People Share The Real Reason Behind Their Last Breakup
When love is on the rocks and there's no salvaging a relationship, it's better for a couple to call it splits.
Sometimes the reason for a breakup is obvious.
Other times, it's more complicated.
But the people involved going their separate ways is better than staying in an unhealthy relationship.
Curious to hear from ex-lovers who've been there, Redditor Lishasquarepant asked:
"What caused your last break-up?"
These Redditors found they and their significant other were no longer on the same page.
"Simply, we grew apart."
"Same, I feel like Michael Scott everytime I try to start another relationship. 'No question about it, I am ready to get hurt again.'"
"Same. We loved each other like siblings, not spouses... Ugh! Lovely man though who now has a fab girlfriend. We are good friends and much happier apart."
"Same. And it f'king sucks, but that’s life. It’s been a year and I still hate every second that she’s not in my life, but at the same time I know she’s happier now than she would’ve been if we stayed together."
Having no communication is the worst part.
"He slowly got distant. I believe he lost interest and didn't dare be honest with me about that."
The Late Blame Game
"I had that happen as well, but then he pinned it on me being distant and not affectionate enough."
"My guy, if you pull your hand away every time I try to hold it, I'm gonna stop trying to hold it. And if I ask if something's up and you repeatedly tell me everything is fine, I'm going to believe you. Don't wait till I'm at my worst moment and then reveal you had issues with me for 3 months and break up with me for it being 'my fault.'"
"Everything Is Fine"
"Oh man, the asking repeatedly and getting a 'nothing' reminds me of a story."
"My friend used to ask her ex this every time he was unusually quiet. He’d always say he was fine, then at one point, told her to stop asking because it was making him feel weird."
"So she did."
"Six months later he initiated a divorce because she didn’t care about his feelings anymore."
"Like…don’t ask for sh*t then get pissy when you get what you want."
And then there are those who were not invested in the relationship for a long time.
The Struggle Is Real
"He seemed to struggle with the concept of not f'king random people."
Leaving The Problem
"He moved to his country because he missed his family. So he only sent a WhatsApp message saying he was going to stay there. I would have preferred a call at least to break up a marriage."
"Something similar happened to my cousin. He married her in the US, they had a baby together.. a few years go by, he misses home, goes back to visit.. His family had an arranged marriage ready for him 🤦🏻♀️ He ended up with a new wife and new baby. Hasn’t came back."
A Foreign Custom
"It just seems so surreal that a grown a** adult with a wife and baby would leave his family behind for an arranged marriage. I'll never fathom the mentality."
"I wasn't having sex near as often as she was."
Breaking up is hard to do.
But a good thing to remember is that love can be found again and the new relationship can be even better than the previous one.
And that's something that can't be recognized until you look back in retrospect.
We all have to kiss a few toads.
People come up with all kinds of weird ways to get free or discounted stuff. Sometimes these methods involve sneaky tricks played by the customer. From confusing cash transactions to ricocheting oyster shells, these Redditors have seen it all. Have you ever tried pulling off any of these sneaky ploys?
1. The Callback
So, at work today, a customer calls me up, and asks if we have a certain product in stock. I tell him we do, and the price. He asks if we price match, I tell him, “Yes, but we would need to verify with the store, either by phone or online stock check”. He asks what time I'm here until because he “likes dealing with the same person”, and I tell him.
Fast forward two hours after I've finished work, my manager is texting me to call her about a price match issue. I call her. What she tells me is infuriating. She says the customer is claiming we didn't need to check anything, and that I gave him many options. He also told her I'd agreed to a lower price than we had mentioned, and that I'd already checked it. This sneaky guy tried to pull a fast one by lying but I could have gotten into some serious trouble, and all over ten dollars.
2. Between A Rock And A Hard Place
In high school, I worked a service desk at a supermarket. Whenever somebody returned a small appliance, we always cut open the box to make sure all the parts were with it. One day a guy showed up looking to return an air conditioner. I cut open the box, and there was nothing but a rock inside. He ran out of the store pretty quickly.
3. Money TalksReese's Peanut Butter Cups Stuffed with Reese's Pieces | Flickrwww.flickr.com
I worked at a grocery store a couple of years back. One day, this older woman comes to my line, buys only a pack of Reese's peanut butter cups, and pays with a $100 bill. Before I can count her change back to her, she snatches it out of my hand and walks out. A few minutes later, she comes back in and claims that I shorted her $80 (I think she said $80, it was some ridiculous amount).
Most of the cashiers in the evening were teenagers (including myself) so she probably just assumed that they would be stupid and give her the money, but there was no way I was going to be scammed by her.
I called the manager over and asked him to count my cash drawer. Of course, the woman asked if she could go outside for a smoke in the meantime and didn't come back. She actually came in again a few months later and tried the same thing. This time when she grabbed for her change I kept it out of her reach and slowly counted it back to her. She didn't come back in.
4. Gaming The System
I worked at GameStop years ago. A little old lady brought in her grandkids and told them to pick out whatever they wanted from the used PS2 wall (which at the time was still 1/3 of the store). She asked us for a used PS2, with extra used controllers. These kids must've picked out 20 games. She bought and paid for all of them.
As she was leaving, we reminded her (as we had to, it was policy) that everything used could be returned within seven days for any reason. She replied, "Oh I know. My grandkids are only staying with me for five days. I'm bringing all this stuff back on day six! It’s cheaper than renting”! There was absolutely nothing we could do.
5. The Nibbler
This lady used to come into my job and order this HUGE breakfast all the time. Same one, every time. And every time, about a third of the way into it, she would say something was the matter with it, it was inedible and didn't want to pay for it. We complied many times. After personally seeing this happen a few times, I started to wonder how she got a bad breakfast every time? And WHY did she keep coming in and ordering it, considering what bad luck she kept having?
I came to find out the bizarre truth about her. A regular customer knew her. They told us she had gastric bypass surgery and could no longer eat very much. So this lady would just come in, eat till she was full, which wasn't much, and then complain that it was bad. Being that she hardly ate it, we always believed her and didn't make her pay. The next time she came in, I refused her service. She FREAKED out. When I asked her why she continued to come in even though her meal was ALWAYS bad, her response was: "I'm waiting to get a good meal".
6. I’m Not Lovin’ ItMcDonalds Night Shot | Never eat there, but the night shots … | Flickrwww.flickr.com
I used to work at McDonald's. This particular night, I was handing out orders to the cars at the second window. This woman had ordered a couple of value meals and a happy meal. We got the happy meal done first and I handed it out. She looked in the bag, then looked up at me and very sweetly said, "I'm so sorry, but they put fries in this bag, and I wanted apple dippers”.
So I apologized, took the bag, and replaced it. The manager on duty happened to be nearby and said to me, "But the order said fries". I told her, "I know, but she told me she wanted apple dippers". An hour later the store gets a call and said manager goes to answer it. She comes back sometime later and says, "Remember that order where you replaced the fries with apple dippers? She just called and complained that she got apple dippers in her happy meal when she clearly ordered fries, which is what her receipt shows. She was wanting a couple of free value meals to make her happy over this "screw-up".
My jaw just dropped. I was only 17 at the time and hadn't really seen just how messed up people can be yet. I said, "I swear to you, she looked me in the eye and told me to replace the fries with apple dippers. I wouldn't have changed that if she hadn't". Luckily I didn't get in trouble, she believed me, but I was so angry that there was this customer who seemed so nice when she was there in front of me, then called back all angry and tried to get me in trouble. Just so she could get $10-$15 worth of free food.
I worked at a university IT help desk. Someone was annoyed that I wouldn't break policy and let them back on the network after they were kicked off for a month due to repeated, blatant piracy resulting in DMCA complaints sent to us. They then asked to go talk to my boss about it and I told them where their office was and continued working.
Five minutes later, he comes walking out with an odd grin, with my boss following behind and looking like she's trying really hard to be serious and not being successful. My boss comes over to me, and says "He says you ignored him to play a computer game, and then were rude and insulting to him”. The customer has a look on his face like "ha, you're going to get fired now”! Well, he didn’t know who he was messing with.
My boss then goes "Of course, I know you're one of our best employees, so I figure that he's either making it up, or he deserves the treatment, which one is it”? I’ve never seen someone's face go so quickly from happy to "oh dang”. I explain what he's mad at me for, and then she tells me she's going to lock his account for the month out of our control to make sure he can't try to trick any other help desk employees into letting him back on.
8. Pet Games
Oh jeez. I work for a grooming salon and we are supposed to verify that the customer has paid for the services before we give them the dog. Harsh, I know, but some of these grooms run upwards of $100 and the store doesn't want to lose that—plus I don't want to lose my commission!
Anyway, a lady comes back from supposedly paying and shows me a receipt. It's a little crinkled but nothing I believe is out of the ordinary. I give her the dog. It turns out she had shown me the receipt from the previous time the dog had gotten groomed. I didn't check the dates or anything. I felt like a total idiot while explaining it to my manager the next day.
9. Billing Departmentblue and white concrete building during nighttimePhoto by Jared Murray on Unsplash
I work at a movie theater connected directly to a mall. You know those pens you use to make sure a bill is real and not fake? I marked a $100 bill with one and it passed. It was the right color, though it seemed a bit darker than usual. I just assumed it was because the pen was really old and dry. So I called the manager to get change for it. It was a new shift, so I had a new register with not a lot of change. I hand it to my manager, the big GM who rarely works where I do. He is usually at other stores.
He begins walking to the back and holds the bill up to the light right before he turns the corner. He stops in his tracks. He comes back and says, "We can't accept this…it's a $5 bill”. I am standing there with a blank expression, but on the inside, I am freaking out. The customer says he got it from some check-to-cash place in the mall. My manager says, "Alright, we just have to call the authorities and tell them. You can wait here while we get it figured out”.
The guy walks out. The authorities are called, and a dude in a suit shows up. The guy checks the bill for everything ever in a big book he has with him, and everything gets sorted out. The theater didn't lose any money, and the guy who came in probably lost $5. Now, I check EVERY $100 bill for the security strip and watermark. I'd never heard of someone re-printing on a different bill to trick the pen. So, if you handle cash at work and use a pen to check it, always, ALWAYS check for the security strip and watermark. I'm glad I didn't get written up or fired because of that.
10. Charity Case
I used to work for Hot Topic and they “sell” items for charity. What's really occurring is that you are making a donation and you get the item for free. The money does 100% go to the charity, but we had to start ringing them through the register because California changed their “donation” laws to charge tax. Jerks. Anyway, this lady came in wanting to return 96 of the charity bracelets.
This lady had bought 100 of them to SELL at a music festival because they said "music=life" on them. She didn't realize her target demographic shopped at Hot Topic and knew they were charity giveaways so they didn't buy them. I explained to her that she didn't really purchase anything, but she wouldn't give up. I gave her my manager’s number and from there, the story escalated. He turned her down flat, so she called the home office. Every day. For almost a month.
This finally gets around to the CEO at the time, who absolutely takes no nonsense from anyone. She finds out about this and calls the customer for her address. She sends her a personal check along with a note telling her that there was no way Hot Topic was going to take money away from a charity and she'd rather take the hit herself. But there was a catch. If the lady cashed the check she was never allowed in our stores again. I had heard about all this but the story was confirmed when I went to the home office and a copy of the letter was posted at one of the HR personnel's desks.
11. Jean Jeanie
I was working at Old Navy and we had just gotten in the "Rockstar Skinnies", and they came in an array of ghastly colors. A woman comes up to my register holding a bright blue pair. It was very obvious these are the pants that are in the front of the store, on display everywhere—but she’d planned the most ridiculous scam. I ring her up, and tell her "That'll be $34.94" and she promptly says "No, they're on sale". I look at the back of the tag I scanned, and there's a sloppily slapped-on clearance sticker reading $2.95.
I explain that it must have been a mistake, these are brand-new pants. If they were on sale it would show up in my system. She demands a manager and my supervisor calls her out, which made the woman storm away grumbling about how Old Navy is lame. We potentially would have honored a sale sticker if it made it on there somehow (even though it was obviously her) if she would have at LEAST put a realistic price on there. Do you really think you're going to get away with paying $3 for a pair of jeans?
