55 On-The-Job Secrets That I Kinda Hate Knowing

·13 min read

A few years ago, people shared secrets from their workplace that I haven’t been able to shake from my head since. Here are the most interesting, shocking, and grossest confessions I’ve read.


1."The clothes you find at an outlet (more often than not) are not 'cast-offs' or overages from the regular store. There's a whole separate entity that designs and produces clothes at a lesser quality for outlet prices."


2."Movie theaters place leftover popcorn in large storage containers, or garbage bags at the end of the night, then mix it in with fresh popcorn the next day. I did it for over a year."


3."Funeral homes are businesses, and funeral directors will absolutely take advantage of grieving people. The most offensive to me are the cremation boxes. They're literally just big cardboard boxes and should cost less than a hundred dollars."



4."Businesses offer rebates rather than cash discounts because they know the odds of you going through the trouble of mailing in a rebate coupon are minimal."


5."Those metal or wicker baskets lined with parchment paper that your fries come in are never washed. We pull them straight off the table and put them back in the kitchen."


6."When talking to a lawyer, be very careful about questions probing your income. Lawyers will absolutely charge you thousands of dollars more if they can figure out you have plenty of money laying around, all for the same services and time afforded to clients paying significantly less."

Noah Moss

7."Credit companies will raise your interest rate for no reason and wait for you to call and complain to get it lowered. Check your statements and review all notices that come with your bill."



8."Never use glasses provided in hotel rooms, especially the bathrooms. I've seen those get 'cleaned' with the same rag that cleans the toilet and sink."


9."Whenever you are at a fast food drive-thru, we hear everything. As long as you are in the censor, our microphones are open. We listen to your phone conversations, music, and your asshole comments."


10."As a flight attendant, my only advice is to never order coffee, tea, or anything with ice in it. The water container is never cleaned. We only use bottled water when you ask us for water, not for coffee and tea."


11."Recruitment agency worker here: The guys here offer non-existent jobs to desperate people looking for work. Each day they call and say 'there's been a delay with the start date' to keep them hanging on until they actually find them work."

Charlie M B Armley


12."I make super expensive stuff that is bought by several governments and some high-end consumer product manufacturers. One of the machines that every bit of product has to go through only works right if you stand there and poke at it with a stick."


13."I used to work at a large national chain of bridal stores and the wedding dresses you're trying on are never washed. We would try to spot clean if a bride got makeup or a build-up of deodorant inside, but they smelled like BO and dirt."


14."When renting a storage unit, you do not need to get the insurance they offer. Even if they say it's 'mandatory,' it's illegal to force you to get insurance. Also, the rent will increase yearly forever."


15."When someone shits in the pool, we only evacuate it for a short period of time and maybe add some extra chlorine with a bucket to give the illusion we are doing something."

Campbell Elmer


16."At large theater chains, they usually haves a pipe system for water and ice. Roaches love that pipe system. Basically, it wasn’t uncommon to find roaches in the ice. Also the nacho cheese is really gross, not just because of what it’s made of but because no one ever cleans the machine. People will literally quit before having to clean it, or it gets a half-ass cleaning."


17."Almost every registered nurse has a blacklist of doctors they would not want even remotely near them should they need emergency services. People need to take better care and precaution of who they choose to accept as their doctor."


18."Car dealerships have reward systems based on numbers for the salesmen, the dealer, and management. So, if you're there at the end of the month, you can sometimes get a screaming good deal because, even at 0% profit, the sale bumps them up to a big bonus."



19."Professional hair color at a salon costs the salon around $6 a tube. That $40 product actually costs $10 to anyone who had a license. Salons are huge cash cows because the products are actually so cheap."


20."Your mortgage has been transferred so many times that the odds are that your payment records are incomplete."


21."[A sports stadium] used to save the cooked, unsold hot dogs in a bucket of water every night. This was after scraping off the bun contents."


22."I worked at a very high-end hotel, and we had time limits of how long each room could be cleaned. It was nasty. I lost my job because I took too long cleaning everything correctly."


23."I worked as a receptionist at a doctor’s office. We don’t take walk-ins or same-day appointments. Appointments are booked weeks in advance, but most offices can always squeeze you in if you’re not an asshole. And, yes, we tell the providers how you treat us. They know."



24."I worked for a huge makeup company for 10 years and I know that A LOT of my fellow artists did not thoroughly clean their brushes in-between their makeup appointments."


25."I worked for a very large lingerie company. When we would get returned underwear, you'd think they'd just get damaged out because nobody knows if they were really worn, but they don't. We put them right back out on the floor."


26."I work with kids at a daycare and we see babies take their first steps sometimes, but we never tell the parents because we don't want them to feel bad about missing it."


27."I worked in a restaurant for seven years and can say that probably 99% of the time, everyone grabs the lemon slices for drinks with their bare hands and just tosses them in the cups. This is after handling money, dirty dish rags, and dirty plates."



28."I work at a movie theater. Everyone sticks their hands in the bin of unpopped popcorn kernels and plays around with it. Everyone also grabs handfuls of cooked popcorn straight out of the popcorn machine. Odds are, if you get popcorn at the theater, someone probably touched it with their bare hands before you."


29."I worked at a bank for three years and the reason we ask all sorts of questions is because we have to fill out a 'needs assessment' so that we can 'sell' you more products depending on what you said in our assessment."


