Workers Reveal Their Ex-Employers’ Hidden Secrets

November 4, 2023 | Melissa Gervais

Workers Reveal Their Ex-Employers’ Hidden Secrets

Good or bad, every business has its share of secrets. Fortunately for us, workers nowadays are more than willing to spill the tea on how their former companies might weigh on a moral scale. From insider knowledge to questionable practices, these eye-opening Reddit posts reveal the juicy secrets that ex-employees discovered while toiling in the old salt mines.

1. Making The Grade

I worked for a private school. I saw firsthand how the rich cheat the system. Grades were definitely bought. We were discouraged from giving anything lower than a B. I had one principal who told a teacher to take the final for a student who went on summer vacation early. She called it a “shadow final” and nonchalantly said that it’s no big deal; just answer how you think the student would answer.

This school is expensive, and these kids get to go on to fancy colleges because of these grades.

Ex-Employers’ Hidden Secrets

2. That Really Bytes

While working at Staples as an “EasyTech,” we would scan a computer with Malwarebytes (not with the awful Norton we were given by corporate, like we were supposed to). If a cookie or something worse popped up, we would charge $169.99 to have someone in Canada remove it for the customer. Even if it were just a cookie, I would have to tell the customer that it was a virus and that their system’s integrity was in danger.

One day, an old lady, Mary Anne, came in and dropped off her computer. She knew me by name and only trusted me. She had me put new memory in, for which I charged her an extra $30 (per company policy). Then she asked me to do a virus scan, and I found a cookie from a stupid game site that her grandson liked to play on.

I removed the cookie, marked the computer as “done,” and then called her to tell her that the computer was ready to be picked up. I didn’t tell her she’d had a bad cookie or that there were any issues, only that there were no viruses. She came and picked it up an hour before I got there the next day. I ended up paying dearly for it. That day, I got called into the office.

They fired me for performing a free service. Yep, right then and there. What got me caught was that I didn’t delete the Malwarebytes log of the cookie, and my supervisor found it. Apparently, he’d scanned the computer before me and found the cookie, and he wanted to make her pay for a virus removal (I wouldn’t be surprised if he put it on there himself).

When he saw that the customer’s computer was ready to be picked up, and there were no notes about any “virus,” he checked the Malwarebytes log. Excuse me for having a conscience. Now I am on month three of unemployment, and I cannot even get a job at Walmart because I got fired from Staples. But that wasn't even the worst thing they ever did.

Seriously, I have never worked for a company that was so aggressive with up-selling to customers. We had a scam system called “Free PC-Tune Up,” where customers would bring a computer in, and an EasyTech associate would run some software and “tune it up". The service was a flash drive from our bargain bin filled with propitiatory Norton junk.

It usually would find some kind of virus (because Norton is known for its honesty), and we would offer $169.99 to remove it. I got suspicious and used Malwarebytes to scan a computer that I knew was likely clean: no objects found (or, in the case of Mary Anne, a cookie). But when I ran our proprietary software…VIRUS FOUND!

Afterward, I scanned with Malwarebytes once again, and lo and behold, it found a rootkit that was not there before. More than a little suspicious. I am not claiming that the software put it on there, but still, it was odd. I did make the mistake of connecting to the internet before running the Norton program (which it insisted on me doing), so the rootkit could have been inert and became active when I connected to the internet or something (though polymorphic viruses don’t usually work like that).

Memory was an extra $30 plus $70 for 8GB. There were other tools that we used, like PC-Doctor, that were a little suspect at times. Your hard drive will always fail soon. $110 dollars for 500GB. As an EasyTech, you may not tell customers how to do anything without charging them first. Oh, you need to know how to plug a mouse in? That’ll be $9.99. Terrible…

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3. Bugging Out

I used to work for a large smartphone company. During development, we used to go through phases: Engineering Verification Testing, Design Verification Testing, Production Verification Testing, and finally, Mass Production. Each stage was meant to have checkpoints to ensure that the final product was built with good quality and that any known bugs could be ironed out before the product got launched. Any bug that was not resolved would potentially have the ability to delay the launch.

Except for one BIG thing: It's called waivers, meaning that the project manager could request that certain bugs be granted waivers to delay fixing the problems until a later date. No big deal; every project has a few minor bugs, right? But for each stage, there would be hundreds of waivers. Some would be minor, to be fair, but sometimes they were definitely not minor.