12. Dinner To Goblack and gray round ornament on brown wooden tablePhoto by amirali mirhashemian on Unsplash
I work at a fine dining restaurant, and every year we have a truffle dinner. It's amazing, we make cocktails, desserts, and 13 courses all with different types of truffles, with a wine pairing per course. Needless to say, the price of a ticket is steep. It's usually over $200 per person, and some years even more. Upwards of 98% of the people who come here are valued regulars or friends of the owners or chefs so we let people pay at the end.
Well, this year we had one couple go out for a smoke and just never came back. We figured out who they were in the reservation book and quickly called the number, thinking they were drinking a lot and that they had probably made an honest mistake. Well, both numbers were fake and they had dined and dashed on us. It was obviously planned out.
13. Phony Phone
I sold a guy a phone years ago when I worked for a wireless carrier. I spent an hour getting all his information transferred and set up his new phone. He comes in the next day with a shattered screen. Apparently, he didn’t remember that I was the rep who helped him and he proceeded to tell me that is how it looked when he left the store. Needless to say, the phone was not replaced.
14. Playing Telephone
I work in customer service for a major cell phone company. "I never received the phone I purchased" happens all the time. It's actually very amusing because then I can do this: "Oh, gosh Mr. Derp, I'm so sorry that you didn't receive your phone. The tracking number indicates that it was delivered to the address you requested about three days ago. Have you possibly checked with a neighbor who may have retrieved it for you”?
Mr. Derp: "Nope, no one has the phone. It must have been stolen. I'm going to need a new one”.
Cue a big evil grin from me: "Hmmm okay then, Mr. Derp. The reason I'm asking is that I'm pretty concerned. The serial number of the phone we sent you is actually showing as being in use for three days on the same line you're calling me from right now". That’s usually when they hang up.
15. Fruit Follyperson dipping marshmallow in chocolate syrupPhoto by Nerfee Mirandilla on Unsplash
I used to work as a shift leader at a chocolate shop that served fondue. We'd serve bananas among other things to dip in the chocolate. One time we had gotten a bad batch of bananas that we had to throw away early because they got so bad so fast. So we were telling customers that they would get extra of everything else but we had no bananas.
Well, a lady came in and wanted a fondue, and we gave her the “no banana” speech and she was totally okay with it. Big mistake. As soon as we took the fondue out to her she went crazy and freaked out about not having bananas! Her son even said, "They said before that they didn't have any”, and she just shushed him and continued yelling at me.
I don't know what happened but the next thing that came out of my mouth was, "Well Ma'am, I told you we had no bananas. If you want them so bad we have some spoiled ones in the dumpster out back. Feel free to help yourself". My co-workers burst out laughing behind me but she wasn't so happy. She ended up calling our pushover manager and got a free fondue, not because of what I had said, but because there were no bananas!
16. Ticket Taker Trouble
Many years ago I worked at a little dingy movie theater in my hometown. It was my first job, super easy and lax. Of course, you get some angry customers, but nothing too serious. However, we did have this one guy who came in every single weekday for the first show (he was probably in his mid-50s) and I opened the box office every day of the week.
This guy used to come, and I’m not even joking, almost every single movie he would walk out 30 minutes to an hour in and come up to me and demand a refund because "his movie was awful". I had to then call my manager Corey every time. Corey would talk to him about it, and had to follow procedure and then refund the guy. One day this guy doesn't show (thank God).
It's about 1:00 pm and a little bit of a crowd picks up. I'm the only one in the box office and I’m trying to get through the line, then this guy comes up. But it's a little different now. He has a ticket from another movie theater (I'm not joking, not even a theater in OUR chain. Just a theater nearby). So he starts ranting about how he went to that theater, the service was awful, the movie was awful, he slides the ticket to me and says "I want a refund".
I'm too flabbergasted. I don't know what to say. I TRY to explain that we can't refund tickets to any theater but our own, even if it's one in our chain. This guy starts cutting me off mid-sentence while I'm trying to explain, and there's still a line and stuff and impatient customers. He starts raising his voice and saying it's stupid because he's "been a patron for years”!
So I say, “Hold on, let me call my manager”. He comes in knowing very well what to expect. I start taking other customers while Corey is dealing with this guy. After the line dies down and it's a break between shows he's still talking to him (it's been about 20 minutes). The guy is still demanding that he should at least get in for free because he spent money on the ticket to the other place, all this nonsense. Finally, my manager tells him he was not going to do it, and then said, "I really don't care if you never come to see another movie here again", but put it a little more nicely. The guy throws the ticket at him and tells him to screw off, and luckily never comes back.
17. Getting Carded
When I was a kid, I worked at this mom-and-pop deli/grocery store. It was a small town so I knew virtually everyone that walked through the door. One day, we were really busy and there was actually a line of customers. The store was set up like a bodega, so the cash register was just in front of the store by the door, not like a supermarket checkout line.
Anyway, there were about six or seven people waiting to get stuff when in walks a teenager that I hadn't seen before. She's pretty attractive and very smiley. She grabs a pack of cigarettes and puts it on the counter, very nonchalantly, while I'm trying to get everyone settled. I start calling out prices to people of what they had in their hands: "Bill, $4.75, Chris, $5 bucks, You (girl with the cigs), I need ID".
"Oh, I don't have any. I just need this pack though, is it ok if I don't show my ID this one time”?
"No, it's not ok". I take back the cigs, like a boss, and tell her to go get her ID and come back.
Three days later the owner comes to me and thanks me. When I found out why, I was stunned.
It turns out she received a letter from the state licensing board stating that her cashier denied a minor from purchasing tobacco and that the girl was part of a sting to try to catch stores violating the law. If I let her slide it would have cost the store thousands in fines and possibly losing their license to sell cigarettes. The owner wound up giving me a raise instead.
18. Take A Seatpastries display on rackPhoto by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash
I was managing afternoon tea at a really nice hotel in my town. There was a table with two women—one of whom was employed as a manicurist in the spa—and a child around five years old playing on a DS. They enjoy their petit fours etc. and when we present them with the bill they start complaining that the DS was stolen from their table when they went to the restroom. I explained that none of my staff had seen it nor had they taken it.
Fast forward 30 minutes and they are demanding that we comp their bill (around $30 per person) and replace the missing DS. The whole time the little girl is squirming and looking like she wants to say something. Next thing I know she looks at the lady making the fuss and says she is sitting on the DS. Sure enough, everyone stops talking and the woman looks defeated. She was sitting on the DS case the entire time and was aware that it was there. It was so stupid, to say the least.
19. Did You Turn It Off And On Again?
I work as a Tech Support rep for a cable company. I basically take calls and troubleshoot internet failures and cable issues. It's a very easy job, we were provided on-the-job training and decent pay with bonus opportunities. The job is meant to get me through school. Anyhow, a man called in and just wanted to complain that his internet service was out the day before.
It was about 10 o'clock, and our customer service department closes at 8:00 pm. I tell him this and ask him if his service is on now. He says yes, but he wanted to lodge a complaint. So I said it was understandable, but that he'd have to call in the morning and that I couldn't help him unless there was an issue with his service. His answer was infuriating. He says, "Oh, well ALL of my stuff is off then. How does that sound”?
Then he laughs at me like I'm an idiot. So I said "Sir, you just said all of your service is working fine. Are you just saying that to keep me on the line"? So he curses at me and I escalate him to a supervisor. I found out later that he told the supervisor that I threatened him and refused to troubleshoot his issues. And that I refused to get him to a supervisor. But I got the last laugh.
I simply said to replay the call. They did and made fun of how idiotic the guy was.
20. Which Watch
My dad is a watchmaker. He's been doing it since he was like eight years old and he learned from my grandfather. Suffice it to say he's about the best watchmaker in all of California at this point. Historically, when you fix a watch you make a little personal mark with the date on the inside of the back of the case so that if the watch broke down you could give the customer a warranty.
One of my dad's customers, who was a jeweler, kept bringing watches back. My dad would look at the movement (motor) and it would look like it hadn't been serviced in years. You can tell because the oil is dried up and there's dust and stuff inside. But when he looks inside of the case back…there's his signature and date from only a few weeks before.
This kept happening so my dad started to write the watches' serial numbers down and it turned out that for every service this guy paid for, he would just switch the watch back and bring in another watch. What's worse is that this guy was a multi-millionaire and my dad was just a laborer. He was stealing my dad's time. Screw that guy.
I work with him now and we have a computer database for that stuff. People still try that stuff but we quickly call them on it and they usually shut up.
21. Spreading Yourself Thin125/365: Cinco de Mayo | What's in your cupboard? | Flickrwww.flickr.com
When my Pop was about 17, he worked at a restaurant supply store. Basically, it was a store that carried all of the basic supplies/appliances a restaurant would need, and also some industrial-sized packages of food. Well, this guy comes in and asks for a huge jar of mayonnaise, which my dad sells to him. A while later, the same guy comes back and says that his boss told him to return the mayo since it was the wrong brand, and he apologized that he opened it before being told this.
My dad figures, “hey, no problem” and takes the jar to throw away before he gets the brand the guy wants, no charge. So apparently my dad was very familiar with the approximate weight of a giant jar of mayo at the time. He immediately realized something was up. He opens up the jar in front of the guy, and scoops out some of the mayo only to reveal that he had filled the rest of the jar with sand in an attempt to get more for his money. This being 1964, he looks at the guy and tells him to screw off and never come back. The guy looks at the owner, who tells him the same thing.
22. Locked Up
I worked at a small bike shop in high school. I had a guy come in once and try to return five or so U-Locks with no receipt. This, coincidentally, was the number of that type of U-Lock we tended to keep in stock, and the store was small enough that I could look over and see that the rack was empty. So I tell him I can't do anything without a receipt.
He goes out to his car to get it, leaving the locks on the counter, and never comes back. So he pretty clearly had walked in, grabbed them off the stand before I had gotten out from the back, and tried to "return" them. I'm still not sure what I would have done if he had tried to take them with him…
23. Dollars For Dumplings
I deliver Chinese food, and a few weeks ago I had an order that was like $62, and I had about $40 on me for change. When I get to the house, the customer hands me a hundred and asks me if I have changed, and I say I think I have just enough. As I'm fumbling with another member of the household (the customer's brother/husband whatever) by handing them bags, I go to take out my money, and she takes it out of my hands and says, "Oh I'll do that for you". I’m still mad about what happened next.
Kind of rude, but a nice gesture I suppose since I'm somewhat busy. "Oh this will do", she says and closes the door. I know I had a few dollars over what she needed, so not only did she not tip me, I actually lost a couple of bucks. It was a fairly far delivery order too, but I'm not going to start trouble for such a small amount, but it sure did make me mad.
24. Box It Upwhite xbox one console on white tablePhoto by Louis-Philippe Poitras on Unsplash
A guy had an Xbox 360 (classic model) in a new Slim box and tried to return it. He claimed it came that way and that's why he was returning it. After pointing out several things that alone would make it ineligible for return such as past return policy, information on the 360 suggesting it was years old, and the serial number on the packaging wasn't the same as the receipt meaning it wasn't even the same packaging purchased.
After some yelling and such, a higher-up in a separate department came in wondering what was going on, and with the authority to do so, okayed the return. The fact that he just gave $300 cash to a customer returning a product we didn't even carry didn't phase him. So I guess that situation was screwed from both ends. You win some, you lose some.
25. Macy’s Sale
I was working at Macy's and this lady would come in all the time and buy brand-new merchandise that we had just put out of the floor, but the ticket would be wrong and marked down to almost nothing. We honored the price the first time but she kept doing it over and over, even after we told her no. So one day I followed her—and what I saw was shocking.
She had actually brought a reticketing machine and was switching the tags of the brand-new merchandise with clearance tags. So she was taken out of the store.
26. Drive On
I'm an automotive service advisor. I had a customer refuse to pay for his car after repairs were completed. He told me he was going to step outside to make a call, when he got in his car with a spare key and started it. I stood in front of the car to tell him he can't leave without paying. He proceeded to try and run me over. When I sidestepped the car, I broke his windshield with the back of my fist.
I called the authorities and had him taken into custody, but then they brought him back and I said I wouldn't press charges if he paid his bill and never brought his car back. He paid and left, and I felt like a boss. Five months later I get served with a subpoena as he wants to sue me for $4,500 and he wants to sue the shop for $7,000. He lost the case with prejudice (due to the sheer craziness of this kid), but I learned it's actually against the law for me to try and stop someone from leaving with their car and not paying. Oh, and I was invited to take the case to Judge Mathis but I didn't want to take time off.
