People Are Anonymously Sharing Industry Secrets From Their Jobs, Here’s 104 Of The Most Surprising Ones

One of the most, if not the most, important factors to a successful business is building trust with your customers. Unfortunately, it’s not always in their best interest to give us the whole picture and tell the truth. Only when we become a part of the company and get to peek behind the curtains can we grasp the reality of the situation. And as it often turns out, your workplace hides many things they wouldn’t want you sharing with friends, family, or people online.

But unless you’re bound by strict confidentiality agreements that last forever and a day, you’re welcome to spill all the juicy dirt about your experiences after you walk away. Ex-employees took to various Reddit threads to anonymously share the big and small "dirty secrets" within their industries that companies don't want regular people to know. But as the public, we really should.

Members of the Ask Reddit community started up discussions that really got workers opening up about the illuminating trade secrets and spicy tidbits from their former jobs. We at Bored Panda have gathered some of the best responses and put them all in one place for you to read. Obviously, we can’t guarantee whether these tales are fact or fiction, so remember that everything on the internet has to be taken with a grain of salt.

Continue scrolling for what happens behind the scenes at some major corporations, upvote your favorite stories as you go, and if you have any secrets you want to share, tell us all about them in the comment section below! After you’re done, be sure to find even more insider information in our earlier publications right here and here.


Call center here.

Just because you hear music when I put you on hold, doesn't mean I do.

I can hear every profanity you utter.

Image credits: pride_of_pyongyang


Large chain bookstores: so so so many perfectly good books get thrown out...

Mass market paperbacks are cheap to manufacture and get shipped out in huge volumes. For some publishers (particularly ones that put out new mysteries or romances quarterly) when the bookstore wants it off the shelf to make room for something new, it's just not worth the cost of taking them back and finding someone else to sell it. But they don't want anyone getting them for free. So as a bookstore employee I spent hours ripping the front and back covers off of books, then tearing the book at least in half so that no one could read it later. The covers get sent back to the publishers, and the books that could have been donated to a library or school get put in a locked recycling container out back. A manager had to come back and check my work to make sure the books were not left intact.

I almost cried the first time I had to rip up a load of kid's books (in a city with high child poverty rates and underfunded schools).

Image credits: allosaur


I was a deep sea diver for 10 years in the Gulf of Mexico. Huge oil spills happen and are covered up hundreds of times a year by every company. The entire industry is in on it. The bottom of the gulf is a disgusting garbage dump. Every boat dumps their trash into the gulf no one obeys the laws and the coast guard doesn't enforce s**t.

*I had a bunch of requests for an AMA so I'm doing one now if anyone has more questions.

Image credits: Diverdave76


If you own your own business, never and I mean never do any work for anyone with the promise of more business later on, if they want you to do it free the first time. Just drop them as clients and move on.

Image credits: anon


It is impossible to crawl through ventilation shafts. Professional duct worker here.

Image credits: kilimanziaro


I work on a farm. When they say you should wash your produce thoroughly at home, they're not joking.

Image credits: geekmuseNU


Most people who say this are ignored as kooks, but having worked in pharmaceutical research, I can confirm this:

We already have developed better, safer medicines than most of the c**p currently on the market. However due to the following reasons, most of it will never reach the market.

* FDA Approval costs a fair amount of money and time, and for a "new drug" to be approved takes bloody years. The slightest f**kup in testing and back to the beginning.

* Money. If a new drug discovery is not going to be as profitable as the stuff currently on the market, it will simply be patented and sat on.

* Research funding: Not enough of it anymore to properly explore all the possibilities.

Image credits: wakemeupplz


Graphic designer here. For the last time, just because we have Photoshop and Illustrator doesn't mean the design process is on auto-pilot. So when we say we need an extra hour to work out your problem, we mean it. And yes, we need the vector file of your logo, or at least a PDF copy of it.

Image credits: Jeremehthejelly


I work in the space industry and I am happy to report that there are no tricks here, everything must work with multiple redundant systems.

Image credits: FutureIsMine


Car dealership. WE ARE SCAMMING YOU.

Image credits: Knobbs


Nurse assistant here. If you have taken any illegal dr*gs, or prescription dr*gs to get high within the last 24 hours... F*****G TELL US. It could save your life. We won't judge you for it... But we would judge you for bullsh**ting us even if your life could be at risk.

Image credits: anon


I worked for a political consulting firm and was completely floored when congressmen/women would come in for media training (learning to be "normal" on camera or in front of constituents). Nearly every politician who came in for training was clueless and literally had "their views" on the issues fed to them by my boss (the media strategist). Sounds obvious, but it's really horrifying to witness.

Image credits: HeavenHasTrampolines


From my former job: The US military has a tradition where you spend your entire budget by Oct (the new fiscal year) or you risk losing that portion of your budget. I've been in units that would go out and purchase $200,000 worth of useless s**t just to avoid having a budget surplus. Multiply by the number of units in the military (a s**t ton) and you have all your fraud, waste and abuse.

Image credits: f*ckarme


Video editor here for reality TV. It's fake for the most part. They usually do multiple takes of the "reality" scenes that are staged beforehand. The most recent egregious use of this is Duck Dynasty. They pass the show off as reality tv and they actually have table readings for that show before shoots. Not saying that reality TV isn't sometimes entertaining. I'm just saying that you shouldn't be fooled into thinking that this is actually reality and the camera just happened to be there when these people were doing what they normally do.

Image credits: arpeggiator13


The groundbreaking scientific results published by the mainstream media bear little resemblance to the results published in the actual scientific article.

Image credits: anon


I'm in radio. We don't get to pick what we play on air, the pd schedules it and we just talk in between songs. The closest we get is when we play a request, that's usually something we wanted to hear and no one actually requested it.

The guys down at the talk station ironically can play whatever they want but think the last good song came out in 1975.

Image credits: Jombafomb


Retail here!

For people who LOVE to return items. That little policy on your receipt is interpreted by me, the cashier. If you are polite and kind to me I am more than happy to bend the rules in your favor for one of the world's largest retail companies that can probably afford to lose a little money here and there.

