Drive-Thru Workers Spill The Tea On Their Craziest Customers

March 17, 2023 | Dylan Fleury

Drive-Thru Workers Spill The Tea On Their Craziest Customers

Working the drive-thru at a fast food restaurant may be a mundane job but there’s never a dull moment for the people who work there. That may sound like a counterintuitive sentence, but the stories pulled from a Reddit thread and put in the list down below will help prove otherwise. See, one minute a drive-thru employee is taking a routine order from a customer and the next minute that customer is pulling up to the window with an alpaca in the backseat, or their engine on fire. Some of these moments can be funny and lighthearted or so terrifying they scar the employee for life, but all of them will be entertaining for the reader!

1. Hang In There

A woman came through with no passenger side seat. It had been pulled out, and in its place hung a giant metal ring with an enormous Cockatoo sitting on it. The Cockatoo was freaking out too when she pulled up.


2. Zoo On Wheels

I only worked at a drive-thru for a year, but the weirdest thing I saw was an alpaca in a minivan. The people in the vehicle asked me at the window if they could order some apple slices for the alpaca, so I gave them two packs, on the house.

Drive-thru workersUnsplash

3. Time To Get A Bigger Car

I had a customer come through with a giant grandfather clock in the back seat. The thing was so huge it was sticking out the side window, which just so happened to be on the left side of the car. This meant that the dude couldn't get close enough to the window to reach his food and had to step out. He didn’t stop cursing until he drove off.

Drive-thru workersUnsplash

4. Nature Made Over Man Made

I was working the drive-thru at Burger King during a snowstorm. A car pulls up and the driver orders a coke with no ice. When I hand them the coke, they empty it a bit, break off a couple icicles hanging from the car, put them in the coke, and drive off without saying a word. I feel like they didn’t know that our ice is free.

Drive-thru workersShutterstock

5. Dumpster On Wheels

I was working at a drive-thru one time when a car pulled up and it was completely filled with trash. And when I say filled, I mean legitimately up to the ceiling in the back seat and up to shoulder height in the passenger seat, from top to bottom, it was disgusting. I was so stunned I nearly forgot to give them their food.

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6. It Looked Open

Two young girls in their 20’s pulled up to the drive-thru one morning. As I handed out the food, the passenger turned her head as if to barf out the window, but her plan went so, so wrong. She didn't realize that the window was rolled up so the puke just oozed down the glass. I made sure to give them plenty of napkins to try and be helpful. Later, I found their puke filled napkins all around the parking lot.

So, I got the luxury of picking those up as well. Treat your service people nicely folks, they put up with quite a bit.

Drive-thru workersShutterstock

7. Poultry Purse

I once complimented a woman on her purse that was in the exact shape of a chicken. It was made of colored rubber and was a really unique item. She then proceeds to tell me to hold on, gets out of the car and grabs an identical chicken purse. She gives it to me and proceeds to say that she has been "waiting for the right person to give this to". It was used and quite old.

Drive-thru workersPexels

8. Curious George Goes To A Drive-Thru

My little sister used to work at a local Wendy's. One time, a woman came through the drive-thru with either a pet or a service animal. That’s obviously not that strange or uncommon, but the fact that the animal happened to be a monkey sure is.

Drive-thru workersShutterstock

9. Quick Trip

I was working the drive-thru while a very large local parade that goes down the street in front of the restaurant was taking place. Towards the end of the parade, a nice convertible comes crashing through the parking lot, taking out signs and the drive-thru menu board. Turns out, they had stolen the car from the parade route and took it for a joyride through our parking lot.

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10. Subliminal Relationship

I found out after marrying my wife that she would go to the same Chick-fil-A drive-thru almost every day before work, which happened to be the same Chick-fil-A I worked at. I also ran the drive-thru five to six days a week and strictly in the mornings. So, for about a year, I saw my wife almost every day before I officially even met her and didn’t realize it.

Drive-thru workersShutterstock

11. Special Cover

I worked at Domino's and one crazy lady used a hand crocheted blanket to keep her pizzas warm. She kept the blanket in the front seat and draped it over the boxes every single. I crochet, so I know how much work went into that blanket, and she used it exclusively to keep her pizza warm for the drive home. It fit over the boxes perfectly. That lady was a real one.

