The anonymous online forum Reddit had a thread going recently: "What's something that is common knowledge at your workplace that will be mind blowing to the rest of us?"
The responses came from workers at Staples, Chili's, Outback Steakhouse, Laser Quest and lots of unnamed businesses, including a retirement home, a fan club and gaming company.
Their answers are illuminating. And sometimes terrifying. And not entirely verifiable. But regardless, we've pulled together the best ones, so that you'll never drive past a truck, order sizzling fajitas, or buy a signed poster the same way again.
Retirement Home Worker: Frequent Hook-Ups
It seems Meryl Streep will have plenty more work heading her way in the aging romcom genre. "I've worked at multiple retirement homes," writes Reddit user, Big_Bank. "The senior citizen residents hook up with each other quite frequently."
Our parents and grandparents are increasingly lusting in their twilight years, thanks to improved healthcare, more respectful nursing home administrators, and lots and lots of little blue pills.
"Sometimes it's a little freaky," Tina Sisneros, an elder care nurse from Vacaville, Texas, told the The Daily Beast. "But you can't demean them if you catch them in the act. You really have to teach the staff how to react in those situations."
According to a Reddit user named Bonzooy: "2/3 of Staples' annual profits occur during the 2-4 week period of back-to-school shopping."
"So if we started a 'Back to school' store that filled in the same places that the 'Halloween stores' do, we would only have to operate a store from for 2-4 weeks a year," suggests one poster.
"That is not accurate," Staples representative Owen Davis told AOL Jobs over email, before admitting that the company doesn't actually quantify sales from the back-to-school season. "With that said, if you'd like to learn how Staples is a back-to-school destination for customers, please let me know," he added.
Worker at Chili's: An Illusion Of Sizzle
"Restaurant Patrons Entranced By Sizzling Order Of Fajitas," read a headline of The Onion.
"According to witnesses," the satirical newspaper writes, "... sizzled for all 14 seconds of the plate's transport across the room, and continued to sizzle for up to 10 seconds after being placed in front of a party of five..."
Well a supposed Chili's insider, Loca_Mosca, claims to have seen behind the sizzle of one of the restaurant's staple dishes. "The fajitas at Chilis aren't actually sizzling," the whistleblower writes, "they have a sauce caused 'sizzle sauce' that spray over the hot food so it gives the illusion that it is sizzling."
"The sizzling you hear when Fajitas are delivered to guests is from this spicy sauce combining the aroma of fajita-flavors together when it hits the warm skillet," a Chili's brand spokesman clarified to AOL Jobs, "giving the meal the ultimate dash of Southwestern flair."
Next they'll tell us that Pop Rocks are a hologram.
Outback Steakhouse Waiter: Goes Far To Serve The Customer
Another chain restaurant is keeping a secret, but this one will cheer your day. "At Outback Steakhouse, they will prepare your food however the f--- you want," says a Reddit user, st_basterd. "They'll put your sirloin in a blender if you want. Get creative."
"I can verify this," chimes in Reddit poster, pensguy. "I was a server a few years ago and had to leave on 3 separate occasions to go and get hot dogs from a grocery store because a kid ordered them."
He adds that people frequently ask servers for dishes they don't list on the menu, and then changed their minds once they realized the waiters would actually run out and get it for them. "Outback knew this would happen 95% of the time, they just wanted to show the customers they actually meant 'No rules, just right,' " the poster claims.
"I can confirm this," adds bubsies. "I once ordered a BLT, which isn't on the menu, at Outback Steakhouse and my waiter asked me what I wanted on it. I was dumbfounded."
"Okay this is something else entirely; not preparing the food, but actually buying new food," comments user, JinglingOcotopus. "Im gonna go to outback and order sushi."
Outback Steakhouse couldn't comment on this claim, because they're not talking to the press in the lead up to their IPO. But the spokeswoman on the other end of the phone heartily chortled when she heard the allegation. "I really would love to comment on this," she said.
Geneticist: One Out Of 10 Doesn't Know The Truth
If you suffer from a genetic condition, or your child does, you may have to see a geneticist. And the geneticist can tell a lot of things about you... like if your parents are actually your biological parents.
"It is estimated that about 10% of children in genetics studies are 'non-paternities,'" says SenHeffy, who claims to be a geneticist, "meaning 10% of the kids in the studies don't have the same biological father as we are told they have."
