From cinemas to fast food joints, fancy restaurants to jewellers, behind the scenes in every industry there is a whole world of short cuts, secrets and protocols. Everywhere you typically visit in a day has a whole other side that only the employees are privy to, and that most customers would never even guess at. From the ultra gross to the pretty reassuring, here are some industry secrets that workers on Reddit would like you to know.
1. Leave your pets at home
Former aircraft fueler. Don’t check your pets in kennels. Especially in summer or winter. They are submitted to some very harsh environments, left on belt loaders in the sweltering heat right next to a running APU that’s loud enough to deafen human ears, let alone a dog’s. It’s terrible. I always feel so sorry for them.
American Airlines will destroy your luggage. They get overloaded on carts, fall off on the way to the plane, and are left there to get run over by tankers and yes, fuelers, and rained on, then dragged to the edge of the ramp to sit all night while you arrive at your destination and wonder where in the hell your bags are.
If your departure is delayed, 90% of the time it’s us (the fueler). Look out the window to the right side if it’s a small plane, left side if it’s a really big plane. If there’s a truck sitting under the wing, we’re the reason you’re late. Sorry.
2. A meddling middleman
The kind donations people give hoping they go directly to the clients in shelters actually end up at the Salvation Army or Goodwill to be resold (even though we’re instructed to tell them that won’t be the case). This is done before the clients are even given the chance to decide if they want some of the donated stuff.
3. Closing means closing
I’m a server. No matter how much we insist it’s “okay” that you are keeping the entire restaurant open after we’ve closed, please know we are 100% lying. We will get fired if we deviate from anything other than pure delight that you are keeping us from going home. We dread it. Please don’t believe us.
4. All that glitters is not diamonds
I used to work in jewellery. Most of the prettiest gemstones are also very affordable. Tanzanite is a beautiful purple and looks nicer than amethyst. Topaz comes in lots of colours, including a pretty blue colour which can be as nice as aquamarine.
Opals aren’t as brightly rainbow-hued as they look in pictures – remember, they’re trying to sell you something shiny, so they edit the photos.
5. Bulk buying troubles
If you’re someone who purchases bulk nuts, grains, etc. Just know that those bins are probably rarely cleaned, and even when they are “cleaned”, odds are they were just rinsed out/wiped down to look clean.
I used to be a bulk buyer at Whole Foods Market and when I took over our bulk department had no cleaning logs or sanitizing procedure. The bins had moths/insect colonies and mould in them. Our store was opened nearly 5 years prior.
6. It’s all the same stuff
I’m a dentist. Here’s the lowdown on toothpaste. As long as it has fluoride they are all basically the same. When I was in dental school the Colgate lady came by and said that everything that says Colgate Total on it is all exactly the same, the only difference is the packaging. So whether it says whitening, or gum protection, or whatever else it is all exactly the same.
The exception is sensitivity toothpaste typically does have an extra active ingredient. KNO3, which helps with sensitivity. Don’t ever feel obligated to buy the expensive toothpaste because you think it will be better for your teeth, just buy whatever you like best.
7. Fresher is better
Stay away from pre-marinated meat, it’s usually going off so it gets taken off the shelf, marinated and repackaged so you can’t tell. Only the premium shaped and sized fruit and veg make it into big chains, the rest gets sold at markets wholesale to small stores cheap, hence they can survive (struggle though). What doesn’t get bought goes in the bin, waste or used as fertiliser.
From my experience, roughly 30% would head this way. Best before dates don’t really mean that much. It just means the food isn’t as great as it could be but still very edible. Makes you throw it out and buy more.
8. The reviews ruse
A huge portion of online reviews, ratings, social media presence, etc that you see for any given company are fake, paid for, or done by multiple accounts controlled by us. This includes a company’s Glassdoor page (fake reviews about how great it is to work there so that the million negative reviews don’t crush their page).
9. Keep away from the back
Butcher/seafood department secrets. The best/freshest stuff is in the front. We want the display to look good but we want to sell you the older stuff so we grab from the back. You can ask for the stuff from the front to getter it fresher. If you ask us recommendations, we always upsell. If a 4.99/lb cut does as well as a 7.99/lb cut, I’ll push that one.
Ask us for options and we’ll give you a choice including the cheaper variant. We put more on the scale than you asked for and then say “is a little over okay” knowing you’re too socially awkward to argue it. Ask for exactly an amount and you’ll get it. We aren’t going to sell you anything bad, a return customer is our goal, but we have a bunch of tricks to keep you happy while padding our daily profits.
10. The gift that never keeps on giving
Most gift cards never get redeemed. I can’t speak the whole variety of gift cards, but my former employer was an online gift shop with close to 80 million USD in revenue. Half their business came from selling experiences as a gift you could give to someone, think rafting, skydiving, or testing a Ferrari on a race track for an hour.
Overall, 70% of these experiences were never redeemed, meaning that in 70 % of the cases, each sale netted the company a 100% margin. Once the two years redemption deadline had passed, all that money belonged to the company. Never buy gift cards folks!
11. Opportunity is calling
If you have a hard time finding a job, apply to work at a call centre. They are always hiring every 3 months because people quit or get fired over violating some rule no one remembers. They will take almost anyone. I got yelled at all the time for wanting to turn down people who were poor hires. If you can dress yourself and survive a 5-minute interview you’ll have a job. The job will suck, but you’ll have one.
