what weird habits have you picked up from your job?

We all pick up weird habits from our jobs that we carry into the rest of our lives. Maybe you still fight the instinct to yell “NO RUNNING” at kids because you used to lifeguard … or you’re an ER nurse who checks out everyone’s arms to see what size IV you’d put in … or you’re a teacher who finds yourself reminding adults to have a snack … or you’re a work advice columnist who has to forcibly restrain yourself from opining every time your friends tell a work story (that one’s me).

Let’s talk about what weird habits have followed you home from work. Please share in the comments.

{ 1,791 comments… read them below }

  1. The Cosmic Avenger*

    A very common one, I’m sure: sometimes when I was on the phones all day I found it hard not to answer my own home/cell phone with “Hello, [organization], how can I help you?” I think I did at least two or three times.

    1. The Cosmic Avenger*

      And I still tell CSRs my phone number with each number as a separate word, almost like a quick sentence for each one (in pitch and tone), to give them time to type and to not make the numbers harder to distinguish.

      1. Ginger*

        I do this out of politeness! I’ve been on the other end of the phone and know how hard it can be to take a number down!

      2. londonedit*

        I’m struggling to think how else you’d do it! The only way I think I’ve ever heard numbers given (and how I always do it) is ‘Oh-seven-seven-five-one [gap as that’s the end of the first part] three-five-eight-seven-five-nine’ (with deep apologies to the person whose mobile number that might be!) – occasionally if there’s a double number you might go ‘Oh-double-seven-five-one’.

        1. The Cosmic Avenger*

          If I’m just saying numbers not to be written down or typed, I can rattle them off MUCH faster. And in my call center experience, that’s often how the average person gives you their address/phone number/email!

          1. Hastily blessed Fritos*

            How else would you? I’m assuming you mean something like “One two three, four five six, seven eight nine one” but what’s the alternative?

            1. Ludo*

              oh you’d be surprised at what people can come up with
              made up phone number below

              so most people would say this phone number as “eight-three-one, four-two-five, one-nine-eight-five”

              but then you get the people who go “eight hundred thirty one, four, two, five, one thousand eighty five”

              when people tried to do that I would just say “I’m so sorry the phone is really fuzzy can you please repeat the phone number slowly one number at a time” because I wasn’t about to play that game lol

              1. Mongrel*

                There are also the speedrunners, they just want the call over and done with and will blurt out the number as fast as possible and it’s your fault for not being able to keep up

              2. Phryne*

                I always say my number in doubles, as that’s how it is stored in my head. I am not good at remembering numbers (light dyscalculia), and halving the amount of numbers to be remembered is one of the ways I cope with that. I would have to think really hard to convert it into single numbers and there is a real chance I’ll get it wrong.
                So the above number would probably be eight thirty-one – four twenty-five nineteen eighty-five.
                I would not go into the hundreds though.

      3. Corelle*

        My first name ends with the same sound as my last name starts with, and my last name is close to a common name without that sound (like Erica Ali, sounding close to Erica Lee.) I automatically spell my first and last name when I give it out…like “Thats’s E-R-I-C-A, last name Ali, that’s A as in Apple-L-I.”

        I worked at the same company as an Erica Lee and I once got a whole pile of her personal info because I asked a harried HR person for my stuff and just identified myself quickly as Erica Ali and she misheard me.

        1. Petty_Boop*

          My oldest son because our last name is unusual, introduced himself as soon as he was old enough, as “my name is Brandon Boop B-o-o-p” because after hearing me ALWAYS say “the name is Petty Boop B-O-O-P he thought his last name was “Boopb o o p”. It was frankly pretty cute.

          1. So Tired*

            haha, that’s funny because when I have to spell my last name for people, I use the same letter for word combos (c for charlie, etc) as my dad because I always heard him spell it that way!

            1. Rainy*

              Mr Rainy and I hyphenated, and he spells his half like his mother does with A as in Apple, etc, while my pops was a firebase commander and I use the NATO alphabet. I renewed my library card over the phone yesterday and she asked for the number, and when I said “Lima November Papa eight-seven-fower-niner” she thanked me! And the way she did it made it sound like the first word that P stands for for most library patrons is, uh, not Papa!

              1. Fish Microwaver*

                I use the NATO alphabet too. I was speaking to my OH&S class teacher the other day and spelled my email address and he said it was the first time he had ever had a student use it.

            2. Gail*

              Same here, from when we made reservations and bought things over the phone. My maiden name is hyphenated, each half 6 letters, and ends in 4 consonants. I still spell it the way he does.

            1. Petty_Boop*

              Brandon… is that you? :) That is how he learned it! Hearing me order pizza, make an appointment, etc…

        2. Mother of Corgis*

          I have the issue of having a common first name spelled oddly (say, Linda, but with a Y instead of an I). I joke that my full name is actually Lynda-with-a-Y-instead-of-an-I, or Lynda for short.

          1. paxfelis*

            :: hands you a t-shirt for the oddly-spelled name club::

            My first name is not only a variant spelling, but is gender neutral and a common surname. I’ve started a mental list of what I’m called by people who mishear my name over the phone, because I can either be aggravated by it or amused by it and I don’t want another ulcer.

              1. This_is_Todays_Name*

                I get “Dennis” from “Janice” a lot. Like… do I sound like a dude? Denise … maybe??? But…

            1. Avery*

              Oh hey, samesies! My name (not the one I use here) is ALSO gender-neutral-ish and a common surname, and I’ve learned to pre-emptively spell it in the hopes of preventing confusion with similar-sounding names… and even that doesn’t always work.
              And then my last name is a variant spelling of a more common surname, so I always have to spell that out too… Oh, how I envy the people who can just say their name once and not have to worry about that kind of confusion!

              1. Distracted Procrastinator*

                That would be me. My first name is the most common spelling of a name that’s in the top 10 for the decade I was born in. My last name is in the top five of my country and an actual English word.

                Yes, I never have to spell my name, however, I have met actual people with my same name and trying to sift through all the same Jane Smith’s when dealing with bureaucracy can be a big headache. Also, I don’t get to have that nice professional sounding gmail/yahoo address because firstnamelastname is taken into the thousands. I have a solution, but it doesn’t have my name in it.

                There are both pros and cons for having a common name.

            2. This_is_Todays_Name*

              I worked with a guy intermittently for like 2 years, and he had two “first” names and to this day I can’t tell you if his name was, for example: “Christoper Frank” or “Frank Christopher”. I managed for that whole time to just say “Hey there how’s it going?” when I ran into him!

              1. Seashell*

                My husband has a co-worker/friend whose first name is a common last name and his last name is a common nickname. Something like Tyler Dave. I have overheard my husband on conference calls telling people that everyone mixes up the name, but the guy’s first name is really Tyler.

          2. selisabeth*

            hi! my name is elisabeth-but-with-an-s. once i said this, and the annoyed clerk looked up at me and said in the most annoyed voice, “you mean, like, selisabeth?”

            1. CarmieC*

              My name is Carole with an e on the end. More than once I’ve said “Carole with an e” and seen it spelled Ecarole. My last name stats with as Ch that has an sh sound. After years of people spelling it Sch after I tell them my name and then spell it, I now just spell it. About half the people still spell it Sch. And about half of those argue with me and tell me it has an S on the front. Sometimes I despair for the human race.

          3. Vandergaard*

            This reminds me of the time a friend of mine was picking up something she’d ordered and the clerk was trying to locate her on the system.

            Clerk: Name?
            Friend: (Trying to be helpful and pre-empt a mistake) Lynda-with-a-Y.
            Clerk: (Looks hesitatingly between friend and computer, then slowly types a ‘Y’, stops, and then looks back at my friend.) Uh… what do I do now?

            We still quote that back to each other to this day and laugh about how the poor clerk must have thought her name was Yinda.

        3. NoIWontFixYourComputer*

          I’ve tried using the NATO alphabet because my name is long and has a lot of consonants, and nobody gets it right. So (to use Smith as an example), I’ll go

          That’s “NoIWon’t Smith Sam-Mike-India-Tango-Hotel.” I use Sam instead of Sierra because otherwise it still confuses people.

        4. Reluctant Mezzo*

          My name, let’s just say it’s ‘Llama’ after which I say what species it is and a small farm animal noise. People remember it and spell it correctly.

        5. IShouldGoToBedEarlier*

          I used to work behind a counter, and I had the worst time understanding people who spelled their names without my asking. It was like my brain wasn’t expecting it and so it couldn’t parse the letters. I was always super embarrassed when I had to ask them to please spell it again.

        6. Princess Sparklepony*

          My name often gets mangled into Barbara Major. That isn’t my name, but if I go into a life of crime it will be my alias!

          Or Llewelyn Bolen but that’s a long story that involves a dream about a woman who steals socks for the needy….

          1. SunshineAndLollipops*

            My name is of russian origin, so also gets mangled. One of our newest hires spent 3 weeks referring to me as Chimera to the rest of his (also new) team and it wasnt until I got called that by an intern I realised I was now known as a fire breathing goat

      4. lilsheba*

        I always do that, I say each number slowly and clearly, because I HATE having to decipher bad speech.

      5. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

        I’ve spent close to 5 years in Technical Support across a few jobs.

        If I’m reading off numbers, they’ll come in groups of 2 or 3, since empirically, that seems to be the standard register in most people’s heads. (I know my SSN as 3-3-3 instead of 3-2-4). And I’ll spell out my name in the same pattern.

        When I leave a voicemail, I always open with “My name is Sola Lingua and my number is 555-555-1234” so you don’t have to listen to the entire voicemail twice to call me back; you can just listen to it naturally the first time and pick out the key details in the first 30 seconds on the second pass.

        1. This_is_Todays_Name*

          My SSN IS 3 of the same number, followed by 3 of the same number, then 3 different ones. So when I give it out I do “XXX-YYY-ABC” and it throws people so off because they’re expecting “ABC-DE-FGHI.” I’m like just type it in, it’ll sort itself out!

      6. tiffany*

        I also still NATO alphabet everything. I think it might have fallen out of fashion, a decade or so ago I could usually go “tango india foxtrot foxtrot alpha november yankee” and most operators would pick it up. Now I usually do the “T for tango….”

      7. daffodil*

        Sometimes I ask if they’re typing it in or confirming with a record in front of them so I know how clear/careful I should be.

    2. SJPxo*

      As a secretary yes this, or answering with “Hello this is SJPxo” instead of just answering hello and your friend is like “I know”

    3. pally*

      Yep! I answer my personal phones with “Hello, this is pally.”

      Which, unexpectedly, turned out to be a good thing when job interviewers called. It saved them from the whole awkward “May I speak to pally please?” exchange.

      But totally weird for personal calls.

      1. A Girl Named Fred*

        Honestly, I’m working on training myself INTO the habit of answering my personal phone with, “Hello, this is Fred,” because as someone who has to make outbound calls for work occasionally I’ve realized it’s so much nicer if they can just immediately go, “Hi Fred, this is Jane with Company, and…” instead of the back and forth dance.

        But maybe it helps that I don’t answer my phone unless I recognize the name/number (in which case they’ll know it’s me so I don’t need to identify myself), or I’m expecting a call so I should tell them it’s me.

          1. Random Dice*

            My sister answers the phone with “HELLO?!?!” Like Fran Drescher in the Nanny. It’s hilarious. Her volume and pitch is otherwise normal.

          2. Princess Sparklepony*

            Start answering with Ahoy! Ahoy! (Like Alexander Graham Bell) They will soon be happy that you just answer with your name.

          3. Misty_Meaner*

            When I call friends and leave a voicemail, etc… I always used to say, “Hey, it’s Me” and one friend once told me, “I always know it’s you, not because I recognize the voice, but because you’re arrogant enough to assume I’ll know it’s you!” In the days before Caller ID of course!

        1. That's 'Senior Engineer Mate' to you.*

          I”m known by a “Professional Name” and a nickname, but I don’t have a separate work number. So I never give my name because when random acquantences ring saying “Hello Dr Robert Smith speaking” is just weird, but if it’s work “Hi, Cure here” is just going to result in a ten second pause while they try to work out whether they have the wrong number. We won’t even start on my grandparents insisting on calling me Bert or my birthmother being offended by that and calling me Rob-not-Bob.

          So yep, I just say “hello” and wait.

      2. Bruce*

        When I was a kid I got trained into answering “Hello, residence, speaking…” I think some of my older sisters’ friends would call just to hear the wierd little brother answering the phone like that!

        1. londonedit*

          My dad had his own company when I was growing up, and occasionally his business contacts would call the house, so my sister and I were trained to answer the phone with ‘Hello, may I help you?’. Stopped that pretty quickly once I got to secondary school and my friends thought it was hilarious!

          Where I’m from it’s very normal to answer the phone with ‘Hello, [name] speaking’. Of course if you see the name on the screen and it’s a friend, you probably wouldn’t, but otherwise if I’m answering the phone to a call I’m expecting then I’ll say my name. Back in the day when everyone had landlines only, it was very usual to answer the phone by saying your phone number, so people would know they’d dialled correctly – I can still hear my grandmother saying ‘Six-seven-eight-five-twoooo?’ (not the real number) in exactly the same sing-song tone whenever she answered the phone! Probably helps that numbers were a lot shorter then!

          1. EvilQueenRegina*

            My grandad would do that, “2539” in a very Victor Meldrew tone. At one point I trained myself to answer that way (not quite the same tone)if I ever answered his phone so as not to confuse people calling for him who wouldn’t expect a female voice (years of being hung up on by step-relatives confused if I answered Dad’s phone).

          2. Dobby is a Free Elf!*

            My dad also ran his own business, and had business calls on the home line. My sister and I both answered with, “Elf residence, this is Dobby speaking!” well into our teens. And our friends thought it was WEIRD. (The days before Caller ID…)

            I also picked up a tic from my mom, where I kind of clear my throat before answering the phone, because our first cell phone took an extra second for the line to open, and the other person wouldn’t actually hear a greeting if you just jumped in with “Hello.”

            1. Katherine*

              The number of people I’ve phoned and this has been the case (or they say hello before picking up) and im left wondering if they pocket picked up and im going Hellooo? instead of “This is Katherine with Company” etc

        2. AC*

          I worked in operations and had to deal facilities and compliance. Now, no matter where I go, I look for a Certificate of Occupancy.

          1. I Have RBF*

            I look at elevator certificates. I used to do safety and compliance, and I had to check our elevator certificates every month so I could arrange for service and inspection at the right time.

            1. Audrey*

              I do this too!! I just read it once when I was bored then kept reading them. It’s crazy how many of them are expired!!

        3. Bruce*

          By the way, I tried to use some characters as brackets and it messed up my comment, what I meant was:
          “Hello, FAMILY NAME residence, MY NAME speaking”

      3. Snarky McSnarkerson*

        It sometimes works against robocalls. They’re programmed to begin when someone says Hello, not “this is Snarky.”

        1. Anne Shirley*

          This is true. I almost never answer the phone at work with hello anymore and it helps me catch on when it’s a robo call a few seconds sooner.

        2. HeraTech*

          I have adopted Lurch’s phone manner (the butler from the Addams’ family) to deal with robocallers. I answer with, “You rang?”

      4. Tupac Coachella*

        Another member of team “hello, this is Tupac” on persona calls. I started doing it at work, but I’m a major phone hater, so of the time if the number isn’t in my phone it’s helpful to have a professional, no nonsense greeting.

      5. Kim*

        hahahaha, in the Netherlands it’s customary to answer with your name so these replies are hilarious.

        1. Pet Jack*

          I think people used to in the US…when I watch old shows from the 70s or 80s people would answer like “The Tomasky Residence” or something like that.

          1. Pajamas on Bananas*

            This lasted into the early aughts in the Midwest. We were taught to answer “Hello, Surname Residence, may I ask who’s speaking?”

