Window washers have quite an interesting job. For many of their assignments their lives are consistently in danger. The heights they often have to reach are death defying. So there never seems to be a dull moment, because aside from cheating death, they witness things that would astound the average person. They have glimpses into the lives of strangers that sometimes make them wish they were blind. I hope they all keep journals because witnessing crazy can be priceless.Redditor u/marky_sparky24 wanted all the window cleaners out there to share a tale or three by inquiring..... Window cleaners of Reddit, what is the weirdest thing you have seen while cleaning windows?
On the PC.
One of the window cleaners at my workplace is a good friend of mine and he said that he saw our manager receiving oral sex from his assistant under his table while he was working on the PC. DueTry9
All the gigs...
The weirdest thing I've seen while cleaning Windows?
50 gigabytes of temporary files and misc. downloads.
It was actually just a bunch of installers, misc. documents, files in the "AppData\Local\Temp" directory, backups of old programs, and the sort.
Ain't nobody cleaning out their wank bank. zenyl
Not a window cleaner, but I've been spotted by one.
Sat on my day off in my birthday suit having time with myself, smoking a joint and didn't hear our back gate go. He comes in as usual and starts to climb. I had the porn on at a high volume cause I was home alone. See his head poke up above the top of the net curtains and his eyes widen at me. I stared deadlocked with him for a second before lunging for a cushion to cover myself with. Most embarrassed I've ever been. I make sure my partner pays him each time he comes to the door now. And I'm more discreet. MickeySnacks
Life at McD's!
I used to be the janitor at a busy McDonalds next to a university campus a while back. Early in the morning I usually cleaned the windows outside before the drive through started to get too busy.
Usually saw some fairly strange people, but one that stuck out was a very unkempt and definitely hungover man foraging for cigarette butts in the trash, and on the pavement.
After he gathered a handful, he sat on the curb nearby, crushed the tiny bits of old stale tobacco out of the butts into a rolling paper, which he then licked, rolled, and then asked me if I had a light.
If I hadn't already quit smoking before then, that encounter would have made me do it. Vuldyn
Brian it's been so long.....
This is more on the sad side: We clean senior homes and in the dementia ward there was a woman that was asking me why they turned the volume down in the room because she couldn't hear me. She went on for awhile about that and how she disapproves of it. Eventually she started calling me Brian and said "Brian it's been so long since I've seen you, you never come visit." I've got to say that was both the weirdest and most saddening thing I have seen. jonahzapata
I don't know. Did some window washing during my college time back then and these are scheduled appointments - so there are really no surprises here and owners are usually prepared that we are there.
One time we did a rich guys house and it was just him and his girlfriend there. They got into a massive fight towards the end and she just walked out. Literally walked on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere and we picked here up on our way home. She was a sobbing mess, poor thing. theunrealabyss
The NoNO Place.
Former window cleaner of 5 years. The unusual things I have seen on the job usually took place in the downtown segment. Usually somebody irate or on drugs. On person in particular walking down the block with no pants on. They were over weight too so the tummy blocked their nono place. Other than that nothing to weird in my tenure. Dargonite913
"psst, hey, Is there a guy in there?"
I was the person inside. I lived in a third floor apartment with a roommate. I had a gentleman friend who I'd recently started seeing romantically come over late at night and he wound up spending the night for the first time. We woke up that morning to some people on a ladder cleaning the gutters or something. They awkwardly tried to avoid eye contact and I think we just ignored them and rolled over and went back to sleep. But when they moved past my window to my roommates room, she, being curious if my gentleman caller and I had hooked up, asked they guy, "psst, hey, Is there a guy in there?" And said that he shifted his eyes side to side and did a quick nod with a straight face and then got back to cleaning and got the heck out of there. The way she described it cracked me up. foxyrain
Not a window cleaner, but my son was admitted to the hospital once. His room had a big window, and across from that window was another wing of the hospital. It was dusk, but there was a light on across the way so I looked. There was a medical team doing something to a woman. She was lying on her back, on a table, feet in stirrups, and knees spread. I could see "her" when the doctor (I'm assuming) moved from between her legs. He had a headlamp on, and there was one of those big surgical lights on over the table. The rest of the room was dark. After a moment or two of staring, one of the medical staff motioned, urgently, to the blinds, and they were then closed. I have no idea what happened after that. Clairenator
Itsy Bitsy Nothing...
The window cleaner commented on the huge spider on the inside of our office room window. He assumed it was caged in some way, but we explained how it's free, but stays on its web which spans the one meter width of the window recess.
