JOIN
OUR EMAIL LIST!
fizkes / Getty Images

People have this habit of forgetting that anyone outside of their immediate circle exists. That's especially true of service workers who have a way of disappearing into the background - we're talking about you, wait staff ninjas.


We'll admit, we've gotten lost in conversation and not noticed a server walk up to the table before, especially way back in ye olde theater days.

The servers at Ruby Tuesday must have heard so much more than they ever bargained for. Then again, theater kids just have a way of standing out, ya know?

Maybe the servers knew exactly how ridiculous things could get with us...

Waiters/waitresses/baristas of Reddit, what is the one conversation you overheard customers having and thought "I shouldn't have heard that"?

Whether the customers just looked like the type to bring the drama, like the dad in the Mother's Day story, or not didn't seem to matter. Guests overlook service staff and get lost in conversation. They talk too loudly. They're oblivious.

Cheater

I was clearing some tables after a wedding. Overheard the bride talking to the grooms mother. She was trying to justify having cheated on the groom the night before (which seriously seems to happen way too often for both genders, wtf.)

The part that made it really bad is that she kept trashing her now-husband and his mother was trying to be as sweet as possible, telling her it's understandable and she is stressed and all that; telling her to give it time. Part of me respects her calmness but seriously, she cheated on your son, don't tell her that's okay! I've seen it so many times before. But this left me livid.

- Psycho5554

Delivery

Giphy

As a delivery boy I was handing this young woman her pizza while she was on the phone talking about how her mom is in the hospital for attempted suicide. It was really sad and awkward.

- amhylo

Porn Is Terrible Sex Ed

There was a group of high school girls near the server station and overheard one girl say "wait, I shouldn't have given him a bl*wjob after we did it? They did it in a porno though and he had a condom on before."

- L_Rayquaza

A Military Town

Once worked as a waiter. I was clearing a table when I heard the following from a table behind me. "Ok, we'll need assault rifles, sidearms, machetes, and full gear. Don't forget four full clips for each weapon."

That got me curious. I turned to see four guys in military uniform sitting at the table. It would've been fishy if the restaurant wasn't in a military town. It was a small town which was right next a military camp (infantry) and a military academy.

- Hazardous_Ed

Buenos Aires

It's not mine, is my mom's. She passed the table where this rich couple from Buenos Aires was and stayed close so she could eavesdrop when she heard the word "abortion."

Apparently their daughter and nephew had sex, and she got pregnant.

- chechu_oc

Keeping It In The Family

Back in high school I was a host for a small sushi restaurant. The host stand was about 2 yards away from the closest bar stool. On one particularly slow night a couple came in to sit at the bar for dinner.

After a happy hour large sake bomb, the woman was talking loud enough for me to hear. Her sister came up in their conversation and took a turn for the worse. She started accusing her husband of always looking at her sister a little too long and said her sister used her obnoxious laugh (?) whenever he was around.


I leave the host stand to do some work around the restaurant fast forward 10 min.

Now both the lady and man are visibly upset when he stands out of his chair and loudly for the whole other 4 people to hear "Yeah I think her sisters hot and I slept with her too" and stormed out.

My manager just quickly gave the lady the bill even though she was sitting there crying. By far the most interesting night I had working there.

- dooidoo

An Immersive Experience

Giphy

From the opposite standpoint; Definitely not something I was supposed to overhear from my waitstaff.

Anyone who knows anything about Disney World knows that they make it very immersive. You are never supposed to see anyone out of character at any time for any reason, even to the point where they keep dancing after going into the tunnels just in case someone can see.

That's why this story sticks out so much in my memory. I was in Disney back in my teen years and at a character breakfast. Alice and The Mad Hatter were very snippy at each other while they were entertaining, and finally they went aside and had it out around the corner toward the kitchen. They thought they were quiet enough, but my sister and I could hear the whole thing.


Alice and The Mad Hatter just had a coital rendezvous a few minutes earlier. The Mad Hatter was complaining that Alice totally took advantage of him, and that he was uncomfortable with the entire thing, and even more pissed off that she hadn't told him that she wasn't on birth control. She was snapping back that he never expressly objected to anything, so he can't be angry now.

The entire experience was absolutely surreal - watching two people in full costume that were supposed to have permanent smiles on their faces bickering over a very adult conversation. It was unforgettable.

- SLagonia

April Fool's 

I was eating at a restaurant one day and a boyfriend proposed to his girlfriend. It was very sweet, not attention-seeking at all, and seemed very genuine.

She started crying and said yes.

He grinned and said "April Fool!"

She. Was. PISSED!