            Nowadays I just answer with “This is Pajamas.”

          2. Seashell*

            I made my first phone calls in the 70’s, and I don’t remember anyone answering that way in real life.

            When I was first learning to answer the phone, I think my mom advised me to say, “Hello, this is Seashell, who’s calling please?”, but that fell by the wayside by about age 9 or 10.

        2. Kuddel Daddeldu*

          Same here in Germany. We were trained as kids to answer the phone (wall mounted, rotary, grey beast) with our last name.
          With caller ID, I may go full dad joke (“Chaos air – we book, you despair” or similar nonsense). Once managed to do that to my boss (a call with my brother got disconnected, and my boss called just that second) but he found it hilarious.

      6. Rainy*

        I’ve been copying Barney Stinson from HIMYM recently and answering my personal phone with “Go for Rainy” which makes friends laugh and unnerves telemarketers, so it’s a win-win from my perspective.

    4. SirBluebird*

      Oh, absolutely. Once after a long shift my dad called me and at the end of the call I went “Great, anything else I can help you with today? :)” and then realized what I’d done when he started laughing and said “Nope, but I appreciate your great customer service, I’ll leave a good review.”

      1. Mad Harry Crewe*

        I have done the customer-service-warm “you have a great day” sign-off to my mother more than once.

      2. O-H-I-O*

        I’ve done the “have I answered all of your concerns?” to friends and family back in my call center days. Sigh. Also many a distracted “Thank you, you too” to “I love you” call endings. I’m glad I’m out of there! It took a while to speak like a normal person again!

        1. HQetc*

          I have the reverse problem! I don’t do much phone in my job, so I have to stope myself from signing off with “I love you” at work because 95% of my phone calls are with people I love.

        2. goddessoftransitory*

          “Now that you mention it, what happened to that blue sweater you borrowed in eighth grade?”

    5. General von Klinkerhoffen*

      I started a new job. After a couple of weeks my phone rang, and I recognised the number from my old job. So I answered, “Klink, $OldWorkplace OHMYGODSORRY I MEAN Klink, $NewWorkplace, good morning $Client how can I help?”

      Fortunately the client thought it was completely hilarious, and only my cube neighbour heard.

      1. HonorBox*

        Did that about 2 months into a new job several years ago. Thankfully it was someone who found it as funny as I found it mortifying. Luckily I was in my car so no coworkers heard it. My boss chucked about it when I told him what I’d done, just sharing the embarrassment.

      2. Annika Hansen*

        I worked 2 jobs for a while. I kept screwing up at my part-time job by saying my full-time job’s greeting. I put a note above the phone with the proper wording to help. It worked somewhat. I also tried to avoid answering the phone. (It was not a major part of part-time job was a major part of full-time job.)

        1. Lily Rowan*

          One summer I was working days as a receptionist and nights as a telemarketer, and I was a hot mess on those phones some days! Never mind once I got home.

    6. Some Dude*

      I did internet tech support twenty years ago. For me, it was fighting the urge not to start the greeting when asked for my order at the drive-through at 11pm on my way home. I don’t think I ever got past the “Thank you for…” before stopping myself.

    7. Jake*

      Back when I worked at an inbound call centre I one day had to call my own cell phone provider to sort out an issue I was having. At the end of the call, me and the call centre agent said, “okay, is there anything else I can help you with today?” to each other in the exact same cadence at the exact same time. He was like “…what…?” and I had to explain that I had the same job as him and it was reflex.

      1. I forgot my user name again*

        I thank people and wish them a nice day. when they should be thanking me from all my time in retail

    8. Sharks are Cool*

      I definitely can’t help launching into my customer-service phone persona whenever I get a call from a doctor’s office or whatever–I kind of enjoy the fake high-energy interaction that ensues. Likewise when I did confirmation calls for a dental office I could often tell when the person I was calling had customer service phone experience!

      1. goddessoftransitory*

        I call it Phone Voice, and find it very useful on all sorts of occasions when I need to get stuff done fast and polite.

    9. PhyllisB*

      Yep!! I used to be a long distance operator, and I would occasionally answer the phone at home, ^South Central Bell Operator. May I help you?”
      During a hurricane when we were working tons of overtime, one of my friends reported her mother came in to wake her up for work, and she answered her mom, “OK, let me answer this signal (call) first.”

      1. Sprigatito*

        When I was working for 911 I answered my phone “911, what is the address of your emergency?” a few times, and that REALLY scares people.

        1. Your Mate in Oz*

          I have a friend who does this. And he’s well used to us saying “We’re stuck in a bar and we can’t get out until {name} arrives”.

          It’s a stressful job and I can understand that his brain gets stuck there sometimes.

    10. Thrillian*

      Similarly, when I was working a drive thru Starbucks job in college I accidentally tried to take the McDonald’s employee’s order when I went through theirs for a McFlurry and we were BOTH confused while my friend nearly peed her pants from laughing in my passenger seat.

    11. lilsheba*

      I used to do that when I worked for a prior job, especially when I still had a home phone. I’ve broken myself of it now, although when I answer my work phone now I have to fight to not answer it for the old job.

    12. Elsewise*

      I used to work at an outbound call center, and once called a friend and said “Hi, this is Elsewise from Company, I’m calling about your recent… um…”

    13. Jay (no, the other one)*

      In the drivethrough at Starbucks one day I responded to “What I can get you?” with “This is Dr. Jay. I was paged.” I might have been working too much.

    14. The teapots are on fire*

      Same. After ten years running a library automation department, my instinct was to answer the phone with, “Automation, this is The Teapots,” which sometimes happened later when I was really tired on call in residency. Amused the heck out of the ER nurses.

    15. Anywhoohb*

      I have worked at my new job for 8 months, and I still fight the urge to answer the phone like I did at my old job.

    16. nervous wreck*

      Haha yeah, that was a big one at my old phone answering job. Worse than that though was when I would MAKE a phone call at work, and then have a total brain fart and when the person answered I would start with “Hi, [organization] how can I help you?” and then want to die.

    17. Maggie*

      I once wished my mother “have a wonderful evening” when I was going to bed, the customer service voice really came out!

      1. Bronze Betty*

        Not me, but a friend who was a special ed teacher. She used sign language with her students during the day (while also speaking), and after getting home from work, she found herself chatting with her husband while also signing everything she said to him. Her husband found this highly amusing. “You know I can hear what you’re saying?”

    18. Zephy*

      I spend so much time on the phone for work, a thing I already don’t love doing, that I have basically no energy left for social phone calls. Which means I don’t have a lot of practice with social phone calls anymore, and no ready scripts for social phone calls. I have no idea how to start OR end a phone call with my grandmother. I have had to physically restrain myself from answering my personal cell phone with “[Department], this is Zephy speaking, how can I help you?”

    19. Watry*

      At a job where I left a lot of messages, I once left a message for my therapist about changing an appointment. I waited through the answering machine spiel, then said “Hi, this is [Company], [company spiel starts]” and then I noticed my mom looking at me like I’d gone off the deep end.

      I’d leave messages as several companies every day, so I have no idea how I just picked one without an account to work off.

    20. Rage*

      Oh yeah. One time I answered my home phone with “Hi, Welcome to Burger King! May I take your order?”

    21. Jessica Ganschen*

      And conversely, when I was a kid, my parents made us answer the home phone with “[Surname] residence, [First Name] speaking, how can I help you?” which I very nearly did several times at my first job.

    22. goddessoftransitory*

      SO many times. And I repeat sentences because I’m so used to confirming orders!

    23. Sharon*

      Heck, after a long day working drive-thru at McDonalds, I’d automatically answer the phone “Welcome to McDonalds, can I take your order?”

    24. Dona Florinda*

      My very first job was telephonist, so I had to say the exact same line every single day, dozens times a day when picking up the phone. I haven’t said the salutation in a while, but the “please hold” still comes out from time to time.

    25. Stuckinacrazyjob*

      I constantly say my own name and have a weird fake phone voice that sounds like a sales person ( I’m scared of using the phone)

    26. IrishEm*

      I’ve definitely done that, and sometimes made calls and opened with “Calls are recorded for quality, training and regulatory purposes.” Oh dear.

    27. tiffany*

      I also sometimes do the “injecting a smile/warmth into my voice” thing without changing my facial expression. I sometimes forget to include the facial expression in real life and it’s somewhat disconcerting to people. Masks help here though

    28. MAC*

      I still occasionally start to answer the phone with “Newsroom, this is {MyName}” … and I left the TV station 28 years ago this month. It was my first job out of college/first time I’d ever been expected to answer with anything other than “Hello” and I guess it imprinted in my brain? Also, none of my (many) jobs since has had a specific script, plus I don’t get nearly the volume of calls that I did as a young reporter.

    29. Elizabeth West*

      I did this once when I was working at OldExjob. They required me to say “Good morning/afternoon, XYZ Company.” So my phone rang one day at home and guess what?

    1. YouwantmetodoWHAT?! *

      I do this without thinking about it. And I’ve worked at so many types of retail stores….

    2. A Girl Named Fred*

      I still do this and I haven’t worked retail since 2015! The habit runs deep (but also, neat store shelves make my brain happy so it’s as much an unconscious fidget as it is a leftover habit lol)

      1. Scandinavian Vacationer*

        So I straighten the little shot glasses for communion (left randomly on a tray after use) at church services. How can others not know these should be lined up precisely? Pray for me.

          1. Betty*

            I think this is denominational. Presbyterians do grape juice shots and uncooked croutons [cubed bread].

              1. Random Dice*

                I had no idea there are now shot glasses!

                Good, that grossed me out as a kid. The chalice wipe with a dry napkin actually was grosser than nothing at all.

                1. Princess Sparklepony*

                  When I was a kid I remember the dry wipe – ugh, but I was too young since it was real wine. When I got older they seemed to have cut the wine part. I was glad. It just seemed so dirty. I’ll take my dry wafer please…. and then I just stopped going.

            1. Lenora Rose*

              This has brought it back, but apparently small individual glasses used to be a thing for a lot of services, so much that the old pews in my church have a little holder with round cut-outs meant to hold them, so each person could bring a little glass to get their communion drink and their bread. (more recently used for pens for writing donation envelopes and prayer requests)

          2. Lady_Lessa*

            Evangelicals have almost always used shot glasses vs a shared cup. They even make vessels that fill a whole round tray that has the glasses in them at a time.

            1. The Beagle Has Landed*

              I remember that from when I was a kid! The silver tray with the shot-glasses in holes! Like a fancy devilled egg carrier.

            2. Not Totally Subclinical*

              Same for the Lutheran churches I grew up in. Lots of tiny shot glasses that the ushers filled with wine before the service; the church of my early childhood used glass ones that had to be washed after the service, but the later one used single-use plastic communion glasses.

            3. ReallyBadPerson*

              My church uses these, and my job is to full them using a small plastic cup with a plunger that, when pressed, releases the grape juice through a funnel into the tiny shot glass.

      2. AnonORama*

        Not quite that long, but I worked in a beauty products/cosmetic store during college and I will still move the “tester” items to the front and line them up with the tester sticker front and center I’m 49.

      3. Please no llama drama*

        Me too. I got offered a job in a very nice gift shop last year after the manager observed me tidying things up as I looked, and chatting with other customers. Honestly I think I will apply there after I retire for a part time job to get me out of the house on a schedule.

    3. The Wizard Rincewind*

      Yes, this! I always notice if I’m in a store and inventory hasn’t been moved to the front of the shelves recently. That was my first responsibility in my first retail job and it’s never left me.

      1. Miette*

        I worked in a library in HIGH SCHOOL and I do this at bookstores all the time–make sure the spines of the books are all flush with the front of the shelf lol

        1. Minimal Pear*

          I volunteered in a library in high school and sometimes rearrange books in bookstores. Nothing ridiculous–it’s usually the charming little used book stores where people take things on and off the shelves all the time. I just do stuff like reuniting series/putting them in order.

          1. Bookish*

            Worked in book stores for a long time. Can’t go into a book store and not straighten a shelf or three.

        2. goddessoftransitory*

          Flush and one stack turned out so the front cover’s on display—cannot stop myself!

      2. PhyllisB*

        I was at the liquor store once and was moving bottles from the bottom racks up higher for easier access. The owner was watching me and said “Want a job?” :-)

        1. Fish Microwaver*

          While waiting for a prescription at the pharmacy the other day, I color coded all the toothbrushes in the specials bin.

    4. Oops...*

      I’m an ESL teacher. My parents also both have English literature degrees. Recently, I have found myself CORRECTING MY MOTHER’S GRAMMAR. I may, someday quite soon, be murdered.

        1. Oops...*

          In my defense, yes! She does know better, but she starts one sentence and halfway through switches to another, similar one, but the grammar doesn’t quite line up.

      1. iamthelola*

        ROFL – if you’re wrong, I don’t want you to be right. This is one of the best things I’ve read all day!!!!

      1. allathian*

        I don’t do this often, but sometimes if I have to stretch my arm to get something right at the back of the shelf, I’ll make things easier for the next customer by pulling a few more packets closer to the edge of the shelf. I haven’t worked retail since 1999.

    5. Corvus Corvidae*

      I do this with the DMC thread displays in JoAnn’s. I don’t stop until someone gently drags me away. They’re just such a mess!

      1. Grey Duck 74*

        As a fellow stitcher, you are my new best friend!! Yaaaassss! Every time I am there, I will fix their displays, or sort the ones people throw on the bottom shelf.

    6. Ally McBeal*

      Oh I still do this and it’s been 15 years since my 6-month retail stint ended. But I’m also a very organized person and hate it when the size 12 is mixed in between the size 2 and size 8 or a hanger is askew because the garment is starting to fall off.

    7. AngryOctopus*

      My retail habit is arranging the money to face the same way and in descending order, from when we had to have two people count the deposit down. Drives my mom crazy when she pays cash at a restaurant and I grab the folder and rearrange the money.

      1. anomnom*

        Oh god, I canNOT handle seeing messy money. There’s no therapy strong enough to erase my late 80s job memory of the manager who would fire people for giving customers change with bills facing different ways, or for handing over change without counting it back. I strongly prefer self-checkout so I can continue to check/bag via The Frank Method (to be fair, Frank held himself to even higher standards than he held us)

        1. Just Another Cog*

          I worked in banking for a large chunk of my career and we always had to have money facing all the same way. I just realized I organize money facing the same way in descending denominations in my wallet and even just to hand to someone. I guess I’ve been doing this for 40+ years and this question just made me aware of doing it absentmindedly. It drives me nuts to have ATM money delivered every which way.

          1. allathian*

            I don’t handle cash very often, but I worked retail long enough as a teen and young adult that I hate this too.

      2. No Direct Reports*

        I used to audit banks, and my mom was a bank teller for years, and we both do this. Any cash I have in my wallet is also all turned to face the same way and in order of denomination. Makes my dad crazy when one of us straightens out the money for a restaurant check.

        1. HigherEdEscapee*

          I do this too! To be fair, I’m not as bad as my uncle who (used to and may still) do this and iron his money so it is wrinkle free.

          1. Jean (just Jean)*

            So he irons his bills…? At least he’s not totally laundering money.
            I’ll show myself out now. Fast.

            1. slashgirl*

              My mother’s aunt literally laundered (washed) her paper money (not sure about the coins). My mum said they’d go to visit and she’d have bills hanging to dry in the house. I don’t know if mum said that she ironed it or not–I’m sure she probably did if she went to the trouble of cleaning it. This would’ve been when Mum was little so probably mid to late 50s/early 60s.

              1. Certaintroublemaker*

                The Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco washes all the coins that go through its tills. They started to help ladies with white gloves, but they kept the practice up after fashions changed since the cleaned coins look so nice.

            1. Pennyworth*

              If you are in a country with polymer banknotes, don’t iron them – they shrink to the size of a credit card!