IF you are a d**k to me I will use any excuse to deny you a cash refund and my company is not known for customer service, so my management will almost always back up whatever my claim is and support my strict ruling of our refund policy.

TL:DR: be nice to cashiers and we will be nice in return


911: Location first, say it twice and say it clearly. Then allow the dispatcher to lead the call. I know you think you know what needs to be said, but I promise you everything will go more smoothly if you let me take the lead. I'll be gentle.

Also, yelling at me to "Get them here! Get them here!" does not actually make them get there faster. The police drive cars, they don't teleport. Me asking you questions doesn't slow down the response, another dispatcher has already sent them. Me asking you questions helps make sure the officers are informed when they get there so they don't waste the first few minutes on scene playing catch-up.

Calling from a landline usually gives me your name and address from the moment you call. Calling from a cell phone does not. I can geo-validate your call and get a close location, but it isn't 100% accurate. Calling from a disconnected cell phone makes it impossible to call you back OR geovalidate your location.

If you dial 911 on accident, stay on the line, don't hurriedly hang up and hope the call didn't go through. I'm going to have to blow up your phone AND text you if you don't take 20 seconds to stay on the line and let me know it was an accident.

Don't give disconnected cell phones to children to play with, unless you remove the battery first. I can't tell you how many parents just let their 2 year old play with an old phone because they assume she can't call anyone. She can call 911. Over...and over...and over again.

Interfering with a 911 call is illegal. If you're fighting with your girlfriend and she calls 911, do not try to take the phone from her, yell over her, disconnect the phone line, etc. You can be arrested.

Seriously people, learn your address. Be aware of your surroundings. You should know your address before you move somewhere. If you're going to a party, maybe try to just know what street the party is on, just in case. If you're in an emergency at a residence and don't know the address, look for a piece of mail. I know this sounds like ridiculously obvious advice, but you'd be surprised.

911 is for emergencies only. You should have your local non-emergency police and sheriff's department numbers saved in your phone. If you don't, please do yourself a favor and look those up right this moment and put them in your phone.

Image credits: nola911


When you climb into a helicopter and the rotors are turning, you can't reach your arm up high enough to lose a hand....but we don't want anyone trying to test it or prove us wrong.

Image credits: reddit


If more citizens knew how often U.S. Military individuals said things along the lines of, "F**k civilians, they can suck my d**k." People might lose some of their unrelenting support for the troops.

Image credits: All_Knowing_Wizard


Emergency room doctor here.

I really do want you to get better, I really want you to not d*e. I get spat on and cursed at and am the recipient of several stink eyes daily. If you actually show that you care about your health and listen to me or show me the slightest bit of respect I will bend over backwards to help you get better.

If I'm not sending you home with a six month supply of dilaudid it's because you are better off without it. I'm sorry you have a boxer's fracture because you punched your door, but fractures hurt and I can't take all the pain away and keep you breathing at the same time. Man up and deal with a few days of discomfort, it goes away eventually.

I ask probing questions about your sexuality and drug history and the consistency of your poop because its important. I am legally prevented from sharing this info with your boss, your wife, the police. Just tell me the truth. The guy on the other side of the curtain has a curling iron stuck up his a*s, the herpes you got in high school doesn't shock me.

My paycheck is my paycheck. I don't get paid more or less because I prescribe a name brand antibiotic, or decide to do stitches instead of glue, or admit you instead of letting you leave AMA. I get paid the same if I see one patient this shift or forty, most of my decisions are based on medicine, or to decrease the chances of getting sued. This isn't true for every doctor or even every emergency doctor, but consider giving your physician the benefit of the doubt.

Image credits: 3rdopinion


A lot of people know this, but, the police can lie to you. About damn near anything. If you are ever arrested, shut the f**k up. Request a lawyer. I can repeat this, but you dumb motherf**kers will still talk to the f**king cops. You are soooo much better off just not talking to them.

Image credits: a_sad_sad_man


Retail here. If you argue about the price of something and I don't have an easy way to check it I will probably give it to you for your price....but if you do this I will be silently hating you, at least until you leave the store and I forget you exist.

Image credits: reddit


RMT here,

90% of your upper shoulder/neck problems can be solved by stretching properly daily. Same thing with headaches.

Stop slouching.


Harley Davidson is in pretty bad shape, they store the lion's share of their new motorcycles in some warehouses in Montana because they don't want to stop production just to keep shareholder happy. They are a ticking time bomb.

Oh also for the last few years they force retailers to buy some new bikes every year even though they don't change. If the retailers don't buy them they lose their licensing to sell Harley's.

So basically all their sales have been made up for the last five or so years.

Image credits: anon


people working in a liquor store almost always are drinking on the job.

Image credits: plowerd


When you pick your dog up from the kennel after a splendid beach vacation and he/she smells like dog shampoo (probably because you requested a grooming session), that's because we have a spray that smells like dog shampoo.

Your dog has been in his cage, frightened by the foreign environment and loud barking/growling dogs. He probably s**t himself or peed and then laid down in the puddle. This made him feel extremely guilty because he knows he's supposed to go *outside* for that. He's a mess, mentally and physically.

So when you come to pick him up and we realize "oops, Fido never got over to the groomers", we have a spray bottle of doggie febreeze. We wipe any s**t off as best we can, tie a festive bandana around their neck, and hope you don't notice the completely manic excitement they're exhibiting when you're finally reunited.

*I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I love you, I love you, please let's leave, let's leave, let's leave, leave, leave, leave, I trust you, I'm sorry*

Image credits: windintheauri


In almost every labor job I've worked, including being a valet, people smoke and drink on the job. The valet service I worked for never even asked to see my driver's license.

Image credits: XiiXSNB


Teacher here.

Your child's success depends mainly on three things: the child's will, the parent's support, and the teacher's skill. If your child doesn't want to learn, he won't learn. If you don't f**king feed your child properly, he won't be able to learn. If your child gets his way at home, he will be a terror in class and won't succeed.

I am only a part of your child's education. I can't do anything if he refuses to learn or if you refuse to support him.

