Each profession has some dark secrets that others don’t know about. But when a Reddit user asked, “What’s a dark secret/questionable practice in your profession which we regular folks would know nothing about?” several people answered. 

Below are some of the darkest secrets. 

What Is Hiding In Your Walls

“There is at least one water bottle/soda can/energy drink/ spray paint can sitting on a piece of blocking behind your drywall somewhere in your house.” — Djdubbs

Christ, I wish I didn’t know this, as now I will just be looking at a wall and just thinking of what is behind it.

Unclean Pizzerias!

“At a huge pizza chain restaurant that remains widely popular, we had these perforated pans for thin crust and stuffed crust pizzas. They’d get washed in the dishwasher by the hundreds per day, and at least half would still have burnt cheese and shit on them. Well, they were just stacked to dry.

“When making new pizzas in those pans, sometimes the pans that were left to ‘dry’ overnight grew bits of mold around the burnt cheese. We were told just to put the dough on top because otherwise, we’d never keep up with the orders if we rewashed everything. The manager said, ‘don’t worry, it gets cooked.'” — 69fatboy420

I always knew that takeaways weren’t clean, but I just kind of put that to the back of my mind. However, reading it and thinking about it makes me question every takeaway pizza that I have ever eaten.

The Truth About Instruction Manuals

“You know the people who write instruction manuals or user guides in things you buy? Half the time, they’ve never even seen or touched the product. Some dude sends us pictures, a rough description of how it’s supposed to work, and that’s it.” — katakago

You know what, this doesn’t surprise me. One other person also added, “Instruction manual writer here, although for software. Do you know how there are always frequently asked questions? I have no idea what’s frequently asked. I make all of them up.”


“Not currently my profession but ghostwriters in fiction. John Grisham, Danielle Steele, James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, etc., all those big names with an NYT bestseller every year, use ghostwriters who are never credited or mentioned. It’s barely even a secret.” — provocatrixless

I thought that everyone knew about ghostwriters, but sadly a lot of people don’t care. I cannot imagine watching my work sell like hotcakes under someone else’s name.

Teaching On The Fly

“Sometime we learn something the day before we teach it to you.” — pamacdon

There were a lot of tutors and teachers who agreed with this. One other person added, “Yup. It’s not uncommon. I always have to reassure new instructors. They always feel like they need to know the whole breath of the course before they start teaching. You have to stay a week ahead of the students.”

Fast Food Workers

“I’ve worked in fast food, and it is a sad reality that many workers will come to work sick because they can’t afford to lose wages. One year, the flu was going around town, and I think our restaurant was ground zero.” — TiredOldRoutine

This one is just sad in reality. And, this doesn’t just occur in the US, as one other person added, “I work in a pub in the UK and the countless times I’ve been in work full of cold/flu or had some sickness bug you get a lot of sh*t for calling in sick and half the time it’s just not worth the loss of pay/aggro from the boss I’ve had managers that cut people’s hours just because they called in sick it’s a really [terrible] industry to be in.”

Vets Who Help Out Pets That Are Being Put Down

“I have worked in vetmed since 2013. I have this habit, especially when owners don’t want to be present for their pet’s euthanasia, in which I give their pets chocolate, pieces of my meal (meat, bread, cheese, even onions/garlic), or the best wet food from our pantry before them being given the drugs that help them pass.

“They don’t suffer from the damaging effects of those foods if they’re being euthanized minutes after. I like to give them a taste of something they would never get to try otherwise. Of course, I would never do this unless the pet was already en route to the room where the procedure would take place.” — RodentRescue

This one is painfully beautiful. I also never understood how people could leave their pets alone to be put down, it’s your responsibility, and you should comfort them in their last moments. And, way to go, I just bummed myself out. Let’s move on to a funnier one!

Evil Librarians!

“Sometimes librarians read the new books before registering them in the catalog for the public. [Evil laughter*]” — ashesthenphoenix

This is so wholesomely evil. I love it. I also know that I would do this if I had the chance!

Why Programmers Have So Many Screens

“The real reason programmers have so many screens is that one of them almost always has Google pulled up on it. No one knows what they are doing 100% off the time. It typically always ‘hmmm this should work’ or ‘well hope this works.'” — killerhacks86

This one is quite reassuring, as it makes me feel less terrible for sometimes Googling things that I feel I should know the answer to. Although, programmers googling things feels like it will have much more critical real-world implications than me just trying to remember where Beck was born.

Double Booking Rooms

“Many hotels often sell rooms multiple times. They are used to working in an airport hotel. Knowing that some guests won’t arrive due to missed or delayed flights, we sell more rooms than we have.

“You have guests checking out from 2/3 am due to early flights, so even though the room is technically still theirs, you quickly and sometimes poorly clean the room and tell the unexpected arriving guest or new booking there’s a random computer issue and to wait 20 mins and then check them into the departed guest’s room praying. Multiple times I’ve had to run a kettle under a cold tap to hide the fact the previous guest used it 15 mins before the new guest arrives.” — AndromedaFire

And that is why I always check the kettle’s temperature when I first get into a room! I can’t settle until I’ve done this!

