Waiting tables can be arduous work. It can also be rather rewarding, provided your customers tip decently (but that's another story we'll probably reserve for a different article).
One of the toughest parts about being a waiter: Customers who are so particular that taking their orders becomes an exercise in patience.
Today's burning question comes from Redditor Braumsisdabomb, who asked: "Waiters and waitresses of Reddit, what's the most convoluted order you've ever taken?"
Brace yourselves, people.
"Not necessarily a convoluted order..."
Not necessarily a convoluted order but I think this still fits here. I work at a from scratch Italian restaurant. Had a guy come in with his wife and sit at the bar on a busy Saturday night. He informed me he was following the "TB12 diet" from Tom Brady's new diet and exercise book and had very strict dietary restrictions because of this. He sent me back and forth to the kitchen no less than 7 times to verify with the chef that his dinner order would have no iodized salt,
sugar, olive oil, gluten, peppers, or tomatoes (he ended up with a plain piece of fish and some vegetables). We were getting slammed, but I still tried to keep my patience and accommodate the guy the best I could, even though doing so was putting me in the weeds. After dinner I ask if they would like anything else and don't you know this guy orders himself a bread pudding (VERY much filled with forbidden gluten and sugar) and eats the whole thing. He just goes "well, I mean, you have to allow yourself a treat now and then." I died a little more inside.
"I previously worked at a wing shop."
I previously worked at a wing shop. Guy calls and asks for 24 mild traditional wings. He then proceeds to ask for them to be fried twice (no big deal, that's pretty common). He also wants them covered in Mexican shredded cheese, put in the microwave for 30 seconds, drizzled with mayonnaise, and wants his side of fries placed on the wings rather than in a separate container. Finally, he requested to have pickle juice squeezed lightly across the top of everything. Obviously all the waiters, cooks, and waitresses thought this was disgusting...but we had never smelled something so amazing come from the kitchen in our lives. (Did not taste as pleasant as it smelled.)
"She once returned the drink..."
Coffee frappuccino, half&half instead of milk, coffee filled up to 2/5ths of the cup before blending, light ice, two shots espresso, shake ingredients then blend it three times, use half the bottle of caramel drizzle on the sides of the cup before pouring the drink in, extra extra whipped cream, then add more caramel drizzle to the top. This woman came in every day, watched you make her drink, and would force you to remake it over and over until she was satisfied.
She once returned the drink for not having enough caramel drizzle. As I was remaking it, the cap blew off of the drizzle bottle and nearly the entire contents oozed into the cup. It being frappuccino happy hour, I said "f*ck it" and gave it to her like that. She said it was the best she's ever tasted.
The entire store absolutely loathed frappuccinos.
"I'm still just blown away by this woman."
I serve food at a country club so I deal entirely with people that have more wealth than I'll probably ever had. A lot of these people are really nice and are actually friendly, however many are also very snobby, high maintenance, and just rude.
One night I had a table. It was two couples on a double date and both couple were less than friendly. One woman ordered a salmon (I can't remember the rest because this one woman was the bane of my existence).
I serve them entrees and let them eat for a while before I do the typical "how's everyone doing?" 9 times out of 10 everyone just says everything is fine and just want me to leave so they can eat. Not this lady. She calls me over and tells me she didn't think I gave her salmon. Looking at her plate I can see the fish is pink and is very very clearly salmon (I've served the salmon hundreds of times) she insists i Go ask the kitchen what fish it was. Of course it's salmon.
Which i return and tell her politely that it is indeed salmon. She gets angry and tells me how it doesn't taste like any salmon she ever had and that she had had salmon many times and that what I served her wasn't salmon. After getting more and more angry about not having salmon she looks me dead in the eyes and says "this tastes like turtle" I honestly didn't know how to react so I just asked if she was sure and she says "yes, I actually like it. But it isn't salmon"
I'm still just blown away by this woman. She got so angry with me about this "mix up". We don't serve turtle, I don't know anywhere that does. And she liked it? I don't understand these people's lives.