Image credits: reddit


I work in lingerie and ladies, there's a 70% chance you're wearing the wrong bra size if you haven't been measured in the last 3-6 months. With any weight gain or loss, your breasts are the first thing to fluctuate in size. Also, don't argue after a bra fitting by saying "I am NOT that size!" Yes, you are. I do this for a living. Please trust that I know how to do my job.

Image credits: kucido


From my time at the IT help desk: 90% of the time I'm not "a genius who magically knows how to solve problems". I just google whatever you told me and followed the steps from the top result to fix it.


School photographer here. Do not coach your children on how to smile. I can normally get them to smile naturally with a funny word or simply by smiling at them. I have seen MANY kids that have obviously coached smile because they are afraid mom will take away their Playstation. Remember that school photos are a marking of time, love your kid for who they are at that moment. And NEVER tell your kiddo to not show their teeth. Second graders are supposed to have lots of missing teeth-- it's charming. Seventh graders have braces-- that photo will remind them of such a tumultuous time in their life. And lastly, there is always re-take day.

Image credits: ladyofreasons


If you always wrap your cord around your laptop AC adapter, you bend the wires in a tight curve. Back and forth, back and forth, bending at the same spot each time you wrap. Then they break off inside. If it's too expensive to just throw away, I'm repairing them. The same goes for expensive earbuds or phones: if you must wrap the cord around your music source, UNPLUG FIRST, otherwise, you're slowly working at snapping off the wires at the spot where they dive into the plug.


I don't know if it's a dirty secret as much as common sense when you think about it, but having worked in a warehouse that stores beer cans, I'd say that you should wash the top of any can you drink from, as it may have been sat on climbed on, touched by filthy hands and had mice run across it, and if nothing else was probably covered in layers of dust.


I work in visual effects for large hollywood movies. We do so much digital cleanup and enhancement of practical effects, yet get no credit for how it looks. We only get sh*t on when a director or studio forces us to make cartoony CG characters or un-photorealistic backgrounds. We're the only department that doesn't have a union, yet we're in charge of upwards of half the movie's budget. Life of Pi was shot mostly on green screen, yet the cinematographer got an Oscar, even though most of those shots were created later in VFX without his input.


Fiber Internet Service Provider here - bandwidth is not a scarce commodity like they want you to think it is. It is all about profit margins and over subscribing the network.


I'm a celebrity event photographer in Hollywood. Most of the smaller award shows winners like the MTV VMAs, Teen Choice Awards, etc...already know they are going to win. This motivates the talent to come to the event. During the show they are backstage talking with friends and take a seat during a commercial break just before their award is announced. The few exceptions are the Oscars and Golden Globes where the audience is mostly celebrities.

Image credits: bridow


I don't have tons of free time.

I am unemployed and despite contrary f**king belief I am neither lazy nor have tons of time.

Searching for a job is a full-time job by itself. In parallel, it's hard to keep searching for a job because really there is no reward. Usually, when you do something there is a result. You go to the gym and you burn calories. You sell sh*t and you make money. You study and you get grades. Even if you fail at something. You f**king learn something and try a different approach, you gain experience.

When you search for a job there is no result. You try and you try and you try....and nothing happens. Like drilling a hole in the water.

In parallel. You can't plan anything. You cant buy a f**king washing machine because you don't know where you will be staying tomorrow. I cant plan a trip back home to see my family because I need to be on stand-by for interviews and even be here to answer the f**king phone.

So no. I don't have tons of free time. Not having a job also f**ks with your biorhythm. Meaning it's hard to wake up early and sleep early. When I had a job I could easily wake up by myself at 7. Now some nights I don't sleep at all.

And this is just a part of being unemployed. I am the lucky one. Because I still have money left and a supportive family.


Livesound: at any concert, you attend the best sound will be directly in front of the engineer at the main sound board.


Recently retired trucker here. A fully loaded semi-truck traveling at highway speeds takes approximately 100 yards to come to a complete stop. Which means that the fun game of slamming on the brakes at the last minute in front of a big truck is just one of several ways you get referred to by the phrase "dead man driving."


When you rent a vehicle to go one-way. You will most likely be getting a car that's either high mileage, has a weird smell/stain or has a possible mechanical issue.

The branch has to pay to fix the car so it's usually easier to pass the buck

Make sure you do a thorough inspection before leaving the lot.


I work at a US lobbying firm, and I'm sure no Redditor would be shocked to hear that US legislators are ignorant. You might be surprised just HOW ill-informed a lot of them are, though. Like the Congressman who believed David Cameron was a member of the Socialist party. Or the one that asked me why we called it Russia now, not the USSR. Or the Senator who told me he'd grown up drinking sea water, and it was healthier for you. Or the governor who thought all Jews were k**led by Hitler. The list could go on.


The chips/circuitry on printer cartridges are made, maybe not necessarily to fail, but to such low quality, that f**k it, close enough. HP is the biggest culprit right now. Also, I'm about 99% certain that they're sending out firmware updates to disable older models of printers to prevent you from using aftermarket cartridges. If you've got an HP Officejet 6210/6310 connected to an internet accessible computer, try to use an aftermarket 95 cartridge. None of my customers that have that printer connected to an online computer can use them. The one guy who has one of those printers connected to a computer that isn't internet accessible can use them just fine.

TL;DR Let HP d*e their horrible, slow, self imposed de*th.

Edit: I'm getting a lot of questions about what to buy. There is no catch all, good for everyone printer. Likely, there never will be. My recommendation is to get a good idea of your usage, and go from there. If you're just the average home user that doesn't need anything special, a Brother that takes the LC71, or a Canon that takes the PGI225/CLI226, or PGI250/CLI251 should be perfectly adequate. The Brother cartridges don't have chips or circuits. The Canon's *do*, but guys like myself will have resetters for the 225/226, and a rep from R-Jet Tek told me that one will be available for the 250/251 in a matter of months.

If you're a college student who needs to print off a lot of reports, but doesn't necessarily need color or advanced features, a Brother HL series printer will suit your needs. They're small, so they won't take up a lot of dorm room real estate. When you need color, just go to the computer lab.

