Every workplace has its secrets – and we’re not talking about office gossip. Instead, certain careers carry with them some very dark tricks and truths that only those in the field will know. Luckily, though, some apparent experts were willing to pull back the curtain and share their industry’s biggest secrets through Reddit. So, here are 40 of the most shocking revelations they made.
40. You’re not seeing real prices at the optometrist
Someone with allegedly insider knowledge of the optometry industry shared via Reddit that the markup on glasses and lenses was, in their words, “stupid ridiculous.” They claimed that optometrists buy frames “for $4, then turn around [and] sell it for $160.” The same goes for lenses; they apparently cost the pros less than $10, but the products will be marked up to $100 or more.
39. Your instruction manual isn’t written firsthand
Many of us will consult a user manual when we don’t know how to use a new gadget. But some Reddit users claim that the person who wrote it probably had no more experience with the item in question than you do. According to one, technical writers have “never even seen or touched the product,” and this happens about “half of the time.”
38. That college essay you wrote probably went unread
Remember when you studied hard in college? How carefully you crafted class assignments and exam essays? As it turns out, your professor might not have appreciated the nuances of your work – at all. One user claiming to be a college professor shared on Reddit, “We don’t actually read your entire answer. Most of us don’t.”
37. Laws aren’t always written by lawmakers
You’ve always been taught that Congressmen and women write laws, but one Redditor claimed that someone else tends to take on that responsibility. They wrote, “Many bills are literally written by lobbyists or special-interest organizations.” Lawmakers might tweak a bit of language, but they allegedly send through pre-written legislation all of the time.
36. The engineer you hire won’t do the job
If you’ve got a project on tap that requires the help of an engineer, don’t expect the person you hire to do all of the work. One Reddit user wrote, “A lot of the time the engineer you talk to about your project – and decide to trust with it – delegates it to cheaper contractors as soon as you sign the paperwork.”
35. Musicians still have stage fright
Someone who has made a life out of performing can’t have stage fright anymore, right? Actually, that’s incorrect, according to someone who claimed to have first-hand experience in the field. They shared that “many [musicians] take beta blockers to help with nerves” and to stop their hands from shaking so they can play.
34. Your fresh cake is frozen
Let’s say you pre-order a custom cake, and you expect it to be made fresh in time for your pick-up. It will be – kind of. A Reddit user who said they were a baker explained, “Most of the time it was baked and frozen – probably anywhere from a couple days to a month before – and only pulled out the day before or day of to finish off for your order.” Luckily, this apparently doesn’t mess up the cake’s flavor or freshness.
33. The (new) cell phone customer is always right
Nabbing a new customer is a priority for your cell phone provider. So, don’t expect to get the best deals on phones if you already have a contract with a company. On top of that, a supposed phone shop staffer explained, “If we tell you we are out of stock on a popular phone, it is sometimes because we’re down to just a couple of that device and are saving them in case we can use them to close a deal with a new customer.”
32. Rental car companies will upsell you
Someone who allegedly worked at a rental car company claimed that those insurance packages they sell are often an unnecessary expense. The insider explained via Reddit, “… [I] was instructed to sell the customer insurance. Their own insurance covered the car, but if I sold the insurance, it would be my commission.”
31. You might not need a dry cleaner for that stain
A user claiming to be a dry cleaner appeared on the Reddit forum to share an industry secret: they aren’t always using chemicals to refresh your garments. The poster wrote, “Sometimes the best way to remove a stain is to spit on it.” Of course, they only use their saliva if they haven’t finished the wash – sanitation is always of the utmost importance.
30. There’s probably an empty bottle behind your home’s drywall
Construction workers put a lot of physical labor into building homes, and all that work requires lots of hydration. They apparently don’t always clean up their beverages, though. One Redditor shared, “There is at least one water bottle, soda can, energy drink [or] spray paint can sitting on a piece of blocking behind your drywall somewhere in your house.”
29. Someone in the office foresees major layoffs
A poster claiming to be a former mailroom employee recalled receiving an assignment to put together banker boxes for a department getting ready to archive lots of records. As it turned out, though, those containers would serve a different purpose. They wrote, “The next day there was a completely unexpected huge layoff. [We] watched from the windows while lines of people marched out with their possessions in the boxes [that] we’d supplied.”
28. Your pizza might have mold on it
Someone who allegedly once worked at a “very large pizza chain” said on Reddit that they had subpar cleaning methods for the baking trays. Namely, pans “left to ‘dry’ overnight” would sprout mold around patches of burnt-on cheese. Worse yet, the commenter claimed, “The manager said, ‘Don’t worry, it gets cooked.’”
