Company Secrets Exposed
Customers are often shielded from the sneaky behind-the-scenes secrets of companies. From shady practices to tricky tips and loopholes, these Redditors exposed the deeply-held secrets they couldn’t share when they were employees. It sure makes you wonder what is really going on in the back room!
Once upon a time, I worked at a Goodwill. People think the clothes that are sold are washed. THE. CLOTHES. ARE. NOT. WASHED. I once was putting stuff away and made a disturbing discovery: a dirty menstrual pad stuck to the crotch of a pair of jeans. Yeah. Definitely not washed. It was so disgusting. People, I’m warning you: Wash your thrifted clothes!
2. Like Animals
I work as a janitor/housekeeper for a veterinary clinic. Most of the time, it works the way it’s supposed to—and sometimes, it’s a downright horror show. Sometimes three people will call in sick when we are already understaffed and the animals already there are at risk of not being looked at for hours at a time. A puppy died once since no one was watching it in the incubator.
Another puppy was crushed due to mom being left in the cage. Someone also messed up the amount of anesthetics used on an animal undergoing oral surgery and it woke up during the surgery, bleeding from a clipped main artery. It almost didn’t make it. The people working in the back are mostly interns who are learning how to do the job.
A few of them will be responsible for the downfall of someone’s pet, and usually, it is avoidable. 1) Make sure you ask questions when you bring your pet to get something done. 2) Document everything and keep copies of any incidents or behavior once your animal is home. 3) Pics and video or it didn’t happen. 4) Get a lawyer. That will help if something happens with your pet and the hospital messes up.
3. Check The Expiration Date
I worked at Subway, which is franchised, so I doubt this is the same for every Subway you visit, BUT…when the meat is defrosted to be used, we had like three days to sell it. After that, we’d have to throw it away. I mean, that’s what we were supposed to do…but instead, we often did something nasty.
The franchise owner and area manager would often intimidate staff into keeping the meat on sale for up to seven days to cut costs. I reported them to corporate of course.
4. Fresh From The Microwave
Back when I was in college I worked for a pizza place. I used to get compliments about the lasagna more than the pizza. Customers would ask if I made them. I told the truth. Yes, I did. I went to the fridge and cut out a piece of Stouffer’s frozen lasagna and put it in the microwave. It was like a 1000% markup. This was 20 years ago. It was Edwardo’s Pizza in Chicago. The owner was a guy named Ed.
5. Return To Sender
I worked at a UPS store on an army base. When packages came back to use for whatever reason, we always told UPS that we’d donate the contents to an on-base thrift store. We’d keep office supply stuff. BUT that never happened. One guy packaged all his belongings at our store and shipped them prior to leaving for deployment.
This was at the start of the Afghanistan situation. He didn’t check his shipping label right and about three weeks after it shipped it came back to us as denied/RTS. We held it for a few months, expecting him to come back. After waiting, my boss told me to open it up and take whatever I wanted out of it, and to trash everything else.
So, I opened it and it was like a dream come true. Every gaming system, stacks of games, expensive watches, all sorts of good stuff. It didn’t feel right. I went in on my day off after hours, and looked more inside the box. I found a small address book with numbers. I got in contact with his parents and explained who I was, how I got their numbers etc etc.
I ended up generating a label that night for it and shipped all this guy’s stuff out on the store’s dime. The boss was so angry with me for doing that.
6. Ticket Takers
Viagogo are just corrupt, straight up. Not a little thing here and there, they are just a shady company. They will take your money for tickets even if they have none of those tickets, assuming they will eventually have tickets to sell you. If they don’t get them, you get the ticket money back. On one occasion, this screwed a customer over badly.
A guy in the UK bought tickets to the Superbowl in 2013, booked his air travel, flew to the States, booked his accommodation, was staying in a hotel he paid for, and was calling us every 15 minutes to ask where his tickets were. We were told to lie to him and say someone will meet him at the stadium.
