People Share The Weirdest Jobs They Ever Had
Growing up nobody tells you that there are TONS of jobs out there to choose from.
We're presented options like "teacher" and "doctor" and "lawyer" and "sales person" - but nobody tells you that you can grow up to be a table, someone's fake boyfriend, or a shark-booper.
Yeah, I'm particularly heated about not knowing that last one was an option. Kid me would have chosen a vastly different career path had I known professional shark-booper was an option.
Reddit user CaptainLiv47 asked:
"What was the weirdest job you have ever had?"
They say it's never too late to make a change, so maybe there's still time for me to boop some sharks when I "grow up."
Clearly there are TONS of weird work options, though.
"I used to work for the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, Weights and Measures Division— I was in charge of making sure all rulers were exactly 12 inches long."
"I work in Quality in manufacturing. This is way more important than people think."
"I picture you having this ruler made of pure platinum that is EXACT, then going to like school supply manufactures and just snapping random rulers off the production line to compare them."
"I also picture you with a big mustache and tiny glasses."
"Underwater videographer for a National Geographic documentary shoot on Tiger Sharks."
"There were always two of us underwater for the filming. One with the camera and the other one just behind and above with a long aluminum pole with a crossbar on the end. We called it 'the Defender Pole'."
"If any shark came too close (these were some very large sharks) to the cameraman, you'd give it a gentle boop on the snoot with 'The Defender Pole'."
"The project was headed by a guy named Greg Marshall, who invented a device called "Crittercam" to attach to wildlife such as sharks, turtles, lions and stuff. He was the Nat Geo producer, and along with the amazing Birgit Buhleier, headed the documentary project."
"Monkey Mia in Shark Bay, Western Australia is a very remote beach resort famous for the wild dolphin population which comes in close to the beach most days. The greater Shark Bay area is home to a huge & diverse range of marine life - including a shitload of sharks of course."
"There is a resident group of international scientists who come from all over the world to study there (dolphins, sharks, turtles). One of the PhD candidates was studying Tiger Sharks (Mike Heithaus) and Nat Geo teamed up with him to film his research as part of the documentary storyline - including putting Crittercams on the dorsal fins of the sharks to see what they did in their natural habitat."
"The sharks would be temporarily caught on static lines, then measured, blood samples taken etc - and then the Cam would be temporarily attached to the fin."
"A lot of our filming work was to be underwater during the catch and release stage - Ian Kellett (the Head Cinematographer and great friend from then on) & myself, one of us filming, the other on Boop Snoot duties with 'The Defender Pole' as the shark swam away."
"The Crittercam would automatically release after some hours, we would retrieve the device and they would study the footage. It was fascinating."
"I once asked a guy what he did for work and he told me he 'drove a granny stripper'."
"I assumed this was slang for some road building or agricultural machinery, but nope... He was the driver for a 70 year old stripper."
"I think it was sort of a 'gag gift' situation, for example where she might be hired by the best man at a bucks night to gross out the groom. I can only assume she was ok with that."
"I once had a job as a Stripper working for a printer. The job had nothing to do with removing my clothes."
"What that meant was that I took a brush and painted some stuff on tiny holes that would appear in the film they were using to develop the printing plates."
"The printer specialized in making those paper menus and similar things. ONE of our clients was "Busty Rusty" (or was it "Rusty Busty"? I forget...) an actual stripper that wanted some flyers put out on the tables at the strip club she worked for."
"I made $30k a year to be this guy's on call driver when he came to LA."
"He only came like twice a year for a day or two at a time and I got to drive his Bentley when he was in town."
"I wasn't an official Bentley chauffeur, though they do exist."
"I got my ARCA racing safety credentials at 16 and my NASCAR credentials at 18. Class A at 21 with every added credential possible and then I gave one of my buddies rich friends a ride home one night."
"We talked on the drive from Hollywood to Santa Barbara to his house and the next day I got a call from someone richer than him thanking me for getting his friend home safely and offering me the job."
"I once got paid to give out free samples of coffee at a gas station."
"I got there at 5am to be given this huge backpack with a giant container of coffee in it, and it had an air compressed nozzle that I would use to spray coffee into sample size cups."
"I was told to approach anyone pumping gas and give them one."
"It was a disaster. The air pressure was too much so the coffee would blast out every time and get all over my clothes. I kept burning myself as a result."
"It was a heatwave so no one really wanted them anyways and people laughed in my face."
"Multiple people also told me I should have gone to college, which I was in. This was just part of a summer job before my senior year."
"It was humiliating and I never went back."
Japanese Cabaret Girls
"I used to live down the road from a cabaret club in Japan - like a place where you paid to drink with girls and talk to them, basically. Not overtly sexual but if the cabaret girl was willing it could be."
"I used to stay up late back then so often bumped into them coming back from work around 2-3am. Some of them were basically my neighbors and I offered some supper once."
"They rarely ate properly if at all and drank too much at work so they took to the supper with the type of gusto you only get when you're drunk-peckish."
"I guess they liked my cooking. And I was a decent listener I suppose, so they hung around more and more and got guilty about eating too much of my food."
"That turned into me getting this weird gig where I got paid to essentially make food for 5-6 cabaret girls per night and let them drink bottled tea and bitch about their clients till they sobered up."
"Sometimes they puked or had to crash at mine because they were too wasted; if that happened they often paid me a bit more out of embarrassment despite me insisting they didn't have to."
"Some of them made BANK. 10k to 15k USD per month on average. I was paid like 40 per head so could make 200 per night in cash usually. Did that 2-3 days a week while I was living in Japan. Weird but really not all that bad and supplemented my living costs nicely."
"At the end of the day, they just wanted someone to talk to after a long day and homemade food to come back to."
"Internship at a sex shop…. Don’t ask me how but my school managed to find a spot in the financial sector at a sex shop."
"I kid you not, the lady was the only person working there and she had 4 interns managing the whole business whilst she was maybe a few hours each week at the shop."
"At one point she even said f*ck it, you guys are managing the shop as well."
"We had no idea wtf we were supposed to do."
"One time a customer came in and asked us if we could sell some weed. We said we don’t sell that here, he went away and we called our boss explaining what happened. She yelled at us through the phone for not selling him drugs because apparently she sold drugs."
"Note that drugs are allowed in our country but only to be sold at verified stores."
"After that (this was like 1.5/2months into the intern ship and we were supposed to be there for 9 months) we were all like hell no, we ain’t getting paid so we won’t deal with this shit."
"She was unstable as f*ck shouting at us if we did something wrong if she was at the office/shop. We left a note on the door that the shop was closed, locked the door, informed our school and left the fuck out of there."
"I spent the summer working a night shift as a writer/editor on the tv series Big Brother. Very strange. I felt like Ed Harris in the Truman Show."
"But the best thing was, we were all at desks on the big sound stage at Elstree Studios, where films like Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark were made. Under my desk in yellow chalk, it said GOTHAM CITY WEST as they’d just finished filming a Batman film there."
"My job was to follow everything as it happened via a huge bank of loads of monitors. Then write up 'stories' that would go on the site and then be picked up by national tabloids and other websites."
"The problem was, if two housemates had an argument at 2.15am and I wrote about it and uploaded it, then other media would pick up on it pretty much instantly and then the Big Brother TV programme the next evening would have to cover that and show footage."
"So I was essentially the first line of deciding what got on the show the following day. And I would see everything totally live and unedited. Including at one point a drunk woman sticking a wine bottle up herself."
"But there was a lot of narrative shaping as well. You could make someone look funny by only covering the funny things they said/did. Or make someone look clumsy by only showing the times they were clumsy. Or stupid, etc."
"If they filmed you or I for 24hours then it would be easy to pick out the things we did at certain times and create a narrative about us."
"I was a stand-in boyfriend for girls to take home during festival periods. Just so the girl don’t have to deal with the parents / grandparents grilling them for being single / leftover woman."
"Was a fun gig, I got free food, meet some nice and interesting people."
"I stopped now that I’m married, but my wife still wants to pimp me out for that extra $ LOL"
"This is actually very common where I'm currently based (Hong Kong). I hear same stories in China also."
"There are markets for male and female where I have heard people do trades where people go to each other families and after the dinners they go back to their normal life."
"But sometimes people pick people who are more presentable or even speak another language, I don't know why but I assumed it's for a exit strategy to tell parents we broke up afterwards?"
Being A Table
"Human buffet table."
"I went to a sex convention to visit some friends who were working and ended up getting tossed a spare vendor badge. Spent the whole weekend hanging out in the Dungeon, chatting with slaves and their Masters and watching the live stage shows."
"Went for a smoke and ended up chatting with a lady who ran a pole dancing studio (they were doing fully clothed pole dancing demos on the stage all weekend) and we were just chatting when her phone rings and it's her employee bailing on a private event in like 2 days."
"She starts complaining about it, and I guess she was hired to MC a new year's event for a BDSM group at a strip club. Her staff was entirely former pro strippers so she had hired a couple of them to be human buffet tables, but everyone bailed. I jokingly said "fuck, that would be cool!" and she offered me the job."
"I got free tickets ($75/each) for me and my boyfriend at the time to the party and had a blast. Then at 11:00, I went in a back room, stripped to just my thong and was wrapped head to toe in saran wrap."
"I laid on a table, they layered all the food on me and then I got carried out on the table like a fucking queen by 4 big bouncers."
"I was told to have fun with it, so I would talk to people a bit as they grabbed the food. A lot of them had no idea it was a real person and thought it was a blow up doll or something until I would say hi."
"I scared a lot of people. Lmfao"
"At 11:45 I got ushered to the strippers change room, removed the saran wrap, had a quick shower, got redressed and went to keep partying."
"I made $750 and met so many awesome people."
Here, Piggy Piggy
"Best paid job. As the lab technician (I could use Google) I got a big house all to myself. Because I have no sense of smell, the job didn't bother me at all."
"All I really had to do was sit on a stool with a pig d*ck in one hand and a cup in the other, then look down a microscope count sperm. $28 an hour and a house to myself. I was f*cking mad to give it up."
"Now as a vet tech in Canada I calculate drugs, monitor for surgery and explain vaccines to morons six days a week 8-10 hours a day and get screamed at for $21."
- BushtuckapenguinHappy Illumination Entertainment GIF by Sing MovieGiphy
"I once tutored a lady who ran a whorehouse to help her get her high school equivalency."
"She got it. Then she went on to law school to become a lawyer and represent sex workers."
"Wow thats pretty impressive"
- CaptainLiv47Alison Brie Community GIFGiphy
"I worked for a living history farm."
"One day I'd be tending the gardens, the next I'd be in period clothing teaching kids how to make paper stationary or hand dipped candles, and the next I'd be be dressed up pouring wine and serving hor d'oeuvres. No two days were the same."
"On the grounds we had a Victorian house full of antiques, old barns, gardens, ponds, walking trails, chickens, cows, horses, etc."
"I loved that job."
- Moonlight1219county offaly architecture GIF by Acorn TVGiphy
"No idea what the title of this job was…but in college my job was part of the athletics department. I was given a list of student athlete pictures and I had to go to each class, stare through the glass in the door, and make sure they were attending."
"They could have been kicked off the team if I didn’t see them. It was really difficult when I had to go to 200+ lectures."
"As an epilogue, that job lost its funding the following semester so then they put me in the athletics study center where athletes had to sign in for so many hours a week."
"I had to police these other college students and make sure they were studying. I was also absolutely NOT ALLOWED to do any schoolwork at this work study job."
"I found so many students sleeping but didn’t say anything."
- SirDaedraInterested Creep GIFGiphy
"I’m a musician, both live and studio, and I have had some very strange gigs in both settings."
"I did some studio vocal work for a 'songwriter' whose songs were clearly all about him having an affair. They were the corniest, and frankly god awful songs, but a gig is a gig."
"The weirdest part was how he would talk to me between sets. He would be like:"
" 'Hey, that was a really great take man, really great. Hey on this next one, I want you to picture yourself at a swanky hotel bar, and you lock eyes with the girl at the end, she’s just sent a drink your way' blah blah blah.”
"He would just go on and on, 'painting mental pictures' for me. Basically just telling me details about his affair. Very weird, and annoying on many levels, but mostly because I had the worst of those godforsaken non-songs in my head for like a month after."
"He still calls me every now and then to ask me to sing on stuff, and somehow I’m always busy on the day of the session."
- bassocontinubowTimes Square Smile GIF by sonybroadwayGiphy
"Guerilla grower helper."