12. Skimming off the top
I used to work at Hollywood as parking tenant for the clubs & heart of Hollywood. I use to wave a flag to get cars into the parking lot. The parking lot will make $7000-10000 a day. When I turned manager, there are secrets to make A LOT of money. Every car we are supposed to charge $10, but I charge everyone $20-$30 as a matter of routine.
The parking lot could fit over 1000 cars. It was right next to Jimmy Kimmel and Dragon Movie Theater. Every day I left with $300-500 of cash. I did this for about 2 years. I spent all that dirty money travelling the world. I was only 20. Also, I did not learn this myself, it was taught to me by my former manager. Easiest money I ever made in my life.
13. A neater way to drink
When I was being trained as a bartender I learned if you order a shot it’s usually 1-1.5 oz but if you order a drink neat (same thing just in a normal glass) it’s usually 2 ounces. The reasoning is because people doing shots are doing them to get f***ed up and have to be paced whereas when you get a drink neat it’s to enjoy the alcohol.
14. Tip the front desk
Hotel front desk agents often have carte blanche access to change rates, room types, etc. as long as you book direct. Oftentimes we just upgrade guests that we like. If the hotel isn’t sold out, this can (CAN) get you a lot of free upgrades. Tip your front desk agent after check-in, act like it’s just because, $5 is enough.
Go to your room and within a few minutes make up anything regarding the room that’s simply a preference thing (too close or too far from the elevator, want a different view, etc.) and kindly ask for a different room. Best case scenario, they upgrade your room type, worst case scenario you establish yourself as a very pleasant guest and they’ll be very attentive to you for only 5 dollars, which is great if you plan on being a regular.
15. Swap out your shampoo
I used to work in the hair care industry. There is only one kind of detergent in shampoos. One. The rest is thickening agents, perfumes, colour etc. So the expensive shampoo you are buying is just the same stuff as the super-premium top-shelf stuff.
Oh, and if your shampoo seems to stop working after a while… that’s because the agents, perfumes, etc have built up in your hair. Change brands for a bit and the new one will rinse the old crud out. (Note: this is for regular shampoos only. There are two kinds of dandruff shampoo detergents. They work about the same as each other.)
16. Custodians with clearance
I’m a custodian. There are four people/departments you should be nice to in an office building: the administrative assistants (secretaries), the maintenance crew, the security staff (if your office building has them) and the custodians. All of us have a surprising amount of access in that building, and sometimes we know more than the higher-ups do.
As for custodians themselves, we don’t just mop floors all day (as commonly seen in movies or TV). In fact, the two most time-consuming tasks on my route are emptying trash cans and cleaning bathrooms.
17. Went bad on the way
The meat you buy at the grocery store (or anywhere, really) could very well have been over temperature and going bad for much of its transit. When refrigerated trailers malfunction and the temperatures rise to dangerous levels, the receiver of the load does not care as long as we can fix it and get it back down to the billed temperature by delivery.
18. Outsmarting the ants
Idk if this a “secret”, maybe more of a pest control tidbit: when dealing with ants, avoid using Raid! Unless you find the source of the activity, and can get the whole colony at once, it won’t help in the long run. Essentially, it takes just long enough to kill them that the escaping/dying ants are sending signals back along the trail that danger is near and to select a new queen, and move a whole new colony nearby, and new breeding cycles, potentially doubling the problem.
It’s called ‘budding’. Of course, we suggest calling your neighbourhood pest control, but some things I learned there: Windex works GREAT for ants. The ammonia in Windex (also: Clorox wipes, not that any of us have an abundance of those), erases the pheromone trails ants follow to and from the colony! So, especially if you notice those few, lone ants: those are scout ants, they are laying the pheromones. Spray it down, especially if you notice a source. Wipe it down. It’ll kill them on contact.
19. Don’t ask an employee
Don’t walk into a Home Depot, Lowe’s, Menard’s, etc and ask for actual trade (electrical, plumbing, building) advice. We’re retail workers. We’re not dissimilar from Wal-Mart or Target employees. You don’t walk into Wal-Mart and ask for dinner advice; you don’t walk into Kohl’s and ask for fashion advice; why would you ask how to wire up something or plumb something at one of our stores? Free advice is worth precisely what you pay for it.
20. Enter through the exit
At electronic stores such as best buy, if you dont intend on buying anything but are looking around or other nonpurchase reasons, walk into the store via the exit door as opposed to the entrance door. The entrance door has a counter that counts how many customers come in vs how many items were sold to customers.
The more customers that enter, the higher the sales expectations and requirements are. By walking into the exit, you are not inflating customer numbers and in turn make it slightly easier for sales teams to meet their quota.
21. You should be alarmed
Burglar alarms are pretty much useless. You’re better off with a Ring camera and a cell phone to call 9-1-1. Fire alarms are only marginally better. The problem lies therein with the alarm company. Alarm activated? Alarm company has a set time frame to “respond” to it. That’s pull up the customer’s information, call them and try to get in touch with someone.
Then they call the dispatch non-emergency line and a call-taker processes the call. I’ve seen alarm drop times and officer dispatch times as far as 10-15 minutes apart.
22. Avoid the arcade
Don’t spend money on arcade places and get away from claw machines or any other game of that kind. All redemption (tickets) and toy or prize machines are programmable and there’s a very high chance that is programmed to give always the least amount of tickets. The claw machines will always have no force to grab anything and they give one prize every 100 plays or so.
