Do you have a company secret? I’ll go first. Most of the kitchen employees didn’t speak English in the restaurants I worked which were run by immigrants. So when it’s time to do the Food Handler card class and test, they attend with the servers so that they can copy from their tests.
They have no idea what the instructor or video (pending class) is saying about food safety. I’m not saying this is every restaurant, but I experienced it in two. After someone asked an online forum for other company secrets, these were at the top of the list.
1. Radio Shack
A former employee noted that Radio Shack is out of business now, but in the early 90s, they worked there. They stated that when people returned an item because it didn’t work, “the store manager would box it back up and sell it again as if it were new. When I asked him about it, he said, “Hopefully, they will return it to a different store.”
2. Graphic Design Firm
A graphic designer confessed that they used to work for a Graphic Design Firm that pirated Adobe Software. Several others shared similar stories about their business software, including MATLAB.
3. Casino Surveillance
“I used to work surveillance at a casino. We could zoom in on money on the table games and read the bills’ serial numbers from something like three stories high ceiling. We could see the pips on the dice. The policy was to not look down the women’s blouses.”
4. Maple Sap
A former employee at a maple sap plant explained that they could truck it in from other states, and wherever it’s turned from sap to syrup determines the state it comes from, not the trees’ location.
5. Unusually High Call Volume
An inbound call center employee explained that the “We are currently experiencing an unusually high call volume” message is permanent. It is because they don’t staff adequately. I can confirm this. One made me laugh out loud when they added, “Also, I suspect the menu options have not recently changed.”
6. Olive Garden
An Olive Garden employee shared that the breadsticks are just Franz brand breadsticks, garlic salt, and liquid margarine. One added, “I worked there for a year and can confirm. They don’t even refrigerate it. It’s such a nasty texture too.” Again, I am laughing because I can also confirm this one as true.
7. Dog Groomer
Someone had the cutest response to the question. Stating, “I worked as a dog groomer for a summer. We gave your dog a treat even if they weren’t good.” Others laughed and called it “scandalous!”
8. Please Don’t Stop the Music
Another former company secret sharer explained that if you don’t hear music when you’re supposedly on hold, the operator has muted their mic and can still listen to you. “I’ve heard interesting and condemning things while they thought I couldn’t hear them.”
9. Social Security Numbers
Many in the thread weren’t surprised when one admitted to working in insurance, where hundreds of people can access your social security numbers with “no security clearance or background check.” Others confessed this is true of “Every human resource (HR) office in existence.”
10. Time Warner
Someone shared that they worked at Time Warner, a significant cable/ISP provider. There are four billing cycles, and something went wrong once they upgraded the billing system.
“All but the current cycle got a late charge.” But instead of fixing it immediately, they were instructed to credit customer accounts if they called in. “I did the math, and for the size of our city, and the 3/4 of people wrongly charged, it was over a million USD. But, of course, most people pay their bill and don’t look too close.”
11. Fast Food Time-Stamp Dates
A former fast food employee said their Arby’s manager replaced the expiration stickers on the bread with new ones. “I threw out 100+ pitas with green fuzz after checking the manager s work.”
Another agreed, “Yep, my Subway manager used to do similar.” However, they explained that their manager prepped too far in advance, and most things only had a couple of day shelf life.
“Lettuce, after a couple of days, becomes a slimy sludge. So they wanted me to replace all the date-marking stickers and call it a day.” However, this user reported not doing it and finding other work.
12. Luggage Is Never Handled With Care
Your luggage at an airport is not handled with care. One warned, “I worked baggage at an airport. Nothing is handled with care. If it’s marked fragile, your only hope is nice baggage handlers. You should avoid packing breakable things at all costs.”
13. Live Chat with Customer Care
“If you were on Live Chat with Customer Care, I could see what you were typing before pressing send,” one confessed. “I’ve watched people work through grotesque, racist, sexist statements, fraudulent lies and mistruths, meticulous grammar fixes, and their whole range of emotions in real-time before deleting and typing “ok.”
14. Intentionally Omitting Items
Another explained working for a large construction company where the sales guys intentionally omitted items from contracts to receive incentives for what becomes a “change order.” They clarified, “Me: ‘You forgot to include any framing in this contract.’ Sales weasel: ‘oh, I guess it’s a change order then.’ Customer cries.“
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15. Jimmy John’s Tuna Salad
One former Jimmy John’s employee who expressed disgust over the owner hunting exotic animals shared that the “secret ingredient” of Jimmy John’s tuna salad is Kikkoman soy sauce.
This thread inspired this post.
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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.