Confidentiality and extreme secrecy are both expected of people bound to non-disclosure agreements. Thankfully, NDAs tend to expire eventually. From celebrity gossip to company information, draw back the curtain and follow along as these Redditors reveal the juiciest details about everything they were never meant to say.
1. When A Cavity Becomes Code 5
When I was a kid, I visited the dentist for a cavity. While there, the dentist slipped while drilling my tooth and drilled a hole under my tongue. My mom saw me tense up, and my dentist said, “Oh, nicked her there a bit so you might see a little blood.” I got home and after an hour, my entire neck was swollen up like a frog and my voice was squeaky because of the air pressure.
A pocket of air was pressing against my heart…dirty air, at that, because of the bacteria in my mouth. I was admitted to the hospital as a “code 4,” with a “code 5” being dead. When my mom tried to sue the dentist for damages, the unbelievable happened. He claimed I was kicking and screaming and “out of control” during the appointment, even getting his secretary to vouch for him and testify.
My mom’s lawyer was super pessimistic and told her just to settle and sign an NDA because she had a “small chance” of winning. So my mom settled, being naive and scared to take on an office full of liars. She could never disclose who the dentist was, and we’ve heard other horror stories throughout the years about this dentist messing up other people’s mouths.
It sucks because every lawyer we’ve talked to after the fact says we had a very strong case and it’s likely we would have won. Like really won.
2. Fixing The Film Numbers
I used to work for a company that tracked ticket sales for theaters across the United States. By contractual agreement with Hollywood studios, we collected information for approximately 80% of theaters, but we were not allowed to collect that last 20%. Why? You may have heard of Hollywood accounting. Hollywood studios work very, very hard to ensure their accounting is as beneficial to the studios as possible.
This comes as no surprise; all businesses do this. But Hollywood has unusually high amounts of money in very narrow products, creating a distorted market. And the industry is rife with films grossing obscene amounts of money but not reporting a profit. Because our company couldn’t collect that last 20% of theater data, it wasn’t possible to absolutely say that a movie made X number of dollars.
So, I can’t prove it, but…On Friday, June 21, 2002, the movies Minority Report and Lilo and Stitch were both released to great fanfare. Minority Report’s opening weekend was reported at $35,677,125 (27.0% of total gross). Lilo and Stitch’s opening weekend was reported as $35,260,212 (24.2% of total gross). This is a lie.
Lilo and Stitch earned more money than Minority Report on its opening weekend. 20th Century Fox couldn’t have a Tom Cruise feature film being beaten by a cartoon. So someone at 20th Century Fox called Disney and offered a deal. Since the full amount of money earned couldn’t be proven, Fox would announce that Minority Report was the top earner for the weekend.
In exchange…we never knew what the exchange was. We simply knew that Minority Report was reported as the top earner and Disney received some benefit for not saying anything.
3. Settling For What’s Fair
Over 20 years ago, I took part in a pre-trial hearing. A nearby dam was being sued by the family of a dam worker. The family was suing for an undisclosed amount to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, and negligence of maintenance of the facility. Here’s what happened: the dam had received multiple complaints about lack of maintenance.
This particular dam was a working dam but hadn’t been maintained in several decades. Before the incident, an engineer had written a report saying the maintenance supports for the walkways above the boilers needed to be completely closed until replaced. This was not done. A maintenance worker went onto the walkway above the boilers.
The walkway failed and the worker was plunged into boiling water, completely submerging him. His co-workers were able to retrieve him in under 30 seconds. But that wasn’t even the worst part. This worker spent the next nine months in the ICU before dying of infection. His body suffered 99.9% third-degree burns. We awarded, in the pre-trial hearing, $1 million per second the man was boiled.
Additionally, all medical expenses were to be paid and the remaining possible wages earned paid in full, including full medical and dental to the family for the next 35 years.
4. Feedback For Some Films
I used to work for Disney. They only used Disney employees for the test screenings of Marvel movies so I got to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and an early version of Doctor Strange that needed a lot of work. When we were giving feedback to the moderator, the writers were sitting in the back with their heads in their hands looking very defeated.
