18 Insider Secrets From 18 Different Jobs That Employees Only Wanted To Share Anonymously

18 Insider Secrets From 18 Different Jobs That Employees Only Wanted To Share Anonymously

The internet is forever. Case in point: I asked people in 2022 for employee secrets they could only divulge anonymously. I got a lot of secrets in 2022 (like, 600) but have gotten 200 more since then. Because good secrets need to be shared, here are some of the more recent ones given to me via this anonymous Google form.

Animated character with a shocked expression, hands raised near the face

1."I work at a bar. If someone is really drunk and orders a drink, I'll make them a virgin version and tell them it's on me."

Glass of water with a slice of lemon on a reflective surface
Henrik Sorensen / Getty Images

2."I'm a pharmacist. Pills get spilled by accident sometimes; we're only human. If it's some super cheap ibuprofen, it may get damaged. But if it's super expensive, or a controlled substance, where I'm going to have to file reports on what happened if I damage it out….sorry, but I'm whipping out the pill brush, and we gonna dust that shit off where you can't see us. I have sold pills before after removing visible dirt/hair because that bottle is over $3,000."

3."I'm a waitress at a high-end restaurant, and the duck that is £90 is microwaved. When people complain and ask if it is microwaved, we have been trained to tell them no and get them another one. People often don't question it again when we give them another."

Waiter serving a couple dining at an upscale restaurant, man in suit, woman in sleeveless dress, mountain view
Tom Merton / Getty Images

4."I did online ticketing for a very long time. Because of the highly competitive market, most of the times the ticketing fee was negotiated to the absolute minimum. Organizations add a percentage and/or fixed fee on top of the ticket price so that it seems that the ticketing agent makes a lot of money but it's nothing more than a markup for the ticket. All extras are paid out to the organizer."

5."Hi! I used to work for a huge media company. When you enter to win radio contests, the winners are hardly ever 100% random. While I worked there, I would see my bosses go on social media and look up people who entered to see if they matched the demographic of the average listener or the more sleazy people who would often choose attractive women. Onsite drawings were a little more legit, but a couple of times my boss would mark the winning ticket so a specific person would be chosen. I feel like this had to be illegal somehow, but it happened ALL THE TIME."

6."Teacher here. We don't have time to grade all of the assignments your child has completed. If it just has a star or checkmark, it is quickly scanned to see that it's complete. Some teachers get so behind in their grading that they throw some papers away. Those are usually assignments that wouldn't affect the grades anyway. Also, when we say on the report card that your child has strong social skills, it means they talk all the time and won't be quiet."

Teacher assists student with schoolwork among peers in classroom setting
10'000 Hours / Getty Images

7."I work on Broadway touring musicals. If a show comes to your town, don't buy into the "opening night" hype. The cast is fresh off a long day of travel, the crew literally hasn't slept since the previous city, and the whole show has just been slammed together after being broken apart for travel. Mistakes get made when people are tired, and there's no time to fix everything, so the first show is often the worst. Wait until later in the week when the kinks have been ironed out and everyone's fresh!"

8."I'm a HR manager. When a manager is undecided about terminating someone, they will often decide not to if the employee simply owns their mistake. Honesty and humility can save your job in a split second."

9."I'm a college professor. Most tenure-track professors at large state or Ivy League schools are not expected to prioritize teaching. For the most part, they're hired to do research and secure external grants. In fact, many professors think of teaching as a secondary part of the job or, worse, a necessary evil. If you're a high schooler thinking about applying to college (or a parent of a high schooler), you might want to consider this. Universities that do not have doctoral programs and are geared more toward undergrads are generally better in terms of teaching."

Graduate in cap and gown holding up mortarboard from behind, symbolizing academic achievement and future career potential
Boy_anupong / Getty Images

10."I'm a preschool teacher, and while we're not legally allowed to diagnose or say what your child has, we know. If you get a referral to get a diagnosis for autism, ADHD, etc., we already know. After a decade of experience and training, we recognize the signs. Just do the referral."

11."Overdraft fees at banks are massively overinflated and targeted at people with the least amount of money. They provide banks with big profits when the process is 95% automated. Notice that the fees have never gone down?"

12."If your lawyer tells you that they are 'still investigating your claim,' that means neither they nor anyone else has done any work on it since your last communication."

Person pondering at desk with gavel, symbolizing legal profession or judiciary
Runstudio / Getty Images

13."I work in land acquisition for a VERY large, VERY well-known electrical utility in the south. If a company ever offers you money for an easement on your land, NEVER EVER accept the first offer! They will lowball you out the gate, but the reality is they can normally offer you THOUSANDS over the initial offer. And to top it off, the number of easements they acquire directly relates to the amount of work they get, so they REALLY want to get them signed and out of the way. This always works out in the customer's favor!"

14."I have managed a few apartment complexes and more people than you might think to die at home in their apartments. On more than one occasion, a neighbor noticed the smell. We generally have a specialty cleaning crew come take care of anything biological, then we get the apartment ready as usual and re-list it."

15."If a grocery store keeps being out of a product you want, it's probably out of stock at the warehouse. If you ask an employee when it will be back in stock and they say they have no idea, they're not lying. The warehouses rarely give an ETA on when products will become available. If the product is popular, it will probably automatically get ordered every day until it finally shows up. Stocks are just as frustrating for us as they are for you because having fully stocked shelves would make our lives much easier."

Woman with smartphone and shopping cart in a grocery store aisle
Andresr / Getty Images

16."I work in the ICU. Shows like Grey's Anatomy make people believe that when we "take someone off life support" (we call it withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy), their loved one will take one final breath and pass instantly. The reality is that it can take minutes, hours, or sometimes days to die. And it can sometimes be messy/noisy/distressing. This makes it way harder to temper people's expectations, and they end up being angry with us because it isn't what they expected."

17."Celebrity magazine journalist here: many of us care about the celebs we're writing about and don't want to pass on gossip that has not been verified. Also, in a lot of countries, interview quotes have to be approved by the interviewee before publishing. Oftentimes, they have told you details they're not supposed to/don't want to make public, which means we have to cut those and keep them secret. Therefore, I know a lot more about some celebs than the public. Also, red carpets are not as glamorous as everyone thinks. They are so very stressful for everyone involved, and the noise level is so high from all the photographers/interviewers/fans screaming."

Paparazzi with cameras taking photos at an event, possibly indicating celebrity presence or an important social function related to fame and wealth
Andrew Hobbs / Getty Images

18.Finally, "I'm an optician, and we call the gunk on your notepads 'nose cheese.' We regularly get stabbed by screwdrivers covered in random nose cheese and just hope that we don't get chlamydia, which is passed through the eyes as well as the other well-known areas. A lot of our doctors found out, too late in med school, that their jobs would involve informing patients that they have an STI in front of their spouses at eye exams."

Got a juicy secret you only feel comfortable sharing anonymously? Here's the form, you know what to do!