If you need an inexpensive wide format, I'd lean on an Epson. They're not the most consumer friendly printers, but have some nice entry level wide format machines. They've made some strides in more cost effective cartridges lately too. Everyone has, honestly, if you do your research.

If you need a small business printer, with high yield cartridges, but not enough volume to justify an expensive full color laser, I typically recommend a Brother that takes the LC79 series. These printers are HUGE though, so be forewarned. They're nice machines with a lot of features. Also, I have been turning people away from the LC103/105/107 printers due to chips on the cartridge, but R-Jet Tek has a resetter listed on their website now, so once again, guys like me should be able to do those cartridges here soon. Buy away, especially if you need a printer with a smaller form factor.

Samsung and Oki make great machines, but they can be costly and hard to find supplies for. Customers of mine who have Oki's LOVE them. You get what you pay for though, and damn, you're paying for those things.

If you need a full color laser, I have a customer who is very happy with his printer that takes the Brother TN315's. S**t is EXPENSIVE though, but he prints a lot of technical manuals, and needs the speed and quality. We see him every few months, and he loves the thing. He's our only customer that gets them though, so I am taking the word of one man.


About half of the imported honey on the shelf is really rice syrup illegally transhipped from China through another country and relabeled as honey and the only testing the FDA has for this is effectively meaningless.


If you get the slightest stain on your mattress, the manufacturer's warranty is voided. If you buy a mattress buy a mattress cover.

Returning a mattress to a mattress store is hellish, no one wants the mattress you bought without testing, who knows what you did on it, so vendors make it nearly impossible to return them. (It costs a vendor a lot to recondition a mattress.)

Vendors often have to rent storage lockers/trucks to store soiled mattresses that delivery guys pick up anyway. My company has two trucks filled with mattresses marked "BF", wrapped in plastic that the manufacturers will not take back. We have to eat the cost.

Bedbugs aren't as big a problem (yet) as the media seems to suggest.

Before you purchase a mattress, spend at least 30 mins, more like an hour, laying on it in your normal sleeping position. If the store gives you a hard time, go somewhere else.

DO NOT buy the plushest bed you find. It might feel good at first, but that thing will turn in to a mushy hole that causes your back to spasm so that you pray for de*th.

Don't give the mattress store a bad review cause you bought the wrong mattress, p**sed on it, and then they wouldn't take it back.


I work in non fiction television and have made shows for History and Discovery. The execs at these companies grew up watching these channels and actually want to make educational informative documentaries. Unfortunately no one watches documentaries anymore, so we have to appeal to the lowest common denominator and make reality tv trash to remain competitive.


Accountant here. It is actually ridiculously easy for about 90% of you to calculate and file your taxes.


The Olive Oil Industry is controlled by the Mafia. In 2007 only 4% of italian olive oil leaving italy was actually pure olive oil. Fake olive oil has the similar profit margins as cocaine trafficking with none of the risk. About 70% of the olive oil that comes into the US is thought to be a fraud.

EDIT: I've posted a couple links already for people if they want to read about it, there is also google.

Image credits: infected_goat


Casino dealer here.

If you throw your chips or bills at me, I'll automatically think you're an a**hole who tries to look like a thug.

You can complain as much as you want about being down 5K for the day. I honestly couldn't care less. If you're stupid enough to waste that much money on gambling and tell anyone who will listen, you kinda deserve it.

The casino doesn't cheat, but the house obviously has an edge on every game. Duh. As if we would run a business based on 50/50 chances. Our goal is to make a profit while providing you with a fun gaming experience. We're not a free ATM and we don't owe you a dime. Stop complaining that I'm not paying out enough.

If I greet you, it doesn't take much effort to reply rather than ignore me, throw your chips on the table, and grunt "Green chips". If you don't feel like acting decently and treat me like a machine, we have those neat electronic Blackjack tables instead.


Nurse- Don't lie to us or the doctor! We're not out to get you, make you feel bad, get you in trouble, etc. The answers you give us will directly impact the care we give you and oftentimes, if the information we're given is wrong, it can affect your outcomes.

Yes, herbal meds need to be mentioned, yes, you should tell us exactly what happened (even if it's embarrassing).

Also, the gauge of your needle likely has a lot less to do with how much I like you and a lot more to do with the particulars of why you're getting a needle inserted into you in the first place.

Edit: Just for reference, most of my experience has been in a hospital setting. I'm not advocating lying in an office setting by any means, but you are also under no obligation to fill your doctors in on every illegal substance you've ever imbibed either unless there's a possibility it's contributing to your current issues.


When renting cars, the cost of your rental is whatever I can get you to pay for it. Need an SUV today? It might be $75 a day. Need one when it's snowing? Could be $300. Don't have a reservation? I'm taking you to the bank. Get the app on your phone and make a reservation...even if it's 5 minutes before you get to the counter. Don't blow off the offer of the loss damage waiver or collision waiver. You may not think you need it until you do. A couple of dollars may save you tens of thousands of dollars and/or a lot of heartache and paperwork. Also, rental prices are 3 times higher Monday through Thursday morning than they are Thursday afternoon through Monday.


Got an interesting one for you: The New York Times Bestseller List is Curated Advertising.

Yup. While it is based on sales, there are some nifty little loopholes left in the list to allow publishers to "choose" what gets on the list.

Here's how it works. What shows up on the list is the top sellers from set locations in a period of time, right? So a publisher comes out with a book, and they want it to go right to the list on day one. So they call the seller and place an order in advance to buy all the books that seller has that they haven't even shipped out yet. The seller takes the money, and all those books are now "sold." So they need more books to sell. So they contact the publisher, who agrees to sell them more stock, which happens to be the stock they just bought back.

The publisher then calls the seller and buys the stock again. The seller calls the publisher and orders more. Repeat until you've got the numbers you need (which you know, since the big publishers swap info freely so that everyone knows how many sales will take what spot on the list). You can "sell" 30,000 books this way while only having 2000 printed. The whole time the stock sits in a single place.