It was a confusing mess, but they fleshed out the characters more so it was better by the time it was released. Oh, and here’s a gruesome little tidbit: They used to kill a lot of ducks with pyro at Disney World when they did the illuminations show at Epcot. Shhhhh.
5. Revealing Celebrity Secrets
I was Guy Fieri’s body person for six months, and the whole experience threw me for a loop. This involved a lot of personal assistantship: booking travel by air, Ubers in a pinch, and confirming what the advance teams did before Guy gets there. Most of my job was to handle his personal life when he was “on the job.” I had to sign three NDAs, but I’m only sharing what happened on the show.
Guy gave me the impression he really didn’t like what he did. Every morning, he would say, “More of this again,” even on our so-called “buffer days” when we had an extra day before or after shooting and we had much of the day to ourselves. After three weeks of working with him, I figured out that Red Bulls are his binky.
He’s got some crazy ADHD, so the caffeine really didn’t phase him. When he would get stressed out, he’d rage up a little, but then he’d completely shut down. A Red Bull just…made him calm again. Guy does not remember anything he says. People walk up to him and joke about “flavortown” and he’d look at me after the fact and ask “What’s flavortown?” I had to remind him that he came up with that.
My favorite was someone who went on a cruise…apparently, Carnival Cruise Lines has Guy’s restaurants. This fan loved the “Donkey Sauce” that he put on his burgers. The dude simply didn’t remember he did that. I had access to his computer and I saw recipe drafts for D-Sauce. There were scores of events similar to this, every. single. time. Guy would have no idea.
It sort of floors me that this guy influences so many people and he doesn’t really care. He doesn’t hate his fans, but he thinks interacting with people is a hassle. He legit doesn’t understand why he’s a celebrity, which boggles my mind how much effort he puts into his shtick. That one British chef who lied about cooking for the Queen has more cognizance about his fame than Guy.
On a personal note, his family is full of sweethearts and I went above and beyond a few times to help them out. That’s all I want to say about his family. They’re really nice people.
6. Something’s Not Right Here
I was part of the beta testing for the DC universe online. I remember a few missions that were voiced probably just by developers before they hired the voice actors to do it. I wish I had saved footage of it, but there was one where Supergirl was clearly voiced by a man doing a high-pitched falsetto voice. It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.
7. No License, No Racing
Tesla has failed six attempts to get its cars licensed for racing by the FIA. I can’t say anything past that, but if you feel like checking the registry, you’ll find they’re still not licensed. I didn’t enjoy the battery melting under me when we pushed the car to the limits. Nor did I enjoy the threat of a lawsuit if I didn’t change my report. Tesla sucks.
It’s a real shame though because I love electric cars. They’re 100% the future of motorsports and I really wish there were more batteries capable of emptying at the rate needed without breaking.
8. Fake Drama, Reality Television
I signed an NDA for a prominent American show where they take a certain type of business on the brink of failure and “transform it” to save the business. When the producers of the show found out my wife and I both worked there, they tried to fish through our relationship for TV drama. When they found out we have a solid relationship, they made the most baffling request.
They tried to convince us to fake our drama with scripted conflict. Long story short, we got fed up and quit during shooting. We were cut from the show. Oh well.
9. Statistics, Software, and Skynet
Netflix has created a group of AI that will essentially be like the Skynet of streaming media. It can predict, with crazy accuracy, what you’ll click on based on, not only your previous views and clicks, but the time of year it is in your location, the weather going on outside your window, and the kinds of movies you like to watch when it’s raining or snowing.
It figures out your holidays celebrated, your favorite colors, typefaces, and genres. This leads to the marketing AI. They have created an AI-driven software that creates movie posters and promotional art for a film or show that appears to be whatever genre they want. For instance, it’ll create artwork for an action movie that makes the movie look like a rom-com if you’re into rom coms and not action movies.
It’s literally an automated super smart photoshop-like computer just for film/tv artwork.