"Wake up at 3am, drive to the woods, hike in hundreds of pounds of fertilizer. Act like a farmer. Go home."
"Paid $250 a day in the mid 90s. It was so stressful I only did it one season."
"But it did lead me to trim jobs. Pay was great, but a month of trimming 8 hours a day is very tedious."
"Cannabis is one of my favorite things but the farming and processing the product is not fun."
- theironunderneathhalf baked smoking GIFGiphy
Playing With An Octopus
"Worked at an aquarium behind the scenes looking after all the fishes. It was wonderful and I miss it, honestly so peaceful."
"Part of the job was 'enrichment' for the octopus."
"This involved building lego food puzzles for him that he would have to take apart to get food, and other such puzzles to get to food. We also got 'octopus cuddles' on rare occasions when he was feeling friendly which was just him saying hello and wrapping a tentacle or two around your arm."
"Most of the rest of the job was tank maintenance, daily water testing, feeding, cleaning etc"
"One time had to assist on a fish post-mortem too, to ensure cause of death was no risk of disease or issue that would harm the remaining fish."
"I had a 2 week contracted assignment to fill in for an IT support guy who was taking some time off."
"I had no knowledge of the computer system that I was supposed to be supporting. I didn't even have a login. I just sat there and read the newspaper until the day was over."
"Thankfully, the phone never rang once. I think it was some sort of scam position that the manager had running with the IT placement firm."
- dartdougSeason 6 Nbc GIF by The OfficeGiphy
Speech To Text
"My weirdest job was also my coolest and best job. I worked for a deaf/Hard-of-Hearing relay center."
"The user would log in to a text system and give us a phone number, and then I would place the call, acting as their mouthpiece."
"It was kind of strange at first because I had to get used to listening and speaking in complete monotone simultaneously, because we relayed the hearing user's part of the conversation via speech-to-text software so we had to be clear and robotic for the software."
"Doing both sides of the conversation was a bit strange. But, I felt like I had a job that was worthwhile, even if I did end up going through the automated system for social security several times a day."
"What made it strange was when we had to relay calls that were obviously pranks, but had to take them anyway because we have no idea if the person in the text system is hearing or not, and even if they're not, we weren't in the business of censoring anyone's phone calls."
"If they want to prank call, that's their business."
"One of my last days there, I had to listen to the older woman who sat behind me say, 'oh. Yes. Orgasm. Orgasm. Orgasm. Yes. F*ck me hard,' in the most robotic monotone for forty-five minutes."
- Silence115Cant Hear Baby Boomers GIF by MOST EXPENSIVESTGiphy
What Should Have Been A Guy's Dream Come True
"I was around 21 at the time and was beyond excited to be working on a feature. The main costume dresser left because she wasn't getting paid (and later I found I wouldn't either) so I was picked to do the job because I was the only one close in age to the main actresses -- youngest being 18 and oldest being 25."
"The studio thought they'd be more comfortable with me."
"I was stoked because I knew I was about to see f*cking hot and nude college aged girls. That is how I was looking at it as a dude and for a moment that was exactly what I got."
"It was awesome and would be a moment I'd cherish forever...and then it wasn't."
"You see, I learned an important lesson that day -- a life lesson really: dressing women in general sucks."
"Holy crap, as a guy you would not believe how incredibly challenging and difficult it is to get women dressed for a movie! You cannot believe the sh*t they go through.
"Some of the clothes had to be taped to their bodies to be form fitting. They also had to wear pasties, which if you don't get them on correctly you then have to peel off; which is essentially like ripping duct tape off your nipple."
"There's also pins you have to poke in and then sew on. Even more tape was used on their breasts to prevent them from bouncing (bras were a no-no because you can see their outline on the costumes -- not form fitting)."
"Thigh high leather boots are not functional to walk in and are like two sizes too small, and need even more tape to be form fitting."
"Unitards (which is what they wore for the finale) usually means your butt cheeks will hang out, so more tape, needles, and glue there too. Lots of baby powder to get into the costumes quicker."
"The women got hurt, they couldn't breathe, they'd piss themselves because they couldn't get out of the costumes in time."
"Blood and band aids. Sweat filled balloons that were spanx. Tears that could fill a bowl of soup."
"It was unlike any pain I'd ever seen or experience I've ever heard of."
"What should have been a guy's dream come true soon became a walking nightmare that could only be thought up by some gender studies professor with pink hair and a belly. Never before have I understood a concept so completely foreign to me. I'll never experience this in my life ever, but just working around it and having to comfort some of these girls and women because it just got too much."
"So yeah, now anytime I see a movie where a woman is wearing a costume that isn't just clothes, I f*cking wince. Yes, there are sets that have been able to run through these things smoother and less painful. But the one I worked was working on a budget of a college dorm room, so we didn't necessarily have top professionals here."
"Still, the stories I've heard in that part of the film community are not far off from this story either."
- BelludeScreaming Ashton Kutcher GIFGiphy
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Reddit user pizzabagels1994 asked: 'What caused your last break up?'
There's a saying about needing to kiss a lot of frogs before finding Prince Charming. Most people date more than one person before settling on a life partner.
And even then it doesn't always work out.
Most of us have at least one breakup in our past. The reasons things don't work between people vary greatly.
But we all have our breaking point.
Reddit user pizzabagels1994 asked:
"What caused your last break up?"
Lack of Empathy
"I had just been diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic cancer. All the attention I had been giving her I didn't have the energy to maintain while getting Chemo and avoiding Covid."
"My final straw. She yelled at me on the phone while I was in intensive care with pulmonary embolisms."
"Just that light bulb moment, and I was done."
"That was 3 years ago. All good now. I'm in remission, and thinking about dating again."
"I got into an argument with a crazy ex that was about 8 years older than me when I was 19 and we were screaming and chatting at each other and I remember she grabbed this vase that I had just bought her some flowers in and chucked it at my head and barely missed.
"It's hard to remember what kind of insanities I was yelling at her after that but she came around the corner with two brand new butcher knives from a knife set we had bought earlier that day and chased me around the house in circles."
"The house had bars on the windows and you had to have a key to open the front and back door it did not just have a manual lock."
"I ended up putting myself in the bathroom and holding the door as hard as I could and she actually stabbed one of the knives through the door."
"The whole knife did not come through the door only about two inches of it but that's plenty enough to still scare you."
"It was around 2010 and I had one of those prepaid phones in my pocket and I called her dad to come get her. He lived across the street."
"After her dad got her calmed down he took me on a ride to the duck pond at like 2 or 3:00 in the morning and was feeding the ducks old pizza and was just telling me that I needed to chill out and trying to give me some kind of a life lesson."
"He was probably pretty intoxicated himself but usually managed to hold himself together."
He really wasn't a great guy but came in during his daughter's mental crisis."
"The duck pond adventure started to end as the sun came up and I went and locked myself into the bathroom at the house and just went to sleep on the floor."
"I was going to get my things and get out that morning but she begged me to stay and at the time I thought that was what I really wanted."
"I think she kind of was mentally unwell at the time and I wasn't my best either."
"I did not call the cops on her and we reconciled for a time."
"Unfortunately I seem to have a pattern of not realizing I'm in a major mentally abusive situation due to growing up in one."
"Wife and I were attending couples therapy."
"The therapist said she was being literally abusive to me. My then-wife demanded a new therapist."
"Second therapist said she was being abusive to me. My then-wife filed for divorce.
"While my life right after was hell, it's come back around and I'm doing better than ever."
"My drinking, lies about drinking, and sh*tty finances because of drinking. 107 days sober today."
"Finally, someone who admits it was their fault. Me too brother."
"Past exes all was because of my drinking. Thankfully, I found someone who helped me quit."
"I'm 1yr 8m sober. We got this."
"We had our home, our plans and were preparing to marry in about three months when we separated."
"Thank goodness you found out before getting married."
"I know it must really hurt and maybe even keep you from trying again with someone new but you really dodged a bullet."
"Yep, my wife cheated and it's costing me about 100k between legal fees, buying out her equity in the house (which she paid none of), give her a chunk of my retirement and liquid cash."
"Honestly I think everyone should have a nasty infidelity clause in a pre-nup at this point."
"I can also look forward to sending her 70k in child support over the coming years. And I'm gonna take a wild guess that most of it won't be spent on the kid."
Something is Missing
"It took some time but we both realized that we weren't giving each other what we needed."
"Same! He saw it first so he was the one to leave me, but thank God he did, we were so incompatible!"
"Leaving my last relationship was rough—it was my first ever relationship and lasted 7 years—but I was so relieved at the same time when I got dumped."
"It was a very healthy breakup on both sides, and we kept in touch on and off for just under a year afterwards until she began seeing someone else and I felt it would be best to leave it be out of respect for her new partner."
"We honestly just both grew up (got together when I just turned 18; both young) and eventually fell out of romantic love."
"I still hold her to the highest respect and will always have a place in my heart for her, but I was so glad when she bit the bullet and broke it off. I would've felt too guilty to do so; I owed her so much."
"We had a very tumultuous relationship for the first couple years—we were very much in love but I had a lot of unresolved mental health issues, had a nervous breakdown, etc..."
"I still hate what I put her through but hope I was able to make it up to her in the last couple years of the relationship."
"Anyways, I wish her the best. My life and mental well-being has gotten SO much better in the last few years of being single; in a way I owe that to her too."
"He wants to get his life together."
"We still love each other and he thinks he needs to do this on his own but I want to be here for him, I promised him when we first started dating I’d be here for him as much as I can."
"It just hurts because he thinks I’m not strong enough to still love him and be apart from him when I am. It’s complicated."
Not enough time
"Her not having enough time for both grad school and a relationship."
"She did make the right choice though."
"Oof, yeah. Grad school is a real drain, emotionally."
"Like, you need the support of a partner while you go through it, but you don't really have anything to give back."
"It's an awful time."
"Just broke up with a girl halfway through a medical degree. I couldn't do it. I had been supporting her financially for 8 years and even another four I couldn't do. She also wanted me to cook, shop more than her."
"I started telling her I wanted her to contribute more towards the relationship. She grew distant but then really leaned on me when she needed financial and emotional support."
"She gets through her exams gets admitted to the doctorate and then cheats on me on holiday with a Swiss rocket scientist."
"He's now supporting her finanically in a long distance relationship. Feels like I dodged a bullet. Still 8 years is a long time."
It's complicated seems to be the mantra of relationships in the 21st century.
Are we no longer as loyal or loving as we were in the past?
Or do we just have more options and an unwillingness to settle.
We could all use a little love and care, but sometimes kind gestures come from the most unexpected places. Whether it’s a friend showing up at our door to give us the present we didn’t know we needed, or a complete stranger helping us out in a time of need, these stories about the nicest thing someone has ever done will warm your heart.
Face the Musica young man sitting at a piano in the darkPhoto by Kiwihug on Unsplash
When I was about 13, the pastor of our family church heard me practicing Chopin on the piano. Knowing my parents couldn't afford much, he offered to pay for my music studies so that I'd be prepared to enter music conservatory right after high school. All he asked for in return was that I'd help out with the church's music program when needed.
This kind, generous man spent thousands of his own dollars to help me along the way to a rewarding career in music.
Sleep Away Camp
When my parents were awful, and my sister was passing away, my friend’s parents took me in for a while. But it was even better than that. You see, they did it in a way that seemed like a sleepover, even though it went on for months. I didn't even realize until I was an adult how much they stepped up for me and protected me, right when I needed them the most.
Lean on Me
I had a sore leg, and it was sore enough that I couldn't put much weight on it. During this time, my school did this fundraiser run, and I wanted to participate even though I could barely walk. My best friend, who I'm still friends with to this day, stayed by my side, limping the whole way. I still thank him for that, it meant a lot to me.
To Serve and Protect
When I was 16, I was at a store getting some comics. I was 15 cents shy, because they raised the price by 5 cents a comic, and I was trying to decide which one to put back when a guy I went to high school with, and barely knew, gave me a fifty cent piece. He went on to join the Marines right out of high school, and retired a couple of years ago.
He's still just as awesome now. He restores old Volkswagens and sells them for cost to his fellow veterans. He restores old furniture and donates the pieces to families in need. He volunteers with wildlife rescue programs. He refuses to let me pay him back, so I'm going to try and buy his drink at our 30-year high school reunion. Gotta thank him somehow!