Drive-thru workersShutterstock

12. The One Where Chandler And Joey Go To A Drive-Thru

This one time, I was helping these two teen boys when I heard a strange noise from the back seat. "That’s the duck," one of them told me, followed by a honk from the back. "And that’s the goose". It’s worth noting that they had just left a football game and came straight to the drive-thru, so lord only knows where the duck and goose were before that.

Drive-thru workersShutterstock

13. It's Just A Prank—Hopefully

My brother was taking the drive-thru order and there was lots of muffled talking, as though it were a group of people trying to decide what to order, along with some shushing. That’s not unusual, but what happened next sure was. The car pulls around to the window when out of nowhere, the trunk pops open and a guy jumps out.

He immediately takes off running, and the four guys in the car jump out after him, tackle him in the street, throw him back in the trunk and speed off.

Drive-thru workersPexels

14. Good Cop, Bad Cop, Funny Cop

I worked the drive-thru at Arby's and once a DEA agent came through in his squad car. When he pulled up to the window, I handed him his food and he thanked me, then turned around to the holding area and screamed, "shut up before I break your nose!"  I was mortified, until he turned back to me, laughed and said "just kidding, there's nobody back there," then drove off.

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15. Gross Expense

There was a very large woman—no judgement—who would come through covered in sweat, I assume because it was summer and she didn't have A/C in her car. She stored her money in her bra, so when she went to pay you'd have to watch her pull soaking wet cash out from between her bosoms and accept it from her without flinching.

Drive-thru workersPexels

16. Caught Off Guard

On Christmas Eve, this guy comes through and I'm taking his money when he asks if I want to see his stump. I wasn't really thinking and said sure. Big. Mistake. The guy opens his car door and reveals that his left leg was amputated from the knee down. Again, without thinking, I asked him if he was OK. He said he was, and then mentioned that he needed to be careful when getting out because he has fallen on his face before.

Drive-thru workersPexels

17. Hungry Like The Wolf

I had a regular who would come through and he had a full wolf in the back of his truck. Not like a dog that was wolf-like, but a full blown, fresh out of the wild, wolf. She was really sweet though. She apparently had a brain condition where she didn't really know she was a wolf, so he found her, took her in and took care of her.

I think about her regularly. We would feed her plain Timbits. That was hands down the best part of working at Tim Horton's in high school.

Drive-thru workersUnsplash

18. Happens All The Time In Australia

I worked at a McDonald’s in a small town in Michigan—think two stop lights—and one time a car pulled up to the front window and the driver had a whole baby kangaroo in their lap. I don’t know where they got that from or why, but the closest zoo was two hours away.

Drive-thru workersUnsplash

19. Look Up

I worked at a drive-thru near a high school, and one day during their break, a car with a storage topper on top pulled through. I gave the normal greet at the window and when it came time to pay, a kid opened up the storage toppers and another kid popped out, handed me the cash, then closed it again. That's the kind of stuff that makes working at a drive-thru worth it.

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20. Loophole

I used to see someone come through with a lifelike mannequin in their passenger seat all the time. One day, I asked them about it and it turns out they had it so they could use the commuter lanes on the highway. Since you have to have more than one person in the car in that lane or a cop will fine you if they see you, they used the mannequin to get away with it.

Drive-thru workersUnsplash

21. Buds and Pups

I once had a woman pull up to the window and immediately saw that she was drinking a tall boy of Budwiser. It was also 5:30 in the morning and I worked at Starbucks. I also remember this guy that would take his three dogs for car rides. They would ride in buckled seats and would wear goggles so the wind wouldn’t hit their eyes and hurt them.

Drive-thru workersUnsplash

22. Smoke Show

Two guys were hotboxing their car and decided to come to the drive-thru. They did not stop taking hits, even when they pulled up to the window. I swear a cloud of smoke rolled out the window when they lowered it to pay. They offered me a hit and I politely declined.

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23. How To Stop, Drop And Roll But With A Car

I was 17 and working the evening drive-thru shift. A young female who was a first time driver pulled up to the window with her car engine on fire and asked me in a frantic voice, "What do I do? What do I do?" I told her to pull away from the building and put the car in the parking lot and get away from it. I had to run out with a fire extinguisher and put out the fire myself. Insane.

