15 People Share Their “I Did It for Nothing” Moments

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Nothing is more disappointing than putting all your effort into something and realizing that you did it all for nothing.

Nada. Zilch. Zero.

They say that “No good work is wasted.”

Well, they’re wrong.

And these folks on AskReddit went on record to share their very painful, very real… “I did it for nothing” moments.

1. Doh!

“I spent probably the first 20 years of my deodorant wearing life struggling to get that little plastic cover thing off the top of a new stick of deodorant. I’d pry it off with my nails, even go so far as to use my teeth on a particularly stubborn one.

Then at like age 32 (married with a child I was responsible for keeping alive) I realized all I needed to do was turn the dial on the bottom, extending the stick slightly, and the plastic cover thingy popped right off.

I’m utterly ashamed to have just admitted that, but I feel such a weight off my chest. I am not a smart man.”

2. Password problem

“Not me but a buddy of mine – he wanted to check his bank balance from my computer one night so I said sure. So he loads up the bank website and tries typing in his password. At that point he notices that the password dialogue will only accept the first 6 characters. His password was 8 characters long. So he’s like WTF? So I also use this bank and was like, dude, it has only ever let you do a max of 6 characters.

He said no, he’s always had an 8 character password for this bank site which he’s used for years. So I said, why don’t you try just typing in the first 6 characters of your password anyway and… it logged him in. So for years he was typing an 8 character password on this site, not realizing that it would stop at 6 every time. Now maybe because we’d had a few beers at this point but we had a good laugh over this one…”

3. A whole lotta gas cans

“When I was 16 and had just learned how to drive I got distracted and ran out of gas about 2 miles up the road from the gas station.

I called my best friend and she came and got me and we drove to the gas station to get a gas can and fill it to take it to the car. But all the gas cans only held 2 gallons each, and I had a 12 gallon tank! So *naturally,* we bought 6, filled them up, used them to fill up my car, and then handed out the remaining gas cans as gifts to family members. I will NEVER forget the look on my stepdad’s face when I explained why I was giving him a gas can.

It didn’t even occur to either of us that the function of the gas can was just to get you back to the gas station. I was on my way to the beach about an hour away, so I drove the whole way down there with 6 empty gas cans in my car. And never once thought to question my excellent decision. :)”

4. The long way

“Not me, but years ago in one of my classes “Technology and Society” or something.

I watched the professor bring up Yahoo search, search for Google, click the link to go to Google search, and then type the exact URL of the website he wanted to go to into the search bar.”

5. Don’t bother

“Bulls**t paperwork.

Apparently, I was the only person including an equipment checklist and safety evaluation in my post job paperwork packet for a whole f**king year before someone told me we didn’t have to anymore. Corporate was just throwing those in the trash.

They’ll s**t their pants demanding certain things but just let you flap in the wind doing menial tasks if it is of no consequence to them.”

6. Hard on the knees

“I used to be a lighting technician in an office high rise. I swapped out all the florescent tubes on a floor for LED tubes. We’re talking like 350 bulbs and 2 days work. I would go up the ladder, take off a lens, swap the bulb and then reach to do the same thing on another light (if the layout allowed it). Then come down, move the ladder and repeat, hell on my knees and a real pain in the a$$.

I managed to develop a grinding in my knee due to a condition I was unaware I had and ended up in physio because of this. On top of that. I had to keep the area spic and span in case someone wanted to look at the space to lease it, which meant I’d have to walk the cases of old bulbs to the area where I was to keep them and then take them to the recycling area when I got too many.

Anyways… I get the floor done and I am eating lunch with some of the office folk, someone asks where I have been because they haven’t seen much of me, so I explain. The head of tenant construction stops me and says “Why the hell did they make you do that? We’re tearing the walls out and changing the lighting layout.” Apparently leasing knew all about this but my department manager neglected to check in with them before starting a retrofit on what they assumed was an empty floor.

Close to 15 hours of work and damaged knees, for nothing.”

7. Years wasted

“Another guy’s moment:

Worked in a kitchen and saw a guy scooping new, solid fryer oil into the cleaned, empty deep fryer with a spoon.

The block of oil was large and the process would take ages.

I grabbed the box of oil, flipped it over and placed it on top of the deep fryer, pulled off the cardboard and the plastic and walked away. The pilot light would melt the solid block, eventually, and it could be left unattended.

The look on that guy’s face was priceless. He had been scooping it in, one spoonful at a time, for years.”

8. Those are fake, darling

“My wife has a notoriously black thumb, she cant even keep the weeds alive.

So I bought her a nice plastic succulent arrangement for her desk rather than getting her a real plant. The other day she said to me “I’m so proud of myself, I’ve been watering that plant and moving it daily so it gets enough sun, and I’ve kept it alive for a year!”

She was not pleased when I told her you don’t need to water fake plants. Slept on the couch that night but I had a great laugh.”

9. Like tobacco

“About two years ago I was having breakfast with my landlady and her son (I used to work with him), and she gave me an orange. I started eating it the same way I’ve been eating oranges for my entire life (I was 25 years old at the time), but I couldn’t help but feel like something was wrong.

I kept catching them looking at me out of the corners of their eyes as we talked and ate. It really messed with my head and made me think that there was something wrong with me. They kept sneakily looking at me, then at my orange, then at each other, then back at me, and when our eyes would meet they would quickly look away. “What are they looking at?!” I thought. “What am I doing wrong?!”

I figured it had to do with the orange, so… after breakfast I went home and tried to look up “how to eat an orange.” Man oh man…

Apparently the flesh of an orange is edible?!

I had always thought that only the juice was edible, and the flesh and skin were not, so for YEARS, for my ENTIRE LIFE, I would get an orange slice, chew it until I’d squeezed all the juice out of it, and then spit it out and place it on a napkin before moving on to the next slice. I “ate” oranges like pieces of gum. Chew until flavorless, spit out, repeat. Like chewing tobacco!

To this day I am still so embarrassed by the fact that these people were looking at me create this disgusting tower of chewed up, spit out, mushy orange flesh on their dining room table, and they must’ve found my behavior to be so odd and unsettling that they just couldn’t bring themselves to say anything!”

10. No need for that

“I used to pick up my elderly neighbors mail from the lobby in our apartment block every day and post it into her flat for 3 years.

Turns out she died 6 months after we moved in.”

11. Decades

“I folded my socks, boxers and white undershirts for a couple of decades.

Then I realized I could just toss them all into their drawers and grab what I needed.

I also bought a few packs of the same exact socks and got rid of all my mismatched.

That way I can just grab 2 random socks and they’ll match.”

12. Study hard?

“Got a 3.8 gpa in college with 2 majors and a minor.

Turns out employers don’t care at all and one 2 month summer internship is viewed as far more important that college grades.”

13. That’s a lot of fire extinguishers

“EHS/security here. I did the monthly inspection on 268 fire extinguishers a few days ago.

What I didn’t realize is that our fire safety company should be coming in later this month to recharge/replace any of them that need it, and the client might want me to do all of that again right after the fire company does their thing.

If so, it’s getting done February 1st, dammit.”

14. Wow

“I had my house keys on one keychain and my car keys on another.

It took me an embarrassing amount of time to realize that I could combine my keys and have two sets, one with each key.”

15. Didn’t realize that was there!

“Was riding in a car with my girlfriend.

It was a sunny day with the sun shining in from the drivers side.

I noticed her holding her hand up to block the sun.

I reached over and lowered the visor then swung it to the window.

She was 30 and didn’t know that was possible.”

Alright, those were something else, right?

Have any of these moments you’d like to share?

Do that in the comments, fam!