Something for Nothing
I went to a local breakfast spot one day after a rough night. I totally forgot my wallet, so I left my phone as collateral and went back to my house. When I came back, some guy had already paid for me. I know it doesn't seem that big of a deal, but it was a pretty bleak week for me so it meant a lot just to have someone do something for nothing.
A Friend Foreverboy feeding a animal during daytimePhoto by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash
My wife and I were driving our kids, who were three and five at the time, to the zoo. We narrowly missed being smushed by a semi truck, but also almost flipped our top-heavy minivan doing 75mph when dodging said vehicle. All in all, we were very blessed to have our lives, let alone no damage to our car. The same couldn't be said for other cars, but no one was hurt either.
The State Trooper who showed up was the most generous young man. He gave my daughter a little teddy bear that she still has to this day 5-6 years later. She even remembers getting it, which is pretty incredible for someone that age. I think that was the most meaningful thing anyone's done for me, and I've been fortunate enough to have a lot of good people in my life. This one stands out because it was directed towards my daughter.
I’ve Got You, Babe
My mother passed, and I was so stressed trying to find a way to give her the funeral she deserved. My boyfriend went down to the funeral home, made the arrangements, and paid the balance. By FAR the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me.
A Helping Hand
My firstborn had a severe deformity, and spent a week in hospital before we took him off life support. I was staying at the Ronald McDonald House, and even though one of the rules was that you are your own maid when you leave, complete with doing laundry and remaking the beds, I was a complete wreck and couldn’t do a thing. Then I got the surprise of my life.
A kind stranger took care of my room for me even though they were going through their own stuff. Another blessing from that dark time is that the funeral home took care of everything for me, including all bills associated with the service and cremation. I will never not donate to the Ronald McDonald House and I know what funeral home I'll be using when I one day need one again.
It was a very long time ago and very dark sad time. It destroyed my family, a few years later I lost my husband to the depression that happened from this, and while both tragedies changed me, I'm very good now and know happiness. I want to say that I've thought about how very, very bad things can get in the world, but this stranger, and people like him, showed me daily that the world is full of amazing loving people.
A Little Tune-up
A few years ago, I was going down to visit my grandmother in South Carolina. I needed an inspection and oil change on my car, and I was the single mom of a 5-year-old. The total cost ended up being 40 dollars more than I thought. At the time, that was devastating, and I had to tell my daughter in the parking lot that we couldn't go see her grandmother anymore.
Someone heard me talking to her and came over to us and gave us 60 dollars. That was one of the nicest things someone I don’t know has ever done for me.
Can’t Put a Price on Education
On September 14, 1986, my dad dropped me off at boarding school and gave me a five-dollar bill. I never heard from him again. He never paid my tuition bill. So, from the age of 14, I took every job I could get and worked my way through. At $4 an hour, I didn't even come close to paying off my entire bill, but the school let me stick around because I was a model student in and out of the classroom.
We get to graduation. I opened my little diploma thing expecting to see a bill in five figures. Instead there was a note: “Congratulations on your graduation. A group of us who believe in you and love you have taken care of your bill. We are proud to present you with your diploma.” I later found out that one of my friend's dad, a fairly well-off dentist, went fundraising among his golf buddies because he didn’t want to see me enter life at 18 under crushing debt.
The Tables Have Turnedpeople around tablePhoto by Zach Reiner on Unsplash
One of my high school tormentors invited me to his house to hang out for a day. I was really nervous it might just be to screw with me, but I was desperate for some sort of friendship at the time, so I went over. We're now best friends, and he and his family feels like family to me. Honestly, I have no idea how we ever disliked each other.
The New Normal
I was hugely pregnant and had very young children with me. We went to a free exhibit at an aquarium down town. I was unfamiliar with the area, but found free parking several blocks away. I was broke, so finding a free exhibit with free parking was really a special outing for us. After the exhibit, my young children and I started walking towards the car, but couldn't find it.
I figured I had gotten turned around, so we returned to the aquarium and started walking in the other direction, but still couldn't find the car. We went back and started out in a third direction, still unable to find our car. It had started to rain and we were just lost. All along, a homeless man had been watching us, as we had passed by him multiple times in our search.
His words were heartbreaking. He told me he remembered seeing us first go in to the aquarium hours ago and what direction he saw us come from. He offered to walk down that way and look for our car for us so we didn't have to be walking around aimlessly until the car was located. I thanked him, but turned his offer down, not wanting to send this homeless man out into the rain.
He told me he was impressed with how well-behaved my children were, and he offered a dollar to buy them a candy bar. I couldn't accept, I mean how horrible of a person would I be to take money from someone who clearly needed it more than me—but he insisted. He said the dollar wouldn't save him from being homeless, but buying my kids a candy bar for being so patient and well-behaved would make him feel normal and some days he just needed to feel normal.
It was an act of kindness I will never forget. I think of that gentleman often.
From Beyond the Grave
My grandmother made a ton of birthday cards in advance. After she passed, I still received birthday cards from her for the next few years. It was a little weird, but I cried happy tears whenever I got to read words from her after she passed.
Duty of Care
A paramedic helped me after I was in a car crash. He took his time to come back to the car and bring me back my front tooth, which was really tiny and he offered to go and look for in the wreck. At the same time, he found and brought back my partner's phone. I don't know his name, and I was in such a state of shock that I can't even remember what he looked like.
Still, he put my tooth in a special liquid and the hospital team managed to put it back, saving me a lot of money. There was also a woman officer who put a blanket on me and made sure I kept it. The hospital only managed to take it off me right before I left. It was a green standard first aid blanket, and I don't know why I refused to let go of it (again, shock) but it provided a lot of comfort. Thank you so much, guys.
Get Away From It All
The nicest thing someone I know has done was for someone else. My brother took a fellow band nerd on a high school graduation road trip for several weeks. Thing is, the friend was dying of leukemia, and they both knew that this was going to be his first and last road trip. No timetable, just one day at a time across the breadth of the US.
Found in Translationpeople walking on street during night timePhoto by Yu Kato on Unsplash
I worked in Korea for a bit. It was late at night, and I decided to surprise a girl I was talking to by heading to her apartment. It was around 10:30, and unbeknownst to me, the subway stopped running at 11:00. Unfortunately, I was halfway there, so I decided to message her. She told me to take a specific bus to get to her place. I get on the bus, and I don't have the slightest idea which stop I should be getting off on.
Well, about 10 minutes later, a load of people get off on this one stop. An older Korean businessman sees me and motions to me that there's an available seat next to him. He starts talking to me in English and he says that the stop where I'm getting off is one stop before he gets off, and that he'll let me know when. We start a conversation about where he works, how he learned English, what I'm doing in Korea.
By the time we knew it, his stop came up. He profusely apologized to me and said that it was the stop before. I said, "It's okay, I'll just walk the opposite direction." As we get off the bus, we're both walking in the same direction. As we come up to an intersection, he flags down a taxi, tells him the subway station to drop me off on, and he paid the fare. All this while still apologizing to me. That guy was just such a good person, you know?
Moms Just Know
I was involved in a hit and run on my bicycle in Chicago. I broke my collarbone, and a stranger drove me to the ER. I was going into shock and freaking out about finances—I’m a single mother. The stranger gave me her number for the report and such, but then she made a gesture I’ll never forget. She later sent me $5k because she knows what it’s like to be a single mother with nothing.
I sobbed. I hadn’t gotten my unemployment yet. I was overwhelmed by her kindness.
Friends With Benefits
I was having a panic attack for the first time. It swung between so euphoric I thought I was going to "ascend" and terrified that my life was going to end in pain. I called my loved ones to say goodbye, including my best friend. He came running from a block away. He was terrified too, but he held it together, sat me down, hugged me, told me that he didn't want me to go anywhere, and that he needed me right here.
I needed that. I needed to see what I felt wasn't based on reality, needed someone to say that I should not obey those feelings because I was needed and loved. On some level, he saved me. Years later, he voluntarily went into homelessness just to fly out to see me on another continent. Yes, we're together now romantically. No, I don't know how I got so lucky. We're planning the wedding. :)
The Art of Caring
When I was a freshman in high school, I took an art class that was a mix of 9th-12th graders. I was really bad with people back then, so I spent most of class sitting on the floor between the trash can and the drying racks and never speaking to anyone. Still, there was this one 11th-grade guy who would always make it a point to talk to me.
He didn't know me or anything; he just happened to sit near me. But he'd always ask about my day or compliment my art or offer to help me with my math homework. At one point, he even managed to get me to sit at the desk with the rest of the students. It's just one of those things I think about from time to time because he really had every right to ignore me like everyone else did, but he didn't. He really made art class into a second home for me. I miss that guy.
It’s the Little Things
I have an online friend in another country, and one time she made a cake for my birthday with my name on it because she knew no one else would do anything.
Know Your Worthwomen's blue dress shirtPhoto by Tra Nguyen on Unsplash
During my Physics graduate program, there was a terrible professor for two of my core classes. He was terrible at teaching, but also known for complaining at faculty meetings how the grades had been going down in his classes ever since more women started taking them. I put in a ton of work anyway, and despite all that he gave me two Ds for those two classes. I’ve honestly never heard of someone getting Ds in grad school and finishing, so I was convinced my life was over. Then, I learned that I was so, so wrong.
At that point, I told another professor who had been supportive what happened, and he got me a stiff drink to talk it over. In that meeting, he said that technically there was no requirement to take the guy’s classes. Instead, he told me to sign up for two independent study classes, which he would supervise, and all I would be doing is practice questions for the qualifying exam.
So we did exactly that—I studied, and we would meet up a few times a week to go over problems. By the end of the semester, I took my qualifiers, and passed with margins to spare. Today, I’m a postdoctoral fellow in astronomy at Harvard, which never would have happened if that professor hadn’t taken a chance on me and put in so many hours to help me.
It makes me so determined to help all the students in my path and mentor them as well, because people can be so much more than one bad professor thinks they are.
I had just had my father completely cut ties with me after years of estrangement and him being super distant. Obviously, I was a little emotionally uneasy about how “final” it felt, and the implications for the distant future. My live-in girlfriend knew, told her mom, and her mom sent me a bunch of snacks I’ve always wanted to try but never wanted to spend the money on.
Instant mood lifter, and it restated the fact in my mind that there are other people who care about me even if my dad doesn’t.
Pikachu, I Don’t Choose You
When I was like nine, I went to an arcade over in San Antonio, Texas because we were there for a vacation. There was this claw machine that had pokemon in it, and I was aiming for my favorite pokemon ever, but accidentally got a different one. The employee comes around to unlock the thing so I can get my prize. I whine to my mom, "Aw I wanted the Charizard though."
This dude puts the other one back in there, and hands me the one I wanted. I will forever remember you, bro.
Work to Live
My one co-worker got all my other co-workers to donate money for a gift to me from my hugely underpaid apprenticeship. I received $350, which was exactly how much I needed for an upcoming bill. It really saved me when I had literally $0.70 in my account. A few weeks earlier, actually, a different co-worker noticed me not eating and bought me lunch, then many of them brought me leftovers. That apprenticeship was the worst, but the people were the best.
The Good Neighbor
His name is Duong. When I was in university, he was my neighbor. I got into a motorbike accident and couldn’t go to class by myself, so he put me up on his back and brought me to the class like a hero. When my elevator was broken, he climbed all 13 floors to bring me dinner because he knew I couldn’t go out to get it. Whoever is with him for the rest of his life is a lucky person.
Child’s Playassorted color of wicker baskets on displayPhoto by zakariae daoui on Unsplash
I was walking through the streets of Marrakech after it had just rained, and I was wearing those flimsy flip-flops, so all the wet sand from the street was being catapulted onto the back of my legs. Out of nowhere, I feel a tap on my arm. It’s a young Moroccan girl, not older than 6 or 7 years old, offering me her water bottle to clean my legs.
I politely declined because I could never accept to take someone’s water in that scorching heat, but thanked her and her mother profusely. Children are so pure.
Do the Math
I went to a very small school with a bunch of really amazing math teachers, and one really bad math teacher. For example, she tried to sue a kid for "aggressively swinging his backpack" at her when she threw him out of the classroom for something trivial. He had only picked up his backpack in a completely normal manner.
I was slated to have pre-calc with the terrible teacher the following year and was complaining about it to my amazing math teacher, saying how much I was dreading her class. That’s when I got the offer of a lifetime. My amazing math teacher offered to teach me pre-calc over the summer so I could skip a year of math and go straight to calc with the amazing teacher.