Drive-thru workersShutterstock

24. Horsing Around

I worked at an A&W in a small town in Alberta, and we used to get lots of people come through the drive-thru on horseback. One horse wouldn’t trigger the speaker though, so they would line up directly next to each other and order a few at a time. It was quite the sight, pretty ridiculous now that I think about it, but it seemed almost normal then.

Drive-thru workersWikimedia.Commons

25. Too Young To Drive That

There was this one guy who used to come through my drive-thru window in a hearse. It was a car that ran well and he could afford it, but when a teenager pulls up to the window in a hearse, you get a little shocked. I also saw someone with a pet chicken in the passenger seat, complete with a harness and leash. That was actually pretty cute.

Drive-thru workersUnsplash

26. The More The Merrier

This girl used to come through with like three dogs. I finally asked her, "do you have to feed these beasts?" and she explained that she just walks and grooms them. Well, one day she came through with like 15 dogs and screamed through the intercom, "my business finally took off!" then proceeded to order a bunch of chicken tacos for them.

Drive-thru workersUnsplash

27. Ahead Of Her Time

This lady, who was a daily regular at a drive-thru Starbucks, kept a one gallon bottle of bleach in the car. Every time after handing back her card she would hold it outside her car window and dump bleach all over it before putting it back in her wallet. She also always wore a face mask and disposable gloves. This was in like 2004 too, making her completely stand out.

Drive-thru workersPexels

28. Attack Of The Koi

Someone threw a fish at me once when I was working at a drive-thru. They didn't order anything either. It was just your typical drive by fish attack.

Drive-thru workersPexels

29. Hood Ornaments

I was working the drive-thru one time and I had some guys come through around 10 o’clock at night. I thought they seemed fine, until I realized they had a friggin dead bison strapped to the side of their land cruiser and a huge dead python just sitting loosely on the hood. I asked them if they went hunting and they said no, they were just "airing them out," whatever that means.

Drive-thru workersPexels

30. A Little On The Nose

I used to work the drive-thru at a KFC and at least four times a month we would see someone pull up to the window dressed as Colonel Sanders.

Drive-thru workersUnsplash

31. What’s In The Box?

I worked at a Tim Horton's drive-thru and one time I saw an old lady with like 50 cartons of eggs in her car. I made a joke, saying, "looks like you could make your own breakfast," and she got real straight-faced and replied, "Oh honey, those aren't eggs". I still have zero clue what else you would store in egg cartons.

Drive-thru workersShutterstock

32. Man’s Best Friend

When I worked at McDonalds, this guy would come through the drive-thru every couple of days and his dog would always be seated beside him in the passenger seat. The guy would order breakfast for himself, and a piece of bacon for his dog. After we’d seen him several times and come to know him and his pooch better, we’d give him some bacon and sausage in a separate box for his dog.

This was only when the store manager wasn’t around though, as she would have flipped out. The dog came to know our drive thru quite well. We’d hand the food to the guy and he would take the small box with the bacon and sausage and hold it out to his canine friend. The dog would then give the box a gentle sniff before carefully taking the box in his mouth, moving back to the passenger seat and nudging the box open to enjoy his feast.

Drive-thru workersWikimedia.Commons

33. Still Not Clean

I worked at a McDonald's in high school over 20 years ago and I still remember this one man. He pulled up and I nearly puked. He smelled of what I can only describe as rotting garbage, body odor and possibly a dead animal. That smell haunts me to this day. There was also trash piled high in the car and the dashboard was covered in old hamburger wrappers.

I felt so bad for the guy. He handed me money from his coat pocket and it was wet, soggy cash. He dug out the change from his center console and there was a gritty substance on the coins. Now, I've handled deer guts and the like, but never in my life have I ever wanted to scrub my hands with boiling water, bleach and steel wool.

Drive-thru workersWikimedia.Commons

34. Drive By Throw Up

We had an old lady who would come nearly every night, about 15 minutes from closing, and order the same thing—a small chocolate ice cream cone. For small orders like that, we would take the order, make the order and hand it to the customer from the first window. She would get her cone and drive very slowly around the building. Normal enough, right? Oh, strap in.