"Then he had the nerve to complain..."
A half rack of ribs, no sauce, well done, microwaved after taking it off the grill for 5 minutes, 8 sides of thousand island dressing to dip it in, broccoli, no butter, triple steamed, a sweet potato with 4 sides of sour cream, a water with no ice and then two cups of ice. Then 15 minutes later decided he wanted another half rack of ribs the same way. This was a year ago but I will never forget because he snapped at me a ton of times while I was talking to other customers. Then he had the nerve to complain to my manager because his rolls came late, but they had just been popped into the oven and were baking when he ordered them. F*ck that guy.
"Worked at a fancy country club."Giphy
Worked at a fancy country club. Some 14-year old kid always threw a fit about his food being seasoned so the parents let him order what he wanted. 12 oz filet mignon, no seasoning, no butter, no oil, cooked well done, served on a plate with two dinner rolls, also with no butter. The chefs were pissed at this kid for complaining about everything they made so they were happy to make his food the way he wanted. The kid ordered it every week they came in from then on. Yes, he still got charged for the salad, vegetables, and starch option that would have came with the meal. Also an older woman would come in on Sunday mornings and order burnt toast, heavily buttered, and one strip of bacon with a cup of burnt coffee. She had been coming there for years and we'd put on a pot of coffee before we opened so it would be old by 10am when she showed up. People are weird.
"We called it the Corey special..."
We called it the Corey special, because this guy would come in every week and get the same exact thing. Large yumm and greens vegan sub avocado, add cabbage and carrots 1/2 sauce sub nori, add tempeh, no chips sub crispy noodles, on a plate, half rice sub greens. He was a super nice guy though, so nobody really minded that he had the order from hell.
"One customer, two orders."
One customer, two orders.
The first would be paid by card - a cheese and ham toastie with a cup of tea. The ham had to be taken out of the toastie and put in a separate bag, and the toastie had to be cut into quarters and delivered to their table (we don't do that).
The second part was paid by cash and was a Tandoori Chicken Baguette cut in half, delivered in two separate bags and a long black with milk and water on the side - again, we don't do that.
Greggs is a tiresome job and customers like that only make it worse.
"We had this chicken ragout thing..."
We had this chicken ragout thing that was pretty good and spicy; well one day an older woman comes in and order it without the corn, tomato, onion, garlic, any other vegetables, no sauce, and chicken on the side with butter.
She got buttery rice and chicken. Like $13 bucks despite the fact I told her she could order a side of both of the same portion for like 8 bucks total. But by god she was dead set on that "ragout"
"Not a waiter but a cook..."
Not a waiter but a cook, just had this one a couple nights ago in the middle of the biggest rush of 2019 thus far. Guy comes in and orders 2 chicken breasts boiled from raw (we sell our chicken grilled or fried), six scrambled eggs but not made with our pre scrambled egg mix, but freshly hand scrambled eggs BUT of the 6 eggs he wanted all 6 whites but only two yolks, and three pancakes made with 33% buttermilk batter and 66% multigrain batter.... manager wouldnt let us refuse the check and then complained that it took more than our required 10 minute cook time to boil the chicken
"Twelve German guys..."
Twelve German guys spread out between 3 tables. Perfectly pleasant, though language a bit of a barrier. They all ordered gammon-and-chips, cod-and-chips, burger-and-chips, etc. And a low-alcohol lager each. (It was a roadside restaurant.) So far so good. Then for the next hour or so, they would call me over and order another lager here, another there, a third for this chap. Like, I think it had something like 0.4% alcohol, and they were trying to make it up to the level of a normal pint.
Then having eaten their meals they wanted the same again. Only this time one guy wanted the cod, and the other wanted the chips on a separate plate. Ditto the gammon. Then deserts. And about half of them had a second desert.
Then they wanted to pay separately. Not split the bill 12 ways. They wanted to pay for exactly what each of them had had.
I left the manager with them at the till. Luckily, she spoke German.