Also, that plushie from the claw machine or that little toy you got by trading those 20 tickets you earned by spending 5 dollars playing is actually stupidly cheap, like, they buy them from china for like 1000 for 2 dollars.
23. Not built to last
New construction. That $3k/$4k “luxury apartment” you’re renting is slapped together in a rush just like everything else is. Also, if you’re on the 3rd floor or above, you have water bottles filled with urine stuffed inside your walls because the elevators are typically finished last.
24. Always check with your doctor
Hospitals and surgeons knowingly used reprocessed medical devices in surgery without patient consent & bill the patient/insurance the cost of a non-reprocessed device. Reprocessed devices are normally at least ~50% cheaper for the hospital to purchase, have many problems, and can’t 100% say there is no biological material remaining on the device.
I’ve been in surgeries where these devices fail, cause problems etc. adding a lot of additional time to the procedure and they often have to open a second device which they could charge for as well. I always tell my family and friends getting surgery to make sure you’re adamant about requesting all-new, no reprocessed, devices for surgery.
25. Check yourself before you serve yourself
Self serve soda machines: if you unscrew the nozzle of a sprite/ginger ale/clear soda, and run a napkin around them, the napkin should stay white. If the napkin turns a brownish colour, it means the soda machine hasn’t been cleaned in a while.
Also, there’s probably mould in the ice chute where you can’t see. Unless it’s on a documented schedule to be cleaned at least once a quarter, it never occurs to anyone other than the manager if they even knew it needed to be done at all.
26. Say yes to the dress… if it fits
This isn’t exactly a secret, but I’ve worked in bridal on and off and this tip can save you 50% of the total cost of “the dress.” When you get a dress, buy one you love that also already fits. Don’t order it before you try it on even if someone “fits” you for it. Bridal alterations average about half the cost of the dress, sometimes more if it needs lots of alterations.
So that dress you found on sale for $800 that just needs to be taken in might end up costing you $1200-$1600. It’s a much better idea to get a $1000 dress that doesn’t need any work. But if you’re under 5’4 and not planning on wearing heels, the dress will most likely have to be hemmed regardless.
27. Military money
I worked for an aerospace company that makes switches, grips, and wheels for different aircrafts. We would charge the US military an absolute f***ton of money for our parts while selling the same parts to giant corporations like Boeing and Airbus for much less, like 30 – 50% less.
The purchase orders were consistently 5 and 6 figures so they were overcharging by tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars very often. It was pretty surreal having my taxes deducted from my paycheck every month and then seeing the company I was working for get my tax money by selling unjustifiably high priced parts to the US military.
28. Creepy crawlies at the movies
Cinemas have bugs living in the soft furnishings that eat the tiny leftovers we miss when cleaning. Even with vacuuming, we can’t get the tiny pieces of food or a spilt drink. Cockroaches and other small critters aren’t easy to spot in the dark and they hide when the lights are on. Think about that next time you get comfortable.
29. Not a game of chance
I was a casino slot technician for 10 years. The outcome is decided as soon as you hit the button, from the reel stops all the way through the bonuses. This means when you play an interactive bonus where you “select” things by touching a screen or something like that, your choices don’t matter it already knows what it’s going to show you.
When you see where everything was after the round is over, it’s a trick to make you think you could have chosen differently.
30. Television bureaucracy
Advertising revenue is more important to Television Networks than viewership, awards, or positive reviews. In fact, viewership, awards, and positive reviews are just tools to get more ad dollars. If a show doesn’t attract advertisers, loses advertisers, or attracts the wrong audience demographics for their advertisers there is a high likelihood that the show will be cancelled (even if it is critically acclaimed and popular with viewers).
31. The price is right
Prices on items that don’t sell well don’t necessarily go down to reduce merchandise – they go up sometimes. I work at Gap and we’ve had these ugly a** sweaters in since June. Originally when they came in, they were priced at $11 but hidden under the $25 marker (where no one would think to look for a sweater in JUNE) Sometime in early August they were “marked down” to $10.50.
A few people bought some and thought nothing of it because the original price was marked over with the clearance sticker. Today, I had to put new sale price tags on them. Guess how much? $25.99. So in about 3 months time, those ugly a** sweaters went from $11 to $25.
32. Not so secure
I’m in Cybersecurity and deal mostly with the largest companies and governments in the world. Every one of them has been breached, to carrying degrees, by the Russians and Chinese [governments]. Almost daily. It’s not a matter of if they’ll get in It’s a matter of how long they’ll be there, and how much damage they’ll do, before you find them.
33. Befriend your delivery driver
Pizza delivery: Try to order from the same 1 or 2 places all the time and always tip 2-5$. You can get a reputation with drivers by your third order. If you can manage a 5$ tip each time, drivers will break laws to get you your damn pizza.
Don’t be surprised when your pies start hitting your door in under half an hour and your toppings get heavy. Also, splitting toppings on pizzas costs nothing extra. So, next time get 4 toppings on your 2 topping special.
34. Double your sugar
Idk if all bars and restaurants do this, but if you complain that your sugary cocktail isn’t strong enough and demand a new one, we’ll offer you a double.
If that’s not good enough for you because you don’t want to pay for the double, you just want a single but with more booze than a single, odds are we’ll take the drink below the bar, pour a minuscule bit of booze down your straw, and give it back to you. That way the first sip is very strong and you can’t possibly complain. We’ll also laugh about you in the back.
