Reddit users recently took to the web to share their best kept industry secrets, ranging from food service deception to academic fraud. Many of these former employees spilled the beans on what was overlooked or blatantly lied about and how customers were treated behind-the-scenes. These insider secrets will probably ruffle some feathers when their bosses find out...
This Side Up
I worked at UPS ages ago. The word “FRAGILE” on a box meant nothing to us, so make sure you pack your stuff properly.
Credit: Reddit / @Kevoguy
Customer Rating 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 1-5 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 backwards to keep you from cancelling.
If you are a 1 or 2 star, they don’t care about you. Especially 1 stars, because it usually means that you are late on payments all the time, or that you don’t spend very much. If you call in asking for deals or credits, they won’t give them 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.
Credit / Reddit: @mermaidsthrowaway
Salt Scrub Price Gouging
A “high class” spa I worked at used epsom salts and vegetable oil for their $65 salt scrubs.
Credit: Reddit / @captnfirepants
Smartphones Aren't That Smart
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 would be able to be ironed out before the product launch. Any buy that was not resolved would potentially have the ability to delay the launch.
Except that there is a thing called Waivers. So, the product manager 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?
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 3 months of mass production. Wait for the second wave of production, the quality of the product increases ten-fold.
Credit: Reddit / @Project2r
Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend
Worked in retail jewellery in Australia. This would apply pretty much everywhere.
Most all items for sale (the exception would be promotional pieces, or special collections) has a “minimum” and a “maximum” price.
Don’t take for face value that the price is what you have to pay. Ask straight up “what is the min on this item”. Say it like you know what you are talking about. Sometimes the “min” price can be hundreds lower than the displayed price.
Credit: Reddit / @baccgirl
Wash Your Produce, Please
Wash your fruits and vegetables very thoroughly a lot of them will end up being scooped off a disgusting warehouse floor and put back in the package after falling out.
Credit: Reddit / @x720xWastedx
Head of the Class
Worked for a private school. Grades were definitely bought. We were discouraged to give anything lower than a B. Had one principal that told a teacher to take the final for a student that went on summer vacation early. She called it a shadow final and said nonchalantly that it's no big deal, just answer how you think the student would answer.
This school is expensive, and these kids go on to fancy colleges because of these grades.
My friend went to a fairly nice school, and one of her favorite professors was telling her about how he failed a student who showed up to like 1/4th of the classes and never did homework, but his family was rich and donated or something. So his parents emailed him asking if he could reconsider moving it up to a B and he said no. Later on he checked and the school had changed it to a B.
Credit : Reddit / @dwarvenmonk & @Pinsit
Fun, Fun, Fun
Every, single, automotive parts company will let you return anything if you simply call the district manager. I have yet to see anything not taken care of when it reaches their level. You think your battery is under warranty but its not showing up? Call the DM. They'll tell the store to take care of it. 100%, everytime.
Credit: Reddit / @jay2josh
One of my Facebook friends interviewed for a teaching position at the school district I work for. She was nervous and awaited the news with 100% more anxiety than she should have. The teacher shortage we have here is so bad we’ll pretty much take anyone that’s completed their certification, including people that have just obtained it and have never stepped foot in a classroom before.
Credit: Reddit / @AuroraLux
Used to work for a coffee shop whose claim to fame was that all food items were made from scratch in house. All of their pastries were made using Pillsbury dough, and every other kind of dessert was bought from a grocery store.
Credit: Reddit / @Desperate4Potato
I worked at a car dealership. The $1200 car care system that we would discount to $900 was “applied” with about 15 squirts of a spray bottle. Many times I’d hang out with the detail guys so the customer wouldn’t get suspicious at a quick turnaround.
Credit: Reddit / @DirtynDurham
Snake Oil Salesman
I used to work in skincare: None of the products cost more than $2 to manufacture, but would retail at anything from $20 to $150 per product.
Always amazed me how much people would shell out for anything with volcanic clay or snake venom cream.
Credit: Reddit / @DWeb338
Just Sell it on eBay
I take donations at Goodwill. We throw away a good 90% of what we get.
Credit: Reddit / @jibsand
Scientist here. About 50% of all published results cannot be reproduced in another lab. A lot of statistics are tweaked with to get results that are ‘statistically significant,' which is skimming the edge of what’s legal and what is not.
Credit: Reddit / @Holdin_McGroin
Vegan Garlic 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 that they can enjoy that garlic-y goodness without worrying. “Garlic butter” just sounds more appetizing than the truth.
