It’s not just detectives, wizards, and FBI agents who keep secrets at work—lots of professions have open secrets that regular folks like you and I don’t generally know about. Reddit user HannibalGoddamnit was interested to find these secrets out, so they asked the online community to share some of these mysteries with the internet.

We’ve collected the very best trade secrets, so scroll down and upvote your faves, dear Pandas. Be sure to share the open secrets from your own professions in the comments below! HannibalGoddamnit’s thread on Reddit got a lot of attention: they got 3 awards, over 11.5k upvotes, and more than 9.3k redditors left a comment.

Bored Panda reached out to HannibalGoddamnit and spoke to them about their viral thread. “As an engineering student who’s about to graduate, I have always been concerned that I may not be ‘fully’ aware of the day-to-day job details of my future position. Especially when it comes to how comfortable I will be dealing with the real professional secrets that no one would ever teach you at school and you will figure out once you start working,” the redditor told us about what inspired them to start the thread. Scroll down for the full interview.

#1

Your dog or cat is much more comfortable when you are there with them during euthanasia. It's really hard when people say, "It's too hard for me to be here with him." And leave the room for it. It is one of the hardest things ever, but they need you there with them. They look around for you sometimes.

That being said, if we do the euthanasia without you, we always have one staff member whose only job during the procedure is to cuddle and comfort your pet and tell them how much their owner loves them, and what a "good boy" they are.

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Ceredwyn Ealanta
Community Member
11 months ago

I've only once had a 'bad' vet do Euthanasia, and even then they were only 'bad' to my kid, not the animal ('Mum can buy you another cat!' is...not...the right thing to say). Every other vet has let me or other family members hold and cuddle the critter during the process. I've seen plenty of vets hug or comfort owners too.

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#2

Vet worker here. Probably doesn’t count as a “secret” but we absolutely do pet your cats and dogs a lot when you bring them in.

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MagicalUnicorn
Community Member
11 months ago

i would too!

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#3

I am in IT

We don't always know WHY the fix worked and we don't care.

ITworksGuys Report

Nicole Lawler
Community Member
11 months ago

oh this is so true. 9 years in IT and i still don't care if it works as long as it works

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“So that made me wonder, out of mere curiosity, why can’t people just share some of whatever they have been holding back as ‘open secrets’ related to their professions? Secrets that can be interesting to know and fun to speak about, with no harm at all!” HannibalGoddamnit said.

The redditor admitted that they never expected their thread to go viral. “I was expecting perhaps to get some funny jokes about how big named professions are actually so boring, but not thousands of ‘Oh God, have mercy’ secrets!” they explained.

“I have received messages from fellow redditors saying they have spent a lot of time reading the thread, and how it was ‘a good read,’” HannibalGoddamnit shared how happy Reddit’s reaction to their thread made them. They told us that the most shocking comment for them personally was the freelance ghostwriter’s tale about how Russian and Middle Eastern men publish ghostwritten romance or erotica books under female pen names and flood the market.

#4

Bartender here: if you're cool I will absolutely bend over backwards to make sure your night goes amazing. That means extra stiff drinks, remakes if you don't like something, faster service, etc. You don't even have to tip THAT well, just treat me like a human and maybe have a funny story to make my night go faster.

If you're mean to me you get exactly what you ordered and not a mL more.

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Janine B.
Community Member
11 months ago

It's sad some individuals don't treat others as human.

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#5

Work in telecommunications. 5G does not cause Coronavirus

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ADHORTATOR
Community Member
11 months ago

Is that is considered as a secret....

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#6

Former psych ward tech here.

Patients and visitors alike used to frequently complain about all of the ridiculous and specific rules that we had on the unit (patients can’t use the TV remote themselves, use a standard regular sized hair tie, etc). We don’t make those rules just because. Each and every rule has a very real story behind it that we cannot divulge to you. People are terrifyingly creative when they really want to hurt themselves.

These incidents may never happen again, but we don’t want to take that risk. And so, a new and seemingly stupid rule is born.

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David Jeu
Community Member
11 months ago (edited)

Same for any law

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Bored Panda asked HannibalGoddamnit what would happen if everybody found out everyone else’s professional open secrets. They said that this would have a “considerable” impact on society. “I really hope that no one will take advantage of it in a bad way.”

They added: “It was really brave of all of the people to share what has always been untold. The thread needs to [be shared] as widespread as [possible], for it is a national treasure. I thank everyone who contributed to the thread. I was just the conversation starter.”

#7

There is no cloud, it's just someone else's computer.