35. Washing your money away
Worked for a high-end appliance company ( washers, dryers, etc..) and they are designing new units to not last more than 5-7 years. That’s why your grandparents have had their stoves and fridge last them 50 years, because they were built to last and didn’t have all the electronics in them. If you ever have to go buy a new laundry unit or appliance, buy something used that’s at least 6-8 years old.
Also, front-loading washing machines, the bellow (rubber seal) collects water and will get mould and mildew, no way to prevent this, you will have to buy a new one every couple years which is $135 plus $100 at the bare minimum for a service tech to come to install it
36. Trust your nurses
If your nurse pinches her lips or just nods absentmindedly when you mention your doctor’s name, you might want to get a second opinion. We can’t ethically tell you your doctor sucks…silence speaks volumes. Likewise, if a nurse tells you that your doctor is great, the best surgeon, brilliant, etc., trust him/her. We don’t give false compliments.
37. A change at the wheel
Car manufacturers are freaking out about Tesla, Rivian, etc. No one knows how to adapt their existing business model to compete with the successful EV startups as most manufacturers are hampered by decades of institutional bureaucracy and powerful dealership associations/lobbies. Actually, dealerships might be the death of the auto industry as we know it today, which wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.
38. Save your make-up money
Beauty industry for 20+ years… nothing at Sephora is worth it. Buy your face wash, sunscreen and moisturizer at a drug store, and get your retinol rx. You really don’t need anything else. Just be consistent with your routine and you’ll be fine. YouTube/IG beauty gurus are paid to sell you things. That concealer isn’t amazing, that powder isn’t a miracle holy grail.
39. Unsanitary ice cream
The reason McDonald’s ice cream machine is always ‘broken’ is because the machine is designed to have a maintenance cleaning every fortnight. This requires emptying and dumping the remaining ice cream mixture and a few hours to properly clean it.
The process isn’t advanced but you wouldn’t want just anyone doing it, plus if it’s done incorrectly the machine will tell you to do it again. Most likely your local store doesn’t want to bother, so they say it’s broken.
40. Where your blood ends up
The American Red Cross deliberately collects an excess amount of 40-80k units of blood, monthly. Not because they want to always have a reserve ( after any big crisis, there’s always lines for donors). They do this because they have a 15-year contract to sell the plasma (of aged blood) to a specific pharma company that I worked for.
The blood is able to be sold as a “non injectible” product after 42 days. If you want to donate blood, contact your local hospital and all of they have or can recommend a local program.
41. It’s all the same bread
I work at an industrial bakery and being brand loyal is f***ing stupid. For the majority of white breads and wheat breads (clover valley, great value, Laura lynn, etc.) It’s all the same doughs, we just switch the bags. The only exception is Wonder bread, they use their own recipe. Also, we don’t run Sara Lee (who in my opinion makes the best quality bread).
That being said, I still know people that will tell me I’m wrong because they can taste the difference. I just smile and nod, I’m not gonna tell them where I work and ruin their whole bread belief system!
42. Pitied by the caddie
Caddies hate bad golfers and will help them out tremendously. Lol, I have seen caddies kick golf balls many many times so the player will have a better view of the green. So if you suck at golf and all of a sudden you had a great round more than likely your caddie had something to do with it without you even knowing. Like a certain former president…
43. Bringing the teacher home with you
I’m a nanny. So many daycare workers become nannies when parents who are tired of their kids getting sick or getting less attention offer their favourite classroom teacher a higher pay to be a private nanny. Anyway, there are always kids who LOVE craft time and cooperate for those footprint/handprint crafts.
Then there are the kids who hate it and it’s like wrestling an alligator to get them to let you paint their hand and push it into a piece of paper. If a kid hates it then we just let the kid who loves it paint their hand twice. The art that you have on your fridge probably isn’t even your child’s hand or footprint.
44. Not quite medical research
I work in the blood industry (for medical/research/manufacture use.) When you donate, your Red Blood Cells and most Platelets will actually be used for medical purposes, but about 85% of the Plasma donated will be sold to makeup companies and other manufacturers. Roughly 20% of Platelets will also be sold to manufacturers.
Your White Blood Cells will either be sold for research or discarded since they’re basically useless for medical or manufacture purposes. Overall, about 50% of your blood will be used for treatments, and the rest will go to makeup/manufacturing and research companies. I’m not saying don’t donate, it still helps people, but it’s just something nobody really thinks about when you have that needle in your arm.
45. Staying hydrated
I did action sport and Motorsport photography for about 20 years. One thing nobody knew about at the time was that all the energy drink cans you see with winners were either water or empty. No athlete actually drinks red bull or monster energy. I think this is pretty well known now but at the time my friends and family had no clue until I brought them a sealed monster can with water inside.
46. Many hands on deck
I work for a very well known shipping company… Each package shipped is handled by a lot more people than you might think. Things like “fragile” stickers or “this side up” arrows don’t mean a damn thing. Your package will inevitably be tossed, shaken and flipped around. However, if you ship in a box that says something like “live fish” or “sensitive medical equipment” your package will be treated much nicer.
47. Teacher games
Not really a secret but some teachers put students who have a crush on each other on the same group or pair. I’m stuck here for 200 days, I wanna see some drama. And during grading season, we sometimes deduct points on the high honour students and give them to the struggling students.
