35 People Reveal The “Dark Secrets” About Their Jobs That Common People Aren’t Supposed To Know
Let’s face it—almost every profession has a few secrets that the rest of the world would be surprised to find out. When faced with challenges, some businesses may decide to take the easy way out, which often leads to enforcing bad practices. And there’s no way of knowing about them… unless you’re a part of it.
Thousands of workers decided to share their stories on the r/AskReddit page. One after another, members spilled their industry secrets that companies keep from the general public. From paramedics and teachers to skincare specialists and SPA workers, these people did not pass the opportunity to share their knowledge.
As people say, the more you know, the more you’ll understand, so make sure to read these stories below, upvote your favorites and let us know what you think!
I worked at a White Castle from 2000-2003.
It was clean. Nothing super disgusting at all. All of the equipment got a thorough cleaning every 24 hours. The floors were mopped regularly, walls were wiped down... everything.
The food was always fresh. If the burgers cooled enough for the buns to get hard, they were trashed. If fries/sides sat under heat lamp for 15 minutes, they were trashed.
We threw away a lot of food. We had to track it all for inventory purposes, and filled up a couple pages a day of stuff we through out.
Even when the bulk of the crew was teenagers, we really were trying to work fast and do a good job. Every year or so, they made us get timed on the griddle by a regional manager. Everyone had to do it. Starting with a clean griddle you had to fully prepare, box and bag 30 hamburgers as fast as possible without cutting any corners.
I know not all locations are like that, nor are all fast food restaurants, but when I was working there, we did a really good job of everything.
Bored Panda contacted Jenay Rose, an online business expert who has gained enormous success after quitting her job in 2017, to talk about unethical business practices and why people decide to talk about them.
One reason why some former or existing workers decide to reveal secrets from their jobs might be because they are not satisfied with their role or do not have respect for the company at all. And the expert totally agrees.
“The great resignation accompanied by the rise of social media has created so much more transparency in the workplace via “whistleblowers”, TikTokers, and people who are no longer willing to work for a job they hate, for a boss they don’t respect, at a company that doesn’t care about them.”
When purchasing items on the internet (especially airline tickets), use incognito mode on your browser.
We use your own cookies against you: raising the price on tickets the more times you check, as you shop around for better deals. That way you'll think the price is going up or that seats are being actively sold - thus increasing your urgency to buy, and punishing you for trying to get a good deal.
Some of the stories shared on the subreddit are really eye-opening, not only from the consumer perspective but also from the potential employee's point of view. “Knowing the good, bad, and the ugly gives us the ability of “hindsight is 20/20" TODAY. This allows us to make better decisions, find better jobs or opportunities, and creates connections (where we realize we’re not alone in things we’ve experienced),” Rose explained.
“It also puts the power back into the hands of the people, because with more information and transparency, more can be done to fix these dark company secrets and actions.”
Cleaning up animals after an oil spill is feel good propaganda to make the public think they are helping. 90% of those animals will be dead within a few days or weeks. They've ingested enough of the oil that they are moving corpses, they (and you mr. nice person with a bottle of Dawn dish soap)just don't know it yet.
Real oil spill work is done by trained professional crews, not volunteers. If you ever tried to help, you were given busy work to keep you out of the way.
I used to work for a large smart phone company.
During development, we used to go through phases, Engineering Verification testing stage, Design Verification Test, Production Verification Test, and finally Mass Production. Each stage was meant to have checkpoints in order to ensure that the final product was built with good quality and any known bugs would be able to ironed out before the product launch. Any bug that was not resolved would potentially have the ability to delay the launch.
Except that there is a thing called Waivers. So the PM could request that certain bugs be granted a waiver delaying the fix of the problem to a later date. No big deal, every project has a few minor bugs, right?
For each stage there would be hundreds of waivers. Some would be minor, to be fair, but sometimes they were definitely not minor.
I will never, ever, buy an electronic device in the first 3 months of mass production. Wait for the second wave of production, the quality of the product increases ten-fold.