- jacobr1020

Josh

It was Mother's Day '19, and I work at the best breakfast joint in my city, at the most popular location. We were on a 3-4 hour wait pretty much all day. At around 11 or 12, I had a 3 top get sat in one of my booths. A little miffed about it because it's the busiest day of the year and they were in a family booth, but whatevs, let's turn and burn them. I creep on them from the kitchen a lil bit to see who I'm dealing with. A mid-late 30's woman, in decent shape, Karen hair cut. Teenage daughter, completely enthralled with whatever boy is trying to convince her to show her skin on Snapchat. A early 40's behemoth of a man, 220lbs of rock hard muscle and 6'5" AT LEAST. He's red in the face and mad already, I assume because of the wait. I'm already thinking, "oh these poor women"

I walk up, do my little song and dance, go get drinks. All is well. All is normal. Guy is a lil stiff, but I saw that coming from a mile away so I do my best to defuse and disarm him with some directed charm. Made a joke about black coffee that got the tables around me giggling and the two girls, but he just gave me a Stoney glare. Soooooo this is awk. Let's take their order.

I'm at the point-of-sale(POS) adjacent to their table, just around the corner, and I begin ringing their order in. As I'm ringing it in, I hear in a gruff voice, "...well JOSH didn't have a problem with that, did he??" Then, in a timid voice, "...nothing...going on...Josh"

Uh oh, I'm listening to someone being accused of cheating on Mother's Day in front of their daughter this just got AWK

So I leave them alone till their food is up. As I'm walking up with the tray, big guy is roaring his head off screaming how she's a whore, how she doesn't deserve happiness, how she should just go sleep with Josh again, the nines. All in front of the kid.

Then he goes to stand up and I'm close by because I have their food and don't wanna be blamed for it being cold so I'm still tryna drop this food off, forget their their argument. I try to back away but there's another table WAY TOO CLOSE.

He jumps back and stands and cracks his head on my tray, HARD. $80 worth of omelettes and pancakes come crashing down, on top of a table of 10 halfway through their meal, in a fantastic display of shattered ceramic and flying berries. The guy storms over to me, gruffly apologizes and shoves a crumpled $100 bill in my shirt pocket and stomps out of the restaurant.

The lady is crying, the daughter has both headphones in now, I'm laying in a pool of strawberry syrup and whipped cream, and I got to re-fire 20 plates of food and got a terrible tip from the 10.

Karen-hair says, "That should teach me to ever go out on Mother's Day with my ex husband." and starts crying into her oatmeal, which was the only plate I was able to save. I gave her and her daughter and awkward Christian side hug and related my experience of growing up in a divorced household and got them new food.

Def should have walked away when I could have.

- Dandra1998

Passing On Their Wisdom

I work at a small cafe that has outdoor seats close to the counter. As I was collecting some dirty plates from a table, I hear these two elderly women talking to a younger woman about sexual topics. What also sucked was that every time I went to clean a table, the elderly women were still talking about sexual stuff.

One of the things I can remember one of them saying word for word was "Trust me, if he wanted to be a virgin he wouldn't have slept with you, now its time for you to cheat on him"

- Wasabi_Lemon

Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Now that college has become a standard requirement for so many jobs and careers, there is a massive push by high schools to get their graduating students accepted and enrolled at an undergraduate college.

On the whole, that's undoubtedly a great thing. A more educated workforce will be prepared to solve the most complex issues facing human beings in the next several decades.

Keep reading... Show less
Image by Gianni Crestani from Pixabay

*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.

The person on the other end of a 911 call has a truly remarkable job.

For those who don't play that professional role, we hope to never encounter the 911 call interaction. But if we do find ourselves making that call, the moment is an anomaly in our lives.

The chaos, the panic, the racing heart, and the desperation are all emotions we, ideally, don't experience on a regular basis.

But for the operator on the other end, our call is one in a long line of calls they've received all day, and all the workdays before that one.

It's difficult to imagine being embedded in those uniquely urgent, emergency moments all the time.

Some Redditors who are on the other end of that call shared their experiences on the job.

WhimsicalxxButcher asked, "911 dispatchers what has been your most creepy/unnerving call?"

For a few, the most unnerving moments were the calm callers.

There was something just so eerie about how level-headed the faceless human being on the other end could be through such a desperate, tragic moment.

Almost Clinical 

"I had a friend who worked as a 911 dispatcher and he always said the worst call he ever had was a ~20 year old kid who committed suicide by mixing a bunch of chemicals together in his car to produce hydrogen sulfide gas."

"He said that the most unnerving part was hearing him calmly listing off the chemicals, the type of gas produced, and the effects of hydrogen sulfide on the body (namely the almost instant death it causes at high concentrations)."

"He ended the call by providing the address of the parking lot he was in and saying that nobody should approach the vehicle without hazmat equipment."

"Apparently after that there was a whooshing sound as he dumped the last chemical into the mix, and then the line went dead silent aside for a quiet fizzing noise."

"I know that call screwed him up because he almost never talks about stuff that happens to him on the job. He quit a few months later to go into construction management, and frankly I can't blame him."

-- iunoyou

Planned Out 

"A woman called me, saying she was going to kill herself. She was gassing herself. Gave me her name & address then said she was just going to lie down and 'go to sleep.' And stopped responding to me."

