Passengers generally only have to worry about turbulence on their flight, but sometimes (even if we don't want to admit it), other things can go wrong and flights can be in much more danger than you'd know.
Below are stories from pilots about things going horribly wrong on a flight, and how to the passengers never know what danger they were in.
I'm a bush pilot in Canada. I was working the right seat of a Turbo Otter, my first ever flight in one so I was still getting used to the setup. We were taking off from a short strip in the middle of nowhere with 6 drillers in the back and a bunch of gear. Captain started the engine as I was just finishing up the passenger briefing.
He started rolling down the runway as I was just getting seated. I thought he was just positioning the plane to prepare for takeoff, but then he gave it full throttle. I didn't even have my seat belt or headset on yet. I'm focusing on getting this stuff on when I realize something isn't right.
Getting closer to the end of the strip, captain starts to panic as we aren't getting airborne (his hands were shaking like mad and he kept reaching for things but he couldn't figure out what was wrong, I think he was too busy looking at the trees and creek right ahead of us). I realized the problem, he was in such a rush to leave that he didn't do a pre-takeoff check. Propeller was still in full coarse (feathered on shut down), it should have been full fine for takeoff. I yelled/gestured to him the problem and immediately pushed the prop forward, engine had a huge surge and we just barely cleared the trees at the end of the strip. He acted like nothing happened for the rest of the flight. We didn't even speak a single word to each other. I suspect none of the passengers even realized what had happened and how close we were to being another statistic. When we got back to the airport I told him I was leaving, packed my bags and never looked back.
I was giving my sister and a friend a tour of the Chicago skyline over Lake Michigan. We are all having a good time. Suddenly, the engine goes quiet... a nightmare especially because I only have one of them. The silence was noticeable and my sister starts looks at me and starts to panic. The engine comes back within about three seconds alive and well, and I head for the nearest airport.
In a small propeller plane, it is hard to hide the silence of the engine, but since it came back, I acted like nothing happened. I don't think they realize how critical of a situation it almost was.
It was a flight from Kansas to Oregon, and as we were mid-flight, a hawk dive-bombed the wing and DENTED it. The pilot announced the subtle thud as minor turbulence, but the crew knew what had happened. No one knew how the hell the hawk was flying so high. It was a smaller plane, so we only had one and a half dozen people. The dent didn't actually meds with flight too much, but it's a hell of a story to tell.
My favorite story was the time the heater went out in the cockpit but not in the rest of the plane. So the pilot and crew are up there freezing, putting all their clothes on trying to warm up. Instruments and whatnot are freezing up. They had no idea if they were going to be able to land.
Cockroach in the cockpit. Redeye from LAX. One of us was strapped in while the other one hunted for the little guy.
I was flying a Piper Navajo that seats 8 passengers out of a small airport, we were making all of our required radio calls, but because this was a small uncontrolled airport some people in small airplanes will operate without radios or just don't care enough to broadcast their position.
Anyways, we were doing our due diligence but not long after take off and while leaving the traffic pattern my flight operator says "Crap!" And takes control from me and make a relatively aggressive (for passengers at least) turn to the right. As he does this I see a another plane out my left window no more that 150 ft below us. We essentially climbed through the altitude he was cruising at and turned to avoid him. Only one passenger noticed when we got to the destination and he told us it was a "good move".
Getting ready to take off at night, my dad sees a plane about to land on the taxiway he's waiting on, he immediately just starts turning on every exterior light on the plane. Other plane pulled out of final descent at like 500 feet.
It's not that frequent and often times the errors that happen sound worse to the layman than they are. The two examples that came to mind with this question for me:
1) Flying into Spokane and the anti-ice failed. The anti ice is basically just some tubing that takes hot engine air and sends it to the front edge of the wing. Anyways, it was icy down to about 500 feet. We flew with the engines at 90% to generate enough hot air to keep the anti-ice going. Probably wouldn't have been bad enough icing to cause a crash.
2) Flying into Monterey, CA on Super Bowl Sunday. We were delayed and the airport had closed, meaning arrivals could only come from over the ocean. Winds were strong enough off the ocean to not allow us to land. Captain decides he wants to do a circling approach which is not a frequent occurrence but not unheard of. I veto it. Captain has never flown into Monterey but I advise him there are some decent rocky hills in the vicinity of airport. Captain is brand new and doesn't want to divert. I veto him. We go back to San Diego even though our alternate airport was Fresno. Requested priority due to fuel. Made it. Next day, flew to Monterey. Captain saw mountains. Profusely thanked me.