So, once a week, each week over the summer, I met my amazing teacher in her back garden, where we had tea and cookies and she taught me pre-calc. A week before school started, I met with horrible teacher and took her pre-calc final, aced it, and got to stick with amazing teacher. I’ll always be grateful someone cared enough about that.
Growing up, I was severely neglected and had no friends due to my lack of hygiene and social skills. One of my teacher aids got wise to it, and brought me to her house to play with her daughter, took me on family trips with them, gave me clean clothes, and just showed me an insane amount of kindness I'll never be able to repay.
Through Thick and Thin
I was fired from my last job. It was the first and only time I had been fired, and it sucked. I really liked that job, and I got super depressed. My friend also lost his job later that week, which really sucked because I knew he loved that job, too. He would always tell me that it was his dream job. And right as soon as he found out, he called me.
He called me to tell me that even though he lost his job, he knew he was going to be alright. He wanted to tell me that to set a good example. I knew he was heartbroken, but he put on a strong face for me. And I'll never forget that. Never.
I’ve never been able to celebrate my birthday. Between my awful mom and horrible relationships, it’s just become a tradition to lie in bed and cry every year. Well this year, my best friend and boyfriend put their heads together and threw me a surprise “party.” They decorated our apartment, baked me a cake and decorated it to the best of their abilities, and got me some small, thoughtful presents. 24 years old, and finally I had my first good birthday. I cried like a baby.
You Shall Not Passman in black jacket driving car during daytimePhoto by Thibault Penin on Unsplash
I went out to a bar drank a bit too much with my girlfriends. Some guy saw and tried to push me into an Uber to take me to his hotel. Then, the bouncer wouldn't let me back in no matter how many times I asked because according to him, "I changed my mind and that's not the guy's fault." No one else passing by wanted to intervene. I was getting really scared—until a good Samaritan stepped up and changed everything.
The Uber driver popped out of the front of his car and wrestled the guy off me. He made sure I was okay, gave the bouncer and everyone else a piece of his mind, too. Hope that guy's doing well in life.
Let the Good Times Roll
I took my sister, who’s in a wheelchair, to the cinema for the first time on my own. At the end, I realized I couldn't undo the brakes because it was a new wheelchair. It was blocking everyone. I felt like crying because I thought everyone was angry at me, but some nice lady helped me, then took me and my sister out. She said she once had a son who needed a wheelchair. This was long ago, but I'll never forget her or the kindness she showed me that day.
I am from 1980's rural Texas, where education was laughed at and where the idea of living in a foreign country was ludicrous. When I was 17, I met a Rotarian (like, a guy from a non-profit) who allowed me to go on a year-long foreign exchange. I had never heard of that concept before and had no real idea of what it meant. At 18, I packed my bags and discovered a brand new world! It honestly changed my life FOREVER. Definitely for the better.
While I was gone, I met other foreign exchange students and learned that it was fairly difficult to get into this program. I'd heard ambassadors’ children were being turned down from it. I honestly think that I got to go because no one else from my area wanted to leave the safety of our small town, while I jumped at the chance. I think about that old Rotarian a lot. I owe him everything for changing my life.
How to Save a Life
Back in 2018, I had a drastic decline in my mental health, which led to a failed attempt to take my life. I had enough of feeling miserable, so I checked myself in to a program. Afterwards, the hospital gave me a number and location to follow up with my newly-appointed therapist. Upon getting to their building, though, they needed me to pay a co-pay.
I didn't have a darn penny on me and said I couldn't pay. They denied me my appointment, and I remember thinking that when I walked out of there I was really going to go through with harming myself this time. Then a miracle happened. Right before I was about to leave, this other patient stopped me, pulled out her credit card and paid my co-pay.
She had told me that this place and these people saved her life. She said she didn't want me to lose mine because I couldn't afford to be cared for. The intensity of that relief almost cured my debilitating depression, I never felt so grateful in my life. I sincerely hope that lady is flourishing and being the best self she can be. She saved my life; that is the greatest kindness someone has ever done for me.
Those Who Can Do, Teach
My English teacher when I was very, very young. She was the sweetest I've ever had. She knew I loved the Harry Potter books, even though they were not super popular in France back then. So one day, she brought me HP-themed coloring books from her trip to England. It made me so happy that she thought about me even though she was away from school.
I Recommend This Manwhite mug on brown surfacePhoto by Pablo Varela on Unsplash
My boss and mentor wrote me a glowing reference and pulled some strings to get me into a graduate program, even though I was severely depressed and my work performance was nothing to be proud of. I couldn't comprehend or remember anything due to an undiagnosed disease, and I also acted extremely awkward socially. I really don't know why he went so far out of his way to change the trajectory of my life, but I’ll always be grateful.
I've had many people do nice things for me, but one stands out. I was very young, maybe 16 or 17. I'd had a terrible car accident and needed to get to a specialist downtown during my recovery. I wasn't a confident driver to begin with, and I had never driven downtown and got hopelessly lost. This was before everyone had cell phones.
I stopped at a pay phone in a grocery store. I was sobbing and scared. I couldn't describe where I was, since I was so lost, and I didn't know how to get turned in the right direction. A little old lady stopped to ask me if I was OK, so I told her where I was going and that I didn't know how to get there. She was shocked that I was SO LOST.
I was so far removed from where I was supposed to be. I wasn't even close to downtown. So she literally drove there in her car while I followed her. She just pointed out her window when we got to the address and I turned in. I never got to properly thank her. But it was far from over. To make it so much worse, once I finally got there, I was told they'd had to cancel my appointment.
I broke down, and an elderly couple came to comfort me and gave me some money and said to please take some time to calm down at the cafe next door, have some lunch or something. Twice in one day, I was approached by kind people who just wanted to help a teenager. That was over 25 years ago. I still don't like to drive downtown, but I do. I think of those people every time I have to go there.
Saving the Day
My dad cancelled my weekend with him a day before we were supposed to go to Six Flags and do other stuff together. My best friend's parents found out and duplicated all the activities. It meant so much to me.
Hit the Road
I was given a car by a former co-worker. At the time, I was walking or riding my bike eight miles one way just to get to work, and then another eight miles to get back home. When working with her, she asked if I wanted a car. I thought she was joking, but said yes anyway. About two weeks later, she said her husband had this old car that he fixed up and it’s ready for me.
From there, she had me meet up at a notary, and all I paid was for a title transfer and tax, which only came around $150. It wasn't the nicest car, but it worked. The car lasted a year, but still to this day I am forever grateful someone would gift me something that truly helped out tremendously. Then, she said there was a catch. I started to get nervous, but it was actually so heart-warming.
The catch was that, whenever I'm able to, I have to pass along a good deed. I've tried to pass this whenever I can. I sincerely appreciated all the help, Debby, and I wish only the best for you and your family. I'm still working on passing along good deeds as we have agreed. Thank you so much for your kindness, especially during a time in my life where I thought there was little hope. There is always hope.
Color Me Surprised
A woman I worked with a few years ago knew my 30th birthday was coming up and asked me what I was doing. I just said I’m visiting family, but she also found out that I’d never had a “surprise” before. I might get a present and maybe a bit of money and I was happy with that. I had no idea the gift she was about to give me.
At my parents’ house, they’d forgotten to buy a cake, so I just picked up a Victoria sponge cake and stuck a couple of tea light candles on it. It was fine, I don’t complain. But when I got back to work a week later, my lovely colleague had organised this beautiful two-tier birthday cake surrounded by gifts! And then she really surprised me.
She produced tickets for us two to get a drink at this ice bar place and tickets to go to the theatre. She did this because she remembered me saying I hadn’t been since I was a kid and no one I knew was interested in going. I was so shocked, I was nearly in tears. This was the very first birthday surprise I ever had. I will never forget my 30th birthday because of my colleague.
A Purr-Fect Presentperson walking inside building near glassPhoto by Heidi Fin on Unsplash
I worked as a retail cashier at a drug store. It was the Christmas season and CRAZY busy. We had tins of chocolates on sale for under $10, and they had designs of kittens and puppies on them. I mentioned to a lady who was buying a bunch that one tin in particular looked identical to my cat. She bought the tin and gave it to me!
I actually cried. To have a stranger spend their own money on someone else in that capacity. I’ve never had it happen before. It was years ago, and although the chocolates inside are long gone, I still display that chocolate tin every year at Christmas.
I was in a boarding school, so I couldn't go home or anything like that, and I was also really out of touch with my emotions. Very “keep calm and carry on.” One day in class, I was having REALLY REALLY bad period pains, and since I'm not the kind of person to share much, I was trying to hide it even though I was pretty much in agony.
My friend sitting next to me could clearly see something was wrong, and eventually I told her. So she sneaked into the dorm where you're not supposed to go during class hours for me to fetch some medication. She also offered to bring me dinner so I didn't have to move once I got home from class. She even told me jokes and stuff to cheer me up. I’ll always be grateful.
I couldn’t be there for the passing of my grandmother because I was at university, so my uncle had a bracelet made for me. It was engraved with her handwriting.
One Happy Ending
I had a really bad home life growing up. My friend—and at the time she was only loosely my friend—had two incredible moms who heard what was going on with me, and pretty much immediately got involved. At the time, I was emaciated, constantly terrified, and never let anyone get close, especially adults. When it got really bad, I used to dumpster dive and collect scraps from the school cafeteria for food for myself and for my brother.
I was chronically sick, mentally ill, rarely slept, and skipped class all the time. My friend's parents started dropping off bags of food at school for me and my younger brother. One night, they invited me over and I just...never left. They moved my brother into the house. They had absolutely no money. Not a freaking dime.
The money that used to be split between four people (two kids, two moms) was suddenly split between six. The house we shared was a half-finished re-modeling project and a total hazard. We didn't even have doors installed inside! Just curtains. To me, though, it was magic. I thought the fact that we didn't have sinks—that we had to crouch over the tub to wash our hands—was mythical.
My moms hugged me every morning and told me how special I was and how proud they were of me. For the first time in my life, I was stupidly, ridiculously happy. Every morning I woke up, my heart would race until I thought it might burst. I was literally that happy to be alive. The second I woke up—I mean the second—I bolted to the kitchen to say good morning to my moms and get a hug.
My friend (now my sister) and her family did everything for us. No rhyme, no reason. I stopped skipping school. My grades improved. I started earning scholarships. I got into a fantastic university. I now have a degree, a fantastic job, friends, and a family that I love.
Kindness Is in Short Supply
On the last day of school, I was helping my art teacher clean up for the summer. She knew I was rather poor growing up, so she gave me all the leftover paper, some really high quality bristol board and watercolor paper, all of the leftover prismacolor pencils, tons of paint brushes, and other various art supplies. It was her last year teaching, and she didn’t care to save the stuff for the next year. I still miss her. She was the best teacher I've ever had.
Long Time, No Seephoto of pub set in room during daytimePhoto by Jason Leung on Unsplash
I was at a restaurant in Boston by myself on a Friday night. It was 7 pm, so I was just enjoying a nice dinner by myself before heading back to my hotel. There was a man with a wedding ring on who asked me if the seats next to me were taken. I told him no, and he and his friends sat down. He eventually started chatting with me and it was friendly, but then he started hitting on me.
I brushed him off, and he slightly backed off…but then started eating French fries off of my plate. I pushed the plate away and asked the bartender for my check. I was in the last seat at the bar, so I had nowhere to go other than to wait, and the bar was packed. The guy then tells me I’m beautiful and asks if I want to go back to my hotel with him.
I told him again no. He asked again, I told him I was married and he said “So? So am I.” I’m so grateful for what happened next. All of the sudden, this voice says to me “Oh my god! What are you doing here? I haven’t seen you in so long!” And a woman hugged me. This woman and I chatted and pretended we were old friends while I paid. She then walked with me to my Uber to make sure I got into it safely and that he didn’t follow me. I don’t know where this woman is now, but she made me feel safe.
I went on a homecoming date and ordered a bunch of food. While we were there, this old couple ended up buying our dinner because we reminded them of what they used to look like when they were young. I’m very grateful, because I didn’t actually have enough money to pay for dinner. I was maybe $30 short. I’m still with the girl three years later.
A Grave Secret
I have many family members interred in a small cemetery with a few unattended graves that I occasionally clean and place artificial flowers on. Sometimes I do the ones around them. I feel morally obligated to honor their memory. One day, I found a letter. Its contents were heartbreaking. Obscured behind my father's flowers, in an inconspicuous brown envelope, was an effusive message of gratitude from an old woman whose arthritis incapacitated her.