      3. slashgirl*

        This, I can’t stand having my bills going in different orders and I do smallest (here in Canada that’s $5 to largest). What really, really annoys me is that they don’t face the bills in the bank machines, so I end up having to spend extra time doing it before I put it in my wallet. It comes from my parents having a corner store when I grew up–that’s how mum organized the cash, and I still do it. And if I’m using any sort of cash drawer, be it register or cash box, the denominations of coin have to go smallest to largest, left to right and if there’re separate slots for bills, same thing.

        And here in Canada we have a couple different designs for $5s &$10s (and soon for $20s cus of King Chuck). I do two book fairs a year and when I hand my money in to the secretary to be deposited, I have all the same designs per denomination together.

        1. LifeBeforeCorona*

          I hate my ATM when the bills aren’t in order. I spend an extra minute facing them the same way. One time I needed $400 cash and I was convinced that I would be robbed because I stayed there, straightening out my twenties.

          1. Former Admin turned Project Manager*

            I picked up the money organizing habit at McDonald’s as well! My husband thinks I’m nuts when I rearrange this wallet to put change away.

        2. allathian*

          I do the same, but for me it’s always with the largest bills on the left. The logic is that since most cashiers are right-handed and you’re more likely to need to handle small bills rather than large ones, you keep the smallest denominations by your dominant hand for easy access. The lefties just dealt with it, like they deal with everything else in a world that’s built for righties.

          1. Princess Sparklepony*

            I’m a righty but back when I worked retail I always had my smallest bills on the left in the till. I think my mind had to have them that way to count up the row…

      4. I Have RBF*

        I never worked cashier for retail. But I learned how to count out change as a kid. I have my own small business now. I face all of my bills, and order them by denomination, even in my own wallet. I will also unfold corners, and sometimes press wrinkled bills. They store and count more easily that way.

      1. Lurkers R Us*

        Current embedded librarian and former bookstore employee. I’ve been known to face out books in bookstores that I really like and want other people to read.

      2. goddessoftransitory*

        MAGAZINES. I still face and organize them–people leave them so messy! And way back in the day when I worked at Borders I’d regularly have to fish the Pr0n mags out from behind the books in the kid’s section. Too many people thought hiding Playboys there was hilarious.

    8. Lissa Evans*

      When I’m in libraries that are not my own, I’ll put pretty books out in empty display spots.

    9. ENFP in Texas*

      Exactly! My mom owned a pair of Hallmark stores in the 80s, so every time I pass a greeting card display I find myself doing a “card run” making sure they’re facing correctly, the envelopes match and are set behind the cards correctly, and putting stray cards back where they belong. Same with pegboard displays.

      1. Arts Akimbo*

        I do this, too! It’s such a hard habit to shake– I haven’t worked retail since the 1990s.

      2. selu*

        Oh god – I do this too! My pantry looks like a cross between a grocery store and that scene in “Sleeping With the Enemy.”

        1. Resident Catholicville, U.S.A.*

          Seeing that movie in my 20’s made me realize my obsession with straightening towels on the rack maybe should be a private thing of my own and I shouldn’t share it with anyone.

          1. goddessoftransitory*

            I despise crooked towels with a deep and abiding passion. Haven’t beaten up Julia Roberts over it, though.

    10. Tammy 2*

      Oh yes! I worked at a Hallmark store in college and still find myself straightening greeting card displays. For a few years I had to restrain myself form pulling reorder tickets for designs that only had one card left and taking them to the front counter. I don’t know if they still do this (so few Hallmarks even exist), but we used to have a system of putting the last of a design behind the envelops, so if you looked at a row and could see a blank envelope, you’d know to move the last card to the front and pull the little slip to send in to get more.

      My high school job was at a movie theater and I didn’t eat popcorn again until I was in my 30s, but I still never ever leave trash behind at my seat. I think I probably wouldn’t even if that hadn’t been my job, but there’s a perception that it’s okay because it’s “somebody’s job” and…it isn’t.

      1. CamJansen*

        same boat as a former hallmark employee. card aisles at literally any other store give me heart palpitations and I have to work really hard not to move the misplaced “happy 5th birthday ” card out of the anniversary section.

    11. Ash*

      YEP. I work in a library, and I am constantly restraining myself from straightening displays in book stores. Everyone shelves books slightly differently, so I have to force myself to walk past them and not put them in our library shelving order.

      1. Decima Dewey*

        For a couple of years I worked at the library for the blind. Mostly we mailed audiobooks to people, but we had occasional walk-in patrons.

        Because our patrons were visually impaired, when handing them something, we’d gently tap their hand with the item so they’d know we were handing them something and be able to grab it.

        One day a book came in for my sighted boss. And I automatically tapped it against her hand…

    12. WonderEA*

      That one never leaves you. I worked at Wet Seal in high school (isn’t that a throwback – ha!) and I still fight the urge to straighten tables of sweaters in stores.

      1. NoIWontFixYourComputer*

        I used to pull graveyards at 7-11 in college (many Many MANY years ago), and I still have the urge to front the shelves when I’m in a store.

    13. Another Librarian (and proud of it!)*

      I thought I straightened stuff on shelves and put them back in order because I’m a librarian. I’m so glad to see it is not just me!

      1. Silverose*

        I haven’t worked in a library in nearly 10 years now after nearly 10 years as a paraprofessional in the field and trying to go professional (MLS, 6 month contract as a librarian, just no permanent job prospects because the field was glutted in my state at the time)…..I still straighten shelves when I’m in a library to this day, and still have the urge to remind kids to walk in the building…when I don’t work there…

    14. Cakeroll*

      Every time I shop: I’ll straighten/fold any stack I myself am picking/replacing an item into (I hold myself back from doing a whole shelf) including putting the sized back in order. And at checkout, I remove all the hangers and fold everything with the tags out while the cashier rings it up. Every once in a while they clock me: “Did you used to work retail?”

    15. Magpie*

      I still work retail, it is SO STRONG. Any store I go into, the jackets near me will be re-zipped with their sleeves neat, and any t-shirt or jeans piles I touch will be carefully re-stacked and size ordered. I can’t help it, I often don’t notice I’ve done it!

    16. Mostly Lurker*

      Yes! It’s that old “time to lean = time to clean” thing from my McDonalds days in high school. When I used to do events, I would compulsively straighten nametags and materials!

    17. SpaceySteph*

      My mother worked retail in high school and was METICULOUS about putting everything back on hangers in the dressing room perfectly (with like the special fold they do on pants hangers and whatnot). She’s been doing that for almost 50 years at this point.

      1. SaraV*

        I do this with pants! One side of the waistband is folded in, and then the hanger clips to the inside fold, not on the outside of the pants.

        I do that.

    18. Mim*

      Raise your hand if you’re a former grocery store employee who still fronts shelves as you shop!

      (And a huge thank you to those of you who are tall and do this, because if highest shelf stuff isn’t fronted, I literally can’t reach it. I used to have to front with a stepstool, which my then-boss hated, because he was an irrational b*stard who faulted people for things like their height.)

      1. Verthandi*

        Yes! Another short person here, and if I can’t reach something and there’s no step stool around (100% of all grocery stores around here) I will climb on the bottom shelf so I *can* reach it.

    19. We still use so much paper!*

      I havent’ worked retail since the late 70s. I still button all buttons, retie belts and properly hang bras. It’s appreciated!

    20. Magenta Sky*

      I used to work with a guy who was utterly incapable of walking by a stray shopping cart in the parking lot, and not walking it up to the door.

      Even if he was going *out* to his car.

    21. AnotherOne*

      My mom working clothing retail at various points in her life. She’ll insist that we put away clothing we’ve tried on, rather than leave it in the dressing room.

      She’s fine leaving it on a rack in the dressing area if there’s a designated place for it. But stores that want you to just leave stuff in the dressing room? She can’t.

      I’m so used to it that I do it on my own.

    22. KatieP*

      I haven’t been a cashier since 1995, but, on the rare occasion that I pay in cash, I always face my bills before handing them to the cashier.

    23. djl*

      I do that too – I pull all the hangers on a 2-way or 4-way out to the end of the arm. You can’t have a customer walk into an empty arm and put an eye out.

    24. Random Biter*

      My daughter, who used to work for Sears, still does this :)) I told her Target should put her on the payroll

    25. M*

      I’m currently in retail and do this. I also have to fight the urge to greet customers in other stores where I am also shopping sometimes…

    26. Chirpy*

      Man, I wish all of you were my customers. I get the ones who throw things everywhere, or knock everything on the shelf over.

    27. goddessoftransitory*

      Yes yes yes! I cannot be in a clothing store without refolding tee shirts, or in a bookstore without edging the shelves!

    28. 3am_caffinator*

      It’s been 10 years since I last worked retail, and I still do this–especially at bookstores and libraries (since that was my retail experience).

    29. Another Michael*

      My past retail life came back into full force when shopping with an untidy friend recently. I followed him around refolding any stack of shirts he’d rooted through…

    30. The Other Katie*

      I haven’t worked in retail for more than 20 years and I’ll still take from the second row rather than disturb a nicely faced shelf.

    31. PieforBreakfast*

      On the rare times I pay in cash my bills are all neatly sorted by denomination and all facing the same direction. It’s like a secret code.

    32. I'm just here for the cats!!*

      YES!!! I at least notice it now but don’t face the products anymore. However, I do still pull things to the front if they are pushed in to the back, but mostly that’s just to be nice so someone else who is short doesnt have to climb the shelf to get the item they want.

    33. Wired Wolf*

      Oh yes. If companies would only hire ‘occasional’ shelf straighteners (do it whenever you’re in the store, keep track of time and get paid via store credit at the end of the week/month/whatever), I’d be golden. I was meeting a friend at a local bookstore I used to work at; they recently expanded and were in the process of moving books from one shelf unit to another. I had about 10 minutes to kill, so plopped my bag down on the floor and jumped in. Two of the people that trained me at that store are still there, and they thought it was hilarious. I’d been out of that job 20 years.

      When I’m out visiting my dad, I’ve had other customers at his local grocery store ask me where things are. Weirdly, I can direct them with 95% accuracy even though it’s a much bigger store (and different company) than where I work.

    34. Facilities Squirrel*

      I do this even though I never worked in retail. My SIL would brush my hand away saying I was stealing someone’s job.

      1. Chirpy*

        Nah, unless it’s super slow, these days most stores are so understaffed that facing is a huge help (provided you’re making sure it’s the correct product matching the shelf label).

  2. mouse*

    The knee-jerk reaction thankfully faded with time but when I left teaching I had to bite my tongue against things like “put your phone away” and “tuck your chairs in please” to grown adults in the training seminars I was running. (I still do sometimes find myself tucking chairs in around the conference table before I leave)

    1. Hohum*

      Once after a long week of teaching 4-6 year olds, I was standing in my kitchen opening a can of cat food while my cats circled my feet yowling for food and out my mouth slipped “I hear you that you are hungry but you need to WAIT” in the most teachery teacher voice you can imagine, causing my partner to immediately burst into laughter and go “Oh, so THATS what it’s like in your classroom, I see” lol

      1. Please remove your monkeys from my circus*

        I definitely tell the cat she needs to use her words an ask politely when she yells at me for food.

        1. Zephy*

          I do this with my younger cat who likes to scream for porch time. I tell him to ask nicely and he makes the same sound but quieter.

      2. goddessoftransitory*

        My neighbors must hear “PEANUT, be quiet dinner is in ten minutes” every single day and assume I have a feral child I’m training to re enter society. Same with “GET OUT OF THE SINK” and “Okay, I just vacuumed and you HAVE to kick that litter out of the box?”

        1. NoIWontFixYourComputer*

          Yes, they DO have to kick the litter out of the box right after you vacuum. They believe it’s their job.

    2. LolaBugg*

      As another former teacher, I also tuck chairs everywhere I go. And I have to fight the urge to tell adults to tie their shoes.

      1. goddessoftransitory*

        “Zip up and put on your mittens!” My preschool teacher sister to just about any grown adult.

      1. Rara Avis*

        Oh yeah, me too. I’ve told strange kids to take their feet off the chair backs in movie theaters.

      2. Tory*

        CONSTANTLY. Strange children from some other school causing chaos on a public bus? Have to forcibly restrain myself from going “HEY. Knock it off. This is a shared space and you are disrupting others.” Because on the occasions I’ve let it slip out, it has invariably resulted in me being laughed at and no improvement at all lol.

      3. Pets Banshees*

        This is me too. I was watching my child’s soccer practice last night and one of the kids was really goofing off, making it so hard for the coach. It took everything in me to not just walk over and stand next to the child silently.

      4. Ms. Chracterized*

        Yep. Zero compunction about telling kids, with adults or unaccompanied, that they need to slow down, be respectful/quiet/still, etc. I was a chaperone on a middle school trip, and at the FDR memorial in Washington DC snapped at a kid, “This is a memorial, not a playground Get off that statue’s lap!” My co-chaperone said, “That’s not one of ours.” And I did not care and am still not embarrassed about it. But I am maybe nicer, most of the time.

      5. I Have RBF*

        My mom was teacher. I never was.

        Even so, it’s “No running!”, “Indoor voices please.”, and “Look with your eyes, not with your hands” when kids are acting out in public. Because my mother did it to others as well as me when I was a kid.

    3. Stoney Lonesome*

      I used to lead kids on nature hikes. I got in the habit of saying “Good observation skills!” when a kid pointed out a leaf or a worm but I didn’t have time to stop and talk about it.

      It turns out adults do not like being told they have good observation skills…

      1. Joan Summers*

        I work in informal education in a cultural institution and I do this too, especially with my husband. Fortunately he’s used to it!

        My role involves a lot of visitor interaction, especially with kids. Anytime I’m visiting a similar place, I find myself smiling and making eye contact with people, chatting with kids, and yes, occasionally saying “good observation.” Eventually I remember that without a uniform and a name tag, I’m just the creepy person talking to your children and can get myself to stop.

    4. SpaceySteph*

      Idk some adults still need that silence your phone reminder. Every training session there’s always that one person with their phone on MAX RING.

    5. Odonata*

      On the weekends, I have to remember to slow down at lunchtime. I don’t need to gulp it all down in 5 minutes between photocopying and supervision!

    6. Too Many Cats*

      I’m not in teaching anymore, but I will accidentally greet my coworkers with “Hi friends!” because that’s how I addressed my elementary students

    7. Jezebella*

      Former museum curator. I straighten framed artworks that are hanging slanty-wise everywhere I go. Restaurants, banks, other people’s houses….

      1. workswitholdstuff*

        Current Curator. Ditto.

        Also, the instinctive cringe if you hear a crash and something breaking…

        (My tutor for my postgrad used to work in a ceramics museum – she hated being in supermarkets and hearing a bottle break – cos that sound in a work context meant something drastic had happened…

        1. goddessoftransitory*

          Oh, God, like that poor guy who tripped and fell into those three Ming vases a while ago?

    8. Frinkfrink*

      When I was in grad school one of my classmates used to work as a preschool aide and tended to default to asking if anyone needed to potty before we left her apartment.

      1. mariemac*

        I worked in a preschool 15 years ago and I still tell my family and friends to use their words.

        1. Wired Wolf*

          I typically have to tell “grown” adults to use their words about 457 times a day. Grunting and pointing isn’t going to tell me what you’re looking for.

      2. Distracted Procrastinator*

        to be fair to her, this is an important question and too many people neglect it.

        (Not a former preschool teacher, but I am a mom. )

      3. SJ*

        When I was working in a preschool and potty training a bunch of kids at once I startled awake and woke my husband in the middle of the night to send him to the potty. He didn’t appreciate it.

    9. BluePeanut*

      As a teacher, I struggle to not tell people they need to take their hats off inside and need to spit out their gum.