"We have this lady come in..."Giphy
We have this lady come in EVERY Tuesday and she sits at the bar. Wait, not sit. She stands the entire time. She wants an almost raw salmon slathered in this Cherry Chipotle glaze that we have with extra every thing that the bowl comes with (quinoa, mushrooms, seasoned tomatoes, among other veggies), an extra bowl of the glaze that has to be heated up, and sriracha. We don't offer sriracha as a condiment but we keep large bottles of it on the prep line to use as a mix for sauces. The bartenders just started keeping the sriracha behind the bar just for her lol. I dubbed her "Salmon Lady."
"Two women come in..."
Two women come in and both order mint mochas. I make them in the standard paper coffee cups with plastic lids. The woman then tell me they want them in mugs instead. The drinks have whipped cream and chocolate on top so I couldn't just pour them into the cups without ruining them, so I remake the drinks and bring them out. One woman is happy, while the other is not. She says it isn't minty enough. I take it back and put more mint in it. She's still not satisfied. I add more mint. Now it's too minty. I remake it for the third time and add the standard amount of mint. She's happy, despite the fact that she had wanted more mint originally?? The good thing was she was very kind and apologetic about it all, and tipped me well.
In High School, I waited tables at a local place. It was your typical small town restaurant, with burgers and steaks and pork chops kind of place. Anyway- this dude came in and ordered a burger, with lettuce, tomato, raw onion, and extra pickles. Cool so far. Now- hold the burger. Just the bun and toppings, please.
And some fries, but please chill them a little before serving. Not cold, but please get them just slightly warmer than room temperature.
Uh...alright, I guess.
And a steak. NY strip, cooked medium well, with no salt or butter. Put the steak on its own plate, please.
Sure thing, but I think they'll charge you for the burger and the steak. Cool? Cool.
So I put in the order, taking time to pass along the specifics to the cook. She looked at me like I was bullshitting her, but did it.
And sure enough, when the order came up, the dude put the steak on the bun. Complete with lettuce, tomato, extra pickles, AND room temperature fries. He put the chilled fries on the goddamned sandwich he made.
He ate every last bite, washed down with an iced beer. Not beer in a chilled cup, but bud light poured over ice.
He was a great tipper, but it was bizarre. He became a semi-regular after that, always with the same order.
"My time to shine."
My time to shine. I worked at a country club as a bartender, and had been there for years, so they would have me go "on the floor" to train new staff. I was training this girl that was all of eighteen, bright eyed and bushy tailed, her first serving job. She was shadowing me when a group of middle aged women that were known to be persnickety sat down. I walk over to them, greet Mrs. Murphy and company by name and warmly attempt to take a drink order. Per protocol I go clockwise around the table taking their "unsweetened ice teas, TWO lemons" and "diet cola, make SURE it's diet I'm fasting", all the while the last of their party keeps talking over them saying "bird on a plate, bird on a plate, bird on a plate". I genuinely was trying to show my trainee how we were strictly instructed to introduce service, and this woman was repeating her deluded mantra over all of her friends drink requests. When I arrive at her she just says "I want a BIRD. On a PLATE. BIRD ON A PLATE" - like I'm the dumbass. When I inform her we have turkey, duck, chicken, and other poultry that day she screamed "BIRD. ON A PLATE". I smiled, turned on my heel, and rang in a chicken sandwich, no bread, lettuce or tomato, and no side. I promptly called over my manager and gave my two weeks. F*ck you, Mrs. Ward.
"I had an old dude..."
I had an old dude that would come in about once a week who would order the following:
4 double cheeseburgers with extra toppings
3 4-egg omelets with 6 pieces of sausage each inside
4 grilled chicken breasts 'for his bird dogs' (they were poodles)
4 orders of fries
A bowl of chili with extra onions
20-30 pieces of bacon just in a container
We think he and his wife eat all this crap throughout the week so they didn't have to cook. He said he'd had 4 heart attacks and didn't give a shit anymore. They were both relatively thin somehow. Must store all that fat in their arteries.