She had seen my maintenance of her husband's grave from her house across the road and wanted to thank me for my compassion. I was confounded because I never anticipated any recognition. She said she asked her daughter what she could do to compensate me, and she purchased an iTunes voucher for her mother to give me in the envelope.
It was one of those letters and gestures that the gratitude and appreciation emanated from the very paper. The handwriting was so elegant and fastidious; I know she took an inordinate amount of time composing her words. She loved her husband beyond articulation. We have tea together twice a month now.
A Class of His Own
When I was in school, I had a classmate who was terminally ill. He wanted to do all the things he wouldn’t grow up to do, and pretty much our whole school got involved. One girl’s parents owned a nightclub, and they decked out the VIP lounge and served mocktails to roughly 100 students. The kid wanted to be a police officer, and one boy’s dad arranged for him to go on shift with him for the day.
He wanted to go on a beach holiday, and the teachers put little kiddie pools around the long jump pit with water in. We all did something off his list. He got 62 valentines cards in October! He was always such a kind and thoughtful guy that everyone was happy to join in. His mom messaged me a few weeks ago just to catch up and she said she can’t believe that this year it’s 20 years since he passed, and she's so grateful that everyone made his brief time on earth so wonderful.
A Little Something Extra
My dad is a retired junior/senior high school art teacher. Every single morning for well over a decade, he packed an extra lunch and put it in a place in his classroom where a student whose family was struggling could take it without making a big deal of it. Eventually, when the older student graduated, one of his younger siblings started taking his class.
The kid would already know he could take the extra lunch bag without having to face talking to my dad about it, or being embarrassed in front of the class. I used to ask why Dad packed two lunches while I was growing up, and he would just say, “I sometimes get extra hungry.” My mom later told me the truth. He is such a quiet, humble, and extremely generous man.
Like many people, I spent my time in retail. Customers were by far the hardest part of the job.
In college, I worked as a "bookseller"—our official title—in a mall for a national chain of bookstores. Without fail, every shift one or more customers would ask for something like "that book, the red one, by the guy."
When we'd ask for more information—like genre or if it was new or where they saw it—they'd just repeat, "red book, guy, you know which one I mean."
We most definitely didn't know which one they meant, but customers thought if we worked in a bookstore we should know every book in print from even the vaguest of descriptions. And they'd get mad when we didn't.
Anyone who has worked with customers has war stories.
Reddit user j-rock292 asked:
"What is the dumbest thing a customer has gotten mad at you about that was not your fault?"
Were they blind?
"They asked me to cut a blind."
"When I asked for the dimension they wanted it cut to, it was larger than the original blind length."
"Said I can't make it longer, only shorter and she lost her sh*t."
Tag, you're it.
"Back when I worked at Target, some guy came in about 30 minutes before we closed, and wanted to buy a laptop."
"He wanted to run some obscure software on it for his laser ttagarena and got really nettled when I told him I was unfamiliar with the software and so I couldn't give a definitive answer."
"Then he started going on about how much he made in a week compared to my paycheck."
"So I told him something along the lines of, 'Well then buy this laptop and if it works, it works. If it doesn't, it won't hurt your wallet'."
"He really didn't like that and after some colorful language, was escorted out of the store."
"In an odd twist of fate a few months later the mother of one of my best friends bought his laser tag arena because he ran it into the ground."
Credit where credit is due.
"Not me but a friend of mine worked customer service for a credit card company."
"She said a young guy called and asked why he couldn't use his card. She told him because he had exceeded his $15K limit."
"Dude was like 'yeah but that was for last month. Don't I get another $15K limit this month?'."
Can you hear me now?
"Customer got mad at me because I could barely hear her over a bad connection."
"I was on a landline, she was not."
"After disconnecting the call because it was going nowhere, she immediately called back and complained to me about the a**hole she'd just been talking to, saying, 'He said I was bad at making connections. Why the f**k was he talking about my love life?! You are much more helpful, though'."
No, I can't help you.
"I wasn't even working at this shop, I was just another customer. I didn't even wear a shirt similar to an employee's."
"A woman comes up to me and says, 'Excuse me, do you work here?' But before I can say no, she asks where something is."
"She sounded polite enough so I responded just as politely, 'Sorry, I don't work here. The people with the blue shirts do'."
"She got slightly upset and said someone else had pointed at me when she asked for a worker."
"I look to my side, and literally less than a couple feet away, there was an actual worker. I told her 'I think they meant that guy right there'."
"She then completely lost her cool, screaming various things at me and calling me all sorts of names."
"The employee tried to intervene but she just kept screaming. She eventually stops with, 'I want to see your manager!'."
I told her to f'k off. The employee laughed and she stomped off, then I just went back to shopping.
"Didn't see her again."
Maybe if you hum a few bars?
"I worked at a Music Store in a mall around Christmas."
"A lady came in and wanted to get the album of whatever was playing at the store she was in earlier."
"She got mad when I didn’t know what music they played in other stores."
Full service doesn't include time travel.
"In the ‘60s I worked at a gas station that also did repairs."
"A customer drove in with a flat right rear tire and no spare. I pulled out the nail and plugged it."
"She was good to go and left happy."
"She drove in about 2 months later with a flat left front tire."
"I pulled out a screw and plugged it while she screamed that I should have checked it last time she was there."
"She has every right to be mad."
"You’re obviously a terrible tech because you didn’t make a time machine to go into the future and prevent her from getting another flat."
"You must feel terrible that she takes her car somewhere else now."
The call is coming from inside the house.
"A long time ago I serviced someone's Internet connection at their house."
"When I left, my supervisor called to let me know that I had been accused of theft at this house."
"This crazy lady thought I stole a handset for her landline phone, not even the base with it, just the handset."
"She called later to report she found it in between her couch cushions."
I control the weather, but work here for minimum wage.
"Got yelled at for ruining his family’s vacation at Disney world because the rides shut down due to the storm."
"The summer right out of high school I worked at an amusement park."
"We had a massive severe thunderstorm ( heavy rain, lots of lightning, 50+mph winds, whole deal) one day, because giant metal structures and lightning dont mix we had to shut down all of our rides."
"Well this dipshit accused ME of starting this storm just to ruin his day."
Maybe she didn't want to wash it.
"I was refusing her a refund on a kids' duvet set."
"This woman threatened my colleague, so I (manager) stepped in."
"Protocol states we had to check and repack before giving a refund, so I took it to the stock room only to find that she had folded it back into the packaging, complete with the vomit chunks!"
Florida is hot in May
"So, I worked at a chocolate shop in Boston MA."
"Someone called to place an order, for shipment, to Florida."
"I said, 'okay, we do require next day shipping and an ice pack on shipments to Florida, so the chocolates don't melt. The shipping Will be $30 and the ice pack and insulated packaging will be an additional $8'."
"It's my standard spiel."
"The person's like 'the chocolate is only $22. No. I'll pay for the shipping but not the ice pack. It will be fine'."
"'Yadda Yadda warning. Yadda Yadda. When it shows up melted it won't be our fault I'm noting it in the system'."
"So, what phone call does my manager get 2 days later?"
"Oh? Person got melted chocolate? Oh it's our fault is it?"
"But look? There's a note in the system they refused to pay for an icepack."
"Did I warn them the chocolate would melt? Yes I did."
"Do they now have nothing for mothers day? No they dooooon't."
I also sold mattresses and appliances. Maybe because they were a major investment, I had far fewer bad experiences with those customers.
My worst experiences were working a customer service phone line for a Department of Defense agency.
People were almost always angry before they picked up the phone.
Have you had a customer go off on you? Share your experience in the comments.
Friendships can be complicated and messy. However, being betrayed is straight-up the worst. From lying to thieving, these Redditors share their stories of some of the worst betrayals they’ve ever encountered. It seems that sometimes friends are just enemies in disguise.
Betrayed Over A Blokewoman leaning on beige concrete wallPhoto by Raychan on Unsplash
I had just escaped my husband with my kids, and my best friend at the time said I could stay with her. Her husband was in the service, so he'd be deploying soon, and she didn't want to be alone. It worked out great for a month. Then, an acquaintance of mine came over and met my friend. We all hung out one night, just talking and laughing.
My friend's husband left for training, and she tried to get with the acquaintance. She was turned down and blamed me. She had it in her head that I had sabotaged her chances. As a result, she went completely off the rails.
She took money from me, hacked into my email account, and started emailing business contacts and clients with awful lies, took from my kids, and tossed me out on my behind as I was looking for a place to go. I got away from her and finally started a new life. But she wasn't done yet.
Her final act of betrayal was when she ran into my terrible ex and told him that we were with her the whole time and where he could find me and the kids.
He Pilfered My Prom Date
When I was a senior, I had a crush on a girl named Ashley. My three friends and I were hanging out one weekend at a friend's house. We were lying there, and we asked one another who we were taking/asking to the prom.
Chris was taking his girlfriend, Nel was taking some girl he was talking to, and Nich said, "I'm not sure yet. I may not even go". When they asked me, I said, "Guys, tomorrow is the day I grow the balls to ask Ashley on a date".
The next day, I walked up to Ashley and said, "Hey, I have a question! Are you going to prom with anyone?" She responded, "Yeah! I'm going with your friend Nich. He asked me about five minutes ago". I couldn't believe it—but karma came for him in the end. Nich got her pregnant that night. He's paying child support.
My Friend, My Foe
This guy was my closest friend. I lived with him after letting him co-rent a place my mother owned so he could pay lower rent and save up his spare cash. About six months in, he kept vanishing at night, giving reasons like, "I'm going out with work" and "I'm meeting the lads". It turned out he was sleeping with my girlfriend.
He didn't have the guts to confront me about it and talk it through. After months of angry messages, I cut my losses and decided to be the bigger man. I found myself a new girl who was utterly amazing and my now ex-best friend was dating my now ex-girlfriend.
I put my best foot forward and on a trip around Europe, and sent him a message telling him I'm happy to put things behind us and meet up when I get back so we could be friends again. I got back home a couple of weeks later and was about to leave my house to go over and see him when my current girlfriend showed up. She dropped a bombshell on me.
She sat me down and explained that over the past couple of weeks my "friend" had been sending her text messages begging her to sleep with him. She showed me the messages and I haven't spoken to the guy since.
On The Outs
My fiancé and I were living in the Outer Banks with a “friend” in the months leading up to our wedding. We were promised a room when we got down there, only to find out that we would be sleeping on the floor for the next three months. Regardless, we had a good time, and everything seemed great.
I was helping my friend get his business off the ground and offered him money multiple times to help with bills. However, he assured me he had it taken care of. My wedding was back in Michigan, so when the time came to drive up there, my fiancé and I packed up everything and drove up.
We were going to take our dog with us, but they assured us, saying, “He'll just be a hassle and you'll be too busy. Leave him here". So we did. We drove up, got married, and had a great time. We began driving back down, and somewhere around Illinois, I got a chilling text message.
It said, “You kids have put me in so much debt. It’s not working out. Come get your [stuff] and your dog and get out of my house". I understand sometimes things don't work out, but they hadn’t let on that they weren't happy with the situation at all. If things weren’t working out, they could have said something before we left, and we could have stayed friends.
Now, we had to drive halfway across the country and back to get our dog. When we got there, they were nowhere to be found, but the house was unlocked. We went inside to get our stuff and our dog. Half of our things were packed and sitting on the table; the other half was locked in their bedroom.
We grabbed what was out, grabbed our dog, and got in the car to make the journey back. In the process of traveling, we spent all of our wedding money on gas and hotels. I had worked for him, and before I left, he shorted me $400 on my check. I left for my wedding, thinking he'll pay me when I get back. Nope.
I could honestly have forgiven his behavior if he would have just paid me what I was owed. I got his business off the ground, and when it took off, he reaped in the wealth and jerked me around.
He Had A Trick Up His Sleeve
I had found the love of my life. We met at a Halloween party and both fell head over heels for each other. Eventually, I proposed to her at a haunted house, and she said yes. I started a new job and met a developer at the company who seemed like a cool dude. We started hanging out and he quickly became my best friend. The three of us would hang out nearly every day.
I thought it was odd that he didn't have any other friends, especially since he seemed to be such a smooth talker, but I didn't think too much about it. I would tell him how much in love I was, my plans for the future, the troubles we were having, etc. After he went through a breakup, my fiancé and I tried to help him find someone.
