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"Don't Make The Bed Before You Leave": Employees Are Sharing Tips For Everyone Else About Their Jobs

"The best sound will be directly in front of the engineer at the main soundboard."

There's nothing I love more than listening to people share secrets of their jobs. Last week, I shared lists of facts and secrets from people with specific jobs, and the comment sections lit up with fascinating tidbits from the BuzzFeed Community.

Then I stumbled on Reddit threads from u/sportfreunde and u/allycakes where employees shared more secrets, and wow, I feel like I know everything. Here are some of the best:

1. "Call center here. Just because you hear music when I put you on hold doesn't mean I do. I can hear every profanity you utter."


2. "If you clear a clog or have one of those 'almost' clogs, keep flushing the toilet over and over, five or more times. You want to push the large matter down the pipe until it gets to a bigger area of the pipe, main, or septic. If you don't, it can just clog farther down, and now you need a snake or worse."

3. "You shouldn't wear cotton gloves when handling old books or paper. Don't believe the movies. You lose tactile sensation that's important to help stop the tearing of paper. Now, if you're handling photographs, then yes, wear cotton gloves."


A white glove against a black background

4. "If you are in a public space like a zoo or museum and you lose track of your child, tell a staff member, then stay with that staff member or in that immediate area. We have radios and other ways to contact every staff member, including security, and can alert them all to be looking for your kiddo. Staying with a staff member is also crucial because it doesn't matter if we find your child if we then lose track of you. The natural inclination is to take off and look for your kid yourself, which I understand, but I promise that we know our facilities better than you do, are more likely to know potential egress paths, and are not panicking the way you are."


5. "At any concert you attend, the best sound will be directly in front of the engineer at the main soundboard."


6. "Cleaning up the auditorium in between movie showings will make you despise humanity for the disgusting things you are forced to clean up. I've seen chewing tobacco spit cups, dirty tissue, gum stuck to EVERYTHING, even a dirty diaper once."


7. "You do not need to know any flower names to order flowers, unless you're trying to avoid certain ones (most people want to skip carnations). Stick to color, expected size, and budget. The florist will do the rest. Also, there aren't nearly as many 'bridezillas' as one might think, and the worst brides to deal with are not the picky ones but the ones who have NO CLUE what they want in the first place."


A woman working on a flower arrangement

8. "When buying toys for the tiny humans in your life, please consider if they have any parts small enough to fit inside kiddos' nostrils or ear canals! I work in the ear, nose, and throat division of a children’s hospital, and you would not believe the things we pull out of kids’ heads! It’s often traumatic and painful for the poor little ones, and we regularly have to refer them to pediatric surgery for a sedated removal."


9. "I'm not sure if it's because I was a bagger for two years, but I make sure to sort my groceries on the conveyor by frozen, produce, inedible, unbaggable, etc."

"Some people are asking for a list to help them:

1. Start with large items, milk, soda cubes, anything they will put under the cart or not be able to bag.

2. Everything that's cold to the touch goes together. Stack your frozen pizzas, and put the cheese, butter, meats, etc., all together.

3. Anything not edible — your dish soaps, laundry detergent, candles, napkins, plates, etc.

4. Put your produce/vegetables/fruit together.

5. Whatever's left over besides the fragiles can usually go together.

6. Fragile stuff goes at the back. Eggs, bread, you don't want to force them to set it to the side while they fill the bags. Give them fragile stuff last, and they can top the bags with it or put it in a separate bag."


10. "Don't make the bed before you leave a hotel. It has to be taken apart anyway, and if it looks unslept in, it won't get changed."


An unmade bed

11. "If you're buying a mattress at an actual mattress store, buy it in the middle of springtime. That's when it gets INCREDIBLY slow for us and when we have the best sales."


12. "If you are getting a dress shoe (fellas), bring dress socks! Other socks are thicker, especially athletic ones. I cannot exaggerate the number of times that men returned dress shoes in a panic for a big event (job interview, wedding, other crap) and the shoes were now flopping off their feet because they are now wearing dress socks."


Multicolored striped ankle socks

13. "I tell everyone to skip the fruit in their drinks/cocktails. No one uses tongs or gloves, whether it's laziness or time. Fingers are filthy behind the bar, moving from soda guns, rags to wipe off the bar, handling money, etc. Just don't."


14. "If you always wrap your cord around your laptop AC adapter, you bend the wires in a tight curve. Back and forth, back and forth, bending at the same spot each time you wrap. Then they break off inside. If it's too expensive to just throw away, I'm repairing them. Same goes for expensive earbuds or phones. If you must wrap the cord around your music source, UNPLUG FIRST. Otherwise, you're slowly working at snapping off the wires at the spot where they dive into the plug."


15. "Don't stack your plates, resulting in food squished against the bottoms of other plates. I'm the stack master; I'll decide the stack order, goddammit. (I work at a banquet hall. FUCK birthday cake.)"


Many plates containing food stacked on top of one another

16. "I work for a virtual call agency, which means that my job is to call people at random times of the day to take surveys. If you ever get a call to do a survey or something, please keep in mind that some of us are human beings and not robots. If you don’t want to take a survey, please be polite about it. And if you don’t ever want to be called again, just ask to be taken off the call list. Otherwise, we’ll keep calling you."


17. "I've worked for a very popular Italian chain restaurant for years. Those fresh-baked breadsticks you so desperately desire are not actually baked in-house. We receive pallets of already baked white breadsticks. We just toast them and then smother them with liquid margarine, garlic powder, and salt. Surprisingly, our Alfredo sauce is very high quality. We use a flour base combined with manufacturing cream, actual cheese, minced garlic, black pepper, etc., to make it. This is a surprise because most of our sauces come from a concentrate and we just add water, oil, or veggies to make it saucy. Our soups are also made from scratch every morning. Each does have a starter base, but all of the vegetables, meats, cream, etc., are fresh and cooked daily."


Fettuccine Alfredo

18. "I didn't know this either prior to starting a job at a septic company, but in a typical septic system, the tank SHOULD be full. That's how they're designed to work. After you get a routine maintenance pumping (which you absolutely should be doing every few years; the reasons are google-able), it takes maybe 10 to 14 days for the tank to fill back up, and if it's not full a few weeks after being emptied, then you might have a leak or crack. Many people think their 1,000-gallon tank shouldn't be full after a year or two, but if you're using hundreds of gallons of water per month, how would that make sense? We get so many calls from customers who say their plumber came to clear a clog and told them the tank is full and needs to be pumped out OR ELSE, when it's actually at a normal level. We call that 'plumber full,' and it usually ends up wasting at least $100 for us to send a pump truck out for no reason."

nic gee

19. And finally: "I worked in a diner where we used to top off our table’s containers of ketchup every night with fresh ketchup, but we’d never, ever clean out the containers. So there would just be layers and layers of ketchup from months (or years) ago. To make matters worse, these were the slightly wider glass bottles, so countless customers would stick their used knives or forks in to serve themselves. I literally never trust restaurant ketchup anymore because of this."

Michelle K

Ketchup and salt and pepper on a table

Got any secrets of your trade you want to share? Please tell me! I love learning new things.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.