I will never, ever buy an electronic device in the first three months of mass production. Wait for the second wave of production, and the quality of the product will increase tenfold.

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4. This Company Certainly Isn’t Fostering Any Goodwill

The Goodwill that I worked at in Oregon makes ~$100 million in revenue per year while claiming to be a non-profit. The entire board of directors is comprised of business moguls who are either in or are close to being members of the 1% (just google Michael Miller). It still makes me sick when I think about it.

Most of the things you donate (80% or above, easily) are just thrown away or get sold in bulk as scrap to third-world countries. The rest of it gets sold at near-new prices ($8 for a lousy shirt in a thrift shop sounds ridiculous to me, and that’s barely the tip of the iceberg). They treat their employees terribly and put forth anti-union propaganda.

They also use intimidation and coercion (in my store, anyway) to keep the employees in line. I’ve witnessed active discrimination (they fired a girl the day she announced her pregnancy, knowing she was too poor to sue), harassment from the assistant manager and manager, and every form of nasty “ism” you can think of. This was all reported, but nothing was ever done about it. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

If there was a person (male or female) that the assistant manager or manager found attractive or disliked for whatever personal reasons they chose, that person would be either gawked at by the upper staff or derided by them (respectively) in the office. That person would then either receive preferential treatment or get the worst jobs and/or maybe fired (again, respectively).

They turn a HUGE profit from donated goods but provide little actual good to the community. They say they provide employment benefits to unhirable people (those with special needs); what they actually do is use government loopholes to put special needs people to work for a subminimum wage in situations where they don’t have any choice (living in group homes or care centers that they have deals with). They end up making ~$5 a day.

I wish I was kidding about this, but I’m not. As for their “standard” employees, they receive a “competitive wage” of minimum wage, but most don’t get full-time hours; they get the 27 hours required to keep them “part-time”, so they aren’t eligible for benefits. The only tangible benefit I can actually see from Goodwill is the free English classes they provide in Salem.

Myself, I was scheduled for 40-hour weeks while being on a 27-hour-per-week agreement. I worked 40 hours a week for six months, yet I was ineligible for health insurance. On this wage, I could barely make rent; I had $40 to take home at the end of the month (after rent and before bills), and I only survived because of food stamps.

Oh, and when they do take on a full-time employee, they tend to find a reason to fire them just shy of the date when they’d be eligible for benefits. Yes, I saw this happen to a single mother of two, no less. Do not give them your things. They are the lowest of the low.

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5. Hold The Phone…

AT&T does have secret phone plans. Depending on how long a customer you have been and how much you complain (always threaten to quit your service), they can hook you up. You have to go to an AT&T store, NOT an authorized dealer; authorized dealers can’t do anything. They just sell the phones/plans and can’t really do much else.

Also, check to see if you can get a company discount. More than likely, if your company is of a decent size, they have a discount. If you have a farm or something, you can also get a company discount. But overall, AT&T will rip you off. They are betting you don’t check all the charges on your bill and will try and slip some nonsense in there.

It’s not the store that sold you your plan’s fault; it’s 100% AT&T corporate. I sold them for a while, and trust me, just go get some straight talk from Walmart. It’s cheaper, and if you don’t have the money, it’s no big deal, unlike AT&T, which will fee you out the butt.

Also, the whole “I got a free phone” or “I have an upgrade” thing is false. You are paying the full price; it’s just broken down into monthly payments. You might have walked out of the store having paid nothing, but you will be paying for that phone. The “upgrade” is a trick to get you another $500–$1000 in debt with the company.

That way, you’re forced to remain a customer because you can’t close your account until that “free” phone gets fully paid off.

Ex-Employers’ Hidden SecretsWikimedia Commons

6. A Not-So-Special Delivery

I work in a shipping company warehouse. Fragile stickers don’t do anything for your package until it’s in the courier’s hands—maybe. Your shipped items are going to get BEAT the heck up. Wrap it 5x in bubble wrap. If you think you’re being too cautious—you’re not. Warehouse workers don’t care. Your packages are going to be loaded into a hauling truck, stacked in no specific order, slammed around while transported, then thrown around by the workers sorting them.