"It was more an order that took a while..."
It was more an order that took a while to understand, and ended up making my self since it didn't take that long and to make sure it was made correctly.
So we had this salad called a Cobb Salad that had cooked chicken, bacon, and ham on it. It also had cheeses, chopped boiled eggs and green onions.
The customer wanted the meats on the side, but wanted the meat fats to be on the salad. The way she tried to explain it was hard to understand, but what I was able to come up with was to toss the lettuce with the meat and then pick the meat out and chop it on the side. Then put the rest of the stuff on top of the tossed salad.
She was satisfied with the food, got an ok tip from that table.
"There's a lady..."
There's a lady that always comes into the Japanese restaurant I work at and orders a chicken bento box, no chicken, only carrots and onions for the vegetables, carrots steamed, onions grilled, spicy steamed rice instead of fried rice, dumplings replaced with soup, California roll replaced with a salad with two small cups of dressing on the side and a bowl of lemons with her water no ice.
Also this man that orders a steak and chicken lunch, but instead of chicken he wants extra steak. All the servers have tried to explain that we have just a steak lunch.
"When I was a waitress..."
When I was a waitress at Olive Garden, a family of four gave me the menus and said, "surprise me" and literally wouldn't tell me what they wanted. They wanted me to choose for them.
I gave them the four most expensive entrees on the menu.
"And she was a slow talker..."
When I worked in Sainsbury's cafe (I know, hardly the most complicated place) we had a lady who came in regularly for breakfast with her 3 grandkids who'd simply list the items she wanted on each plate and, whenever she was told that we couldn't do that and she'd have to choose from the set breakfasts, she'd simply repeat the entire list louder. And she was a slow talker so it'd take her probably 90 seconds to read the whole list. Eventually we caved and just ended up doing it because it didn't look too great having someone stood at the till almost shouting "two sausages, two bits of bacon..." etc over and over again, but she stopped coming in after the main shop barred her daughter for shoplifting. That was the greatest news I ever got while I worked there.
The other annoying thing about her was somehow I was the only one working there (out of 20+ people) who was able to make her lattes the way she liked (steamed to nearly 200C because she was a fucking heathen) so whenever she came in she was insistent that I serve her, so I couldn't even avoid her by being in the kitchen.
And there are just as many grievances for which we are not at all sorry.
Curious to hear about people's track record of their questionable behavior, Redditor NanoPKx asked:
"What is something bad you have done with no regrets?"
Is it petty theft or flat out stealing? You decide.
The Parting Gift
"'Forgetting' to bring back a company ipad after they forgot about me having it. Actually they never asked for it back so I still have it and use it."
"I stole a barn kitten while delivering packages for FedEx. He kept climbing my legs and getting into the van, sitting under the wheel when I tried to back out (it was a steep driveway, no way to swing the van around). I called the number on the package, looked the name up on facebook, called the local non-emergency to get contact info, all failed."
"So I took him. Now, if you're not from a rural environment, you might not understand that barn cats like that are 'no-man's-cats.' For all the owners know, he got sick or got got by a coyote. And he would have died, because when we got him to the vet he had a nasty upper resp infection and some other nasties."
"Now, one deformed nasal passage and the cutest snore later, we have a bonkers little orange cat with the heaviest penchant for snuggling I've ever seen (his name is Monty btw)."
"Edit: I forgot to pay my Cat Tax: https://imgur.com/a/HIXS4us"
"Edit Part 2: Monty loves the attention. Thank you for loving him as much as we do :3"
"MmmmMMMMRrrrrrrrrrrAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAW" -Montgomerey Valentine, 2022
The Dirty Treat
"A housemate of mine kept eating mine and my girlfriends food and even though I asked him to stop the only thing he would ever say is 'I thought it was mine' then keep eating it."
"Well I bought my girlfriend some ice cream she really enjoys and she put the half she didn’t finish back in the freezer. Well when she want to get the rest it was gone and it made me madder than I think it probably should have."
