b3ta.com qotw
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Home » Question of the Week » The Dirty Secrets of Your Trade » Page 17 | Search
This is a question The Dirty Secrets of Your Trade

So, Television is a hot bed of lies, deceit and made up competitions. We can't say that we are that surprised... every job is full of this stuff. It's not like the newspapers currently kicking TV whilst it is down are all that innocent.

We'd like you to even things out a bit. Spill the beans on your own trade. Tell us the dirty secrets that the public need to know.

(, Thu 27 Sep 2007, 10:31)
Pages: Latest, 23, 22, 21, 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, ... 1

This question is now closed.

The secret of looking young...
...never use cosmetics.
I am an analytical chemist, which is what happens to Chemistry graduates who only get a Third.

Once upon a time I used to work for a well known cosmetics firm in an obscure Welsh valley. You think your glamorous lipstick/eyeshadow/shampoo is formulated by a beautifully made up young woman of 20 in a crisp white labcoat? O no, it's a hairy-arsed Welsh rugby full-back with a coat stained all colours of the rainbow mingling into a dirty brown.

Anyhoo I used to analyse the raw materials and can testify that donkey foetuses were at the time used in anti-ageing products, and the nerve endings of horses used in eye cream, and lanolin (the grease from sheep's wool) used in lipstick. I used to do the rancidity test on the lanolin, don't worry I made sure the rancid stuff got rejected.

The senior technician, let's call him Mr Bean, was the only one trained to use the HPLC, which indicated the sun factor protection. We started to get complaints that people's babies were burning even though they were using the top grade lotion. Turned out that Mr Bean was printing the same HPLC results every time - he did not know how to operate the machine at all, and the lotion contained no sun protection ingredients whatsoever.

We regularly used to pollute the river, but not as badly as the nearby paper recycling factory (never let it be said that recycling your newspaper is green). At one time blue mascara turned the river bright blue, the kind of colour the (then) NRA had been trying to get it for years. Another time we polluted it with acetone, and the fish were so desperate to get away from the stuff that they jumped out of the river and died. The production manager suggested to the man from the NRA that he might like to use them as firelighters.

Soul destroying stuff. Now I analyse beer for a living which is much more rewarding :)
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 19:55, Reply)
Stopping the neighbor's cat
is actually very simple. Advise them to get a Super Soaker and load it with a mixture of water and the cheapest, nastiest perfume they can buy. When they see the offending cat in their yard, give it a blast. It won't take kindly to having to go home smelling like Roseanne Barr, and neither will its owners.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 19:52, Reply)
it's heading up for 8pm
and i am on holiday. i have been "on holiday" since last wednesday, but i have worked until nearly 2am every night except sat. i am going out tonight but i will be home and back at my laptop by 10pm.

dirty secret? lawyers are actually very hard working and we actually do (usually) deserve to get well paid. we also secretly care a lot about our clients and are desperate for you to get the right result (you won't come back otherwise).

sorry for sense of humour failure, but come on, you've got to have some sympathy.... i got asked how to stop a neighbour's cat from pissing on a client's patio this morning... for fuck's sake!
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 19:33, Reply)
Another dirty little secret...
That photo I have framed on the back of my desk? The one that catches your eye when you come around the corner?

Yeah, that one.

That's not really my girlfriend. I've never met that person. That's a picture I printed from mingers.com. I just love seeing your expression as you try to come up with a way of asking me about her.

No one has had the nerve, yet...
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 19:27, Reply)
Customer 'service'
Now, I understand everyone finds customer service centres annoying- they give you all the information they have access to, try their best to help you, and they don't seem to realise that you're a special ickle flower and the rules should not apply in your case, yes?

I manage one of these centres, and I can comfortably say that not only are at least 70% of the customers we deal with some of the most obnoxious people around, they're also some of the most offensive in terms of what they feel I should do for them.

Just a quick word of warning- don't be rude to call centre agents. In 90% of cases you've called them, you have less access to the facts than they do and in most cases WE CAN SEE YOUR HOME ADDRESS AND BANK DETAILS, pillock. It only takes so many pushes to send anyone over the edge, let alone some poor phone monkey on their 80th self satisfied wanker ('Why don't you get a proper job?' is always a favourite. Because then you'd have nobody to call and prove your lack of shaft to) of the day. The tone of your call directly affects how quickly your pissy little query is going to be attended to.

That was crap. I must get a more exciting job.

(oh- my dirty secret for getting things I want done? Easy. Talk to the customer's manager. I do so love to initiate a disciplinary for somebody I've never met face to face.)
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 18:55, Reply)
My dirty little trick...
I'll share with you one of my best secrets, the one that has been of more use to me than any other.