27. Regifteda large group of people standing around a buildingPhoto by RANIT SARKAR on Unsplash
About five years ago I was working at guest services at the mall. A man in his mid-20s walked in. He had a $500 mall gift card and he wanted cash for it. I explained that there was no way that I could give him cash for the card. He replied with a story: "Well, my fiancée got me this card for Christmas and a week later she dumped me. She's not talking to me so I can't give the card back, and having this card just makes me think of her”. Right away, I knew something was up.
I was really suspicious and couldn't refund him anyways, so I asked him, "Why don't you just use the card”? He starts up, "Like I said if I use it then I'm thinking about her and the things I buy will make me think about her”. I asked, "What's the difference with cash? How would buying things with cash make it better”? He smiled in a nervous way, but it was a joyful smile. They type of smile that a broken man could never make when his fiancée had dumped him a week after Christmas.
He was happy, and that didn't make sense to me. "You're lying”, I stated. He nervously chuckled, "My dad got it for me for Christmas, and I just wanted cash instead”. He left right after, and didn't say goodbye. After a few seconds of being stunned, I realized he left the card on the counter. I couldn't help but swipe it to check the balance, because after all that, how could I trust that there was really $500 on it? There was no money left on the card. I guess he thought he could use a sob story to get me to give him the money without checking on the card.
28. Apples To Apples
I used to work for Apple, as an AppleCare senior advisor. I get this guy that says that his Macbook Pro has been running slow since he upgraded his OS. He's reinstalled and done all that stuff and has also been to an Apple Authorized Service Provider who said they identified an issue but didn't know how to fix it. There were no notes from the service provider so I needed a second opinion, so I sent him to a local Apple Store. He needs to get this fixed because he's going back home to India in a few days.
He called me back angrily, saying that the Apple Store reinstalled the OS and did nothing else, so I gave the Apple Store a call. They found nothing apparently wrong with the machine but they reinstalled the OS anyways to be sure. Now, I still want to help this guy out, he's only got a couple of days left on his warranty and I want to make sure his stuff is fixed, so I grant warranty exceptions to force the replacement of the main board, HDD and RAM and send him back to the same Apple store. The guy tells me he's pushed his flight to India back a few days to get this fixed.
He calls me back the next day, angry again. He’s outside the Apple Store and says the Apple store people wanted to charge him even though I had granted the exceptions. I talk to the genius that spoke to this guy and she tells me that they were happy to repair the machine at no cost. He stormed out when he heard it was going to take overnight to complete.
I tell the guy the way it works but he refuses to go back to that Apple store. After 30 minutes of arguing, I got him to go to another Apple Store to get the work done that day. He calls back again, the machine hasn't been repaired, unfortunately, I can't remember why. I'm just about to give this guy a new computer when I decide to call the last Apple Store to tear them a new one.
They tell me that he never entered the store…at all…his genius bar appointment was marked as unattended. WHAT?! Then it clicks, this guy is lying to me. The guy has obviously played the game before and knows we'll give him a new computer if he gets screwed around enough. I call both Apple stores again just to confirm their stories.
I track this guy down on Facebook. It's active but mentions nothing about going to India. I call the original service provider he apparently went to and they had never heard of him. I can't tell him he is lying to me, so I send him an email stating that a fault MUST be found before I replace the computer. I fill our case notes with a point form version of what's occurred and I stop returning his calls. Luckily for me, I left Apple two days later. Apparently, he never did get a new computer.
29. Travel Perks
I used to work as a housekeeper/maid in a hotel (not a particularly fancy one, about £110 per night), and we'd frequently have people whine and moan about something. We've had people switch rooms six or seven times during their three-night stay because "it's too hot", "it's too cold", "the bathroom's too small", "the bed's too small", etc...
We had one man and his dog stay in the annex building (the three smallest, coldest, worst rooms), and I had to service the room. I did. The next day, I see a small dog running around the main building and ask the receptionist why. When she told me, I was furious. He'd complained bitterly about there being no tea, coffee, spoons, towels, or toiletries in the room. I got the blame, and he got the biggest room free of charge for an extra week. Of course, he didn't think to shut his suitcase, so we quickly worked out that he had taken everything. He still got the room for free.
30. Free Rideferris wheel beside green treePhoto by Luiz Guimaraes on Unsplash
I work at an amusement park-type place that uses a system of cards (like credit cards) that we swipe at each attraction. You can pay by the hour or by the attraction. As long as it flashes green on my scanner you're good to go. We regularly have customers that buy a one-hour pass and then try to share it with five people. So five people get on the ride at the same time for the price of one.
They usually by sneaking the card through the bars and back into line. Luckily, our scanner flashes red if any time limit cards are scanned more than once in five minutes, so as to stop the sharing. Then we have to explain to the often adult people that this is wrong and they can't ride, usually causing a fuss and threats and name calling towards me or my coworkers. Fun times.
31. Price Match
We had some people pull into our car park one summer. A guy comes to the till to buy two patio kits at £50 each. I tell him the total is £100 and he says he bought one for £50 the day before in another branch. I say, “Yes but you're buying two, so it's doubled”. He then starts to argue that I'm overcharging him.
This went on for ten minutes with me explaining that he was buying two so it was more expensive than one. That’s when I realized his big idiotic plan. His entire scheme was to attempt to hold up the queue to a point where I'd give him one for free by acting like a dumb jerk. Once he realized the queue had disappeared, you know, due to it being a huge DIY store with multiple cashiers, he suddenly clicked and paid up, never to be seen again.
32. Stick To Your Ribs
I used to work for Outback Steakhouse. One time, a gentleman came in and ordered Prime Rib. Now, it is store policy to remind people that "Prime Rib" does not constitute a rack of ribs, because people are stupid. This gentleman proceeds to become incensed that we would dare question his intelligence, and haughtily orders "the best prime ribs you have”. Facepalm.
A runner subsequently brings out his "prime ribs”. Sure enough, about 15 minutes later, he begins protesting aggressively that he ordered RIBS and demanding that an order of ribs be prepared for his obviously refined palate. However, as if that wasn’t bad enough, this gentleman had actually eaten about 3/4 of his "prime ribs" before staging his con.
33. Taste Testbrown bear plush toy on pink chairPhoto by Davide Carpani on Unsplash
I had a woman outraged that I made her pay for a stuffed toy that she had given to her baby, who was strapped to the front of her, and then watched him stick the whole thing in his mouth. When I caught her trying to put it back, I told her she had to purchase it. First, she told me she thought our merchandise was there just for kids to walk around with. No.
Then she told me it was ridiculous because he's just a baby. I said that is why adults need to supervise their children. Then she said that the policy was outrageous and there were no signs posted saying that she had to buy it. I told her there were no signs because, for most people, it's common sense. Then she told me she had never had this problem before.
At that point, I told her that other stores had probably never seen her do it. I asked her if she would give her child anything that had been in a stranger's mouth and that there are no stores that allow this kind of behavior because it's a health hazard. Five dollars later (I wasn't letting this woman go), I wanted to follow her to the next store and lick every shoe she wanted to try on. After all, it's no big deal, it's just a little saliva!
34. Wired Up
Years ago I worked at a small hardware store where they were constantly getting huge rolls of copper wire taken. One day this guy and his girlfriend come in to return a roll. I was a few months in on the returns counter. They had no receipt and when I scanned the item for the return it was only doing the price per foot.
I couldn’t figure out how to get the SKU or the price for the whole roll. I called the manager and he comes out and right away knows something is fishy. There’s no way these people bought a roll and returned it. So he asks when they bought it and they say two weeks ago—the common response—and my manager tells them, “Oh really, because the last time we sold an entire roll was over three months ago”.
The guy starts to get brave and tells him, “So you’re saying I took it”?! And my manager says yes. They end up leaving and they leave the roll behind. Before they leave the store the guy says, “I’m coming back and bringing the authorities”. My manager says, “Go ahead, that way you can explain to them how you took the roll in the first place”.
35. Free Pass
So I worked at this parking structure near Disneyland. It was for this mall that was mostly designed for tourists, but now just idiots going to the club show up. Well anyway, this convertible pulls up to my booth and these two jerks pull up with two girls in the back and hand me their ticket. I take it, it's a three-dollar charge, so he gives me $20. I open the register and the gate opens.
Just as I am about to give him $17 in change, he tells me he has exact change. Delighted (because I hate giving change for twenties…it depletes my ability to make change) I hand him back his 20. He takes it, looks at me, and says "Suckerrrrr”! and drives off. I just stood there, motionless, wondering why me.
Then I pulled out my wallet and put three dollars in the drawer. I didn't want my bank to be short. Working at a parking structure, people treat you like scum, but that was one of the worst days at work.
36. BOGO Froyofour assorted flavor of ice cream on white wooden tablePhoto by Dan Gold on Unsplash
I used to work at a froyo place, where you're charged by the ounce. I've had a lot of customers "happen" to try to lift the scales while I'm weighing the cups. The craftier ones would try to push their bags next to it and cover their hands.
The thing is, the cups the customers typically get average about to $4-$6, so when I suddenly see a whopping full cup, filled to the brim with peanut butter cups, ring up to $2, it was all too obvious.
37. Can’t Compute
A pretty common thing when repairing computers was for customers to bring in a fried computer for an easy upgrade and then try to blame it on us. Generally, we were pretty good about catching it beforehand. But one time when I was fairly new, I made an embarrassing mistake. A guy pulled it in the middle of an evening rush with his whole family in the store (seriously) and it completely slipped my mind to actually boot the computer before trying to install the new ram.
Long story short, the processor was fried and we wound up having to swap it too. When I figured out what was going on I mentioned it to the managers, they decided not to call the guy a liar in front of his family or other customers and were nice enough to not dock my pay the $100 for a replacement processor for the guy's piece of junk computer. I'm pretty sure this is common in just about every service industry too. It's enough to make me never want to do customer service ever again.
38. Book Exchange
Our store had a line of books at $25 each…they weren't cheap. One Christmas, the publisher decided they were going to sell them at Costco in a gift set—without our store's knowledge. This jerk publisher even prints a price on the gift set packaging ($130) then labels the shrink wrap with the $30 it would sell for at Costco. Of course, the $130 was made up. The gift set never sold for that much because it never existed outside of Costco. In fact, the "original" price didn't even add up properly.
Out of the woodwork came every dishonest guy in the city who would separate the books and try to return them to our store at their individual prices in an attempt to make $100 at our expense. Luckily we quickly noticed a small difference in the printing on the books that made them easy to identify. I'd ask them a few questions to figure out who was trying to scam us and who just had a deceitful mother-in-law.
39. The Italian Jobgoods on shelfPhoto by Nathália Rosa on Unsplash
I used to work at a large supermarket chain with stores all over the world. My particular store was in the middle of a massive tourist district, and for some reason, a LOT of older Italians lived there. Anyway, every day I would be at work, one lady would come in, and sometimes her friends would do it too, and they would have this massive smile on their face.
Then they would come up and explain that something was wrong with a particular product they had bought. They did it every day, and it was always the same deal. She would come in, buy something, take it home, eat half of it, then come back the next day and try to return it. Bread, cereal, cigarettes, fish, fruit. And if something wasn't refundable, like a half-eaten fish or chickens, or fruit or something, the one making the return would get furious then storm off, only to come back the next day to do it all again.
And there was NEVER anything wrong with anything she brought back. Everything was always way before the best-before date, and there was never anything wrong with any of the items. Then more and more of these Italians came in and did the same thing. One man always brought something to me and asked how much it was, and when I told him, he'd say "Too much too much, make it lower", and when I told him I couldn't he'd curse and leave.
I put up with all of this, until one day, I couldn’t take it anymore. The original lady came to buy cigarettes. I sold her the packet and broke a $100 bill for her. She came back five minutes later with the money in her hand and said I still owed her $55. I kicked her out and banned her, and was subsequently reprimanded as she'd complained to the store manager. I quit about a month later.
40. Language Lesson
I work in a restaurant that sells chicken, turkey, and meatloaf primarily. You pick your meat and pick two sides and cornbread. You figure it out. So the woman has sort of an elaborate order, no big deal. I turn around to tell the meat carver what I need but I talk to him in Spanish. He's Mexican and his English isn't too good so everything moves faster and all around more pleasantly if I ask him in Spanish. I also speak it fluently.