We let him know 30 minutes before the game started that he wouldn’t be receiving any tickets. Viagogo refund the ticket cost, but the travel, accommodation, and time wasted? Nothing at all. And they never had the tickets. It’s the same for festivals.
I took loads (LOADS) of calls from people who were told to get to the middle of the wilderness in eastern Europe for a dance festival, having booked time off work and prepared for a five-day festival. When they got there they were told there were never any tickets. Just go home, write off the time off, write off the ticket costs, write off the transport, write off the preparation and deal with feeling terrible for five days because they were ripped off by a company.
Except it isn’t that simple, because now they are in the middle of a field in eastern Europe for five days, the bus that took them there has gone and they have no admittance to the festival…so essentially Viagogo was responsible for just dumping around 100 people in a field in eastern Europe with no provisions and no way of getting back.
Far from discouraging the practice, they LOVE scalpers and give them preferential treatment—”super-sellers”. They get discounts, skip phone queues, and get a higher price for tickets than honest customers with a ticket to sell. If an event is coming up soon, the seller can meet you at the venue to pass the ticket over.
What this means is if you show up and the seller isn’t there for whatever reason (illness, decided to use the ticket themselves, just can’t be bothered etc.), you have paid and have no proof they did not meet you. Bye Bye money. If you buy a ticket from Viagogo, I would honestly say you have a 40-45% chance of getting it.
7. Cushion Caution
I used to work in a factory that produced pillows. Let me be the first to tell you, some nasty stuff goes into those pillows. Tell me, have you ever seen those pillows labeled “Memory Foam Cluster”? Do yourself a favor, and avoid them like the plague. What we do is, there is a bale of old, recycled memory foam brought behind the grinder.
This bale consists of everything from old mattresses and pillows, to those cooling memory foam pillows. Except they are all old and dirty. We cut the bigger pieces into more manageable bits and toss them into a grinder that chops the foam into small, fine cubes. These cubes are stored in a large tank and then blown into an empty pillow casing using pneumatic pressure.
Now, we made good pillows too, but for the love of god, stay away from anything labeled “cluster”.
8. Reduce, Reuse
You know how Wendy’s hamburgers are “always fresh, never frozen”? That is indeed true. And if you walk into a Wendy’s, most likely there are meat patties on the grill waiting for a potential customer. But when those patties are “done” and there are no customers to sell them to? Those patties become tomorrow’s chili. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense.
But I remember seeing people react when I took the patties off the grill and threw them into a metal pan in the refrigerator. Same with the crispy chicken that they put on sandwiches. Those that don’t get sold today, they’re chopped up in tomorrow’s crispy chicken salads. Back when Wendy’s used to have a salad bar…today’s unused hamburger buns became tomorrow’s garlic bread.
9. Speedy Service
I worked for two years at a call center for Cox Cable doing tech support for internet and TV. It’s more important for the techs to get you off the phone than to actually resolve your problem. Don’t blame the techs, they’ve got supervisors breathing down their necks, and the supervisors are breathing down their necks because customers complain about being on hold so much.
When I was doing it three years ago, calls had a limit of seven and a half minutes. Seven and a half minutes to take your info, diagnose your problem, give you a solution, and resolve the call (the CALL, not the problem). If the call goes over seven and a half minutes a supervisor would come over and ask what was going on.
I got in trouble so many times for genuinely trying to help people, it was disgusting. One time I spent a good 30 minutes on the phone with a guy in San Diego who was setting up his internet. He was old, slow, and computer illiterate but really nice and patient, so I did everything I could and eventually got him going.
He was thrilled, and spoke with my supervisor to tell them how happy he was with me. But here’s the disheartening part.
I got written up for that because I wasted time helping one person when I could have been fake helping many others. I’ve heard plenty of stories just like this from the other cable companies and the call centers they contract out. Basically for an inbound call center the people in charge just care about clearing the calls in the queue, not helping you.
No matter what scripted nonsense they make the techs say. And again, don’t blame the techs (for this, at least), their hands are tied.