TheGarp Report

David Jeu
Community Member
11 months ago

*Squint at the sky

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#8

I work in a nursing home. Your sweet little Meemaw and Pawpaw are as***es. I worked at Walmart before my nursing home and I had way fewer problems with rude, entitled, and plain malicious people than I do now in nursing. Almost all of the men sexually harass the female staff too. Including, but not limited to, sexually explicit comments and requests, grabbing, groping, flashing, masturbating, etc etc. This is, surprisingly, much more common amongst completely cognizant residents than it is amongst those with dementia. Its an extremely difficult job and no one gets paid enough, especially not the aid because we’re the ones exclusively dealing with almost all of the stuff mentioned above.

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Grace Smith
Community Member
11 months ago

Oh dear god!

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#9

I’m a furniture upholsterer, and the amount of times other ‘professionals’ just recover the old fabric and filling drives me mental. If you’re paying for reupholstery, ask for progress photos. Nobody needs all that nasty old fabric hidden underneath and it’s not fair to the client as they don’t necessarily know any better (nor should they have to)

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Grace Smith
Community Member
11 months ago

That’s good to know

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Some of these secrets blew our minds. As it turns out, things like dummy thermostats actually exist to stop people from fiddling about with the temperature. Not all IT specialists know (or even care) why the fixes they attempt really work. While most regular broadcast radio shows play prerecorded music and song requests from callers and the DJs have no control over what songs play: if you call in to request something, you’ll find that the lines are busy.

Some professions can be chock full of things that ordinary people know nothing about. For instance, The Guardian talked to a whole bunch of people to learn more about the mysterious things that go on behind the scenes.

A priest told The Guardian that a lot of people “don’t really know if you’re a real human or not.” People look at you weird if you’re dating someone or when you go to the gym with your collar on. While getting professionals to listen to you is incredibly difficult during meetings because you believe in God.

#10

I worked as a retail a manger in the past. A customer’s attitude and approach is about 99% of the reason someone would help them solve a problem.

Sale ended yesterday? Your return is past the date? You want a better price on a clearance item?

Be a normal kind person and you’ll usually get your way. If you start off being sh***y or demanding then,

“Sorry, I can’t help you, it’s store policy.”

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Nadine
Community Member
11 months ago

Of course. You catch more flies with sugar than with vinegar. ;-) It's also common decency to not be a pr*ck.

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#11

Teacher here. I learned early on in the game that there are a lot of supplies we don't have to pay for if we just know where to look and how to ask nicely. Want to have a lesson about plants? Go to a grocery store/florist a few days ahead and ask if they can set aside their dying flowers for your class. Need cardboard? Ask a store for their old boxes. I've even heard of my colleagues just going to stores and asking for donations and explaining why, and getting new stuff for free. It's amazing how much people are willing to go out of their way to help educate kids.

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Monday
Community Member
11 months ago

"ask nicely" is a great lifehack that can get you many things.

Animal lover❤
Community Member
11 months ago

Unfortunately not many people know this

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tuzdayschild
Community Member
11 months ago

Teachers shouldn't have to pay for any supplies. God bless you guys.

Karen Johnston
Community Member
11 months ago

And the teachers do that on their own time. So let's not hear anymore about how they only work 9 months out of the year. Those nine months usually have 60 hour weeks when you account for things like this. Add to that, that this is not part of their job, it makes it that much more important.

Gipsy Kings fan
Community Member
11 months ago

That's a great tip for teachers! :-) There used to be a debit card commercial with an actress playing a kindergarten teacher. She said her class kept running out of supplies like "paint" and "hamsters," which she would then have to replace using her own money. The debit card could be set up to put a certain amount of money in a separate account when you bought something with it. Teachers buying school supplies with their own money IS ONE OF THE WORST NATIONAL DISGRACES IN THE U.S.A. and the commercial acted like it's normal!

Susan Mercurio
Community Member
10 months ago (edited)

"Won't it be great when schools have all the money they need and the Air Force will have to have a bake sale to buy a bomber?"

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Stannous Flouride
Community Member
11 months ago

And yet it's also amazing how frequently conservatives are willing to cut funds for public education at every opportunity. It is long-term investment in the future. After WW2 the US repaid its service members with a subsidized education. 20 years late the nation enjoyed an explosion in prosperity and progress the likes of which the world had never seen. Our present president (who says he "loves" the troops) wants to repay the National Guard troops who have been helping with the pandemic by dismissing them ONE DAY BEFORE their benefits would kick in.