So I get the meat, get the sides etc. She pays and goes on her way. The next day or so my manager says that corporate received a complaint and is requesting her next meal be free. I ask, "What was the complaint”? She said you were speaking in a different language while handling her food". If someone is truly offended or uncomfortable by my speaking Spanish then say it upfront. Don't go calling. Everyone I ask usually just says that she was trying to get a free meal. Which she did.
41. Brown Bananas
There was this old lady who would buy some fruit and veggies, then about a week later she would come back into the store and complain about the quality of the fruit and veggies saying that it had gone off. The type of thing she would complain about was that the bananas she brought had gone brown. The worst of it was the manager of the fruit and veg section of the supermarket would give her replacement food.
42. It’s In The MailFile:2009-03-20 Papa John's Pizza out for delivery in Durham.jpg ...commons.wikimedia.org
I used to work at Papa John's. One day some lady called in asking why she was "receiving mail with the wrong name on it and if we could change the name". I told her that we were just a delivery store and didn't deal with the mail that got sent out. Her answer was unforgettable.
She said that she "suffered a great amount of distress" because Papa John's didn't recognize her as a loyal customer by sending her mail with the wrong name on it and she wanted a free pizza for her grief. My manager let her have it. (The pizza that is).
43. The Breakup
I was a waiter in college. A young couple comes in, eats, and the guy goes out to have a smoke. Twenty minutes later, the girl is still sitting there. I asked her if everything was alright and she started getting choked up. She says that she has been trying to call him and he is not answering. She thinks that he might have left her there and she doesn't have any money.
Feeling bad about this, I tell my manager that I would like to pay for their meal, and he tells me not to worry about it, he will comp it. I go back and tell the girl and she is so happy, she actually gives me a hug. As I am walking outside to seat some people on the patio, I see her get into the guy's car, who was waiting for her in the parking lot. It was a great ploy, and because we comped the meal, she technically didn't take anything without paying.
44. Reverse Psychology
I work in a bar. A lady sat on one of the stools and a screw came through the covering and scratched her leg (enough to make it red and scrape some skin, but not enough to make it bleed). She kind of kicked off about it so we apologized profusely, removed the stool, and gave her and her friends a free round of drinks. They seemed happy enough with this, but when they next came to the bar they demanded more free drinks saying the manager had told them they could drink for free all night.
He'd definitely not said this and would never say this to anyone (a group of six, drinking for four or five hours for free, you're losing some major $). I told them they couldn't drink for free, an argument ensued, and threats of lawsuits were given, so I came up with a plan.
I told them they could drink for half price. They were too wasted to realize their supposedly £30 round that I was “letting them have” for £15 only cost £15 in the first place. And I only gave them half measures.
45. Paper Moneywhite and red sony ps 4 game consolePhoto by Batu Gezer on Unsplash
I used to work at a game store a little more than ten years ago. Once, a woman came in dressed fairly trendy and asked for two PlayStation Portables (PSP), two Xbox 360s, and a handful of games and accessories. My store was pretty slow so this would be a pretty big sale for the day and I was excited about it. She goes to pay and hands me a credit card which was not laminated and appeared to be printed out on a home color printer.
I told her it wouldn’t work and she said just scan it anyway. So I scanned her fake credit card which clearly did not have a magnetic strip and it didn’t work (of course). She told me to just “put the numbers in” on the computer. I refused and she asked why, seemingly legitimately confused. I told her I just couldn’t. She told me she would be back with cash. I put everything back on the shelves. She did not return.
46. Tools Of The Trade
This happened on September 12, 2001, in the States. A guy in Spartanburg, South Carolina calls and says that his weed trimmer was in the twin towers in New York City the day before, and it got destroyed when the airplane hit and the building collapsed. He then demanded I replace it under warranty. I don’t understand some people…
47. It’s Not Delivery
We don’t deliver the pizzas we make, it’s carryout only. I had a customer call and have a long/angry conversation with me because I wouldn’t deliver to her. She proceeds to say (a couple of times), “you must be new here. I know the owner personally”, to which I responded, “Well, I’m the owner's daughter and we don’t deliver”. Can’t beat that.
48. MarkedUNKs coffee shop signagePhoto by Ismail Hadine on Unsplash
I worked at Burger King in Hamburg, Germany while I was studying there. We were slammed at lunch with people backing out the door and this guy paid for his lunch with a 20-mark note. He waited 20 minutes, then came back in and demanded another 30 marks in change claiming he had given me a 50-mark note. I had no way to prove to the customer or my manager what he had paid with, so I had to give him the 30 out of my drawer. At the end of my shift, my till was 30 marks short. The same manager who made me give him the money docked my pay 30 marks. It took me six hours of work to earn that.
49. Bad Credit
I work in a major electronic retail chain. Two construction workers walk in. They see the most expensive laptop, look at me and say, "Hey you, get me two of these", while his friend is hitting him saying "No no no stop man don’t". I knew something was weird but I got the laptops and they went to pay. One hands me a prepaid Visa card. I knew that it was fake or something but I tried it anyway. It doesn’t go through.
So I called the credit card company and asked them for the name that should be on the card as well as the amount. Turns out the card had $6.78 (They tried to buy $2,000 worth of stuff), and belonged to a woman named something or other. I decided to have some fun. So I said, "Sorry I just had to get authorization. It's been approved for $3,000. I just need to confirm the balance is $4325.46” I made something up while my manager was calling the authorities.
"Oh yeah, that's correct". "Alright I just need to get your name and phone number as the account information has been lost. This is your card, correct”? "Sure, yeah it is, here's my driver’s license". (He hands me his driver's license). I was laughing so hard in my head thinking that these two guys were that stupid. When the five-o finally got there, the guys broke down and started crying, saying, "He's lying I don’t even have a gift card". I showed the authorities the card, and the guy said, "That's his, it's not mine”!
Finally, we got the video of it showing he gave me the card. I watched him cry as the fuzz carried him out of the store. Oh good times.
50. Seafood Surprise
Being a klutzy server, I once dropped a stack of oyster plates on my first day. My table joked that oysters came on their own plates anyway. As I was laughing it off with them, we heard a shriek from a few rows of tables over. A woman insisted some rogue sharp piece had ricocheted over and cut her leg. I see her pinching her cut to "drain the blood". Her husband has her elevate her leg onto a chair and she starts deep breathing.
My manager rushes out with a free bottle of wine and to gauge the wound. The woman isn't in my section, but when I go to check in on how she's feeling, her response was unforgettable. She responds, with wide eyes, "I FEEL LIKE I'VE BEEN SHANKED". Shortly after comping her meal and 20 minutes into over-apologizing and babying her, my manager realizes she is displaying a shard of glass as the culprit. The plates were ceramic.
Let's talk about sex, baby.
I love that song and that phrase.
Yes, sex is natural and fun.
It can also cause a colossal amount of drama.
But does everyone always do it for the right reasons?
Redditor Environmental_Log257 wanted to hear about all of the wrong reasons people used for shacking up with others, so they asked:
"What’s the worst reason you hooked up with someone?"
I like to think that all of my sexual choices were thought out and wise.
But who am I kidding?
I'm no better than the rest.
I did the deed
"My first long-term gf cheated on me when she went off to college. We broke up. About two months later she got hit by a transportation bus and lost her leg. We had seen each other a couple of times after her recovery and hooked up. Years later I meet another girl with the same first name through a different ex and she had lost her leg too. I was thinking what are the odds of someone else being able to say they slept with two girls with the same name with both missing a leg…. So. I did the deed."
I hear you
"We both had the same name and thought it would be fun to call out our names in the heat of it."
"Ok, this is like… the BEST reason to hook up with someone. That sounds hilarious."
"Honestly that sounds so fun. Too bad I’ll probably never meet anyone with my name since it’s not technically a real name and I’ve never HEARD of another person being called that. My middle name is Ashley, though, and I tend to go by that in professional settings (I’m a guy, by the way) so I probably have a decent chance of trying that."
"Almost dated in high school. Had a falling out in college and didn't talk for years until we both attended a mutual friend's wedding. We were the only single people there and neither wanted to go home empty-handed. So we didn't. That was about four years ago. We talk sporadically but we've only seen each other in person maybe once or twice since that night."
"Interesting that you’ve never developed it. In my personal experience knowing myself, if this were to happen to me, I’d so relive the moment in my mind and want to be with that person forever, assuming the action was good and the person is happy with me."
Wingman IssuesBarney Stinson Wingman GIFGiphy
"She was hitting on my friend and he wasn’t down, so he said 'save me.' Reverse wingman lol."
"Falling on a grenade for your comrade."
Bad ideasOh No Facepalm GIF by AminéGiphy
"My best friend (I'm Male she's Female) hadn't had sex in a year and asked me."
"We stopped being friends in any capacity after that."
"I felt unattractive after my ex cheated on me and I needed someone to tell me I wasn't."
"Same-ish. Had a rough and very confusing breakup."
"She found me attractive and clearly was just looking for a little fun, with no attachment. We talked a lot and had a good time just being together, but we didn't really date. Just talked, sex, talked. It made me feel wanted again. She seemed to enjoy it and was clearly not interested in anything more than that. We parted as friends."
"Because she asked. I was visiting a friend in a different part of the state and she introduced me to one of her friends and she gave me my AOL username. This was back in the late 90s. 😉 A few days after returning home I received a message from that person asking for a one-night stand."
"A man has to comply to the AOL lady, it’s just sound reasoning."
"I was emotionally compromised and wanted to use a person that I cared nothing about to make me feel better about a situation that I couldn’t fix."
"I appreciate your honesty. Honestly, 99% of people do this at one point in their life whether they admit to it or not. You're admitting to it, even if it’s anonymous, which says a lot Or maybe I’m just like you and want to feel better about myself and I’m just a crazy rando. Therapy here I come!"
Gotcha!Wave Goodbye GIF by Beauty BrandsGiphy
"He cheated on me with his roommate’s girlfriend. So obviously his roommate and I hooked up for some revenge. It was excellent and I regret nothing."
Might as well
"We were bored. This was in the mid '00s when smartphones were not a thing yet and people still used CD players and DVDs. We both had no money or place to go and after doing nothing but talking with each other for 3 days we felt like we knew each other pretty well. I remember her complaining that 'there's nothing to do out here.' So I jokingly said back 'Well we could always do each other.'"
"Expecting her to punch me in the arm like she did when I made a comment about her boobs growing when she was talking about needing to go bra shopping. However, instead, she just sighed and said 'We might as well.' Before getting up and going inside her grandma's apartment. At first, I was a little confused and thought she misheard me so I followed. However once I was inside and saw her taking off her shirt I knew she heard me perfectly well."
Wow. Sex has people doing crazy things.
It maybe a wiser choice to think things through sometimes.
Or at least get a hobby or two.
We've all heard of Thomas Edison's process of inventing the lightbulb and the Wright Brothers' many attempts at inventing the first flyable airplane. We've even heard of the ridicule they heard of their ahead-of-their-time ideas.
But there are so many other examples of major scientific findings that were heavily argued against when they were first presented.
Redditor fuzzycuffs asked:
"Who was vilified in their time but in hindsight was completely right?"
"Doctor Clair Cameron Patterson not only discovered the true age of the Earth with his research in Lead-dating, but during this process, he accidentally discovered the dangers of lead contamination."
"Then he went, 'Wait, we’re putting this s**t in gasoline, cans, paint, etc.' He then began campaigning against lead in everyday products. In particular, he targeted the gasoline industry."
"You can imagine how that went in the courtroom. He was vilified, excluded, and slandered but kept pushing for lead to be removed from gasoline."
"It took decades, but obviously, lead was removed from gasoline almost entirely by 1990."
The Importance of Scrubbing Out
"Joseph Lister, one of the first doctors to publicly endorse germ theory and recommend disinfection."
"At the time, surgeons would literally move from an amputation to an autopsy to the delivery room, using the same tools often without even cleaning the gore from their hands and clothes."
"When Lister recommended comprehensive disinfection between procedures, nearly the whole British medical community laughed at him. He spent years as a pariah gathering data from his own practice until he could finally prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that his methods reduced post-operation infection by a staggering rate."
"Now he's known as 'the father of modern surgery.'"
The Existence of Pangaea
"The guy who came up with the theory of Pangaea and continental drift."