Quite a few of us in the UK keep exotic spiders other than just tarantulas! Mine is a Nephila inaurata madagascariensis for anyone interested :)
The larger spider (about 10 cm legspan) is mature, her tiny husband is just above her. Close-up of the egg sac she dropped a few nights ago, with distinctive yellow silk. El-rond
I worked at subway a while back, and for some reason windows were just my duty, and I'm almost 100% certain I was the only one that ever actually cleaned them. Anyway...
Windows of our store over looked a busy intersection. Saw a dude speed through a red light while cars were still going through and miraculously there was no accident. A LOT of honking and people slamming their breaks, though. BeaDoodle
Peek A Boo Nasty...
This happened in Indonesia. I was staying at my mom's apartment and had a boy over. We were getting nasty and then window cleaner roll down on their lift thingy and saw us getting nasty. Worst part is I knew who they were because they happened to work around the apartment building. Imma_rage_quit_too
Still a Good Story.
Once I was visiting New York with a friend. His uncle, a musician on Broadway had an apartment in Astoria that we crashed at and, as a thanks, we got him a bottle of Lagavulin. He duly poured us glasses and we sat there across his single long couch facing the window, drinking until pretty quick we noticed across the street and the next apartment up there was a girl dancing around naked, probably doing some kind of movie with her boyfriend. This goes on for a very short time before they notice us and immediately the lights of the apartment go dark. Immediately and in unison, we all raised our glasses of scotch to the dark apartment. The end. He keeps his windows VERY clean. Volcan_R
So, the company I work for is partnered with an apartment complex, where we clean all the windows in 2 buildings each month. We get there early in the morning to take all the screens out of the windows, and apparently the manager had forgotten to send out the emails telling people we'd be coming that day. I have a master key, so standard protocol is just to unlock the door and knock as I'm entering, then yell "maintenance!"
Well one apartment was particularly surprised at my entrance, and quickly spun around on his couch. He asked if I could just come back later and do his windows another day. I was confused, but realized why he was so started after I noticed the hoard of tissues, lotion and pillows on the coffee table in front of him. I don't think I ever actually went back to that apartment to do his windows. I wouldn't know what to say to him if I did. Cpt_Sideburns
I was doing metal work at the top of a major building in Atl and we had to use the same window cleaning platforms. When coming down for lunch one day we saw a huge conference table covered with MILLIONS of dollars. sti-guy
Window cleaner here. I was up on a ladder doing an older single woman's house and happened to be at her bedroom window. She was in the process of getting out of the shower and was fully naked and bent over putting on her under wear and just happened to turn around to find me washing the window. (I may add this woman was in her early 50s and extremely good looking for a 50 something year old woman.) Anyways, she turns around and stood up.
She didn't freak out but closed her blinds and when I finished the job I knocked on the door to give her the bill and all she said to me was " I hope you enjoyed what you saw" with a little devious smile. To which I replied yes mam, thank you very much and took the check and went on my way. I do her house every six months now and we know each other on a first name basis lol. whydoweusethese
I was so mad.
Not really weird but was really gross.
I work with kids and part of my job is cleaning, including wiping off the windows. I have cleaned off so many boogers, a lot of snot, sometimes blood, and a shit ton of sweat stains. Sometimes theres an imprint of someone's lips on there.
For something weird though I was once cleaning the outside of a window when a kid comes up to the window on the inside and starts watching me. probably about 6 or 7. After about 2 minutes, he promptly places his mouth on the glass and licks the window up and down, side to side, basically everywhere. Then for good measure he wiped his hands on it.
I had just finished the inside window. I was so mad. Classic-Problem
It's a Bird...
I don't clean windows but I imagine it's stuff like this:
My dad used to work in a tall glass building in Central London, often he'd hear loud thumps around the building. Turned out they were birds doing kamikaze attacks. KingJimXI
Tapped and Ready....Giphy
When I was 19 I got a loosely supervised job for a local beer distributor cleaning the place. The first day my buddy and I started making our rounds: vacuuming, cleaning windows, that kind of crap. As we were making our way to the break room with the Kirby we realized on the other side of a massive conference room table there were about 8 kegs tapped and ready. Needless to say the place didn't get cleaned well enough for us to do it two nights in a row. saidin_handjob
Do you Mom.