SanchaTheSeeker
Community Member
11 months ago

My local hardware store has a section at the front that is filled with decent cardboard boxes

Steve Cruz
Community Member
10 months ago

HERE'S A BIG ONE: In towns and cities with WEB PRINTERS (newspapers and catalogs), there are gigantic rolls of paper (often measured in kilometers, they're so long). When rolls get down to a certain point, they aren't loaded on the press, because running out would require redoing the entire press set-up. These are sent to recycling for pennies on the dollar, mostly because the industrial cardboard core weights about 40 lbs. Establish an agreement with the plant manager or owner to pick up end-rolls and return the cardboard cores -- and offer a letter of donation for the paper received -- and teachers/students will receive astonishing paper with which to work. A few of my teacher friends I've turned on to this spend an afternoon -- often with student helpers -- measuring off lengths of paper, trimming and rolling up the stacks for easy inventory. Then the cardboard cores can be returned right away -- make contact during the return, keep a note w/ date-time-name. Send thank you notes!

elfin
Community Member
10 months ago

It's even more amazing how many people aren't willing to go out of their way at all to help educate kids.

Noel Bovae
Community Member
11 months ago

Unethical Life pro Tip: Go to stores, pretend to be a teacher, get free stuff. ... Totally JK. ...Don't actually do that. Teachers have it rough enough as is; they need all the help they can get.

Paul K. Johnson
Community Member
11 months ago

So you're saying I never really needed the ski mask and shotgun to ask nicely for things?

rr
Community Member
11 months ago

This comment has been deleted.

rr
Community Member
11 months ago

OR. . . teachers could strike for proper budgets that allow them to purchase the tools required to educate the next generation of tax payers so they aren't forced to beg for the education of the nation's children. Sheesh

Chrissie Mörbe
Community Member
10 months ago

You make going on strike and actually getting what you need sound so easy. Sheesh.

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#12

That most of those "3 people have booked this hotel today" or "4 people are looking at this prodocut right now" pop-ups on travel agency website and ecommerce sites are lies. Totally static and made up.

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Pamela24
Community Member
11 months ago

I know that. And yet - whenever I'm booking an accommodation through booking.com (which has taken over the market, more or less so I don't see a better option) I get stressed. I'm so pissed at myself for not being able to overcome it. But it just works.

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Meanwhile, an undertaker told The Guardian that it’s a cut-throat business that’s very competitive. However, the job itself isn’t depressing, according to that one undertaker: they feel happy to learn so much about humanity doing the job that they do.

A judge revealed that behind closed doors, most judges (even the most experienced ones) are way more anxious about their jobs than we realize. The decisions they have to make weigh heavily on their shoulders because they’re supposed to make sure that everyone receives justice. We have a sneaking suspicion that it’s not just these ‘exotic’ professions that are full of secrets—everyone, from janitors to call-center employees is bound to have something to share.

#13

We don’t actually know how general anesthesia works at the molecular level. There are theories but nothing concrete.

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Orillion
Community Member
11 months ago

That is scary...

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#14

Cinema theatres are full of bugs. No matter how much you clean, bugs will live off the food dropped and are very good at hiding, even exterminators can't get them all. Plus, with all kids of people coming in, they bring in bugs, fleas, lice etc and we can't refuse service just because someone absolutely stinks. Think about that next time you sir down. Not unheard of for cinema workers to keep your lost property and cash they find. Though most staff won't, one or two deffo will. High value lost property gets given to managers to 'deal with'. And yes this absolutely includes 'upmarket' fancy cinemas.

SomewhatAnonamoose Report

Grace Smith
Community Member
11 months ago

Ewww although I’m not surprised I probably just chose to ignore that

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#15

Most people who work in IT support really aren't more tech savvy than the average user. They just know how to Google.

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Helena Houzarová
Community Member
11 months ago

That is more savvy than the average user.

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#16

My friend is a doctor. He said that hospitals always overcharges the patient. One solution to this is to ask for an itemized invoice, and more often than not, there will be a significant reduction in the invoice.

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MagicalUnicorn
Community Member
11 months ago

that's petty much works in US only, thankfully (European there)

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#17

If you ever hear your local morning radio guy interviewing someone that seems too famous to talk to a local radio guy, that's because that celebrity recorded an interview and their audio was sent to radio stations everywhere, then the local guy rerecords the questions.

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Annabeth Chase
Community Member
11 months ago

...

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#18

If you see twelve different sellers for an item on Amazon, in all likelihood the total number of sellers is probably three to four, all of whom have multiple names selling the same item at different prices.

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Panda with Heart
Community Member
11 months ago

Makes sense

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#19

I work at a jewelry store that produces custom pieces. Diamonds and other precious stones get dropped and lost, by everyone, constantly. 3 or 4 times a day you will hear "Fu*k! Nobody move! Get the flashlight!" I saw the owner drop a whole tray of sapphires one day. Pretty sure part of his soul died. We're usually more careful with customer's stones, though. Usually.

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Orillion
Community Member
11 months ago

How are you supposed to stand still AND get the flashlight?

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#20

Teachers do have favorites.

