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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R L
Community Member
1 month ago

We forget that it can be hard on the vet as well. Knowing it may be in the animals best interests doesn't make it easier, even if you do it daily.

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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
1 month 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.

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Nicole Lawler
Community Member
1 month 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
1 month 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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Ceredwyn Ealanta
Community Member
1 month ago

But do those complaints give you migraines?

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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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Monday
Community Member
1 month ago

Stupid rules exist because people do stupid things.

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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
1 month 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.

Dropshipalpha Report

Demi Zwaan
Community Member
1 month ago

I always found it weird that people always think of old people as sweet, loving, caring people. Those people who have been assholes their whole lives, will be old assholes as well. They don’t suddenly drop their racist, sexist, mysoginist, etc views just because they aged.

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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)

AliCracker Report

Grace Smith
Community Member
1 month 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.”

Nardelan Report

Nadine
Community Member
1 month 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
1 month ago

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

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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.

jyt4167 Report

Pamela24
Community Member
1 month 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
1 month ago

That is scary...

Bill Taylor
Community Member
1 month ago

Nothing scary about it at all, the anesthesiologist is the highest paid doctor in the operating room for a reason.

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Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
1 month ago

We paid extra for an anesthesiologist for our dog's dental. It's tricky in pets. Horses have a real hard time with it.

Karen Johnston
Community Member
1 month ago

Better than biting a bullet and a good swig of whiskey.

PaulV
Community Member
1 month ago

Same for ECT (electro-convulsive therapy, "shock treatment").

Pamela Scott
Community Member
1 month ago

Just like they don't know why tylenol reduces pain!

Leodavinci
Community Member
1 month ago

As long as I'm not aware, it's fine. Heard stories of people who have "awaken" during general anesthesia and, although not feeling any pain, were unable to move or give any indication they were aware of what was going on. That's scary.

John C
Community Member
1 month ago

Neither do we understand gravity, yet we don't fear flying off the earth. It's only our pride that causes us to feel shame for not understanding everything.

panda to nobody
Community Member
1 month ago

Not only that, but you can puts PLANTS under anesthesia and they don't know why!

Martti Laurson
Community Member
1 month ago

I hope so nothing is concrete. This stuff hardens

Panda with Heart
Community Member
1 month ago

Oooh my!!

Vic
Community Member
1 month ago

So you just have the general idea.

*sigh*, The Yellow Teletubby
Community Member
1 month ago

y'all, just because they don't understand it at a molecular level doesn't mean they're "guessing" at it. They've done studies and research and experiment after experiment after experiment to see what the safe level of anesthesia is for humans, and how to control how much goes in. They know what they're doing, and they know how to control it. They just don't understand what's happening at a molecular level. That doesn't mean automatically that it isn't safe.

Cathy Proctor
Community Member
1 month ago

I could have comfortably lived the rest of my life without knowing that, thanks!

Mike Schneider
Community Member
1 month ago

As the previous IT comment, as long as it works.

Nicholle Carriere
Community Member
1 month ago

I read somewhere that it's pretty easy to put people to sleep but much harder to wake them up.

Bradford Johnson
Community Member
1 month ago

i did not know this....

Hugo Santos
Community Member
1 month ago

It paralizes and desensitizes cells and the molecules their made of

Lisa Chambers
Community Member
1 month ago

Okay then!

Cody Eriksen
Community Member
1 month ago

Same as your car. It's ran on theory! It's called the four stroke theory. Look it up.

Max L.
Community Member
1 month ago

You don’t put masks on a cell, I tought the whole body system was under it.

Monika Soffronow
Community Member
1 month ago

This is a pure gem of information and it is surprisingly efficient when you are dealing with people who are prone to believe in conspiracy theories because they actually do believe that somehow there are people who know everything. There is such a lot of things that happen by chance, and then maybe we will get the same result again but still without understanding why. No one knows everything.

María Hermida
Community Member
1 month ago

I think nothing happens by chance, but every human being is different and the number of variables is so big we can't control the result. In every person there a certain combination of hundreds of factors (genetics, blood pressure, hormones...) that are imposible to control. The result may seem to be random, but there's a reason for it. Why some people react in a certain way to a virus or to a drug and another reacts on a completely different way? There's a reason for it, even if we haven't found out yet.

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Shelby P
Community Member
1 month ago

um, we humans know very little about a lot of things and how they work... *duh*

LittleMissLotus
Community Member
1 month ago

I wonder how we even discovered that anesthetics could be used to sedate people if we didn't have evidence that they would work? Did somebody just say "hey, let's try this stuff for shits and giggles ad just see what happens lmao"

Shadow
Community Member
1 month ago

The story of how Viagra came to be a quite funny... Viagra was intended to help prevent Heart Attacks by dilating the blood vessels around the heart (it dilates blood vessels just not where they wanted it to). When it went to human clinical trails both the control and drug groups (men over 50) continued to die of heart failure at the same rate. The researchers considered the drug a failure and asked for the medications back. The control group gave over the sugar pills with no issue while the group that was actually taking Viagra flat out refused and when asked eventually told the researchers why. Since the researchers wanted to continue to try to find something that would slow or stop men from dying of heart attacks they decided to put Viagra on the market and use the money to continue their original research.

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Jace
Community Member
1 month ago

This is actually common across many areas of medicine. What’s worse is when an hypothesis is used to promote the use and sale of drugs (for example to treat depression), when that hypothesis has thus far not been proven to be correct (pretty much every claim on what “causes” depression in the brain). http://cepuk.org

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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.

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Grace Smith
Community Member
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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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Alessandro Chaves Morgan
Community Member
1 month ago

:O

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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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Martti Laurson
Community Member
1 month ago

eBay too. Price is lower but shipping cost is higher. But the end cost is the same.

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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
1 month 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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Nela Rothenbach
Community Member
1 month ago

Which is totally fine as long as they treat everyone equally.

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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.

Brookany40 Report

Katie Axon
Community Member
1 month ago

When I was 12, I called Mix 93.3 and requested We Weren't Born To Follow, by Bon Jovi. It was the next song they played. Are you saying that was a coincidence?

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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
1 month 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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Cee Mor
Community Member
1 month ago

also a lot of did you try turning it on and off first (-;

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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
1 month 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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BG
Community Member
1 month ago

Also, the crosswalk buttons are often dummies, as well as the "close doors" button on elevators.

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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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Shelby P
Community Member
1 month ago

I have yet to understand the benefits of recycling when I hear how much energy it uses and costs and whatever else. SO, why aren't we forcing manufacturers to use biodegradable materials? Why aren't we putting the responsibilities on the source instead of the consumer... Between costs of items and the increase in online shopping the consumer is the last person concerned with these materials... *duh*

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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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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

One big issue is that over 25% of prisoners are non-violent, low level criminals with low risk to public safety that would be better off with community service, probation or education. That is approx 364,000 people in the US alone. That would save about $20billion annually which could pay for more investigators, police, probation officers, education programs, school teachers, doctors etc.

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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
1 month 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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Anna Solan
Community Member
1 month ago

Yes, but I think the point in bragging that something is patented is to say it is unique enough to recieve a patent.

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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
1 month ago

When reading them, we quickly know they're written by men! :D

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