I’m sure this is already common knowledge. Just a friendly reminder before the holiday season comes in full swing.

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7. Blockbusted

I worked for Blockbuster. You know those collection notices you would get in the mail? Yeah, those were fake. We didn’t have a collections agency. They were just meant to scare you and didn’t hurt your credit. Source: my store manager.

Ex-Employers’ Hidden SecretsWikimedia Commons

8. Where Everything’s On Rollback

At Walmart, all the peons (the cashiers, deli workers, janitors, and electronics associates) are given as many hours as possible without quite equalling full-time hours so that they don’t get benefits, and the managers get bonuses for keeping labor at a minimum.

Ex-Employers’ Hidden SecretsWikimedia Commons

9. You Can Bank On It

At Bank of America, tellers are all about sales. It is highly unlikely that any of the products they advise you to sign up for are good for your financial situation. Many times, the products will actually be detrimental to you, but the teller position is a sales position, and they’re not just a friendly face to help you with transactions.

Person going to sign papers for a loanAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

10. OSHA Would Be Fuming

I was forced to dump over 35 jugs (one gallon each) of muriatic acid into a hole in the ground that they (a retail store that is NOT Walmart) made me dig. It almost ended me. They refused to provide me with any form of eye/breathing protection. Even though I was overwhelmed by the fumes, I still got reprimanded for not finishing the job.

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11. Hopefully, He’ll See Them In Court

When I worked at UC Davis, one of the maintenance guys was telling me how in the 1970s, they had him and some of the other staff bury barrels of selenium in the dump in the middle of the night. UCD also circulates cold water through some of the buildings, and they knew the pipes were leaking. They were told to dump the selenium in there as well since it would just leak out, and they wouldn’t have to pay to have it disposed of.

He thinks the selenium in the Davis groundwater and the increase in the cancer rate is probably from that. He’s been waiting for the Feds to contact him ever since.

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12. Time To Call Them To Account

TCF Bank purposely leaves people’s accounts open when they are requested to be closed. They then charge a “no balance fee” that sits there until the account racks up a bunch of overdraft charges. TCF then charges off the amount and reports people to ChexSystems so they can’t get an account at other banks. TCF: not even once.

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13. How Crude

Cleaning up animals after an oil spill is just feel-good propaganda to make the public think they are helping. Ninety percent of those animals will lose their lives within a few days or weeks. They’ve ingested enough of the oil that they are moving corpses; the volunteers (and you, Mr. Nice Person with a bottle of Dawn dish soap) just don’t know it yet.

Real oil spill work is done by trained professional crews, not volunteers. If you ever tried to help, you were given busy work to keep you out of the way.

Ex-Employers’ Hidden SecretsWikimedia Commons

14. Money First, Safety Last

We incorrectly installed the seat safety bracket mounts in over 750,000 cars, and there has been/will be no recall.

Ex-Employers’ Hidden SecretsWikimedia Commons

15. It Caused A Negative Reaction

I had an internship at one of Merck’s production plants over the summer. Six months prior, a group of chemists got caught in one of the abandoned facilities cooking crank. They had a pharmaceutical-grade lab hidden behind a false wall, and they were churning out something like six figures weekly. Not something you’d ever hear from their PR department.

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16. Capital Costs You

At Capital One, when you want to close and pay off a credit card, they will not tell you the payoff amount on the credit card you want to close, just whatever the current balance is. So, you think you have paid the card off, but there is now a $0.12 balance, which starts picking up late fees and non-payment penalties because they STOP sending you statements because you think the account is closed. Then, the next time you hear about it is when some law office calls to collect over $400 from you.

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17. Easy Money

The Staples equivalent to Geek Squad, called “EasyTech”, just runs Malwarebytes freeware on your computer and charges you a bazillion dollars for virus removal. You are paying for a service, and if it gets done, it gets done. But the issue is these EasyTech “experts” are retail employees at a failing, mismanaged retail outlet. They have to sell fake warranties and virus removal/diagnostic/PC tune-up to earn their hours. So, you can imagine how quickly things can get out of hand and how customers can be misled.