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Enuya
Community Member
11 months ago

You don't say, Sherlock...

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#21

The majority of regular broadcast radio shows are pre-recorded. If a DJ is broadcasting live (usually the morning shows), they still have no control over what music plays, it's all pre-programmed. They'll usually record phone requests and replay them during the voice break before the requested song is scheduled to play anyway, to make it seem like they're playing/taking requests. When the studio is empty, all phone lines are set to "busy", so no one calls and realizes there's no one there to answer.

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Barbara
Community Member
11 months ago

Kind of logical, really. If they'd have to do that at the moment, it would be a lot harder and take up more time and thus will be less smoothly.

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#22

At the airlines, we generally have no idea where your bag is at any given time. It follows a chain of events to get to the right place. If it ends up missing, no one is "looking" for your bag. Your file gets loaded in a computer and when your bag is eventually scanned somewhere, a person is notified to grab it before it moves on to somewhere else. This also means, if you jump to an earlier flight, there is a strong chance that your bag is going to fly on the original flight. The time is usually too little to go find it, retag it and get it to a new flight. If you jump to another airline and we have already retagged it/ handed it off to a different airline, it is done. We are not going to be able to retrieve it. It is flying on that flight.

Just because your bag tag shows CLT on it does not mean it was accidentally sent there. We often send bags through multiple cities as it will reunite you and your bag, hours faster than the next direct flight. Sometimes, we even send it on other airlines that you never even flew on. We may even send it the other way around the globe. Ex. LAX to DXB(Dubai). You may have flown through London on British Airways, but the fastest way for me to send your bag may be through Seoul, South Korea on Delta and Korean air.

We try our best but it's a question of volume, staffing, time, and technology.

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R L
Community Member
11 months ago (edited)

I don't mind how it gets there, or even if it has more air miles than I do, as long as it arrives at the same destination as me, and it's twirling around on the carousel, undamaged, when I get off my flight. Given that I only travel locally, it's unlikely my bag will go walkabouts, but I like the idea of it having a good time.

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#23

I can fix most people's computer issues by doing 3 things:

run a free scan from malware bytes

open up msconfig.msc from typing it in the start menu, then going over to all the services and startup items and turning off so much crap that is either a virus (says Unknown or a blank, for the manufacturer name) or unnecessary (you can google if you don't know, plus click the box that says hide microsoft to dumb it down a bit).

Make them a new user account that doesn't have admin rights (they'll need to put in a admin name and password when they really want to install things, no need to always be logged in as an Admin.. click bait will kill your pc).

Then doing a few reboots... i teach this to family

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MagicalUnicorn
Community Member
11 months ago

oh yep, i learned it after few years doing administrative work in IT company

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#24

I let my students cuss around me as long as they use it properly and it isn't offensive. They don't know this rule, only I do.

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Kesam
Community Member
11 months ago

Good policy. When you're frustrated, cussing is a healthy outlet.

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#25

Dummy thermostats are pretty common.

It basically works like a placebo where people feel more comfortable when they think they have control over the room temperature. It results in way fewer complaints.

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Pamela24
Community Member
11 months ago

I've heard these are often installed in offices where there are a lot of people who can try to change the temperature. There it makes sense. At home - not really.

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#26

The recycling market is way down in the US because China had stopped accepting most of our recyclables. So, a lot of what you think you're recycling is just ending up in the landfill anyway.

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Barbara
Community Member
11 months ago

Shocking...but not really.

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#27

The sheer magnitude of criminal cases that detectives have that will pretty much never even get looked at, much less investigated due to a massive lack of staffing.

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MagicalUnicorn
Community Member
11 months ago

that's not really new

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#28

Most hospitals are actually crazy trusting about who they release dead bodies to when people die.

Often times I show up with just a gurney, and someone’s name scribbled on a post-it note, and they just let me walk out with somebody’s grandma without asking my name or getting ID or anything.

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Pamela24
Community Member
11 months ago

This is super scary and definitely needs to change.

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#29

That just because something is patented doesn't make it any good. Stupid [crap] is patented every day.

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Rabbit Carrot
Community Member
11 months ago (edited)

No but it’s important to patent an idea in case it proves useful later on (especially with tech ideas). It’s also important to not let your patent go out of date. There are professional patent trawlers that wait until something is out of date (or near enough) and swipe that invention to make money off.

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#30

As a freelance ghostwriter, most of my clients are Russian or Middle Eastern men who publish five to ten ghostwritten romance or erotica books a week under female pen names. They spend 10k a month and double or triple that by flooding the market. At one point one client told me he had six of the top ten Regency Romance spots on the paid best seller list.

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Miss Cris
Community Member
11 months ago

So do you know why in fnac and other libraries porn books are soted in "romantic" shelves?

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