I work on a small team of only women. We usually only have like 3 people in the office on the weekends and we are on the third floor. My colleague decided to pump breast milk in her cubicle and just told us not to come over until she gave the okay. Not unusual. Right as she started pumping completely uncovered, a random window cleaner descended from above and she let out a shriek. I don't think he even noticed right away, but then we watched him quickly try to scurry away from the window. He never came back to clean those windows, lol. vivid23
20th floor Toronto, I ran into a guy I got drunk with in Halifax a few times. We are both east coasters. He was washing the hotel windows, I was rolling a joint inside that window. we know each other by name. Our bands have played shows together. 75joking25serious
Not sure if this counts but i was doing my bathroom business.... then the window cleaner popped up out of the blue almost face to face. Noyesssss
There was one time the people cleaned the windows of the office where I worked very early in the morning when no one was expecting it. The squeegee or brush thing hit the glass really loudly and everyone jumped, I half fell off my chair and one person spilled her coffee. I'm sure the guy was amused. Jack_ofMany_Trades
There was this house I use to clean, front and back windows. Anyway they had an extension built on the side of their house and didn't want us climbing on the roof to get to the back in case we crack any of their tiles. The lady who lives there, must of been in her thirties, asked if it would be possible to carry the ladder through the house and into the back the next time hers was due to be cleaned. I agree.
Two weeks later I knock on after cleaning her front windows and she answers in nothing but a towel and she tells me that she was just about get in shower. I ask if she wants me leave until next time, but she says no come through.
So I awkwardly begin maneuvering my ladder through and manage make it into the kitchen, as I'm standing it becomes apparently obvious that her kitchen layout is to small for me to get the ladder through to the back door but she begins trying to help me. Which results in, what I'm sure you're expecting, her towel dropping.
She catches it in the nick of time before anything below the waist is revealed, to her credit it was good reflexes. JakLee8909
I cleaned windows at a house stuffed with as many taxidermy animals they could fit. That was strange. Praeconium2501
In the Corner.
When i was a cleaner there was a old lady who had me do her windows. In the corner of the window on her third floor was this massive tarantula that was completely loose and just chillin. When I told her about it she said her nephew was "supposed to fix her spider issue." Dosu_Kinuta
In college, I worked all summer on the window cleaning crew for the university. The buildings were all older and we had to have two people working the spray pole from the ground and two people inside with towels ready to catch any water that leaked in from the spray.
Most of the dorms were empty so that was pretty uneventful but a number of the on-campus apartments were still occupied. One studio apartment was occupied by a hoarder. There was three feet of garbage with a path leading to the bed. The bed looked like someone had dumped a bucket of water on it due to how much grease and oil coved the sheet and the smell was unreal.
Another apartment had us paranoid the owner was going to come home and kill us all.
I like guns, but this guy was the sketchy kind of weapons enthusiast. Soldier of Fortune magazines littered the table along with empty 7.62x39 cardboard ammo boxes and walls decorated with various targets. In the middle of the kitchen table was a big novelty-sized hunting knife stuck point down in the table.
So we make our way upstairs and find a ton of seedlings and empty containers for what I'm assuming is an outdoor grow operation. All the windows have been blacked out with plastic and aluminum.
At that point, my coworker and I turn to each other and go "Welp... time to get the hell out of here."
We did turn the hoarder in to the residence admin, we did not turn in the militant gardner. Sea2Chi
One time when I was about 12-13, I woke up, opened the curtains to my window cleaner smiling at me. That man also used to talk to my mom about his piles every time he came round. galbertgriffstein
To the Rescue!
I work as a window cleaner in Berlin, and once I saw a very attractive lady sitting in her bed having what looked like convulsions, I pulled my handy and was about to call the 911. Upon a second deeper look I realized she had her hands in her leggings and her eyes closed and was moving her back forward and back, a few seconds later I realized she was having an orgasm. It was amazing, Im glad I didn't fall.
I've been doing this for 5 years and I saw 7 ladies in such a position. I saw More men do that but thats not note worthy. icleanzewindow
Thanks for Dinner.
When I was 13 - 16 I worked as a window washer, and we had contracts with a bunch of small businesses (coffee shops /bars). My favorite was the local Twin Peaks - think Hooters but hotter girls in skimpier outfits and better food. We would get there before it was open to customers, and the girls would always give me a burger and a beer before heading to the next spot. My boss bet me that I couldn't get a date with the bartender, and he said if I got her to go out with me he would pay for dinner. Dated her for 4 months before I left the state. theogdirtysanchez
It's a favorite memory.
"I'm not a window cleaner" but once I was doing voter registration at 10am and my friend was upstairs and I was downstairs in an apartment complex. She passed an apartment window and saw a huge old tube TV blaring porn, which she relayed to me by humping the railing and gesticulating wildly. It's a favorite memory. troublesomefaux
I was cleaning windows for this old couple in the apt building where I worked.
He's telling us how great is it when we come every spring. He loves when all the windows are out at once, it opens up the whole apt, the air flow, bla bla bla...
And, not that we don't do a great job, but these windows are old and no matter how good we clean... there's nothing quite like nothing between you and the outside.
And then he went to stick his head out to look down and squarely smacked his full face into the clean window.boogers19
Not a Window cleaner
Friend of mine was washing windows on the 15th floor and had to go to the bathroom, opened a window to an apartment that should of been empty... ran into a guy sexing a jar of jelly. RedVeist
What Temp you at?