"Alfred Wegener. Not only that, we now have theories that Pangea was only one of the many supercontinents that have existed throughout the eons: Nuna, Rodinia, Pannotia..."
The Truth Behind Ulcers
"Barry Marshall (and also Robin Warren his co-researcher)."
"Forever, the cause of peptic ulcers was believed to be stress, spicy food, and too much acid production. They believed it was actually of bacterial origin."
"No one believed them, they were ridiculed because the belief was that bacteria couldn't survive in the acidic environment of the stomach."
"Not until Barry took a cocktail of H. pylori bacteria, which caused him to have massive inflammation of the stomach which was found to be colonized with the bacteria, but a course of antibiotics later and it was gone."
"One Nobel prize later and now the treatment of peptic ulcers is turned on its head, and instead of months or years of discomfort it can often be sorted with a week or two courses of antibiotics."
Unalive Infectious Diseases
"Stanley Prusiner. Everyone who was anyone in science knew that proteins couldn't be an infectious agent. They weren't even alive!"
"He suffered so much mockery and skepticism... until the mad cow disease, and kuru etc., were found to be precisely what he had described."
"Ignaz Semmelweis. The world didn’t know about germs yet, but he saw that way less women were dying from childbirth when midwives attended the births than when doctors did (doctors were coming from autopsies and wrecking women’s s**t)."
"Ignaz suggested they start washing their hands, and people lost their f**king minds. Doctors ridiculed him and everyone hated him. He had a 'nervous breakdown,' was committed to an insane asylum, beaten by the guards, and died from a gangrenous wound as a result of the beating."
Sports and Steroids
"The journalists who maintained Lance Armstrong was doping when he was winning the Tour de France. I remember they were mocked because they admittedly went to extremes hunting for evidence. I remember reports of them sifting through Armstrong's trash."
"Lance Armstrong was a great story, a testicular cancer survivor who beat the disease and went on to set the record for most Tour de France victories (was it 7?). He was untouchable. Anyone contesting he was cheating was shamed."
"I remember the journalists investigating him were mostly French, so they were dismissed because they were sour that an American was breaking the Tour de France records. I remember other Tour winners such as Greg Le Mond and Floyd Landis also contesting that Armstrong was cheating, and both being silenced/shamed."
"Landis had tested positive himself for doping so he wasn't considered a reliable source. I remember with Le Mond they dug into his history and brought up child abuse he suffered as a result of him making claims against Armstrong."
"Turns out they were all right."
Tragic Genetic Defect
"Patricia Stallings comes to mind."
"She was convicted of poisoning her first child. She gave birth again in prison, the kid got taken away, and the kid also died."
"Instead of poisoning, it has since been found it was a genetic defect that had similar effects as poisoning with antifreeze."
"One of the lesser-known ones is Hellen Keller. Her story of overcoming her disabilities as a young woman was often taught to children, but her adult life was largely excluded because of her 'radical' ideas at the time which involved pushing for Black rights, anti-lynching laws, early support of birth control, supporting liberal socialism, and she even co-founded the American Civil Liberties Union."
Overly Sweet Food
"John Yudkin was a food scientist who tried hard to push the idea that sugar caused heart disease and obesity amongst other conditions. He suggested a low-carb diet for weight loss in 1958."
"The sugar industry paid scientists like Ansel Keys and D. Mark Hegsted to downplay this connection and suggest that dietary fat caused obesity and heart disease. Massive lobbying helped pro-sugar scientists to become advisors to the government and officially suggest a low-fat diet to prevent heart disease."
"Taking fat out of food makes it taste bad, so what do they add? More sugar, causing the food to be unhealthier. The demonizing of fat lasted well into the 2000s and often still persists to this day."
"Nicolaus Copernicus theorized that the planets actually circled the sun instead of the other way around. The church initially accepted heliocentricacy but banned his views in the 1600s."
"He will forever be remembered for setting up one of my favorite insults of all time: 'Copernicus called. It turns out you're not the center of the universe.'"
"John Snow. He tried to remove the handle of a water pump in London that was drawing its water downstream from a sewage pipe. People who drew water from the pump caught cholera."
No Nuclear Ruin
"Stanislav Petrov. More people need to know his name, he literally, like quite literally saved the world."
"He saved the world from nuclear ruin, simply because he was stubborn and refused to believe the computing error. He went against his position orders and was consequently sacked by the USSR and lived an isolated life. Not necessarily vilified by all, but vilified by the USSR and ignored by the West. It put some respect on his name."
"And he didn't even win a Nobel peace prize, died in 2017. I recommend watching 'Stanislav Petrov, the man who saved the world.'"
"Charles Darwin. There’s a whole book on how scared he was to publish his work because he knew he’d be hated for it. The Reluctant Mr. Darwin by David Quammen."
Too Soon, But Also Not
"The Deep-sea exploration community warning OceanGate against ocean tourism. OceanGate basically told them to mind their business."
As painful as many of these revelations are, this whole series is a great reminder of the fact that we, as individuals and as a society and as a global community, will never know everything.
We'll never stop learning, and sometimes, no matter how extreme the consequences, we will be wrong.
Every medical professional has seen their fair share of difficult patients—but some of the most memorable visits involve the moment when it becomes abundantly clear that the person in front of them is totally faking their symptoms. Sometimes it’s just for attention…but sometimes, it’s way more sinister.
1. Silver Linings
I had a mother come in and insist that her child had Silver-Russell syndrome. It's not that easy to fake, as it's a bunch of metabolic conditions mixed with congenital abnormalities.
The kid was small, but not that small, and he didn't weigh much. All of this, with a right arm length 2 cm more than the left side, were borderline criteria for Silver-Russell. We did genetic testing, which came back negative—but 30% of cases are negative.
There was one more deciding factor—the "soft" criteria of hypoglycemia. Once she heard about this (she’d printed out 30-40 articles on the disease), that’s when she went off the deep end. She came back with the kid in a coma. But then, when the kid was in the hospital, he was never hypoglycemic. He went home, and came back in a coma a few weeks later. Again, as soon as he was eating normally at the hospital, he wasn’t hypoglycemic.
Yeah, she had starved her child into comas repeatedly for the diagnosis of Silver-Russell. On top of that, she was in a wheelchair when at the hospital. Once I had enough of her lies, I walked into the room after only knocking once. She was walking around normally and jumped into the wheelchair as soon as she saw me.
I believe it was for money since in Canada/Quebec, you get money when your child has a genetic disability...god, if I could’ve, I would have slapped some sense into her.
2. The Grass Is Always Greener…
When I was about 7 or 8, my older sister found out she needed glasses. My parents and sister kept talking about how detailed the leaves on trees looked after getting glasses and before it just looked like a green blur. Well I wanted to be cool and get glasses too so I peeked up and said: "What leaves? The trees just look like a blur to me".
Flash forward to the eye clinic, there I am being asked to read the eye chart by the eye doctor—who was a family friend. I knew if I read it accurately they would know I didn't need glasses, so I lied, trying to fudge the results, as the doc kept flipping different lenses.
Finally he flips to one and says, "This one should work for you". I read the whole chart and immediately after he sticks a pen right through where the lenses should be. I was super humiliated and the doctor just laughed but my mom was so mad.
I was a lying little jerk and I got it good that evening.
3. Monkey Hear, Monkey Doman in blue and orange adidas crew neck t-shirt standing beside white van during daytimePhoto by Michel E on Unsplash
My husband is a firefighter and EMT and he told me about a time when they were called for a man seizing. When they got there a guy was lying face up on the floor not moving and then started faking a seizure. So they came up with a plan to expose him.
They stood there saying things like "Oh wow. This is a bad one. But if they did “X” then we should really be worried”! and the patient would suddenly start doing X behavior. Apparently, this went on for a while, until he miraculously woke up in the ambulance asking for opiates.
4. Rock On
My husband is a urologist. ER called with a patient who is reportedly writhing in pain from kidney stones. The patient brought with him a stone he passed for analysis. My husband walks in, sees one of the hospital’s regular pill-seekers, and takes a look at the sample. He quickly realized that it was a pebble guy picked up in the parking lot.
5. Third Time’s The Charm
I was an intern in a busy trauma ED when a guy walks up the ambulance bay and screams he needs to be seen immediately. They take him back and ask him what happened—and the story he told was bizarre. He says he was in a car accident last night going "100+ mph" on the interstate but did not go to the hospital because he was worried about his friend, the driver. But now he's losing feeling in his legs and has severe back pain and needs to be seen.
So of course the story is super fishy but we put him on a backboard/collar and get some X-rays of the chest and pelvis (our protocol for any severe trauma). The radiologist who is stationed in the ED flags me. Then he asks me a question that made everything click into place. He was wondering when our patient got a CT scan. He showed me his pelvis x-ray and his bladder is super bright: It's filled with the iodine contrast agent they inject in your veins when you get a CT, which is then excreted by the kidneys over the next few hours.
So we confront our patient about why he didn't tell us about being seen at another hospital and getting a CT. He launches into a rambling explanation about concussions and amnesia. He has, of course, also exhibited several other pill-seeking behaviors in his short time in the ED. He decides to leave against medical advice…but not before asking the nurse directions to the nearest hospital, presumably to try the same trick.
6. Bait And Switchmacrophotography of cracked glass screenPhoto by Jilbert Ebrahimi on Unsplash
My wife's a district nurse, she drives to peoples’ homes changing dressings, giving medications, etc, etc. Her job has her dealing with many people such as gang members and people on home detention, but the worst in her opinion, the people you never trust even a little bit are the methadone patients. According to her a lot of them will try anything to get a little bit more.
She had one not long ago that was being extremely talkative, almost like he didn't want her to leave the house. Then he started showing her every little lump and bump, wanting her to make sure they weren't infections or anything. Although he wasn't making her uncomfortable, she did think it was strange for him as he was normally very quiet and wanted the nurses gone ASAP.
When she got back to her car, the back window had been smashed in, but all that was missing was her sharps container and the lockbox the meds were kept in. It didn't take a genius to figure out what was going on So she walks back to the house, looks in the front window and sees the patient and another guy sitting on the couch trying to open her lockbox and emptying the sharps container on the floor.
She called the authorities at that point. Some of the needles now on the floor were from an HIV+ patient she had earlier in the day, but she sat in the car until the PD arrived—that’s not a situation you want to get in the middle of.
7. Hail Mary Pass
I had a patient fake Guillain-Barre syndrome—ascending paralysis. She ended up in the ICU and I was her nurse. I was a new grad and had to put a catheter in her bladder. She had to pretend she couldn't feel a thing and I could see the pain in her eyes. Later, I found out the devastating truth.
It turned out she got into a fight with her husband and as he was walking out of the house she fell on the floor to make him stay. I don't think she meant to take it so far…but she didn't know how to back out.
8. The Voices In My Head Told Me To Ask That
There are some fun ones in psych—but I’ll always remember one patient. She went into her room and, in a very obvious stage voice—just loud enough for us to hear her in the main area—started saying random, unconnected sentences/phrases. Then she immediately came out, walked straight up to us, and asked, "How do I know if the voices are real”?
She would act perfectly normal when she thought we weren't looking, but as soon as we walked loudly up to her door she'd start "talking to herself" again. Yeah, no. That's not how psychosis works. Good try though.
9. Right Place, Wrong Actwoman lying on hospital bedPhoto by HH E on Unsplash
This just happened last week, strangely enough. I've been a nurse for 4 years now, and this is probably the worst I've seen it.
This young adult comes in with seizure-like activity. We're a neuroscience floor, so we get these a lot. Complains of severe abdominal pain related to her seizures, apparently. They run multiple CTs and MRIs that come back clean. We put her on a 24-hour VEEG machine (video EEG for those who don't know). She reportedly has 100s of seizures throughout the night, with full body convulsions, drooling, upper extremity contractions, and will not respond to verbal stimuli. Post ictal, she's not lethargic, just confused. Doesn't know her own name, the place that she's in, or what time it is, but the rest of her neuro assessment is benign. No bladder incontinence during, had perfect control of all limbs.
She screams for pain meds when she's not having seizures, but is for some reason refusing everything they offer her. Tylenol—nope. Percocet—makes her feel weird. Lidoderm patch for her abdomen—it gives her sores in her mouth. I guarantee if a doctor dropped the D word, she would have been all over that.
After 24 hours of being there, $1,000s worth of tests being run all coming up negative, the doctors had no choice but to send her home. She became agitated and seizing again, while the doctor is basically explaining that she's faking it. That was the final nail in the coffin for him.