If that's true, it logically follows that around 10 percent of all kids in this country have dads who aren't actually their dads. Awkward!
Fanclub Handler: A Machine Does It
Are you a member of an online fanclub? Have you ever ordered some signed merchandise through said fanclub? Well, prepare for your momento-collecting self to be crushed.
"I work for a company that handles celebrities fanclubs online and through the mail," says poster Riothippoparty. "We have a machine that artists sign a contract to use called the ghostwriter. The machine lets us sign multiple items with this persons signature and legally claim it was hand signed."
"So that poster you bought hand signed by that band you love?" adds Riothippoparty. "Was most likely signed by me and a machine."
Big-Rig Trucker: Don't Get Me Mad
"If you make a lane change on the highway and cut close in front of my big rig, you are not making me mad," explains Reddit user Preflash_Gordon. "You are scaring the shit out of me. Because if you blow a tire or if anything else causes you to sharply lose speed at that moment, I will roll over you like a 40-ton avalanche and they will have to wash you and your children out of the wreckage with a hose."
As recently as Sunday night, a woman died in a collision with an 18-wheeler in California, and Lindsay Lohan landed in hospital Friday night, after her Porsche smacked against a big-rig as she drove to a set, according to authorities.
Beer Brewer: Another Way To Pass Out
Have you ever taken a tour of brewery and asked to sample one of the tanks? When the brewer said "no," he wasn't being a jerk, explains poster KFBass, who says that "opening a tank of fermenting beer to 'see how its going' will probably make you passout from co2 inhalation, and worst case kill you. We frequently get drunk college students on tours ask if they can go inside a tank of beer. no, you will die."
Go-Kart Mechanic: Go Faster Than You Think
Go-Karting isn't the extremest of sports. But apparently it can be. "The throttle of Go-Karts is located just above the motor and can make your kart anywhere from 5-10mph faster," hints Vcom561.
Former go-cart mechanic THEskinOFaROBOT claims he or she used to pump up the throttle and race around the track while "everybody would ooh and ahh about how much faster it was." They would turn the throttle back afterwards, and "everybody in the next group would run straight for it, and whoever happened to get it was always dissapoint [sic]."
"You are the worst kind of person," comments slyphox.
Laser Quest Worker: Back To The Future
Someone with inside knowledge of Laser Quest, the laser tag chain, claims the "company that promotes itself as a '21st century game of tag,'" actually uses computers with a 1980s operating system, MS DOS.
"The computers that have been upgraded at certain centers have been upgraded to Windows 98," says LetsPlaySomeLasertag." Because we operate IN THE FUTURE!!!!!"
Jim Morris, Laser Quest's director of operations, said only one of the company's systems runs on MS DOS: the cash register. But he admitted that he wouldn't be surprised if the actual game at most outlets runs on Windows 98. "People say it's ironic that we don't run the most recent software, but we're in the business of entertainment," he said. "We want to create memorable experiences for you and your family and friends."
He then asked why the heck we were bothering to write a story about the software used at Laser Quest. "Because the people have a right to know!!!" we didn't reply, but should have.
Hotel Employee: Best Time To Get A Deal
If you ever spend hours surfing websites for the cheapest hotel rate, someone on the inside would like to tell you not to bother (except on Friday afternoons and Monday mornings).
"Hotels have to keep whats called 'rate parity' across all travel websites. If they list a room on one website for 199.99 a night and 199.98 on another they risk being fined $50 for every occurrence," explains Xysten. "This is why every website can claim they have the lowest prices, because its supposed to be the same across all sites. Most hotels update their online inventory Friday afternoon and Monday mornings. You're most likely to find an error then."
Gaming Company Employee: Don't Gamble
You know how the house always wins? Well now it's confirmed. "I work for a gaming company (gambling)," says TheLordofEew. "I have never witnessed an actual top jackpot award won legitimately at my... work. The games are on auto play. Bottom-line is don't gamble."
Worker In A Dentist's Office: A Hidden Danger
People tend to be wary about 'fessin up illicit drug use to white-coated professionals. But in one case, you definitely definitely should, according to Joseeeeeeaccentmark. "If you're going to the dentist to get work done (fillings, crowns, etc) and you use cocaine, tell your dentist. Cocaine use (within the 24 hrs or even more) + dental work = medical emergencies and often death."
"So, moral of the story," the poster ends. "Don't do coke then get a filling. :)"
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