People Share the Weird Industry Secrets They’ve Learned While Working

You never really know what working in an industry is like until you actually do it.

And that goes from everything from fast food to politics to brain surgery.

And sometimes you stumble upon secrets that turn out to be kind of weird…

Do you know any weird industry secrets because of the jobs you’ve worked?

AskReddit users shared their stories.

1. FYI.

“I used to underwrite auto loans – if you obtain financing at a dealership, the dealer can “hold” points (up to 2% in some states.)

So if they tell you you’re getting a 8% rate from the bank, you might really be getting 6%, and they are allowed to add those 2 extra percent and reap the difference.

Important to note, you are allowed to ask if they are doing this, and they are obligated to tell you. They are not obligated NOT to hold the points, but it weakens their leverage if you ask this question.”

2. Yup.


We’re trying our hardest to appear ultra intelligent about your business, but really we only know how to make commercials that make us feel like we are Hollywood directors.”

3. Interesting.

“Worked in a textile factory making stuff for brands like Reebok, Fila, Levi’s (shirts only), Billabong, etc…

Any off spec items would be put aside and sold in bulk to people selling them in flea markets. So not everything you see in a flea market is fake… some may be the real deal, but not up to the standard required by the brand.

Also, if the factory didn’t have orders, they’d take left over fabric, cut it up with the same sizing of those brands and make off brand clothes to go down the same route and keep people busy.

Lastly, they had a shop where items made there were sold at production cost to employees. I was never one to buy brands, but that was enough to put me off them for good.”

4. I believe that.

“A lot of big stores have fake cameras because they don’t want to spend any “unnecessary” money on extra security if the cost of products stolen is less than the cost of keeping an active camera.”

5. Last minute.

“I worked for a large multinational architecture firm, at one of their larger offices in a fairly large city. The work they did had a significant impact on this particular cities’ skyline.

I was pretty surprised to discover how by-the-seat-of-their-pants the whole process is for designing these huge structures, and it’s like this at a lot of firms. Everything is last minute.”

6. This makes me mad.

“Ink cartridges for inkjet printers cost nothing to manufacture – pennies really. The mark up on them is crazy.

Some manufacturers program them so they “go bad” by a certain date regardless of how much ink is left in them.

The profit on them is so high they used to lose money on the printers knowing they’d make it all back on your first purchase of new ink.”

7. Wasteful.

“Thrift store, particularly Savers. We’d get over 10,000lbs of donations every day and only a small fraction of that would reach the sales floor. The rest was thrown away to the garbage.

The company will have you believe it’s “recycled” or donated to those in need, but as a backroom laborer I can promise it goes straight to the garbage.

I blew this whistle back in 2012 and so that may have changed, but I wanted people to know that their donations were being thrown to the garbage simply because one button was missing or it was too wrinkly.”

8. We’re hot right now!

“I worked for a financial services company from 1989 until 2001. The company ALWAYS made more money each successive quarter for like 40 years straight and always on target. How?

The company had “buckets” in their accounting scheme wherein when we made more than expected, the excess would be placed in a “bucket”. When faced with a lean quarter, voila – empty a bucket or two and you now have a stellar quarter.”

9. Kind of gross.

“I work in the housekeeping industry.

Housekeepers are encouraged to not use water. They only use chemical. They do not use water to clean your home. The company also requires a housekeeper to use all four sides of a cloth. If it is folded in quarters you use one side on the counter then refold it use another side on the stove then refold it etc.

That means the same cloth that was used in your bathroom could be used in your kitchen just on a different side.”

10. Animal info.

“I learned quite a few things working for an animal shelter that serviced the county as part of Animal Control.

It is super illegal to take home a stray animal without first making a “good faith effort” to get it back to its owner. In most places, this is explicitly stated as turning it over to the shelter, rescue group, and/or a local veterinarian. You cannot just pick up a cat or dog and take it home and call it yours, no matter what movie you watched where the people did that.

If a street cat has a notch in the ear, leave it alone. It has been part of a TNR program, “trap-neuter-release.” It’s a more humane way to deal with feral cats, as feral cats that go through animal control almost always have to get put down for safety reasons. (It’s super bad for the environment, but it’s the best option to make sure the cat gets to live but no new feral kittens get born to continue the cycle.)

Stop bringing baby birds to animal shelters! We do not have the resources to take care of them. If the nest is nearby, put it back in. If it has feathers but is just small, leave it alone, the parents are nearby. If you really think it needs help (injured, no feathers and no nest, in the road or somewhere dangerous), call a dedicated bird or wildlife rescue.

Just because your pet is microchipped doesn’t mean it will get back to you. You have to register your chip with the company it came from, and keep your information updated. Some companies have an annual fee for registration. But if your info isn’t linked to that chip, it’s useless. Can’t tell you how many times we had chips come up on a scan, but the company had no info on the owner because it was never registered.

Scruffing a cat is totally humane and sometimes the only way to actually handle them for necessary procedures (moving kennels, checking s**, cleaning wounds, etc). It doesn’t hurt them. Don’t panic if you see someone grab a cat by the scruff of the neck and the cat goes still or curls up. It’s a reflex that we use to keep us from getting attacked.

If a grown cat meows at you, it’s not feral. Meowing is exclusive to kittens/mother cats, and house cats.

Switching food suddenly can cause explosive diarrhea in both dogs and cats. So can stress. So if your pet comes home from the pound/shelter with the runs, don’t freak out thinking they caught something.

The most needed items in animal shelters are not what you think. Most of the time it’s cat litter, cat food, and bleach, not dog food or blankets (which people constantly donate). Better yet, money is one of the best ways to help a shelter.

They can buy food and litter in bulk for way cheaper than regular folks, and money to help with vet bills and unexpected expenses helps way more than yet another box of old squeaky toys. If you want to donate tangibles, call your shelter and ask what they need most. Sometimes it’s new hoses, sometimes it’s kitten formula; just call and see.

The rabies vaccine is internationally controlled. You have to be specially trained on it, overseen by a licensed veterinarian, and keep specific logs that are reviewed and legally binding. Don’t even try telling the staff that you gave your dog the vaccine yourself to try and get out of fees.

Either they know you’re lying, or you’re going to jail if you’re telling the truth. (That or someone sold you a phony and duped you good.) Other vaccines– parvo, kennel cough, feline combo vaccines– can be administered at home, but are also not necessarily required for licensing.”

11. A weird little industry.

“More of a regional thing involving a loosely-related industry I guess?

But where I live (and yes it’s in the US) there’s a lot of small to medium sized call centers that come and go; peddle a variety of products (natural health c**p, self-help, all that stuff). Thing is, you trace it back to the early 90s or so, and all these places spawned from the same groups of people that used to work at a large, no longer existing, call center in the area.

Now they all alternate being competition and cooperating… depends on what business plan they jump into after the latest fails after a few years (some have lasted a good while though). I’ve seen the same names who 15 years ago ran competing centers, then 10 years ago were partnered up running one, and now are back to two different companies they started that peddle competing health stuff again.

It’s a weird little industry in this area.”

Do you have some weird industry secrets you can tell us about?

If so, please do it in the comments.

We’d love to hear from you!