Then, I found out the awful truth. Each time he was in a relationship, he duped the girl out of an existing relationship. I thought it was pretty shady. Then, I started to notice that my fiancée and he were becoming closer. I didn’t really think anything of it since he was my best friend, and I thought he had my back like I had his.
I also thought my fiancée felt about me the same way that I felt about her. Things came to a head with my fiancée, and she said she needed to take a break. She told me she was going to stay at our best friend's house while she figures stuff out. Suddenly, my best friend wouldn’t talk to me.
After a few days, I confronted my fiancée, and sure enough, I didn't have a best friend. He had been working on getting her the whole time. It was his little sick game that he enjoyed playing, and then it all made sense as to why he didn’t have any friends.
He was a fake, manipulative, disloyal jerk who preyed on women when they were going through a rough time so that he could "win," get the girl, and come off like a knight in shining armor. Thankfully, she realized what a piece of garbage he was and left him.
A Fairytale Endingwoman in white dress wearing green fairy wingsPhoto by Anthony Tran on Unsplash
When I was in high school, I found it really hard to make friends with other females. For a little while, I hung around with these two girls, who I thought were my friends. I used to make them cupcakes and stuff because I was so happy I'd actually made some “friends”.
One day, they told me they were having a dress-up fairy party, and everyone was invited. They said it was going to be huge. Being young and not having been invited to many parties, I was so excited, I went out and bought heaps of material to make my own fairy costume. I stayed up all night making this ridiculous pink tutu and fairy wings.
I rocked up to this party the next day, and they were all standing outside in the driveway in casual clothes like regular T-shirts and shorts. There I was, with a big smile on my face, jumping out of my mom’s car dressed like a fairy in front of 20 people from school, all of who were ready with cameras and laughing at how stupid I looked in my homemade fairy costume.
THEN, my mom jumped out of the car in my defense, upset and distressed, and then threw me in the car to get me out of there.
When I was 10, my friend said it would be really cool if we put our Pokemon cards together because we would have a full set and extras. This girl walked all over me, and I said yes. We put the cards in deck boxes at her house and would play with them regularly. A few months later, a family friend's son was seriously ill in hospital, and nobody knew if he would live.
One of the things he wanted to do while he was in hospital was complete his Pokemon collection. I said that if he wrote down all the cards he needed, I would get my half of the set back and give him all the ones I had from his list, plus any extras he wanted. The only card I didn't have when he gave me this list was Raichu, but I could get him that one from the shop that sold them singly, so I did.
I went and bought him a Raichu, and then I took the list to my friend's house to get my cards and sort out what he needed from my collection. When I got there and told her I needed my cards back, her response shocked me. She said I couldn't have them and closed the door in my face. But it gets worse.
A few days later, I found out that she had sold them all at a school fair the day before I went to her house. She got over £100 ($125) for all these cards, and not only did she not care that half of them were mine, but she also refused to give me any of the money because "there's no point in giving you the money if you just want to buy cards back for a kid who's gonna be [gone] soon anyway".
Ditched With Some Dudes
When I was 14, my best friend convinced me to come to one of her friends' houses, which was about an hour's drive away. I showed up, and it was a bunch of over 18-year-old guys drinking, lighting up, and whatnot. I immediately told her I was uncomfortable and wanted to leave, but she promised we would only stay an hour. Forty-five minutes later, she completely went back on her promise.
She disappeared with one of the blokes. I was left being the only female with four guys. An hour went by, and two of the guys started touching me up pretty forcefully. I ran out of there until I was a couple of streets away and called her in tears, telling her what happened. She got angry that I interrupted her and hung up.
She didn't answer any more calls, so I was left—at midnight—attempting to walk home from who knows where. This was years ago, and she still doesn't understand why I refuse to hang out with her.
Cue The Drama
My friend had gotten two tickets for a festival. I wasn't her first choice to ask, but when her other friend couldn't go, she asked me last minute. We were 16 at the time. I didn't really like a whole lot of the bands performing or the crowds that the bands brought with them. The venue was in the middle of nowhere and we were dropped off by a friend of a friend.
We were enjoying ourselves for a while until my friend got slightly pushed into the pit. She had a tendency to be completely overdramatic. It was no more than a shove, and without telling me, she suddenly disappeared. I scouted the whole place for her.
I had no phone credit to call or message her and no money, and she knew that. I asked a rando for their phone, but because we were out in the middle of nowhere—there was no reception. I continued to scour the place and all the medical tents for her and finally gave up and saw the last band finish up at about 12:30 AM.
I stood out in front of the venue in hopes of seeing her come out. She didn't. After waiting around for an hour in denial, I admitted to myself she ditched me. Her friend never turned up to pick us up because she probably had told them she was gone. There I was waiting at 1 AM with no money, no way of contacting anyone, and out in the middle of nowhere.
I decided to start walking until I got to a phone or until I had reception on mine. I walked for about an hour down a highway getting yelled at by people coming from the concert or just random drivers. I tried reverse-charging a call to my mom, but she didn't answer. I finally made it to a gas station and reverse-called my boyfriend to tell him where I was.
He had no car, so he couldn't pick me up, but he got a hold of my mom for me and told her where I was. While I was waiting around to be picked up, the most cliche creepy guy in a van pulled into the gas station and started asking me if I wanted a ride.
I said no and ran straight into the shop and told the clerk about the creepy guy outside, so he'd let me wait around in there instead. I found out my friend was taken away in an ambulance. Being the over-dramatic attention-seeker she was, she told the paramedics her ribs were broken.
There was absolutely nothing wrong with her, and I later found out that she wasn't having fun and wanted to ditch me and the festival in the quickest way possible.
What Happened To Baby Jane?
My school was pretty small, so everyone knew everything about everyone. I had a cousin Jane and we spent a lot of time together. We'd meet up after school and go to events together. Everyone knew how close we were. In my freshman year, a girl lost her life in a horrible car accident. Not knowing this yet, I went to class as usual, getting some homework done before the teacher started.
A girl that I was friends with, Ashley, came bursting into class gossiping about something that was going on. I wasn't really listening until she came over and said, "OMG, I can't believe it. Jane! Poor Jane. I'm sorry". I asked her what she was talking about and she told me that Jane passed in a car accident that morning. I was stunned.
I felt the color draining from my face and I started tearing up. Before I could react or say anything, one of my best friends ran over and got in her face, saying how the Jane who passed was not my cousin and that Ashley knew this. She just wanted to get a reaction out of me.
I ended up punching her after school when she got into my face lying about it, and we stopped being friends.
A Shattered Friendshipgreen and white abstract paintingPhoto by Ruan Richard Rodrigues on Unsplash
I had a very close friend in college who would continually talk about loyalty within friendships and the need to be a great person by not allowing anything to get in the way of your friendships. We were almost inseparable. On Cinco de Mayo, my roommates and I were throwing a big bash at our house to celebrate. The day went well, and we had a good show of people come over.
Being that it was a nice day, the party was separated inside and outside, with the people inside playing pong and Mario Kart and the people outside playing cornhole. I was up in a pong game while my friend was outside cheering on the cornhole boards. In an attempt to be funny and startle the people inside playing Mario Kart, he made a terrible decision.
He threw his glass at the massive window in front of the house. It shattered, and we knew it was going to be difficult trying to explain this to our landlord. However, my roommates and I were not people who were going to have an event like that ruin a good time, so we laughed it off and continued with the day.
The following day, my roommates and I talked about the situation and realized we were going to need to make reparations. My friend had crashed on the couch, so he was there to discuss it with us, and he promised that he would handle it. My roommates and I promised we'd help as we threw the party and would work out the expenses with him. This conversation was one of the last times I saw my friend.
For all his talk of loyalty and such, something as stupid as a broken window made him quit midway through the semester, screen most of our calls, and left us confused and hurt. At one point, I didn't even care if he paid his portion as long as there was some explanation, and we could work through it and hang out again.
Through the minimal phone contact we did have, he continued to promise to pay off his portion, and we left it at that. Then, my roommates and I decided to move to a different house, and the house was owned by the same landlord. The landlord told me that the window was still something that needed to be addressed.
Apparently, my friend had talked to him, stating that he was going to pay it all himself. Then my landlord received a call a week or two later from his older brother telling him that my friend had lost his life in a car wreck. I lost it and had my girlfriend call him. Within two rings, my friend answered.
My girlfriend said, "Whoa, hey, aren't you supposed to be dead?" He said, “Oh, that's right," and hung up. That was the last we heard from him.
He Graduated To Being A Jerk
My best friend throughout high school was a guy; I'm a girl. We went to the same college. Once there, things became strained between us. He tried to be controlling and just got weird with me. One night he invited me to a party. I went, and he kept trying to goad me into drinking.
Then, one of his new friends kept trying to get friendly with me. I turned him down. We had a big falling out. He then revealed—in an attempt to hurt me—he only took me to that party with the intent of getting me plastered to the point I couldn't say no to the advances of his friend.
I Was Played
A former bandmate of mine planned a small tour on our way to play a show at South by Southwest. They arranged a rental van in NY to drive to TX. When we got there, the car rental agent said that he couldn't rent the van in his name and have me drive it because he didn't have a license. So, I agreed to put the deposit on my credit card so long as he completely paid the balance when we returned. BIG MISTAKE.
He had already collected money from everyone who was going with us, so I figured it was a sure thing I would get paid back. When we returned a week later, he told me, "Hey man, so I don't have all the money for the van ‘cause I had to pay the venue to rent the space. I get paid next week, and I can get you the money then". I had no other option at that point than to trust him.
I had just started a new job, so I was flat broke, and he knew it. Two-thousand dollars was racked up on my low-limit, high-interest emergencies-only credit card. The second I got on the bus, and he said, "I think I'm just gonna walk to the train," I knew I was never getting paid back.
The next week I found out he had been playing shows with a completely new set of band members and playing the music we all wrote together. The dude was awful.
A girl asked if she could sleep in my apartment because she was having some problems with her father and needed some time to think, so I agreed. A few days after she was sleeping there, my company phone went missing. I told my boss, and he was mad.
When I got home, I asked if she had seen it and explained that it was really important and that I could get fired if I didn't find it. We searched every single corner of the apartment for two hours, but it wasn't anywhere. The next day I was desperate, and my boss threatened to fire me if I didn't find it.
I called the service provider and asked if they could use triangulation to find the position on a map, but they informed me that this service was only available with a court order. I finally checked the provider's website, and someone had used it to make a call after I lost it. I Googled the destination phone number, and my jaw dropped.
It was the girl's father. I sent her a message saying that I wanted her out of my house and my phone back. When I got home, she returned the phone and explained that she had taken it because I said something she didn't like, and it was an act of vengeance.
I Saw Her For What She Was
A few years before starting high school, I started losing my sight. I had to use little telescope-type gadgets to see the blackboard, had to have pages from textbooks enlarged from A4 to A3 size, etc. A girl I'd been really close to since we were about three years old thought it'd be funny if she encouraged all of the other kids in my class to run away from me whenever I tried talking to them.
It was hard enough dealing with the change, but being alone like that made it so much worse. Then she'd say I was being a spoiled brat with no sense of humor when I got angry with her. I went to a tiny primary school in a pretty rural area, so there were only nine other kids in my class. You didn't really have much of a say in who you hung out with, so I was stuck with this girl for a couple of years.
It pretty much continued—other girls making fun of how I had to hold books really close to my face, making horrible jokes, and stuff like that. This girl and I went to the same high school, and I stayed with her for the first few months because I was terrified that any new friends I made would just treat me the way she did.
Eventually, she told me that it was embarrassing being seen with me and that her new friends didn't want me trying to fit into their group. They were all shallow girls. People say I should "just move on" or "put it behind me," or even that I should forgive her. However, it's still infuriating to think about, and I don't see myself forgetting it anytime soon.
I'd honestly love for her to end up alone and miserable.
Sneaking Around In Sin Citywoman sitting on yellow armless chair near gray laptop computerPhoto by Mimi Thian on Unsplash
My supposed best friend went to Vegas with my ex-husband weeks after my divorce was final. I probably wouldn't have been mad if either of them had the guts to tell me, but instead, I figured it out when they were both posting Facebook updates from Vegas. She found out later on why he was my ex-husband. It was karma at its finest.
She tried to come crying to me when he was manipulative and just awful to her. My reaction was, "You're joking, right?" We are no longer friends.
He Failed The Friendship Test
When I was in Grade 12, I was trying hard to get good marks for university. I finished a chem lab report that I had been working on for a while. I made all my diagrams and charts and even got them reviewed by my teacher beforehand. The day before it was due, my friend asked if he could view it to see if we got similar results.