We wouldn't have died on that one either because I never would've let him do it. I guess if he had another First Officer the outcome could've been different.
My dad had a wasp in the cockpit with him once, he said his first thought when he noticed it right after taking off was, "Oh, so this is how I die."
As a child, my family and I spent a few days in the Bahamas and as we were at the outdoor airport/single runway we discovered that we were flying an 8-seater single prop plane back to Florida. The first time taxiing down the runway, the pilots discovered something was wrong with the engine so they pulled off to the side and made us sit next to the plane as they attempted to fix the engine. After being told that the plane was functioning again, we boarded and began to taxi down the runway again. I was watching the pilot and co pilot do their thing when I notice the airspeed indicator dropped to 0 as we were about to lift off. At this point we were running out of runway and I watched as the co-pilot jabbed the non working gauge with his palm and the gauge began to work again. The pilots then looked at each other, back at us, then back at each other before laughing.
As a kid, I flew in a small plane with my Air Force dad and his friend. We lived in Minot ND (big base there) and were flying sometime in winter. Later, I learned we had such a long joy flight that day because the landing gear froze up, and we were flying around trying to get them to come down. As we were almost out of fuel they were planning to crash land on the Frozen River... When in the nick of time the landing gear unfroze and deployed. I had no idea though... It was beautiful flying above a winter wonderland.
I used to do contract maintenance work on aircraft, and once a bunch of us were returning from a job in Germany. The plane was a scheduled flight on a small (50 seat or so) turbo-prop aircraft, and it was a BUMPY flight.
I am fairly well travelled, and working on aircraft made me more confident than most of flying, but the turbulence started to get so bad that I was getting nervous. Nobody except the flight crew were allowed to unfasten their seatbelts, and even they were being thrown about as they tried to move around. It was by far the worst flight I have been on.
So anyway, just as things were getting to the peak of crapiness, one of the stewardesses made her way to one of my colleagues sitting across the aisle, and said, in a hushed tone "Excuse me sir, is it true that you guys are aircraft engineers? We have a slight problem out the back, and thought you might be able to help".
I honestly thought we were going to die. That the bumpiness was not down to turbulence, but some flight system had gone AWOL. I didn't know what any of us would be able to do on unfamiliar equipment with no documentation, no spares and no tools, but sure enough my colleague went off with the stewardess and disappeared through the door out of the cabin.
10 minutes late he was back, and of course we were keen to know what the problem was and if he was able to do anything about it.
The "problem" turned out to be a ratchet strap on one of the cupboard doors in the galley was jammed so they couldn't get the snacks out! The flight continued to be horrible, and the snacks were predictably awful.
I wasn't the crew on either, but my medical helicopter service had two pretty severe bird strikes within several weeks of each other. One was a hawk of some kind and the second was a duck. The duck strike happened with a patient loaded, evidently just as the pilot was flipping his NVGs up. The duck came through the windscreen and went to smithereens along with all the plexiglass. I helped clean up the back of the helicopter later, and it looked like a duck had swallowed a bunch of lit dynamite. The strike also happened at the exact moment the med crew had pushed a medication that relaxes all the muscles in the patient's body (including breathing muscles), and in spite of the chaos they continued their procedure and successfully controlled the patient's airway. The pilot also continued the flight in spite of being covered in duck blood/guts/feathers, as well as his own blood from his broken nose. The crew (and the other birds strike crew) received commendations for their calm composure under the circumstances.
I used to do scenic flights out of a smaller airport. I had a total engine failure after takeoff one time in a single engine aircraft. Over the end of the runway the engine completely stopped. I was lucky enough to be at an airfield where I was able to make a small turn to land in a large enough field ahead. Once on the ground my foreign passengers (it was a 4 seater) casually asked "the flight is over already?"
It could have easily ended in total disaster.
Years ago, when dad was flying the 767 for Air Canada they were coming out of London Heathrow back to Canada in the winter time and some snow had started to fall.
Heathrow, ten years ago, was notorious for letting a dusting of snow hamper operations. Dad and crew expedited boarding and preflight as much as they could and pulled the brakes and pushed back early to get ahead in the queue for takeoff.
They couldn't get a taxi clearance right away as a number of aircraft ahead of them had opted to "wait for the heaviest of the snow to pass" prior to taking off and the controllers wouldn't move them out of the way.