He says, "I'll wait”. She immediately stops. Security had to roll her out, with me in tow, because I was too paranoid that she would throw herself on the floor before leaving and demand to be readmitted. They recommended an outpatient psych consult for her, which made her even angrier. Lord knows, maybe the seizures felt real to her, but she didn't need a special kind of help.
I had this teenage girl, probably 16, come in saying that her wrist was broken. Her mom was behind her rolling her eyes after every time she would tell me how bad it hurt. She then proceeded to “flop it“ in an attempt to show me how bad it hurt when she did that. She said it was clearly broken and she would need a cast. I said I would take her back and let the doctor do some x-rays and do their thing.
The mother asked to talk to me outside of the room—and she revealed the truth about her daughter. She told me her daughter’s friend recently got a cast and her daughter was notorious for being overly jealous. I just responded by saying that if they were anything wrong, it would show up in the x-ray. Guess what? She didn’t get a cast and threw a fit.
Last I saw her was her crying and throwing a temper tantrum outside of the waiting room and being dragged out by her very embarrassed mom.
11. Dine & Dash
This gentleman called 9-1-1 from a restaurant claiming he had a migraine and was unable to see properly. He was literally two blocks from a hospital.
I've had migraines, I'm sympathetic. On the way to the call, I was planning my treatment plan so he would be more comfortable during the wait in the emergency. When we pulled up, I couldn’t believe my eyes.
He was waiting outside, in full sunlight, waving at us. Thanked us politely for coming "to his rescue". Sat in the well-lit ambulance, chatting up a storm, making inappropriate jokes, and laughing. Stating the whole time he has 10/10 pain from a migraine, and that only Percocet works to reduce the pain. He has them frequently, and wouldn't you know it, he's run out of his prescribed medication, and his doctor is on vacation.
The chef from the restaurant he called from came out and asked for his information. That’s when the story got even more hilarious. Our patient was "unable to pay his bill, due to the pain”. He conveniently had no ID he could leave with the restaurant, and only had his debit card with him. He promised to come back, once he was feeling well enough to tap his PIN into the machine, but right now he couldn't. The chef knew 100% the guy was full of it, but couldn't do anything.
As someone who has had a vomiting, shaking, vision effecting, migraine in the past, he did nothing to convince anyone he was in actual discomfort. I actually would greatly prefer if he had said, "I ate a meal I can't afford, and I'm addicted to painkillers, can you please take me to the ER”. Honesty would have gotten him better treatment from everyone involved.
12. A Bit Of A Stretchperson sitting inside restaurantPhoto by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash
I am an EMT, and I got called for an unconscious intox at a bar. We get her out to the ambulance and she shouts "I'M HAVING A SEIZURE"! She starts waving her arms around. I tell her "People who have seizures generally don't announce it first”.
Her response? "You're being very judgmental, I was getting ready…in case I had a seizure”.
You gotta stretch, I guess.
13. A Running Gag
Well, I'm not a doctor or nurse, but I am a disability attorney. I've seen a few obvious fakes. My favorite was at this hearing office that's a single courtroom sort of tacked onto the back of one of the satellite offices. Judges come down from the main office every so often to do hearings there. However, the entrance is around the side of the building so people often go in the front of the building and sit there waiting, even when I tell them it's around the side.
So, I have this client that did exactly that. She's claiming disability in part because she can't walk more than a few steps without falling over in extreme pain. Uses a cane or a walker to get around everywhere. Of course, none of this is in her records. She originally claimed it was because she couldn't afford to see a doctor so I believed her.
Well, it gets close to her hearing time and she hasn't arrived, so I go out to the parking lot to give her a call. No answer—her phone is already off. I figure that she went in the front entrance. As soon as I start heading toward the front of the building, I am greeted by the most ridiculous sight.
She is running around the side of the building. Cane in one hand. She doesn't even notice me in the parking lot. I go back in to talk to her ahead of the hearing. Suddenly she can't walk anymore.
Yeah there are a ton of cases where people can do short bursts of walking or even running but can't do sustained standing/walking to hold down a light exertional level job, but this wasn't that. This was straight-up faking it for the hearing. Now, luckily, she had other (mental) things that were going on with her which were actually pretty well documented, but it was still pretty funny seeing the miracle cure come running around the side of the building.
14. Eau De Overreaction
We had an employee that was "allergic to everything" and a huge hypochondriac. She was such a headache that we ended up moving her desk waaaaaay away from pretty much anyone else so she would stop complaining. One day, a lady walks by with a strong perfume, and our lovable hypochondriac falls out.
Predictably, EMS is called, and by this point our employee is laying on the ground rolling her eyes back in her head. Scary stuff—if you didn't know she was literally insane.
So EMS arrives and they come over, put the O2 meter on her finger, and she's choking through her speech when they're asking her if she can breathe or not. O2 saturation was at like 97% or something like that. Medic goes "Ma'am, there's no reason why you should be having trouble breathing right now”.
They hung around for another couple minutes, then bounced.
15. Nurse Karenshallow focus photo of woman in blue topPhoto by Timur Romanov on Unsplash
She was a nurse on disability and would fake seizures, which are really hard to fake. She would hold her breath and shake and roll around on the bed. Her O2 saturation dropped to the 70s from not breathing—and maybe the sensor wasn't picking it up well as she was shaking. That’s when we gave her an ultimatum.
We told her we'd intubate if she couldn't protect her airway and she would miraculously stop seizing. She never acted postictal and could remember the whole seizure and everything that was said. The worst part?
She told me she would call my manager since I said during one of her "seizures" we didn't need to give her Ativan.
16. Problem Solved
I had a male patient, 30 years old, unconscious and completely unresponsive for six hours. This guy was totally dedicated to his act. I initially approached it as a stroke, but when the blood pressure, ECG, reflexes, pupils, etc, all are normal, so I start checking pain sensation. He slowly began to open his eyes and groan as I asked him to tell me his name, but the moment his Achilles' tendon was pressed, he suddenly sat up, stated his name, and declared himself cured.
17. Starting A Trend
As a resident, I had a patient who had a blood clotting disorder, but also who was addicted to IV pain meds. He figured out how to get admitted for an extensive workup for a possible blood clot in the lung and IV pain meds for his "chest pain".
He came in all the time, but it was very difficult to block the admission, because he actually did have a risk of this problem, never took his blood thinner correctly, and his symptoms always bought him a couple of days at least while we ruled out a clot and got his blood levels where they are supposed to be. But it meant he had accumulated >30 high resolution CT scans of the chest over his life, as part of the workup, which is not good for you.
I had this one question I used for patients I thought might be faking it. I would ask it to people who tended to come in complaining of every serious sounding symptom they could think of: "Does it ever hurt behind your eyes when you pee”?.
I was very salty at that point, and this guy was a nightmare when he ended up on your service, and it really bothered me that this guy was buying himself a lung tumor with all those PE protocol CTs just to get a day’s worth of IV pain meds and Benadryl.
With him, I started asking the "pain behind your eyes when you pee" question like it was extremely important, and quickly he started answering "yes", and I acted like it was an extremely serious condition that warranted evaluation—once it was clear I couldn't avoid the admission anyway.
I considered it one of my greatest achievements in residency that he one day showed up in the ER with "pain behind my eyes when I pee" as his chief complaint. I heard a colleague talking about this crazy dude who came in demanding to be admitted because he had excruciating urination-related eye pain. Made my day.
18. Playing Hookywoman sitting on green grassPhoto by Sarah Brown on Unsplash
I had a female patient, 17 years old, who complained of respiratory distress and convulsions. Everything's normal on admission, and she's conscious but refuses to eat. Her parents are worried out of their minds, and every few minutes she has a “fit” where she would just basically shake from side to side.
She let slip to a nurse that she didn't want to go to school that week, so she was faking an illness. Since she was refusing to eat, the attending wrote up an order for a nasogastric tube (which was inserted and then removed by her in a matter of minutes), and we prescribed her sugar pills because her parents wouldn't let us transfer her to psychiatry or discharge her. She finally left after four days.
19. Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Pettily
I had a male patient, 21 years old, who was admitted with inability to speak for last two hours and respiratory distress. Lungs clear, but we hook him up to oxygen for a few minutes. After he's taken off, his father comes running and drags me over, saying his sons tongue refuses to go back in after receiving the oxygen.
I look at the kid and he's seriously just lying there with his tongue poking out like a child. I tell them to push it back in. A few hours later, the dad tells me the boy is convulsing. I go to see without making my presence known and he's lying there just fine. The moment I ask the mom how he's doing, he starts “convulsing”. Think of an odd version of the worm, but on his back. Later, I found out the hilarious truth.
We finally got the story behind it, and basically the kid was mad because his dad took his phone away and this was his way of “punishing” his dad.
20. Breaking The Fourth Wall
My disability firm fired a client who went to a clinic with her husband and son. When she was not examined as thoroughly as she felt was appropriate, she started acting the fool in the hallway outside the doctor’s office and had an "episode”.
Her son recorded the whole thing. She was claiming fugue states or some weird garbage. While she's pretending to pass out/be out of breath/dizzy/weak, she is purposefully hyperventilating but also wailing for an ambulance and DIRECTLY LOOKS AT THE CAMERA multiple times, like checking to see if son is getting it.
The doctor’s staff calls an ambulance just to get her out of there. Before they get there, she "passes out”. The paramedics come and rub her sternum which she obviously physically responds to but refuses to open her eyes. They then drop her hand over her face to see if it will smack her and she lets it fall to the side of her face onto her shoulder.
We watched that video like three times to get over the disbelief that anyone would pull such nonsense and note the obvious signs of faking it. We fired her as a client, but said we could reconsider if she entered mental health treatment for six months and didn't get any better. We never saw her again.
21. Shakin’ All Overman in red shirt driving carPhoto by Mat Napo on Unsplash
My sister-in-law used to have "seizures". She got in a minor car accident once and afterwards in the hospital the doctor told her she may have had a mild seizure during the accident. My brother was worried about leaving her and their son alone so she was staying at my parents’ house while he was at work.
Suddenly she was having regular "seizures"—but there was just one problem. It was only when she had an audience. I only witnessed one of them but it was ridiculous. It was the day before Thanksgiving and my whole family was at my parents’ house—me, my sister and other brother and our spouses.
We're all talking and she suddenly starts shaking all over, slides herself off the couch to lie on the floor, jiggles about a bit more and then goes still and pretends to be unconscious. My dad called an ambulance and she was still "unconscious" when they arrived. They started talking to her and asking her questions like "Can you hear me"? etc. She would nod her head in answer to their questions.
I remember the EMT being like "Huh, that's weird that she's answering". There was another time shortly after that when she was at my parents’ house and one of my dad's friends came over and while he was there she had another "seizure" and rolled onto the floor. My dad’s reaction was unforgettable.
He’d had enough drama at this point so he just walked outside with his friend. When he came back inside she was sitting on the couch like nothing happened and never mentioned it.
22. DIY Symptoms
My mom said my brother came to her one morning saying he was sick and asked her to feel his head. This was how she decided if we had a fever and were therefor allowed to stay home. My mom told him sternly to get ready for school. He didn't realize that he'd had grate marks on his forehead from pressing it against the heater.
23. Caught Red-Handed
My partner at work is an administrator with an ED nursing background. She was called in to the ED one night last year to deal with a patient who was complaining of severe headaches and nosebleeds but was refusing to go for any kind of examination in favor of being admitted. They are pretty sure at this point that she is looking for pain meds as she refused to even lie in the bed. My friend left the room and was standing a few feet outside the patient's glass bay talking with the charge nurse when she noticed the patient turn around and hunch over. She subtly stopped the conversation so they could observe. What they saw was so disturbing, it’s unforgettable.
The patient turned around with more blood on her nose and blood on her fingers from where she had been reaching into her underwear and smearing period blood all over her face to fake a nosebleed.
24. Placebo Effecta woman laying in a hospital bed with an iv in her handPhoto by Stephen Andrews on Unsplash
We had a teenager admitted with unexplained "seizure" activity. Her mom & boyfriend were beyond concerned & stayed at her bedside. How she was even admitted in the first place is a mystery. Anyway she started "seizing" and her family called a rapid response—basically it's an emergency but not a code blue.
