There are things you truly don't learn until you work in that field. For example — many, many years ago — I worked retail at a slightly upscale clothing store chain, and I often got asked to "look in the back" for an item if we didn't have a size on the front floor. The truth was that the stock room wasn't very big, and we often knew if we were out of a particular size or item of clothing. However, I would 99% of time go "check the back" knowing we didn't have that item just to appease the customer and to take a few minutes off from being on the floor.
Recently, Reddit user Thealexiscowdell1 was interested in just that when they asked: "What is a 'dirty little secret' about an industry that you have worked in that people outside the industry really should know?"
Well thousands of people responded to the thread with the things they claimed they've witnessed or learned about while working in their job industries. Below are some of the best and top answers:
1."Nobody who actually sorts mail gives a crap about your package. The word fragile doesn't stop them from throwing it 20 feet into a metal container."
2."A very popular local bagel shop/bakery I worked at advertised all of our baked goods were homemade (dozens of muffins, danish, cinnamon rolls, etc.) and they were not. They all came from Sysco, frozen on sheets. Many customers would rave about the baked goods saying they were the best they’ve had. God bless them."
3."They put little weights in lipsticks to make them feel more expensive so they can charge more."
4."When the health inspector shows up, a mad scramble happens in the back to clean the kitchen while they start the inspection in the dining/bar area of the restaurant."
5."When an app pops up with a 'Do you like this app?' thing, the 'Yes' button goes to the app store for a review, the 'No' button goes to an internal complaint process. This filters upset customers away from the app store and artificially raises the app score by a whole star on average. That is the only way most corporate service apps have 4 stars."
6."Hotels don't change the comforter on the beds in between guests unless there's a noticeable stain on it. If the pillows are placed on a chair instead of on the bed at check out, housekeeping assumes they weren't used and puts them back on the bed without changing the pillowcases. All of this is due to cutting corners in housekeeping because the keepers are under strict timers for each room, and they have an insane amount of rooms to do every day."
7."If your business uses an inventory company, your numbers will not be correct."
8."I wouldn't say it's mostly a secret, but agency staffing firms churn and burn college graduates who are basically thrown in the wild. The recruiter you worked with may be gone in six months and that’s why a lot of ghosting happens."
9."More product hits the floor and then is thrown back on the line than you know. Source: I worked in a meat packing plant."
10."The vast majority of people working for pharmaceutical companies are hardworking, highly ethical, and proud of the work they do. We hate the executives as much as you do."
11."Customer service reps are timed on calls so when we rush you, it isn't to be rude."
12."When you go somewhere that has novelty beer dispensers that you and a group can take to your table, just know they are incredibly incredibly difficult to clean thoroughly and there’s probably mold in there."
13."I worked at a major jewelry company in the US. When we wanted to buy jewelry, we paid what it costs to make the product (material, labor, shipping), plus 10%. I paid around $115 for a pair of $950 diamond earrings."
14."Locksmith here. We can get into any lock/door within 30 seconds. All the posturing and bringing out an impressive toolkit and hammer drill is just showmanship to prolong the call-out. It's 30 seconds flat."
15."When you call a cable company to cancel you speak with sales first and the deals they offer are not the best they can do."
16."Worked in a distribution center for a major US clothing retailer. We took in a lot of clothing returns and to cut our costs we almost stopped inspecting the clothing altogether. If the plastic packaging isn't manufacturer-labeled and sealed and is a generic plastic sealed bag there is a good chance someone else wore that before and it was not cleaned. If you order clothing online please give your clothing a double check and wash them before you wear them."
17."There is a lot of money spent every year that decides where specific items are placed on grocery store shelves. If you're at a grocery store that's part of a chain, and you look at a shelf and there's an item that's approximately at eye level, I guarantee you that the company that makes that item paid a lot of money to put them there. There's lots of weird psychological tricks that go on in terms of how stores are laid out."
18."In the consulting world, nobody really knows what they're doing."
19."The navigation option in your car is a scam. The software it uses is many years old, and they let you pay through the nose for map updates. Free apps are miles better. Software is always the latest and the maps are updated automatically. Source: Used to work for company that supplies the automotive market and has free app as well."
20."Aerospace has a phrase: 'Get healthy in maintenance.' Underbid the contract to win the work, then over charge on the maintenance activities. It's an investment strategy that pays well. Many aerospace sites have 'cash cows,' long-term maintenance contracts that keep the money coming into them. BTW, this is one of the reasons the Department of Defense spends sooooooo much."
21."Bedbugs are actually incredibly common in hotels. It’s just that nicer hotels generally have better means of treating them."
22."I've worked in the music industry for 10 years and have access to financials of nearly 15% of all artists' recorded music revenue. Nobody is making as much as you think. The superstar artists who look like millionaires are not, in fact, millionaires."
23."Airlines often make more money carrying cargo than passengers. Also, they have much stricter contracts about delivering cargo on time than passengers. If a plane is overweight, they will usually remove passengers before they remove cargo."
24."The ice cream machine is not broken, no one put it in its cleaning cycle when it needed to be so they're locked out of it until they do the whole cleaning process."
25.And lastly: "I apologize in advance. Do you ever set your groceries in the fold back child seat of your grocery cart? Between children with leaky poop diapers, vomit, the dirty shoes when children stand up, and the small pets that are often placed there, you probably should stop doing that. The carts are not cleaned daily…not even close. They are sanitized by professional steam cleaners...once a month. ONCE A MONTH. That’s the frequency the Health Department requires. You’re welcome."
You can read the full thread of responses on Reddit.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.