Dad basically begged them to move them ahead somehow, as he had been around the block a time or two and knew what was coming, but to avail. Ground had them park the airplane and they sat loaded at the gate for four hours before all flights out were cancelled... Over four inches of snow.
The airport's inability to deal with the snow and backlog of traffic meant that Air Canada couldn't get a plane out for three more days, by which time they had brought extra aircraft over from Montreal to try to relieve some of the buildup.
So in this story what the passengers didn't know is that if they were maybe 10 minutes faster boarding the plane they wouldn't have gotten stuck in London for an extra three days.
Landed on the wrong runway (it was night time, and tower didn't inform me of my misjudgment until less than a quarter mile away.) I was a young private pilot and had a few passengers, so it wasn't too big of a deal.
Keep It Trim
I was a freshly minted private pilot and took some friends for a sight-seeing flight in a plane rented from the school where I took my training. I carefully followed all the pre-flight and takeoff procedures that I had learned, and accelerated down the runway. We were just approaching takeoff speed when the nose came up prematurely and the aircraft seemed to be struggling to get into the air against my wishes. The stall horn was blaring and I had to hold significant forward pressure to keep the nose down to let airspeed build to normal climb speed. My mind was racing..."What's going on?". I re-checked the trim wheel and the indicator was in the normal takeoff position where I had set it. After a few seconds, I ignored the markers on the trim wheel and rolled in some nose down trim and then everything was good. Apparently the trim wheel was out of adjustment. I didn't say anything and my passengers never knew.
I had a few minor, but embarrassing 'incidents' in the first few hours of licensed flight - all things that were just outside the experience that I had in my training. My advice to newly licensed pilots is to not be in a hurry to take friends and family for a flight. A pilot's license is like a driver's license - it's not a statement of perfect expertise, but a statement of minimum competence. Some experience beyond that is valuable.
Weather The Storm
I was flying two of my friends back from some tasty BBQ in Georgia a few years back. As we got closer to home, the weather really started to get bad, a lot of pop up storm cells. It was a perfect situation for my iPad (used for navigation charts) to totally die as well as my onboard weather radar. I was internally panicking, and air traffic control was my saving grace and helped me get home safe. A few months later my friends asked this same question, they said I looked so calm so they figured it was no big deal.
One of my buddies is a pilot. We were talking about one of the more remote airports that we'd both visited, located in a difficult place that has a lot of wind shear, so passengers are used to having the plane make a couple of attempts when landing.
Anyways, my friend said the sensors for the landing gear malfunctioned, so he couldn't tell whether the wheels were down or if they'd gotten stuck. He flew low, made an announcement to the cabin that they needed to circle the runway because of the wind, and made a call to the control tower asking for someone to make a visual confirmation that the landing gear was fully deployed.
My friend's girlfriend is a flight attendant and she told us about a flight she had during the spring break season where a large group of frat/sorority people basically drank all the alcohol that was on the flight and they had to keep that from the passengers.
Air Traffic Controller here. Nearly everytime I hear we're being delayed due to "ATC" delays is false, and it grinds my gears. Departing Missoula, MT at 3am in the winter and you're late, "Ladies and gentlemen were holding at the gate due to ATC delays." What, there isn't another aircraft within 40 minutes of here...
Ever fly into Seattle and you spend 15 minutes in the nonmovement area waiting for an aircraft to push out of your spot? Had a pilot with the gall to blame ATC. That's poor planning and your companies ramp control sucking wind. Don't blame us controllers.
Controllers in the US work HARD to provide stellar service. Don't discredit us because you didn't fuel on time, the weather sucks, or the pilot phoned in sick.
We often find ourselves having to guess how to make things work and make things fit--in our lives, but also just in our possessions. Will these pants fit me? These shoes?
Will this screw fit my table? Will this charger fit my phone?
If everything was somehow standard, wouldn't it all be so much easier?
Here were some of those answers.
No More Vanity Sizes
Sizes for clothing.
Especially for shoes. How hard would it be to just list the sizes in centimeters (or inches if you're American)?
WHY DO WE USE STANDARD MEASUREMENTS FOR OUR CLOTHES, BUT THEY ARE DIFFERENT SIZES IN DIFFERENT BRANDS???
Calvin Klein's men's slacks: 32'' waist
Bar III men's slacks: 32'' waist
Perry Ellis slacks: 32'' waist
THEY ARE ALL DIFFERENT WAIST SIZES. WHYY?!?!?!?!