    10. Maya*

      Yup. I work at a daycare, and I have on occasion hugged another grown adult, only to start patting their back and shushing them out of instinct.

  3. wondermint*

    I can’t be the only one who has incorporated some office-speak into social situations: “circle back” “follow up” “loop in.”

    However, my offenses don’t top when a friend of mine excused himself for a “bio-break.” The bleakest office speak of them all, in my opinion!

    1. Flames on the Side of My Face*

      You’re not alone at all–I’ve caught myself using office-speak with my small children!

      I hate “bio break” with a great passion.

      1. Putting the Dys in Dysfunction*

        Isn’t it just another in a series of euphemisms over the decades? Bathroom, washroom, lavatory, loo, restroom, etc.

        1. Flames on the Side of My Face*

          “Bio” makes me think very specifically about the biological processes about to be undertaken.

        2. Modesty Poncho*

          My groups use Bio Break to encompass anything your body might need – so bathroom but also food, water, stretch. For me it’s less gross because of that!

      2. Ex-Teacher*

        My office uses “use the facilities” all the time and I can’t stand it. Just say bathroom! It’s not like it’s a bad word!

        Maybe I’m just desensitized after having teenager demand bathroom passes 50 million times a day at my old job.

      3. the Viking Diva*

        Of course the “bio” isn’t needed – it can just be a break. But I do not interpret it as referring only to peeing. Stretching, standing, stepping outside for some fresh air and a glimpse of the sky, getting water or coffee or a snack– all meet biological needs too. I kinda like the recognition that we are all organisms and not just meeting-attending machines.

        1. Lab Boss*

          That’s how I interpret it- as opposed to a break for networking, or a break to allow prep time for the next thing, it’s a break because we are living things that need breaks for things.

          1. starsaphire*

            Absolutely. Drink of water, stretch out a cramp, blood sugar’s crashing, need to cough… could be any one of a number of things. It’s much more specific to say “bathroom” than “bio break.”

            But I think we all see things through our own lenses.

          2. Kuddel Daddeldu*

            Yes, and it indicates a short break, not lunch or longer – 5 minutes or so, not 30, so the others know to stay put or take an equually brief break.
            The opposite of “I’m going out, I may be some time”.

        2. Genadriel*

          Thing is, as some people have pointed out below, bio-break originated as a gaming term – to coordinate break time away from the computer. And for a stereotypical gamer, stretching, water, coffee/energy drinks and snack are ideally all set up to take place without interrupting the play. So the implication is that there’s an acknowledged reason to leave the computer, that calls for a break, and a euphemism was developed accordingly.
          Now that it’s carried over to workplaces it might come to mean other quality-of-life work breaks, for sure. (Fresh air and sky were notably not on the first list!) But originally it absolutely had literal I-need-to-do-this-in-the-bathroom-that’s-why-I’m-not-here implications.

      4. Hot Flash Gordon*

        I used to work with children at summer camps and I still trip up and say that I have to go potty quick. In social circles it’s OK, but not super professional at work.

    2. popko*

      Oh, that’s funny– I’ve always thought of “bio-break” as gaming terminology, since I’ve only ever encountered it watching hosts excuse themselves from gaming streams they were running.

      1. idwtpaun*

        That’s what I was thinking, too. Thankfully, I don’t think much of my office speak has permeated my daily speech, but – oh my god – the gaming speak has. Thank goodness for work from home and written communications, so I don’t have to restrain myself from saying “pog” to a coworker.

        1. Wendy Darling*

          Oh the cringe the time one of my coworkers broke something and my response in the slack channel was simply “F”

          Luckily I work with a bunch of nerds so a couple other people immediately replied “F” and then someone posted a gif of “Press F to pay respects” so the people who weren’t that kind of nerd would understand what was happening.

          1. Minimal Pear*

            Oh man the “pog” and “F” ones have me cackling out loud at work! I hope no one in my office ever asks why I’m so familiar with how to set up a desktop computer/what accessories you need lol

            1. Nessun*

              OMG yessss! Far too much gaming lingo and Twitch lingo finds it’s way onto my Teams chats with colleagues…luckily my team finds it hilarious, and just asks. Haven’t said POGGERS to anyone yet, but…

      2. LFG heroic status meeting*

        +1 definitely suggests gaming to me! I’ve thoughtlessly said it in a couple 3+ hour meetings and people are usually puzzled it.

      3. Llama Identity Thief*

        Seconded about thinking of it as gaming terminology – I’ve only ever heard bio break in terms of coordinating timings for players in MMOs.

      4. ferrina*

        I heard this in gaming circle pre-pandemic (I think I first heard it in the early or mid 2010s?), but not at work until pandemic times.

      5. JMR*

        Hah! Where I work, people use “bio-break” routinely and I had no idea it came from the gaming world. That’s wild.

          1. allathian*

            I work for a governmental agency that also employs a lot of engineers. We also have a fairly large software development unit that both employs in-house developers and outsources a lot of the work to contractors. Some departments are more geeky than others (I’m comms-adjacent and in a team of 25 with only one engineer), but some geek-speak, like bio-break, is very common regardless of background.

      6. Starscourge Savvy*

        I’ve only ever heard the term in my gaming circles! I think if someone in my office said they were taking a bio break I’d be so taken aback XD

    3. Kes*

      I mostly only do that as a joke but a little while ago I found myself messaging a friend saying I would reach out to someone and had to pause a moment and go is this jargon that has infiltrated my normal vocabulary or is that actually the normal way to say that

    4. Rootsandbranches*

      Huh, I actually like bio-break. I’ve always felt like it’s a polite way to reference using the bathroom but also leaves space for other body needs like getting a drink of water or walking around for a quick stretch.

      1. wondermint*

        I guess I’ve felt that “Excuse me for a moment” is plenty polite enough without bringing the word “bio” into it. “Bio” sounds scientific, introducing a level of sterile-ness when a warm “brb” gets the message across.

        Just my opinion though, I’ve heard “bio break” enough to know that avoiding it isn’t the vast majority.

        1. Llama Identity Thief*

          I kind of prefer bio break not because of the scientific or sterile-ness vs warmth of it, but because I know the set of activities and it puts a cap on how long the absence will be. I’ve had “brb”s be 30+ minutes long on me with no warning, I’ve never had “bio break” reach that length, and I’ve developed a mild hatred for “brb” for exactly that reason.

        2. Emilia Bedelia*

          I have only ever heard “biobreak” mentioned in context of a speaker or organizer saying something like, “We’ll take a 15 min bio break and come back at 2” or whatever. I like it in this context because it allows for whatever activities someone might need for biological reasons. I think I’d hate it if someone were to say it themselves about a break that they were taking (when in theory, you know exactly what you intend to do!)

          1. Office Lobster DJ*

            Yeah, I think this is the difference. When we’ve been granted a group “bio break” in a meeting, I always heard it as a general opportunity to do whatever you needed to do for your body’s comfort. I don’t mind it in that context.

            If a person said they needed a “bio break,” I’d assume they were going to the restroom, and “Excuse me for a moment” gets the job done fine.

            1. Candy Morningstar*

              but wouldn’t just saying “now we’ll take a 15 minute break” still have the same effect? you can go to the bathroom or get some water or make a phone call or whatever.

            2. allathian*

              I agree with you, and come to think of it, I’ve only heard it used in a group setting at work. It would feel odd to hear someone say they need a bio break. But then, I work in an environment where we are allowed to take whatever breaks we need and have a lot of flexibility with working hours as long as we attend the meetings we’ve agreed to attend.

        3. AnonORama*

          When you’ve worked for someone who demands to know where you’re going if you get up from one of her interminable (3+ hours, usually scheduled for an hour) meetings, and/or berates you later for “just getting up and walking out,” I’d rather use bio-break or restroom break. Just “excuse me” doesn’t always cut it with people who really relish a captive audience, although it should.

      2. Oui oui oui all the way home*

        Me too! We use it in our meetings because it really does cover everyone’s needs, whether for a snack, a stretch, or bathroom. We’re a diverse, inclusive group in film and TV and it seems to work in our context. I wonder what context makes some people not like it.

    5. sb51*

      It’s also sometimes endurance athletics terminology, when the radio announcers or twitter recappers want to politely remark that the entire front peloton of the Tour De France has stopped, by agreement, to pee by the side of the road. (“Nature break” is more common, but I’ve heard bio-break too.)

    6. Kay Buick*

      I once asked my dare care provider if she had “bandwidth” to take my kids one more day and I got a VERY blank stare in return.

        1. SeluciaMD*

          Me too! Bandwidth and capacity are both terms I use a lot – both professionally and personally. Never really gave much thought to how it might be weird in a personal setting! LOL

        2. JJL*

          I frequently use computer terminology when referring to my brain, like “bandwidth” , “short-circuiting”, “booting up” or “not online yet”. I find it fun and it helps me understand what level I’m functioning at in a non-judgemental way.

          1. Fish Microwaver*

            I use “latency” a lot, as well as bandwidth and some others. My SO hates computer terms used for human (non) functioning, which makes me do it more.

    7. ENFP in Texas*

      I’ve replaced “bio-break” with “pitstop” in my work and daily life, because I really don’t care for “bio-break”.

    8. ferrina*

      I do this. I “backburner” home projects or have a “parking lot” for home improvement ideas.

      On the bright side, when there’s family member I want to annoy, I just pull out my corporate jargon to “circle back to add iterative processes to reinforce the synergy”
      (read: add a new level of crappiness on a bad relationship)

    9. Piper*

      “Touch base” has started creeping into my regular personal vocabulary and I’ve been trying to kick myself out of the habit lol

    10. SchuylerSeestra*

      I use “table this discussion”, “circle back”, “ping”, “granuler”, and “contextualize” among other phrases in regular conversations.

    11. RainyDay*

      I’m pregnant with our first kid and recently used the phrase “paradigm shift” in a completely serious manner with my husband. I didn’t hear the end of that one for a while!

    12. Peon*

      My 10 year old uses “circle back” in conversations now. A hazard of working from home while he homes chooled during the pandemic. At one point, he had a zoom play date that consisted of his decepticons and his bff’s decepticons having a conference regarding their plans for world domination.

    13. MJ*

      Ugh! I hate the word bio-break. I always get a mental image of people in hazmat suits walking down the hall to the bathroom!

    14. Don't make me slap your jargon-spewing face*

      Exact opposite, here. I worked for a boss a absolutely despised who used office speak jargon all the time and it makes me grind my teeth to hear it now. If my husband wants to grind my gears, he will throw a “circle back” or “in the loop” or “wheelhouse.” During one meeting, my boss asked me if I had the “bandwidth” to take something on and I told her that I prefer not to talk about myself as if I were a machine. The thing I hate most about this sort of jargon is that it is terribly imprecise. EVERY time she told me to “ping” someone, I would ask her if she wanted me to call, email, text, or message them. She never got it.

    15. Dom*

      I’m mostly familiar with ‘bio break’ from a specific online game, to be honest – it was common to type ‘bio’ in the chat for any sort of biological functions, whether that was a bathroom visit, getting a drink or a snack, or just needing to stretch your legs for a few minutes. I’ve never come across it in an office setting.

    16. Calamity Janine*

      this is a hilarious example of how slang gets colored by how you first hear it used, because when i hear “bio break”, i don’t think business… …i think someone sounds a little bit like a world of warcraft raid leader.

      in the world of business, however, i am assuming that the tank insisting on pulling the boss by charging in after a mighty “Thundercats, HOOOOOOOOO!” on voice chat is slightly less common.

    17. Zeus*

      I recently met up with my sibling and noticed they had an injury, but didn’t get a chance to mention it until later, at which point I said something like, “I meant to follow up with you about that.”


    18. Kayem*

      I got so used to text chatting on Teams to my team, colleagues, and boss, that I found myself responding to texts from my mom with “Let me look into that and I’ll get back to you.” instead of “sure, dinner on Thursday sounds great!”

  4. Sick of Workplace Bullshit (she/her)*

    I teach English as a second language in Toronto, the most multi-cultural city in the world. I have to stop myself from saying, “Speak English!” when I hear other languages outside of school.

    Also, when I was a sign-language interpreter, I would notice any movement I saw out of the corner of my eye after a gig, because I thought it was the Deaf consumer trying to get my attention.

    1. Ex-ESL*

      I taught ESL and it was considered good practice to give students visual clues to what you were saying by gesticulating more than I (as a restrained Brit) would usually do. Along with my colleagues, it usually took a while to stop doing this on a Friday evening, so we’d all be outside the pub, asking if anyone wanted another drink (mime drinking), what they did last night (point backwards) what their plans were for the coming weekend (point forwards), etc!

      1. Varthema*

        Lots of ex or current ESL here! I also would gesticulate far more than usual after teaching a lot. Another thing I’ve never been able to shake is an obsession with how much any given person is talking in a group setting. I spent so long trying to generate conversation and ensure that quiet students were being given the opportunity to speak that one quiet person in a group conversation makes me very fidgety.

        Once we were traveling in a group tour and at lunch were sitting at a table. It was quiet, with mostly just the odd exchange of words between the couples present. I couldn’t take it! “So! What’s YOUR favorite part been?”

        (Ironically I myself am an introvert who doesn’t always want to take part in every conversation.)

    2. so_many_careers*

      I used to teach English in Japan. All of the teachers developed really odd English-speaking habits, because we learned to speak in a way our students could understand. For example, we would say “What is your job?” instead of “What do you do?” It took a bit of time to start speaking normally again after returning.

      1. DrFresh*

        Can confirm. I also taught in Japan and there were months where I never heard English only Japanese. After three years, I actually had to get back into an English speaking habits. I still use the kanji for minutes/hours because it’s faster.

      2. Jamjari*

        I still do a little head bob bow in certain situations more than a decade after leaving Korea, where I taught English. And I still use “same same” for ‘very much the same’.

      3. Ria*

        I teach native Spanish speakers in a Spanish-speaking country, and I do this too! I’m also finding myself getting worryingly comfortable with the most common false cognates they use, to the point where I’ll almost forget they’re not actually correct English. For example, my kids will frequently ask me about their “note” instead of their “grade”, since the Spanish word is “nota,” and the other day I just caught myself before referring to a student’s “notes” when talking to a fellow English-speaking teacher!

    3. raincoaster*

      OMG you must not have a minute of peace. I’m in Ottawa and must hear ten languages and dialects a day.

    4. cabbagepants*

      I’m in a workplace where most people are not native speakers and the English used in informal written communications (e.g email) has its own rules! Forget about compound sentences.

    5. CowWhisperer*

      Adult SODA (sibling of Deaf adult) here who works in a D/HH preschool.

      I sign at random people all the time. I whip my head around and sign, “What?” at people who gesture emphatically. If you see someone with their eyebrows down, wiggling their palm up hands, that’s what going down in ASL.

      I also fight the urge to repeat everything someone says verbally while signing it in a conversation because that’s my life in preschool.

  5. Mary*

    When at home doing some baking weighing everything to the exact weight 25.00 because that is what I do in the laboratory at work.

    1. Wendy Darling*

      My baking scale measures up to a tenth of a gram, so of course I measure everything exactly within a tenth of a gram because I love a round number.

      My partner has definitely gently ribbed me while I repeatedly added and removed tiny quantities of flour while glaring at my scale.

      1. Mim*

        OMG I need to get one of these! Mine only weighs to the gram, and is so old that I assume it’s a bit off anyway. Measuring dry ingredients by weight instead of volume has been such a game changer for baking (better results and I find it easier and less messy) without needing that tenth of a gram level of exactness. But I want it anyway.

      2. Your Mate in Oz*

        I have recipes for my bread maker that have hand-made annotations “4.5g yeast, 4.8 if not fresh” and similar. I have scales, I’m sick of “3/8th imperial teaspoons loose chili leaf” type measures.