I was a store manager for five years at a chain that’s mostly in malls and is known for ear piercing. My brand new 15/16-year-old sales associates were expected to pierce ears right from the GET GO. After watching a training video, I would walk them through the steps and observe them doing their first three piercings. After that, they’re considered “certified”.
People, stop trusting a teenager working at the mall to pierce your baby’s ears properly. If you’re lucky, she’s done it before. If it’s not a manager (and even then they could possibly not know what they’re doing, very high turnover rate), and it’s a teenager, good luck. I had to fix some huge mess-ups and give a lot of apologetic refunds.
11. Without A Trace
The last job I was at was a family-owned steel supplier in the northeast US. They carried I-beams, angles, flats, tube, pipe, plate and more. They basically did prefab work, cutting products to length. In some cases, mostly government jobs, the customer would specify “domestic material only”. Well, this company found a sneaky way around that.
If they did not have it the domestic material, they would have us grind off the heat numbers (a code that offers traceability to the plant it was made, down to the composition of material) of foreign material to sell as domestic with doctored mill certs. Shady practice with dire consequences.
12. The Happiest Place On Earth
I worked at a very well-known theme park known for happiness and magic and all that good jazz. Well, that job was no fairy tale. I found out that some food locations can’t tell customers no. If someone runs up to them and goes “GIVE ME A MILKSHAKE AND I REFUSE TO PAY FOR IT”, then they can’t say no to them. I’m so glad where I worked we could say no to people like that.
However, if you got something like popcorn, and ate it all, then punched out the bottom of the container, you could come up to me and claim that your popcorn got spilled. I’d look at you like you’re a big fat ol’ liar but I would have to give you another popcorn because it’d be considered mean if I don’t. I should know. This happened to me.
We all knew this customer was lying but we aren’t supposed to berate guests like that. The only thing I can’t give you for free is booze.
13. By The Hour
I used to work for IBM. It was well known within IBM that all projects would be significantly understaffed. This meant that the people working on those projects would work their butts off. We were all salaried employees so we made no more money by working 80 hours per week compared to the normal 40 hours per week. IBM did make more money however since most of our projects were billed as time and materials (effectively hourly).
When some internal people started complaining about the excessive overtime, IBM offered them the option of becoming an “hourly” employee. But this had horrifying consequences. This meant that they no longer had access to healthcare, 401K etc, but they would be making significantly more money, in some cases more than doubling their previous salary since they would be getting paid for every hour worked.
IBM didn’t think many people would choose the hourly option, thinking that their benefits plan was enough to keep people there as salaried employees. Of those that were offered the option, something like 95% chose to become hourly. Every single person that chose the hourly option was fired within one month. That meant that some projects that were already understaffed were even more understaffed.
Many projects were canceled or delayed because IBM chose to use these employees as an example of what happens when you complain too loudly.
Anesthesiologist here. A large part of my job is to protect you from the surgeon who doesn’t care about your five heart attacks, unstable angina, and the fact that you ate breakfast when instructed not to. If your case is canceled or delayed there is almost always a good reason.
The surgeon will make it seem like it is the anesthesiologist’s fault but it is because they likely didn’t care enough to ask about your medical history, didn’t do the proper preoperative workup, or just don’t care.
15. A Textbook Operation
This is true of academia in general but you have no idea how much money textbook companies spend on wooing professors. Just to give a couple of examples…
The last time I went to the big conference in my field, which was held in Atlanta that year, Bedford-St. Martin rented out the Atlanta Braves stadium, provided transportation for about two thousand people, gave us a free buffet that stretched through three rooms (we were up in the box seats) with an open bar and they opened up all the games in the back hallways for us to play.
Pearson’s party was far more modest: They rented out the Coke museum, gave us all free tours and their free buffet only stretched through one freaking room (but with much classier food) but still had an open bar. Just in case you were wondering why those textbooks of yours are so expensive. The money funds events like these.
16. Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
The “garlic butter” we put on our pizza crust is, in fact, garlic margarine. There’s no dairy in it at all. I’ll get customers calling in every once in a while who ask for soy cheese and no garlic butter, and if I’m feeling nice I’ll let them in on the secret. You can enjoy that garlic-y goodness without worrying. “Garlic butter” just sounds more appetizing than the truth.
17. Tax Season
I used to work for a Tax service. I don’t want to get in trouble, so let’s call them Tiberty Lax Service. The people that they hire to do your taxes have AT MOST two weeks of training. When I was there, I knew people who didn’t even have that. They usually only had a week. They will charge you $99 to perform your taxes by the way.
From my time there, I’ve learned that the people that are targeted are most often the ones in need, who don’t know about the opportunities available to them. I know also for a fact that the call center had specific lists of clients based on what they filed the previous years. So if a client previously had something where they filed and claimed government assistance, they were called at a specific month.
If they were in a certain income bracket, once again, called in a certain month. The scummiest thing, however, that I observed was the sales tactic they used. Most often, you’d be offered a free quote. You’d come in, let them see your paperwork and they’d tell you what you can get. What would often happen, however, was that you’d go in, they would go through the entire process of filing your return and at the end, you’d basically be pressured into paying because they already did all the work.
And if it turned out that you couldn’t pay at the moment, there was also the convenient option of just subtracting the amount from the return itself. Oh, and the return. Yeah, cross your fingers on getting it. And if you do get it, let’s hope you’re not audited. At the time of my leaving, the franchise was facing a class action lawsuit from a lot of the previous years’ clients.
But of course, that only happened because this location happened to be in a wealthier neighborhood.
18. Mr Postman
When I worked at T-Mobile, we were told about an employee who customers may ask about and we were instructed to tell any inquiring customers that he was no longer an employee. The reason was diabolical.
He wasn’t a real person. Customers who couldn’t be made happy were instructed to write to him to complain. The PO Box would simply be emptied and the letters tossed. This non-existent person was simply a tool to get angry people to go away. They don’t want people to know because it would make for bad press.
19. I Scream You Scream
The DQ I worked at would reuse milk, like if there was a little bit left in the bag after it had been “poured” into the ice cream machine it would be put aside. They did this every time and waited until there was enough milk to put into a new bag, so all those bags of milk that were 99% used up would sit for like a week so the 1% left could be poured all together.
Also, if we dropped a cup on the floor, we weren’t allowed to throw it away. We would have to rinse it off and give it to a customer anyway. That place was terrible.
20. Going Viral
I worked in a computer repair shop a year ago. A woman came in and explained to us that some jerk had completely emptied her mother’s bank account because she had given him access to her computer thinking he was a real Microsoft representative. Normally the viruses these people use are really easy to get rid of, but this one wasn’t.
If we can’t remove the virus we end up formatting the computer entirely (Windows included) and backing up the customer’s files that we know are not contaminated. My boss didn’t want to have to pay for another copy of Windows out of his pocket so we did something terrible. We ended up giving back the computer to the lady with the virus still in it.
21. Out Of Order
The major gym chain that I worked for actively tries to discourage members from becoming frequent members. How do they do this?
They would start by putting treadmills and ellipticals out of order, or in preventative maintenance. And they would keep them out of commission until attendance got to manageable levels where the gym did not feel so crowded and thus easier to sell memberships. And getting out of a membership was near impossible.
22. Flawed Findings
I’m a chemist and throughout my education and career I have observed that flawed scientific research is widespread and there is little interest in doing anything about it. I seriously doubt the validity of any sort of scientific data because of this. It’s so simple to do, really. Cherry-picking data can be as simple as just not writing down a number you don’t like, or even writing or entering a different number.
Any time there is money involved there is a strong push to please those who are paying the bills. Many times I have been asked subtly or not so subtly to repeat things until the desired result is achieved. No one out and out tells you to fabricate things but instead it is usually implied that your work is somehow flawed or you must have made a mistake. Do it again.
I can look over someone’s raw data and usually tell if they are “cooking the books” or “dry labing” but it is all but impossible to prove. You can also tell by someone’s workload. If you are putting in hard 12-hour days and your colleague spends most of his time reading magazines something is up.