10. Your TV Knows All
If you own a Samsung TV in North America, mainly the states, and have updated the firmware since 2015…It can recognize what you watch, even if it’s not a broadcast channel, provided it has a clip to match in an online database and can send this info to provide stats on what you watch. These stats can rival the usual ‘ratings’ for TV, in that they’re amazingly accurate, and updated every few seconds. They’re worth millions.
They also build up a profile of you as a viewer, and this feeds an advertising profile based on watching habits. Software on the TV can play a video over the content you watch, the idea being to replace commercials that you watch with more appropriate ones. I don’t know how much of this is still being done, but when I stopped being involved because it’s abhorrent, it was 18 million TVs.
It all sounds fine when you think of it as you getting more advertisements for stuff you might buy, and fewer for stuff you won’t. But here’s the problem: Imagine the nutcases you know seeing adverts you never see, that lie about healthcare, and vaccines, and other kinds of conspiracies, and this becomes a buy-a-presidency system.
11. Revealing Red Carpet Instructions
I’m not sure if I’m no longer bound or not, or how common knowledge it is, but living in NYC I was paid to be a fan at a major red carpet movie premiere for a popular film franchise. 100% of the people there were paid to act excited as famous actors and a very famous director walked out and said hello and did interviews. We were under strict instructions not to let anyone know we were hired.
12. Always Buy Tons Of Donuts
The self-checkouts at the grocery stores work based on weight. It reads in the barcode what a product should weigh and throws up errors when you go to bag it if the weight isn’t within a certain range. This is great for most items, and this is why you have to have bakery items and produce on the scale before you bag it.
Knowing this, you can weigh any item as something else that’s cheaper if you have overworked people not paying attention to what you are doing. Just make sure to keep the barcode from being scanned. $20 hair care product? Ring it as a donut. Pack of steaks? Ring it as a donut. But believe it or not, there’s an even darker side to these self-checkouts…
Some Walmart stores in “low theft areas” don’t even have the bagging scales turned on, while some in more “ethnically diverse” areas have the sensitivity set so high that if you put your grocery list in the bags it will throw errors.
13. A Peace Treaty Of Sorts
Coca-Cola and Pepsi regularly settle disputes behind closed doors on things like employees trying to quit and join the competitor. Their employment contracts have entire clauses stating you cannot be employed by the competing companies even after you quit so as to protect company intel and confidentiality. For example, a Coca-Cola employee feels like he is being mistreated by the company, and so he quits and tries to work for Pepsi.
Then, Pepsi’s team of lawyers will inform Coca-Cola as soon as they find out and Coca-Cola will sue the guy for breach of contract. In return, Pepsi will pay them. This is done so Pepsi and Coca-Cola don’t sue each other for bankruptcy for breach of laws regarding industrial competition and market regulations. It’s basically a peace treaty of sorts.
14. Too Good At His Job
Some tech companies don’t want their products to be better. I started working for a parking technology company as their IT PM. Our installs improved drastically by using my work background to design, document, deploy, rinse, repeat…plus I was a slave so I worked 70 hours a week. Then, when I expected the boss to be happy, he gave me the most shocking response: “Don’t make it work too well. We make money on service too.”
Since my methods were implemented, service decreased, which I thought was good and would drive in more sales. In the end, I was just working myself to the bone for someone without gratitude.
15. Habitat Visit Gone Wrong
Paul Allen was sitting around his house one day and happened to watch a segment of a nature documentary on pygmy seahorses. His assistants picked up on his glimmer of interest and organized an excursion on his yacht to go visit the habitat of these animals. They brought along a marine biologist to provide more information.
On the yacht, each member of the small party that was actually getting in the water to view the seahorses were equipped with a sea scooter. They found the animals, the marine biologist gave his talk, and it was a very successful outing. As they turn to leave the area, Paul takes a wide turn on the sea scooter and just mows down a big chunk of the habitat, which definitely contained many of the little animals.
Apparently, he was oblivious or didn’t care, but the marine biologist was livid. Back on the yacht, the crew had to go to great lengths to calm the biologist down and somehow get them to sign the NDA.