48. Ivy league privileges
Go to the most competitive college you can get into. Once you’re in, big-name colleges don’t want you to drop out because it f***s up their numbers. The hardest schools to get into are the easiest ones to graduate from because of the supports that they offer. If you can get into an Ivy, GO THERE.
49. You’re covered
I do emergency roadside for a large USA roadside club. You probably know the one. Guess what? Your membership doesn’t cover your car. It covers you. Have that card in your wallet? The one your grandparents renew as a Christmas gift every year or whatever? If riding shotgun with your friend and THEY catch a flat, call us and I’ll come change it.
As long as you’re with the vehicle when we arrive, I couldn’t give a quarter s*** who the car belongs to. We won’t check registration unless it’s a lockout and even then usually only if something’s fishy – and for that we have an extremely well-honed sense if you’re trying to get into someone’s car illegitimately or not.
50. Airport perks
Airline worker here, specifically passenger service. Ask anybody for s*** and, if we are in a good mood, we can give it to you for free. Better seats? Ez. Want to sit together? Sure. Aisle or window? I think we got a couple of extra seats that we can arrange for you. Overweight? A couple extra shouldn’t hurt, lemme just slap on this heavy tag for weights and balances. Rebooking? Well, there’s a fee, but I think I can find a way to let that go.
Literally, if you are nice, and we are able to, we might be able to arrange that for you. Also, we have the ability to kick anyone out of the flight. That includes the flight attendants, the captain, the gate agent, the ticket counter agent, hell, even the ramp agent if he/she sees that you are a problem for the flight. Just be nice in general. You don’t want a felony.
51. Natural doesn’t mean good
Just because a plant product (like fruits and veggies) is labelled as organic doesn’t mean they don’t use sprays – pesticides, herbicides, etc. It just means they are restricted to using organic-grade sprays that are more expensive but will still do bad things if you misuse them. In the same vein, a sticker on food that calls it “non-GMO” doesn’t actually mean anything because it’s not a legal requirement to have those.
The FDA has an official definition of what GMO plants are, but the “non-GMO” sticker is a voluntary thing and is a recommendation. Those companies aren’t held to any standards when marking something as GMO or not and typically use that label as a marketing thing. That’s why a huge number of brands use it. There’s no downside and no one’s going to stop them.
52. Multiple madness
If you’re at the supermarket and see a deal that says “2 for $4” when the typical price per item is like $2.50, check and see if it says “must buy multiples of two.” If it doesn’t, then the items are just on sale for $2 and you don’t gotta buy 2. I’m not sure if this is common knowledge, but none of my friends knew this.
53. Same stuff, different casing
I work doing warranty repair on various electronics. TVs, Printers, Laptops, Consoles, Desktops, Servers. The technical term is “white labelling” but the idea is that everything you buy electronics-based is made by the same 3 companies.
It’s not in house by the big ones – once you take off the fancy plastic outsides with the “Samsung” “Sanyo” or “Vizio” logo, the power regulator is LG, the screen itself is Winstar, InnoLux, or PalmTech, the motherboard is Sony, and you can pretty much swap them into any TV with minor modifications to the plastics on the outside in a pinch.
54. False authority
When you google “best xyz” to figure out what product to buy, the top results are often lists of affiliate links (so the publisher gets paid when you purchase), and the writer hasn’t actually tried any of the products on the list. Also, the reason every recipe you find has 800 words of background about the author’s childhood and/or grandma is that google sees longer articles as more authoritative and therefore ranks them higher.
55. Nothing is healthy
Starbucks Barista here: Nothing – and I mean nothing – is healthy. Not the matcha, not your keto drinks, not the sugar-free stuff, nothing. It’s all sugar and caffeine. BTW, any keto drink is basically guaranteed to be over 1000 calories. Go buy a milkshake instead, it’ll taste better. (Heavy cream is 50 calories per Tablespoon. Do the math for a 16oz drink).
56. Silent but deadly
You know that smell (natural) gas has? They put that in. The gas is odourless – but they add the smell, so you know when there’s a leak. Seriously, they add charcoal called mercaptan to the natural gas and that’s what gives it the rotten egg smell. For the fire display at the Mirage, they strip out the mercaptan and add another compound that smells like piña colada, so the un-combusted gas has a pleasant smell as opposed to rotten eggs.
57. Messing with the mailman
When you angrily write “return to sender!!!!” on your “junk” mail, it doesn’t go back to the sender; it gets recycled. You’re not sending a message to advertisers, you’re just making more work for your mailman. Also, stop writing “doesn’t live here!” on mail that says (someone else’s name) or current resident. Current resident, that’s you!
58. Written by ghosts
Often a book is not written by the author – it’s actually written by a ghostwriter, entirely or to varying degrees. Many people have heard of ghostwriters but don’t realize how prevalent this is across genres, both fiction and nonfiction.
Often an author does a rough draft, and then hands it off to a ghostwriter for the rest. This happens largely because top-quality writing is very very difficult – if it’s easy to read, it wasn’t easy to write.
59. Paper clip fix
I’m a mechanic for a really small company. And sometimes people dont want to pay for parts or just don’t have the money and ask for “cheap” fixes. So sometimes its a paper clip rammed into a sensor or a zip tie holding on ur wreaked a** Honda’s bumper. Maybe even extra permatex (or equivalent) over ur old blown-out valve cover gasket.