Also, you could put a full camera crew in front of a lab worker and they could 100% fabricate data and you would never see anything to indicate that they were. It’s just so easy. There are legit good ways to detect stuff like this. Things like statistical analysis and blind samples that are independently verified. This is almost never done.
23. One Bad Blueberry
I worked at a store dedicated to selling items in bulk, and you could only enter and purchase with a membership. I worked in produce for a few months. We would throw away several hundred boxes of blueberries and other produce just because one berry inside the box was white. I threw away around $1,000 dollars worth of blueberries during a single shift.
24. It’s A Gamble
I’m a Casino dealer in France, and like in every casino in France, the people above are not very keen on telling the customers that the tips that they give us don’t actually go in our pockets. They’re used to pay our salaries. And if the total amount of tips is above the total of all salaries in the month, which it never is, the difference is split between us.
I’ve been working in the business for ten years and there has been a single occasion where I gladly received 150 euros due to tips, and that was in the summer of 2006. In other words, if you leave me a tip at the table, I’ll be paid exactly the same amount at the end of the month. I know you mean well, but it really makes no difference.
I used to be a manager at a Goodwill. Every week, if the products had cycled through the colors and nobody had bought them, they had to be destroyed before they threw them in the garbage so no one could salvage them. Super expensive china or collectibles? Smash it. Brand new book that didn’t catch anybody’s eye? Rip it in half.
We were told to shatter or bend whatever we could. If you were found gently tossing things in or hiding them to buy for yourself, you were fired. The only thing they didn’t throw out was clothing. They’d tear those into pieces and sell them as rags to companies. Just seemed like such a horrible waste to me.
26. Off Brand
I work at a VERY large farming company that grows and packages a certain orange vegetable (Hint: Bugs Bunny). The store brand and the private label brand right next to it are from the same field and there is no difference between the products in it. You are just paying for the brand name and the fancy packaging. There is no other difference.
27. Charity Cheat
I don’t work there anymore (it was a crappy winter job so I could pay college), but I used to work at my city’s biggest grocery store/candy shop supplier. Around Christmas every year some politicians liked to give away free basic food packages and candy bags to poor communities surrounding the city for charity (free publicity for them and for the company), but here’s the catch.
The candy was mostly expired or about to expire…and some of the food too! But no one would notice at first sight because we had to erase some products’ expiration dates with thinner and solvent. I placed an anonymous complaint to our version of the BBB but it never went through.
Bed Bath and Beyond will accept a return for ANY item that is in their inventory. You can claim anything is defective. A woman once returned a 75% burned Yankee Candle because the wick dipped into the wax and she couldn’t fish it out. She got a 100% refund. A guy brought in a vacuum he purchased probably nine years ago from a store in another state.
It took us about 20 minutes of fishing through an older version of the inventory system to validate that, yes, at one time about a decade ago, BBB carried that SKU. Full refund. In the grand scheme of things, your return is a minuscule fraction of the store’s profit.
29. Nightly Rate
Booking a hotel room through a travel website is a bad idea about 100% of the time. If you actually want to get the best deal you should check the price through whatever website you like (almost all of them are actually Expedia anyway), then call the hotel and ask if they can beat it. They will beat it 100% of the time.
The booking company charges about a 30% commission, so on a $200 a night booking the hotel only makes $140. So if you call and say, “This website is selling me the room for $200 a night, can you beat that”, they will almost always say yes and give it to you for $180, it’s an extra $40 in their pocket and you save $20.
But, this works less consistently with big chain hotels as they have different priorities. I mostly deal with smaller independently owned boutique and luxury hotels. In general, a random hourly employee at a Best Western can’t change the price of a room due to a phone call.
30. Sales Tactics
I work at a big store in The Netherlands and at the end of every advertisement week we have to make sure the shelves are almost empty so it will look like almost everything is sold out and the products we sell are popular. In reality, we still have a lot in the stockroom but this way people will buy it faster because 1) it’s on sale 2) it’s almost sold out 3) it’s a popular product 4) they think the company as a whole is doing a great job.