She would then stop at the outlet of the drive-thru for about one minute and finish the ice cream. Then, she would open her door, lean way out and, straining against her seatbelt, stick her finger down her throat and puke the ice cream right back up in our driveway. So, part of our daily closing activities was to go wash the mess up with a hose.

Drive-thru workersUnsplash

35. Why Didn’t The Chicken Cross The Road?

I was working at a McDonald's drive-thru in a small town in Michigan when this truck came through, paid, and then pulled forward to get its meal. Then out of nowhere, a chicken jumped out of the back of the truck. I yelled for the next car in line to stop, but she looked confused. That's when things went from weird to horrific. She ended up running over the chicken.

It wasn’t dead but it was a wreck. She looked at me and we were both in tears. Then she said she had to and I said "no". She ignored me, put the truck in reverse and backed over the chicken again. I was in disbelief and couldn’t believe what I saw, so another employee had to get a shovel and scoop up the chicken from the drive-thru lane.

Drive-thru workersShutterstock

36. Don’t Know If You Don’t Ask

Once while working at Taco Bell in a small country town, at around 1 AM, a beat-up pickup truck came through. Now, his order wasn’t strange, however, his teeth were horrible. He ordered something we didn't have ready yet and after I gave him his change he struck up a conversation with me. That was normal enough, but then everything changed.

I told him his food was almost done. He leaned in real close to the window, gestured for me to come forward and whispered in my ear "Do you have any dope on you? I have cash". I was too shocked to even reply to that, so I just pulled away and handed him his bag and he thankfully left. Then, as he drove off, I saw that there was a whole alligator chilling in the back of his truck.

Drive-thru workersShutterstock

37. Secret Ingredient

There was this woman that would come through and get a hot chocolate every day. Her name was Mary. Mary was an older gal in her 70’s, drove an early 90’s Lincoln, usually had some old tunes playing, and weighed 60lbs, if that. She was always so happy and so nice. I always gave her drinks for free because it was always such a treat to see her and she was just so nice.

One other feature I remember is she always rocked suspenders and a random colored fedora every day. I think she reminded me of Ms. Frizzle after she retired. One day, she comes through and orders her usual. I said, "Mary, why are you always in such a good mood? What’s your secret?" She smiles and waves me closer. I lean out the drive-thru window.

Then she says something that makes my jaw drop. She quietly says, "Really, really good dope". She winks at me, turns her radio up, and cruises out of the parking lot. Mary is my hero.

Drive-thru workersUnsplash

38. Ask For Forgiveness Not Permission

While I was at work, I once saw a baby goat, curled up on the passenger's side in the front seat. Apparently the woman's friend was giving away one and she knew if she asked her husband to take his truck to pick it up he'd have refused. She was confident he'd give in once he saw the little guy, who was outrageously cute, just not if he had to go and get it and think it over.

According to her,  "he's tired of me bringing animals home". I gave her a free bag of fries and still to this day wonder how that whole ordeal ended up turning out. Do you just drive home and tell your husband, "Honey, don't get mad, but wait until you see what I brought home". Then the husband replies, "Wait, is that a goat in the car?"

Drive-thru workersUnsplash

39. Opposite Of Star Struck

One time, I saw One Direction come through after they performed a show in Belfast. We were the only McDonalds open at that time of night in the area. One of them—don't ask me their name, I don't care—stuck his head through the seats from the back and said, "Mate, please don't tell anyone we're here, we just wanna eat and leave".

My response was, "Yeah, no problem. Who are you?" He sheepishly put his head back where it belonged. I found out who they were when one of the girls on shift started running around the place telling anyone who would listen that she had just given food to x, y and z from One Direction, and waving around a receipt they had signed for her.

Drive-thru workersWikimedia.Commons

40. Nice Try Snake Guy

I worked the first window of a McDonald's drive-thru. When people order, you can see their car in the cameras but not much of the driver or what's in the car. This man pulls up to pay and he has this huge snake leisurely wrapped around his neck like a scarf. He has a dumb grin on his face and I knew he wanted to get a rise out of me.

But this was right after a busy lunch rush and I couldn't be bothered, so I dealt with him like a regular customer, told the next window what was up via the headset, walked away and heard a scream a minute later from the front kitchen area.