They aren’t meant to last long. I recommend spending the money and getting it done right. Also the real secret: we up charge tf out of Ford products because they are so annoying to work on.
60. Money changes everything
I worked as an admissions counsellor at a small liberal arts college in central Florida. When we had a student who was on the edge of our admissions matrix (a chart that factored in GPA and SAT/ACT scores to determine admission and scholarship offer) then we were instructed to Zillow their parent’s house. If they had an expensive enough house we let them in. If not then they would be denied.
61. Ignored requests
Librarian here. Every single request for removal is extremely likely to be rejected or ignored. We’re still going to skim over a removal demand just in case; sometimes we miss an item in our culling, like an extremely outdated science book, but otherwise? It’s staying on the shelf unless the book was banned by the government. Libraries are not in the business of censorship.
62. Pointless premiums
Auto industry. That brand new model car you are looking at? If there has been no redesign or updates to the new year, it’s still being built using the same-month-old parts. You just get to pay more for it being the “new model”. Also, if anything messes up in the manufacturing process, they will scrap the whole car. That’s right, I’ve seen whole cars get scrapped and crushed because the paint was wrong.
To top it off, most “luxury” brands from the same company will use the EXACT same parts. An Acadia is no different from its Cadillac version. Except for a badge, negligible body modifications (same presses, just minor accent differences) and a WHOLE lot more added to the price.
63. All the same dough
I recently started working in a cookie factory for a well-known cookie brand (who’s more high end). After working there for only one day I noticed ALL those types of cookies that are made there are made of the same dough.
Which means the “high end” cookies and the ones sold at Aldi, Lidl, we even make them for trader Joe’s are ALL THE SAME!!! They just change the packaging. Sweet scamming if you ask me. For a matter of fact I know it happens a lot in the food industry.
64. Tow truck troubles
Tow truck guy here. If you’re in an accident and need a tow, call a tow truck yourself. We will probably give you a quote that is much cheaper than the rate you will be charged if the police call us. Just let the police know that you already have a tow coming.
Know your car insurance policy and what is covered. We will frequently tell you to just have it towed to our storage lot and let insurance deal with it, but not all insurance policies will cover the costs… leaving you responsible for the towing and storage fees. It is probably in your best interest to tow it directly to an auto shop or your home.
65. Not as valuable as it looks
No matter what your Grandma tries to tell you, most of her estate is worthless. Glassware, porcelain, fine china, silver plate, crystal, art prints, precious moments…no one is buying this stuff. The things that do sell: signed original artwork, Lladro figurines, Pyrex, uranium glass, marked crystal (e.g. Waterford), sterling silver, brand name vintage costume jewellery, vintage Cutco…to name a few. But most of what she has is worthless.
I’m an auction house cataloger that has thrown away most of your Grandma’s estate.
66. A reasonable request
When you send food back because it’s over or undercooked, we don’t spit on it. 99.9% of the time the person cooking your food needed a kick in the a** to do s*** the right way. If you pay 40$ for a steak, you deserve to have it the way you ordered it. Most cooks know this… And the ones that don’t should be fired
67. The power on the plane
Flight attendant here. We 100% have the ability to upgrade you to first-class or an exit row seat whenever we want. We just get asked so many times a day, we say “it’s not possible” because so many people are so rude and entitled in how they ask.
The best time is to ask is when the majority of the plane has sat down, and you ask VERY nicely if there are any available seats. And if you tip us after your first drink, you usually won’t pay for another one.
68. Not as easy as it looks
You think everything is going smoothly, but behind cameras your local newscast is absolute chaos. News anchors have literally a voice in their ears yelling instructions frantically. It is necessary to be able to act a little and pretend that all is chill if you want to be on TV… and people think we only read teleprompters and look fancy.
69. Unplanned construction
I worked in road construction for a few years and know of two times where a truck “hit” a bridge that had to be closed for immediate repairs. Both times the contractor did it in conjunction with the state DOT agency because the agency didn’t want to tell people they were closing the bridge for planned construction. No more sleepless nights worrying about truck drivers!
70. Diamonds on sale
I worked in high-end jewellery for a decade. Diamonds are marked up to 1000% of the original wholesale purchase price. The same diamond at Costco with the same specs is 50% cheaper than at high-end jewellery stores. The only difference is the location. High-end jewellery stores have to pay for high overhead and exec pay.
71. Planning for the inevitable
As a journalist who has a reputation for writing profile pieces: newspapers and wire services write obituaries for famous people before they’re dead. We write them, leave blanks for the date, cause of death, etc. and they’re filed.
When it is confirmed a person is dead, they’re pulled out of the file, the blanks are filled in, and they hit the website. In case anyone ever wondered how The NY Times, AP or other agency is able to publish fully researched, sourced, 40” obits complete with quotes 30 minutes after someone dies.
72. Not the best security
IT tech Yes, “Password” really is that common a password, including CEOs, executives and board members. And if we try and block it or force better passwords, the people who control our employment scream at us until we reverse it.
Chances are, if you find out someone’s username, Password or Password1 will get you into their account, and the more power they have/the higher they are in the company, the more likely it’ll work.
73. Cheap and comfortable
Former bed salesman for a certain store in the UK. For each bed that’s on sale, there is a more expensive bed with the same specs which we had to show you. People will swear when they get on the more expensive bed that it will feel better.
Go with the sale one. This might be outdated but when I was there. We had 20% discount to play with to add items or deduct from the price. Don’t be afraid to haggle.