        My bugbear is “100g” in recipes. 100±50, 100±10, 100±1, 100±0.1? Say what you mean, dammit. Especially because some of my handed down recipes are “two handfuls of buckweat, ground to coarse flour”. Thanks gg-gran, I’ll just write “125g+10” next to that, then.

    2. Former lab rat*

      I label my spices with date opened, because in the lab you always did that for critical reagents. Actually it does let me keep track of what spices are way old and need to be replaced.

      1. too many dogs*

        Yep. I label every food with the date that it was opened. My sense of smell is not good, so I can’t sniff the milk with any accuracy.

      2. Lime green Pacer*

        If it makes you feel better, I do that for all my leftovers, any open containers in my fridge, and everything in the freezer. Never worked in a lab (my husband would laugh at the very idea), I just find it helps with clutter, food safety, and peace of mind. I don’t do my spices though.

      3. Siren of Sleep*

        As a former baker this is 100% something you should do anyways. I always ignore “use/sell by” dates because most of the time they mean nothing if you properly store food.

      4. Jenny F Scientist*

        I date everything that goes in the freezer. I also still can’t bear to have anything on my wrists except a watch due to too many years of radiation and sterile culture work.

    3. Perihelion*

      I know I’ve been doing more lab work than usual when I find myself carefully adjusting for the meniscus in the liquid measuring cup. I do also feel that a centrifuge would be helpful for getting all the batter out of a bowl.

    4. Generic Name*

      Ha ha, my aunt, a retired biochemist, said she has to remind herself it’s “just baking” and not analytical chemistry.

      1. Former lab rat*

        Oh heavens, I am so compulsive about the meniscus. And actually baking is a good bit of chemistry. You may not need to be exact to the milligram but you do need to be fairly accurate with measurements.

        1. goddessoftransitory*

          Yep; the book Perfection Salad is all about how “scientific” cookery came to be, and using measurements exactly rather than “pinch,” “size of a walnut,” and so on. It’s fascinating!

        2. Wintermute*

          yup! cooking you can be a bit imprecise but baking relies on the chemical reactions. The most important chemical reaction in most cooking is just the maillard reaction that browns food, but baking relies on the complex interplay of protein bonds (mostly gluten) to give body, of gas-generating reactions both chemical and biochemical to create the proper texture and airiness and the reaction of starches for the right taste.

    5. pally*

      I’m a biochemist but haven’t gotten to this point yet.

      Found that a little ‘sloppiness’ in the cooking (including baking!) makes for a good turnout with most recipes.

      Not so much with lab work though.

      1. Ace in the Hole*

        I’m very freeform in the kitchen. I do things mostly by feel. It *usually* works out well.

        My biochemist friend once asked me for my bread recipe. I wrote down what I normally do and sent it over.

        Then she asked if I could clarify how many grams were in a “pile” of flour and “a big spoonful” of yeast…

        1. Former lab rat*

          I bet if you weighed your pile of flour over several bakings you would find you are within standard deviation for amount. Same with the yeast. You have trained your eyes to “quantitate” the correct amount each time you bake.

      2. Putting the Dys in Dysfunction*

        There are other factors at play that result in ultra-precise measurements providing a false sense of consistency in results: humidity/flour hydration, age of the flour, brand of the flour, water contents of eggs, etc., etc.

        An experienced baker starts with exact measurements but uses their senses in real time to adjust as appropriate.

        1. Former lab rat*

          You’re right and I’ll amend my statement. If I’m baking cakes I precisely measure the flour. If I’m making bread the last bit gets kneaded in without measuring. So if the bread recipe calls for 4 cups I will mix in 3.5 then turn the dough out on the counter and knead in flour until it feels right.

        2. Your Mate in Oz*

          Used to work in a flour mill and the whole point of the test kitchen was to tweak the recipe so bread factories(etc) could just say “235kg flour, 104l water, 1.35kg rising agent…” or whatever the actual numbers are. Benefit of the test kitchen was free bread, if you could handle unsliced farmer loaves (and if you worked late it was free! Otherwise ~1/4 retail). Best days were cake mix days… they’d make ~3 different cakes and a slice, in small-ish batches, and those never made it off the property intact.

        3. Blue*

          As a lab worker this is also true in the lab!
          There are experiments I just don’t do in the summer because the humidity messes with the results, and different reagents have different shelf lives and there are papers out there showing that the types of impurities from different chemical brands can affect certain procedures.

      3. Wintermute*

        yeah I’ve never found that carrying out a recipe under an excess of reagent ends well for me, turns out that filtering off the unreacted egg white is a pain :P

    6. Nonanon*

      I wondered if the jars I had just bought for pickling were autoclave safe.
      There is no way I could fit an autoclave into my apartment.

      1. shaw of dorset*

        They make little ones! The lab I work at used to have a couple that were about microwave sized.

        1. Perihelion*

          Someone I knew got a job at what turned out to be an awful start-up, and they were making her use use a pressure canner as an autoclave in the lab. . .

      1. JustaTech*

        I recorded all three of my attempts at sourdough in a lab notebook I got from work (we had too many).

        1. I Have RBF*

          I sometimes make soap. I have a composition book that I record all my weights and ingredients in.

          When I do batch cooking, I record the ingredients, quantities and yield in my kitchen notebook.

    7. Throwaway Account*

      I’m not in the sciences but I pay attention to the meniscus in the liquid measuring cup and to the exact weight when baking.

      I’ve also been known to date label things I open or freeze.

      I thought everyone did these things!!

      1. Cyborg Llama Horde*

        I distinctly remember my mother teaching 5- or 8-year-old me to measure to the bottom of the meniscus. She worked as a mathematician, though I suppose her mother was a nurse. No lab work that I know of, though.

        1. PhyllisB*

          Okay, forgive my ignorance, but how does this relate in cooking? I just googled this word and it talks about cartilage in the leg?

          1. Former lab rat*

            No, it’s not your knee but the way liquid sits in a measuring cup. Here is a definition of what all us science nerds are talking about:
            When observing a volume of a liquid in a graduated cylinder, graduated pipette, or buret, read the point on the graduated scale that coincides with the bottom of the curved surface of the liquid. The curved surface of the liquid is called the meniscus.

      2. Throwaway Account*

        And I just read pharmacy techs putting oldest stuff in the pantry forward – I do that too but never had a job where it was required.

        Again, I thought everyone did these things!

        Drives me nuts when my husband does not put the newest stuff in the back!

        1. All Monkeys are French*

          I am I former professional baker and have thankfully managed to train my husband by yelling “FIFO that sh*t!” when he puts away groceries.

      3. ferrina*

        I absolutely date things that I open and freeze! I also date leftovers- I’m ADHD, so this is a great help to me.

    8. AFac*

      I never put my utensils directly on the counter; they always have to rest on something else to prevent contamination.

      When I was in grad school I started covering/closing all open containers when I was cooking if I wasn’t using them for more than 10 seconds. My housemate rolled her eyes and told me I needed a vacation. She was probably right.

    9. Jess*

      After years of chemistry classes, when I measure liquids for baking or cooking, I look for the miniscus to make sure I’ve the right amount of liquid.

    10. Not A Raccoon Keeper*

      Former food scienist – I used to develop flavours for a local fancy bottled juice company, and for a while we got into concentrated vitamin shots and I would be making samples with measures to the tenth of a milligram.

      I asked for a scale for my (gluten free) home baking, and my mom bought me a quite fancy one, but while it’s accurate to the tenth of a gram, it’s useless below 5g (iykyk). A decade+ out from the last time I measured 0.00001g of some ingredient, it still kills me that I can be so accurate for most things, but am just tossing xanthan gum in like it don’t matter (it matters most of all!)

        1. I Have RBF*

          Oh, the memories! My first career was environmental chemistry, both lab and field. I have a lifetime of habits from that.

    11. sometimeswhy*

      Also a lab person, here! I have done or do almost everything in this thread. Plus:
      – made sure my kid could read an SDS and select + wear appropriate PPE for hazardous tasks when they were little (said kid is now an artist who has a well-ventilated studio, eye protection, smocks, different types of gloves, and different types of respirators)
      – suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuper casually put out kitchen fires; i know exactly where my limit is to respond safely
      – say temperatures in both F and C

    12. Rainbow*

      Me too, but not even the tiniest part of me wants to do otherwise! I always wish I had my lab stuff in the kitchen; I’ve particularly always wanted an inert gas line or just a vac line for storage (idk maybe I get a little compulsive; sometimes the idea of stuff going off gets to me). Last month I finally found some vacuum jars and I would swear on my life they can store cereal for much longer than otherwise.

      1. AFac*

        I’m also a fan of using kitchen utensils in lab.* Sometimes you just want a real spoon or a pair of chopsticks rather than a scoopula or tweezers.

        (*keep your lab utensils and your kitchen utensils separate for safety’s sake!)

    13. AnneC*

      Lab rat here too – there’s a local lab supply store my work sometimes uses, and I’ve ended up going there to outfit my kitchen with a balance for weighing ingredients. We also use a 500 mL beaker in the kitchen frequently for all kinds of thing (it pours much more nicely than the standard measuring cups!)

      1. Wintermute*

        labware is one of the few ways you can get genuine (and thus safe) borosilicate anymore, since “pyrex” baking dishes are no longer borosilicate in most cases, so it’s either shop vintage or buy labware for cooking.

        1. I Have RBF*

          I still use labware for soap making. I still have some Fleakers that I scrounged off of eBay.

      2. Hastily blessed Fritos*

        We have a beaker for a liquid measuring cup too, and a small graduated cylinder in the liquor cabinet for making mixed drinks.

    14. I Have RBF*

      My first job was in a laboratory. I still measure with precision when using a scale. I tend to weigh the exact amount specified, to the tenth.

    15. Sarah S.*

      When I’ve been working a lot in lab I will have an urge to put on my safety glasses while cooking. This urge is particularly strong whenever I use the microwave, for some reason.

  6. ThatGirl*

    I started my career in newspapers, and still get critical about headlines, poor design choices, etc all these 16 years later.

    I currently work for a “water solutions company” (plumbing-related manufacturing, mostly) and obsessively check water fountains and bottle filling stations, sink brands, faucet styles, etc wherever I go. I noticed that my in-laws had a bar faucet on their huge kitchen sink and a huge kitchen faucet on their tiny bar sink and it drives me nuts whenever I’m at their house.

    1. VermiciousKnid*

      15 years in print publishing (now in marketing). If your menu/brochure/sign has a typo, I WILL find it.

      I once saw a sign for a real estate company that said something like “find your next house in :30 seconds”. The colon before the 30 nearly sent me to the hospital. WHO APPROVED THAT?!

      1. londonedit*

        Yep, I’m an editor and I subconsciously edit everything I see. Of course I don’t say anything about it, apart from silently judging in my head. But I’ve pretty much given up on ever seeing the correct version when it comes to things like ‘everyday’ (when they don’t mean ‘an everyday occurrence’) and ‘sneak peak’ (what, is it a hidden mountain?).

      2. tsumommy*

        Glad I’m not the only one who almost has an aneurism when they see horribly egregious grammar/punctuation choices in signs :)

        1. Cathie from Canada*

          I still notice Idiot Apostrophes wherever I go — or maybe I should say Idiot Apostrophe’s.
          Also, when I see movie titles, I notice the typefaces (“I wonder why they used Century Schoolbook instead of Baskerville?”) At least I finally stopped myself from boring people by asking questions like that out loud.

          1. SpikyPotato*

            In the UK, they’re known as Greengrocer’s apostrophes, from signs outside shops selling apple’s, pear’s and potatoe’s.

            (My phone reaaaallllyy wanted to autocorrect those)

            1. Scandinavian Vacationer*

              I had to dispose of a mug from my new husband which read “Alaskan’s Do It Better.” I could not bear seeing this abomination to grammar in the coffee cupboard every day.

              1. londonedit*

                I’d have done the same! I contacted a company selling handmade items last Christmas because all over their social media marketing they were using a photo of a sign saying ‘Christmas with the Taylor’s’ or similar. They actually responded and said ‘we’re just using images of real orders from customers, we do check but in that case that was what the person specifically wanted’ – well, OK, that’s a whole different issue. But don’t use it for advertising if you don’t want people thinking you have no grasp of how to use an apostrophe!

              2. Lucien Nova*

                Our house has a sign out the front reading “The (Last Name)’s”.

                Luckily it’s a layer of bronze paint over black metal so I just took a permanent marker and coloured out the apostrophe. You still see it up close (mostly because the kerning is off) but it’s much better from a bit of a distance.

          2. They Don’t Make Sunday*

            Come sit next to me! I will listen to your typeface shade and will have follow-up questions.

          3. MigraineMonth*

            I have a friend who, right after seeing the first Avatar movie in breathtaking 3-D, turned to her sister and said, “Papyrus?!?”

            Her sister answered, “I know! What were they thinking?”

      3. TypoSpotter*

        I was at a baseball game last week and could not watch the game, because there was a typo on one of a hundred iterations of a sponsor logos on the digital displays. D:

        1. I Have RBF*

          Oh, my, god! I did newspaper layout in high school and college, plus my own newsletter that I published. I will still grind my teeth at “business” fonts like Arial and Helvetica because the default kerning is so bad.

          1. Firefighter (Metaphorical)*

            I once dragged three friends out of a bar to show them the bad kerning on the sign outside, as part of a monologue about how you can tell our town is provincial and a bit meh. The kerning wasn’t even that terrible, it was just… OFF and it BUGGED ME.

      4. Not Totally Subclinical*

        I often drive by a construction site with a banner that lists the types of construction the company does, including “STORGAE UNITS”.

        I really hope they check their building plans more carefully than their advertising.

        1. Lucien Nova*

          We have an automotive place here that for quite some time advertised itself as “UNDER NEW MANAGMENT”.

          Their automotive work must be much better than their proofreading skills; they do quite a lot of business!

      5. allathian*

        I’m a translator and proofreader, and I do this all the time. At least I’ve learned to judge people who can’t spell only in my head rather than out loud. But I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop silently judging people for not being able to spell, even if I’m aware that it’s ableist as heck.

        1. rebelwithmouseyhair*

          Do you find yourself trying to translate random things you read in the street?
          I can’t even order from the menu until I’ve completed a draft translation of it in my head…

    2. Shiba Dad*

      I work with HVAC-related stuff and I check out thermostats, but just in commercial/institutional settings and not residential.

    3. lilsheba*

      Oh me too I went to school for radio broadcasting in the late 1980s and took classes in journalism and traffic (commercials and scheduling) and it infuriates me when I see language usage being wrong (like using the word entitled when it should be titled when discussing actual titles of things) Or when I see traffic rules being broken like commercials for competitors being back to back in a commercial break…I was taught NEVER to do that.

    4. Miss Cranky Pants*

      Yeah, editors gonna edit.

      My favorite typo from an old Jonathan Kellerman book was when the character walked up the bridal path behind his house. Really?? Makes me smile to this day.

      Typos are everywhere; one must turn off the editorial brain once work is done, otherwise you’ll go insane.

      1. starsaphire*

        I actually stopped reading a mystery series I had rather been liking because of sloppy editing.

        Seriously – the books took place in a tea shop, and after the second time I ran across misspellings of various fairly common tea china, I gave up in disgust. (Like Lennox instead of Lenox, or Lamoge instead of Limoges.)

        And yes, these were bookstore paperbacks. I could have gritted my teeth and excused it in a self-pubbed ebook, but if it comes out of a publishing house, I expect a book to be, y’know, edited.

        1. Tiggerann*

          the publisher is avoiding a lawsuit. the tea companys may lose their trademark if it appears in the wrong place.

      2. Dancing Otter*

        One of my favorite writers recruits beta readers for what they call “The Great TYOP Hunt” before every book release. Because their readers are exactly the sort to find and complain about any mistakes that make it into print.

