This week, Reddit user u/rasutii posed the question, "What's a company secret you can share because you don't work there anymore?"
And people came through with the juicy secrets! Here are some of the top-voted responses:
Note: Obviously, none of these are confirmed! They're just stories shared by strangers on the internet.
1."There’s a ton of employee theft that occurs at certain furniture outlets. Employee wants a new couch? Then just type up an invoice saying this $3,000 sofa was damaged while being moved around the showroom, and it was then discounted and sold for $299. Got a sectional that was delivered but doesn’t show up on your inventory sheet? Just take it home and post it on Facebook marketplace."
"One guy was even so brazen that he would sell something, then fudge the numbers to make it look like it was sold at a lower price and pocket the difference. For instance, a sofa was listed at $1,000, but it had been sitting for a while, so he had some leeway to offer a discount. Well, here came a customer who bought the sofa for $1,000. The salesperson reported that the customer negotiated the price down to $800, and he pocketed the extra $200. That dude stole into the tens of thousands of dollars and got away with it for years. When the regional management finally figured it out, they just fired the guy and kept the whole incident quiet."
2."Worked at a deli. The decaf coffee was just regular coffee in a pot with an orange top."
3."A few years ago, a major wedding dress store announced that regular and plus-sized wedding gowns would be the same price (like, a size 24 wouldn't be $150 more than its size 4 counterpart). They did this by marking up the regular sizes to match the plus-sized prices."
4."Brake pads are free after the first purchase. This shouldn’t be a secret, but apparently, it is for most people. I managed a car shop for four years. I noticed the brake pads have a lifetime warranty. Most people think that means if the brake pads have a problem then they can get a new set. They don’t, however, realize that includes normal wear."
"It’s lifetime of the vehicle, not the pads themselves. So when your brake pads wear out, you can just come trade them in for new ones at no cost for as long as you own that vehicle."
5."Pawn shop. If you pawn or sell your laptop, phone, or camera, delete nudes or personal pictures. I had a boss that would go through each device. This idiot would go through and try to show me pics like I gave a fuck. And he legally could because the customer signs a waiver. Delete your shit, peeps."
6."We used to throw any donuts, bagels, or muffins out at the end of every night at a popular donut store. One week, around Christmastime, we would donate the food, but other than that it was all waste, and if we took any home ourselves, we would get charged for it."
7."Used to work for a big box retailer. They purposely under-scheduled your hours, so you wouldn't qualify for full-time benefits, including health insurance."
"In order to be considered full-time, you need to work more than 33 hours consistently for three months. If you're anything less than 33 hours, you're considered part-time. My schedule was always 33 hours or more for exactly two months and three weeks. My very last work week of the three-month time period would be 32.5 hours exactly, and every three months, this would happen. I asked my manager why this kept happening, and she lied to my face, every time. Different excuses each time too."
8."Worked for a certain sports network for years. They used to charge people to be an Insider, which gave you fantasy advice if you sent an email. Those 'experts' were myself and other randoms here in Omaha, Nebraska, in a call center. No training, just our opinions lmao."
9."At a popular lingerie store, I would measure women's bra sizes. We only sell up to 38DDD in store. I was told by my managers that if someone measured over a 38DDD, to just lie and say a close size."
"For people who were 44, 46, or 48, we always had to say 38 band size anyway, get them a bra, and convince them to not try it on in store. That way we made a sale. I always was honest to the customer about their size, and because of that, a lot of women walked out because we didn’t carry their size. But my managers were very number and sales heavy, and they would sometimes come over and lie about the women's size if they saw me measuring 'wrong.'"
10."I have worked for a recycler and know others who work in waste management. Most of your recycling is sent to the dump. A lot of people mix trash and plastic bags in with their recycling, and now that most places mix all recycling into one bin, it makes it worse. Once a batch of recycling is considered contaminated, the whole thing is sent to the dump. Plastic isn’t nearly as recyclable as the bottle says it is."
11."I used to work for a credit card company. On their applications website, there was a check box for 'priority processing.' This cost £10 and ensured that you jumped the queue when applications were processed. In reality, there wasn't any such queue jumping facility. Everyone who paid extra for priority processing was automatically declined as they were deemed 'too desperate for credit.'"
12."I worked at a large 'organic food' grocery store. Most of our produce wasn’t organic. Some people would buy produce, slap a 'certified organic' sticker on them, and sell them to us. We knew it, but it didn’t stop us because it meant much higher profits."
13."I worked in a camera shop as a kid. Owner used to make an extra print of the nudes and kept them in a photo album he hid in the back of the shop. Thought it was funny as a 15-year-old. Seems pretty fucked now."
14."Travel site warnings like 'book quickly because there is only one room available in this hotel' are bullshit."
15."Most clothes that get donated to this nonprofit organization get thrown out. At a normal store, they go through donations, and if it isn't good enough (stains or tears on clothes, electronics that don't work, etc.) or if it's been in the store for a month, it gets sent to an outlet store."
"Those are cheaper, but a lot of things still don't get bought there. If they're at the outlet store for long enough, they're just thrown out. You wouldn't think it would be that many clothes, but in the few months I worked there, about half our donations got sent to the outlet stores, and most of the stuff there gets thrown out eventually."
16."A MAJOR insurance company I wrote software for was very big on security. If we needed to make an update, we weren’t allowed to remote into the server (even though you physically could, it was just against policy)."
"To make an update, you had to put your changes onto portable storage, show your ID to the security guy, use your key to open the door, get escorted to the server, then they’d observe you via cameras. The login? 'Admin.' The password? Blank. Literally no password."
17.And finally, "I worked at a popular clothing store in 2008. Sales associates were called 'models.' There was a look policy and a bunch of books for managers to look at pictures of people who had 'the look.' Managers basically got promoted based on their ability to recruit attractive employees. Associates who were not as attractive could work in the back and be part of the Impact Team."
"Every few months or so, the top five attractive girls and the top five attractive guys would get together for a 'cast of photo.' I have no clue what the point of this was, but it got sent to corporate. I remember a lot of hurt feelings around this because many people wouldn’t be asked to be in it. The store did not sell any black clothing at that time. Associates could not wear eye makeup, lipstick, blush, or nail polish. If you had any of these on, a manager could send you home or ask you to take it off in the back. Everything needed to be folded to perfection, and the message I got was that making the store look nice came before customer service.
The previous CEO has been gone for a long time, and it’s totally different now. They rebranded to be more like other fast fashion chains. I don’t think a store could survive like that in 2022; some of the practices were so controversial."
Do you want to share any secrets about a place you used to work? LMK in the comments below!
Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.