For example, they advertise and campaign a “Free PC tune-up”, which is really just a Norton scan. When the customer comes to pick it up, the tech is encouraged to recommend services that are usually unnecessary. A majority of the EasyTech customers are shoppers who have been led into the situation, as EasyTech experts are trained to pry every customer walking in the computer aisle…

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18. Holey Moley

I used to work at Claires and The Icing (same company). We got about 15 minutes of training before we were allowed to pierce kids’ ears. If people bled on the ear-piercing guns, we would simply wipe them off with a tissue and use them again on the next person. We were also never taught anything about cross-contamination or blood-borne pathogens during training. I shudder when I think of it.

I would never take my kids to get their ears pierced at the mall. Choose a reputable body piercer and take your kids there. Some people are afraid of taking their kids to body piercers because they look sketchier than the pretty mall down the street, but body piercers will use an autoclave, and most of them (if they’re any good) are trained to properly deal with blood and bodily fluids.

The person at the mall, no matter how much experience they say they have, does not have the proper tools to deal with blood. About 99% of our piercings did not draw blood, but the 1% that do are definitely not dealt with well. I tried my best when I worked there, but there’s only so much you can do when there is no equipment on hand to sterilize anything properly.

Ex-Employers’ Hidden SecretsWikimedia Commons

19. They Missed Their Spring Cleaning

I work at a “spring water” bottling plant. The tank was found to have bacterial content above safe regulation levels. Regardless, the company chose to finish the night’s run before cleaning out the tank. Buy a water filter.

Ex-Employers’ Hidden SecretsWikimedia Commons

20. Making The Sale

I used to work for Sears. The week before our Black Friday sale, we had to mark everything up in the store. I specifically remember marking the treadmills up an extra $500. Then for Black Friday, we marked them back down to about $200. They were “on sale” for an extra $300 than they normally would have been.

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21. Deja Food

In college, I worked at a rotten independent movie theater. One of the employees was a serious addict. After a show, he’d go into the theater and pick up several popcorn tubs and drink cups. He’d shuffle those back into the stacks behind the concessions counter. He’d then resell them, not tally them in the count, and pocket the cash. Jerk was nasty.

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22. Ain’t Half Bad

I worked at an Orange Julius for four years. The fresh orange juice you guys pay $6 for is only half fresh orange juice and half concentrated orange juice.

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23. We May Need To Address The Dressing…

I worked at a number of awful chain restaurants through college—Applebee’s, Ruby Tuesdays, and Bennigan’s—and food waste is a fairly universal issue in the restaurant industry. Managers are fanatical about dressings and sauces going to waste, so much so that they equate their entire “food cost” to a couple of drops of ranch dressing not being squeezed out of a bag. The reason behind this is that their bonuses are tied to the food cost/sales ratio.

I have witnessed managers forcing employees to take dressing bags out of the garbage to squeeze out three more drops of ranch dressing. The mayonnaise-based dressings sit out in the open all day, usually just below where the food is passed from the cooks to the servers. It is common for food to fall into them. It is also common for the servers to take food off plates (such as French fries), dip the food in ranch dressing or whatever, and eat it.

The worst is the end of the night. The dressing will be coagulated on the sides of the container where the ice failed to keep it cool. If the container is not empty, it will be put back in the walk-in cooler and served again tomorrow, regardless of the nasty build-up all around the sides of the dressing container. Don’t eat salad dressing at Applebee’s.

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24. It’s All A Load Of Rubbish

Home Depot has recycling bins out in front of the building, but everything ends up in the same dumpster at the end of the day.

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25. A Troubling Admission

Many years ago, I worked with a firm that evaluated medical school applications. Medical schools get so many applications (over a thousand per year in some cases) that many of them pawn the initial evaluation work off to outside groups, who then subcontract to temp agencies during the application season. Of course, the school makes the final decision, but the initial pre-evaluation is handled by temps who might not even have degrees.

These agencies are paid by quantity and not by quality. There’s a strong pressure in the organization to process as many applications as possible, as quickly as possible. It’s not a formal quota, but management definitely noticed if your numbers went down. I don’t even want to contemplate how many excellent potential doctors my colleagues rejected because they were in too much of a hurry.

Some of those students likely spent their lives preparing for their med school application only to get pre-emptively rejected by someone with no medical qualifications. This was 15 years ago, so I sincerely hope the system has reformed since then.