"I kept the line open, trying to get her to speak to me, and eventually heard officers forcing their way in to find her body. I guess she just wanted someone to find her body."

-- mozgw4

Before It Set In 

"When I got a call from a 6 year old who got home from school and laid down to take a nap with his dad. His dad never woke up."

"The kid was so calm when calling it broke my heart."

"I ended up leaving dispatch shortly after. I was good at compartmentalizing the job for the year I was doing it, but it would've broken me in the long run."

-- tasha7712

Other 911 operators were unfortunate enough to receive a call from the very last person they wanted to hear from: a loved one.

These dispatchers' unique position gave them the unexpected access to a family member or friend at their most dire moments.

No More of That 

"My family member is a long time first responder, and 'retired' into doing dispatch. He heard the address (someone else was taking the call) and realized it was his daughter's house."

"He rushed over there just in time to see them wheeling her body out. Overdose."

"Five months later, he was called to his ex-wife's place because his grandson (son of the daughter who recently passed) had his door locked, lights on, but wasn't responding to his grandma."

"He broke the door down and found him deceased in bed. Overdose."

"He's very stoic after years of all sorts of traumatic situations but my heart hurts whenever I think of what all of this must have felt like. Like sand through your fingers."

-- bitchyhouseplant

Knowing the Address

"Not me, but my grandma. I was sitting in the dispatch office, (very small one only 2 dispatchers including my grandma) but she put out a dispatch that there was a gun shot from my best friends address."

"My heart sank to my stomach and broke later that day. He committed suicide."

-- OntaiSenpuu

When it Happened 

"My uncle passing away. Worked as a small town dispatcher for a year or so. Had a bunch of messed up stuff happen on shift, but this call came in in the still hours of the night. Small town, so not many calls after midnight."

"I answered and recognized the name and address on caller id. Aunt was in a frenzy so didn't recognize my voice. I remained calm and got ems and fire rolling to them, but by my aunt's own words he was already blue."

"I went thru debriefing and mandated therapy for a couple other things that happened, but never really talked to anyone about this. I just try not to think about it."

"That was the call I figured out I needed to find a different job."

-- dangitjon

Finally, some simply had a front row seat to sudden tragedy.

These operators were flies on the wall when disaster struck. They never asked to witness what they witnessed, but sometimes that came with the territory.

A Holiday Tragedy 

"My mom is a 911 dispatcher. Early on she said one Christmas Eve while working she got a call from an elderly lady who's husband had just collapsed(and died) from a heart attack and in the background Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas music was playing on blast."

"The lady was screaming and crying and begging for her husband to wake up but my mom could hear his gurgling in his last breathes. She doesn't listen to or watch Alvin and the chipmunks since."

-- Blueflowerbluehair

What is it About Christmas?

"Christmas night. 911 call with crying child on the other end. A neighbor had run her car over her mom during a domestic."

"The mom crawled to the porch bleeding and the child saw the car coming back. I had her hide quietly in a closet with the cordless phone."

"The 10 year old child was crying and screamed that she hated Christmas. She was afraid of the police when they got there."

"I kept her on the phone until she felt safe enough to give the phone to an officer. I almost fainted after that call was over. Had nightmares for a while."

-- 2FunBoofer

Close to Home 

"Not a dispatcher but I handle radio communications for the Coast Guard. One night I was on the radio and got a call from an 11 year old kid whose boat had started to sink. He was out with his dad and 6 year old brother."

"They had been hit by another boat and his father got knocked unconscious. I remember the entire conversation up until the radio had gone underwater."

"They ended up finding his dad floating on his back alive but the two boys didn't make it. That one really fu**ed with me because my two littlest brothers were around the same age as the youngest."

-- HIRSH2243

A Horrible Clock 

"Another one that stays with me was the man who called in. It was the anniversary of his adult son having hanged himself. He'd now come home to find his wife had done the same."

"That date is always going to be a black day for him."

-- mozgw4


If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

Again, we hope you never have to use the 911 call in your life. Nobody wants to be involved in a sudden emergency or a tragic incident.

But hopefully, if you do, an operator like one of these thoughtful, sensitive Redditors is on the other end.

Image by Nguyen Dinh Lich from Pixabay

When I was moving on from middle school to high school my parents had me tested for the "gifted" program. By some miracle I passed and was accepted. And then I turned it down. Everyone was irritated. "This will pave the way for any college you want! You'll learn so much!" his path will set you up for life!" Every adult tried valiantly to sell me this merchandise but in my gut I just wasn't buying it. So I "settled" a level below, merely advanced classes. And upon reflection... it was the best choice I ever made.

Redditor u/dauntlessdaisy was wondering how far some in life got by asking... For those of you who were considered "gifted" in school, what are you doing with your life now?
Keep reading... Show less
Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

There's a million things that can happen to you while out on on the road.

Keep reading... Show less