Ah Yes, Three Chilis
There's a standard for chili heat levels (the Scoville scale), but food manufacturers never use it. Instead, they use a varying number of chili icons which mean nothing at all.
It's always fun going to like a Thai restaurant in Canada and trying to figure out whether the chili icon means Thai spicy or Canadian spicy.
Ah Yes, This Could Kill Me
Household electrical voltages and sockets.
Interestingly enough, there was an attempt: since 1986, there is an international standard socket, IEC 60906-1. However, only South Africa has implemented it so far.
And it is unlikely it will ever be implemented in other countries, as the EU is even advising against it since 2017:
REFIT found that "the harmonisation of plug and socket outlet systems in Europe, by introducing changes in national wiring legislations (would have) important transitional periods (above 75 years)", and that the cost to "replace the old socket-outlets (and the corresponding plugs of the appliances being used)" was estimated at 100 billion Euro, "generating a huge environmental impact, producing some 700 000 tons of electrical waste". REFIT does not recommend harmonising the plugs and socket-outlet systems in Europe.
Can we just get a little consistency here? Please?!
After working in a grocery store, can diameters should only come in a maybe 4 sizes. And they should all stack.
But they don't. They never do.
I feel your pain. I hate those narrow jars and cans that are slightly narrower than 3 wires of the shelf so they tip over if you don't place them perfectly.
A Computer Mouse, Not A Little Baby Mouse
Modern rechargable batteries.
We spent years with standard size batteries. We are now stuck with proprietary batteries which aren't designed to be user replaceable and often dictate the life of the device.
Yes absolutely. I found this fact especially annoying when looking for a mouse. Most of the more expensive mice come with rechargeable batteries, and it seems that modern tech reviewers are claiming this is better than some standard double A.
All Standard, Yet None Standard
I worked in a hardware store long enough to learn that apparently everything is standardized.
"I need window screens."
Okay, what are your dimensions?
"It's a standard size window."
"I'm looking for a replacement ceiling fan."
Okay, do you want small blades, large blades? A modest 30" span or a robust 56"?
"Just standard size."
"Do you think this large, bulky, cumbersome commodity will fit in my vehicle?"
I don't know. How big your truck?
"It's a standard one."
protip: it's a sedan. it's always a sedan.
Welp, Here's Your Problem
Based on years of helping my Dad in his shop, doing bodywork on vehicles - fastenings. Bolts, screws. rivets, clips... the sheer amount of specialized fastenings and required tools is insane. Even the variety of types in single vehicles is excessive.
Not to mention many of them are so cheaply made that there is no reusing them.
So Many Sign Languages
Not necessarily something that should be standardised because it would affect many cultures negatively, but I've always wondered what it would be like if every country just spoke one language. Sign language should probably be standardised, but re-learning sign language for people who use it may be difficult and time-consuming
Perhaps We Need To Rethink Policing
Police responses to missing persons across the nation, and the information requirements for police reports to be filled out with specific and complete information at the first point of contact by the person reporting the missing person, regardless of the age, status, or suspected reason for disappearing.
Police should NEVER be allowed to decide a case isn't valid at the first point of contact.
A Recipe For A Lint Fire
The laundry exhaust receptacle in homes should be centered exactly eighteen inches (45.7cm) from the floor with eighteen inches (or 45.7 cm) of clearance on both sides.
The exhaust duct of a clothes dryer should be in the middle of the back of the machine, and centered eighteen inches/45.7 cm from the floor. The dryer should have adjustable feet to allow for slight errors in measurement.
Once this is done, a laundry dryer can be pushed into the wall and we won't need to craft a length of ducting to connect the two.
Just a little bit of sameness and consistency could really go a long way here.
Some things ought not be tried again.
Sure, they made sense the first time. It may have held charm, at least some sense of purpose on the second go around. But eventually, surely, an essential truth became clear: never again.
Reddit is apparently crawling with people carrying around that permanent grudge towards some thing they've done in the past.
Lucky for us, we can learn from their mistakes.
senorllama57 asked, "What is something you will never do again?"
There were, of course, plenty of people who discussed horrible jobs they've held in the past. They may have had little choice at the time, but now that it's all in the past they feel free to share how they really felt.