Not a window cleaner, graffiti writer. We were on the roof of an abandoned factory that had a row of houses behind it, You could see into 3rd floor apartment kitchen. The was a man completely naked standing at a stove cooking. Behind him was what I imagine to be some sort of dom. A woman in thigh high leather boots and bra standing there with a horse whip. We watched for a minute or two but nothing happened, just cooking. 9Sandwiches
The Master Corner.
I worked for a window washing company until this incident, small town local company and we were hired to do the local gyms windows and mirrors. Anyways my co worker at the time said she would do the outside if I did the private "weights" room. I agreed and started cleaning, this room was just off of the main area and was slightly more private and I scrapped mess off of mirrors with scanty clad women engravings on them for about 4 hours before deciding there was too much and quit. Still refuse to go to that gym or look the gym owner in the eye. TheBatIsMe
This guy who had cardboard standees of his family all through his house. texasspacejoey
I work events at hotels. Two stories come to mind. First one got off work and looked back at the hotel which was lit up for Christmas and saw a woman pushed up against the glass with her man right behind. They were only on the 3rd or 4th floor too.
Second thing was a recorded event in one of our panoramic event rooms. In the middle of one of the talks I looked up from my mixing board and saw a naked man standing in the hotel window across from us directly between the two speakers. I stood up and asked the camera man what their frame was and fortunately from their perspective the speakers head blocked out that particular window. 0RGASMIK
I was dog sitting for a client in a lux high rise apart building and wasn't told window cleaners came by once a week. Got out of the shower and heard my phone ringing in the living room so I walked naked to get my phone. Picked up the phone and as I turned around, saw the window cleaner. I didn't know what to do so I smiled and waved. He gave me a thumbs up and I walked back to the bedroom and shut the door. jtothehello
I do pest control, so I'm in every room of the house. I've been surprised with the amount of naked pictures of the parents in the master bedrooms. Maybe just turn those around when I come to the house. I've also been surprised with how many people answer the door in their underwear. waboobaleedoo
The Simple Things.
My dad owns a windowing cleaning company that I worked at for years. We did mostly residential low rise homes/cottages. The one thing that was most surprising to me was the amount of couples that sleep in separate bedrooms.
Window cleaning tip - if you hire window cleaners please move your furniture away from the windows. I don't want to get it wet, move it or in some cases have to climb on it. arlene_8_
When I was a teenager, my mom hired this old German guy who had retired from commercial cleaning to residential washing windows. He was fun to talk to as he had some cool stories (he was a German soldier during WWII).
One afternoon, we were chatting and I commented that his job as a commercial cleaner must have been interesting (I didn't really think that, but I wanted to be polite). He said it was, except now and again, he'd see things he wasn't supposed to see. "Like what?" "Too many naked people... too many..." He wouldn't tell me more, but he didn't say it in a positive light. I still wonder about that now and again... wtf were people doing? LionCM
I am a consulting engineer working in building science and structural restoration. A number of years ago while working in Toronto at a 38-storey high rise, we (2 contractors and myself) were reviewing glazing and sealant bead and came down upon a window where a woman was grooming her bikini area.
We are always taught to see something inappropriate and look away. Apparently we looked so far away we missed the metal flashing lip of the next level down, our swing stage tilted one way and swung back and all three of us banged our heads into the lady's window. The glass didn't break but it sure scared the lady. strengr
Super weird if you ask me.
Climbing up a ladder let's you see into a lot of rooms whether you like it or not. Also A LOT of people have skylights in their bathrooms. The weirdest thing I saw was a picture hanging in a customers bathroom. The photo was the customer (a woman) in sorta like BDSM Lingerie in the bucket of a tractor, doing some sorts of (sexual) pose. On the ground, in a cheering pose (hands up, smiling) was their child, maybe 4 or 5 years old, looking up at her. Super weird if you ask me. The_Indifferent
Once I was doing this two story house, with big square plates of glass pretty much everywhere. The guy had every single painting on his walls covered with sheets, and absolutely would not allow us inside to get to the double hungs on the second floor. jbob172
I only did the job for about 8 or 9 months but saw two unexpected things.
Got to the top of the ladder and saw a guy I know is a priest enjoying some porn. I scurried back down the ladder hoping he would hear me and then slowly went back up. He obviously had heard me because when I got back to the window he was standing up reading a bible.
The other time I got to the top of the ladder and saw a woman in her 80s sitting on her bed completely naked. I was sure she saw me so I gave her a few minutes before going back to the window. When I get there she's sitting in exactly the same place, still naked, smiling at me. I got a job in an office soon after. patafla
I just knew....