In my mind, I thought, sure, why not? I've done this hundreds of times, both comparing and letting friends compare. A month later, when we got our lab reports back, we both got zeros. This lab report and one other test was going on our midterm mark the universities were going to look at, and now under chemistry on my midterm, I had a zero. I was gutted and so confused.
When my teacher called us to talk to us individually, I saw how much he had copied. He had plagiarized all the diagrams, and he didn't even bother changing the font on the text. Afterward, I sent my teacher and principal a letter saying I was sorry and I had no idea he was going to blatantly copy like that.
Instead of a zero for the course, I got a zero for the lab only, which gave me a mark that was enough to get into my preferred program. My "friend" on the other hand ended up repeating high school as he couldn't get into his program with a zero in chem.
She Was A Real Gem-ma
When I was 14, I had a crush on my best friend, Liam, and I told my new friend Gemma about it. She started freaking out about how adorable we'd be together, saying, “You're best friends, you're both short, and you both wear glasses!" She also said I should tell him. I initially said no, because I was sure he didn't like me back, but she egged me on for weeks.
However, during that time, she started behaving quite weirdly around him, like flirting with him in front of me, constantly trying to one-up me when the three of us were having a conversation, going for trips to the mall together, etc. Needless to say, I was rather confused and upset.
I finally couldn't take it anymore, so for some reason, my best solution was to tell Liam that I liked him. He was very nice about it, but as I had suspected, he didn't like me back, and even if he did, he said he didn't really want a girlfriend. I was okay with that. Then, three days later, Liam had a girlfriend, set up by Gemma, of course.
A "friend" of mine couldn't afford an abortion when she was 17. We were still in school and she was too scared to tell the father. I gave her $150 about two weeks before we graduated to help her pay for it. It was her decision, and I knew it was a life-changing one, regardless of the outcome. I took her to the doctor, and I took care of her after the procedure.
I only had a part-time job and made less than what I'd given her in a week; it was a big deal at the time. I asked her to pay me back $50 a week over the next three weeks. She said she could afford it and not to worry. Something came up those next two weeks, and she couldn't pay me back. Then, we graduated, and she wouldn't return my messages, calls, instant messages, or anything.
She came to group things if I wasn't there, but she was still doing things with our other friends otherwise. It was so shady—but then it got worse. She eventually spread rumors about me so our friends would stop inviting me to stuff. I caught onto the situation really quickly—she was avoiding me so she didn't have to pay me back.
I didn't feel good about this next step, but I had been her "best friend" for a few years now, and she had already decided to take the moral low ground. I kept calling her house throughout all of this, where she lived with her parents. We had been really close friends previously, so I'd talk to her mom or dad when she didn't answer.
They must have talked her into speaking with me because I told them I hadn't heard from her and that I was worried; then she spoke to me the next time I called. She tried acting like nothing had happened, but I cut to the chase and told her I'd tell her parents if the money wasn't in my bank account in two days.
She tried saying the bank wouldn't process it that fast, but I told her no excuses. I'd show up in person and tell them everything if she didn't pay. Needless to say, the money was there in no time.
Mean Girls—The Sequel
My best friend and I got into some ridiculous confrontation on MSN Messenger. I'm talking the whole shebang—paragraphs written in capitals, passive-aggressive screen name changes, etc. It was typical girl drama—who was more popular, had the better boyfriend, and all that jazz.
The next day, I didn't go to school for unrelated reasons. I found out later that afternoon that she had printed off the 15-page conversation. She showed it to everybody in our year, with the awful things she said conveniently missing.
Later that year she got my "boyfriend" to break up with me while on a group call with the popular crowd. It was some real Mean Girls stuff.
Standing Up For What’s Righta woman in a pink jacket is sitting on a ledgePhoto by Mike Von on Unsplash
I suffered from severe depression in primary school. I only had one best friend, and we were really close. He got teased a lot for being weird, and I stood up for him every time. I got into confrontations with a few bigger boys even though I was a skinny little girl.
I felt very protective of him, but his family hated me. They thought I was a bad influence. Even though their son was so socially awkward and snobby that he couldn't get any other friends, he was their little angel. One time I got into a bigger argument and both of our families, another boy's family, and a teacher had a sit-down.
I was really emotional through the whole thing and barely held back tears as I explained how I tried to get the other boy to let go of my best friend. But when it was my friend's turn to speak, he threw me under the bus. He didn't even bother acknowledging my help. He only said stuff that made him look good. His parents spoke the same way.
I got mad and thought about our friendship when I got home. I realized that this guy had never stood up for me—even abandoned me more than a few times—and here I was taking heat for him. I tolerated him for a few more years and never made contact with him again after primary school was over, even though we lived 300 meters apart.
My Sister Was A Snake
It was actually my sister who was the double-crosser. When we were young, she was the skinny popular one, and I was the chubby nerdy one. Every single boy I ever had a crush on, she would go out and sleep with.
When I was in 6th grade and she was in 7th, I had a crush on a boy at my school who was a fifth grader. She came to my school and introduced herself and then started going out with him.
A few years later, I met a boy named Billy. I was head over heels for him. We went out a few times, then he met her. The next thing I knew, they were dating. She brought him over all the time, and I had to see them together every day. I was just heartbroken.
Of course, they only lasted a few months because she treated him like dirt since she was not interested in him in the first place. She was just using him to hurt me, and for his money.
A Cross-border Debacle
My former girlfriend was moving across the US to a Canadian city for a new job and needed someone to go with her as she felt insecure alone. I was recently married to a VERY understanding wife and agreed to help, after she assured me that everything was in order.
At the time, I was going through some very uncomfortable health issues, but she was a friend in need. I am a very experienced road-tripper, having been all over the US and Canada by car. It turned out that "everything in order" meant she had printed out Yahoo driving directions.
We got to the US/Canada border and were in line at the checkpoint when it became apparent that she had no paperwork for working abroad, no paperwork for her dog who was with us, a can of mace in the car, and had never seen the house where we were to stay. When I expressed my concern about this, she screamed me out and said, "We'll just lie". But that wasn't the worst part.
Somehow we made it through customs and shortly thereafter, the driving directions went wrong and we were adrift in this city I had only been to once, without maps, or anything. I "used the force" and got us to the house. It was in shambles—torn to bits in the very early stages of a remodel.
I lost my mind and ditched her, her dog, and her stuff at the place and took a cab to a hotel. By that point, my health was very bad. I rallied, bought an expensive one-way flight home, and lost another friend.
Friend-Zoned For A Friend
My best friend from high school and I had a crush on the same girl. I didn't know he had a crush on her until things between her and I started to pick up. It was nothing serious, just hanging out and talking to each other all the time. One day, he and I were chilling, talking about women and what we wanted in life.
He told me a fishy story about how he and one of his good friends stopped talking because they got into a competition over the same chick. He then said that he likes the chick I've been hanging out with and asked me who I liked, as if to say, "Are we going to have a problem?" So, I backed off from the girl.
Months passed and he never made a move, so I confronted him about it. I told him he needed to make a move or risk the dreaded friend zone. Months passed and he stopped hanging out with EVERYONE. I was left wondering if I should go for it with the girl and lose my friend, or stay in the friend zone.
Shortly thereafter, she started dating someone else completely. I lost my chance with her, and he and I stopped talking altogether. Years later, we started hanging out again, letting bygones be bygones. Over drinks one day, I told him that this mutual chick and I had been talking and it felt like it was going somewhere.
A couple of weeks after I told him that, there was a pub crawl. I couldn’t go because I had work the next morning. I found out from the chick the next day that he was buying her all sorts of drinks and trying to sleep with her.
My mom had a friend, and she had a son about my age. So whenever my mom’s friend would come over, her son would come over too because my mother wanted us to play together. This kid was the worst. We were both really into Pokemon; I had silver, he had gold.
He was really bad at the game, his Pokemon were under-leveled, he couldn't beat the first gym, etc. The Pokemon master that I was, I decided to help him out. I showed him which Pokemon were good, and how to tell which moves to use, etc.
So one day, he asked if he could bring my Gameboy back to his house to look at my Pokemon and then bring it back the next day. Of course, my naive self accepted the offer. I expected him to look through my Pokemon and think that I was the coolest, but no.
He transferred ALL of my Pokemon, including my level 100 Typhlosion. He replaced them with Pidgeys and Caterpies.
League Of Deceptionwoman in brown sweater covering her face with her handPhoto by Dev Asangbam on Unsplash
My "best" friend begged me to join a club at school. I went only to hang out with her. They had a big conference every year, and I went as a helper because I had no interest in doing a project just to go. As soon as we got on the bus to leave, she pretended she didn't know who I was and then made fun of me to her other friends. I was in the same hotel room as them.
I made it home in one piece and broke down when my mom asked if I had fun. My mother called her a name and gave me a hug. The next Monday at school, she went right back to pretending we were best buddies. I decided I was better off without her.
A Tricky Triad
My friend kept insisting I meet her boyfriend's roommate. I had recently broken up with my boyfriend and I wasn't interested in meeting him. She kept telling me how he was such a catch—he was a Marine, he built his house, had a truck and snowmobiles, was a good father, a volunteer fireman, etc. I gave in after a couple of weeks of her bothering me about him.
We went on a few dates, and I really liked him. I was out to dinner with another friend and her boyfriend, and I was telling her how much I liked this guy. Then, she told me my friend who introduced me to him was sleeping with him the whole time. She met her boyfriend online and had a threesome with him and the guy I was dating the first night they met.
We had been going on dates for a couple of months by then.
A Job Undone
We were each other's best men at our respective weddings. I moved into a house with a steep gravel driveway that was all kinds of messed up. He was trying to start his own grading and paving business. I told him that I wanted to hire him to grade and pave my driveway, and that I didn't want a discount because I had to hire somebody to do it anyway, and I wanted to give him the business.
He quoted me a price, I wrote him a check, and he never did the work. A couple of months went by, and I asked him when he was going to do it. He told me, "When I get time". I explained to him that I wasn't asking for a hook-up and that I hired him to do a job just like anyone else. His response made my blood boil.
He got mad that I was "treating him like an employee" and hasn't spoken to me since. He's told other people that I was the one in the wrong because I let "a few hundred bucks get in the way of our friendship". I've tried many times to make contact with him, but he never returns my calls.
It Was Lights Out For This Friendship
My best friend/roommate bailed on a $1,200 electric bill. The bill was in my name. I had been hospitalized, and after I was released, I had to attend a daily outpatient program. Because of a past history with the electric company, she couldn't open an account in her name. So as a favor, I kept it in my name, with the understanding that she would open the bills and pay them, but she didn’t.
So, I took the account out of my name. She called me crying, saying she won't be able to have electricity, so I reluctantly kept it in my name. I started getting calls from debt collectors. I asked if she would be willing to send me something—even $10 a week—just so I know she was making an effort.
She said she couldn't afford that. Because she let all the fees rack up, I had to pay a $1,200 bill.
Hung Out To Dry
I had a lazy, disgusting-excuse-of-a-human-being friend rent a room from me. He lied and said he stopped using substances, but I knew he was doing it all behind my back. The reason why he was lazy was because he never cleaned up after himself and refused to do the agreed chores.
One day, I came back, and most of his stuff was gone. I checked with him, and he said he was out at the end of the month; it was the 28th! He didn't give me the decency of giving me 30 days’ notice, as needed by law. But the cherry on top?
His mom contacted me and started blasting me, saying that she didn’t appreciate me treating her son like a servant or maid, and that she would report me for unclaimed income, which I actually claimed.
A Whole Latte Liesgirl in pink long sleeve shirt and white skirt sitting on brown wooden staircasePhoto by Vitaliy Rigalovsky on Unsplash
My friend told my potential employer that I had pilfered money before so that I wouldn't get the job. It was at Starbucks, and she had some crazy vendetta against the company. As a result, she didn't approve of me wanting to work there. She ended up confessing a few weeks later when she was completely trashed.
He Was A Liarsaurus Rex
When I was in primary school, I was obsessed with dinosaurs. I brought my brand new Velociraptor to school to show it to all my friends! It was so rad, you pressed the legs in and he chomped down on your thumb. At the end of the day, I went to get my bag from the corner of the room.
I was the last to get my bag because I was always a slowpoke, dragging my little feet along. I unzipped to check on my little buddy—and almost dropped my bag in shock. The Raptor was gone. I was pretty upset, but I was sure I knew who took it—Melvin! He was so jealous, I knew it was him.