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26. Striking The Wrong Chord

I worked at Guitar Center, where our motto was “We help people make music”! I was working in the recording/live sound department when this 19-year-old kid came in with his buddy. They had driven about 45 minutes to come to our store. He told me he wanted to buy a particular type of microphone to record some hip-hop tracks. The mic he wanted was $900, and he had the cash in his hand.

Impressed with his taste, I asked him what kind of studio setup he was running as I rang him up. Thank god I asked: It turned out he was using some lousy, free software and had no real sound card, just the built-in one that came with his Dell. STAHP! It was pretty obvious the kid had no freaking clue. This would be the equivalent of having a $5,000 home theater system but no electricity.

Even if he did plug the mic straight into the back of the computer, the mic would still require phantom power, which a built-in sound card does not provide. So, taking the store’s motto in mind and it being a slow afternoon, I spent about an hour giving this kid and his friend a streamlined Home Studio 101 course. They loved it; they had a hundred questions, and I had a hundred answers.

They walked out of the store with a nice setup consisting of a mic, sound card + software, mic stand, headphones, and cables for about $500. I told him to use the other $400 for computer upgrades. They must have each shook my hand five times before leaving the store, and I felt like I had really just helped someone make music. It felt great. Then it all came crashing down.

Later that afternoon, I got called into the office. Word had gotten to the general manager that a kid walked in here with $900 ready to spend, and I spent an hour talking him out of it. I told him what happened from my perspective, but the verdict was in: I just cost the store $400. Don’t do it again. I got fired a few weeks later for telling the general manager that he was full of it.

This was five or so years ago, and I haven’t spent a dime at a Guitar Center since.

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27. Customers Knead To Know This

My first job was at Little Caesars. You know the black flakes on the side of the crust? I always thought that was from burnt pizza dough. It was actually part of the pans that flaked off when they cooked. I found out the black part flaking off the pans was spray paint, and they’d reapply it whenever it was almost all gone. Never ate their pizza again.

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28. A Dishonorable Act

My old employer did a donation drive to “support the army” back at the beginning of the Iraq conflict. We had three HUGE boxes full of all kinds of stuff: soap, shampoo, books, magazines, DVDs, the works. When the owner found out how much it was going to cost to ship all of that overseas, he said, “Screw that,” and divvied up everything to all his favorite employees.

I still feel a little rage when I remember that.

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29. Bad Medicine

Doctors and nurses bury their mistakes. Seriously, if you or your loved ones get admitted into a hospital, you need to keep a vigilant eye on the nursing staff and doctors. They will sometimes OD patients and blame it on a bad reaction to the meds. Tip: If you or a loved one are checked into a hospital, buy the nursing staff on that unit muffins or donuts or some kind of snack. They will provide MUCH better care because of it. I know it’s messed up, but that’s how it works.

This does not represent every unit and every medical staff personnel, but rather my personal experience with my former unit from five years ago. We mainly dealt with knee and hip replacements. We occasionally got other types of patients from medical surgery if there was an overload. My unit was particularly bad, as was the entire hospital.

I understand that there are great units and great staff members out there, but ours was not one of those. I’ve worked with several nurses, doctors, and aids that were phenomenal human beings, but I’ve also worked with burnouts and jerks as well. Medical malpractice ranks as one of the leading causes of loss of life in the United States.

So, please don’t think this type of behavior and practice is rare and almost never happens.

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30. When There Is No Point Of No Return

Bed Bath and Beyond will accept a return for ANY item in their inventory. You can claim anything is defective. A woman once returned a 75% burned Yankee Candle because the wick dipped into the wax, and she couldn’t fish it out. She got a 100% refund. A guy brought in a vacuum he purchased probably nine years ago from a store in another state. It took us about 20 minutes of fishing through an older version of the inventory system to validate that, yes, at one time about a decade ago, BBB carried that SKU. Full refund.

In the grand scheme of things, your return is a minuscule fraction of their profits and keeping you as a customer is worth tossing away some money every now and then. Also, their coupons never expire.

Ex-Employers’ Hidden SecretsFlickr, Mike Mozart

31. Sub-Human Treatment

I used to work at a Subway, and the owner, whenever the drawer was in the negative, would take the missing money out of the paychecks of everyone who worked that day (say it was down $3, he would take $3 out of everyone’s paycheck). He also took money out of my paycheck from a sandwich he made for a customer who complained that I didn’t make it right. $7.67 out of my paycheck.