    5. Random Biter*

      My BFF was a reporter in a previous life and would collect newspaper or magazine articles with the most amazing typos. One of the best was a photo of a new sheriff with a caption that read, “”goodoldwhatshisname” takes office today.”

      1. AnonORama*

        Not in the newspaper, but at a fundraising conference years ago, a funder mentioned having received an application where there was a huge blank and the words BULLSHIT BULLSHIT BULLSHIT written in red caps instead of any content. Obviously the applicant sent the one with the placeholder by mistake, but I would die and quit my job (in that order, lol) if I produced something like that. It did make me more careful about using placeholders at all, and about checking things before they went out.

        1. Richard Barrell*

          I always use harmless text in placeholders. If something goes out with a big red “Badger badger badger badger” or just “PLACEHOLDER TEXT HERE” in it, then that’s embarrassing but not apocalyptic.

          At work we have a “no swearing in code or test content, not even in comments” policy because sometimes we are contracted to ship source code to the customer, and it’s safer to just never swear than to try to remember which places you can or can’t write four letter words in. :)

    6. goddessoftransitory*

      Have you read The Cheese Monkeys? It’s a hysterical novel about kid who starts taking a commercial design course in college with one of those genius/terrifying teachers, and within a week he cannot deal with the sloppy design presentation of the stores, the bus station, the pizza place…

    7. Retired editor*

      Spotting misspellings, typos, grammatical errors, poorly written headlines, disorganized writing, and so on is still a real affliction years after having retired as an editor can get aggravating. In addition, my escapist reading is Regency romance, and I was interested enough to do a lot of reading about the history of the era — which means there are books that exasperate me with language unsuited to the era (chat about “sibling rivalries” during a curricle ride in Hyde Park) or factual errors (unlikely clothing colors that don’t take into consideration the actual dyes used at the time; medical treatments that don’t reflect historical practice, books published by writers who characters encounter when those writers were published posthumously, random historical errors, and so on).

      I also spent years working and volunteering in libraries, so I am always tidying or shelf-reading in libraries and bookstores. My books at home are organized by topic, and within that, by author surname. But the alphabetization does not stop there. My spice jars are in alphabetical order. When I can manage it, icons on my desktop or home screen are in alphabetical order (and I am still annoyed that computers don’t generally allow me to stipulate that icons default to alpha order; at least, as far as my limited tech skills have discovered). My stack of greeting cards has the birthday cards on top, a couple of get-well-soon cards, and the sympathy cards on the bottom. CDs are by music genre, then alphabetical order by the group name or the surname of the individual performer.

      I’m not sure where the color-coding came from, but my closet is organized by color, as are some refrigerated and pantry items.

  7. GingerNP*

    I was an ER nurse for 15 years and just recently moved into a primary care Nurse Practitioner role – and I will never stop a) assessing people for IV placement, and b) telling people they should get moles looked at.
    I also (possibly unfortunately) have an extremely high threshold for what constitutes a serious/urgent/emergent problem – something I have to recalibrate as I move into my own practice as a primary care provider.

    1. TeenieBopper*

      I dunno, my fiance works at a primary care office and from the stories she tells me it sounds like most patients need a recalibration of what is a serious problem is – in both directions. She has people who’s step one when they have a cold is to go to the doctors instead of just drinking fluids and taking aspirin and then she has 60 somethings who come in with difficulty breathing and chest pain, like why TF aren’t you at the ER right now?

      1. Bear Expert*

        This calibration is why I am an obnoxious evangelist for nurse hotlines. Most insurance/doctors offices have one that’s free. Talk with a nurse, not to get a diagnosis, but to get a calibration for ER/Urgent Care/drink water and take a nap.

        It’s great for people who will try to treat a gun accident at the range with a bandaid and for people who get super anxious about anything health related.

        That calibration is a measure of expertise that a lot of people lack and you can just call a number and get it.

        1. Rocket Raccoon*

          Nurse hotlines are the best! I live very rurally, and it’s SO nice to replace a long drive with a phone call. I just need someone to say “yes, bring your kid in and we can help” or “nope, we can’t do anything about it, just monitor”. Even better when they let you do a telehealth to check out weird rashes and stuff that kids get.

        2. Minimal Pear*

          Thanks for the reminder that they exist! I’m currently waffling on two separate “wait and see or go to my primary?” problems. (Chronically ill so my calibration is broken in both directions lol.)

        3. Magpie*

          These are so helpful! I actually probably saved the mobility in my thumb recently by calling one. I got a deep cut over the joint and was probably under-reacting, but since it was bleeding so much I decided to call and check and they told me to go get stitches. Turns out I had partially cut the tendon and definitely needed medical attention. (I am on the mend now)

        4. cabbagepants*

          +100 for telehealth nurses!
          -90 for nurse lines that are only staffed during business hours. I get staffing issues etc but it’s a real bummer when I have a nursing line but STILL have to go to urgent care to get my boo-boos checked 75% of the time.

      2. lilsheba*

        I’m in the latter camp, because by now I’m tired of being gaslit and not paid attention to so I don’t go even when my arm hurts for a couple of months like now. I should go get it checked but I’m just so tired.

      3. Blarg*

        The first time I remember hearing and understanding condescension was when I was 7 and cracked my head pretty good. Bleeding a good amount from my forehead. And my mom took me to the pediatrician’s office. And I remember the doctor looking at me, and then looking at her, and saying, “Mrs. Blarg, she needs to go to the hos-pit-al.”

        Sometimes when I notice the scar, I think about the tone of voice the doctor used, like “why the heck am I looking at this child and she is not at an ER??” [this was in the 80s, before urgent care proliferated].

    2. Susan Calvin*

      My godmother was an OR nurse for many years, and my mother specifically went to the hospital in a neighbor town to give birth because that’s where she worked at the time – she wasn’t, I think, there for the main event, but probably the first person immediately afterwards to hold me. First thing she said? “Good veins”

      1. Jay (no, the other one)*

        When my dad was in med school he commuted by subway and he used to spend the entire ride assessing the other passengers for good veins. My husband is not a doc. He’s a geologist who spent much of grad school using a sledgehammer to break up rocks. When I introduced him to my med school friends, two of them looked at his arms and said “Wow. I could hit that vein from across the room.” He was a bit unnerved.

    3. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

      With you on the second bit – I’m routinely muttering, “if you made an appointment for three weeks out, and drove yourself to the appointment, and waited quietly in the waiting room, is your pain really 10/10?”

      1. Anonymouse*

        Sometimes, yes. This is a pet peeve of mine…my husband has an illness which will eventually kill him (but probably not for a few years so we vacillate between calling it chronic and incurable and terminal) and he has learned to live with pain. In a normal day, his pain levels probably hover at a range that would make most people seek emergency care. If he were to seek emergent care every time his pain spikes, he would be actively labeled a drug-seeker. He has pain medications and he takes what he minimally needs to function and not be a walking zombie during the day, but the pain is still intense.

        So yes, it’s very possible for someone to be in excruciating pain but accepting that the medical system will punish them for it if they don’t behave otherwise.

        1. Jess*

          yep. living with chronic pain means recalibrating what is normal comfort. also knowing when you push too far on a good day, there will be repercussions.

          no one really understands that i am always, always, in some level of pain. I just get minor meds from my specialist and deal with it bc i don’t want to have to be at pain management every month anymore. I have a life, at some point it just is what it is.

          He’s a badass and i love him for it, even tho i don’t know y’all irl.

        2. anxiousGrad*

          Yeah I had issues with this attitude when I was trying to get diagnosed with a disease which causes debilitating fatigue. I was telling the doctors that I was too weak and fatigued to get out of bed all day and they didn’t really believe me because they were like, “then how are you at the doctor’s office right now.” Well, I saved up my energy for this appointment by not getting out of bed at all for the past two days, even to change my underwear. I was literally losing weight because I was too weak to reach the kitchen to eat most of the time and they still doubted that I was as weak and tired as I was saying.

      2. cabbagepants*

        This comes across as a bit tone deaf. In the US many people struggle to find timely and affordable care. And sadly I have found that sometimes, complaining more loudly gets me better and faster care.

      3. Oryx*

        I know you don’t mean for it to come across as such, but this attitude is one of the struggles people with chronic illnesses deal with all the time and it’s very frustrating. The thing with chronic illness is you get very used to it and build up a tolerance. So yes, it is possible for someone to function at a level 10 pain scale that would have any other person incapacitated with pain

      4. Observer*

        I’m routinely muttering, “if you made an appointment for three weeks out, and drove yourself to the appointment, and waited quietly in the waiting room, is your pain really 10/10?”

        What the others said about finding care and getting used to functioning with insane levels of pain is true.

        But also, pain comes and goes in many situations. That doesn’t make it less real and less urgent.

      5. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

        Okay yes, my mistake for answering quickly and not clarifying – I am actively reviewing the medical records in these situations, and I’m not talking about patients with chronic conditions, I’m talking “I tripped over a bedpost three weeks ago and my foot is still a little sore, no I haven’t bothered taking Tylenol, I also went jogging yesterday, 10/10.” Mea culpa.

    4. Bear Expert*

      Just for you, I’m making a note to have this mole looked at that I’ve thought has looked funny for a bit.

      1. Lucien Nova*

        Yes, do! As someone with a family member who had melanoma, which was spotted by her tattoo artist of all people (he was touching up one on her back and wondered if she’d had a mole there checked out – she hadn’t, she went and had it checked and sure enough…) I will always advocate “better safe than sorry” with moles!

    5. Butterfly Counter*

      Oh my gosh. My mother was an ER nurse and her threshold for a serious problem was passed down to me. I feel so bad for my husband when he feels ill with a cold or the flu because I give him about as much care and attention as my mother gave me under the same circumstances. Which is not much…

      I remember I once came all the way home from college because I had strep throat and felt awful. My mom sweetly gave me a pillow and blanket to lay out on the couch and then said, “Bye! I’ll be out shopping for the rest of the day!” And that was her doting on me.

    6. goddessoftransitory*

      My dad was the worst about that–he worked as an ER doctor and thus it was quite hard to impress him with illness or injury unless you had a greenstick fracture or your head had actually fallen off.

      1. Global Cat Herder*

        My mom was an ICU nurse. If we weren’t actively dying right that minute, it wasn’t a real problem.

    7. Merry*

      I once read an article about a nursing student who was attending a hockey game and spotted a mole on a coach’s neck that she thought looked cancerous. She was able to get in touch with the coach via Twitter or something the next day to notify him, and when he got it checked out, it turned out to be something that needed timely medical attention or it could have been much worse.

      So basically, keep doing that, you are probably saving lives!

    8. EcoBee*

      As a nurse, mine is just the basic assessment of everyone I meet. I have to be aware of where my eyes are going when I’m talking to people, because we’re trained to notice deviations from normal.
      The other piece is just being aware of what is acceptable as a social topic. When you spend all day talking with people about their bodies, it becomes normal to talk about our own. Sometimes I read Alison’s advice about acceptable break room conversation topics and just laugh, because some of the things we’ve discussed openly during lunch at 2am go waaaayyy beyond normal coworker conversation.

    9. RPOhno*

      I work in hazmat safety and was a site emergency responder for years, so my “this is an emergency” scale is similarly warped. As in, my grill caught fire last summer, and calm-as-can-be I closed it, shut off the propane, walked inside, clearly and concisely told my fiancée “Grill’s on fire”, and grabbed a fire extinguisher in case it didn’t burn itself out.
      I also read people outside work the riot act about respirators way more often than is normal and notice every DOT placard on every truck and probably always will.

  8. chocolate lover*

    I critique tv shows and/or commercials. Example, when I watch episodes of the original Charmed, some I practically shriek at the inappropriateness of some of Pru’s clothing at the auction house, like crop tops or halter tops. Or commercials about hair dye for men, one that involved a job interview and they were talking about how the man without gray hair had more energy and I’m thinking “age discrimination”!

    1. Jaunty Banana Hat I*

      Having been a teacher, there are some shows about teaching that I just can’t watch. I tried to watch Glee, but I couldn’t even hate watch it after a certain point.

      1. SeluciaMD*

        I think that is true for everyone who watched Glee – teacher or no. I love that show but I also hated it with a passion sometimes.

    2. Corrigan*

      Phoebe has crazy outfits when she worked at the newspaper as well (plus a huge office I’m pretty sure most advice columnists don’t have)

    3. Eat my Squirrel*

      lol, every time I watch a show where someone blatantly ignores protection of classified information, I yell at them.
      Character: “That information is highly classified.”
      Me: “SO DON’T TELL THEM”
      Character: tells them
      Me: “You’re fired and you’re going to jail!!!”

      1. Bi One, Get One*

        There’s a video game forum that has to repeatedly remind people not to post real classified military documents, so this rings sort of true to life.

      2. goddessoftransitory*

        Oh man, I was rewatching Remington Steele on Prime, and it blew my MIND how often Laura or Remington would just ask “is So and So registered here?” or “What room is the Princess Regent who’s traveling under another name in?” at the front desk of a hotel, and the clerk would just tell them! Not even blink!

    4. Thatoneoverthere*

      They all had crazy outfits for work and everyday life lol. Sometimes they looked like they were going clubing on what was obviously a weekday afternoon. Weirdly they always made Piper look somewhat frumpy and she worked in an actual club (not always, sometimes she got cute outfits).

    5. goddessoftransitory*

      I do that a lot, but more with “this girl is in high school and should not be running A BAR” like on Riverdale.

  9. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

    I work with ED coding/charging, among other things. My husband took himself to one of our EDs a few years ago (panic attack that he thought was something worse), and I went to meet him there. Sitting by his gurney looking around. He goes “Stop adding up my bill in your head, it’s not helping.”

    Maybe not, but when he got the final bill, I was within $50 of the correct total. (I didn’t know which lab tests they did before I got there.)

    1. But Not the Hippopotamus*

      Took me a minute to figure out what ED was… where I am, that’s what’s used to refer to certain problems some men have.

    2. Armchair Analyst*

      You should totally win the game, but this would be a really weird edition of “The Price is Right”!

    3. Oui oui oui all the way home*

      I first read this as Erectile Dysfunction, then Eating Disorders, and it took a moment to realize you meant something else.

    4. allhailtheboi*

      I worked in a care home. My mum has dodgy knees, and I kept checking on her when she was on the stairs or carrying something bulkly or unwieldy. She had to tell me off because I kept treating her like she was a frail and elderly person. She’s only 50!

  10. Flames on the Side of My Face*

    Well, I’m an editor, so every single blessed thing I read goes through a quick review in my head. I also can’t help editing the dialogue in movies and shows. It’s a bit of a curse.

    I learned decades ago to keep my findings to myself.

    1. stacers*

      Same. But if it’s a corporate/in the public typo, misspelling, etc., I post a photo to Instagram with a #youneedacopyeditor tag. Some of the best/worst I’ve documented:
      *dry-cleaning service van promising ‘promt’ service
      *grocery store selling ‘beefstake’ tomatoes
      *Work truck for a company offering ‘seemless’ gutters
      *handwritten sign promising ‘HUGH’ yard sale

      1. June Gardens*

        Free gift. I’ve left more comments on social posts saying, “All gifts are free.” I need to be stopped. Or given a free gift.

        1. cabbagepants*

          It’s extra funny because the “free gift” is never actually free. It always has a string attached.

        2. Past Lurker*

          I don’t like when they say ‘free gift’ when they actually mean ‘gift with purchase’

            1. June Gardens*

              If it’s a gift, it’s always free. Gift with purchase would work perfectly. See what I mean? I CANNOT STOP.

        3. Acon*

          I HATE went supermarkets use “Buy one get one” offers. It should be either “Buys one get TWO” or “Buy one get one free”.