There's no rule against this. After all, the publisher does pay the seller each time. 50% of that money comes back to them, however, so it's basically low-cost advertising.

And that's how you get a book on the NYT Bestseller list. But only if you're with a big publisher. In the last few years, indie and self-pub books like The Martian started getting on the list, both through legit sales and the creators using the same system ... So the NYT restricted the list. You're only qualified for it if you're one of the big publishers now.

And now you know.


Don't hang up on telemarketers. If the dialer program they use works like mine, that just puts your number back into the database. If you don't want to be called again, just say so. We're required by law to comply.

EDIT: It looks like not every telemarketing company follows these rules. All I know is that these are the rules I've been working under for the past month and a half, so I'm sorry that this doesn't always work. We are a very small company (like 15 employees total) and only call people who've given out their number on various forms of debt relief inquiries online to see whether they're actually interested in talking to the companies concerned (again, not us) and to collect a little more specific information about the potential customer's situation for the salespeople at these companies. As a result, we're expected to make around 10-15 leads a day, so if a caller isn't interested in the service we move on pretty quickly until we find one that does. It probably does work differently at firms that are actually making cold calls to sell services directly.


I cooked at Crapplebee's for a short while saving money to move out of state. They microwave pretty much 80% of the menu. And the food is a small step above burger king in quality.


IT guy chiming in here:


I appreciate everybody's comments that there's more to it than that, and that I shouldn't undersell myself. You're absolutely right. We spend years building knowledge and skills that enable us to know how and what to Google based on potentially obscure or obtuse symptoms, and then how to apply the information we've found without breaking things. Knowledge and skills forged in the crucible of pissed off customers and toner dust.

I also don't feel super bad about the amount of money companies are charged when they call me for help. It's an opportunity cost thing. The $185 it costs them per hour is far cheaper than what it would cost that same company to have one their account managers spend 4 hours trying to figure out how to center the company logo in their signature, or not realize that backup jobs are failing, or that replication is failing.


That if everyone being charged with a crime insisted on it going to trial, no plea bargaining, the system would crash.


I'm in the games industry, so I know a lot of people in movie effects...and it just makes me so mad how you guys are treated.

I know people who worked on Life of Pi and got laid off while the movie was getting rewards and all the accolades.

These studios want high budget effects for a low budget price and it's a damn shame because you guys are freaking killing it with no credit.

I always stay after the credits at films to look at the various studios that were involved because much talent involved.


I worked at a high end furniture store in college. 75% of high end furniture is assembled in the back of the store by a hungover college kid the same way you would if you bought something from Ikea.
The difference between a $99 dresser and a $1000 dresser is a hungover college kid.
EDIT: Just for clarification, I should have said what the *average* person would consider high end. Most people on Reddit are more educated about consumer products than an average person. I've received comments and messages from people giving examples of why this isnt true and listing brands which would retail for $5000 dollars. I'm speaking about a store an *average* person would go into and assume they are getting nice furniture.
In regards to the quality of materials, yes the materials are better, but not as they seem. The hardware, sliders etc are better, but that oak dresser you are buying (at a $1000 price point) is often one piece of oak on top, and then lined with pine on the sides/interior.
I'm just saying know what you're buying, dont assume a higher price means higher quality.


I work for a UPS store. Here is a few things I have learned since working here...

Writing fragile on your package means nothing.

Your package WILL get thrown around, dropped, and beaten up; if it is breakable then according to our guidelines for properly packaged items it needs to withstand 1000lbs of pressure and a 4ft dtop.

UPS capital claims is terrible as well they will do whatever they can to not pay you the amount you insure your package for.


Millions -and I mean millions- of your tax dollars are absolutely, totally, wasted and/or stolen from United States embassies by almost everyone involved in any number of ways. Actual theft of property, actual theft of money, embezzlement, frequent extravagant parties, travel expenses, etc etc.

I made a throwaway in case anyone wants any specific examples. I honestly wouldn't even know where to begin right now.

Source: I spent a number of years working in the embassies of Moscow and Beijing.

Edit: The US Embassies in Moscow, Cairo, and Beijing (and some medium size ones elsewhere in Europe) employ and also *house* tens of thousands of people. Mansions outside of town, drivers for kids for school, there's all kinds of things happening.

**Edit #2: Here are some stories I told in the replies. I have no documented evidence other than ID. Simply telling you what I've seen and experienced during my time there.**

1) There's a number of ways people, not only Americans, steal things and waste money endlessly.

There's a great deal of very valuable materials (tools, cables, machine parts, chemicals/fuels, and all kinds of little gizmos I couldn't name). All it takes to resupply anything is a simple work order form or submission to GSO (general services officer), which next to no one will scrutinize, and you've got it. This invokes theft of everything not cash.

2) The big physical property theft happens at the off-compund storage sites. They can't possibly store everything at the actual embassies, so they contract out a storage facility in the host country to store their very expensive new stuff in. Ranging from 4th of July bbq pits (custom made, thousands of dollar price tag) from the personnel's housing furniture (expensive [and ugly] couches, tables, dressers, etc). Plus, every year (or every other year) there is a massive kind of embassy estate sale where a lot of things that were paid for but were never used are up for auction to the public. In Moscow the place was called Dorozhno, and very little was returned once sent there, including things that could have actually been useful.

3) In one of the Moscow embassy buildings, there is a corridor that is filled with HUGE pieces of Chihuly glass bowls and other pieces, some that were easily 6-7 feet tall. It was a giant, art display (at least 12-15 pieces of Chihuly art of that size is worth god knows how much) for a small fraction of people (less than 75 people) who had the clearance to get to that corridor.

[Here it is]( It's a small picture, but that room is huge and the pieces have changed since it was taken. In their defense it was pretty spectacular. The biggest Chihuly display I've ever personally seen.

4) Outside of Beijing are suburban neighborhoods that look like San Diego. McMansions in gated communities (that I'm sure weren't built for free) outside of the city where the people/press can't see that it's ALL white expats. They have their own libraries, pools (in the winter, ice rinks), and American fooderies. They get special Chinese guards on patrol day and night around the walls of these communities.