My mom talked to his grandparents and he denied everything! My mom felt bad and bought me a new Velociraptor. Six months later, Melvin was caught by his grandparents playing with a Velociraptor toy in his backyard. He gave it back under the pretense, "I found it in my bag, I don't know how it got there. I'm so sorry".
Dealing With A Devil
He made sure that the windows in my house were unlocked so when I left for work, he'd break in and deal out of my house. He'd leave before I got home, so I didn't really know. Only recently, years after I moved out of that place, did I find out he was storing a huge load at my home.
I found out through other people that they bought stuff from him at my house all the time.
Cray Cray On The Vacay
A girl I saw once every year at one of those timeshare resorts had a younger sister who had this huge thing for me. She was attractive but very manipulative. The girl would constantly set me up to get in trouble for doing bad stuff around the resort, and I'd always take the blame somehow.
In the end, I tried to stay away from her, and figuring it was only once a year, it wasn't too hard. I went to an all-boys school, and somehow this crazy girl ended up finding out who my group of friends was purely by chance.
She befriended some of them and then told them this huge story about her poor sister, following it up with how mean I was to her and how I treated her badly. All of it was false, of course. My friend group turned on me, branding me as a monster.
He Was A Liar And A Cheat
We shared a group of friends. He was dating my best friend, and I was dating his sister. I caught him cheating on my friend, so I told him to fix it before it blew up in his face. Instead of fixing it, the following week he brought his fling to my house party just to mess with me.
That night, my friend called me, suspecting the guy was up to something, and noticed my tone. She asked for the truth, so I told her. He flipped. Being a convincing liar, he somehow turned it around on me and said I made it up. He then made his sister break up with me. Nobody in the group defended me.
My friend appreciated it and believed me. She forgave him and took him back not even a month later, then ditched me because I couldn't get along with him.
Sixth Grade Psychoman wearing knit cap on grey backgroundPhoto by Andrew Neel on Unsplash
In the sixth grade, I had a friend, Matthew, who I talked to on a regular basis and who was into a lot of computer games, similar to me. Everyone in my class was getting MSN, and having just got mine, another friend, Sam, came over. He gave me the account names of everybody in the class, including Matthew.
While I was playing Gamecube with Sam, my mom called me up and told me she had something important to tell me. She took me to my computer and showed me a conversation she was having with Matthew. He was using foul language, asking how I got his MSN. My mom then proceeded to call his mother.
He was bawling on the phone, crying, saying he was sorry. The next day, he came up to me and told me my mom—who had cancer—was awful and hoped she would succumb to her illness. The next month, the authorities came to the school and took two students from our Grade Six class.
Three of the girls in our class received threats from someone, and they suspected it was two kids in our class because of their bad reputations. It turned out it was Matthew. He was expelled in the sixth grade.
Ousted For No Reason
A few weeks after I graduated high school, I came home from visiting my mom to find my roommates had put all my stuff out on our front porch, except for the few things they wanted to keep.
I'd already paid up my rent, so that wasn't an issue. I don't know how long my stuff had been out there. Even worse, one of those roommates then told my friends that I'd beaten him up and that's why he booted me out. He even had a black eye to show for it, but I had no clue where it came from.
This resulted in all of my friends cutting all contact with me for over a month. This was the same guy who had been living in my house with my mom and me for almost a year, with no job and no contributions. Not long after, I moved away. My friends had come back, but it was never really the same.
Planting The Seed Of Insecurity
When I was fifteen, I got a job at a garden center. It was a tough job, but it was fun. There was a group of kids around my age or a little older who worked there as well, and I became friends with them. I got picked on a lot at school, so it was nice having a group of people who were actually nice to me.
We joked around at work, and it eventually led to us hanging out outside of work. One day, we decided to hang out after work. I got a ride and we went to a bar, but it seemed different. Everybody was ignoring me like I wasn't there. I gave up after a while and just sat there, waiting to leave.
When everybody was ready to go, the group all looked at me and one of them said, "We don't like you. We never liked you. We were only hanging out with you because we felt sorry for you. We don't want you to come out with us anymore". Then, they all left and none of them would give me a ride home like they usually did.
I had to call my mom and she picked me up. It still affects me. I don't really open up and I have a hard time trusting people. I wonder if the friends I have today only hang out with me because they feel sorry for me.
High School Hijinks
I had a group of friends in high school who typed a letter saying they were the dad of a close friend who wanted to teach me how to be intimate. The letter said I wasn't to tell anyone or I'd "get what's coming", and, if I was interested, to tie a red ribbon around the mailbox.
I told my dad, who called the authorities and told my group, who I thought were good people. However, I always had a feeling it was them. Red ribbons started showing up every couple of nights on the mailbox. It caused several arguments between my dad, who was concerned, and my stepmom, who for some reason thought I was doing it for attention.
My shaky home life went into the trash. Rocks would be thrown at my window in the middle of the night, my car was egged, and the house was covered in toilet paper. I was pulled out of class to have my car searched under suspicion of having drinks on the premises.
Suddenly, everyone knew about an incident that had happened when I was a child that I had only told my group of friends. Then, the group started showing up at my work to say terrible things to me. One night, someone followed me home from work, honking behind me the entire way.
This all unfolded in about two months. When I graduated high school and stopped talking to any of them, it all stopped. I don't have any proof it was them, but I'm not an idiot. I had the best grades, a steady job, a scholarship, and a boyfriend. They just decided I was an outsider.
She Trashed Our Friendship
I was applying for an internship. My closest friend was part of the committee charged with accepting applicants and the main person in charge of approving applications. An acquaintance of mine, who was also on the committee, told me that my friend threw away my application before it was even reviewed.
Those were grounds for referring her to our university’s judicial review committee, and my acquaintance was willing to go forward with it. I decided not to follow through, since my friend would have had a permanent mark on their record. Obviously, we don't talk anymore.
They Were Playing Mind Gamesperson holding silver iphone 6Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash
My friends and I started playing Minecraft and promptly started our own town. For months and months, when we got home from school, we would log on right away and play all day. After a while, we were a bustling "city" with more than 50 residents, all with their own plots in our jungle town. Another friend played on this kid’s account.
I was playing, managing my plots, and my best friend had shared mayorship of the town. You could only really have one person with mayoral rights, and this other friend got it. He did the unthinkable. He started destroying everything I had built, including my house and our whole town.
I called my friend in tears asking for him to toss this guy out of the town because I cared about that town; I had worked so hard on it. No one could do anything, and I was having a legit panic attack. I couldn't breathe. He finally stopped when my once extravagant city was in ruins, and I decided to stop playing Minecraft.
I later found out this kid was being controlled by all my "best friends" as a joke, and the fact I called one of them while crying made them laugh. They told me it was "super funny".
He Muddied My Mama’s Reputation
My best friend who I'd known since first grade, slept with my mom in high school. Everyone in my life knew about it for three years before I found out because, apparently, he was very proud of himself and bragged about it. The worst part was that it was such news to me; it literally seemed like somebody had made it up.
It inevitably had to become my new reality. My friendships have not been the same since.
Our Friendship Went Up In Flames
My so-called “friends” took my car out after I had gone to bed. They crashed it doing 80 mph in my neighborhood and came back to tell me. I had to walk a mile there, only to find out my car was already engulfed in six-foot flames. I had to call the fire department, and after all of that, I didn’t even get an apology.
Fighting For The Sake Of Mental Health
A long-time friend from my high school days had developed worrying mental health issues, and I didn't know how to deal with it. I confided in a friend that I was worried and not sure how to help him. I explained what I thought was wrong and how it was frustrating because I felt powerless.
A few days later, I found out the friend I confided in told everyone what I'd spoken to him about. He told everyone he knew in an attempt to ruin the friendship I had with my other friend because, "Those with mental health issues should be run out of my society and you shouldn't be near [them]”.
I lost my patience and cool with him and called him out. It turns out I'd saved myself from someone who was a complete headcase. He would later go on to make up rumors about everyone around him.
Catching Heat Over A Housecoat
My friend told her mom that I had taken the housecoat that she herself had borrowed from her mom and then given to me. Her mom called asking about it, so I returned it with no fuss. Then, the mom called the authorities and had me charged with theft on Christmas Eve—a week after I had returned the item to her.
I was considered a thief, even though it had been given to me by the daughter.
A Photo Finishman wearing black and red pullover hoodiePhoto by Ben den Engelsen on Unsplash
In my senior year in high school, a friend took a picture of me and another girl who I was working on an assignment with in the hallway. He then proceeded to show it to my girlfriend of three years for the sole purpose of breaking us up. It worked.
Afterward, he tried to hook up with her. The only thing that made it worthwhile was him getting denied and losing me, his best friend since middle school. My family even let him stay with us for the summer when he was having family troubles in his home.
Banished Blood Brother
This one friend of mine was practically raised by my mother since we met back in 1997 and we became best friends. We sheltered him a few times when his father went on trying to beat the daylights out of him for no reason at all. Earlier in 2012, my mom underwent surgery and needed blood donors. He was a match, so he could give blood to her.
I called him to ask if he could donate blood for my mom, and he agreed, saying he would go the next morning. He never showed up, which was followed by not replying to my texts, answering my calls, and avoiding me altogether. I never saw him again.
Later that year, I heard from some mutual friends that he moved to another city to go to college. We still haven't talked since that incident.
This Christian Girl Was Pure Evil
I befriended this super chipper preppy Christian girl in middle school. I had trichotillomania from fifth grade on, and it was now eighth grade. Half of my head was bald at one point. I got bullied ruthlessly. I had zero friends, and by some miracle, this nice little Christian girl came up to me and started writing me notes in class.
I thought she must be a very good person—she was in all these extracurricular activities helping the community, in youth groups, etc. I was also religious and thought it must've been God answering my prayers.
In addition to the anxiety/trich, I was diagnosed with an 8 mm mass in my left temporal lobe that was deemed inoperable. There was a history of brain tumors in my family. I was relatively at peace with losing my life, but my parents were visibly shaken, and I felt I hadn't really lived yet.
This girl came to school on the last day and wrote me a final letter before we all went home. She seemed distant and told me not to open it until I got home. Its contents shocked me to the core.
It said, "You're really ugly and disgusting. Nobody likes you, so I decided to be your friend because that's what Jesus would want, but you are really really gross, and I am NOT your friend. I was never your friend. People are bullying me for being nice to you. Don't EVER talk to me again after this. Goodbye!"
Left With A Bloody Mess
Andy invited John to sleep over at his house for the weekend. During the same time, Andy invited over this girl he was trying to get with, hoping to get something going. That night, they were hanging out and drinking when John and the girl left for ten minutes or so. After they were done drinking, the girl went home, and John passed out on the couch.
My friend Andy, tired and sloshed, walked into his room in the dark and plopped down on the bed to pass out. As soon as he hit the bed, he heard a squish. The bed felt wet to the touch. He turned on the lights, and his bed was soaked in blood. Apparently, John and the girl got busy on his bed while she was on her period.
Instead of saying, "Let's do this some other time," they left a huge mess. Andy had to clean up the aftermath.
No Misunderstanding Here
I had a friend move in with me after he got booted out of his house. Soon after, my girlfriend didn't want to sleep with me much. He stayed for about three weeks when I noticed things were strange between him and my girl.
It would be little things like kisses on the cheek, or my girlfriend being at my house before I got home from work and they would be sitting right next to each other on the couch watching a movie. I had suspicions, but at the same time, I thought I was just being insecure.
One day, I came home and, as usual, they were sitting on the couch. I went into my bedroom and there was a cell phone on my bed. It was my friend’s. The screen was on and his texts were open. I saw my girlfriend’s name and decided to open it.
Among the messages were things like, "I am alone at his house," and, "He just left, he has work till 7," as well as some revealing photos. I walked out and stared at them for a minute, then said, "Hey friend. Found your phone on my bed". I threw it over to him with a picture of my girlfriend undressed on his screen.
I saw his face go white and that's when I went crazy. I punched my wall as hard as I could and told them both to get out now! They were both screaming that it was a misunderstanding. My girlfriend left saying, "Well, it’s a misunderstanding, and it’s your loss because I was gonna [do] you really good tonight".
A month later, I found out she was pregnant. I hadn't slept with her for about two months prior, and not from a lack of me wanting to. She turned out to be a really nasty person and even tried to tell me that it was my baby.