When trying to maintain a successful business, companies come across a variety of obstacles every day. While some decide to work harder, others start to use unethical practices or turn a blind eye to the already existing ones. “For most companies, the bottom line is priority over their people, when it should be the other way around,” the self-made millionaire said. “If you take care of your people, the bottom line will naturally improve.”
Airline pilot here.
You know those blankets that we give you on the flight? The airline never washes them. Ever. We just shake them out and shrink wrap them for a later flight. Every once in a while we toss one that's unusable.
I'm a special education teacher, and the amount of injuries people sustain while working in this field is staggering. I teach high school and the kids can go until they are 21. So most of the violent students are adult sized. We get concussions, bites, broken wrists and arms, scalped, as well as sexualy assaulted by students who will grab you by your breast, pull out their d**k and start masturbating.
BTW I like my job very much and enjoy working with the students. However, there is so little public knowledge of how dangerous the position is.
According to the expert, one of the factors why many companies have been willing to ignore these issues is because they were able to get away with it for a very long time: “Then came social media, the pandemic (which triggered an entirely new “work from home environment” and changed the way careers look), and the great resignation. These are three core factors that led to the shift in our work environments and the exposure of bad practices with actual recourse.”
Another thing that big corporations fail to realize is that “people are not workhorses. They can’t just keep us in a cage and expect us to throw our lives at them. We are dynamic and deserving of work-life balance.”
Worked in a no-kill animal shelter. The thing is, no-kill still does mean you have to put animals down sometimes. Especially behavioral issues are terrible. When is a dog too dangerous? Can you rehome a Pitbill with a bite-history? What if they get too dangerous for staff to handle?
Especially when it 'gets out' that we had to put a specific animal down and all those Facebook warriors start rioting and calling you names. It's not like we make those decisions for fun...
I used to work in skincare: None of the products cost more than $2 to manufacture, but would retail at anything from $20 to $150 per product.
Always amazed me how much people would shell out for anything with volcanic clay or snake venom cream
I worked at UPS ages ago. The word "FRAGILE" on a box meant nothing to us, so make sure you pack your stuff properly.
Often, one of the main reasons why unethical behavior happens at work is the climate of the organizations. The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence conducted a survey of more than 14.5k American employees across different industries to find out how often workers felt the pressure to act unethically and if they were afraid to speak about it at their workplace.
Worked in management for Trader Joe's for 8 years and boy have a I got a doozy for you: the employees are ACTUALLY that nice.
Viagogo are just corrupt, straight up. Not a little thing here and there, they are just a criminal company.
They will take your money for tickets even if they have none of those tickets, assuming they will eventually have tickets to sell you. If they don't get them, you get the ticket money back. An example of this was when a guy in the UK bought tickets to the Superbowl in 2013, booked his air travel, flew to the states, booked his accommodation, was staying in a hotel he paid for, and was calling us every 15 minutes to ask where his tickets were. We were told to lie to him and say someone will meet him at the stadium. We let him know 30 minutes before the game started that he wouldn't be receiving any tickets. Viagogo refund the ticket cost, but the travel, accommodation and time wasted? Nothing at all. And they never had the tickets.
Same for festivals: I took loads (LOADS) of calls from people who were told to get to the middle of the wilderness in Eastern Europe for a dance festival, having booked time off work and prepared for a 5 day festival. When they got there they were told there were never any tickets. Just go home, write off the time off, write of the ticket costs, write off the transport, write of the preparation and deal with feeling s**tty for 5 days because they were ripped off by a company...except it isn;t that simple, because now they are in the middle of a field in Eastern Europe for 5 days, the bus that took them there has gone and they have no admittance to the festival...so essentially Viagogo were responsible for just dumping around 100 people in a field in eastern europe with no provisions and no way of getting back.
Far from discouraging the practice, they LOVE scalpers and give them preferential treatment ('super sellers'). They get discounts, skip phone queues, and get a higher price for tickets than honest customers with a ticket to sell.