"The very next time I saw him and somehow keeping a straight apologetic face I told him how he accidentally ate our sex ice cream and that bits of it had been on our parts etc. I told him I felt guilty not to tell him and that I had to apologise for him to eat such a thing."
"I will never forget the face he made when I told him. A face of pure self disgust and shock to which all he had to say was 'I wish you never told me that' and proceeded to move out around a month later."
"Although he didn’t actually eat sex ice cream, like why the f'k would you put it back after use anyway? Sometimes I wonder if I went to far but in that moment I just did not care at all. He still doesn’t know it isn’t true and I’ll probably never see him again."
"F'k you Vitas buy your own food."
Vengeance is sweet.
"A drunk driver hit my parked car, left a huge dent in the front driver’s side door, and then drove away. I happened to be looking out the window at the time and saw the whole thing, including his plate number. Cops got there not long after and took my statement. After a couple days and a couple phone calls, I found out nothing was going to come of it because he was the son of the sheriff the next county over."
"Fast forward a couple months, I see his car parked behind a local bar within walking distance of my apartment. I got out my hunting knife and sliced all four of his tires, and made a couple trips around it destroying the paint job. Yellow Pontiac Sunfire, and I still remember the goddamn plate number even after almost 20 years."
For The People
"I was a GM for a retailer that was going out of business. During the liquidation I let my employees that worked until the end store product they wanted to buy in a closet I claimed I didn't have a key to. Oh the final days I sold them all the items they requested for 95% off. 70" tvs, ipads, gaming laptops whatever they requested."
"Years ago I worked for a wealthy dude who was married to someone semi-famous. He would waltz in every morning and talk about the fantastic dinner he had the night before, how he hung out with some other famous person or whatever else."
"He paid me peanuts. I had a hard time making ends meet."
"I was the office assistant and IT guy. So it comes time to get a new computer for one of the designers. I spec something out, and show it to him. It was a ripper of a machine for the time (early 2000s). But it wasn’t expensive enough for bossman."
"So I added a really high end graphics card. Boss was happy then. The card added nothing for the designer: they only did illustrator and photoshop."
"So I came in that weekend and swapped the graphics card for my aging one from home."
"No one ever knew. Or cared. And I got a new graphics card."
When times are tough, people had to do what it took to survive.
"In college I was so poor I would steal toilet paper from the supply closet in our major building."
Hungry College Buddy
"I stood watch for a college friend who was going hungry because he’d been disowned and his roommates had made living with him intolerable after he came out."
"I was loosely affiliated with an off campus program with local churches that gave free student dinners on Thursdays. We would go to church to eat, then bring dishes into the kitchen."
"Anyway, he would go in there and steal stuff like peanut butter, literal bread (not an allegory), granola bars etc. while I watched out for the pastor."
"Eventually we both got caught, the pastor for the college students got a bit mad because he was responsible for us while we were there to eat. And I think it was offensive on some level to steal from church. But then he saw what my friend was taking, and asked him if he had enough to eat. My friend shamefacedly said no, not usually."
“'Okay, fine. Put the food back, and come with me.' Took my friend grocery shopping instead, got him connected with the food pantry and community garden at church instead."
Based on these examples, people didn't twice about their actions in the heat of the moment.
Within reason, we all gotta somehow get by.
But do you think their actions deserve punishment?
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When a person sees someone they care about going through a struggle or crisis, their instinct is to uplift them with positive advice.
But sometimes, the wisdom imparted by friends isn't always helpful or relevant to the situation.
Curious to hear from strangers online who could do without specific knowledge, Redditor Saibotnl1 asked:
"What life advice can just f'k off?"
These Redditors have a problem with how certain people have on outlook on life.
Time To Rest
"Sleep when you’re dead."
"Cool, but you’re going to be dead a lot sooner."
"People have it so much worse than you so don’t be sad!"