          1. Wired Wolf*

            I head up the curbside-pickup department at my store; every week we get an email with the customer feedback for the region. There’s at least two people per week complaining about “I ordered a buy-one-get-one item but I only received one?!” That’s on the company; they don’t say on the site that you need to buy two (add two to your cart) to get it to work. The site is a disaster, so I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if it didn’t even show the discount at checkout.

      2. Ally McBeal*

        In my old neighborhood my walk to church took me past a bakery with a mural that was missing an apostrophe. Every single week I had to fight the urge to sneak a white-out pen into my purse and fix it like some sort of weird grammar vigilante.

        1. stacers*

          I recently was reading a book I checked out from the library. A reader before me had penned in closing quote marks that had been omitted, and I wished there were a way I could find that person to say thanks. Much easier to be a grammar vigilante in a book than a mural, however.

          1. Alisaurus*

            Conversely, I recently read a book from my library that a previous reader had copyedited… but stuff that wasn’t even wrong!! I wanted to scream. lol Not only had someone written in a library book (gasp! shock! horror!), they hadn’t even done it correctly!

            1. rebelwithmouseyhair*

              At the translation agency where I worked (so, a place where grammar and spelling etc were all of the utmost importance), we had business cards printed up with the same information as in the phone directory.
              And the same typo in the email: translation-sevices@interword.fr
              It’s not even just a harmless typo, because “sévices” in French means “harmful bodily treatment”.

        2. Silver Robin*

          near me is a restaurant called Margie’s. The font they use does not give the g a curve at the end of its tail, it is just a straight line. Every time I look at it, I read “Marqie’s” and internally shake my fist at whoever made that design choice.

          1. stacers*

            I wish I could post a photo — in my ‘seemless’ gutters example above, the font on the truck was such an abomination that it was almost more painful than the error.

      3. Miette*

        I’m in marketing and proofreading/editing is a large part of my job. My personal fave are “Stationary Stores” like, my dude! How do you not know how to use the proper word on your business’s sign–it is your livelihood!

        1. Sylv*

          I knew a store called “The Fine Furniture” (not sure if it’s still around). It made me scream a little on the inside every time I walked by it.

        2. Frank Doyle*

          Maybe they just want to assure customers that their store isn’t going anywhere.

          But in a similar vein, there was a company near where I used to live called “Milennium.” (Or maybe it was “Millenium.”) Like, are you not going to run your company name through spellcheck before you register it, order custom car signage, stationery, etc??

      4. Former Themed Employee*

        One of the stylists at the place I get my hair cut had printed her own business cards. Not sure that “heir cuttery” was quite what she was going for.

        1. Loz*

          I shared a house with a guy who designed & printed business cards. Could not help pointing out one of his clients was about to take delivery of 5000 cards promising “Quaility Gauranteed”.

      5. Kes*

        Not a copy editor but I do often notice and enjoy typos or misspellings. The best are the ones that inadvertently change the meaning, where I enjoy reading and thinking about what they actually said vs what they meant. I’ve done this with resumes as well, eg ‘responsible to handel money’ has me imagining the composer singing Messiah while throwing bills around

        1. Charlotte Lucas*

          My mother still treasures the photo she took in the 80s of the BK sign. It was inviting everyone to try their “New Beagle Sandwich.”

      6. Shirley Keeldar*

        The hardware store down the street lined up huge (really huge, get-out-the-forklift huge) bags of wood pellets along the parking lot and spray painted letters on them to make an impromptu advertisement. The letters spelled out: WOOD PELLTES.

      7. AnonORama*

        Worst EVAH: there used to be a sign near my old place back East: Office of the Superintendent of School’s. Nooooooooooooo

        1. Miette*

          Misapplied apostrophes are my personal hell, and people that don’t understand the basics of pluralizing nouns are the imps that run it.

      8. merida*

        Hahaha, I feel like we need a whole AMA post about best (worst?) typos, because these are great and made me laugh. But then I also have an editorial background.

        Best typo I’ve seen out in the real world: I live in a major city that years ago instated a controversial “no parking” rule on many streets. It was no parking except by permit, but word on the street was that the permit process was unclear and no permits were getting approved anyway. On the no parking signs (permanent metal signs that that went up throughout the city) the sign read “No Parking Except by Pemit.” Pemit. Photos of the signs (which clearly displayed the typo) were used unironically on the city’s official social media to inform people of parking rules.

      9. Charleston Girlie*

        One of the first things I changed when I started my new role was a portion of our website that stated we had “robotic surgeons.” We have surgeons trained in robotics-assisted surgery.

      10. Lexi Vipond*

        There’s a shop near my work which sells ‘glob artichokes’, which I actually quite like!

      11. goddessoftransitory*

        I am now picturing one lonely guy standing in a driveway with “HUGH-Fifty dollars or Best Offer” on a sign around his neck.

    2. Dualis*

      I wish I could train myself like you have. I am a copy editor in a newsroom and can’t watch the evening news without commenting when they‘ve given the news reader something with a mistake in it.

    3. June Gardens*

      Yes! Even when someone tells a story, I find myself thinking, “You could’ve eliminated that part of this story.”

    4. Miette*

      I was once in a supermarket where the express lane’s sign said “15 items or fewer” and I nearly lost my mind with glee. I took a photo and sent to all my copywriting/editing friends lol.

        1. Laika*

          I’ll still mumble “fewer” when people get it wrong but by now everyone I know just ignores me lol

          1. automaticdoor*

            My husband does that to me even when “less” is actually the appropriate word to use because he thinks he’s funny.

          2. Bronze Betty*

            Ah, shades of Stannis Baratheon. He was a terrible person, but he knew his grammar. (Game of Thrones, for those who didn’t know.)

      1. kendall^2*

        I saw that just last week, and was so happy! (It had been a pet peeve of my dad’s, so I’ve been hyper-aware of this one most of my life.)

    5. ferrina*

      My mom was an editor. I was the only kid in kindergarten whose papers had red pen on it before the I even turned it in. She edited any homework I left lying around.

      It drove me nuts, but it means I can write pretty darn well when I want to.

    6. Charlotte Lucas*

      It’s the “random” quotation marks that get me.

      Not only have I taught Composition, but I currently have a communications role that includes editing. And my mother is a retired production editor. There is no hope for us.

      Anne Fadiman has an essay about compulsive proofreading in her family. It really resonates with me.

      1. Insert Clever Name Here*

        I had a boss who did this constantly. No email from him was without quotation marks somewhere in it. We’re your “Services” team? What “Services” do you THINK we buy?!

        What made it even better was that he was constantly talking about how he was an excellent writer and loved English so much.

      2. Alisaurus*

        Same! Those random quotation marks do nothing to strike confidence in me.

        I’m also similar in my grammar nerdiness. My mother is a huge grammar nerd (surprisingly, she was never a professional editor, but she could be) and raised me that way. I was an editor for a while, taught writing for a brief period, and my last 3 jobs have still had aspects of proofreading in their responsibilities. I’m pretty much doomed to this my whole life.

      3. Tad Cooper*

        I have the opposite problem: I worked in low-dollar fundraising for years, writing emails and letters for foundations and political organizations. There’s a whole fascinating world of psychological tricks and shortcuts behind the haphazard bolding, highlighting, and, yes, “random” quotation marks that goes into each of those pieces.

        And now, even after switching to a new industry, I often have to stop myself from adding quotation marks or bolding or other wonky formatting around words or phrases in my work and personal correspondence. I also regularly catch myself making sentences shorter or swapping out two-syllable words for one-syllable words to make the message “more approachable.” Never mind that I’m just writing someone a text.

    7. tsumommy*

      I was a technical writer for my first career, and I really, really, really wish I could stop rewriting books (in my head) as I’m reading them. “Well, THAT’S not how I would have written that sentence…” Sheesh.

    8. Satan’s Panties*

      Once saw a sign in the lobby at OldJob that announced someone was selling a “manuel” copier. I stuck a post-it on the sign: “I’ll have to see a photo of Manuel before I decide.” Never heard anything back, though!

    9. Donkey Hotey*

      Many years ago, my girlfriend (also a former copy writer) and I took a holiday based excursion train. They gave us each a page on instructions for how to get to and from the train station. It was atrocious. We spent an hour editing the thing on the train. At the end, we mailed one copy to their office and she kept the other to show her co-workers as show and tell.

    10. GingerJ1*

      Also an editor here!

      –Cashiers calling out: “I can help who’s next!” (Conversely, I take pains to thank the ones who say, “I can help the next person.”)
      –Random Capitalization, part one, folks who think PowerPoint slides are old-style headlines: “Demonstrate Three Types of Headlocks.”
      –Random Capitalization, part two, folks who think most, but not all, nouns should be upper case: Randall was a great Friend, a loving Husband, and a corporate President for a paper company.

      I saw a neighborhood once that I couldn’t live in, even if you gave me a free mansion there: Hunters Ridge. I’d have had to add apostrophes to the neighborhood signs and street signs. Probably could just borrow some extra ones from the local flea market.

    11. Lizzie (with the deaf cat)*

      I saw a real estate advert which said the property was “in a quite colder sack” …

  11. QuincePreserves*

    I used to work for a medical school. It’s been over five years, but I still tense up every March because of NRMP Match Week/Match Day. I find myself waiting for students to come into my office, even though I don’t work for the school and I actually work from home now!

    1. anomnom*

      I worked in a med school for 10+ years and I feel this! I do actually still check the school’s socials in March for the Match rate and to see where people are headed. It’s an emotionally intense week!

    2. Emma*

      My wife was in med school when we met, and at the time they were learning to suture. For practise they all had to cut grapes open and then suture them back together.

      On our first date, she sat there all evening idly practising suturing motions while we talked. She didn’t realise she was doing it.

  12. The Meat Embezzler*

    One of my first ever jobs was working at a golf course where I’d get tips from time to time that we’d turn in at the golf shop at the end of the day to get split up between all the kids that worked that day. One day I turned in a stack of bills and was chastised by the golf pro working that day for the bills not all being faced the same way for ease of counting. 20+ years and many cash handling/bartending jobs later…any time I deposited a stack of bills at the bank or carry cash on me, you can bet your life that all those bills will be faced the same way!

    1. Insert Clever Name Here*

      That is so normal to me now that I didn’t realize this is also from my coffee shop days! But that’s just because I realized that turning the bills to face the same direction made me slow down when counting my drawer so I didn’t make mistakes.

    2. Agree*

      As they should be. It is a way to minimize loss. You can more easily catch the 20 that got put in the 10 slot. I have notices over the years that cashiers who have the messiest drawers are also the ones who have the shortest time at the job.

      1. Peon*

        Yes! I caught a fake $5 one time. I took over someone else’s drawer (always hated that!) and had to face all the bills and one of those 5s was not like the others.

      2. I forgot my user name again*

        I used to work in a retail store where I worked alone all day. in order to quickly use the bathroom, I would sprint from the sales floor and start unzipping my pants as soon as I got the stockroom. when I started working in an office I used to catch myaelf sprinting to the bathroom from my desk and unzipping my pants in the sink area of a shared bathroom

    3. kbeers0su*

      Oooh same. But mine was from waitressing. The managers would only cash out your tips (i.e. exchange all those $1 bills for larger bills) if they all faced the same way.

    4. Panicked*

      Former Bank Teller here. I 100% still do this. Cash has to be face the same way, from smallest denomination to largest. I will actively rough up new bills to make it easier for the bank tellers to count.

      1. M2RB*

        I was a bank teller/vault teller/branch manager about 20 years ago, and I STILL organize my money face up/same orientation. Whether I stack them smallest to largest or vice versa depends on what I’m doing with it. I usually stack mine largest to smallest – doing this for wallet cash means the small bills will be on the outside when I fold it in half, and doing this for payments means the person taking payment can count from largest bills to smallest.
        I also rough up new bills, and if possible, alternate them with older bills so they don’t stick together.

        1. I Have RBF*

          I also rough up new bills, and if possible, alternate them with older bills so they don’t stick together.

          I do this too. Alternating them works better, but if I have to crumple them I do it one at a time, then smooth them lightly and stack.

      2. Karen*

        I still do that from waitressing and from managing cash receipts and deposits at my first office job (20+ years ago). I get bills every which way from the bank now they use an automatic dispenser. It drives me batty. You can spot a counterfeit bill easier if they’re all the same way.

      3. anomnom*

        I still do this also. The cash handling is from grocery and retail work but when ATMs were new and in their own small (15’x15′ or so) glass buildings/enclosures, my dad (who could not stand it when bills stuck together) would withdraw his cash and hand it over to my brother and me to crumple up and throw at each other until they were sufficiently “used”. Seems so bizarre now but I recall several friends/family who did something similar. The only excuse I have is that ATMs were new, y’all

      4. saminrva*

        My mom was a bank teller at the beginning of her career (like 50ish years ago) and I’ve always loved to watch her count bills! They all go the same way and there’s also a rhythmic motion that reminds me of the literal bill-counting machines they have now.

    5. Love to WFH*

      All the bills in my wallet are heads up, and in numerical order, because I had to do that when emptying the cash register. My husband’s wallet is PURE CHAOS.

      1. AngryOctopus*

        My mom’s too! It makes me insane! Like, how much faster would this transaction be were your money in order? Come on mom!!!!

    6. BrokeInCollege*

      I have worked 20 years in food service and retail and I never understood the need for all bills to face a certain way. In my mind, the bills have the numbers on all 4 corners so they’re easily readable at any angle and taking the time to flip them just seemed like extra unnecessary work to me.

      1. AngryOctopus*

        Much easier to catch issues if your money is in order and going from highest to lowest. Also makes it easier to count down deposits. If you have a $10 tucked into the $20s by accident, you’re actually more likely to catch it if it’s face up with the others because your brain will recognize that the front of the bill isn’t the same as the rest of them. Less likely to recognize numbers in the corner.

    7. Beth*

      Hah, I still do that from a volunteer gig at a community center. It drives me NUTS when I get cash from a bank in this area, and NOT EVEN THE BANKS DO IT.

    8. michael*

      Yes! I do this, too, from working in a grocery store during high school. What’s weird to me is the last few times I’ve withdrawn money from a bank – go inside to a teller – even though there’s a machine that counts out the money before the teller does, the bills aren’t faced. They come out upside down, backwards, or both and it drives me up the wall.

    9. Monster Munch*

      My grad school advisor would lose his s*** if you went in there without a pen, even if you had a laptop to write things down. It has taken me years to be okay with going to meetings without a pen, even though I work in digitalization, don’t bring paper/a physical notebook, and only exceptionally rarely take handwritten notes.

    10. No Llama Drama*

      Former cashier and cub scout treasurer. Will automatically face all bills the same way for bank and retail transactions (really irks me that bank tellers no longer do this when loading the automated machines) and sort by denominations when making deposits. I would always count change backwards when making change as the cub scout treasurer too. “That’s 50 cents out of $5, so 50 cents is $1 and 2, 3, 4, $5.” Really confused people but I was trained by an old school cashier who learned before the registers did everything for you.

    1. The Meat Embezzler*

      Ha same! I worked in mid priced casual wear store (think American Eagle, Express) and to this day, all my tshirts, shorts, etc and folded the way I was trained in the store.

    2. Scott*

      U. S. Navy, spent 30 years active and now retired for almost 12 and I still fold my t-shirts the way I was taught in basic training.

      1. Sacred Ground*

        I was active Navy for just 4 years and it was 30 years ago and I still fold shirts the same way.
        It took months after discharge to stop answering my phone with “Hello, this is not a secure line.”

  13. CTT*

    Probably a normal one for lawyers who bill their time – thinking of everything in six minute increments. I’ve definitely been in hard workout classes where the instructor has said “you only have five minutes left in class,” and thought “that’s just under .1, I can do .1 more of this!”

    1. M2RB*

      And public accountants! I had to bill in six-minute increments at one job and in fifteen-minute increments at another.