Watching how you live on the government's dime while watching the Chinese suffer was probably one of the more lasting memories. Grocery store employees will walk a white person's dog while they shop then carry their stuff home for them if they live close enough by. It's somewhat shocking to see. If anyone in Beijing wants to visit the Jenny Lou's in Chaoyang district, please let me know if it has changed.

5) The embassy in Moscow owns two large vacation homes (dachas in Russian, though dachas in general are small and belong to families). The rent on them is easily hundreds of thousands of dollars a year if not more, and only embassy staffers are allowed to use them. There are hedgehogs in the little yards around them and are very cute.

6) Right before I left, ambassador Burns was a special guest at the wedding of a Dagestani crime lord's daughter's wedding, which was attended by Ramzan Kadyrov, the brutal tyrant dictator of Chechnya.

I'm not sure why one of our ambassadors would be a guest at such an event hosted by such evil people, but I can imagine why we didn't hear about it. Fun stuff. There was a leaked cable about it, he didn't seem very pleased with Kadyrov and his ilk.

7) Marine security guards threatening kids with disassembled M4s, people forced out of their TDY for no reason (many expats don't own a home so when their contract goes sour for whatever reason, things can be very very bad), and the guards grew pot outside the walls on the backside of the compound in Moscow.


High school teacher here. The public education system isn't actually broken. Trace most reform efforts back to their source, and you'll find someone pushing it to profit. Kids are the ones who end up paying the price, though.


This is no secret, but I still find it astonishing how many people think they have even a remote chance of winning (over time) at a casino. It's entertainment. The amount you bet is the price you pay. Whether you count cards, play the outside on Roulette, or bet 7's on Craps: You. Will. Lose.

I have nothing personally against the casino/gambling industry - I think it's great for entertainment purposes, but the illusion of winning is a trap to many.


Half of the so claimed 'services' they offer at Jiffy Lube never get completed, either by laziness or it may be impossible to do it the proper way on certain cars. The store's hours distributed for employees are directly affected by 'average ticket sales', which means (at least when I was store manager at one) that if we didn't have an average of $65+ at the end of the day per car, then we got wrote up. Jiffy Lube is a dirty, evil company that takes advantage of people, and that's why I left to take a lower position elsewhere. Even though I made less money, I knew I wouldn't be selling people things they didn't need. Felt good quitting that f*****g place.


Worked foodservice for 15 years in plenty of places. Never seen an ice bin/ice machine cleaned.

EDIT: I don't mean the bins ice is transported to; i mean the bin where newly created ice is deposited. Also, i do remeber them being cleaned-but only when the machine went down and all the ice was used. Certainly the exception, not the rule.


Porn stars are generally good people and great to be around


Hotels are so paranoid about getting a bad review that if you complain about anything they'll give you something free, especially if you're a member of their rewards program.

Never use the cup that's in the bathroom, it's not cleaned.

You're just as likely to find bedbugs in high end hotels with international travelers as you are at a motel 6.


If people would brush and floss once or twice a day really well and correctly, 90% of us dentists wouldn't have a job except for maybe oral surgeons for wisdom teeth.

Edit: Ya know... I wish I didn't make such a hyperbolized statement out of humor and good natured "go brush your teeth" attitude.

I'm a restorative dentist. That mean most of my work is to fix decay and it's repercussions in the mouth. I meant this statement from a restorative dentist standpoint and what my patients come in for.

Orthodontists, oral surgeons, periodontists, endodontists, pediatric dentists, prosthodontists... they all do things that involve and don't involve decay. There's congenital conditions, systemic conditions and all these other factors that I didn't take into account when I made my one-sentence self-depricating statement at my particular field in our profession.

I apologize, sincerely.


I'm only supposed to put six olives on your Footlong.

You all deserve to know.


I've worked for a very popular italian chain restaurant for years, I'll let you guess which one.

Those fresh baked breadsticks you so desperately desire are not actually baked in house. We receive PALLETS of already-baked white breadsticks. We just toast them, and then smother them with liquid margarine and garlic powder and salt.

Those cheese graters we use to grate the copious amounts of cheese on your fettucini alfredo are extremely dirty. Most servers grab the cheese with their dirty unwashed hands when placing it in the grater. The graters are sometimes left in random places in the restaurant FOR HOURS and when somebody finally gathers them up they are put right back in this holding container on the counter, with the probably-bacteria-ridden-and-expired cheese still in the grater.

Our salad dressing is manufactured by McCormick and Schmick's and is given to us in big plastic bag container things. Our salad is mostly iceberg lettuce, canned black olives, (suprisingly) fresh roma tomatoes, pre-packaged and sliced red onion, canned pepperoncinis, and garlic croutons. When you tell me that you LOVE our salad I judge you and your poor taste in food.

Surprisingly, our alfredo sauce is very high in quality. We use a flour base combined with manufacturing cream, actual cheese, minced garlic, black pepper, etc. to make it. This is a surprise because most of our sauces come from a concentrate and we just add water/oil/veggies to make it saucy. Our soups are also made from scratch every morning. Each does have a starter base, but all of the vegetables, meats, cream, etc. are fresh and cooked daily.

As I think of more I'll add them.

EDIT: Here's some more I can think of:

ALL of our meat comes frozen and most comes pre-formed (as in, shaped to fit the entree it is meant for).

95% of our pasta was dry pasta that Barilla actually made for us. 95% of our pasta is still dry pasta but is provided to us now through an anonymous distributor.

All of our desserts come frozen and are manufactured by a dessert company that operates only B2B. Chances are the tiramisu you eat at our restaurant is similar, if not the same, as tiramisu you may find at other restaurants. I actually went to a food trade show for a friend's catering business and found the maker of my restaurant's desserts in a booth. Our tiramisu was definitely on display.

Something else I thought of thanks to the comments:

It isn't parmesan cheese that we are grating. It's pecorino romano.


The chances of you surviving cardiac arrest are only between 5-10% with the proper application of life-saving measures. people seem to be under the assumption that most people come back... They don't.


Funeral home worker for 5 years.