16. Finally Touching The Untouchable
My NDA is still in effect, but I’ve covered my liability. A few years ago, with a previous insurance company I worked for, we fired an employee who had a nasty personality. Imagine a toxic gamer working in a call center, and that would be this guy. He had been the son or grandson of one of the board members, so he was practically untouchable.
When his relative on the board got voted out, it was finally time for this guy to be fired. His supervisor took him to a conference room to let him know he was fired and he was escorted from the building by security. As the HR manager, I was tasked with clearing his desk and separating his property from company property. That was when I found a heavily used notepad on his desk that had a list of names.
Next to each name was a mailing address and details about how this ex-employee planned to harm these people. I did some digging and found they were all current or former clients of the company and that they all had filed complaints against this monster. It was a hit list. I notified the board after I notified a few officers. The guy was incarcerated on unrelated drug and assault charges.
The prosecutor now had to consider charging this guy for his hit list. Since she couldn’t convince a judge there was a strong enough case, the prosecutor decided to impanel a grand jury. Since I was the individual who found the notepad, I was subpoenaed to confirm its provenance. Considering any other employee could have walked by and deposited this list on this guy’s desk, the grand jury decided to not move ahead to a trial.
For the other charges, the former employee was sentenced to 16 years in prison. As a witness, I wasn’t issued a gag order regarding the grand jury investigation. However, my work did order me to sign an NDA to “protect the clients who were on that hit list” but it was really just to cover up that they were in any danger.
I signed and then quit as soon as I got a job offer from another company. Those guys on the board cared more about their profit margin and public image than they did about people’s lives.
17. Beagles In Braces
When I was a veterinary technician before I was a veterinarian, I worked in a lab that mostly tested animal medication on animals. It was things like flea products, heartworm meds, etc. We had one product in testing for human medication though, which was an injection that supposedly was going to shorten the need to wear retainers after having braces.
Of course, to test that, we needed animals that had worn braces long enough to replicate the changes that happen to human mouths that have had braces. What I’m getting at, was that some days, it was my job to brush the mouths of like 50 beagles that all had braces and make sure the wires and brackets were in place and not causing any trauma to the lips or gingiva.
The image of dozens of goofy little dogs clack, clack, clacking around me in circles around the lab super excited to see me, doing their ridiculous beagle howls and flashing their braces as they did so will never leave my brain.
18. The Same, But Different
I came up with an idea for a TV show that followed a women’s basketball team through a season while employed by them and after submitting a pilot to a large production company, they colluded with the athletic department to take the name and concept but use it for the men’s basketball team instead. Their reason was utterly despicable. In their words, “No one cares about women’s basketball.”
I had equipment, people, and funding set up, and no one that knew clued us in. We found out from Twitter when the men’s team announced it with the production and distribution company. I got offered a job with them later but quit the media industry altogether and taught high school for a few years. Now, I’m back to making content.
19. Fraud On The Floor
I did some work on the trading floor at Goldman Sachs. I had access to all trading accounts and transactions. I came across some shady-looking accounts which did not meet policy as they did not use clearly identifiable names and I could not find records of creation or testing for it etc…When I asked my supervisor if I should look into this, he turned to me and said, “We don’t ask about those accounts, just ignore them. Orders from the top.”
Trading account creation is a long and detailed process that requires formal approval from multiple lines of management. These accounts circumvented all that and were basically anonymous with no trace. They were also trading high volume, and I was told to accept and ignore them.
20. They’re All The Same
I used to work in a warehouse where we made feminine hygiene products. The pads came out of one machine into several different branded boxes. They were both the nickel gas station pads and the 10 dollar-a-box pads. Also, we had one product of pads where we imported them from China, then repackaged them into our own boxes.
I didn’t have a problem with that, but there was one thing I didn’t agree with at all…The box had an emblem saying “made in America.” It would’ve been ok if it said “assembled in America,” but no.
