look pi**ed."
"I got stuck in an airport overnight as my flight was cancelled due to weather and I was starving because all the stores were closed. Some employee offered to show me where to get food so I followed him."
"He then opened a door to outside in the parking lot and motioned outside. I quickly said 'no thanks' and walked away."
And finally, some talked about when it became very clear that their work situation needed to end, like yesterday.
Quotas Reign Supreme
"I got buried by heavy packages while loading a truck for Fedex. It took 3 people to get me out. I was bloody, bruised, and had trouble lifting my arm."
"My manager came over and chastised me for my package count being too low. Walked out immediately."
Leaving Him a Stressful Day
"I worked in a contact centre several years ago. It was super busy and calls didn't stop coming. For some reason, my stupid boss removed everyone else from the queue for some stupid training, leaving me alone to handle all the calls. I messaged him a few times on Microsoft Teams, asking what was happening with no reply."
"After two hours, I shut down my computer and walked out of the company. I just recently withdrawn my last salary, so no regret whatsoever."
Corruption At Its Finest
"I worked for a blood analysis lab machine company for about 6 months. Hated every minute of it because I was working well over 60 hours a week every week. I wouldn't be leaving some hospitals until after 11pm sometimes. The management would never support the techs, the customer is always right, that BS."
"So one week at during the over the phone team meeting, the manager actually asked on of the younger techs to complete paperwork and submit it. Which is normal, but the manager was having him submit the repair paperwork and schedule the repair when they got around to it. He wanted the tech to pencil whip documentation we submit to the FDA so he could a quarterly bonus."
"Managers who's group hits all the pm's, gets a very nice size check. Had the tech done that and the machine failed before it was serviced, somebody could have died and he might have gone to jail. I left that job the next day."
Out With a Bang
"I walked out of a job two hours into a shift and left them without anyone who could do my job."
"As a parting gift, I threw the manual I'd written in the rubbish and didn't bother removing or giving anyone my passwords to stuff so they couldn't do anything."
Years ago I had a classmate who was a total daredevil... so much so that he would often injure himself. He once drove a bike in the direction of oncoming traffic, just for the hell of it. He got out of that episode unscathed––luckily. By contrast, I prefer keeping all my limbs, and still have them all. I wonder where he is now. Hopefully not too banged up. I did do some stuff unwittingly––like the time I stuck a fork into an electrical socket. I thankfully wasn't shocked too much. I was young and naive.
People told us all about the dangerous things they did when they were younger after Redditor Not-an-Ocelot asked the online community,
"What's the most dangerous thing you did as a kid without realizing?"
"My chore was to wash the floors. I would mix all sorts of chemicals together, not realizing they don't mix. Like bleach and ammonia with other cleaning products."
This is very easy to do––and so dangerous! Thankfully you didn't harm yourself.
"I used to walk..."
"I used to walk on a frozen river when walking home from school. I was about 7 at the time."
Seen too many movies about people stuck under the ice.
"We would sneak up..."
"I used to do parkour. We would sneak up onto the rooftops of condo buildings when they were washing their windows (the staircases leading to the top floor would be unlocked). We would then go roof hopping.
Literal roof hopping like in Grand Theft Auto. We would jump from a 12 storey apartment building's roof to an adjacent 10 storey apartment building's roof, etc."
How are your knees? That's bound to do some damage, no?
"I picked up..."
"I picked up a baby copperhead snake and gave it to my mom as a present when I was 6 or 7."
You must have really hated your mom.
"There was a railway crossing..."
"There was a railway crossing on my walk to school, and the train would often be blocking my path so I would always wait until it stopped moving and then climb on top of it and jump off the other side so I could keep walking and not be late."
"Played inside an old broken refrigerator that was outside….not knowing it could have locked or tipped over."
Yes, it could have! Thankfully it didn't. There's a really frightening scene in The Leftovers involving a character who nearly suffocates in a fridge.
No thank you.
"Like most Florida kids..."
"Like most Florida kids I swam where I shouldn't have and I'm very lucky I didn't get eaten by alligators."
"After seeing videos..."
"Playing with fireworks. After seeing videos of kids blowing their fingers and hands off, I would never let my kids play with them, without lots of supervision."
"We are super lucky..."
"Getting on a boat with my then-boyfriend and not telling our parents where we were going. The boat ended up sinking during a storm and we had life jackets and floated on the ice chest. Only reason we are alive is because a ship that was coming in heard us screaming during the storm and called the coast guard. We were out there for a total of 15 hours and had severe hypothermia. We are super lucky to be alive."
This is pretty terrifying.
Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.
Yes, thankfully, you're alive.
"When I was about..."
"When I was about 9 or 10 a friend and I rode an air mattress down a river. Neither of us knew how to swim and we didn't tell our parents so when we came back cops were looking for us."
Well... these were a read.
If you'll excuse me, I'll stay indoors and wrap myself in bubble wrap. The outside world is scary.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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