Credit: Reddit / @the_xxvii
I used to work at Whole Foods, in our bakery department. Almost nothing, aside from the bread is made from scratch there. This shouldn't be too shocking, considering they're a multi-national chain now, but really it'd be more correct to say that our cakes are "assembled" in house.
Credit: Reddit / @DandyLyen
'Salesmen With a Clip-On Tie'
Former Geek Squad here— most of the people that work there aren’t really technical at all. We usually just walk it over to a bench, hook it up to a corporate VLAN and just run some software. If there are real issues, people remotely connect from India or somewhere else.
We are basically just salesmen with a clip-on tie.
Credit: Reddit / @Moots_point
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 & materials (effectively hourly).
When some internal people started complaining about the excessive overtime IBM offered them the option of becoming an “hourly” employee. 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 cancelled or delayed because IBM chose to use these employees as an example of what happens when you complain too loudly.
Credit: Reddit / @UniqueConstraint
10% Less Plastic
The sustainability policy is not about the environment at all, it is about cost reduction.
Credit: Reddit / @Georgesghajj
Generic is Just as Good!
I work at a VERY large farming company that grows and packages a certain 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 product in it.
Credit: Reddit / @Clumsymax
Easter Sale, Rabbits Half Off
A loooooong time ago I worked in a pet store at a mall. The company’s motto was “The customer comes first” which is a kind of weird motto to have when you’re selling animals. They obviously cared more about sales than the animals’ welfare, and would push rabbit sales around Easter even though buying a rabbit just because they’re cute around a particular holiday is a terrible, terrible idea. They also sold a number of exotic small animals that I’m pretty sure would have actually made terrible pets due to being nocturnal and high-strung.
In short, don’t shop at pet stores. Your local animal shelter has your new best friend waiting for you, for much cheaper or maybe even free.
Credit: Reddit / [deleted]
100% Recycled, 100% False
Our Chinese manufacturers will be more than willing to supply us with a certificate assuring us and our clients that the cardboard and paper packaging for our new line of electronics is 100% recycled and eco-friendly. 1000% lies.
Credit: Reddit / jpegjockey
"It Just Has to Look Clean"
I recently started working for a cleaning firm. My boss basically said: “It doesn’t actually have to be clean, it just has to look clean.”
Edit: Yeah, what I meant was “it doesn’t have to be sanitized, it just has to look clean.” English is not my first language, so I didn’t realize there was a significant difference.
Credit: Reddit / @snigel_rumpa
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 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.
It isn’t really a big secret but I thought it’s quite funny.
Credit: Reddit / @imjohnk
Non-Disclosure Agreement for Tuna?
Former sandwich shop employee. They put soy sauce in the tuna salad. There, that’s the secret recipe. Manager made me sign an NDA about it. Spy sauce. Shhh.
Credit: Reddit / @bluntforcecastration
Casino Tips and Tricks
I work for a casino. Pro tip: Don’t go.
Credit: Reddit / @pleasenojunkthanks
Silicon Valley Blues
Big technology companies providing really slick services, especially where you buy things online, make it look like they really have their act together.
Most of them don’t. Their back end systems are held together by virtual rubber bands and glue and their staff stumble from one fire to another because the management teams never stop trying to develop new features to allow technical debt to be repaid. The public facing end is just fancy enough to hide all that from you.
Credit: Reddit / @seamustheseagull
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 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, bused everyone at the conference there (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.
Credit: Reddit / @schnit123
Pizza Tracker Scam
Domino's pizza tracker isn’t accurate. Employees can enter whatever they want on the computer to make your order appear at a different stage than it actually is.
Seriously, two weeks ago I ordered Dominos for the last time in my life. After 10 minutes it was “on delivery.”
45 minutes later I call and ask, “Hey, where’s my food?” The woman on the line put down the phone for 15 seconds (without muting it, I might add) and says, “Yeah, the driver just left.”
I call back another 45 minutes later, and a different person picks up. “Hey, I’ve been waiting over an hour and a half, where’s my pizza?”
“Oh! I’m so sorry! That driver was in an accident! We’re remaking it!”
Pizza arrives after 2 hours and 15 minutes.
“Hey, this ticket says the pizza was done 2 hours ago!”
Delivery guy: “Oh no, we put the time an hour back so they get out sooner!”
“My pizza is cold. It’s been 2 and a half hours since it said it was out for delivery two hours ago. I’m complaining to corporate and doing a charge back on my credit card.”
I call corporate as soon as they open, they tell me, “Yeah, we’ve had a lot of complaints about that location, thanks for the input.”
Credit: Reddit / @Felicity_Bad & @lemlemons