That casket has a huge markup and it is illegal for a funeral home to not let you source your own casket. In my area Amish make them and their prices run from reasonable to unreasonable and here's another tip - Walmart sells caskets. They are still slightly overpriced but usually better than what your director is probably selling.

Shop your casket options.


Most people already have the tools I use lying around, and would know how to fix their problem if they watched a five minute youtube video.


Any expensive pair of sunglasses you buy are cheaply made

Source: work at a chain sunglass store

EDIT: 9/10 customers that come in with broken sunglasses bringing Ray Bans.. Yes, Maui Jims and Persols are good, but designers like Versace and Gucci really aren't all that well made (we had to read a book about the different designers while being hired and how each sunglasses are made)


There are so many mice and/or rats in and around grocery stores. We are required by law to take measures to control the population and dispose of contaminated products, but short of a full-blown infestation no store is going to be shut down for having mice


My Walmart had cats. Most days there'd be a cat somewhere in the back. I suppose it kept the mouse population down.


Jack in the box-- Don't order lemon with your ice tea/water. Those lemons are by the drive-thru window because people will ask for some last minute. So they sit there all day, sliced, and the drive-thru cashier who is handling all the money will often put their dirty hand in there and touch your lemon before giving it to you.


Parking ticket office in Toronto is so backed up that trials are set more than 2 years away which exceeds the statute of limitations and they get canceled.


In tax people will tell you to report cash receipts for a side business like mowing lawns. Cash receipts that the government has absolutely no way of knowing exists unless you tell them. Cash receipts that would never trigger a lifestyle check, and even if somehow the government knew you received them they wouldn't be able to prove it because there's no trail left that's appropriate for legal purposes.

Just food for thought.


Supermarket produce worker- 90% of the time I go in the back to check for a product that isn't on the floor I'm just doing so to placate you. I already know we don't have the product.

That 10%, though, is me being thorough and good at my job.

The rest I'm taking two seconds to look and see the empty spot and then two minutes bullsh**ting with a co-worker.


A lot of times, when you request modifications to your food in a restaurant, the cooks are often making fun of you or becoming irrationally angry.


Nursing homes somehow always know when they are going to be visited by the state. They have plenty of time to get their sh*t together, and overstaff for days. The administrators and office people will actually work on the floor that would never do otherwise. Things are great until the moment the state reps leave then you're back to being understaffed and overworked. It's a common complaint but people are absolutely not getting the care they need.


911 operator here. Most of our technology is dangerously outdated. We got our current radio system in 1997.

And it's not just our center, any 911 center you go to will have software and equipment that should have been replaced years ago. It's scary. Only about 80% of our cell phone calls provide a usable location, and even that can be off by hundreds of feet.

Most states add a 911 service fee of about $1 onto your monthly phone bill. That money is supposed to go to the 911 center exclusively and provide funding for equipment and software upgrades. But there have been widespread cases of those funds being diverted elsewhere. We don't get much from tax revenue, either. We're a footnote on the budget, and our technology reflects that.

Bonus note: If you call 911 for a medical call, it might seem like a game of 20 questions. Rest assured that help is almost always dispatched as soon as we have the address, any other questions we ask are to determine a priority and update the units en route.


Similar situation with audio production. The sound mixing and the music are critical to engrossing you in the story, but most people don't realise just how true that is until it is off.

And then there are totally unrealistic sounds that you are supposed to create, simply because it's what audiences expect. Punches don't whoosh loudly through the air and land like you just threw 30 kilos of meat onto your granite floor, but people are so used to that sound that anything else sounds wrong to them.


I'm a designer in the toy and novelty gift industry. I work for one of those companies that make things like farts in a can, or heat-sensitive mugs with funny messages on the side. We make versions of beer pong and miniature table tennis. If you're buying a stocking filler at Christmas it's probably from a company like mine.

Literally, everything we make is copied or ripped off from somebody else. It is made in the cheapest possible way over in China, with very little testing. It's poorly conceived, poorly made, and poorly marketed. Most of the people that create and sell this sh*t admit that it's good for nothing but the landfill. However, amazingly we manage to turn over several million a year in sales


I worked for several years in book publishing.

Being a published fiction author almost always isn't a real job. A good number of books to sell for an author would be 3,000 in a year. (Only a ~1% of fiction authors hit this. Non-fiction is higher.)

But royalties on a $16 trade paperback or a $4 ebook come out to about $1 per book for the author. (50% royalty for ebook. $2 for Amazon, $1 for the publisher, $1 for the author) and (10% royalty for trade paper $8 for the bookstore, ~$7 for the publisher, $1 for the author. Note publisher has distribution and other costs that come out of that $7.)

So selling 3,000 books (which puts you in the top 1% of fiction sales) nets you a whopping $3000 a year.


Am a valet. Will drive your personal car gently. Rentals will try to get air on speed bumps. Also, (at least at my location ) we're not gonna look through your sh*t. I don't care what's in your glove box, although I will judge you if your car smells like garbage or farts.


If a mechanic fixes your car and fixes the wrong thing first they will just talk you in circles and make you soak up the cost for their f**k up. Most mechanics are really good talkers and can easily fool a customer and most times the service manager. No one is on your side at a dealership.


If you printed nudes at a 1-hour photo lab, everyone who works there seen them. Some people may have made themselves a copy.


people that work in call centers often hit their mute buttons to tell their co-workers about the total r****d on the phone.


Little secret. When you buy carpet you usually need less square footage of pad than carpet. But most companies bill you the same square footage for both and often send less pad than you paid for.


A lot of published academic research, especially in the life sciences, is wrong and based on shoddy data or outright fabrications. Occasionally you'll hear about a case that forces a prominent research centre to wipe some egg off their face in the media, but in general, far more of it is swept under the rug, dismissed along with the "bad apple," or just allowed to persist. Practically to a man, every scientist I've talked to about this issue can recall multiple papers that they know couldn't possibly be based off legitimate experimental results, often from notable journals and prestigious laboratories. It's no surprise to me that the pressure to publish and the intensity of the work environment drives some people to cut corners and make ethically dubious decisions -- we scientists aren't any more or less honest than the general population really. That's the big misconception people have about the supposed nobility of science -- yes, science is a very noble pursuit and scientists are often very altruistic and regimented and honest, but not overwhelmingly so.

