It’s not just detectives, wizards, and FBI agents who keep secrets at work—lots of professions have open secrets that regular folks like you and I don’t generally know about. Reddit user HannibalGoddamnit was interested to find these secrets out, so they asked the online community to share some of these mysteries with the internet.
We’ve collected the very best trade secrets, so scroll down and upvote your faves, dear Pandas. Be sure to share the open secrets from your own professions in the comments below! HannibalGoddamnit’s thread on Reddit got a lot of attention: they got 3 awards, over 11.5k upvotes, and more than 9.3k redditors left a comment.
Bored Panda reached out to HannibalGoddamnit and spoke to them about their viral thread. “As an engineering student who’s about to graduate, I have always been concerned that I may not be ‘fully’ aware of the day-to-day job details of my future position. Especially when it comes to how comfortable I will be dealing with the real professional secrets that no one would ever teach you at school and you will figure out once you start working,” the redditor told us about what inspired them to start the thread. Scroll down for the full interview.
“So that made me wonder, out of mere curiosity, why can’t people just share some of whatever they have been holding back as ‘open secrets’ related to their professions? Secrets that can be interesting to know and fun to speak about, with no harm at all!” HannibalGoddamnit said.
The redditor admitted that they never expected their thread to go viral. “I was expecting perhaps to get some funny jokes about how big named professions are actually so boring, but not thousands of ‘Oh God, have mercy’ secrets!” they explained.
“I have received messages from fellow redditors saying they have spent a lot of time reading the thread, and how it was ‘a good read,’” HannibalGoddamnit shared how happy Reddit’s reaction to their thread made them. They told us that the most shocking comment for them personally was the freelance ghostwriter’s tale about how Russian and Middle Eastern men publish ghostwritten romance or erotica books under female pen names and flood the market.
Bored Panda asked HannibalGoddamnit what would happen if everybody found out everyone else’s professional open secrets. They said that this would have a “considerable” impact on society. “I really hope that no one will take advantage of it in a bad way.”
They added: “It was really brave of all of the people to share what has always been untold. The thread needs to [be shared] as widespread as [possible], for it is a national treasure. I thank everyone who contributed to the thread. I was just the conversation starter.”
Some of these secrets blew our minds. As it turns out, things like dummy thermostats actually exist to stop people from fiddling about with the temperature. Not all IT specialists know (or even care) why the fixes they attempt really work. While most regular broadcast radio shows play prerecorded music and song requests from callers and the DJs have no control over what songs play: if you call in to request something, you’ll find that the lines are busy.
Some professions can be chock full of things that ordinary people know nothing about. For instance, The Guardian talked to a whole bunch of people to learn more about the mysterious things that go on behind the scenes.
A priest told The Guardian that a lot of people “don’t really know if you’re a real human or not.” People look at you weird if you’re dating someone or when you go to the gym with your collar on. While getting professionals to listen to you is incredibly difficult during meetings because you believe in God.
Meanwhile, an undertaker told The Guardian that it’s a cut-throat business that’s very competitive. However, the job itself isn’t depressing, according to that one undertaker: they feel happy to learn so much about humanity doing the job that they do.
A judge revealed that behind closed doors, most judges (even the most experienced ones) are way more anxious about their jobs than we realize. The decisions they have to make weigh heavily on their shoulders because they’re supposed to make sure that everyone receives justice. We have a sneaking suspicion that it’s not just these ‘exotic’ professions that are full of secrets—everyone, from janitors to call-center employees is bound to have something to share.