27. Fragile packages aren’t handled accordingly
Someone claiming to have insider knowledge of delivery protocol said that the fragile sticker on your package means nothing. Instead, shipping companies “usually treat even the most fragile packages as balls.” In other words, your driver might toss your box full of fine china right onto their truck and drop it on your doorstep.
26. “Fresh” seafood isn’t always fresh
Not all restaurants serve freshly caught fish. Instead, one apparent kitchen hand claimed they would “often have to ‘refresh’ the squid and mussels in a fine dining restaurant. That basically meant [going] through all the old smelly seafood, [cleaning] it in salt water and [continuing to sell] it.” Understandably, this person said they no longer order fish in restaurants.
25. Your kids’ teachers know your secrets
Of course, it’s no secret that children can be extremely chatty. And they don’t turn it off when they get to school, either. Instead, they share everything with those around them – including their grown-up teachers. One wrote on Reddit that children are very open with their instructors, as well as coaches, principals and counselors. Furthermore, they warned that kids “pick up on all the dirty little secrets” and share the gossip with their mentors.
24. You might want to skip the ice in your drink
Anyone who has worked in a bar or restaurant can give you a glimpse into what it’s like behind the scenes. They may also be able to corroborate this alleged hospitality industry pro’s claim made via Reddit. The person suggested you “avoid the ice in restaurants [and] bars” because “the ice machines never get cleaned.”
23. Pet stores have very cold pet cemeteries
Unfortunately, not all pet store animals get to go home with a family, and some shops apparently have a strange protocol for when a creature perishes. A Reddit user explained, “When an animal dies in a pet store we can’t just throw it out, we have to bag it up and ship it back to the distributor. It hangs out in the freezer in the meantime; we’ve had a rabbit in ours for weeks now.”
22. Always wash your produce
You’ve probably heard this tip before, but maybe now it’ll be taken to heart. One user claiming to be a grocery store employee revealed that the transport process for fruits and veggies is messy, to say the least. They wrote, “Most of your produce has probably been dumped on a dirty floor at [some] point then scraped up off of the floor and put back in its container.”
21. Your favorite author didn’t write that book
One Redditor claiming to be a one-time ghostwriter said that their words often made its way onto the pages of hugely successful authors’ books. They revealed, “All those big-name authors with a New York Times bestseller every year use ghostwriters who are never credited or mentioned. It’s barely even a secret.”
20. Someone’s cheering for you at the casino
The odds are stacked against you at the casino, but that’s not because of the staff who work there. Instead, many of them want customers to win, according to someone supposedly with experience behind the tables. They wrote, “We operate on the up and up. You know everything bad about a casino when you walk in. You aren’t supposed to win. The fact that people fool themselves and then villainize us is completely unfair.”
19. Your dirty computer or smartphone precedes you
The state of your computer or phone at drop-off will dictate the quality of service your defunct device receives, someone claiming to be an electronics repair person said. They explained on Reddit, “If your iPhone or PS4 or laptop is so caked with dirt and nastiness that I have to put on gloves before even touching it, I’m not going to put forth nearly as much effort as I would otherwise.”
18. Fee waiver? Your banker will be the judge
Having your bank refund an overdraft fee is not always as black-and-white as it may seem. Someone who said they worked in the financial industry wrote, “We definitely look at your transaction history to determine if we’re refunding a fee. Groceries, utilities, and you overdraft – waived. iTunes, xBox, Casino ATM, and you overdraft – yeah, sorry we can’t waive that fee.” So, spend wisely.
17. Free decaf incoming
You should always be friendly to your local barista, but if you need further incentive, know this – they have the best way to take revenge on rude customers. One apparent coffee slinger shared via Reddit that they “decaf the rude people.” And sometimes, they concluded, the best comeback is a “caffeine withdrawal headache.”
16. Don’t expect a funeral home discount
Someone claiming to be a funeral director wrote on Reddit that you can get cheaper prices for all of your end-of-life needs – but not from them. Instead, they revealed you can “buy a casket for 20 percent of the price” and that most in the business are working to overcharge customers with add-on options.
15. Anesthetics are a mystery to more than just you
Ever wondered how your anesthetics worked? Well, don’t ask your anesthesiologist for an explanation. One who said they worked in the field shared, “The inhaled anesthetics or ‘gas’ we use to keep you unconscious during surgery are a mystery to us. We don’t know how they work. There are theories, but we just know that it keeps you asleep.”