      1. Jay (no, the other one)*

        I was a primary care doc for 20 years and I have a 15-minute clock in my head. Now I have 50-minute appointment slots and I have to consciously remind myself to turn off the 15-minute internal alarm.

    2. Throwaway Account*

      I taught 50-minute classes in a high school where the start times varied every day and there were random breaks. So, classes started at say 10:08, then 11:03, then 11: 53, then 12:48, etc.

      So the 50 minutes really got ingrained in me. I now teach info literacy at a university and I teach 50 minutes on the dot unless I really focus!

      1. anonymous for this*

        I was a teacher, taught on the 50 minute class schedule. I think of everything in 25 or 50 minute blocks!

    3. SeluciaMD*

      OMG this is what I actually came here to post! I wasn’t an attorney but I was a paralegal and worked for a couple of major law firms in DC. You get so used to itemizing and quantifying your activities! I don’t do it anymore but at the first job I had in the non-profit sector after leaving law, I realized every day I was jotting down notes about what projects I’d worked on with, yes, a time count in 6 minute increments. I did it off and on for WEEKS. It’s an insidious brain worm! Even though it’s been 15 years since I last worked in law, every once in awhile when I have a really crazy day, I will find myself trying to catalog my “billables” for that day. And then I stop and pour myself a drink LOL.

    4. uisce chick*

      This reminded me of my lawyer daughter spending an evening wedding planning w her fiancé and then wondering where the billing code was for the meeting

    5. I Have RBF*

      I picked up the habit working for an environmental consulting firm for seven years. I still think in 0.1 or 0.05 hours.

  14. Blujay*

    Archaeologist. Worked outside in the south a lot managing crews of various experience levels.

    My dad’s main memory of a recent large family/friend gathering is that I regularly loudly admonished people to drink more water because we weren’t going through water fast enough for the number of people/summer weather conditions.

    I have no memory of doing this.

    1. Dust Bunny*

      One of my siblings is also an archaeologist in the south and they are also big on hydration. And on remedies for poison ivy. And checking for ticks.

      1. Mostly Managing*

        I just had an extended family vacation that included an archaologist.
        Ticks and hydration were definitely bigger topics of conversation than I would have anticipated!

      2. Nynaeve*

        I was also once an archaeologist working in the south and, yes. Also, please don’t try to use a shovel in my presence. I promise, you’re* doing it wrong and it will just be faster if I do it. Yes, even if I’m wearing dress clothes.**

        And, I pace off everything.

        *you at large, not you specifically.
        ** this actually became relevant once at my post-archaeology job when we were planting a rose bush in memory of a coworker who had passed. The person failing to dig the hole made me so twitchy, I just grabbed the shovel and finished the hole in the time it took him to go get a drink of water. We’d still be there if he had had to finish it himself.

        1. Blujay*

          I paced off dimensions/garages when looking at houses to rent/buy. It’s a very good measuring tool to have!

    2. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

      My theme park drinking game is that if you pass a restroom and don’t need to use it, take a drink of water. If you don’t have water on you, there is probably a drinking fountain between the restrooms.

      1. Dust Bunny*

        I grew up states away from extended family, so lots of road trips. I NEVER pass up an opportunity to use the bathroom, even if I’m not sure I have to go.

        1. londonedit*

          Allegedly the late Queen Mother used to say ‘never pass up the opportunity for a wee or a cup of tea’, which seems quite sensible to me.

          1. Imtheone*

            Decades ago, my father said the chief chamberlain for the Prince of Wales was the source for the quote, “Never pass up an opportunity.”

        2. Blarg*

          My dad was a trucker, and I’d go off on the road with him when I was a kid during school breaks. I learned real quick that I had to use the bathroom EVERY TIME we stopped, because, well … he was a man. Who had more creative options than I did. Now if I do road trips, I split up gas and eating stops so that I have to get out and move around more frequently — but bathroom every time!

      1. Blujay*

        Mostly it’s like a macro that runs automatically after so many years/so many newbies. It’s so automatic that it doesn’t log as a significant part of the day/conversation.

    3. Dinwar*

      I’m a paleontologist/geologist, currently working in the Southeast but also spent a long time in the Mojave. My kids are typically the best-hydrated at any event we go to. At a Cub Scout camp my kids would see me coming and immediately grab a water bottle and drink from it.

  15. D. B.*

    Since becoming a portrait photographer, I notice every time someone in a TV show has one lock of hair out of place. It makes me want to reach through the screen and adjust it.

  16. The Ginger Ginger*

    I’m a product owner for a tech company and I’ve brought kanban into my personal life. But more importantly, I really have to be careful not to try to problem solve literally everyone who just wants to vent to me. The whole – what is your goal, how can I help you prioritize your options, break things down to the smallest usable deliverable is a very difficult mindset to not take home with you.

    Although now that my parents are getting older it is actually becoming more helpful.

    1. Seawren*

      We kanbanned Christmas dinner one year. Each cupboard door was a 1-hour increment, and every person got their own post-it colour for tasks. Dinner was delicious!

    2. ElizabethJane*

      Waitress for years. I still have to fight the urge to yell out “corner”, “heard!” and “behind” when moving in groups.

    3. Cookies for Breakfast*

      This made me laugh! I’m a product owner, and can’t for the life of me bring any of the structure I stick to at work to personal life. Any of the “treat your career / your personal goals / your habit forming as a product” advice I keep hearing makes sense in the moment, and then just goes out the other ear as soon as it’s time to practice. I would love a person in my life that speaks out loud the problem-solving questions I’m so quick at asking others but not myself :D

    4. Al*

      I’m a scrum master. I do this too. I haven’t asked my kid to do a retro after a disagreement yet. Yet.

    5. Cyborg Llama Horde*

      I’ve started doing weekly checkins with my dad to help him triage his to-do list, and I find myself falling into the same patterns I use for 1:1s with my reports. (Though, thankfully, none of my reports go as many weeks in a row without making progress on most of their things as my dad does.)

    6. Aerin*

      Spouse showed some people at work once how we do our vacation planning (Trello board, various categories of stuff to do have lists and then each day has its own list) and they were all somewhat amazed.

      1. I Have RBF*

        I tried to get my spouse and housemates to use a Trello board to handle home projects. They couldn’t/wouldn’t. Drives me nuts.

        1. Aerin*

          I might have to try Trello for home projects. We’ve tried a couple of other tools and I didn’t really click with them, but Trello I get.

        2. J*

          I can’t get mine to use it but they don’t get as annoyed if I use it and just secretly feed them the next task and deadline. “Oh, I’d love to do Wednesday’s dinner out but I’m actually planning on takeout since the closet needs to be painted by then so I can hang shelves over the weekend. I am planning on going out Friday so I can hit up IKEA to grab the shelves though, wanna join me then?” That can sometimes get me an assist on the painting and/or get them to bring me the takeout mid-week.

    7. AnalystStudentWifeMother*

      I am a Business Analyst (and starting to look into Sys Admin or Project Management Roles) and I do the same thing with going through the Problem Solving process with folks who just want to vent. Hubby has to tell me to stop that often.

      But using Kanban skills in my personal life has been a game changer. I am working full time, taking online classes part time, and hosting/planning my parents’ 50th anniversary party this Fall. So much to organize/manage and Kanban has been so helpful with breaking things into steps and time blocking time to work through those steps has been so helpful. :)

    8. Monster Munch*

      I’m inventorying my whole house. I currently only have a few things in my inventory app, but I’m moving house soon and I have Plans to have everything in the inventory. All of it. Where are the salad tongs? They’re in Drawer A of Cupboard 3 in the kitchen. Idk, I feel like I’ll learn something from it and feel good from it.

    9. ClaireW*

      Hah I’m a software dev and I use a trello board for Christmas gift buying! Status columns for like decided/bought/wrapped/etc and cards for each person I’m getting something for…

    1. Dust Bunny*

      And the former veterinary assistant in me still pays way too much attention to her pets’ poops. Hey, you can learn a lot from poop.

      1. Earlk*

        I’ve never worked at a vets and the consistency of my dogs poo has ruined a couple of mornings for me.

      1. Dust Bunny*

        I was on a FB historical group yesterday and a guy bought a letter from the relevant town from the 19th century . . . and laminated it. I literally felt my blood pressure jump.

      1. Kayem*

        Staples are my nemesis. Too much time spent carefully scraping the rusty remains off an antique document.

        My uncle recently gave me a whole box of grandma’s recipe booklets. I’ve been waiting for the right weekend to de-staple all those suckers.

    2. The Prettiest Curse*

      I used to work with early childhood educators, who laminate stuff to an almost unhealthy extent. (I completely understand the rationale for laminating, but it got ridiculous sometimes.) They would have laminated the office furniture (and the laminator itself) if it was possible!

      Consequently, I never, ever want to laminate anything ever again.

    3. Margaret Cavendish*

      I was at a family reunion last week, and someone brought out a bunch of old photos and letters. People started looking at them WHILE STILL HOLDING THEIR DRINKS, and I almost had a heart attack.

      There was no convenient way to swoop up the entire pile, and no polite way to ask Great Aunt Gertrude to please put her coffee on another table while she looked through the priceless artefacts, so I just hyperventilated in silence.

      1. goddessoftransitory*

        I remember watching some Joss Whedon show back in the day where a character, who was supposed to be an archeologist, carried a supposed Elgin Marble ONE handed, without gloves! I was plotzing left and right and I have absolutely no background in this subject.

        1. Workswitholdstuff*

          marble is relatively inert, and arguably, bare hands give better grip for dexterity, so that’s not entirely inconceivable. One handed is defo a no no though for object handling….

          1. Kayem*

            Oh, story time!

            Not me, this is my mom, who worked as an archivist at NARA before later becoming assistant curator at a small, local museum. They had a collection of Ming Dynasty vases that were donated by some notable local’s estate. This was the pride of their collection. One night after closing, mom was dusting the collections. For some reason, her brain went into blank mode and she picked up one of the Ming vases one-handed. This was her first time dusting at the museum and the vase was a lot heavier than she expected. She dropped the vase, it bounced off the pedestal, and back flipped a few times into another display where it rolled under a mannequin dressed up like FDR.

            Miraculously, it didn’t shatter, but there was a chip on the edge and a hairline crack running down the side. She quietly turned the vase around, finished dusting, and went home to polish her resume, convinced she was going to be fired. The curator was Not Happy, but mom wasn’t fired, though she said the curator never let her dust anything ever again.

            I didn’t know any of this back when I was a sarcastic teen. One day, mom was slowly backing out of a parking space and asked if there was anyone behind her. I said “just an old lady carrying a Ming vase.” She slammed on the brakes and gave me a panicked look. I said “just kidding!” and she angrily said “Never joke about that again!” That’s the day I learned about the Ming vase incident.

    4. Chirpy*

      SAME. No post-it notes in/on books, either!

      I also still check for acid-free folders and boxes…

  17. YouwantmetodoWHAT?! *

    I’ve worked at Renaissance Faires for DECADES and asking people if they are hydrated is part of my soul at this point.

    Are you hydrated? Do you need pickles? Have you eaten?

    Yes, I have extra water and snacks, why do you ask? hahahah!

      1. Ally McBeal*

        Probably the salt content. Kinda like Gatorade – if you only drink water and don’t replenish your electrolytes you’ll be in big trouble.

      2. J!*

        My spouse is a runner and they like pickles when they come home after a long run. It’s basically the same principle as gatorade – hydration and salt if you’ve been sweating a lot.

        1. Dust Bunny*

          A friend of ours who used to run marathons almost died once because the sports drink he was drinking didn’t have enough sodium. Under certain circumstances, you really need your salt.

          1. J!*

            YIKES! Yeah, they run ultramarathons (100 miles in a race) and literally eat salt tablets to keep going.

      3. Chirpy*

        Salt and vinegar = good electrolytes for rehydration. Many cultures had some form of vinegar drink millennia before Gatorade was invented. Posca, switchel, oxymel, sekanjabin, etc.

      1. Juicebox Hero*

        They’re a tasty carb-free and low-cal way of getting electrolytes when you’ve been sweating a lot, and the acidity is refreshing and gets rid of “cotton mouth.” They actually sell pickle juice shots for athletes because it works so well.

        I like coming in after mowing the lawn or other hard work and helping to myself to some nice cold dill pickles out of the fridge.

    1. Resident Catholicville, U.S.A.*

      I would be pleased as punch if people asked if I need pickles. No, I don’t NEED pickles, but I sure as heck want pickles.

  18. Jane*

    I literally cannot stop using corporate jargon in my everyday conversations. I’m constantly asking to “circle back,” or “put a pin” in things, and the other day I asked my grandparents what their “general availability” was over the Christmas holiday.

    1. Elsewise*

      My sister called me while she was driving to work the other day to plan a family outing (which involved group texts with us and another family member), and ended the call by promising to cc me on all correspondences. She will not be living that one down.

    2. Gerry Keay*

      I regularly talk about how we can “reduce cognitive load” when it comes to coordinating household chores.

      1. AnonymousArtTeacher*

        Hey, I have ADHD and reducing cognitive load while dealing with household chores (or everything, really) is hashtag life goals for me.

  19. els*

    I am a cataloger in a public library. I have divided my books at home into fiction and nonfiction; fiction gets shelved alphabetically by author’s last name, and nonfiction by Dewey Decimal number. (If I don’t know the number off the top of my head, it’s usually on the back of the title page.) Paperbacks also get their own shelf.

    1. Janice*

      Oooh, I would LOVE to sort my nonfiction ebooks by their Dewey Decimal number but I have a hard time finding it when it isn’t a physical book! Do you know if there’s some website I can search on?

      1. Bunny Watson*

        I use classify dot oclc dot org. It gives you the most common Dewey or LC classifications that libraries use, and you can search by title and author.

        1. LibrarianJ*

          The way I wanted to SCREAM reading this comment, after having classified my entire home library in LC by looking up titles on WorldCat / hunting for individual holdings that used LC.

          I had no idea this tool existed (public services librarian, not a cataloger, though in another life I would have loved to be). But I’m excited to know about it now!

      2. Throwaway Account*

        books printed after 1981 have their library of congress number printed in them. You might use that?

      3. Janice*

        Thanks, everyone! :D I hadn’t heard of a library of congress number system before (non-american) but I will check it out as well!

    2. Apple Townes*

      Former bookseller here — I don’t know the Dewey Decimal system, but I shelve fiction alphabetically by author’s last name and nonfiction by genre. I also have a dedicated shelf for galleys/ARCs!

    3. YouwantmetodoWHAT?! *

      When I got my first Kindle, ages ago, I set up genres – fiction, Sci Fi, Classics, YA etc.

      I’ve worked in book stores and was a volunteer at libraries.

      1. allathian*

        Yeah, when I lived alone I sorted books by genre, author, and for series publication order (or sometimes chronological order if I read the prequels first). I didn’t have very many non-fiction books, but those I tended to sort alphabetically by author, regardless of genre.

        Now with my husband we have so many books that I’ve abandoned all attempts at imposing order on our library, he’s always sorted books by height so that he can maximize the number of books that fit on our shelves…

        When I was in college I worked in a bookstore.

      1. Imtheone*

        I do it too, just as a book lover and someone who spent junior high and high school hanging out in the school library!

    4. cleo*

      My brother and his wife met when they both worked at a book store in a college town. Almost three decades later, they still have the most well organized bookshelves.

    5. bookwisp*

      Librarian here as well. I’m not quite as organized as you but all related NF gets put together and all fiction gets shelved by genre with author’s books put together. PB has it’s own shelf too.

      1. goddessoftransitory*

        It’s not Dewey but my books are partitioned: history and science here, fiction there, the shelves of horror and sci fi, all my Japanese novels grouped together, Mary Stewart mid-fifties romantic thrillers over here…

        1. