Shocking Confessions From Industry Professionals. The Secrets Are Out, So Take Notes

March 31, 2014

The following question was posted on reddit (reddit is a massive community forum):

What is a "dirty little (or big) secret" about an industry that you have worked in, that people outside the industry really ought to know?

Many answers were submitted but these stood out the most, to me anyway...

CRC Construction

Half Of The So Called 'Services' They Offer At Jiffy Lube Never Get Completed...

either by laziness or it may be impossible to do it the proper way on certain cars. The store's hours distributed for employees are directly affected by 'average ticket sales', which means (at least when I was store manager at one) that if we didn't have an average of $65+ at the end of the day per car, then we got wrote up.

Wash Your Produce.

I work on a farm. When they say you should wash your produce thoroughly at home, they're not joking.

At Many Award Shows, Celebrities Already Know They Won.

I'm a celebrity event photographer in Hollywood. Most of the smaller award shows winners like the MTV VMAs, Teen Choice Awards, etc...already know they are going to win. This motivates the talent to come to the event. During the show they are backstage talking with friends and take a seat during a commercial break just before their award is announced. The few exceptions are the Oscars and Golden Globes where the audience is mostly celebrities.

As a former MTV employee, I can confirm. Most of the time the awards are offered to get the artist to come to the event in the first place. They would make up awards to get artists to show up. People watch to see famous people, who are there to be seen. Behind the stage, we just shuffle them from their dressing rooms out to the floor, back to their rooms and then out to the press room where they will get photographed by the AP and photo agencies. It's a closed off back stage area, where after getting their photo they will step out the door and into a car.

Emergency Room Doctors Really Do Care About You.

Emergency room doctor here. I really do want you to get better, I really want you to not die. I get spat on and cursed at and am the recipient of several stink eyes daily. If you actually show that you care about your health and listen to me or show me the slightest bit of respect I will bend over backwards to help you get better.

If I'm not sending you home with a six month supply of dilaudid it's because you are better off without it. I'm sorry you have a boxer's fracture because you punched your door, but fractures hurt and I can't take all the pain away and keep you breathing at the same time. Man up and deal with a few days of discomfort, it goes away eventually.

I ask probing questions about your sexuality and drug history and the consistency of your poop because its important. I am legally prevented from sharing this info with your boss, your wife, the police. Just tell me the truth. The guy on the other side of the curtain has a curling iron stuck up his ass, the herpes you got in high school doesn't shock me.

My paycheck is my paycheck. I don't get paid more or less because I prescribe a name brand antibiotic, or decide to do stitches instead of glue, or admit you instead of letting you leave AMA. I get paid the same if I see one patient this shift or forty, most of my decisions are based on medicine, or to decrease the chances of getting sued. This isn't true for every doctor or even every emergency doctor, but consider giving your physician the benefit of the doubt.

Filing Taxes Is Ridiculously Easy.

Accountant here. It is actually ridiculously easy for about 90% of you to calculate and file your taxes.

Hotel Rates Are Not Fixed.

After working in the travel industry I can tell you that hotel room rates are often not fixed prices. If guests come to the front desk and ask the price we generally start at the high end. Most people accept this as fact and pay up. However, if a customer is hesitant or threatens to walk out we can sometimes drop the price to keep them there. Often there is a bottom line price set by the owners- we can't go any lower than that or we lose money.

The Funeral Industry Is A Pyramid Scheme.

I'm a funeral director. Our entire industry is basically a pyramid scheme. It blows my mind how blindly people accept that certain things "have to" be done to the body of their loved one. Think about that for a second: this is the last tangible remnant of someone you loved and you are now going to pay stranger thousands (oftentimes HUNDREDS of thousands) of dollars to systematically mutilate that body. And everything you buy from me – a guestbook, prayer cards, even the damn obituary notices – is marked up at least 200%.

US Legislators Are Ill-Informed.

I work at a US lobbying firm, and I'm sure no Redditor would be shocked to hear that US legislators are ignorant. You might be surprised just HOW ill-informed a lot of them are, though. Like the Congressman who believed David Cameron was a member of the Socialist party. Or the one that asked me why we called it Russia now, not the USSR. Or the Senator who told me he'd grown up drinking sea water, and it was healthier for you. Or the governor who thought all Jews were killed by Hitler. The list could go on.

I worked for a political consulting firm and was completely floored when congressmen/women would come in for media training (learning to be "normal" on camera or in front of constituents). Nearly every politician who came in for training was clueless and literally had "their views" on the issues fed to them by my boss (the media strategist). Sounds obvious, but it's really horrifying to witness.

Why Fine Dining Is So Good...

Fine dining cook here. 30% of your meal is butter. That's why it's so good.

warning reality shows

TV Companies Actually Want To Produce Quality Shows But Are Forced Into Reality Shows.

I work in non fiction television and have made shows for History and Discovery. The execs at these companies grew up watching these channels and actually want to make educational informative documentaries. Unfortunately no one watches documentaries anymore, so we have to appeal to the lowest common denominator and make reality tv trash to remain competitive.