If an event is coming up soon, the seller can meet you at the venue to pass the ticket over. What this means is if you show up and the seller isn't there for whatever reason (illness, decided to use ticket themselves, just can't be arsed etc.), you have paid and have no proof they did not meet you. Byebye money.
If you buy a ticket from Viagogo, I would honestly say you have a 40-45% chance of getting it.
Fred Meyer (owned by Kroger) throws away literally tons of edible produce, deli and bakery food every day at individual stores. Mainly because it doesn’t look picture perfect. Most wasteful company I’ve even seen. We have homeless people stealing food everyday and being prosecuted when we could just give them the food. But no,It all goes to the garbage compactor.
Some of the most common experiences the participants encountered were rule violations, lying and an unhealthy work environment. Although less frequent, sacrificing safety, discrimination, stealing and bullying were also mentioned as examples of bad practices at work. “While it often goes undiscovered, this behavior puts too many businesses—and, unknowingly, their customers—at risk,” the researchers wrote.
Worked for a private school. Grades were definitely bought. We were discouraged to give anything lower than a B. Had one principal that told a teacher to take the final for a student that went on summer vacation early. She called it a shadow final and said nonchalantly that it's no big deal, just answer how you think the student would answer.
This school is expensive, and these kids go on to fancy colleges because of these grades.
I guess it's not really that dark or a big secret just something very few people know about. In the 70s and 80s most commercial beekeepers in Canada poisoned all or almost all their Hives to death every fall. The hives were then replaced by packaged bees in spring from the US, used for the summer and then killed again in fall.
This was done just because packages from America were cheaper than the medication and labor involved with over wintering your hives. Especially as you can lose anywhere from 5% to 50% of your hives over winter.
This doesn't happen anymore as the price of packages now vastly exceed the cost of wintering your hives. Even if it did become economically feasible again I can't see it happening as the public out cry would likely be huge if people found out this was happening.
Like I said not really a secret. Just something few people remember.
When it comes to speaking up about these issues, four in five employees said that they felt constrained to speak the truth at their workplace. “Forty percent said that they were often or almost always afraid of voicing any criticism in their organization. Our research also shows that those people who feel afraid to speak up are also likely to be the ones who are under pressure to act unethically.”
Reality TV is anything but.
Ever seen House Hunters on HGTV? The couple "looking for a house" actually already bought and live in one of the houses that they're "looking at." The other houses are usually friend's houses, or houses that have sold but not closed or moved in yet.
I work in a public library. Sadly, since we're open to all, we get a lot of indigent customers. In this day and age, that means a lot of opiate users, many of whom shoot up in our restrooms.
We've had many overdoses, most of which are treated quickly and effectively by administering Narcan. However, that's not always the case, and some people are either beyond saving, or are found too late.
In 2019 alone, we've had 13 deaths. Security and the EMTs are always careful to make it appear that the body being wheeled out is only ill, so as not to freak out the patrons. The actual number of deaths is even 'hidden' from the staff. (I'm friends with a few of the folks in security, which is how I know about it.)
I worked at Whole Foods. Your cookies and bread were heated in store, not baked. Oh. And in AM meetings, you're referred to as "basket size", not customers.
So if you feel stressed out or just generally unhappy about the company that you work for, Jenay Rose would like to give you a few pieces of advice. “If you’re unhappy with your job or career—right now is the time to do something about it,” she suggested. “There’s never been more opportunity to leverage your expertise and passion to find work that aligns with you and facilitates the kind of life you want to live.”
A "high class" spa I worked at used epsom salts and vegetable oil for their $65 salt scrubs.
I used to work in a factory that produced pillows. Let me be the first to tell you, some nasty stuff goes into those pillows. Tell me, have you ever seen those pillows labeled "Memory Foam Cluster"? Do yourself a favor, and avoid them like the plague. What we do is, there is a bale of old, recycled memory foam brought behind the grinder. This bale consists of everything from old mattresses and pillows, to those cooling memory foam pillows. Except they are all old and dirty. We cut the bigger pieces into more manageable bits and toss it into a grinder that chops the foam into small, fine cubes. These cubes are stored in a large tank, and then blown into an empty pillow casing using pneumatic pressure. Now we made good pillows too, but for the love of god, stay away from anything labeled "cluster."
Volunteer paramedic ... when we find an old person who clearly has been with no pulse for hours we close the doors, shut relatives out and pretend to do something to avoid useless legal action.
I worked at a car dealership. The $1200 car care system that we would discount to $900 was “applied” with about 15 squirts of a spray bottle. Many times I’d hang out with the detail guys so the customer wouldn’t get suspicious at a quick turnaround.
The icecream machine isn't broken it just needs cleaning which takes a long time. BK worker here
Wash your fruits and vegetables very thoroughly a lot of them will end up being scooped off a disgusting warehouse floor and put back in the package after falling out
Apple: All techs and “Genius” employees are fully aware of wide-spread issues well before they are officially released to the public. They are NEVER discussed at the morning staff meetings with management present but are ALWAYS a source of discussion in the 3:00-3:30 tech staff meeting.
For example: It got to a point where I would replace an iPhone 6+ for the “display” issue and sometimes had to replace the replacement 2-3 times while the customer was waiting. It was embarrassing and frustrating that the official release from the company was that the issue was caused by customer misuse. We all knew the truth and the techs with any sort of conscience would bend over backwards to do what we could to right the wrongs. That is one of several manufacturing issues masked as user error or misuse that we tried to work around.
Former Geek Squad here - most of the people that work there, aren't really technical at all. We usually just walk it over to a bench, hook it up to a corporate VLAN and run just run some software. If there are real issues - people remotely connect from India or somewhere else.
We are basically just salesmen with a clip on tie.
You always want to order your drinks without ice.
I've seen icemachines inside at fancy places and you definitly do not want anything in your drink what was inside there before. Ice cube machines are a real s**thole in general.
Former Starbucks partner here. I've worked at a variety of different stores during my stint as a barista, and I can't tell you how many times I've gone to clean an espresso machine and have found mold. I've only worked in one store that followed cleaning protocol correctly, out of a total of six (all in a major U.S. city).
Also, don't be a d**k when you place your order, otherwise you will without a doubt be decaffed. I've even witnessed assistant store managers do this to customers.
Applebees; on the tabletop computers, go to "Extras" and tap and hold the little white space on the top left of the screen. When it gives a password prompt, it's 4321. Lets you change the table numbers or play games for free.
Ralph Lauren's outlet clothing is made for outlet, not from the main stores.
It has been several years, but when I worked at certain satellite tv company, they had a value system for customers.
You are valued at 1-5 stars, based on how much you spend, and how much they value you as a customer. If you are are a higher star value, they will do basically anything to keep you. You will get a ton of services and equipment for free, and they will bend over backwards to keep you from cancelling.
If you are a 1 or 2 star, they don't give a s**t. Especially 1 stars, because it usually means that you are late all the time, or that you don't spend very much. If you call in asking for deals or credits, they won't give it to you. If you threaten to cancel, no one cares.
Also, there are special phone lines for people they consider "VIPS". They never have to wait on hold, and only special employees are allowed to take the phone calls.
Idk the legality of this but it always seemed wierd. But we would get bags of another company's product (animal premix) and manually transfer that product into a bag of our own. We would give these products lot codes of our own and sell them to customers.
We didn't meet the contractual obligations to entirely destroy the laptops Google sent to us for decommissioning. We shredded the HDDs and sold the laptops for a profit.
Couldn't do s**t about the servers though, Google branding all over them
I used to work for a major card service company, and before the law changed if you bought a gift card to say a red lobster and didn't use it for like say a year. It was a distinct posibility that the entire value of that card would be gone due to monthly service charges. So picture me the guy trying to explain to the guy how his 50$ gift card was worth nothing, and you can imagine how that goes. Weirdly enough I ended up loving that job the most due to other types of accounts I used to handle. That was one of the worst parts of my job honestly.
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