The rapid team responds & the on call physician was a delightful jerk. The situation was explained as we're going down the hall and he says "Someone give me a flush".
We get in the room ad he says in a soothing tone "It's okay Jane. I'm going to give you some medicine to help. It should work pretty quickly”. That saline quelled her seizure pretty much immediately.
25. Conjugal Visit
Another paramedic piping in! One day I went out to a "no tell motel" at about 3:30 pm for seizures. When we get there a 25-year-old guy sitting on the bed, and his girlfriend describes "his whole body shaking, it stopped just before you got here". He's completely alert and oriented (people who have seizures generally take a while to “wake up”), and they describe a vague seizure history, with no diagnosis or meds.
He hands me his drivers’ license for ID—even though, if you have a legit seizure the first thing they do is take your drivers’ license away. We finally walk him out to the ambulance and the girlfriend asks if she can come too. I tell her of course, and the real reason comes out.
Apparently, she's on a pass from the same hospital we're transporting to and has to be back by 4pm. There's only one unit that does passes like that...psychiatry!
My son's uncle was pretty much bedbound, to go to the toilet he had to use a walker and it would take him about 10 minutes to slowly get himself to the toilet at the back of the house, he had the whole family waiting on him hand and foot for years.
We were visiting once and my son, a baby at the time, fell asleep in the lounge. I didn't want to move him so I stayed behind reading a book while the rest of the family went out. The house was really quiet.
I heard Uncle get up and watched him march past me with no walker and no mobility issues. He certainly jumped a foot in the air when I said hi, his face was a picture!
27. Get Out Of Jail Free Cardperson showing handcuffPhoto by niu niu on Unsplash
We had a patient. He had just committed a heinous crime, no question, it was on video, tried to run from the authorities, crashed his car, and broke his leg. I have seen adult babies before, but this guy took the cake.
I think he thought being unable to walk would keep him out of jail, so this perfectly healthy, 20-year-old man would not even try to walk with crutches, cane, walker, anything. I wanted to read him to the ground but was with a mentor and about four officers and held my tongue.
28. No Such Thing As A Free Meal
We get called to a local Waffle House for a seizure. We walk in to find a man lying on the floor, not moving, but breathing. We start talking to the waitress, asking what had happened. While talking to her, we occasionally look down at the patient, and find him with one eye barely cracked open, watching us, when he sees us looking at him, he closes his eye. This happens a few times. Then the authorities show up and find out what's going on.
One of the officers asks the waitress, "Did he (patient) eat here”? "Yes, he did”. "How much is his bill”? "Fourteen dollars”. At this point, the officers roll the patient over and find his wallet, the guy has a $20 bill in it. One of the officers takes out the $20, gives it to the waitress, and tells her, "Keep the change”. You could see the anger in the patient's face when he realizes he's not getting out of paying his bill. He ended up faking a seizure on the way to the hospital.
29. The Carrot And The Stick
My mother was the school nurse when I was in high school, but she's been a nurse my whole life. She's told me a few good stories. But I was lucky enough to overhear one of the students trying to fake an illness to get out of class.
The kid, we'll call him Derrick, was a loser. White trash, moody, and destructive. Not my favorite classmate. But I was laying there when I heard him come in and start his routine of attention seeking.
So my mom runs through all the basics, temp, blood pressure, etc. Well, Derrick finally just cuts to the chase, obviously frustrated with the procedure, "Look Mrs S, something is seriously wrong here and I'm not faking it this time", he screeched, defenses already 10 feet high.
She asked: "OK Derrick, what's the problem this time”?
"Well, earlier this morning, I started feeling sick, so I went to the bathroom to throw up. After I was done I looked at the toilet...(dramatic pause) and there where over a dozen whole baby carrots...(another pause, this one I think was for any gasps that might be coming) AND I DON'T EVEN EAT CARROTS”! He was basically shouting at this point.
Well, after about a 10 second pause and what I'm guessing was the hardest straight face my mother ever had to keep, she came up with a legendary reply.
She said, still fighting back laughter, "Well Derrick, your body is producing carrots at an alarming rate. Weird that it only seems to happen during gym, though. Here is a Gatorade and a hall pass to get back to class, see you tomorrow”.
He left, stunned to be written off so easily and we had a good ol' laugh.
"And I don't even eat carrots”! has become a family favorite catchphrase.
30. When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go…men's and women's bathroom signsPhoto by Juan Marin on Unsplash
I had a guy trying to fake stroke symptoms. Claimed he couldn't move his leg, doctors examine him and he insists he can't move it. Five or ten minutes later I look in the room and he is walking to the bathroom.
When he sees me, he immediately starts limping and acting like it’s hard to walk. Pretty sure he was discharged shortly after.
31. Plan Foiled
We get called to a fall in the women's bathroom at Wal-Mart. We walk in, and the manager is FREAKING OUT. We go into the bathroom to find a white female face up on the floor. I'm guessing she weighs at least 350 lbs, there were two friends of hers standing in there with her. I ask her what happened, she says she slipped on a puddle and fell, hurting her back.
I look all over the bathroom floor, there's NO water on the floor. I ask the manager AND the patient's friends—"Do you see water on the floor”? They all said, "No”. I then tell the patient, "There's no water on the floor, ma'am”. She says, "I'm lying on top of it”.
We're going to have to roll her to her side in order to get a backboard under her and pick her up, I explain that to her. As we roll her to her side, I check her back for any obvious injuries, I then check her clothing AND the floor she was lying on—nothing was wet. I have the manager (who was grinning from ear to ear at this point) and the patient's friends look. "Do you see water on the floor? Are her clothes wet”? They all said, "No”.
We then roll the patient onto the board, pick her up, and place her on a stretcher. I knew exactly what to say to end the ridiculous charade.
I tell the patient, "I'm going to be writing up paperwork for this call and your treatment. Part of what is going to be written up is the fact that you said you slipped on a wet floor, and that no water was found either on the floor or soaked into your clothing. This is standard, I have to write up what I'm told in addition to what I see. What you need to understand is this—if you happen to decide to take Wal-Mart to court, they can request a copy of my run report, and it's going to show what you said and what I found. They can also summon me to testify, and if they do, I'm going to tell them what you told me and what I saw, the manager saw, and what your friends saw. That being said, do you want to keep dragging this out and go to the hospital, or do you want to just get up from my stretcher and be done with it”?
She chose to get up and leave.
32. Them’s Fighting Words
My dad works in A&E (accident and emergency) and gets a lot of people wandering in for attention.
So one time a guy is driven in pretending to be unconscious, the same guy who'd pulled this the week before—but they're not allowed to turn these people away. My dad, knowing this, says something like "Hey, isn't this the jerk from last week”?
The guy then miraculously wakes up and starts hurling insults and has to be held back. Charming…but makes for good stories at least.
33. When The Let Ankle Doesn’t Know What The Right Ankle Is Doinga woman on a treadmill in a gymPhoto by Nate Johnston on Unsplash
I’m a student nurse, but this happened when I was at the gym. The guy next to me fell off the elliptical, somehow got his foot trapped between the foot pedals and went sideways. The surprisingly inept PTs—personal trainers are usually well trained in first aid—were freaking out and this guy is really hamming it up. Talks of calling an ambulance are thrown about. I offer to step in.
"AHHHHHH MY ANKLE" He's on the floor grabbing his leg. I kneel next to him.
"Hey bro”, I greet him. He's so surprised that I'm there—I came up from behind—that he forgets to groan. "How much does it hurt on a scale of 1-10”?
"Erm…8" he says. I look at his ankle. There's a scratch on it the size of a penny and superficial, hardly any blood. Little red around the scratch, ankle not swollen. I ask him if he can point and flex his foot and rotate his ankle, which he can do with zero difficulty, not even a grimace.
I figure he's probably hamming it up because it's embarrassing falling off a machine in front of everyone, so I get him an ice pack, tell him he'll be fine, and tell the trainers not to call an ambulance—but the story doesn’t end there.
His sister comes to pick him up in her car and he limps out on the wrong leg.
34. The Minimizer
I had an elderly man who was in his early 70s (long term smoker) who came in with shortness of breath, trouble breathing, and a little bit of a cough and occasional production of blood tinged sputum. That last one is a bad sign.
He also complained of a little bit of back pain he'd been having that started about a month ago after he was helping his son move. When asked to rate his pain he said 2/10 ("not too bad").
He has no other history, always had good blood pressure, no cholesterol issues, no diabetes...has a little bit of anxiety/depression, unmedicated.
So we check him out. Reduced breath sounds all across, more so on the left lower side. Tenderness to palpation in the lower back, he jumped when we touched it, and said it was about a 3/10 when we touched it.
I check his vitals, his blood pressure is 180/85 (this happens with severe pain), he has no fever, and his heart rate is in the 120s (also happens with pain).
I get scans and labs. He has three broken vertebrae, probably pathological (caused by cancer) a pleural effusion (it was malignant, as in, caused by cancer), and a few masses in his left lung. Guy had stage 4 lung cancer that spread to his back, caused his back to break, and he said he had 2-3/10 back pain.
Either he was set on fire in his childhood and then beaten with 2x4s filled with nails then rolled in broken glass...or he was faking not having pain. This is someone who we would describe as a "minimizer".
Not the typical story you expected, I guess.
He got his surgery, and the next day wanted to leave the hospital because he had to do some paperwork and pay his bills. He didn't take any of the pain meds offered to him, except at night to help him sleep.
I hope he's still alive, was a really nice guy.
35. Defending The Fort
My mother-in-law is a family doctor. I went to her practice to drive her home and was sitting in the waiting area. The place is emptying out and I'm there alone. The receptionist goes downstairs to get a coffee cause that's the last patient and she just has to do paperwork when they come out.
Then this haggard looking guy wheels in in a wheelchair while she's gone. He wheels over beside me. He's coughing and sounds like and looks like he’s not gonna make it much longer.
Anyway, last patient walks out before the receptionist is back.
A few minutes later out comes my mother-in-law and sees this guy. Her reaction was surprising.
She says immediately, "Mr so-and-so, please leave". He starts on some crazy mumbling ramble about how "he's in so much pain, and he can't even walk anymore”, and a bunch of other stuff, but I remember explicitly the "I cannot walk anymore" statement.
So of course, she says something like, "If you do not leave I'm going to have to call the authorities". I’ll never forget what happened next.
The guy jumps out of the chair (“can't walk”) and runs at her. Now it wasn't super fast by my standards, but he was going to mess her up by what I could tell.
Thankfully, I was able to get up and sort of semi-tackle him against a wall before he got to her. But the guy was strong. I couldn't actually believe what I was seeing.
So anyway, Doctor Mother-in-Law locked herself in the reception office that's glassed in. Apparently, this kind of thing happens more than just once, which is scary. Anyway, she does that and I let the guy go and he didn't seem like he was going to mess with me but I kind of think in retrospect I probably should have kept him tackled or whatever, in case he had something on him, but I thought I was invincible.
Anyway, he swears at her for a while through the glass and started banging on it. And it was as if I wasn't there. I thought he might come at me, or try to hit me, but no he was just boxing the glass in front of him. But the story doesn’t end there.
The one funny part was the secretary opened the door to come in and saw the guy and spilled her coffee and ran like the devil away. The look on her face was priceless. But lunatic man was oblivious.
Anyways, maybe like five minutes later a couple of officers did show up and weirdly the guy kind of calmed down when they did. They cuffed him and took him away and then we did reports and like an hour later I was able to finally drive her home.
But she said the guy just wanted pain meds, and she saw that a lot. I still thought it was crazy he "couldn't walk".
36. Get Your Story Straighthigh-angle photography of woman in stairsPhoto by Fabio Spinelli on Unsplash
We had a lady when I was in nursing school who had been in the hospital a multitude of time for various (actual) neurological conditions. On top of this, she had borderline personality disorder and was extremely manipulative. She had had a full neuro exam on so any occasions she could actually mimic a problematic exam and make you believe that she was having a stroke or some other issue.
Problem was, on an occasion I witnessed, she'd forget to be consistent with the side that she was feigning weakness or paralysis on. So she'd sit, only move one side of her face, one side of her body, talk funny because she would only move one side of her mouth (since the other was "paralyzed"), etc, but then would forget and move a finger or something on the side that was supposed to be paralyzed.