21. Worst Security And Software Ever
A certain global conferencing company still saves passwords for their web products in plain text. Any—and I mean any—employee that works there can see the password. My password there was NotMyPassYouIdiot because I knew other people would see it eventually and they’d even comment/laugh about it. Also, we once discovered that our main conferencing software was letting you sign in regardless of the password you entered.
This meant that you could sign in with any email address. Once we brought it up, we were immediately stonewalled and told not to say anything about it in written format. Basically, they had the development team and lawyers on a conference call and they decided it was best to just keep it quiet until they fixed it later that day.
No client was to be notified of the issue. The ones that knew of it were basically given a runaround until they gave up. They also added call spoofing to the software. They called it something fancier, but it was call spoofing. You could make a call and make it appear from any number you wanted. My team raised this concern many times, but were countered with, “No one will actually use it for that.” Ok. That place was a gold mine of security risks.
22. Not So Reality TV
On the TV show House Hunters, where they are presented with three properties and must choose one, they’ve already chosen. In order to be selected to be on the show, you must already have an offer in and accepted on a property and be in closing. It’s a foregone conclusion which one of the three properties they’re going to be moving into. But that’s not all.
If you watch the show carefully for clues you can start to figure out which one. Although they continue to fool me from time to time. Boxes are a clue. If they’re viewing a house that’s full of moving boxes where people are clearly packing, that’s the house they’ve already bought. The other two properties may or may not have even been properties they considered during their search. They can simply be comps now on the market, or properties chosen for some kind of contrasting appeal.
The debates on the show are manufactured as well. That’s probably less surprising. The wife that wants a yard for the kids and the husband that wants a short commute aren’t actually as invested in their opposing viewpoints as they pretend to be…not that these issues don’t matter to the home buyers at all. But the producers take some pre-existing issues and ask the home buyers to play them up as if they are more crucial or debatable than they really are.
That’s why you often see one of the buyers suddenly give in for no apparent reason on something they had been fighting for until the last minute. This is in addition to the fact that one of the properties is already a foregone conclusion, so there’s really no meat to the discussion anyway. I know all of this and I shamelessly watch House Hunters anyway.
23. Unknown Party Game Rejects
You know those Jackbox party games? They have a database full of about a hundred Jackbox games that were pitched but not used since rejected games often get featured in later party packs. Notably, one of those Jackbox games is called Poop Cake. I won’t go into detail how it works in case it does get released, but there is a rejected Jackbox game called Poop Cake that exists and is officially documented for potential future use.
24. They Staged The Show
I was a witness to the filming of a Discovery Channel reality show as it was set in the business of a family friend of which we frequented every week. The filming took place over a couple of months, I think. During filming, the show had nothing to do with the actual business. They had actors staged in the audience/as buyers, they brought out fake products to “sell” at the business, they used fake names for the real employees they did include, every single word and movement and breath was scripted.
Yet, when it aired, it was touted to be an authentic reality show for this business. The idea for the show was kind of like American Pickers, but a bit different. I knew reality shows weren’t real of course, but I was genuinely shocked at just how scripted and fake the whole process is. Not a single thing that aired was genuine.
25. The Modern Pirate
Dell closed all of their in-person kiosk locations in order to get the money to fire the CEO they put in because no one bothered vetting his contract. This allowed him to adjust his own pay rate to whatever he wanted, and he could only be fired with a 40 million golden parachute bonus. So, their choice was to either come up with 40 million asap to fire him, or go completely bankrupt the very next pay period.
So yeah, Dell was almost bankrupted within a single week due to a pirate CEO.
26. Colony Collapse And A Call Centre
I used to work in a call center that had Bayer Advanced as a client. Bayer knew/knows full well that their neonicotinoid-based pesticide/gardening products harmed bees and were responsible for colony collapse. We were instructed to boldly deny and/or lie to the customer or caller if we were ever asked about it. We were also instructed to lie about the spray nozzles on the bottles.
Bayer knew they sucked and were almost always completely DOA defective, but they refused to admit it and decided it was cheaper to just keep mailing replacement nozzles.