Drive-thru workersPexels

41. Nosy Nelly No More

Many years ago, as a 16 year old girl, I worked the drive-thru at McDonalds. A white van with black curtains on the windows pulled up and two men in uniform paid for their order. I could see that it was marked as a prison van from our local penitentiary. The line was stalled up ahead and not moving, so during the wait, I was casually peeking behind the driver to see who or what may be onboard.

Suddenly, a prisoner in the back moves the black curtain aside and proceeds to shake his head from side-to-side, screaming & wagging his tongue and just genuinely acting crazy, all while in cuffs. It scared me so bad I nearly jumped out of my skin! The guard who was driving could not stop laughing, and I could hear the roaring laughter of the whole van.

They pulled forward and got their fries, and I learned my lesson to never be so nosy again!

Drive-thru workersPexels

42. Smile! You’re On Candid Camera

I work at Starbucks and we have a camera that shows us the person ordering. Anyways, there was this couple that came through and I introduced myself over the headset. They asked me to hang on for a moment so they could decide, and this was nothing out of the norm. Well, shortly after they ask for a moment, they start going all out and making out.

The guy ripped off the girl's top and started kissing her chest and everything. My manager stopped it and let them know we could see them. When they pulled up to the window I had never seen two people look more embarrassed.

Drive-thru workersUnsplash

43. Bizarre Backseat Times Two

This one time, these two ladies, who were covered from head to toe in tattoos, came through and I handed them their two McChicken sandwiches, but as they were pulling away I noticed that there were balloons just crammed into the entire back half of the car. No joke, the back was completely filled to the brim with balloons.

There was also this heavily intoxicated girl in the backseat of a car who leaned out to show me her dolphin temporary tattoo, then proceeded to mimicked a dolphin to explain to me what a dolphin was, and then showed me photo booth pics of her and her bestie.

Drive-thru workersShutterstock

44. They’re Not All Like This

I used to work at McDonald’s back in the day. I was training a new girl and told her to hand the man at the window his drink. The window opens, and I notice the adult man driving is wearing a bib. Weird, but to each their own. As the new girl reaches out her hand to pass the man his drink, he just starts vomiting on himself, violently, so there was splatter.

The new girl stood there in shock, so I grabbed her and pulled her back. The window automatically closed and the man eventually drove away. Another weird instance is when I was handing a man a small chocolate shake, I kid you not, a small monkey wearing a diaper hopped up on the man’s seat, reached out and took the shake from me.

The worst part was none of my co-workers believed me because I was the only one who saw the monkey.

Drive-thru workersShutterstock

45. Cut Your Nails!

I was working the second drive-thru window at McDonald's. An order came up on the screen for three large unsweet teas. One of the girls I was working with said, "It's the teddy bear guy! Don't let him touch you!" I was confused, but didn't think much of it until the driver came up to the window. It was an old man in a big, navy blue van.

He smelled like he hadn't showered in days. I greeted him and handed him the tea. He reached out with his hand and I nearly gagged at the sight of his long, yellow fingernails. I took special care to not touch him at all. After I handed out the third tea, I turned around to tend to another order, when the same girl said, "Look now!"

I turned around as he drove away, and I saw a giant teddy bear in his back seat. It was honestly one of the most bizarre and terrifying things to happen to me in my life.

Drive-thru workersUnsplash

46. Buy And Sell

This older woman pulled up at around 9-10 PM, close to closing time. She had a baby teacup chihuahua in her hand that was wearing a sash and a tilted pink plastic tiara. She talked a bit of nonsense, then after I found her order in the system, I went to grab her card/cash, but instead, she held out the dog. Like, just held it out there.

It looked like she was about to drop it so I grabbed it. After holding it for a few moments, completely flabbergasted, she explained she’s selling them for fifty bucks a pup. Trying to be polite, I lied and said I’d have to talk to my parents about it, gave her the dog, had her pay for her order, and sent her on her way.

It was the weirdest encounter, to this day, next to some lady that asked me to find someone to help her move. I ended up doing that myself with my dad’s help. She was a complete hot mess with problems out the wazoo.