Bumping Up The Bills At Hotel Bars

“I work for a hotel doing conferences and significant events such as weddings. I would advise people NEVER to have a host bar, i.e., all the drinks for the evening go on one tab. For example, the company owner may pay for all the drinks, or the family of the bride or groom may pay for all the drinks.

“It is common practice for my bosses to come along and press random buttons on the till to rack up the bill without actually serving any guests. If I catch them doing it, I’ll immediately get rid of them as it’s not right. They don’t get any extra pay if we sell more at the bar, so the only reason they do it is to be like look at me to their boss.” — hastily_named

I wish I could use this excuse for having spent too much money on alcohol on nights out, but the truth is that I always end up buying too many damn drinks.

Working At A Pharmacy

“Former retail pharmacy technician. I received many forged prescriptions for strong narcotics for otherwise seemingly young, healthy patients. In hindsight, it’s really sad because I’m witnessing the opioid crisis unfold before my eyes. But the pharmacist has full discretion to pretend we don’t have the drug in stock, turn people away, or straight up call the cops.

“We will put on our acting game and keep these people at the pharmacy until the cops arrive.” — rx6553

Companies That Take Your Personal Information

“Have you ever started filling out a form for a quote on something (insurance website, or anything) and then changed your mind and said ‘Nah, I don’t want to give them my personal information, and then abandoned the form before pressing ‘submit’?

“If you think that stopped them from getting your personal information, it didn’t. Most companies looking to capture leads will capture your info in real-time as you enter it into a form. The submit button is just there to move you to the next step, not to send your information to the company.” — phpdevster

Well, that’s good to know. Make sure you take this into account when you’re next thinking about applying for something!

“Have You Got Any In The Back?”

“Retail worker here, when you ask an employee to check for something in the back, we almost always know if we’re out of it but go back there anyway. We [don’t] check for the item. Instead, we go on our phone for a few minutes and act as we looked.” — hindenbob

I knew it! However, in fairness, I’m usually more than happy to wait, even if they are going on their phones. I’ll probably be checking my phone while they’re gone, so it’s no actual loss.

How Customs Works

“Customs broker here. Every day hundreds of thousands of containers and air shipments arrive into United States territory. The volume of customs entries entered every day is staggering. When we get licensed to be a customs broker, we are trained and tested on knowledge and ethics. We even pledge to partner with CBP to uphold the law and cooperate with them if we encounter anything suspicious. Why so much emphasis on this?

“Customs can’t screen everything coming in. I’m oversimplifying, but CBP works on the honor system. You file an entry saying what the shipment is, and they take your word for it and release it. This happens hundreds of thousands of times a day. Maybe at best customs can screen 3-7% of what’s coming in, the rest of just waived through…” — callmeraylo

Kids Sharing Everything With Their Teachers!

“Young kids talk to their teachers/coaches/[counselors]/principals about their parents. A lot. And kids pick up on all the dirty little secrets.” — MineralWaterMike

I can see why they would say things like this to counselors. Isn’t that the whole point of kids having counselors to talk to? I can imagine teachers hearing some quite strange things out of the blue, though!

More Tales From The Pizzaria!

“When you order pizza, if you have ‘unpopular’ or toppings that are not picked often, you are most likely eating a mixed bag of fresh and spoiled ingredients. Due to pizza kitchens having to refill the toppings containers every week. If the management does not force kitchen staff to empty them and clean them, you will end up eating rotten and rancid meat and veg.” — GlowingFist

Yet again, here I go telling you things to ruin that lovely pizza you have been so blissfully enjoying! This person went on to explain in an update, “The district I worked in had management that was very intermingled and interchangeable. Where managers and gms would go from store to store every week. The uncleanliness is more of an established tradition at this point than anything else.”

Sickly Air Traffic Controllers

“A diagnosis of virtually any mental illness… and a diagnosis of many physical conditions… is disqualifying and will end your career. For that reason, people avoid doctors like the plague.”

Well, that is sincerely unsettling! I know that for a fact, I will not be able to get this piece of information out of my head when I am next in an airport.

What Your Apartment Is Held Together With

“Your apartment building is probably held together with duct tape and wishful thinking somewhere. Neither tenants nor landlords ever want to pay to fix things properly.” — Mccmangus

I think that there will be many people out there who have encountered this in their personal lives. I remember moving a picture in one flat I lived in and finding a big old hole in the wall. It was like something out of a cartoon.

Body Brokering

“There is a problem in substance abuse treatment in the United States called body brokering. Substance abuse treatment can be costly, and insurance companies pay A LOT of money for a patient to be there. Treatment centers will hire “body brokers” to find addicts with the best, highest-paying insurance and entice them to check in to the specific center. The treatment center then gives the broker a commission from the insurance money.

“This can go as far as body brokers putting more drugs into the hands of some addicts before they come in bc the higher level of drugs in your system upon admit, the more and longer the insurance company will pay to the treatment center.

“brokers will also hire other addicts in a pyramid scheme type way to check in to the treatment center, make friends with the other patients, and upon discharge encourage relapse, so they come back to treatment.”— VaguelyLatina