The Customer Always Seems To Be Wrong
"Work retail. I think every kid fresh out of high school should work a retail job for a year. It builds character." -- ProfessionalTheme415
"How did you get out!?! Lol. It's like a black hole where I work. Everyone that tries to leave comes back." -- threebillion6
A Lot Going On
"Work in a nursing home. The sights, screams and pleas Will haunt me forever." -- M_Lamora
"Honestly working in a nursing home was one of the most weird jobs I ever had. I've never been threatened so many times in my life. I once had a memory care resident ask me if I would help her jump a caregiver."
One After Another
"Work in a call center." -- Evilsmurfkiller
"Sucked the soul right out of me within a year." -- Bandana-mal
"I was at one for 2 and half years and it was not until I left I realized I had work-related depression. I was overeating, not eating, sleep deprived, slept all the time, I had such rage that would come out at times...
"I did not care what happened to me, I left because they were gonna fire me over something dumb because they just fire people for being there long. I left over a year ago, and I have not been this happy to wake up every day in years, my life is so much better now." -- UnusualLight0
Others discussed past struggles they've encountered within the romantic realm. Unfortunately, these lessons came with plenty of emotional struggle.
"Get married. It'll be 19 years this August and my marriage is my marriage. I reserve the right to have a girlfriend at some point if she passes away before I do, but she's the one and only wife, end of story."
"Ignore red flags when talking to someone I want to date. I've done it twice now, and both times sucked" -- YareYareYandere
"Listen to your gut. If something feels off, you're probably not imagining it." -- SurealGod
Don't Forget About You
"Okay first off I'm sorry if this might sound cringe :D . . . That would be hmm become too attached/codependent on a person. Whether it may be of a lover, friend, or just acquaintance."
"Idk if it's coincidence but they either end up gone one day or become total di**s when you least expect it and I'm forced to cut ties."
And some people chose to recall the things they were so certain would be fun and enjoyable, but turned out to be so not.
A Bad Ratio
"I made a super elaborate meal once. It was ... okay. Certainly not worth the effort involved." -- Astramancer_
"Take an hour to make something, only takes 15 minutes to eat. It's bullsh**." -- SurealGod
Hours and Hours
"Times Square on New Years' Eve. It was fun once, never need to do it again." -- AnswerGuy301
"I was going to answer the same thing. It seemed like it would be so much fun but now that I know what it entails — never again" -- hi_its_me
"I have never been and never understood the attraction of waiting for hours and hours in the shivering weather." -- amrodd
Think of Grease Splatters
"Prepare steaks when drunk" -- Kiaulunne
"Not for your reason, but same here. Cooked one at 2am after half a bottle of rum. Quickly ate and passed out after. Woke up around 8am dying for water and realised I left the gas stove on... So glad nothing burned down..." -- schofield101
"I will never get drunk again. Tipsy, buzzed, sure. Thats fine."
"But when I was in front of that toilet for an hour, being so weak I couldn't even sit up, having people constantly come in to check on me, worrying that I might have alcohol poisoning, that is exactly not a fun time"
So take some notes! Or maybe there were some true horrors you went through that this list seems to be lacking.
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You know what they say, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions". Because the people who have our best interests in mind typically have good intentions when they give us advice, but there's a chance that that advice can go horribly wrong.
Try not to follow the bad advice given here, because you don't want to get the results that these guys did.
The workplace can bring a cornucopia of terrible advice. Don’t follow these unless you want to get fired.
Bad jobs are usually not worth it.
Stick with a job no matter how bad it is. I stayed with a terrible job working retail, dealing with horrible customers and sexual harassment. I was told I wouldn't find anything better.
"No, no, you misunderstand. I said you wouldn't find anything better at making you feel like complete garbage."
This gets really creepy really fast.frustrated workplace GIFGiphy
"After you put in a job application, you need to call them at least once a day every day until they hire you."
Note: this did not get me hired. It got me called out by the HR person I was calling and forbidden to ever contact their facility again.
I work for a law firm that employees over 1500 people in the home office alone. Once I received a call from the building security saying, "Insert Name is here to speak with the owner." Well we are run by a committee so that's odd. Found out they just applied for a job and wanted to talk directly to the person that would potentially hire them. Told him the firm will contact them to schedule an interview. They refused to leave without "talking to the owner." Had security escort them out of the building.
This is absolutely not true.
"Sleep is for people who do not want success" great words from my uncle, it almost killed me.
Now I may be oversleeping.
Interpersonal relationships are also a big breeding ground for terrible advice. Don’t listen to any of these.