Drive-thru workersShutterstock

47. Act Natural

This is the perfect chance to talk about the high grandma I had during an overnight at McDonald’s in Canada. It was just a normal late night and we were completely alone at 2:30 am in the morning. There were no cars, so me and a co-worker were just cleaning our stations. Then from the hedges beside our restaurant, we just see lights shine through and hear cracking.

That’s when we see a car burst through the hedges. The car turns into the corner at our drive-thru, does a U turn and we think that it’s coming to our window. Nope. Instead, it drives around the back of our McDonald’s to go into the drive-thru the proper way. The driver orders a bottle of water like nothing unusual happened and then just carries on normally.

No one believed us until we got a manager to pull up the security footage. It was poor footage and barely showed the entire thing but you could still see the car enter, which was all you really needed. It then pulls up a few seconds later. I’ve been there a year and have been working the drive-thru since I started and this is still the funniest thing I’ve seen.

It’s either that or the guys who came through with cardboard and bike wheels and tried to order their food in a makeshift foot car.

Drive-thru workersPexels

48. Drinking On The Job

My first "work for someone else" job was in high school at a burger place with a red headed namesake. I'm a people person and could count change back, so onto the register I went. It was a late night on a Saturday in 1980 something and there was a really loud, happy group at the drive-thru window. They made their order clearly, but boisterous and a bit over the top loud.

No problem we can’t deal with, and we get the order together. They pull up, roll the window down and it's a guy, his buddies and a keg, leaning from the back seat onto a board, with the tap in the middle of the drivers bench seat! The driver paid, got most of his food and asked for an extra cup with a lid. We were supposed to charge for it but I didn’t.

The driver fills the cup from the keg, puts the lid on, pops the straw in and hands it back to me through the window! I look at my co-workers and no one has seen any of this. I dump my shift soda in the trash and the newly acquired beverage filled cup in its place. I pounded that beverage in about 45 seconds, through a straw.

Guess who shows back up at the window? In a quiet voice, the driver said we forgot something on his order. I had to lean out and he asked if I needed him to get rid of the evidence! Sorry sir, here is your beverage, and out goes the proof of my stupid choice!

Drive-thru workersUnsplash

49. Watch Your Mouth

This happened when I was 17 years old and a shift supervisor. It was a Sunday and three people hadn’t shown up for their shift so we were slammed. I was cleaning trays, washing dishes, and taking orders in the back at the same time, nonstop, for three hours. Then, my manager came back and said he needed me to push a van that had broken down at the window.

My immediate thought was, "What kind of person takes such terrible care of their van?" I started walking to the front door and looked out the drive-thru window. I couldn't believe my eyes. There was a young lady in full habit attire with five other very elderly women, also in full habit attire. I had never seen a nun in person before or since. They looked at me and smiled.

One of them said, "Sorry about this!" and without missing a beat I replied, "No problem ladies, we’ll take care of it". So me and one other guy pushed the van  out of the way and helped the tow truck guy when he came. The nuns thanked us, blessed us, and rode off. I then looked at my coworker and asked "Did you swear when you heard their car broke down?"

"Yup". "Me too. We’re going to the bad place aren’t we?" "Yup!"

Drive-thru workersUnsplash

50. Here We Go Again

One time I was with my mom when she went through a drive-thru. The car stalled at the window and wouldn't start. I looked at her and said, "so, wait for the food and then push?" She said yes. They came to the window with our order, we got everything situated, then I hopped out and started pushing the car. It didn’t help that it was a big boat of an Oldsmobile.

I had to push it in a way that made it look like I was sitting on the back bumper. The looks on the faces of the people in the window as I passed by were pretty darn funny. We ended up going inside the restaurant to wait for someone to pick us up. An employee who was working the drive-thru graciously told us we could wait there as long as we needed to.

They were even so kind as to get us cups for the soda fountain. They checked on us more than once and we were only there for maybe half an hour. I grew up in a family that often didn't have a vehicle, and when we did have one, it usually left us stranded on a regular basis. It was a frustrating inconvenience on a regular basis.

Thankfully, the folks working in the restaurant were so nice and felt so bad for us. We were just happy to have a ride on the way and a building to wait in.

Drive-thru workersShutterstock

Sources: Reddit,

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Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Factinate team

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