My secret to getting people to do my bidding, which almost invariably works, is...

I ask nicely, with a smile, and say thank you after.

I smile a lot, and am polite to everyone, even if I'm a lot farther up the food chain than they are.

I speak gently to waiters, cashiers, janitors, security people, secretaries, and all of the underling types I come into contact with, as you can never tell when they might make your life a LOT easier simply because you treated them with respect. As a result, I tend to get people to do me an awful lot of favors, both great and small, and have a much easier time of things.

Now that I've told you this- don't tell anyone else, okay? I mean, imagine what would happen if everyone did this! Then where would we be?
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 18:18, Reply)
IT story number 3246326456327453276
the chance of the backup of a file you deleted being

a) on site
b) on a tape that isnt "corrupt"
c) recovered in time for it to be of use to you

is inversely proportional to

a) how much you bitch about it
b) how important you think it is (shouldnt have deleted it should you)
c) the number of times in the last year you have pissed the techie involved off.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 18:07, Reply)
Chip shop
I worked (starred?!) "for one night only" as a chip shop delivery driver. The pay was shit and my car was effectively uninsured because it was 'commercial use', but I digress...

The rank part (besides the greasy shit they called food and the lack of hygeine practices) was when I got back to the shop at one point and needed the toilet. The toilet was upstairs in some type of grotty flat that was used as storage / dump etc. Typical of a tiny flat, the toilet was right next to the bath (literally a couple of inches apart). There were no lights so I had to aim by what little light came through the filthy window from the streetlights.

Being an angsty youth and generally pissed off with the lacklustre treatment I'd received thus far, I pissed all over the place anyway. Especially in the bath, which I detected from the burbling sounds was already full.

It wasn't until I finished and made to leave I found the light switch and used it, only to see that the bath I'd just 'topped up' was being used to store uncooked chips.

Guilty? Not at all. It was so minging in there, it was probably cleaner after I'd pissed all over the place!
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 17:31, Reply)
chip shop - burgers
Had a summer job in a chip shop when I was 15 (a caravan park somewhere in Whitley Bay).

They would use the uncooked chips from the day before mixed with fresh ones - urgh. I also had to peel the batter from sausages that were cooked the day before so that they could re-batter them and fryy them the next day - lovely.

When I was a student at uni in Bristol I worked at a large nightclub - Odyssey if anyone remembers it. When they were short staffed they would sometimes take one of us from a bar to put us on the 'diner' to server burgers & chips etc. None of us had any kind of formal training or hygine certificates of course. The burgerss got put through a kind of horizontal toaster which cooked them on both sides at the same time. Little did I know that I had the settings all wrong and that they needed to go through twice. They would come out semi raw, and that's just how I served them to the p!ssed up public - yummy. Sometimes they would fall out the back of the machine and onto the floor. Waste not want not.....particularly twatty customer - I've got just the thing for you....

Fortunately after the manager got food poisoning from eating ther eI was never asked to serve in there again - shame.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 17:12, Reply)
I once did a shift in a call centre for a kitchen company.

My job was to phone up pretending to be doing a survey from a magazine asking if they owned the property and how long ago they last had a refit. If they met the criteria (homeowner, oldish kitchen) then I got a bonus and it went to another canvasser. He then spun some yarn about how if they got their kitchen done and it was featured in the magazine you would get it for free.

The mag never existed.

Decided I was happier being poor than being a lying cunt.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 17:03, Reply)
When I worked for DYNOROD
People used to ask me if I ever took my work home with me.

I did in fact, sometimes caked to my boots, and sometimes in a binliner to chuck through my fucking neighbour's letterbox, the sanctimonious, slack-jawed cnut.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 16:40, Reply)
I did a two-week stint at a fish and chip shop during my college days (after two weeks I figured being skint was better). During this time I found a bucket on the floor in the back that looked like it was completely covered in green furry mould. Flies circled it. I reeled in horror. I was almost sick. I turned, ashen-faced to my colleague and asked "what on EARTH is that?"

"Thats just the mushy peas, love. Warm some up, would you?"

(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 16:31, Reply)
I used to go out with a woman who worked for DYNOROD. When she dumped me, my mate told me not to be too deturd as there were plenty more faeces in the sea.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 16:30, Reply)
i work for a local newspaper.. and many years ago (when you could get away with not being sued), a guy on editorial was having an epileptic fit and collapsed on the floor...

so what did the sick f**kers do?

they drew a chalk line around him!

sick and wrong, wrong, wrong!
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 16:24, Reply)
Can't let this QOTW escape
without posting a story of my favourite old workplace.