A rotund lady pooping while i was doing high rise window cleaning. You don't expect to have to close the window when in the bathroom on the 12th floor.
How do I know she was pooping and not peeing?
I just knew.... I just knew. MtmJM
Moved on with my life.
I was at a boring industry black tie event at a posh hotel in London a few years back. Woke up very hungover on the 12th floor, stumbled to the window and pulled open the curtains. 2 blokes stood there staring at my fat naked self, they were on one of those tall building platform things. Took me a moment to understand what the hell was going on. Closed curtains. Moved on with my life. mfinleyv
She Cares Not.
Not in the business anymore but I cleaned residential and commercial. The weirdest thing I ever saw was the wife of a famous actor had a bunch of naked portraits of herself around the house. Doing yoga, drinking coffee, stuff like that. She was sitting on the couch the whole time we were doing the windows like it ain't no thing. If she didn't care then neither did we. DestroyerOfWorlds831
I had a friend and she worked as a cleaner when she was ~15, 16...she saw her classmate making out with her barbie doll... sometypeofhumanhere
All Good Here.
Didn't see anything strange per se.... but i did work on a few mansions, got to see the inside of the 1% homes.... pretty intense, huge theaters and stuff. I think the home was worth 20 million or something ridiculous?
Other than that my favorite was when cats would come up to the inside window while I was cleaning the outside, really made my day considering window washing is so monotonous and soul crushing. koffeekoala
My (maternal) grandfather was a window washer in the 1930s. He saw my (eventual) grandmother on the other side of the glass. amjadpac
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How many people do you know battling addictions?
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), addiction is "a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual's life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences."
Hearing from those who have battled addictions––and come out the other side––can be remarkably eye-opening, as we were reminded once Redditor YoshBotArmy asked the online community,
"People who have beaten an addiction... what's your secret?"
"I'd then check off..."
"Alcohol. The "one day at a time" approach was too much. I made a chart with a 24 hour day broken up into 15 minutes. For example: 8:00-8:15. [ ]
8:15-8:30. [ ]
8:30-8:45. [ ]
I'd then check off a box for every fifteen minutes I didn't drink. This really boosted my confidence because although I may have only gone two hours without drinking, my brain focused on the 8 boxes I checked off.
Minutes turned into hours, hours turned into days, etc.
It's now been 8 years."
"You need to want to quit..."
"You need to want to quit, otherwise, it will be a fight against yourself. I quit smoking about 15 years ago after being a smoker for like 18 years. I decided to quit several times but never stuck, always found a reason to fall back into the habit. One day my 4yo daughter told me that she was going to find a way to save me from cancer because smokers are bound to get it. After that, I couldn't stand cigarettes anymore and quit within the week. Never again. I wanted to be there for my girl more than anything else."
"The lesson to take away from this..."
"I realised my binge eating was due to a general lack of self-control. I developed bulimia (exercise is my poison) trying to counteract it, and I still struggle with that.
I struggled with it for years and tried everything under the sun to stop it. It wasn't until I started practicing Stoicism that I started seeing life differently. Then a couple of years into that, I overheard a colleague say "it's all about finding balance" in a conversation about the challenges life throws at you. That quote stuck with me for about a year until I realised I have no sense of balance because I used to be an extremely black and white/all or nothing character.
It's now been 2 years since I completely stopped binge eating, and it was all due to having that epiphany. Took practice to get into good eating habits and a routine with meals but I'm all good now.
The lesson to take away from this - teach your children self-control and the ability to say no to themselves. My parents gave me everything I wanted so I had to teach myself this throughout my early 20s."
"That does not mean..."
"You have to learn to give yourself grace.
Relapses happen. I self-mutilate. I will do incredible for months. Then one negative thought can send me into a spiral and I harm myself.
That does not mean that I undid any of the hard work I had done up to this point. I acknowledge that I made a mistake, identify my triggers, and make an effort to start clear of them. Take a deep breath and try again."
A valuable observation.
"I kicked the habit..."
"I wasn't physically addicted to marijuana, but I had such a mental dependency on it that it was pretty much like being addicted. I couldn't function without it.
I kicked the habit by pursuing a girl. I really wanted to date her, and I didn't want her to know that I was actively smoking weed. I stopped smoking weed because I'd fallen in love with a girl. I'm now married to her, and I haven't smoked weed in over 4 years."
"The most important thing..."
"The most important thing I ever learned was not to fight cravings. I don't mean to give in and use when a craving strikes but for a long time simply feeling the craving was awful. I tried so much to avoid the feeling because I was scared of it.
I saw the suggestion to actually indulge the feeling and just let it wash over you. When I tried it, it was still uncomfortable to want to use but by letting myself feel the craving fully I was able to let it go and move on with my day more easily. Fighting the craving just made me suffer."