31. Face Mask Fortune
I used to work in skincare, and I have many stories to tell, but the markup was what stood out to me the most: None of the products cost more than $2 to manufacture, but would retail at anything from $20 to $150 per product. It always amazed me how much people would shell out for anything with volcanic clay or snake venom cream.
32. Liquid Lies
I used to work for the TSA. If you want to get water through the checkpoint, say it is for medical purposes. They aren’t legally allowed to ask you for what condition and will quickly test your water and let you through. This doesn’t work for booze or soda, obviously. You can also use this as a sort of general life hack because I use this same technique to get drinks and food into amusement parks, movie theaters, and more.
33. Safety Second
I’m a fire protection engineer working in the commercial building industry. Nothing significant gets changed in the building codes unless a major disaster happens, and only if it doesn’t cost too much. Sometimes these changes are superficial. Also, non-government members of the industry get to sit on the code committees.
So some things required by building codes are there because someone lobbied the correct person, or is the person that owns a company which stands to make a lot of money, not because the thing adds to the life safety of a building.
34. The Freezer Section
I used to work for Cake Boss. He recently opened up a store in my area. It was a HUGE deal. He and his whole family were there for the grand opening. TONS of people came to see them and get some pastries. Barely anything we sold was made from scratch though, aside from a select few items. Everything was shipped to us frozen from a factory.
All we did was basically defrost the items and decorate them. The cakes were sent to us frozen as well. When anyone asked us if we made the pastries on the premises, we HAD to say yes. They also recorded audio and video of us, so there was no way of getting around that really, as they monitored that frequently.
35. Flight Plan
Your flight didn’t get canceled due to the weather. There’s an equal chance it got canceled because of maintenance issues, staffing, or scheduling problems. If there’s a single cloud in the sky at either airport they will just code it as a weather cancellation so the airline doesn’t have to buy you a hotel room/meal vouchers.
36. Blood Money
I work for a large disaster relief/blood donation company (the big red plus sign). When you donate blood to get your free Chipotle voucher, or to get a ticket to the zoo, the company thanks you for the donation. But most people don’t realize just how precious their donation is.
On the back end of things, we break the blood down into different components (red blood cells, plasma, platelets) and sell each of them. Leukoreduced red cells get sold to a local hospital for 150-400 dollars, plasma for 100-175 dollars, and platelets can be processed and sold for a few thousand, depending on blood type, and need at the time.
I get that it does save lives and it is necessary, but it doesn’t sit right with a lot of people the amount of money that is made from a donation.
37. Always Watching
I used to work at an advertising company, not even a big one, we had like 20 developers in the team at most. We can track what someone bought at what time, then we can detect the whole pattern of the user (visiting websites, other purchases, seeing ads). We can almost predict what product the user might buy next and which product should we advertise in what manner.
All this is done without any significant input from the user. Users don’t have to log into anything. It was exciting/thrilling to see at first, but this gets extremely scary when you realize how much more granular data big companies can get especially when you use their services. Definitely use any good ad blocker without any guilt (doesn’t solve most of the problems, but it definitely blocks some of the tracking, tracking is kinda scary when you think about it).
Most of the shady things happen when you don’t see the ads. I was able to see how a person bought a PS4, and then a week later bought a game, and then we pushed ads to that specific user and he came back and bought another game at 2 am! When I could see this much manipulation and data collection, I started to feel a bit uneasy.
38. The Stats Do Lie
I work in market research and do quality and assurance. I essentially review all of the data our interviewers collect from respondents. Aside from that I also edit the data so it makes sense because some people say wild things. I also recode responses and often replace open-ended responses with what I feel is appropriate.
For surveys that ended too soon due to the respondent hanging up, I go into those and complete them. I don’t even call the respondent back, I literally put whatever I want. We do surveys for political issues like upcoming elections, customer satisfaction studies, and for colleges/universities. We even have a reoccurring study that collects data from people who were impacted from the BP oil spill. We recently picked up a job the IRS wants us to conduct too.