The Reason Behind Military Spending/Waste.

The US military has a tradition where you spend your entire budget by Oct (the new fiscal year) or you risk losing that portion of your budget. I've been in units that would go out and purchase $200,000 worth of useless sh*t just to avoid having a budget surplus. Multiply by the number of units in the military (a ton) and you have all your fraud, waste and abuse.

Don't Pay To Have Contacts Transferred To Your New Phone.

When I charge you $10 to switch your contacts from your old phone to your new one, I go behind a wall, turn blue tooth on, and transfer 500 in like 15 seconds. Then I get on Facebook for a bit so it doesn't seem suspicious. Then come back out, and everyone is simply amazed that they transferred. BTW, sign into your gmail, and it does it automatically with your droid.

Honey In Supermarkets Is Not Actually Honey.

About half of the imported honey on the shelf is really rice syrup illegally shipped from China through another country and relabeled as honey and the only testing the FDA has for this is effectively meaningless.

Edit: here's a link to a Wallstreet Journal article about two sizeable packers that settled on a lawsuit from the US government:

And another about a class action suit from US beekeepers:

Here's an article from Bloomberg that came out this week detailing everything I was talking about if anyone ever looks at this comment again:

**So buy honey from local produce stands. It tastes better and it's better for everyone :)

Use USPS For Mailing Fragile Items.

I work for a UPS store. Here is a few things I have learned since working here. Writing fragile on your package means nothing. Your package WILL get thrown around, dropped, and beaten up; if it is breakable then according to our guidelines for properly packaged items it needs to withstand 1000 lbs of pressure and a 4ft dtop. UPS capital claims is terrible as well they will do whatever they can to not pay you the amount you insure your package for.

Former Fed Ex employee here. The people who actually handle your packages are more or less slave laborers. NO ONE cares if you packages says fragile or has special instructions. Most of the time the workers hate their jobs so much they throw your box on purpose or stomp on it to make it fit in the trailer.
unknown user

As a mail carrier for USPS, I know that all of the clerks and carriers in my office handle packages marked as fragile very carefully because we are so concerned about keeping customers. Plus they pay us well enough that we actually do care about our jobs and customers!

Everything At Panera Bread Is Microwaved.

ex-Panera Bread employee here. EVERYTHING is microwaved, all soups and pastas come in frozen bags, reheated for the customer. pastries and breads come in "half-baked", bakers just slap on some frosting/fruit, and heat it up. it's all fast-food quality food, but with a good reputation.

Be Careful When Paying For "Higher Quality" Alcohol.

I've been to a distillery watching them fill bottles of vodka. After a while, they stopped and new bottles/ labels were coming out. I asked a line worker what the difference was, and he said, "we get $6 more for this one." Same vodka, new price. Marketing isn't always good.

Agreed. My uncle is the manager of a rum factory. They bottle the exact same liquid in different bottles. One bottle is marketed as higher class. They do pay a royalty on the bottle design (fancier one) though, but nothing close to the extra markup added.

Oil Spills Happen All The Time, You Just Don't Hear About Them.

I was a deep sea diver for 10 years in the Gulf of Mexico. Huge oil spills happen and are covered up hundreds of times a year by every company. The entire industry is in on it. The bottom of the gulf is a disgusting garbage dump. Every boat dumps their trash into the gulf no one obeys the laws and the coast guard doesn't enforce sh*t.

Same in the North Sea. I work on a North Sea oil rig. Can confirm as above and below - there are numerous "releases" all the time that either a) don't get reported or b) get downplayed, dealt with internally, and are never heard of in the public domain. The industry attempts to fool the government and media by making stupid-ass reports all the time.

Getty Images

Your Airline Pilot Is Probably Reading A Newspaper For Most Of Your Flight.

Or sometimes watching a movie or playing games on their phone.

Raised by a family of pilots, I can attest to this.

How To Get What You Deserve From Your Insurance Company

I have worked in the Insurance industry for many years now. One of the best secrets I know that can be highly beneficial to many people is the correct use of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). My tip is as follows: If you ever put a claim into your insurance company and the value of said claim is less than $15,000 you your insurance company's balls in a vice. If for any reason your claim does not go the way you wished eg a declined claim, the company has reduced the value of your claim, they are limiting the benefits you should be receiving, all you need to do is threaten to go to the FOS. When a customer goes to the FOS about a claim, the company with which the claim has been made is automatically liable for FOS fees which more often than not are in excess of $10,000. There a few steps you need to take before you can take a claim to FOS such as going through the internal dispute resolution process however you can take ANY claim to the FOS, regardless of legitimacy (although I hope all redditor claims are legitimate ;) More often than not the company will back flip and give you whatever you want.

Almost No One At A Tobacco Company Smokes.

Many of the young MBA types don't touch it and look down on those who do. It was an interesting industry.

Source: reddit

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