I think people would be truly staggered by the volume and provinence of unreliable data, and the number of people who've built solid careers, funded huge projects, and even built massive laboratories off the back of it. That's not to say we're funding loads of c**p science and we should shrink our scientific enterprise at all, but rather that institutes and Universities and government agencies need to do more to prevent it. And the productivity expectations and publication statndards for researchers need to be made more reasonable, such that they're not compelled to cut corners or make stuff up just to keep their jobs. I think many people are afraid to speak up due to fears of retaliation and the nagging possibility that their books aren't entirely in order either. Find me an investigator with a periodical-length CV, and you'll probably find a suspect figure somewhere if you look long and hard enough. If someone digs it up and gives it legs, his/her career can be basically over and most people would rather let sleeping dogs lie. Sometimes things do get retracted, but not often enough. This is a problem that very few people are willing to talk about openly, but it's getting to be an elephant in the room very rapidly as publication volume grows exponentially.


If you're buying a mattress at an actual mattress store (not sams), buy it in the middle of springtime. That's when it gets INCREDIBLY slow for us and when we have the best sales. Also, buy the mattress you want brand new but get an outlet box. The box won't matter because you don't see or sleep on it and you get up to 100 bucks off! Don't buy pillows or sheets, buy them somewhere else because we overprice them. One more piece of advice, HAGGLE. Find the price of your set that they offer, tell them you have 100 bucks less than they offer, and wave money in their face. During the slow season, you could get up to 200 bucks off your set by that.


As someone who has worked as a TA at an American University, we hate reading and grading your papers as much as you hated writing them.


ATM tech...If you see someone working on an atm, it's generally faster to find another open machine. Also, don't honk the horn, this ain't curb service.

P.S. Don't come to knock on the door of the kiosk, we won't answer it.

P.P.S. Don't get pissed off at me, if I wasn't here to fix the thing it would never be available for you to use.


Yeah, you know how that chiropractor 'accidentally' billed your insurance twice? Mmhm, he's just waiting to see if you catch it, if not CHA CHING for him.


I work as a statistician in the healthcare industry. My company does consulting work for hospitals all over the country, and I sometimes go with our consultants when they present our findings to the hospitals' executive teams. I have yet to see an executive team that was concerned with patient care, even at not-for-profit hospitals. No matter how poorly they were doing, all they cared about was cutting costs so the hospital could make more money. Our consultants were good about explaining how poor patient care can ultimately affect their bottom line, but it's disheartening to see people running hospitals who don't care about people dying in their facilities.


I worked as an RN in a large health system, and quit because this attitude was obvious - even from the bottom of the organization.

Management wanted us to use "scripts" to try and manipulate patients into saying good things about us on the surveys. And would rather spend money on trainings for that than even discuss safe staffing levels.

Your direct caregivers probably want you to get well. The higher decision makers couldn't care less.


Former bartender of a nightclub here-- if you are going to be ordering drinks all night, buy your first drink and leave a decent tip. The first impression counts. If you do this, and I speak on behalf of all bartenders, we will definitely make sure you will be taken good care of. Ordering mixed drinks? I'll make sure they're loaded with alcohol. Long line to re-order? Wave at me and I'll go out of my way and serve you first. Hell, even sometimes when someone cancels a drink, I'll give it to you free on me.


Summer camp director. No one on staff is ever 100% sure what’s going on, there’s a 70% chance we think your kid is an a**hole, and losing kids for 15-60 minutes at a time is a little more common than we’d like admit.


Pretty much everyone, everywhere, has no idea what the f**k they're doing and are bullsh**ting and half-as*ing their way through their careers.


Retail Outlet for a major sporting good company:

-$XX.00 Regular Price
-$XX.99 Outlet Price
-$XX.98 Temporary Price Reduction (As in, this may only last a week or so)
-$XX.97 Permanent Price Reduction (As in, the price may go lower but it'll never go back up)
---Green price stickers: Store level markdown
---Orange price stickers: Company-wide markdown
---Price stickers are on a 5 color rotation based on how old the product is (can't reveal any more on this one but the most common color you see is the most recent)
-We always price check if you complain, just policy
-BUT there is always a manager that will give you a 10% discount for that streak on your shoe
-We accept returns no questions asked for damaged items like the sole falling off your sneaker, etc. Receipts help your case significantly but you'll most likely get some sort of discount
-If you have your receipt you can return it long past our policy. I returned a shoe 4 years old, unworn with receipt no problem before
-Buy the day before black Friday, come back with the items and wait in line and we change the price for you - saves you the trouble of fighting for sizes
-Ask the employees when the big clearance sales and promotions are changing, they are normally high schoolers without real care for policy
-Fill out the surveys. Ask to split up your purchase. Two opportunities to gain more surveys and two opportunities to use the gift cards from those surveys (only one allowed per transaction)


Manager of a lighting business.

If you're a band and rent a light for more than an 18 week tour, you basically paid the full retail price of that light for us, and we continue to rent it out making profits off of it for years.

I can't tell you how many lights (some with price tags of over 10,000 to 15,000$ per light) a car company have rented from us that we bought new from manufacturer just because said car company would be renting the lights for 5 months to do car shows. They basically bought the light for us, then paid us more money to have them for another few weeks. The even crazier part is they will rent them again the next year. They could have just as easily bought these lights and kept them in a storage facility, but I think the justification for it is that moving lights are very complex machines and we maintain them after every single show/event that they go to.


As a software engineer, the first version will probably always be bad.


Worked in a restaurant as a hostess through high school: restaurants are divided into sections. Each server has a section. As a hostess, I don't just seat people willy-nilly wherever the hell I want.. there's a method to my madness. I seat tables in a rotation to keep things fair for the servers and so that you get fast service. If you request a certain type of seating, I will do my best to accommodate you, but don't just sit yourself down at a random table, or worse, move to a different table after I've already sat you somewhere else.

Older Post Newer Post