"I wore a rubber band..."
"I wore a rubber band around my arm and anytime I thought about my addiction, I would snap it and hurt myself. That way, I associated my addiction with pain and eventually broke my body's natural desire for it."
It turns out this has merit.
"I have no idea..."
"Coffee. I was a serious caffeine addict (like 12 cups a day), and one day for no reason I just woke up and ... didn't feel like having coffee. I've had maybe 5 cups of coffee in the 10 years since then.
I have no idea why it happened, but I haven't felt a craving for it in years. I wish that would happen for my other bad habits."
"I don't think..."
"I don't think it's a secret. Understanding the addiction. Knowing that it takes time for the chemicals in your brain to reset. Knowing it's gonna suck. Being prepared as best you can. Knowing it's going to be a battle."
"I'm not very far..."
"It was really taking a toll on my overall health and one day I woke up and said never again. I'm not very far into recovery and I've never been to a meeting or anything. I know I can't have it around me or I'll relapse."
We are proud of anyone who manages to beat an addiction and who can speak about their experience so candidly. And if any of you out there are struggling, we're rooting for you.
Have some of your own stories? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below.
I'm just spitballing here, but it seems to me that pretty much that weapons of war are among humanity's worst creations. Sure: We live in an anarchic world. States can never be certain of another state's intentions. Conflicts are bound to break out. But in a perfect world––and a man can dream––none of this would be necessary.
It seems I'm not alone in this, either. People had opinions of their own after Redditor Questwarrior asked the online community,
"What was the worst human invention ever made?"
"Cheap and easy to make..."
"Landmines. Cheap and easy to make, but they remain active and people forget where they put them."
"Styrofoam. It's toxic, can't be recycled, and there are better alternatives."
It also sounds horrible when rubbed against another piece of Styrofoam. Torturous.
"Now idiots can connect to each other..."
"Social Media - It gave people the ability to find others and create echo chambers. Before, idiots were isolated to dealing with just a few in their immediate radius of existence. Now idiots can connect to each other across the world and validate their thoughts/feelings."
This is very true. We're seeing the consequences, aren't we?
Ain't built like they used to - because they can't sell you a newer model if the old one is still performing like new.
If companies didn't have this in mind we wouldn't be running out of resources and messing up the planet in search of more. This would create less conflict and way less pollution. Imagine companies actually making insanely good, long-lasting products instead of cheap ones that needs replacing more often than it should."
"Heroin destroys people's lives every day."
"As a medical student..."
"As a medical student, I basically see people every day whose lives have been wrecked by smoking. Kids and unborn babies get messed over by tobacco smoke. Stupid and plain evil."
A great film about the tobacco industry: The Insider (1999). Really makes you think about the cost we all pay for Big Tobacco.
"I can't believe..."
"The concept of Flat Earth. I can't believe people are still stuck in the seventeenth century and still believe in that crap and try to defend it with their misunderstandings of science and physics, as well as pure ignorance."
People believe the most ridiculous things.
"They exist solely..."
"Torture devices. They exist solely to cause harm."
"How am I going to pay you..."
"Overdraft fees. How am I going to pay you EXTRA money when I don't have money?!"
Human beings are capable of so much innovation, beauty, and joy, but threads like these remind us of all the horrors in the world. There's a lot of darkness in humans, too.
Have some of your own contributions to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
Homelessness is an unfortunate and all-too-common occurrence in the world, particularly in the United States. Homelessness has grown to a huge degree, and while most countries have the resources to help their homeless, many choose not to.
It is also difficult to break the cycle of homelessness once you have entered it. It creates a never-ending loop of failed job searching, lost or stolen goods/items/things of value, and stigmatization by society. More often than not, homelessness is begotten by another condition wherein the state or country fails to provide resources--such as mental health.
"Ex homeless people, what are some things people don't know about the streets?"
Here were some of those answers.
A Sad Reality
"My stint on the streets was about six months and due to some bad decisions I made. But what sticks with me the most was the crushing boredom."
"No intellectual stimulus at all because it's safer to keep your distance from other homeless, and you're not going to have a chat with civilian out of the blue."
"So you're completely alone all the time. And to avoid putting yourself in risky situations you stay on the move as much as possible."
"Most cities you can get some day labor work for quick cash but then you have to be careful about people knowing you have cash. You're always on the lookout."
"The only sound nights sleep I ever got was when I could manage to scrounge up enough cash to get a room in a transient hotel for a night and basically pass out from exhaustion."
"Other than that you're sleep deprived most of the time. And of course all this is made worse if on the streets in winter."-HardALee99
The Worst Side Of A Woman's Life (TW: Rape)
"I'm a psychiatric RN who works with mostly homeless people."