27. They Had To Fake It To Make It
I had a friend who was on a European version of Survivor called The Robinson Expedition. So many things were rigged or played up. A lot of it was stuff like…the crew would hear that two contestants had an argument, so they had to re-enact the argument for the camera, which was awkward. And at some point, a contestant just wanted to leave the island, but you can’t just say that, so they voted him out as they agreed and people had to act all shocked and be like, “This is a huge betrayal and last minute twist!”
28. A New Type Of Electric Bike
Harley Davidson is producing an all-electric motorcycle. It’s called the Livewire. It sounds like a jet engine, even though it could be totally silent. It will go 120+ miles (193 km) per battery. At the time I was working on it, the battery would only last like 60ish miles (97 km) and the sound has changed once or twice since too. I want one.
29. Cheap Compressors Make A Cheap Company
GE knowingly put really bad compressors in their fridge units knowing they would fail within a year. Rather than do an extremely expensive recall, they offered to replace the units for free if someone complained, knowing that a large percentage of people would just buy a new unit. The compressor was so cheap to make they kept using it in their profile lineup.
30. New Tech Never Released
Uber was planning to make their own Google Street view for use in the app to better help drivers find riders and to map the world for driverless car technology. But, they were going to use Uber drivers to capture the images for the streetview. The plan was to mail out inexpensive GoPro-like devices that magnetically attached to the roof of the driver’s cars.
Each would have SD cards that could be mailed back to Uber. Routes would be generated and the drivers could accept them in the app and get paid. This plan fell through quickly and Uber eventually sourced this data from third parties and ultimately abandoned their in-house driverless car ambitions. Also, Microsoft developed a really cool backpack-mounted camera that was going to be used for something like Google Street view.
The plan was to take it into pedestrian-only areas so you could get imagery indoors like malls and in walking spots. The United States snatched up the entire project for their own use and that product was never released or even announced to consumers.
31. No Business Sense To Be Found
I worked as a freelance 3D animator and did a lot of Kickstarter projects. Everyone had their own “million-dollar idea,” and loved to blast you with NDAs to keep you from “stealing their idea.” Anyways, one guy wanted to basically make a type of smart-belt that just played videos, and was convinced he was going to sell it to Gucci.
The guy was super nice, paid really well, and was a joy to work for, but had no business sense. Well, the NDAs expired, and the Kickstarter page seems to be erased from the internet. Basically, the belt was physically impossible to manufacture, but he wouldn’t let me alter the design to fix it. It made for some cool shots for my demo reel though.
32. Moving Up And Out
I work for a moving company and we work with a women’s shelter often enough. Typically, women escaping from trauma will have the shelter hire us to go in and get their belongings, sometimes with the company of officers, and all the movers sign NDAs to protect the women from letting their new addresses slip. I can’t disclose anything that interesting but I want to take the opportunity to say, those people who jump at the slightest sound, the littlest surprise, be nice to them because you don’t know whether they are just jumpy naturally or if there’s a reason they are like that now.
33. Surprise! It’s Real
Unless things have changed drastically, that popular restaurant being accused of selling “not tuna” really is actually selling tuna…and not cheap stock either. It’s just masked by a boatload of mayonnaise. They actually sent out their olives for DNA testing because they were sure one of the suppliers was selling them an olive of cheaper quality. Which also makes the tuna thing make no sense to me.
I knew about specials and new things way before they ever made it into the store. We’d start testing the stock at least six months before a promotion started. In addition, shady hiring/employment practices were the norm at the restaurant, similar to what FedEx Ground was accused of in a lawsuit from about seven years ago.
34. Surviving In A Changing World
I had to sign an NDA before working with Sears. It was basically saying I wouldn’t talk about the tactics they were using to survive in a changing world. That didn’t age well. It was difficult to keep a straight face during orientation, but I knew they were going to be bankrupt in a few years, the writing was on the wall, but at the time I needed the job experience.
We also had to sign a non-compete agreement, which I laughed at as well, internally of course.
