If You Were No Longer Bound By Your NDA, What Story Could You Tell?

Personally, I’ve never been asked to sign a NDA, and that’s probably a good thing – secrets and I are not happy bedfellows, I’m not sorry to admit. So that’s probably a good thing.

It makes sense to me, then, that people who have signed NDAs but are now released from them are dying to talk – and we’ve got some juicy gossip for you below.

Coke and Pepsi Have an Uneasy Alliance

Not my own but from a family friend.

Coca Cola and Pepsi regularly settle disputes behind closed doors on things like employees trying to quit and join the competitor. Their employment contracts have entire clauses stating you cannot be employed by the competing companies even after you quit so to protect company intel and confidentiality.

For example, a Coca Cola employee feels like he is being mistreated by the company so he quits and tries to work for Pepsi. So Pepsis legal team will inform Coca Cola as soon as they find out and Coca Cola will sue the guy for breach of contract and in return Pepsi will pay them. This is done so Pepsi and Coca Cola dont sue each others into bankruptcy for breach of laws regarding industrial competition and market regulations.

Basically a peace treaty of sorts.

Not All Screaming Fans Are Real

Not sure if I’m no longer bound or not or how common knowledge it is, but living in NYC I was paid to be a fan at a major red carpet movie premiere for a popular film franchise.

100% of the people there were paid to act excited as famous actors and a VERY famous director walked out and said hello and did interviews.

We were under strict instructions not to let anyone know we were hired.

Newsflash: “Reality” TV is Anything But

I signed an NDA for a prominent American show where they take a certain type of business on the brink of failure and “transform it” to save the business.

When the producers of the show found out my wife and I both worked there, they tried to fish through our relationship for tv drama.

When they found out we have a solid relationship, they tried to convince us to fake our drama with scripted conflict.

Long story short, we got fed up and quit during shooting. We were cut from the show. Oh well.

They Can’t Prove It, But…

I used to work for a company that tracked ticket sales for theaters across the US. By contractual agreement with Hollywood studios, we collected information for approximately 80% of theaters, but we were not allowed to collect that last 20%. Why?

You may have heard of Hollywood accounting. Hollywood studios work very, very hard to ensure their accounting is as beneficial to the studios as possible. No surprise; all businesses do this. But Hollywood has unusually high amounts of money in very narrow products, creating a distorted market. And the industry is rife with films grossing obscene amounts of money but not reporting a profit.

Because our company couldn’t collect that last 20% of theater data, it wasn’t possible to absolutely say that a movie made X number of dollars.

So, I can’t prove it, but …

On Friday, June 21st, 2002, the movies “Minority Report” and “Lilo and Stitch” were both released to great fanfare.

Minority Report’s opening weeked was reported at $35,677,125 (27.0% of total gross).

Lilo and Stitch’s opening weekend was reported as $35,260,212 (24.2% of total gross).

This is a lie. Lilo and Stitch earned more money than Minority Report its opening weekend. 20th Century Fox couldn’t have a Tom Cruise feature film being beaten by a fucking cartoon. So someone at 20th Century Fox called Disney and offered a deal. Since the full amount of money earned couldn’t be proven, Fox would announce that Minority Report was the top earner for the weekend. In exchange …

We never knew what the exchange was. We simply knew that Minority Report was reported as the top earner and Disney received some benefit for not saying anything.

(And then there was the sh**storm of Gigli later, but that’s another story)

Update: Technically, I could have said this much earlier because when the studios found out our company wasn’t handing out NDAs to employees, the studios were not happy. You do not make Hollywood studios unhappy. So the company quickly rushed to get NDAs out to everyone. They were distributed per team. They were distributed the week that I was switching teams. So both my old and my new team assumed I had an NDA when I didn’t. I never bothered to correct their error.

Not the Puppers!

Adogo is a doggy daycare in Minnesota that made me sign an NDA for two years saying I was not allowed to talk about the company mainly, sadly, because they treat the workers and dogs like shit.

No care for how many dogs were packed into a room, which is both unsafe for the dogs and the dog attendant. Often I’d be alone in a small room with up to 25+ dogs, most who only had the most minor of Behavioral tests done to see if they would play well in daycare.

Owner also tried to get around not paying my workers comp when I did get injured on the job, and whenever anybody put in their two weeks after realizing what a toxic work environment it was (which was often) he would punish them with scheduling them all week or make them open to close 12 hours for all their shifts.

If you’re in Minnesota and looking for a reputable dog daycare: STAY AWAY FROM ADOGO.

If in the Twin Cities I would recommend Dog Days, not perfect, but they actually seem to care.

Well That’s Comforting.

There are power line transformers that predate WWI still up and running in the US…

And the utility companies aren’t a 100% sure where most of them are. They only find out when one finally dies.

Someone over 100 years ago put up a transform that powered telegrams all the way to Twitter.

I worked in the telecom sector. That means I needed to know something about how utility poles operated. On my first day they handed me a binder that was an idiots guide to utility poles and made me sign an NDA on it. It was dumb because I am sure even back then it was public information. I really do not know more than I stated. I use low VA transformers at work and they are a black box of magic to me.

Some people are mentioning PCBs and sure that makes sense. I don’t know what they used to cool them a 100 years ago.

Transformers can last a long time. I have pulled multi-decade ones out of machines so the idea that one hit the century mark seems reasonable to me and I haven’t questioned it.

When my internship was over I talked to a professor I knew about this and she mentioned the bird poop thing.

I am not sure if this related to the multiple fires in California. My internship was in the Bay Area. And I sorta remember the binder being general not that one particular area. Forgive me but this was about 2007 so I can’t remember this perfectly.

The last day of my university I stuck the binder on the shelf in the engineering section of the library.

I am not sure how to locate them or what they even look like. It was just a chart on paper.

I admit the idea is really a cool concept but based on what I am reading here if you found one be very wary.

Deny, Deny, Deny.

I used to work in a call center that had Bayer Advanced (yes, THAT Bayer) as a client. Bayer knew/knows full well that their neonicotinoid based pesticide/gardening products killed bees and were responsible for colony collapse.

We were instructed to bold face deny and/or lie to the customer or caller if we were ever asked about it.

We were also instructed to lie about the spray nozzles on the bottles. Bayer knew they sucked ass and were almost always completely DOA defective, but they refused to admit it and decided it was cheaper to just keep mailing replacement nozzles.

They Might Still Release It

You know those Jackbox party games? They have a database full of about a hundred jackbox games that were pitched but not used, since rejected games often get featured in later party packs.

Notably, one of those jackbox games is called Poop Cake. Won’t detail how it works in case it does get released, but there is a rejected jackbox game called Poop Cake that exists and is officially documented for potential future use.

Whew. I wasn’t prepared for some of these, y’all, but I’m definitely not sorry that I read them, and I hope you’re not, either!

If you’re no longer bound by your NDA, we’re all ears in the comments!

Seriously, give us more. We’re dying here, and you’ve got the goods!