30."Avoid drinking from ice tea dispensers if you can. There’s no guarantee the establishment removes the nozzle every night for a cleaning along with the soda fountain nozzles. If not cleaned often it starts to mold and that then becomes congealed slime."


31."Flight attendants and pilots don't get paid while boarding, deplaning, and delays. So when you're delayed and angry, so are we. We're not making money and still have to be there."



32."I worked at a sports bar and we would regularly find chicken heads or other weird parts of the chicken with the wings. Chicken wings are forever ruined for me because of the things I’ve found while working there."


33."In an auto shop, what your mechanic tells you may not be in your best interest, but instead it's what is most convenient to them, and what is the least amount of work to do."


34."Mobile homes are cheaply made and mass produced by people making $9/hour who don't give a shit if it's up to code or safe. Hundreds of people are in a factory with little supervision, and the main goal is to get as many made as possible with little care to protocol, codes, or fire stopping."


35."I worked for a popular ice cream chain. If there’s a rush, the blenders were never cleaned unless someone requested it due to an allergy. You’d get the residue from 20 orders before yours. Then, it was cleaned with a chemical mixture that didn’t dry before the next order was mixed."


Disney Channel

36."A lot of luxury designer leather goods are made in the same places as lesser brands. Also, most designer brands strive for 80% or more of a profit margin, so that $1,000 bag you just bought cost $200 or less to make."


37."My husband worked at a famous hotel chain and the employees had sex in the rooms. They would do it on top of the beds and then just straighten them afterwards."


38."I worked as a lifeguard at a waterpark for years and lots of times we didn't have time to go on bathroom breaks so we were told to just pee in the pool.


39."I worked at a live performance theater box office, and if you needed to exchange your tickets for another night, we always try to give you comparable seats. But, if you were nasty and screaming at us, you were guaranteed to get crappy ones."



40."I worked for an arena concession stand. The hot dogs and buns were from the same grocery store you got yours from. Everything else was from Costco. We just charged you for something you could make at home."


41."When I worked at an 'upscale' supermarket, we repurposed meat and seafood about to spoil or expire by either cooking it as customer samples or marinating/seasoning it as 'new' product."

Meli Alexander

42."Having worked in a warehouse that stores beer cans, I'd say that you should wash the top of any can you drink from. It may have been sat on, climbed on, touched by filthy hands, had mice run across it, and if nothing else, it was probably covered in layers of dust."


43."I won't say where I worked, but if you call a company that doesn't use a call center, and are a pain to deal with, we remember your name when it pops up and will purposefully not answer your call, keep you on hold for a long time, and generally dick you around."


44."The comforters in some hotel rooms almost never get washed. They are nasty."



45."I used to work at a popular coffee chain. If you were a difficult or rude customer, the barista would make your espresso drink with decaf."


46."At a hospital, the cash price discount for many outpatient tests (MRI, CT, X-Ray, etc.) can often be cheaper than using insurance and dealing with deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance, and so on. I’ve seen tests billed to insurance for thousands of dollars but cost a cash-paying patient less than $400."


47."Keeping hermit crabs as pets is actually incredibly cruel because they rarely breed in captivity. They have to be taken from the wild, then they get their natural shells broken away from them so that they're forced to adopt colorful man-made shells in hopes kids find them more attractive."


48."When I was a teenager (many years ago), I worked at a famous national ice cream chain and the number and size of the roaches in that place were both astounding. Most were as long as your thumb and nothing we did got rid of them since ice cream drippings and topping crumbs were like crack to them. The only thing keeping the health department from shutting the place down was that the bugs stayed on the worker side of the freezers so customers didn't see them."



49."I worked at a bakery that had this really good cherry bread. One day, the cherries looked smaller and weren’t as juicy. A little investigating and I found out my boss was dying and flavoring cranberries to save money. The loafs were still $6.50 and contained zero cherries."


50."In a call center, there are lines where management can listen to the customer while they're navigating the phone tree or waiting on hold. We hear every line of profanity, racist/sexist remark, and muttered expletive. Also, many 'live chat' sessions allow the associate to see you typing in live time. A lot of horrible things get typed out, before pressing 'send.'"


51."I worked at a small boutique chain for a short while in college and most of the clothing items were cheap, poorly made pieces that were ordered off of the internet. Then, the manager had us seam rip the tags off and stitch on new ones to make the items look name brand."



52."I worked in a factory that made off-brand Swiss rolls for different stores. If a package of Swiss rolls got smashed or just didn't look right, they would get put in a bin, get unwrapped, and get dumped in a big trash can to be reused in the batter again."


53."To all the people who are paying $80,000 plus for a car, the people who make and test the cars are supposed to make sure the seats are free from defects and are perfect upon completion. Most don’t verify parts to be in working order, and they just 'mark and go.'"


54."I used to work for a grocery store in the produce department where we would cut up fruit to package and put on the floor. Most of the time it was expired fruit from the floor, it was rarely washed, and if it was moldy, we cut off the mold and put it in anyway. Gross."


55.Finally, "Wearing gloves in kitchens is a goddamn lie. They don't offer any sort of protection. They're actually more prone to spreading germs and filth because people don't wash them between touching different kinds of food."


Lee Mendelson Films

Do you have a secret from your job that you want to get off your chest? Dish it in the comments below!

Comments have been edited for length and clarity.