Next time you visit a theme park, be wary of the staff. Instead of watching the ride in operation and listening for dodgy noises and paying attention like they should be, chances are they're instead sitting in the cabin eating mini eggs, thinking up clever ways to sneak swear words into tannoy announcements and reading the paper. It's also safe to assume they've had several "cigarette' breaks during the day so wouldn't notice important ride parts or vomit flying around. Virtually none of them are properly trained, and they really don't care if you want to get off. If you scream, they'll turn the speed up.

Perhaps a bit more worrying is that all the rides where I used to work were riddled with faults. One would break down at least 3 times a day during the summer, but the problem was never properly fixed, the mechanics would continue doing botch jobs while the operators go for the umpteenth fag break of the day. This is what you get when you buy theme park rides off traveling carnivals.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 16:23, Reply)
I once saw
a butcher's lorry delivering carcases to a shop.

The delivery guy took a dead sheep (gutted and skinned, of course!) laid it on the tailgate, dropped the hoist, and dragged it onto the pavement outside the shop, in among all the dog piss, melted ice lollies, chewing gum, used syringes, land oysters and other assorted street detritus. Then he hoisted it onto his shoulder and carried it into the shop.

(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 16:08, Reply)
My colleague at DYNOROD
was eating a snickers bar whilst working on a blocked sewer.

He dropped the sweet nougat, peanut and toffee based snack treat into the murky waters below, and managed to fish out 30 of them. He couldnt decide which one was his, apparently they all 'tasted the same'.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 16:07, Reply)
The pay is SHIT, the benefits are CRAP, but the work is a PIECE OF PISS.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 15:58, Reply)
Not me, but my brother
Worked for a rather large North-East bakery company (Paddy's doing their new ads) and since vowed never to touch their produce again. He lasted about 6 weeks.

Basically, he would drive a truck around loads of shops first thing in the morning delivering all the baked goods etc in time for opening. The nasty bit was that he would also pick up the previous days rubbish to return to the depot (so Mondays goodies were shaken around the wagon with Fridays mouldy shit). There were no separators or anything, mostly the bags were untied or full of holes and blatantly soaked in rat-piss.

Apparently, they were bastards to work for also. He got back to the depot once, unable to make one of the deliveries because there was nobody at the shop (he'd waited ten minutes, but since they didn't pay overtime and complained if he got back late, he'd left).

His manager gave him a right bollocking and told him he had to go back (over an hour round-trip) and that he wouldn't be paid the overtime either. I was amazed he didn't smack the bloke in the mouth - it's his usual form of instant resignation. Instead, he drove the truck to somewhere within walking distance of home, climbed in the back, pissed all over the baked goods, locked the keys inside the van and went home.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 15:57, Reply)
Whats the best thing about working for DYNOROD?
When your colleague farts, you cant smell it.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 15:50, Reply)
I work for a bowling alley...
You wouldn't believe the shit we get up to.

Our tracking computer is broken so we're forced to base the length of games on the number of shots the players have had. Once they reach the limit (give or take a few for strikes at the end) the lane is turned off. How bloody unreasonable is that?!

If a customer loses money to a vending machine, we open it up and give them the product they wanted.
If they lose it to an arcade machine, we refund them the amount they put in.
If they lose it to a pool table, we open 'er up and take the balls out for them.
5-star service? I think not!

If a customer's lane breaks down repeatedly, we move them to another one if we can and give them vouchers for a free game another time. I wonder why the earth doesn't just open up and swallow us all up!

I could continue, but you'd just be too shocked to carry on. *cries into pillow*
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 15:14, Reply)
I worked in a McDonalds when I was 17 or so (About 10 years back). There are plenty of regulations in place to ensure that the meat has it's temp checked, hands are washed every 15 min and to ensure that prepared food is thrown out if it is not served after a certain period of time.

Shock shock, most of this is preformed irregularly at best. I personally witnessed a big mac being served an hour and a half after it was cooked, people handling food (raw and cooked) without gloves and the like more times than I would like to admit!
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 15:13, Reply)
mcdunalds straws
My mate managed a mcdunalds burger hole years ago, and left out only the thinnest straws possible. He thought it funny watching peeps nearly having cardiacs, sucking up their shakes.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 15:00, Reply)
and i used to stir the orange juice in burton mcdonalds with my arm.

i mean, fuck it. if you pay to eat that shit, you deserve to get my arm pubes in your freshly concentrated minute maid sugar orange flavour cordial stuff.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 14:36, Reply)
Whilst working for DYNOROD...
.. I was bemoaning the fact we spent our days up to our eyeballs in shit.
My colleague piped up "It may be shit to the customer, but it's bread and butter to us".
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 14:30, Reply)
municipal pools
are rank. but, as in nature, some are ranker than others. certain pools in london are warmer than others because the clientele complain about the cold water.