37. Memory Like An Elephant
One time I had a patient who was complaining of severe abdominal pain and the symptoms of cholecystitis. Typically we would do a CT but based on his reported medical/surgical history and allergies we were limited in the tests we could do. He was refusing the tests we could offer. He was from another town and didn't have a physician we could get records off of. His blood work and vital signs were normal. It was all very suspicious but they admitted him to the ICU until we could figure out an action plan.
I'm doing his admission and he says he knows that it's his gall bladder because he's had issues before. He keeps apologizing for being so dramatic but he's never felt such bad pain. The resident orders him a concoction of the good stuff until the intensivist makes it up to the floor to see him.
Finally the physician walks in. I notice he has a particular gleam in his eye. I give him a report and then he does his assessment. The patient writhes in bed while the doctor asks him questions and palpates his stomach. The doctor says it sounds like a bad case of gallstones and cholecystitis. The patient agrees and asks for something for the pain.
The physician responds, "Yeah for gall bladder troubles like yours I would recommend it”. The patient stopped writhing and smiled. That’s when the doctor revealed what he knew. He said, "However, you don't have a gall bladder, I remember I took it out a few years ago when I worked at X hospital. It's nice to see you again”.
The patient's smile turned into the most disgruntled look I have ever seen. He sat up in bed, removed his IV, gathered his things and made for the door. I chased him down the hall telling him he was leaving against medical advice. His response was, "Leave me alone. Obviously, you know I'm fine”.
38. Drama Queen
Firefighter/first responder here, I once had a call for a "vehicle that struck a power pole" at 2 am on a major street. We arrive on scene to find a telephone pole snapped in half and a car that had crossed 8 lanes of traffic to hit this pole straight on. We found the "patient" lying on the ground next to her car, laying on her back with arms crossed across her chest clutching her phone.
Right next to her were her shoes laid perfectly next to each other by her feet. As I approached her I could see her squint one eye trying to see what I was doing. I know she was faking by all of this and called an officer over to "help hold C-spine".
I called her name with no response so next step was painful stimulus, grinding your knuckles into the sternum is an acceptable way to check. The second I said "I'm going to give her a sternum rub" she was awake. Right when we finished packaging her for the ambulance I noticed a man talking to the officers, obviously inebriated. That's when I noticed she smelled like she’d had a few too. It turns out the woman called 9-1-1 to report her own accident and the husband told the officers they were out tying one on, got in a fight, and she decided to leave even when he told her not too.
It was a fake attempt to take her own life to make him feel bad—so he pressed charges for grand theft auto and totaling the car.
39. What A Performancea couple of men that are sitting on the groundPhoto by Jay Heike on Unsplash
Former EMT in rural VT here, we had a call for an unconscious woman found on the side of the road. This was in the middle of January as well so time was pretty important. We swerved down the roads of the village and into the mobile home park, probably saw at least two cars on the side of the road due to the road conditions.
We arrive to the middle-aged woman lying in a fetal position on her left side just outside her home. Her family was at the door and refused to speak with us or provide any information. She had a pulse and was breathing normally, like she was in a coma. We literally ripped her from the ground since her clothing was beginning to stick to the Icy gravel. We load her into the stretcher with the help of two officers.
As the ambulance was pulling out of the park, my crew chief sat in the captain's seat next to the woman on the stretcher. Before I jump into the next part, I just want to paint a picture of my crew chief, he was a retired Navy SEAL that spent years in submarines, and ended up just gaining muscle after he left there. His biceps were the size of my thighs.
Anyway, the ex-SEAL gave this woman the hardest sternum rub that I could ever imagine. Here whole body was just liquid during this, and she did not even flinch. He told me that he only did it for 10 seconds but my mind swears it lasted minutes.
After this failed attempt, my crewmate started an IV to get fluids in. Her lips were a bit cracked, suspicious for dehydration. When the 18 gauge went into her left AC, I swore that she gritted her teeth. None of the other members of the crew noticed anything.
As I was the least experienced EMT at the time, I had the phone duty and spoke with the officers from the scene. That’s when I begin to find out what’s really going on. They explain that the family has had issues with the woman—she lives outside the house, transient—and that she has a history of just faking so she could receive possible stimulants from her friends that typically carry stimulants for their personal use (typically Adderall).
We arrived at the hospital by the time I got off the phone with the officers and didn't get a chance to notify anyone. Once we got into the emergency department, a nurse came right up to the stretcher and asked if we managed to get a temp. We only got a single tympanic temp at the start of transport which was a solid 37 C.
After transferring the woman to the hospital bed, the nurse suggested a rectal temp for a more accurate reading. After hearing this, the lady literally just shot up, jumped out of the bed and walked toward the exit. Security got her and the lady pretended that she was "sleepwalking"…and she normally treats this at home with her friend's Adderall.
40. Taking It Literally
My mom's an ER nurse and she said once some crazy lady came in and complained that she had the whooping cough. And whenever she coughed she followed it with a loud "whhhoooOOOP”!
41. Do You Hear What I Hear?
I'm an audiologist, and it's fairly common to have people fake a hearing loss. With adults, it's commonly for worker's compensation/benefits. Children do it for attention or to get out of school for a day.
They are fairly easy to spot...patients will come in, conversing with me very normally, but the audiogram will show a profound hearing loss. I have tricks to make them slip. I like to lower my mic volume to a normal range and mention that they dropped something when they're in the booth, they instinctively reach for it, forgetting that they shouldn't have heard it because of their "loss”.
My favorite is when testing kids that are clearly faking, part of the test requires me to have them repeat words. So I present them at a normal volume and the kids are REALLY straining to hear them…then I slip in funny words like "buttcrack" and watch to see them smile because they clearly heard it.
42. A Shaggy Dog Storybrown and white curly coated dogPhoto by benjamin lehman on Unsplash
I work at a veterinary office. I once had someone bring their dog in, claiming the DOG is in excruciating pain…when they're clearly the one looking for pain pills. It’s funny on numerous levels.
First of all, animals don't fake pain. if anything, they go out of their way to mask it. Secondly, if you're not an established client, no vet is prescribing anything without doing a complete work-up, which can easily cost $300 or (significantly) more. Finally, most K9 pain meds are fairly mild and only prescribed in small amounts—a week's worth—so even if you get what you want, you've got probably enough in the bottle for one or two good highs, if that.
43. Don’t Write A Cheque You Can’t Cash
We get called to a 13-year-old having a first-time seizure. We get on scene, and the entire family is freaking out, except for the father. I walk into the room where the kid was—OBVIOUS FAKER. I turn to dad and have him go outside into the hallway, I tell him the boy is faking, and I ask if anything unusual happened today.
That’s when I get the real story. The father tells me he found weed in the kid's room, and he was getting on to him about it when the kid started "seizing”. I reassured the father that his son was NOT seizing, and he asked if we could take him to the hospital "just to be safe”. I said no problem.
We pick the kid up and put him on the stretcher, and as we head outside to the ambulance, he exhibits more behavior that shows he's faking. Inside the ambulance, I tell the kid that I know he's faking and ask him to stop, but he keeps on.
The hospital we take him to doesn't have board-certified Emergency Department physicians; they use General Practice and Internal Medicine physicians (a LOT of smaller hospitals do this). I bring the kid in and give a patient report to the internal medicine doc and the RN, and I say the kid is "faking his seizure activity”. The doctor had a problem with that—"You can't possibly tell that he's faking”.
I assure him that, yes, the kid is faking. I explain the situation that led up to him faking, and that I could prove it. The doctor says, "I'd like to see that”. Well, I had a plan. And, the RN knows EXACTLY what's going on and what I wanted to do; he's all for it!
So I say to the kid, "We need a urine sample from you, and we need you to wake up to do it. If you don't wake up, we're going to shove a tube into your nether regions, run it all the way into your bladder, and take a urine sample from you. Please, just wake up and give us a sample”. Nothing from the kid. "Okay, Bob, if you don't wake up in 10 seconds, we're going to start prepping you to get the tube shoved into your you-know-what. Ten, nine, eight, FIVEFOURTHREETWOONE”!
His eyes opened wide as saucers before he realized we caught him. He then closed his eyes, started blinking, looked around the room, and said, "What happened”? The RN was laughing, and the doc was a little mad.
44. Anatomy 101
I had an employee tell me their spine couldn't stay straight and when they tried to sit up they'd flop to the left or right. Followed that up with telling me they found out that this was due to one of their lungs being deflated. You know... Because your lungs hold your spine straight. A highlight of my career when he finally quit because he "just wasn't about that cubicle life".
45. The Pee Thiefwhite ballpoint pen beside yellow and white plastic toolPhoto by Testalize.me on Unsplash
This patient comes in saying she has terrible abdominal pain 10/10. I say okay...and start to examine her. She immediately starts screaming the moment I touch her belly. But look, I've seen patients in terrible pain, and nobody has ever yelled in pain with their eyes open. She wasn't even tensing or anything.
It was a really sad case though, she has a history of coming in saying she was pregnant when the urine and blood test was clearly negative. But then she took it to a disturbing level.
In one case she even tried to steal a pregnant patient's urine. She got caught pretty fast. She was on psych follow-up, not sure what the diagnosis was but my guess would have been Munchausen's. Anyway, we sent her home without pain meds.
I heard this from my ER physician friend. A known malingerer comes into the ER claiming to be paralyzed on one side of her body and demanding stroke meds. My friend examines the malingerer and asks, “Hey, how did you get that bruise under your arm”?
The malingerer lifts up her “paralyzed” arm to look for the non-existent bruise.
My friend is very clever.
47. A Vicious Cycle
ER doctor. I had the worst person in the world with fake seizures that could only be cured by Dilaudid. Seizures aren’t treated by opiates. This lady was insufferable and she knew all the rules she would make sure her enabling husband (IQ 50) came in so she had a driver so she could get pain pills.
If we didn’t give her any he would shut that place down screaming and threatening, while she would spy the parking lot to see which doctors were working and would believe her. Well, one day I had it.
She had brought her son (IQ normal) to the ER and she started fake seizing and screaming. I just let her go. Then she got threatening so I called security and I was the first person to ever get her removed. She then proceeds to walk out the doors with her son and not fifteen minutes later she is back in the ER as a trauma, full collar and all.
She says she’s going to sue me, that she went outside, had a seizure, fell, and is in more pain. So I stop her right there and walk to security around the corner. I know just what to do. I get the security tape. She very clearly looked around, made sure no one was looking, then gently laid down in a mangled position. In the video it looked like her son said “Forget this” and he literally walks away and walks several miles home.
I went and cleared her from her c-collar and backboard after calling the authorities. They came and didn’t do anything. She was back two days later.
48. Jumping The Queuetrees beside white housePhoto by Phil Hearing on Unsplash
We had a woman that claimed she couldn't get up after a fall in her house. We arrived to her entire house being locked, so we called through a window that was cracked to see if there was any other way inside besides breaking through her screen. She proceeds to stand up, go to the front door, unlock the door, walk back to where she was and lay back down.
We did a generic checkup and there was clearly nothing wrong. When she said she didn't want to go to the hospital and we were about to leave, she stopped us and asked us to call Comcast for her since we "are the EMS and are a higher priority".
49. Gullible With A Capital G
An ex of mine told me a story about a dude that had a window wiper handle stuck up where the sun don’t shine. He told her it was because he had one laying in the shower, slipped and fell onto it. It never occurred to her that it might have not been an accident.
50. The Patient Brought His Own Instruction Manual
EMT here. The one that sticks out is the most textbook example.
We get called out to a residence at 2 am (because of course, it's always 2 am). Guy says he's having 10/10 finger pain and gingerly holding his hand in the air. Says there was no trauma, just started suddenly and it's unbearable.
So we load him up, take him the 25 minutes to the hospital. Entire time he's holding his hand in the air. But we had a full conversation, talked about football, never once did he complain about pain.
We wheel him into the ER and literally the second we walk through the door, this guy starts writhing in pain. Says he can't sit still the pain is unbearable, he has to stand up, screaming at the nurse to help.
Then he turned to the nurse and said: "I had this same issue at a different hospital two weeks ago. They couldn't tell what was wrong. They gave me morphine but that didn't work so then they gave me Dilaudid. That worked. So maybe you should just start with Dilaudid tonight". And then he went back to moaning in pain.
The nurse and I just looked at each other. We put him in a bed and I drove the 35 minutes back to the station. I highly doubt he was given any pain meds that night—it was just a colossal waste of everyone's time.