People Share Stories About Being Surprised by What Other Adults Didn’t Know How to Do

©Unsplash,Alexander Krivitskiy

Have you ever been spending time with another adult and you were totally shocked by something they DIDN’T know how to do?

It’s weird, right?

Like, you think people should have these things figured out by the time they reach adulthood, but then…well, you get that info and you just shake your head.

Adulting sure is weird…and it can be surprising sometimes, too!

Let’s check out these horror stories from AskReddit users.

1. That’s surprising.

“I was a drill sergeant in the US Army. The first time you have to show an adult man how to shave is a little shocking. The worst one was the 24 year old male that didn’t know how to tie his boots.

He had gotten through reception and pick up day by tightly lacing his boots and tucking the laces in. As they would loosen up throughout the day, he would just pull them tight again. The first Sunday I noticed his boots were barely staying on as he was marching back from dinner.

I asked him what was wrong with them as it’s common for privates to have the wrong size boots when they get to us. He didn’t know how to tie them. At all. Not a single knot. I spent an hour showing him how I tie my boots and different techniques if he gets hot spots or blisters.

Then I assigned his bunkmate the task of making sure they were tied correctly when he left the bay.

I kind of understood it. He came from a super poor neighborhood, single mom that worked all the time, he didn’t have a lot of positive influences before joining the Army.

I was a little worried about his comprehension skills since basic rifle marksmanship is kind of intense and takes some focus, but he did well. I was very happy that on family day he had his low quarters tied and was proud that he had learned so much.”

2. Payin’ bills.

“A friend who was pushing 40 had never paid a bill before.

She had gone from living with her parents to living in a dorm to living with her parents again until she got married, then she got divorced and was living on her own for the first time.

Got a text from her asking if my power was out too, then she realized it was just her. Her excuse was she never paid attention to the bills because she thought they were “receipts” and that the cost was included in her rent.

Her water was cut off a couple weeks later and we had to talk about that, too.”

3. Oh, boy…

“I have many great stories about my former college roommate. Two of my favorites are:

she wanted to make pasta. She put a pot on the stove and poured the noodles in (no water in the pot), turned on the stove. After a while she asked me “how come these aren’t getting soft like when my mom makes them?”

she made brownies from a box. The box instructions say “grease the bottom of an 8×8 pan before pouring in the brownie batter.” You bet your ass this bitch picked up the 8×8 pan, flipped it over, greased the BOTTOM of it, and then flipped it back over and poured in the brownie batter”

4. We’re at war, right?

“Back in ’06 or ’07, was working selling a software licensing product to software vendors.

I was working with a 50-something Californian lady (I’m from the UK) who was handling some of the incoming enquiries through our website.

One day she asks, “Hey we had a lead today from a company in Egypt. What should I do with it?”

I said, “Err, well follow it up of course. Why would you ask?”

She goes, “Because they’re Arabs, and we’re at war with the Arabs aren’t we?””

5. That’s weird.

“I guess we were still in high school, but we were 18.

Me and my buddy Ferris were just getting into going to the gym. We went with Ferris’s friend Tom. After working out, in the changing room during some small talk I saw Tom putting on a shirt. Tom put the shirt over his head, but didn’t put his arms through the sleeves.

He managed to pull the shirt over his torso so that it was adequately on before wiggling all about and bending his arms in odd ways to get them into the sleeves. I didn’t take much notice to it the first few times. But after a few months it was apparent he did this every single time. Tom didn’t know how to put on a shirt. At least efficiently.

Eventually we asked Tom why he put his shirt on like that, and he said something along the lines of “Wait what, don’t I do it the same way you guys do?” I guess he had never really thought about it before then.”

6. Can’t read the clock.

“Had a guy constantly asking what time jt is…by the 6th time I said “bro,there is a clock right there” he said ” I don’t know how to read it…grown ass man..

Couple weeks later on facebook someone shared a picture of cursive writing he made fun of the people who couldn’t read it…I posted a picture of a clock and said what time does this say…he blocked me.”

7. What the hell?

“College roommate did not know how to wash his body.

Yes. The SMELL.

After a week we threatened him. He took a “shower”.

We sent him back again. With soap.

Three days later he stank again. We told him to shower every day.

Then we taught him how to do laundry. And bought him a coat because he did not own one. In cleveland. In the winter.

Full genius dude, invented a WiFi security standard later on. But no idea how to care for himself.”

8. C’mon, people!

“Training a new girl at work and she told me she didn’t know how to sweep. I had to show her.

Training a new girl at work, her dishes often still greasy after being washed, I asked her about it and I asked her when she puts the soap on and she replied, straight faced, ‘oh… You use soap here?’ (we had raw meat on many of those dishes.)

My ex told me he ‘thought mixing dark and light loads of laundry was a myth’ after destroying a bunch of my clothes. He also told me soaking dishes had no affect…”

9. Mama’s boy.

“I had spent the night at my ex boyfriend’s place and stayed a bit longer in the morning to help clean the house. I was folding some clothes when I noticed him go from one side of the bed to another without actually doing anything.

I looked at him and he looked clueless. He said “can you please make the bed? I’ve never done this, no idea where to start”. I didn’t mean to have a strong reaction to it but man did it leave me speechless… he was 26 at the time.

That day I realized his mother often visited his house to make the bed and clean… Yeah…”

10. The employee from Hell.

“Before the shutdown happened, I was working in a bar. We had this kid who got hired as a barback and he apparently just couldn’t keep up. It was a pretty busy place, especially on the weekends, and barbacks had to be on top of shit constantly.