He also never let us take breaks. I once worked from 1–10:30 with no breaks. I reported him, but nothing ever came from it. I have no clue why.

Ex-Employers’ Hidden SecretsFlickr, USAG- Humphreys

32. That’s Dry

I worked for a high-end interior designer, and when they would redo clients’ bathrooms, they would get the best towels money could buy...from Walmart. My job was to remove the sewn-in tags.

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33. Inside Jobs

I’m a stockbroker. It’s not supposed to happen but let me tell you: insider trading happens ALL THE TIME, even on the lowest of levels.

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34. Cracking The Bargain Code

If you’re ever looking to buy something from a Cash America Pawn store, you can tell how long the items have been out and how much the pawn shop has put into the item by reading the tag. The date is always printed on the tag. You get a better deal on items that have been on the floor longer. They use a code so employees can decide how much they can take off if the customer asks.

So, if their code is MARY LOUISE, it would go like this: MARY LOUISE=M-1, A-2, R-3, Y-4, and so on until you get to E-0. So, a product with a tag that read “YLEE” would mean that employees could only discount it by $45.00 at most. Happy bargain shopping!

Ex-Employers’ Hidden SecretsFlickr, Wesley Fryer

35. Just The Ticket

I work for a parking company. Just a little tip: if you get a parking ticket from a private parking agency, you don’t have to pay that junk. None of it gets reported.

Ex-Employers’ Hidden SecretsFlickr, Tony Webster

36. Pushing The Boundaries

I worked at Universal Studios Theme Park in Hollywood in their House of Horrors scare maze as a scare actor. The rules are we don’t touch you; you don’t touch us. Well, one guy decided to go against the rules, and when I scared him, he came at me swinging. I pushed him away from me. He complained about me touching him, which got me fired, while Universal gave him a free pass to come back another day. And it was all on camera.

Angry man wearing white shirt is shouting and pointing with finger.Ollyy, Shutterstock

37. The Inside Scoop

I worked at a Baskin Robbins. It’s not a huge secret, but it’s a bit of a plus because you actually get a lot more ice cream than you should. I scooped practice scoops for training, and the weight that it’s really supposed to be is so tiny. The general rule is when the manager isn’t there, just make sure the customer doesn’t see the bottom of the cup.

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38. A Word To The Wise

I’ve learned from my job that all the letters people write to elected officials literally do nothing to change the outcome of a vote. From three-page letters to phone calls, they don’t matter. We already know how the member is going to vote. You’re wasting your time.

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39. Flying On A Wing And A Prayer

I worked at a company that sells airplane parts to major airliners around the world. The FAA requires that every single part, no matter how big or small, is certified to the FAA 8130 forms. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. But yet, my old boss, who makes about 100 grand a month, is too cheap to send out the parts for inspection and new 8130s, so he just copies and pastes an old FAA inspector’s name and number to make new ones.

Just remember that next time you’re on a commercial flight.

Ex-Employers’ Hidden SecretsPicryl

40. He Was A Real Pizza Work

One time, working at Domino’s, this lady on the phone angered my coworker, so he put a fly in a black olive and put it on her pizza. I told him not to, but he did it anyway.

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41. This Is Awful

I was a social worker at an institution for the severely disabled, and we had a non-verbal, mentally disabled patient turn up pregnant. So, we ran tests to establish paternity. It turned out that not only had she been mistreated by one of the employees, who then impregnated her, but she also tested positive for syphilis—which the baby’s father did not have.

So basically, a severely disabled woman was victimized a minimum of twice by two different people while in our care. Freaking shameful.

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42. Wheeling and Dealing

I work as a web developer. One of my most disappointing clients was a used car company (one of those ones where they put a GPS in your car). Basically, they used balloon payments. Their customers would start off paying something super cheap, like $50 a month or something, and then, each month, it would go up by a certain amount. So, if a customer’s notes got to be too expensive, they could actually trade in their car and get a new one with lower notes, but they’d just be starting their payments over for another six years.

I had to write an application where the salesman would put in the customer’s income and expenses, and it would find the “sweet spot” of where the car would become too expensive. We had to make sure that the sweet spot was after the payoff point, plus a certain rate. That sweet spot was where the company would make the most profit by ripping the customer off the most.