cold water = cleaner pool.
warm water = skin/ bacteria soup.

ever wondered why your eyes sting in certain pools? urea reacts with the cholrhine to form an irritant gas that sits on the first 1 or two cms above the water. the more the stinging, the more piss in the pool. and those big fans...? they are there specifically to blow gas off the surface of the water and into the air con ducts. if the fire doors of the pool are open, its because these fans dont work.

sometimes a lovely member of public will lay a cable. in this case, the pool is cleared and the offending turd disposed of. is the water then filtered?

yes of course! in the ten minutes it takes to clear the pool of people, remove the brown fish and re open, the whole of the pool is emptied and refilled with evian.

never ever swim in brentford pool or any pool in feltham or acton.

chiswick is ok tho.

oh and a plea to thames water - please stop pumping shit into the thames. 50 million tonnes of raw sewage a year is a bit much dont you think? im tired if sculling past footprints (used sanitary towels) and mini rockets (syringes).

never swim in the thames kids. you wouldnt drink out of your toilet would you. before you flushed it.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 14:30, Reply)
Credit card data. Secure?
Not on your life.

Everything needed to clone a non Chip & PIN credit card is sent between [insert many high street retailers names here] and the bank using unencrypted ASCII files sent via MODEM.

When things go wrong... and believe me they do. These files, often containing thousands of Track 2 records, are retrieved by minimum wage Support monkeys and zipped up and sent via Emails to the Credit Card Software Suppliers for analysis.

Fortunately all copies of these logs are always deleted after they have been transmited.

(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 14:30, Reply)
Web Design Company
About 3 years ago, I worked for a web-design company. Back then, it was one of the few proper web companies here in Dull (oops, typo) and comprised of the boss, the sales guy, 3 programmers, a designer, and a vacuous proj managemer who was as clueless as anti-sherlock. She freely admitted that the only time she used the web was at work to check clients sites and occasionally to look for cheap holidays.

Anyway, they took me on as a programmer. A week later, I arrived on Monday morning to frantic rushing about. Over the weekend, the server went down, which ran NT Server 4.0 (with service packs I assume). Nothing to do with me, I assure you. Pure coincidence. Clients were calling to find out where there site had gone. Not many though, the majority of the clients were 2-bit local companies but I digress.

Now, a year or so before I started, some previous employee had written a little VB utility that was scheduled to load up during the night, back up the data and close again. Why the frig he didn't just configure Backup is beyond me.

Anyway, this utility had more bugs than a tramp's vest and a couple of months, threw a wobbler which meant nothing was being backed up and the application was being repeatedly spawned and crashing until eventually, after 8 months it went nuclear and wiped a load of data and the server went down.

Now, a lot of the websites were backed up to CDs (of all things), and the final just-before-going-live development files were on another drive, but the live databases were gone for good and 8 months of transactions and so on disappeared.

Clients were called, and told their site would be back up in a week at the most. Clients were prioritised by how much they paid, and some didn't see their site back online for 2 months.

To prevent the problem happening again, the boss finally shelled out for an external USB drive off ebay and on a Friday, would go in the server room (which as a working environment was similar to an abandoned allotment shed), plug it in, physically copy the entire live sites across, unplug it and take it home. No upgrading the servers, creating RAID arrays or anything normal.

To help security, he installed AVG on the servers but oddly no firewall. Not even a free one. Apparently, about a year before I started, one of the other programmers was poking about on the servers (all of which were shared to the drive's root) and found a load of movies. Someone had hacked in and set it up as a p2p node.

IAlso, he'd registered as a Microsoft Partner so he could subscribe to the Action Pack and get XP and Office 2k3 along with Server 2k3 (but to upgrade the systems to that would mean upgrading the hardware).

Notwithstanding that all computers were installed with Dreamweaver and Photoshop and others, all of which could be found with cracks in a folder, 'software' along with another folder 'cracks'.

He got everything off ebay. Computers, the printer, the telephones etc etc. None of the CD-RWs in the PCs worked. When the piss cheap second-hand Epson Stylus 300 failed, he attempted to fix it by taking it apart. He could've replaced it for £50.

Cutting all these corners though did allow him to have a brand-new top-spec Audi TT on the road every year. Bless.

Length? Girth's more important..
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 14:22, Reply)
Ever Noticed How Thin DYNOROD engineers are?
Well, would you work up much of an appetite working with shit all day long?
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 14:17, Reply)
Why are DYNOROD vans bright orange?
You think it's to be eyecatching? Wrong!
Its to take your mind off the smell of shit.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2007, 14:11, Reply)

This question is now closed.

Pages: Latest, 23, 22, 21, 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, ... 1