35. They Took His Feedback
I was a part of the focus group that saw the new Subaru Outback Wilderness edition. We gave our input and it’s funny to see some of the talking points show up in their promo material and even some suggested changes make it to the car itself like beefier tires. I’ve only had a few NDAs ever but this is probably the coolest one. I guess playtesting for Konami was kinda cool but nothing super juicy came out of it except the developers were rude.
36. How Cheap Can They Be?
Back in 2004, I worked for Kirby Vacuums selling $2000 vacuums. I was making great money cause I got them for $1200 and made a profit on anything I sold over that. My team leader got them for $800, so he made $400 off of each sale. His boss got them for $550, but since he was also the regional manager he actually got them for $350 so he made $450 off of every vacuum sold in the region.
I can only imagine how much it actually cost to make them. Once I found this out, I had a hard time selling them because I felt I was ripping people off and had to quit.
37. Same News, Different Station
Basically, every local news show in the United States, and probably elsewhere, gets marching orders from the network. Each of them is privately owned, and for the most part, they can report on whatever they want, and do whatever special segments they desire. But, some stories, particularly the major national news and important “local” news that is of national interest, say, Senate elections, or a high-profile murder that happened in your market, you get copy from the network that you are meant to have your editors or anchors translate to a script.
Most stations end up just reading it entirely or nearly verbatim from the copy sent. If you paid attention, you’d find this everywhere, basically every day. Very few people watch local news in more than one market on the same day, and the copy will be different depending on who owns the station. So while the stories may be similar, you won’t get exactly the same wording on two different local stations.
38. Just What You Thought
Soundgarden’s single “By Crooked Steps,” off of King Animal, is going to have a music video that is directed by Dave Grohl and features a cameo by Deadmau5. I was an extra for the music video. I got to meet a bunch of super cool and interesting folks. Chris Cornell was polite but seemed distant and anxious. Deadmau5 was a goofy nerd and we got along well. Dave Grohl is exactly how you imagine him, just an absolute gem.
39. When Reality Isn’t Really Real
Naked and Afraid, and I’m assuming most ‘reality’ shows, had a clause in the NDA and contract that said one’s image could be used in any way the production company saw fit. This included voice, image, etc…and that the audio may not match the video that was recorded at the same time. It was then that I realized how much these shows are edited down before the public ever sees them.
It had never dawned on me that they manipulated things that much. Oh…and it paid like $7k for 21 days of filming.
40. What’s In That Vault?
I had to sign a NDA for a secure shipment that came into a building I ran security at. Shipment came in at 2 am. An unmarked transit van with two guys had to verify their biometrics and give me the correct password, then they were required to deactivate the cameras on the floors along the travel routes they took inside the building and wipe the footage of them entering and leaving.
They unpacked a set of vases and trundled off to put them in a private vault. I don’t know what was in them, but I’ve seen less security for pallets of precious metal bullion.
41. Sickness and Severance
We had an employee that was constantly calling in sick. Twice, we had to call an ambulance to work because of her heart palpitations. Her fellow employees told us that she would call them that night to go shopping, after being removed by ambulance hours earlier. There were a lot of rumors of substance use. She would show up the next day like nothing happened the day before.
There was drama about her having to pay the ambulance bills first, before our health plan would reimburse her. Her stoner boyfriend got fired from the company, which just ramped up her emotional distress and inability to show up for work. Our manager decided to cut our losses and package her out. He was finalizing her termination package, which would have included a severance payment that would have solved their short-term money problems when she quit.
I saw her a couple of years later on an airplane, I didn’t tell her what she missed out on.
42. The Rich Get Richer
Google doesn’t hire direct support employees. They open small projects in the US and hire up to 250 contract employees of varying support positions for the project. Once they get the statistics needed to run everything efficiently, they have mass layoffs and outsource their jobs to a country like the Philippines or India, that’s willing to accept much less than their US counterparts.
At the same time, Google rakes in a huge tax cut because they’re ‘creating’ jobs in the local communities.
43. A Singer And Some Shoes
I signed an NDA when I worked as a fit model for Katy Perry’s shoe line. Basically, a fit model is used for their good proportions to test out the fit of garments. I’m a solid size 7.5, so hooray for being average. I was hired on two occasions and got to hang out and give her my opinion on the fit, feeling, and comfort of different shoes.