14. Drug recalls aren’t always public knowledge
You’d think a drug recall would make headlines, but someone who allegedly worked in a pharmacy claimed otherwise. They said that for “the vast majority” of medication callbacks, “the public never hears” the news. Instead, the pharmacy staff “just send in whatever we have in our stock still and no one notifies the patient.”
13. You’re not the first person to use your new home’s toilet
One Reddit user alleged that handymen and women will use the facilities in your new-build home even if you haven’t moved in yet. But what may be a shock is the fact that, before your property had running water, workers may have set up buckets around your shell of an abode and used those as toilets. So much for christening your new space.
12. No need to chill your groceries
Do you ever race home from the grocery store because you have frozen or refrigerated items in your bag? Well, the staff at the place where you just shopped may not work with the same haste. One user claimed on Reddit, “You do not want to know how long food sits on the loading dock before it gets into the cooler.”
11. Charity drives may or may not be real
Nonprofits gather money for good causes, but their means aren’t always as pure. According to one apparent charity worker, “Those ‘donate now and your donation will be double/triple/quadruple matched’ or ‘we only need ten more donors/$5,000 more from your zip code’ emails are all lies.” The white lie serves a purpose, though – it works, and that’s allegedly why you still get such messages.
10. There’s a trick to lightning-fast customer service
Those of us who have chatted with an online customer service rep may have been startled by the speed with which they’ve answered our enquiry. But that’s no coincidence, according to one Redditor. The user claimed, “They can see what you are typing before you send it so they can get a reply ready quickly.” As such, remember to be polite – the rep will know if you wrote something rude and then deleted it.
9. Retail workers aren’t checking in the back for you
If you can’t find your size in a garment, you might ask a retail worker to check in the back to see if it’s hiding there instead. They’ll happily head to the storeroom, but here’s the secret; according to one Redditor, they already know if they have what you want or not. The user wrote, “We don’t actually check for the item, instead we go on our phone for a few minutes and act like we looked.”
8. Quality control doesn’t expect 100 percent
You’d expect food manufacturers to have a zero-tolerance policy for anything other than their ingredients in a particular product. However, one person claiming to be a quality control pro surprisingly said via Reddit, “There are acceptable levels of insect parts that can be found in manufactured food and be okay by the FDA.”
7. Pressing “submit” doesn’t matter – your info is already sent
Someone purporting to be a tech professional said that website forms don’t gather your information after you press the submit button. Instead, they wrote, “Most companies looking to capture leads will capture your info in real time as you enter it into a form.” So, when you hit an arrow or button, it just moves you onto the next page of the survey – it’s not sending information anywhere because it has already been logged.
6. Librarians want to read the new books, too
Plenty of people will get onto the library’s waitlist to read a long-awaited book release. But the first to crack open and read the anticipated piece will probably be the librarian, according to one Redditor. The user claimed that they “sometimes… read the new books before registering them in the catalogue for the public.”
5. When in doubt, nurses Google it
Medical professionals don’t know everything, one user claiming to be a nurse explained. Not only that, but the person revealed that they “had to Google and watch teaching videos on not-so-common procedures five minutes before going in and performing [it] on the patient.” The user also said that doctors sometimes rely on Google for diagnoses when a person’s symptoms stump them.
4. IT knows how much you actually work
It’s easy to get distracted on the job, and no one knows that better than your IT department. One apparent tech pro wrote on Reddit, “Your friendly IT person knows – or has access to know – just how much time you spend working versus slacking off.” So, skip the social media and get back to it.
3. Archeologists perform a creepy test to confirm they’ve found bones
The work that archeologists do is incredibly careful and detailed, so you wouldn’t expect them to stick their age-old finds into their mouths. However, one alleged expert shared through Reddit that they “lick artifacts to quickly determine if they are bone or pottery.” Apparently, the latter won’t stick to your tongue, but the former will.
2. The hospital utility closet might not be that
Someone claiming to be a former healthcare worker said that their hospital had a room labeled “utility closet” – and that was the morgue. And, to get the deceased there, they apparently had to be subtle. The Redditor wrote, “Our ER was significantly far away from that room, so to transport dead bodies, we’d wheel the gurney down there with piles of laundry covering the body.”
1. A rat may have walked on your soda can
Those who love slurping from a cold can of their favorite beverage might want to think twice about doing so, according to one Reddit user. The person claimed to be a warehouse worker, and they wrote, “Never drink straight from the can/bottle. Workers climb on the stacks, rats run over them in the warehouse, they sit in stagnant water under leaking roofs…” Come to think of it, we’ll pour our next drink right into a clean glass.