It was a combination of how much they paid and how much the car was still worth. We could predict when a person couldn’t afford the car anymore within a three-month window. I felt absolutely horrible about it. I knew every one of the customers was going to get ripped the heck off with it. The used car dealership was owned by a “legitimate” car dealership on the other side of town.

I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement stating I couldn’t ever tell anyone those two dealerships were related (along with what the formula was and how this company used the formula). Another terrible thing was that race was one of the criteria, and it actually made a difference in the calculation. It’s probably part of why I had to sign an NDA. This was back in 2002.

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43. Ungameful Employment

GameStop. You know how sometimes you’ll get the last copy of a new game, and since it was the display box, it’s already been opened? How employees always assure you it “has never been used before” and that it “went straight to the envelope” after being opened? Yeah, that’s not always true. Some managers let the employees check out the brand-new games, and they are technically used. Granted, if they get damaged in any way by the employee, the employee must purchase it, and they’re not allowed to use any one-time use codes.

Returning your used game because it’s defective (disc didn’t read, etc.)? Well, to save on shrink costs, a lot of managers take it as a straight return and put it RIGHT BACK IN THE DRAWER. Of course, some stores have disc-fixers now. But if you have no receipt with that used game warranty good for a year, they have no record of it. So, keep your receipt.

Also, Game Informer is owned by GameStop. Just FYI, in case you know, you’ve ever wondered why a bad game gets good reviews just because it’s a BIG title. It’s paid advertising, essentially. They pay their employees terribly. It may sound like an AWESOME place to work because “OMG VIDEO GAMES”…but it isn’t. Cheating on sales numbers is rewarded, and honesty in outing cheaters is punished because it’s seen as “rocking the boat”.

They also can’t have someone with integrity as a keyholder; they’ll ruin everything. In a low-performing district, a manager worth their salt who actually makes good numbers is outed as making everyone else look terrible. MOST IMPORTANTLY, they expect (silently and without officially saying so) keyholders to work off the clock. I was told by several managers (as a non-salary worker) that “you have to work off the clock if you want to move up and succeed”.

Stores are given limited hours, and you get in trouble if you go into overtime or use up more hours than allotted. But they don’t give you enough hours to get all the marketing, shipment, sales, and training you’re supposed to do done. This results in ASMs and SGAs working off the clock after hours and/or store managers working 60+ hours a week.

Ex-Employers’ Hidden SecretsPexels

44. They’re Playing With Fire

The company I used to work for used to submit false materials sheets to governments to get fire safety ratings despite using none of the fireproof materials submitted in the materials data sheets. If any of y’all are in a mall and a fire breaks out, watch out; all the stuff that isn’t supposed to burn immediately totally will.

I reported it, and I was fired because of it (although that wasn’t the reason they gave me). My statements were not heard based on my lack of money or influence on a governmental level, and my employer cited other reasons to discredit my accusations.

Ex-Employers’ Hidden SecretsPexels

45. A Cache-22

I work for a cable internet provider. No matter what internet speed you have, it costs the company the same amount. Also, if they offer you to try a higher tier for free for a month, it’s probably because your old speed got grandfathered in, so when you go to switch back after the free month is over, it will no longer be available.

Ex-Employers’ Hidden SecretsPexels

46. Star Quality Service

It has been several years, but when I worked at a certain satellite TV company, they had a value system for customers. You get valued between 1–5 stars, based on how much you spend and how much they value you as a customer. If you are ranked at a higher star value, the company will do basically anything to keep you. You will get a ton of services and equipment for free, and they will bend over backward to keep you from canceling.

If you are only a one or two-star customer, they don’t care. They especially don’t care if you’re a one-star customer because it usually means that you are late all the time or that you don’t spend very much money. So, if you call in asking for deals or credits, they won’t give them to you. If you threaten to cancel, no one cares.

Also, there are special phone lines for people they consider “VIPS”. They never have to wait on hold, and only special employees are allowed to take their phone calls.

Ex-Employers’ Hidden SecretsPexels

47. More Like Vianono

Viagogo is just corrupt, straight up. Not a little thing here and there; they are just a sinful company. They will take your money for tickets even if they have none of those tickets available, assuming they will eventually have the tickets to sell to you. If they don’t get them, you get the ticket money back, but that’s it; they won’t reimburse you for anything else.