After about three weeks, management decides he isn’t gonna cut it as a barback and pushes him into the kitchen with me. I was glad to have help because we always had issues with keeping cooks on for some reason.

Holy shit. This kid could not do anything. He lacked basic common sense for practically everything. We started him on fry station but he would fuck up the most basic of tasks; he didn’t even know how to make fries. I told him how to do our catfish (3 planks tossed in corn mill and flour), he tossed the first two but then dropped the third in completely bare.

I asked him why he did that and he had no answer. Then we tried putting him on grill – he couldn’t make toast or toast buns; he would always burn them! Last we tried having him run center and call out tickets but it seemed like he could barely read.

There were multiple times I had to kick him out of the kitchen because he was so slow or just completely zone out.

One of the servers was his cousin and she told me that both his dad and brother had to fire him from separate jobs because he wouldn’t do his shit or wouldn’t show up. Then of course one night, he was still out back after he clocked out and was talking to someone at length about doing mushrooms and acid; guess we know why he can’t hold down a job.

Told him to do something one night while I ran to the restroom; came back and he was gone. Good riddance. Brandon, if you’re reading this, I hate your guts.”

11. Mother knows best.

“In my honors dorm at Purdue there was a Computer Science major named Jeffrey. He was well known because his parents would stop by every week to pick up his laundry and bring him a case of Fiji water with expensive groceries.

His dad was a doctor. We commented on Jeffrey’s long gross toenails and how he needs to cut them. He told us they are long because his mom hasn’t visited in weeks and she was the one who cut them. His mother cut her 19 year old sons toenails. Disgusting.

We had to give him a lesson on it.”

12. In culinary school?

“Frying an egg.

He was in culinary school. When tasked with “egg day” where they just cook eggs multiple times in multiple styles to get the basis of the techniques involved; he had gently plopped an egg (shell and all) into a buttered pan.

His reasoning was that the heat of the pan will melt away the shell.”

13. Totally clueless.

“One of my roommates in college was basically helpless when it came to basic life skills.

She declared herself a feminist and didn’t want to do housework but like, part of being independent is learning how to be self-sufficient… Anyways, she came to me one day our junior year and asked me how to do laundry. Literally had never done it herself before.

She also came to me and our other roommates once because she clogged her toilet and wanted us to come fix it because she didn’t know how. She asked if she should call maintenance and we were like no wtf go buy a plunger and deal with that shit yourself. She still had one of my other roommates come help her plunge the toilet but thank god it wasn’t me lol.

She had no idea how to cook and ordered delivery like every night, she never learned to drive, didn’t know how to swim, she was incapable of picking up after herself and would drop her stuff in the middle of the floor where the rest of us were constantly tripping over it, and she never took out the trash unless repeatedly asked.

She moved out over the summer finally but didn’t clean her shit out of the fridge when she left. I was gone home for the summer and when I came back it was full of rotten food and had to be completely cleaned. She had also left food or something in her room and I had to call the pest control folks because there were ants and roaches coming in.

The thing is, she was extremely nice and sweet and I don’t think any of it was out of malice or bad intent. She was just completely fucking clueless. I just don’t understand how a person can be so helpless when they’re practically an adult and how their parents can let them get that bad.”

14. Turn it on.

“Ooohhh I got one. I work as an EMT for a private company, so we mostly deal with nursing homes and the elderly. One day when I was about 6-8 months in, I got assigned a partner who was in my orientation class.

He was a little older than me at the time, like mid 20’s, but he seemed a little childish. “Maybe he’s just sheltered, I think to myself.”

Anyways, we got a patient I’ve had a few times before. She was a sweet, little old lady with COPD and CHF living at an assisted living. Call was for pneumonia.

She’s prone to this stuff so it wasnt a huge deal, slap her on oxygen and keep her sitting up til we get to the hospital. The first red flag though, was this kid didn’t know anything. He didnt know how to take a blood pressure.

He couldn’t find the medical history or medication on the paperwork (which is clearly labeled). He didn’t even push the stretcher, just walked next to it with a hand on it. When I asked him about all that, he said “My partners usually do that for me.”

So, I put her on an oxygen mask and sit her all the way up, mildly agitated. I tell myself it’s just one shift with this kid.

He’s in the back with her and I tell him to just switch the oxygen from the bag (which is a small tank) to the main tank (which is huge) because with the amount of oxygen we’re giving her, the bag will run out not even halfway before the hospital. It’s about 25 minutes, which normally wouldn’t be a huge deal.

But when we pull up to the hospital and I open the back doors, I’m fucking shook. The oxygen mask isnt inflated (meaning she isnt getting oxygen), shes pale as shit, I can literally see her accessory muscles moving, struggling to breathe.

And this kid was sitting behind her, with a clueless half smile on his face, looks at me and says “The main tank is broken, so I left her on the bag.” This women, who needs oxygen without pneumonia, was barely breathing for at LEAST 15 minutes. And this fucking idiot didnt even check. We take her into the hospital.

I ask him to find an oxygen tank while explain to this women’s daughter what happened. He says he doesn’t know where to look. I fucking find it and told him to talk to the daughter.

When it’s all said and done, I check to see what’s broken. He didn’t turn on the tank.”

Okay, now it’s your turn!

In the comments, tell us about the most shocking thing you’ve witnessed as far as adults NOT being able to do something.

We can’t wait to hear from you!