"To that I like to say, 'people have it so much better than you so don't be happy!'"
Your Life Path
"Almost anything relating to what age you must be in order to buy a house, have children, marry, have a profession, or do anything else. Seriously, everyone's life is different from everyone else's. Make your life the way you want it to be. If you so desire. Up to you."
On The Contrary
“Cheaters never prosper”
"Yes, they f'king do."
People can get out of any situation they find displeasing.
But others feel people should just "stick it out."
"Just ignore bullys or get someone else to handle it for you. I have never seen this work, only makes it worse. The only effective way I've seen to deal with them is by not making yourself an easy target and make them scared to f'k with you again. If going psycho on their a** is the only thing they'll respond to that's their fault. Also want to add in schools they will punish you for self defense but that punishment is only sitting around a few hours in detention or sitting around at home with a suspension. The punishment is temporary boredom, it's absolutely nothing compared to being bullied and when it's over the important message will still stand that you will not tolerate being a victim."
– User Delted
Remain to be Miserable
"Stick it out"
"Whether that's sh**ty jobs, shi**y relationships, shi**y living situations..."
"By all means don't just give up on things when you face challenges, but if something feels wrong or is wrecking your peace then take some control and change it if you can!"
"Easy for you to say," might be an auto-response to these suggestions for many people.
Invitation For Recklesslessness
"Live like everyday was your last"
Yall know what people do when they learn they have a single day left to live?"
A Possible Consequence
"I did that as a teenager and ended up homeless and addicted to heroin. Didn’t pan out for me too well."
"19 years sober though today."
A Practical Approach
"If I knew with certainty that I had one day left, I'd double-check all my financials, my will, and my insurance policies, make sure my wife had all of my passwords and knew where all the money was, spend the rest of the day with her and the kids, then call the medical examiner and ask to lie down on the gurney so that when I die they won't strain their back moving my remains out of my house."
Nose Stuck In A Book
"Work while they sleep. Study while they party"
"That's not a recipe for success, that's a recipe for a lot of white hairs, burnout syndrome and a stroke before your 40s..."
Doesn't Apply To Everyone
"Do what you love and money will follow"
"I love walking my dogs and grilling food for my friends but That sh*t doesn't pay the bills as well as my engineering degree!"
While people's intentions are good, they're better off keeping their two cents in their own pockets.
Not everyone likes to hear platitudes.
Sometimes, people just want to know they're not alone with their problems over listening to unlikely solutions that are nothing more than superficial pick-me-ups.
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Kids start going to school from the age of five, and for the most part, they spend more time at school than at home. Because of that, teachers can become very important figures in the lives of their students.
Some students don't have the best home lives. Some keep it to themselves, but others confide in their teachers.
Curious about various situations, Redditor Delicious_Mastodon83 asked:
"teachers of reddit what is the saddest thing you found out about a student?"
In Need of Parents
"Not a teacher but was a school-based therapist. Had a student (7 -8 y/o) I didn’t know knock on my office door and ask if I’d adopt her and “if you have room, my brother too, but if not, that’s ok, we can be split up. We’re split up now. And I don’t take up space. I just need a sleeping bag”. Broke my heart."
Heartbreaking, But Industrious
"My mom taught at a school in a bad neighborhood in Chicago in the mid 90’s. There was a second grader that would save his milk and ketchup packers from lunch for his mom so she had something to eat when she got home from work."
"Not a teacher but a parent with a 9 year old son. Every day I pack extra in my sons lunch because he tells me he has a friend that never has anything to eat. It's winter and my son came home and told me his friend was turning up with shorts and shirt and holes in his shoes. So I sent in a jumper and long pants for him to wear and some slightly used but good condition shoes. I have been up to the school recently and the teacher pulled me aside and thanked me profusely for helping this child. Apparently teachers are not allowed to aid kids they teach here in Australia and they have already reported the issue 3 times to child welfare without results so I was the only one helping this child. The teacher told me before I started sending in more food and clothes, this child would steal others food from their lunches and look through the bins because he was so hungry. They doubt he gets fed at home. So now I make sure to always send an extra lunch and some school clothes/supplies when I can. I can only hope child welfare eventually does something but it breaks my heart."