"I have heard SO MANY TIMES where women who tested positive for meth have said they use it to stay awake 24/7 to avoid being assaulted by other homeless."
Lucky To Be Alive
"People can and often do develop PTSD from being homeless, especially in rough areas. BF was kicked out at 14 in what was, at the time, the heroin capital of the Northeast, and he very quickly realized that selling drugs was the easiest way to make sure he had food/water/shelter as someone under legal age to work."
"But bouncing from crackhouse to crackhouse— especially as a kid— creates this state of constant hyper-vigilance, possessiveness over your belongings, a lot of hoarding behaviors, etc."
"Basically you wind up living in survival mode the entire time so you don't get assaulted/arrested/kidnapped/shanked."
"To this day if you touch him while he's sleeping he freaks the f**k out. Loud noises at night freak him out, car engines outside, lights in the window, etc."
"He still sleeps better on a couch in the corner of the room than a bed, because 'at least then you have something at your back, makes it harder for people to surprise you.'"
"Nightmares, too. Just... a whole bunch of sh*t, some of which I won't get into because he's embarrassed by it. Here are a few of the choice events he went through, though, just in the first two years or so:"
"He's almost had his throat slit with a half a DVD, woke up with a fork in his chest from some crazy chick, had all his food stolen, even had somebody inject him with heroin against his will while he was sleeping. Sad to think about."
"He's off the streets now, kicked a drug addiction, found a good-paying job, and is about to go to college. But the damage being homeless for his adolesence/early adulthood did..."
"It's going to be a while before he really feels safe. Not to mention he feels like a failure going to college at 30, but... I mean, how many people could have gone through all the horrific sh*t he went through, lived to tell the tale, AND somehow managed to keep going and eventually recover?"-vishuual
Homelessness is even expensive for the country because it leads to more and more problems that resources have to be expended upon in order to deal with the mental health and physical trauma it causes.
Over And Over
"One thing that f**ked me up was my concept of time. Often I'd be up late as f**k trying to sleep and before I knew it, the sun's back up."
"You gotta plan your day differently to use the restroom and it's hard to even find anything 'normal' to do because there are so little resources."
"People don't realize that being homeless is a situation in which no one is really looking to help you to find a sustainable life. It's truly being otherized and ostracized until you die or miraculously get back on the work grind."-SuperDuperChuck
Not An Addict
"I guess the worst part for me was the lasting trauma."
"Sure walking around in sandals because it's all you have when it's raining sucks. Sure sleeping in public is terrifying. Yeah homeless shelters are packed out. Borderline impossible to get a job."
"But the worst part was realising I'd lost some fundamental part of myself and I wasn't getting it back. Innocence maybe?"
"But it's more than that, it's like that Lily Allen music video where she's walking around with rose coloured glasses but the audience sees what's real. Yeah well, you lose the glasses and you never get them back."
"There's nothing that fixes the trauma of knowing people who you thought were your friends or family were fully aware you had nowhere to go and didn't do anything about it."
"You can't fix that feeling of your best friend not returning your texts until you're back on your feet. Or the stares you get in the street when thousands of people walk past and don't stop."
"I'm physically ok now but I'll never see people the same way again. I don't know how to. I used to be a really sociable person and now I steer clear of most people. I don't trust anyone."
"Also as an aside, the people who were kindest to me were always working class. A construction worker who bought me lunch. A taxi driver who got me a blanket. Rich people treat you like utter filth and disappear ASAP."
"I was homeless due to domestic violence as well, but people just assume it must be drugs. I literally barely drink let alone use drugs, but in people's minds homeless = addict."-SunnydaleHigh1999
Stop Stigmatizing Homelessness
"The amount of 'ordinary' people there are that are homeless. I was homeless for about 6 months but you would have never known."
"I had job where I could make just enough to stay fed and get a gym membership. I kept all my clothes in the gym/ back room of the restaurant I worked at."
"I'd hide and sleep in the back office of the restaurant. A lot of homeless people have cars and can sleep in them."
"Gym memberships are the easiest ways to stay clean/ not look homeless. Once my boss found out I was homeless, he let me move into a room at a hotel he managed for free. That man saved my life."-SeamanTheSailor
Food Or Money?
"People seem to have this perception that food is the only thing a homeless person would need to use money on and so they will give food in place of money."
"While giving food is nice, it isn't some one-to-one replacement for money. Food can't help you get cleaned up for job interviews, for example."-CattyPlatty
And homelessness is caused by a number of things--most of which are failures of the government. There are enough vacant homes in the United States for every homeless person to have 6.
Policing Your Own Cleanliness
"What's really important is staying clean. But not so clean people won't give you money if you have to panhandle."
"Don't let people know where you sleep if you can help it."