It really opened my eyes to look at where data comes from and how honest that company is who collected and validated the data.
39. Can’t Drink At Dave’s
If you work for a Famous Dave’s BBQ you can’t order any drinks from any Famous Dave’s even if you’re off the clock or don’t work at that particular restaurant. If you do it’s immediate termination. The reason being is because Famous Dave himself had problems with drinking and since he couldn’t handle his drinks, neither can you.
I used to work for a large smartphone company. During development, we used to go through phases: Engineering Verification testing stage, Design Verification Test, Production Verification Test, and finally Mass Production. Each stage was meant to have checkpoints in order to ensure that the final product was built with good quality and any known bugs were ironed out before the product launch. Any bug that was not resolved would potentially have the ability to delay the launch.
Except that there is a thing called waivers. So the PM could request that certain bugs be granted a waiver, delaying the fix of the problem to a later date. No big deal, every project has a few minor bugs, right? But here’s the crazy part. For each stage, there would be hundreds of waivers. Some would be minor, to be fair, but sometimes they were definitely not minor.
I will never, ever, buy an electronic device in the first three months of mass production. Wait for the second wave of production, the quality of the product increases ten-fold.
41. I Can See Clearly Now
Optics Insider: Lenses that are sold for wholesale cost anywhere from $0.25 to $40 and are resold for retail at $150 to $800 depending on different factors. Online retailers, brick-and-mortar stores, and private practices all get their lens supplies from a handful of lens labs. So you’re probably getting the Lenscrafters equivalent of an $800 lens for $300 at a private practice, but for $50 online.
Be wary of manufacturing defects when ordering online, though! Take your online purchases to a local optometrist and tell them you bought it at “Costco” and that you’re just having troubles with it. Ask the optician to check any online purchased glasses after receiving them! Brand-named frames are often cheaply produced along with non-brand frames.
When picking frames take a glance at the hinges—cheap frame hinges will be composed of two prongs on the “temple” (the legs of the frames) and one prong on the actual frame front to connect the legs. You’ll find these on your $600 Tiffany, Chanel, GG, etc. glasses all the time. If these hinges break, it’s game over. What you should look for is hinges composed of five total prongs coming together. Three on the temple and two on the frame to form a solid connection.
42. Quick Chat
Apple severely limits the number of chat and phone support advisors it has working at any time, which generally causes customers to sit waiting in a queue for quite a while. They just began this practice to save money. Once customers do get with an advisor, they may be met with someone Apple trained, or they may get someone who has been outsourced and has received next to no training.
If the customer got an outsourced advisor, chances are their issue will not be solved, and they will call or chat back in and be angry. Considering the usual wait times, that’s not fun to deal with for the advisors or the customers. While the chat advisors used to take up to two chats at a time, Apple has now forced them to take three.
It may not seem like much, but trust me. That third chat is like adding a completely new job to the role. The three chat thing went over so poorly that they’ve actually had to put a freeze on it for a month while they hire more outsourced employees to handle the waiting volume.
Apple talks about how it prides itself in its customer satisfaction, but in the past six to eight months it has turned into a turnaround mill. Advisors’ jobs aren’t to focus on you to solve your issues anymore. It’s to get you out of there as quickly as possible, because you cost the company money.
43. Testing The Truth
I work for a non-destructive testing company. A notable portion of castings for automobiles and wind turbines are cracked and shouldn’t be in circulation, but clients will often force inspectors to expand the criteria for rejection to ensure large acceptance rates by threatening to take business elsewhere. It sure makes you think twice before you get into a car.
44. Star System
It has been several years, but when I worked at a certain satellite tv company, they had a value system for customers. You are valued at one to five stars, based on how much you spend, and how much they value you as a customer. If you are a higher star value, they will do basically anything to keep you. You will get a ton of services and equipment for free, and they will bend over backward to keep you from canceling.