An example of this occurred when a guy in the UK bought tickets through Viagogo to the Superbowl in 2013. He’d booked his air travel, flew to the States, booked his accommodation, and stayed in a hotel. He kept calling us every 15 minutes to ask where his tickets were. We were told to lie to him and say someone would meet him at the stadium.

We only let him know 30 minutes before the game started that he wouldn’t be receiving any tickets. Viagogo did refund the ticket cost, but as for the poor guy’s air travel, accommodations, and time that got needlessly squandered? Nothing at all, no compensation. All because Viagogo never had the tickets before selling them. He was so devastated.

Same thing for festivals: I took loads (LOADS) of calls from people who were told to get to the middle of the wilderness in Eastern Europe for a dance festival. They’d all booked time off work and were prepared for a five-day festival. But when they got there, they were told there never were any tickets. I had to tell them to go home.

Just go home and write the time off. Write off the ticket costs, the transport costs, and the preparation, and learn to deal with the awful feeling of getting ripped off by a company. Except it wasn’t that simple: they were in the middle of a field in Eastern Europe for the next five days. The bus that brought them had already gone, and now, they had no admittance to the festival.

Essentially, Viagogo was responsible for dumping around 100 people in a field in Eastern Europe with no provisions or way of getting back home. Also, far from discouraging the practice, they LOVE scalpers and give them preferential treatment (“super sellers”). They get discounts, skip phone queues, and get a higher price for tickets than honest customers with a ticket to sell.

If an event is coming up soon, the seller can meet you at the venue to give you the ticket. This means that if you show up but the seller doesn’t for whatever reason (whether it be illness, the fact that they decided to use the ticket themselves, or that they just can’t be bothered, etc.), you’ve paid for a ticket you didn’t get with no proof they did not meet you. Bye-bye money.

If you buy a ticket from Viagogo, I would honestly say you have a 40–45% chance of getting it.

Ex-Employers’ Hidden SecretsPexels

48. A Drop In The Bucket

I worked at a beverage plant years ago that made Arizona Iced Tea, Tropicana, Nantucket Nectars, etc. There was one drink we produced where the label read, “Made with Spring Water”, and it was. But I knew the infuriating truth. Each 600-gallon batch we made had exactly 1 gallon of spring water poured into the tank.

Ex-Employers’ Hidden SecretsPexels

49. Waste Not, Want Not

My best friend used to work construction, and one day he worked on a site right behind a restaurant. He saw a guy come out the back with a ton of trash to throw in the dumpster, and he had a huge vat of BBQ sauce/soup or something with him. He dumped it in the dumpster, and just as he finished, a manager came out and yelled at him for wasting it. What I saw next was truly disgusting.

The guy said it expired, but the manager forced the poor kid to scoop it all back out of the dumpster so they could sell it. My buddy and his friends stood there in shock as they watched this happen, and sure enough, he scooped it out and took it back inside. This was in Memphis, TN, FYI.

Surprised man is looking at side.Ketut Subiyanto, Pexels

50. It Was Too Hard To Brush Off The Root Of The Problem

Try to avoid going to dental chains (Aspen Dental, etc.). They push you to get procedures done that you don’t need, and your appointment times are usually as fast as the dentist can find the first thing that’s wrong. The dentists are overworked, and this increases the chance they will mess up. If you can’t pay, they help you finance, but you’ll get hit with a 20%+ interest rate when you miss your first payment.

They also overwork and underpay their staff, which leads to disgruntled staff who don’t care about their jobs. Plus, just like in all public service positions, there’s no backbone against awful patients, so employees have to bend over backward and kiss their mean patients’ butts. The only way it works (and it does) is when you have caring, skilled staff across the board. But this rarely happens due to high turnover.

I still remember the final straw for me. The new dentist at our office pulled too many teeth in a procedure and had to give a patient a full denture instead of just a partial. He then blamed the assistant, and she got fired. The lab was overwhelmed with extra work from his mistakes. I didn’t feel the dentist cared about anything but money, and I couldn’t morally do it anymore. I couldn’t say he was a good dentist when deep down, I knew it was a lie.

These are just some of the reasons I hate commercialized medicine.

Ex-Employers’ Hidden SecretsPexels

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