"Don't take work offers alone, you never know what kind of sicko's there are out there, especially once they have you alone in their environment."-Tired_of_yer_ish
Read That Part Again About How Close You Are To Homelessness
"Former homeless person here (as a child and an adult) and someone who used to work helping folks who were unhoused due to violence get housing:"
"-You are more likely to become homeless than win the lottery. Most Americans (around 60%, that number has probably changed in the pandemic) are one missed paycheck away from homelessness."
"-As shared above, lack of quality jobs, affordable inventory (meaning not enough affordable housing), and integrative and trauma-informed heath care services are the leading causes that keep people unhoused."
"All this to say, you have far more in common with people on the street than you think you do. Please see them as people. I will never forget what it felt like to have someone's eyes slide right past me like I was invisible. "
"No one is expecting you alone to end homelessness, but you can give someone $10 for a laundromat or shower, or say hello."-AbolitionistCapybara
Why Is It Illegal To Have The System Fail You?
"I was homeless with my single mom at the age of 9. In the US it is basically illegal to be homeless but it is definitely illegal to be homeless and have a homeless kid."
"My mom was a great mom. We just hit a really rough patch in the 2008 financial crisis in the US causing my mom to lose her job."
"She could not get another one and we ended up living in her mini van. However she was always able to get me food and get me to school. I am not sure how she was able to keep our situation a secret but I was so ashamed of living in a car that I wasn't about to tell anyone about it."
"I think it is twisted that the government would rather place kids with strangers and give those strangers money to take care of the kid than to help that kids family find stability."
"Furthermore my boyfriend was in the foster system for a number of years and has a few horror stories from it. I feel lucky that I was homeless with my mother and that we were able to get out of that situation in comparison to what my boyfriend went through in his childhood living with abusive foster parents."-psychologicalfuntime
The bottom line is that homelessness is not the fault of the homeless. It is the fault of a system that criminalizes a lack of resources and support, especially in the USA, the wealthiest country in the world.
What would we gain by continuing to criticize and stigmatize homeless people across the country?
It's amazing what the legalities are from place to place. I live in New England, and in Connecticut, passengers are allowed to drink alcohol in the car, as long as they aren't driving. Weed isn't legal there, but open containers in the car? Totally fine. At least we have something to look forward to as we cross the border.
There are some truly strange laws depending on where you go. Here is a list of the weirdest ones.
Did you know that murder is allowed in certain instances, depending on where you go? Talk about scary.
I’m sure no one will test these laws.
Not sure how much of it is true. But apparently if the Swedes cross the border by walking over the ice given its frozen over, (which it hasn't in like more than 100 years) we are allowed to kill them.
The exact gates they have to be within are defined but I don't remember what they are.
Dying is illegal in France.Kate Mckinnon Snl GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy
Oh boy. France has some history and a love of regulation. Perfect mix for absurd laws. Quick examples:
It's still technically mandatory to have hay at home in case the king's horse is nearby and needs some... Horses have been a pretty rare sight, let alone kings.
A mayor made it illegal to die in his town. The initial problem was an overcrowded cemetery, but he kinda reached the wrong solution.
This probably isn’t enforced anymore.
There is a medieval law here that has never been repealed: all males over the age of 14 are required by law to practice longbow for at least two hours per week.
Some of these laws are so silly, they make you wonder what event happened that put them in place.
I think everyone has done this.
"Forbidden to pee in the ocean". I live in Portugal.
'Like a piss in the ocean' is literally a euphemism for something not mattering. What's the problem?
Tigers are fine, though.film history GIF by DiggGiphy
It's illegal to bring a lion to the movies.
Somebody better have a conversation with MGM.
You can't carry a salmon suspiciously.
"No officer, I was going to eat it later"
"Seems suspicious you were carrying it around in public. I'm gonna have to take you in for questioning."
What is the backstory here?
It's illegal to sleep on top of a refrigerator outdoors here.
I know this is Pennsylvania, but I forget the exact reasoning, but I think it has something to do with homeless people.
These next few laws will definitely make you question these towns’ legitimacy when it comes to lawmaking.
Poor raccoons.raccoon stealing GIFGiphy
In Virginia, it's illegal to "hunt or kill any wild bird or wild animal, including any nuisance species" on Sundays. However, it is permissible to kill raccoons.
How the heck is this enforced?
I don't know if this is still a thing anymore, but in Texas it used to be illegal to own more than six dildos.
It's illegal to own any at all in Alabama unless the owner has a letter from a doctor claiming a legitimate medical need.
Granted, most of these laws were written a very long time ago. But it makes you wonder, what the heck were these original lawmakers doing? And what event happened that needed these laws to be enforced at all?
If some of these laws don't make you want to be a criminal, then I don't know what will