If you are a one or two star, they don’t care. Especially one stars, because it usually means that you are late all the time, or that you don’t spend very much. If you call in asking for deals or credits, they won’t give it to you. If you threaten to cancel, no one cares. Also, there are special phone lines for people they consider “VIPS”. They never have to wait on hold, and only special employees are allowed to take the phone calls.
45. Not So Homemade
I worked at Panera. The bread comes in as dough in bread pans the night before, and bakers come in in the morning and put it in the oven. Everything was pre-made but assembled in the store like the paninis. Leftover bread/bakery products were free for closing employees to take home. (I ate more bagels than I care to admit, being a starving college student and all).
46. Mary Kay Calling
I worked at Mary Kay. The company encouraged the sales consultants to buy a big stock of products with the argument that they could give a faster service to their clients. The trick was that the company changed a little thing about the product package every season, so the pictures in the catalog will look different from the product in the stock, even if everything was brand new.
If a client received the “old” bottle they would think the product was outdated, making most of the stock unsellable. The sales directors that noticed this could advise their group to buy stock just at the beginning of the season, but the greedy ones encouraged their new consultants to get big piles of stock at the end season promotions, just to achieve their own group goals. Planned obsolescence at its best.
47. It’s A Grind
I used to work in the meat department at Whole Foods—and let me tell you, it was a hot mess up in there. Hopefully, things have changed, but our manager was insistent on using past-due meat to make grinds for burgers, sausages, etc.
I once got in trouble because I threw out the ammonia-scented chicken tenderloins that had expired two weeks ago, rather than grinding them up for chicken patties.
48. Outsourced Operation
Many years ago I worked with a firm that evaluated medical school applications—and when I realized what they were doing, I was horrified.
Medical schools get so many applications (over a thousand per year in some cases) that many of them pawn the initial evaluation work off to outside groups, who then subcontract to temp agencies during application season. The school makes the final decision of course, but the initial pre-evaluation is handled by temps who might not even have degrees.
These agencies are paid by quantity and not by quality. There’s a strong pressure in the organization to process as many applications as possible, as quickly as possible. It’s not a formal quota, but management definitely noticed if your numbers went down. I don’t even want to contemplate how many excellent potential doctors my colleagues rejected because they were in too much of a hurry.
Some of them likely spent their lives preparing for their med school application only to get preemptively rejected by someone with no medical qualifications. This was 15 years ago, so I sincerely hope the system has reformed since then.
49. Keep It Clean
Former Starbucks partner here. I’ve worked at a variety of different stores during my stint as a barista, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to clean an espresso machine, only to feel deeply disgusted by the state of things. I’ve found mold on multiple occasions.
I’ve only worked in one store that followed the cleaning protocol correctly, out of a total of six (all in a major US city). Also, don’t be a jerk when you place your order, otherwise, you will without a doubt be given decaf coffee. I’ve even witnessed assistant store managers do this to customers.
Try to avoid going to dental chains (Aspen Dental, etc.). They push you to get procedures done you don’t need and your appointment times are usually as fast as the doctor can find the first thing that’s wrong. Doctors are overworked and this can end in disaster. It increases the chance they will mess up.
If you can’t pay, they help you finance, but you’ll get hit with a 20%+ interest rate when you miss your first payment. They also overwork and underpay staff, which leads to disgruntled staff who don’t care. And like all public service positions, there’s no backbone against angry patients. You have to bend over backward and kiss their behinds.
The only way this system works (and it does) is when you have caring, skilled staff across the board. This rarely happens due to high overturn. After one horrifying experience, I knew I had to get out.
The new doctor at our office pulled too many teeth in a procedure and had to give a patient a full denture instead of a partial. He blamed the assistant and she was fired. The lab was overwhelmed with extra work from his mistakes. I didn’t feel the doctor cared about anything but money and I couldn’t morally do it.
I couldn’t say he was a good doctor when deep down I knew it was a lie. This is the reason I hate commercialized medicine.
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