People Share The Inside Secrets They Learned From Work (20 Posts)


Ask anyone who has been inside an industry for a while for some “secrets” and they’ll have stories to tell you!

That’s exactly what u/You_are_a_dolt got when they posted a now-viral AskReddit question wondering:

“What’s a trade secret you know from working the industry?”

Let’s take a look.

1. Call Center

If you call a call center of any kind, and the person you’re talking to puts you on hold with no hold music, they can hear everything you’re saying. I worked in an insurance call center when I was really young. I had so many people accidentally confess to insurance fraud that way.


2. Shiny utensils

Vinegar is the best thing to get your cutlery shiny in a restaurant/bar


3. Arcade games

Arcade crane games have knobs inside that let you control how strong the claw grabs. So you basically make the claw really weak strength and then there’s a setting in the motherboard to make the claw go full power after a certain amount of plays. Whatever the arcade or owner decides how often they want people to actually win.


4. Photographs

As a freelance photographer, most magazines and newspapers don’t pay you for using your photos. They offer you photo credit only. If you ask to be paid, they just get a similar photo from someone else.


5. Natural Gas

A certain 48” Interstate Natural Gas pipeline valve is being kept open by a strategically placed piece of 2×4 lumber. If the valve was closed, millions of people would be without Nat Gas fairly quickly.


6. Random announcements

When you shop at Walmart, do you sometimes hear the announcement saying security cameras to zone six, or another number? They play them randomly in the hopes that someone who might be stealing will get paranoid thinking they’re being watched, and will decide not to shoplift.


7. Flights

If you are involuntarily kicked off a flight because of over sales you can demand cash instead of a voucher…


8. Recycling is a scam

Things may have changed in the past few years, but generally speaking plastic is hardly ever recycled any more. It used to be shipped to China for processing, but even they had a hard time with the amount of pollution and toxic waste produced by recycling it. Now it will get shipped to other countries in Asia where more often than not it just gets dumped into the Pacific Ocean. A lot of municipalities just add it to a landfill.


9. Carpenters

Trade: Carpentry Specifically low end commercially made exterior doors with wooden jambs. What is used on most new construction. The door itself may be fiberglass or metal, but the door jamb is made of short pieces of soft moisture absorbing wood. If you own a house in a wet, humid environment and have an exterior door that is unprotected from the elements, meaning that it isn’t located under a roof of some sort, or gets wet every time it rains – the lower part of the door jamb is probably in some stage of rotting away. Perhaps the aluminum threshold has already detached and now there’s a huge fucking gap under the door. Do not expect a carpenter to repair just the part of the door jamb that is rotting and reattach the threshold like a fucking magician. Just buy an entire new door and have a carpenter replace the door. Or do it yourself, it’s not that difficult. But! This is the secret -> Pay the extra cost and get an exterior door with non rotting PVC, or composite door jamb. Do not replace it with the same piece of shit door that has already rotted. Otherwise within a few years, if you’re lucky, you will be in the same situation. Honestly I think there should be a class action lawsuit regarding the planned obsolescence of these types of exterior doors. Our landfills are full of them. Our wallets are emptier because of them.


10. Garments can’t be copyrighted

You cannot copyright or patent a garment design. Only trademarks and branding are able to be protected in the fashion industry. Literally anyone can legally copy any garment so long as they don’t use logos or other copyrighted/trademarked branding. (Edit: since a lot of people like technicalities, it is possible to patent novel non-obvious design features, but it’s niche and rare. It’s typically sports related clothing like shoes where this is more common) This is why so many luxury brands slap their logos and such all over things they sell. It’s the only way they can distinguish something that could otherwise be copied down to the smallest detail. As such, many knockoffs and imitations are literally made by the same people in the same factories as the branded good, but they’ll print a slightly different logo or pattern. ‘Otherwise the finished products may be identical.

Also, many high end fashion brands license their brand to other other companies for manufacturing. So you’ll have your super high tier brand garment be identical to a lower tier brand, with the only difference being the label. Sometimes they’re even coming off of the same production line at the same time, but there are two buckets at the end with each getting a different label. Occasionally they will use slightly higher quality materials on the higher tier brand, but not always. Some brands will manufacture products exclusively for stores like Ross and TJ Maxx that are of a lower material quality than what you’d buy in Nordstrom/Macys/etc, but those same brands will also send otherwise unsold wholesale to those stores, so there will be a mix of the real McCoy and purpose made cheepos. In all cases, never let a label fool you. Look for the quality of the fabrics and stitching first. Everything else is smoke and mirrors.


11. Rebar

I doubt this will be too interesting to most but if you buy 100 tons of straight rebar, you’re actually only getting like 95 tons of steel. ASTM allows the rebar to be up to 6% lighter than the nominal weight per foot and so it saves on raw material if you aim to run 4-5% light. However rebar is tested based on the nominal weight per foot so two pieces of rebar with the same strength will be able to hold the same amount of force even if one is “thinner” than the other.


12. Drug-free

Having a crew that can pass a drug test is not the same as having a drug-free crew.


13. FedEx Express

If you ship through FedEx express, if you’re sending many packages/envelopes to a single stop, ship one priority overnight and the rest standard. They’ll be delivered together with the priority package.


14. Welding

On any piece of machinery, if the welds you see look like shit, the welds you don’t see are even worse.


15. Medicine

If a medical professional ever suggests you get a second opinion, e.g. a nurse at the doctors office…. It can be code for they are concerned about the quality of the medical care you are currently receiving. And that you REALLY should get that second opinion.


16. HVAC

As an HVAC mechanical engineer, if you tell us you don’t care about a brand it’ll open up an entire industry of options. Almost all packaged equipment has the same efficiency and warranty, but some brands just cost way more than others because of whatever internal proprietary controls they have or inflated egos or whatnot. I can design you a system for 30-50% less sometimes if you give me the flexibility to do so. I can also show you a comparison to prove to you that two systems of different costs will operate equally.


17. Golf

Worked in high end golf clubs for years- almost all politicians register their handicap scores under a false name. The USGA handicap records are technically public information, and people would be pretty pissed if they knew how much time these guys actually spend playing golf.


18. Lawyers

Attorneys can really only remember the details of about 20 to 40 cases at a time, so if you call your attorney after about a month or two, depending on the firm and how busy they are, they likely completely forgot what happened to you, and are working off a set of notes to pretend they have any clue who you are. Especially if you’ve really only interacted with them via phone other than one time in person for an intake or whatever.


19. ERs

All Emergency rooms are not EQUAL emergency rooms. In my hospital, we don’t have any sort of OB, Pediatrics or any of that. When ever a kid comes in, or worse a baby, the nurses and doctors are all in a panic. Not because they’re incompetent but because that’s not what our hospital does regularly. Sure we will stabilize to the best of our ability and we will immediately call the local childrens hospital, but if you have a child for example in distress, and you have multiple hospitals near by, try being aware before hand which one is the best for yours or your child’s needs. You don’t want to rush into an ER where there isn’t someone who can confidently and effectively treat you.


20. Calls

Calls are not being answered in the order received.


Kate Hackett

Kate is a freelance writer, actor, author and columnist living in Los Angeles.