My father always tought me and my brother that "having friends is bad and in the end they will never be there for you" so everytime I told my father about my friends he would get kinda mad and give me the advice to stop talking to them.
Now I am afraid of people and have several trust issues, thanks dad.
This won’t end well.A Christmas Story GIF by filmeditorGiphy
In the fifth grade my teacher was talking about bullying, then she said "if anyone tries to bully you just agree with them." So the next time I got bullied I agreed with the bully and they bullied me more.
Dude one time I saw an anti bullying video that told the victims to just BE NICE TO THE BULLY. Like the bully was hurling insults and the victim was smiling and complimenting him. My first thought was about how much I hated the mere thought that this would work. My second thought was of how the people who came up with that method had clearly never been bullied.
When I met my now wife at the age of 19, one of my coworkers said that it's very important to start at the bottom with presents and work your way up, she still has the socks I gave her on our first anniversary on the wall over our bed as a reminder...
I'm still trying to teach my boyfriend about good presents and bad presents. Biscuits from the supermarket = bad present. Cheap unbranded laptop battery from China as my only present = bad present (and only lasted 2 months). Anything off my 7-page wishlist = good present. It's literally a list of things I want to receive as presents.
Can tell you from experience that this is a bad idea.
Had a falling out with some friends. My husband recommended I reach out to an old friend who ghosted me suddenly in a manner that induced some pretty severe abandonment trauma. Went for it anyways because "it's been so long, surely they changed". Am now experiencing the same things as last time.
When you follow bad advice, it can lead to mistakes that you just can’t come back from.
Buying a house is tricky.for sale dancing GIF by Lisa VertudachesGiphy
"Buy a home now before the prices go up!" -my FIL in 2006.
We bought in 2007 and paid $259,500 for our 1,300 sq ft house (we really couldn't afford it and had an 80/20 so we had 8% interest for one loan and 6% on the other) and in 2008 it was worth $97,000 so refinancing wasn't even an option. We watched all of our neighbors walk away or get foreclosed on but we kept paying our bills and as of this very moment our house is worth $462,000. I'm so happy we stuck it out, we both worked our @sses off and the house will be paid off in 2 years.
It worked out for us, it's a horrible idea. Especially since 1300 sq ft houses are $460+k
My heartbreaks for future generations, I honestly don't know how people are going to afford housing in the future.
It’s there for a reason.
"Never apply for any government assistance."
Cue years of suffering trying to work full-time with a painful disability. Quit a particularly terrible job, and wanted to apply for food aid until I could find another gig; a friend with lots of DHS experience recommended I apply for Social Security "just to get in the system." Turns out my disability was bad enough to get accepted the first time, which I wasn't expecting. Really could've used that support, oh, the 30+ previous years of my life.
Credit is important to have.
I was told to not get a credit card until after college. I was super fortunate to have my college paid for so I had no loans, car paid in cash, no credit card or anything to start building credit. Found myself out in the world at 22 years old with a credit score of 0.
So while a lot of this bad advice came from trusted people, oftentimes they were too misinformed to give that advice in the first place. Don't trust the word of one person--do your research, and make decisions for yourself.
It'll be way better in the long run
Every once in awhile, somebody comes along, enters your life, and catapults themselves to that awful, unique position at the top of your list of the worst people you have ever met.
Sometimes, the person's blindingly terrible behavior and overall essence is actually impressive. We ask ourselves, "how could a person like this actually exist on purpose?"
Alas, they do. And you have to deal with them. Or, if your lucky, you can carve out some distance.
Redditors shared descriptions of the worst people they've ever had the misfortune to meet. Some have escaped the relationship. Some are are still stuck in the clutches.
LoneStar202 asked, "Who is the worst person you have ever met?"
Some chose to talk about the acquaintances they simply couldn't help but encounter. External circumstances beyond their control made the stars align in the worst way possible.
Keeping the Peace
"There was this guy who used to come into the McDonald's where I did security overnight (yes, that's a job), and he was the biggest ahole I've ever met in my life."
"Ginger, 5'6 or so, named Colby, had a perpetual scowl on his face, looked for any reason to start a fight with anyone. He and his friend would come in when it's super busy, not order, and then yell at the staff that he paid and wasn't given a receipt in the hopes that they'd give him free food rather than deal with him."
"I kicked him out for six months on two separate occasions for coming in drunk and throwing things, drinking beer in the restaurant, starting fights, you name it. Only got in my face once and I never had to fight him, but I'm much bigger than him and the law is on my side."
"Not that I would necessarily have won. I'm big and strong, but I have no idea how to fight and he did. I called his bluffs because I was pretty sure he wouldn't attack me and he didn't."
"Funny, I just realized I've finally forgotten his last name. Not that I'd mention it. He might be less of a @ss now and he's no longer my business."
You Know 'Em
"I work with a real life, archetypal, Karen. She's two-faced, mean, anti-vax, and just generally the whole nine. The first interaction I ever had with her she had to make fun of me behind my back for being a dude with earrings."
"Recently kicked up a stink by making an 'anonymous' email address and emailing our HR department saying people were discriminating against folks not getting the covid vaccine.
"Luckily she's burned too many bridges for anyone to really take her crazy anymore but man is she frustrating to deal with."
Others discussed the family members that, for obvious reasons, they were forced to put up with for years and years. But even family isn't enough to keep a person like that around.
Marrying Into It
"It sounds cliche, but my ex-MIL. What made her the worst is that she was a covert POS."
"We always lived about 1k miles from them, so I didn't pick up on it for far, far too long, but goddamn, I've never met anyone with as much unacknowledged hate and cruelty in their heart."
A Thing of the Past
"My father. Cheater, never paid child support, verbally abusive to my mother, sister and I. Just all around bad dude."
"Haven't talked to him in about 15 years and am 100% ok with that."
So Many Problems
"My brother. He's like a cross between Kramer (Seinfeld, 'my newest thing' and mannerisms) and Frank from Its Always Sunny (illegal activity and completely illogical 'logic')."
"He's ripped me off for thousands of dollars (getting close to 5 figures). Constantly stealing anything he can, but claims 'borrowed' if caught with it. Been to jail 3 times and is currently on house arrest after over a year of probation violations. "
"The epitome of 'easier to say sorry than ask permission' (but the apologies are hollow) and 'what's yours is mine and what's mine is mine.' No consideration for anyone or anything. Manages to break virtually anything he touches. Hasn't had a job in over 1.5 years, but has been trying to fraudulently collect unemployment."
"Constantly thinks everyone is out to get him and people are stalking the camper he lives in (has security cameras that he watches frequently and often 'patrols' the area). Tries to break into locked doors and safe, and pulls the 'why don't you believe/trust me' line."
"I'm just scratching the surface here. He'd use your clippers/razor to shave his family jewels and not clean up the mess (something he's done multiple times)."
Finally, there were the stories of classmates. Whether it was high school, college, or even graduate school, there were enough people there all in one place that one or two rotten people were never far away.
"Guy from my high school was a wannabe thug. He ended up going to juvi junior year. After a year of juvi. He became a true criminal. Broke into people's homes. Stole from stores and got heavy into drugs."
"Then he eventually died after robbing the wrong store at gunpoint. The owner came out the back and shot him with a shotgun."
Wait for the Twist
"My gf's college classmate. Narcistic. Thought of himself as very important so he came into the church where we were graduating, on his HORSE. He damaged a 1000 or something-year-old church floor in Leiden. He thinks he didn't do anything wrong."
"And the weird thing is, we were graduating LAW SCHOOL"
Ride Like Lightning, Crash Like Thunder
"I had a classmate who wanted to become a stock broker and a millionaire. He said more than once, with absolute pride, 'When I'm rich I wont donate a single penny to the poor!' I asked him why and he said 'I have my own problems, and the poor being poor is not one of them.' "
"He opened his own business when he was 23 and was pretty successful, but suddenly a fire burned the place down while he was in it and he suffered from third degree burns all over his body."
"He later confessed setting the fire himself and was found guilty on insurance fraud. He's only 24 now and his professional life is basically over."
A Sudden Shift
"A teacher I once had. Didn't know me. Never spoke to me much."
"One day just randomly snapped at me. Yelling at me telling me that I had no future, that all the awards I got were to go to waste, that I the article I published which I spent hours working on and submitted didn't matter. That even though I was 14 and had many great achievements, I would end up just like that said teacher."
"Worst person I have ever encountered. Did collateral damage to my life as now I am a high school student with no more ambition. Wanna be a journalist? Wanna be a writer? A lawyer? Not anymore buddy."
Hopefully, you don't have too many of these people in your own life. But, let's face it, there's one or two people on your mind right now.
Here's hoping you managed to let go and get away.
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