74. Box office secrets
If you really want to go to a concert but it’s sold out, call the venue’s box office every day starting two weeks before the show and politely ask if any tickets have been released. Per our contract with the band and our venue sponsors (usually liquor companies), we have to keep a certain number of tickets on hold for their personal use.
They will let us know how many they will actually use roughly a week or two before showtime, at which point we will quietly sell the remaining tickets to phone or walk-up customers to avoid attracting scalpers.
75. Kitchen time
If your food is taking a long time at a restaurant and the manager comes by and tells you an estimate of how much longer it’s going to be, he or she usually has no idea and is guessing.
The reason for this is, when said manager asked the kitchen how much longer that table’s food is going to be, the kitchen told them two minutes. It’s always two minutes, even if it’s 20. Kitchen time is a weird thing. Everything takes two more minutes.
76. Drive away with a sale
A used car is priced based on what it will sell for but the margin is calculated by how deep they are into it. So if a car was just traded in, and they haven’t detailed it or advertised it yet you can pay thousands less if you ask.
Also, car dealerships have reward systems based on numbers for the salesmen and the dealer and management so if you are there at the end of the month you can sometimes get a screaming good deal because even at 0 profit, the sale bumps them up to a big bonus.
77. Paying to be considered
In academia, you create content for privately-owned journals like Science and Nature, but still, you have to pay them. Also, scientists who review journals articles for the peer review process do it for free. If you don’t participate in this process, you can’t get papers and if you don’t have papers you don’t get funding and subsequently starve and die.
78. They’re always listening
In a Call Center, there are lines where Management can listen to the customer while he/she is navigating the phone tree or waiting on hold. It’s used for Quality Control. We hear every line of profanity, racist/sexist remark, and muttered expletive.
Also, many Live Chat sessions allow the Associate to see you typing in live time. A lot of horrible things get typed out, then redacted before pressing Send. Engaging with Customer Service brings out the worst in people, especially when they think it’s in private.
79. Inflated prices
I am a Romanian who has worked for a US military contractor. The Department of Defense doesn’t care about the price of the things the military is buying. I once sold a bag of 240 hex nuts for 9000 dollars (it’s not a typo) which I got for 25 dollars.
The spending the DOD does is really as bad as you might have heard of. The more they spend the better. It is actually scary how much money they throw away.
80. Audiobook blues
Audiobook narrators are woefully underpaid. We are some of the only recording artists who do not receive royalties for our work. Many of us now record our own work; in addition to being a narrator, I am also the director, engineer, and researcher on nearly every book I work on, but no credit is given to me other than for narration.
I also have to fight to get more money than I would get for just narrating a book. In addition, narrators are expected to promote the books they’ve recorded themselves, despite the fact that we get no residuals (in other words, we don’t get any of the revenue from the audiobook sales, just a flat fee upfront). It takes a lot to keep that soothing voice in those conditions!
81. Smaller shots
Some Bars actually task Bartenders with stock rates of 104% -110%. This basically means that with every pour that should be 25ml to 50ml they actually tell you to underpour on every drink to ensure we were actually making back stock on every purchase. This also means some bartenders are instructed to make more “head” on beers by swirling the glass or intentionally holding it so more head is produced, saving more stock.
82. Wine isn’t vegan
This one is a little trivial compared to others in here, but: wine isn’t vegan. It’s not even vegetarian in some cases. The fining process uses egg whites, and sometimes isinglass (fish parts).
When I worked in a tasting room people would come in and be like “I’m vegan but thank God I can still have wine, amiright!” And I wanted to tell them that they weren’t right, but I also wanted to sell them wine.
83. Watch their prices
I work for a UK based watch shop. The cost price of diamond watches is actually about 20% of the retail price they charge, an absolute rip off. ALWAYS use online-based watch-sellers that are GIA certified to get a far more reasonable price for much better quality items.
84. Do your own charity
when businesses like Taco Bell, PetSmart or others ask you to round up to donate to a cause it is 100% for the tax write off they receive. They are allowed to donate money and pay fewer taxes. Instead of paying from their overall sales and profits, they con customers to pay extra to do it for them.
This leaves their overall sales intact while increasing their yearly profit by paying less in taxes. If you want to donate just do it yourself and give more then a buck.
85. Same product, different bottles
Olive oil. I work at an olive oil bottling plant in Rome, New York. We had only one oil, but put it in 27 different packages, that sold at different prices. Some of the bottles claim to be aged and imported. Some claimed to be virgin, others extra virgin. Some cold-pressed. One brand sold for $30 for 12 oz., where another sold 128 oz for $12. All the exact same oil.
86. Skip the storefront
If you go to the store of your cell phone provider with a problem there’s a 99.99% chance that you’re wasting your time. Retail locations are given very limited resources and are essentially only set up to sell you something. If you have a problem with your billing, cell reception, or need technical support, save yourself a wasted trip to the store and just call their toll-free number.
87. Take home the extras
I work in the granite industry. Typically, customers will buy a slab from a distributor to be shipped to our shop for fabrication. If we don’t need to use the full slab, we will save a chunk that we call a remnant. If you don’t specifically tell us that you want the leftovers from the slab, we will keep it without telling you.
We then sell the remnant to someone else at a discounted price. So essentially we get your leftover stone for free and then turn around and sell it again.