Amazing Big Sister
"It was right after winter break and before class started I was just talking with some students and asked if they got anything fun for the holidays. One girl said on no, I don’t ever get presents, my mom is a drug addict. But I went out and got some stuff for my little sister so that she can have a real Christmas."
"She just said it so matter-of-fact. She was so used to being the parent to her little sister that she didn’t even care about her own childhood. It totally broke my heart."
The Importance Of Human Affection
"Second hand story from my mom, elementary teacher for 30ish years. She had a hug or a handshake out the door policy, just some small contact and a proper goodbye, and had this young boy who always picked the hug. She wondered why he always went for it, most kids would go back and forth depending on their mood that day, so she asked him why he was always so excited for the end of day hug? His answer, "It's the only one I ever get.""
Coming Out The Other Side
"Two teenage boys (16/14) with learning disabilities were on my caseload, they never missed school but often ditched class. They were homeless mid-year after they went home from school to find the locks changed, their Mom had abandoned them for a new boyfriend. She didn't leave an address for them to find her."
"*Edit: both eventually dropped out, however a couple of years later the younger brother came back to visit. He and his brother were both working construction, and his brother had gotten married, had a child, and was living with his wife’s family."
"The younger had roommates and was saving for a car. He told me it was a shame I didn’t have kids, because I would make a good Dad."
"People often persevere, even with the odds stacked against them."
"Not me but my daughter is a teacher, she has lots of stories but one that stands out for me is one of her kindergarten kids saying she was tired and her asking why, the little girl explained that she had been up all night with her mums newborn baby. She did this every night, fed her bottles and everything."
Luckily, He Was Resilient
"This year I had a 17 year old kid enroll at my school. He was sitting in my math class and I could tell he was struggling. After class I took some extra time to go over a concept with him. I asked him to read the question to me, and he sat there silently. He then looked at me and said “I’m not going to lie to you, I cannot read. I have no idea how to say these words""
"Turned out at age 17 he was illiterate and had been kept out of school by his very religious, controlling parents. Over the past few months he has worked very hard! Now he can finally read at an 8th grade level and he is STILL improving!!"
– User Deleted
A Heroic Teacher
"I worked in an inner city charter school. One of my students (`M10) had a sib (M8) in a lower grade. The mom was there every day in the beginning of the year encouraging them, helping them and generally being very supportive... until a CPS agent spoke to me asking about her behavior. After CPS left things went downhill. The boys showed up late to class even though they lived a half block away from school. When in school both boys were tired from sleeping in the car while their mom "went fishing". She also had two very young girls which she dragged around making the boys take care of them. One day the boys didn't show up and their teacher walked over to the house to find the mom had loaded up the fridge, paid the rent for the month and abandoned them. The teacher (a candidate for sainthood btw) took them in, adopted them and grew them up to be great men."
This is really heartbreaking stuff! Luckily, teachers aren't just another adult in your life; they can be your saving grace as well.
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TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains sensitive content about depression and mental health.
As the stigma around mental health lessens (however slowly), people are more forthcoming about the problems they are facing. One of the most common mental health issues is depression.
Depression can affect many different types of people. Factors such as gender, race, nationality, and even age have no bearing on whether someone suffers from depression or not.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), globally, "...an estimated 3.8% of the population affected, including 5.0% among adults and 5.7% among adults older than 60 years..."
Depression displays in certain patterns, such as mood changes, physical difficulties, and social isolation. However, depression manifests differently in different people and feels different to different people.
Reddit users divulged what depression felt like to them when Redditor iodineseaspray asked:
"What does depression feel like to you?"
Some of this is sure to sound familiar.
The Worst Kind Of Boredom
"Like being more bored than you could imagine but also not wanting to do anything at all, even breathe. So you want to do something, but you can't imagine anything that you would like to do so you're just sort of stuck."