I didn’t think she’d actually be there, but both times she was present and totally running the show. She was a super nice woman in person and remembered me when we met again. Also, she apologized for making me wait so long which I thought was nice. Her dog is really cute too and I got to save it when it got stuck behind a wall panel.
44. Don’t Fall For It
I was a model for a few big-name/well-known makeup companies. I did several print ads for magazines and a few television commercials. The makeup artists do use the product advertised, but very minimally. That mascara they’re touting? It’s over really good fake eyelashes and they also used another brand of mascara along with the one they’re trying to sell you.
Also, the clothes in the ads you see are pinned to high heaven on the model. They fit nothing like they look. It’s not you. It’s not your body. It’s fake advertising. Most of us models look just like you wearing that, without all the pins and tucks and double-sided tape.
45. Keep The Skill To Yourself
When Chili’s first got their Awesome Blossom, there were no machines to cut the onion, so we did it by hand. I had to sign an NDA before they showed me how to do it. This was in November 1990, Fort Worth, Texas.
46. A Controlled Surprise
Cash cab gets most of its contestants through a try-out process where it pretends to be another show. Then, a producer says they will get you a cab to go to the next location which is how people get surprised.
47. Filming Was Faker Than Fake
A huge part of The Bachelorette was scripted. The company I worked for at the time was a major tourism service provider and featured prominently in one of the seasons. We were all pulled into meetings with the higher-up managers, given a speech about what was in our best interest…and told that spilling any secrets was punishable by a $5 million lawsuit.
I didn’t care at all about the show at the time and still don’t. I just wanted to do my job. The “Bachelorette” herself was clearly there to further her public profile or “acting” career. The scenes were always “set up” before filming. Behind the camera, nothing was happening. The cast was told where to go, what to do, and how to do it.
If half those guys weren’t on their phones texting their real girlfriends most of the time, I would be surprised. So fake…so 100% fake.
48. Work Culture Under Wraps
Adogo is a doggy daycare in Minnesota that made me sign an NDA for two years saying I was not allowed to talk about the company. The reason? Absolutely horrifying. They treated the workers and dogs really terribly. There was no care for how many dogs were packed into a room, which is both unsafe for the dogs and the dog attendant.
Often I’d be alone in a small room with up to 25+ dogs, most of who only had the most minor behavioral tests done to see if they would play well in daycare. The owner also tried to get around not paying my worker’s comp when I did get injured on the job. Whenever anybody put in their two weeks after realizing what a toxic work environment it was, which was often, he would punish them with scheduling them all week or make them open to close 12 hours for all their shifts.
If you’re in Minnesota and looking for a reputable dog daycare: STAY AWAY FROM ADOGO. If in the Twin Cities I would recommend Dog Days, not perfect, but they actually seem to care.
49. They Took The Words Out Of His Mouth
My dad did some top-secret contract work for the DOD back in the 1960s, and he signed a lifelong NDA as part of that job. He’s passed now so I guess it’s safe to talk about it. The thing is, he never did break the NDA in any context; the strange part was that the NDA specifically prohibited him from using certain words ever again.
The trouble is, some of the words are common vocabulary and it became obvious over the years which words he did not use. Words I know he could not say, because he would find other ways of saying them instead, included ball, balloon, briefcase, and nuclear. It would have made more sense for him to just say, “There’s a balloon,” instead of “There’s an inflatable latex object,” but you gotta do what you gotta do.
Eventually, he did gradually stop avoiding those words for the most part, although he would not discuss the NDA.
50. Rats And Racks And Raisins
I found pallets of candy in the top of the racks that were behind displays and furniture in my Wal-Mart. One pallet had been the home of a mother rat and her brood. Did you know rats don’t like raisins but will eat the chocolate off and leave the raisins in a pile? The Wal-Mart management decided to put the unopened bags of candy on sale in the clearance aisle, instead of disposing of the rat-infested pallet.