88. The dark side of candles
Candles are nasty and toxic, especially paraffin ones (basically petroleum sludge). The things we put in them, yet write “100% paraffin” on them has stopped me from ever using one again. If you must, use beeswax, non-coloured and non-scented ones. One dude even got hospitalized due to respiratory problems while mixing/making colours.
When making candles, we have to use respirators, but burning them releases 10x more toxins than manufacturing. We even add a f***ing glue so it bends a little, not breaks apart when you add force to them.
89. Can I get a referral?
Dentistry: There is basically a specialist out there for every complex procedure, but general dentists are the gatekeepers for patients receiving appropriate specialist care. There is little oversight or governance regarding who can do what procedures or what training is considered adequate for complex and difficult procedures.
Essentially, if a general dentist wants to keep every single patient in their office without ever making an outside referral even when indicated or in the best interest of the patient, they are free to do so, most of the time without the patient understanding that there are alternatives.
90. Stick insect invasion
Exotic bug trade: it’s very common for US collectors to import specimens that aren’t legal in this country, Also if you own a stick insect (especially macleays spectre) be ready for it to constantly lay eggs. Literally, these dudes reproduce so fast you wind up with a ton of eggs and you can’t just throw them away or they’ll hatch in your trash. That’s the main reason these guys are seen as invasive- lots of bugs eat plants but these guys can take the f*** over.
91. Don’t use the testers
Makeup testers in-store are DISGUSTING. People will frequently use mascara wands right out of the tube on the shelf. When we see it happen we are required to throw them away because there safe diseases that can spread pretty easily including ocular herpes.
Never test anything on your face, do it on your hands to check colour etc. If you’re desperate to try it on, ask someone to disinfect the product for you. If it is for your eyes, or anything with a wand and a tube, trust your judgement of the colour on your hand or move on sis.
92. How much is a good night’s sleep worth?
Every mattress is 45%+ marked up. They still make additional money from vendors during promotions and price drops based on regular success selling the brands. That being said, take every mattress price you see in-store (top-line, not sale price) and take 25% off that price, and it’s very possible to do (i.e. $4000 bed can easily be sold for $3000 and the salesperson will still make money).
Or if you have a s***ty salesperson you dont like, take 30% off the price and be ready to compromise to 27.5% and they’ll likely make a deal. Dont bother with mattress protectors btw, they actually fail most of the time…
93. Mixing and matching
I worked for reality tv and I was in charge of doing the testimonials. We would often record “reactions” and comments out of context so we could use them later when they could fit a specific narrative.
It was for a cooking show so we would get one chef we knew had beef with another one and asked him to say something vague about the other one, i.e. “I think he lacks technique and is a very mediocre chef”. So we had that on archive and we would use it at our convenience and that way we would manipulate the material and create a storyline.
94. Not the smartest in the class
The daycare lied to you. They didn’t move your child up to the next class 6 months early because they were so smart and ready. They probably moved them up either because their behaviour was so bad that they needed to be put back in place by some older children.
Either that, or they over-enrolled in one of the younger rooms and now they are scrambling to shuffle all the kids and that’s how I ended up with 2 1/2-year-olds in my 4-year-old class.
95. Not a necessary X-Ray
70 to 80 percent of every x-ray I do comes back normal. Ice, Ibuprofen, or a few days of rest are usually all you need. Also, when you have a chronic medical condition, find a DOCTOR who specializes in that area of the body.
PA’s and NP’s will just order a bunch of tests you probably don’t need then refer you to a doctor who may reorder the same tests, or order different variations of those procedures that you actually do need.
96. Don’t believe everything you hear
Music producer/sound engineer here. You’re probably aware that some of what you hear has been edited in post. What you might not realize is just how much is fake. When someone is off time, you use elastic audio to adjust the timing so they’re not. Vocal pitch correction goes far, far beyond autotune (look up Melodyne for example). That goes for live performances too (Waves Tune Realtime anyone?)
If someone’s really unable to play their song properly, you get a studio musician in to play it for them. Happens all the time. I end up playing 90% of the instrumentation on a lot of my clients’ stuff.
97. Not their own work
Film composers don’t write their own music. It honestly sickens me how much love and attention Hans Zimmer gets. His work is written by at least 4 or 5 other people, and yet he still gets a slot at Coachella. He gets Oscar nominations, gives acceptance speeches, hosts masterclasses.
It’s like this because Hollywood composers never formally unionized, so there is no obligation to show their names in the credits.
98. It’s all about language
If you get selected to review service from a coffee chain store, positive words give us +1 and negative words give us -2. Even if you use a negative word in a positive context, that still gets us fewer points towards our NPS. And then people start getting fired. All I’m saying is choose your words wisely when reviewing people!
99. No such thing as white flour
Worked in a flour mill. Wheat flour is not naturally white. We blast it with chlorine to bleach it for aesthetic purposes. This also increases the gluten level of the flour. This is the reason more people today seem to have gluten sensitivity. Foods made with bleached as opposed to unbleached flour. And we only do it because it looks prettier.
100. Toxic soda sludge
I’m a professional floor finisher (we mainly focus on polish/epoxy floors). Went to work at a certain top brand soda company. While there, we had to scrape up big chunks of tar from the floor that would literally rip blades out of our scrapers and remove gloves straight from our hands.
Come to find out this “tar” was just soda dripping from the lines up above that would sit there for about a week before being cleaned up. One of the few gross things we saw going on in the production factories. People, pop really is bad for you.