"So you then spend literally hours staring at a blank wall hating yourself, your life, and everything around you. Well, as much hate as you can summon in the absolutely mentally numb state you find yourself sat in day after day."
Lack Of Motivation and Energy
"Complete lack of motivation."
"Ignoring people that I love, and who are trying to help."
"I feel it extra at work. Letting things slide until you either get into trouble or trying last minute to prevent it."
"Funny those times when I'm working to save my butt, the depression goes away and i feel super focused and motivated."
"I try to carry that energy over but no, it's rinse and repeat."
"Insecure about absolutely everything, no hope for the future, dissociation from society and not knowing how to “act” anymore, feeling like I’m not as good at the things I always thought I was good at or that the “talent is wasted on me”, only food cheers me up and sometimes even that doesn’t work"
Loss Of Creativity
"This. It's like some numb fuzziness you feel in your brain. It's the worst thing ever for an artist who just wants to create but your brain comes up dry with a dense fog that wants to just lie down for a few hours"
A Mental Inability To Breathe
"For me, it feels like I’m in a lake with a ball chain tied to my feet, desperately swimming up for air, the only problem is the chain isn’t long enough. I can only get an inch of my head out of the water to breath, and as soon as a high tide comes, the water just floods over me and I feel like I can’t breath again. I live like this, constantly feeling like I’m struggling to breathe, weighed down by my own mind. It’s a struggle and I can’t really describe it in any other way, I’m jealous of people who don’t worry about depression"
"Like suffocating under a heavy cloak"
"Like being crushed. Like if the air was crushing my muscles and bones and I can’t breathe because I’m being crushed…"
"Kinda like that."
"Scrolling thru your steam library. Thinking you want to play something, either not settling on anything or not wanting to put the effort into the game. Going back to the scrolling."
"It feels like you're forced to play a game of Monopoly (represents life) and your just rolling the dice to appease everyone but you genuinely don't care about where you go, where you land, what you pick up, what you pay, what you gain."
"You kind of just watch it happen without interest and while people are cheering or oh no-ing for you, you genuinely don't care. Everyone is a piece on this board that hardly matters and you feel like we're all just running in a circle over and over again and it's boring and disinteresting as hell."
"You lose all curiosity for everything and just let everything happen and pass by you. No motivation, hardly any love, hardly any care. Feels like the world is in black and white and your waiting for the game to end became it's so absolutely boring and disinteresting, but it never does."
"You come to resent the game and eventually hate it because it feels like you're being forced to play it and suffer it's consequences when you never asked to play it in the first place."
"That's what depression felt like for me. Since then I've been medicated and recieved therapy. I'm doing a lot better now and I don't feel this way anymore, thankfully."
A Relation To Fantasy
"You know that scene in the Lord of the Rings where Bilbo is describing to Galndalf what having the Ring all those years felt like? "I feel thin. Like too much jam spread over too much bread." That's honestly the best way I've seen to describe it."
"I always say the closest thing to compare it to is a dementor in harry potter. It sucks every ounce of happiness out of you until there is only darkness left."
"Side note: chocolate always helps"
Fear Of Lack Of Justification
"Like someone close to you died yesterday. Expect no one has, and nothing has happened to justify how you feel."
A Physical Pain
"Physical pain in my heart, will start crying just by attending to the physical sensation in my body."
"I've always described it as having a shadow fixed to your brain which fuels things like indecision and negativity. You can do things to temporarily help but you can't truly shift it. Previous normality is forgotten. But it's amazing how much you can mask it."
"I found I didn't realise how bad I was until I started to get better"
"For anyone suffering with depression. Please, please speak to someone. Best thing I ever did"
Depression isn't something you can just deal with or get over. Learning to cope is not easy. However, as Redditor DavosLostFingers pointed out, talking to someone can literally save your life.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression, contact the American Psychological Association by phone at 800.374.2721 or 202.336.5500.
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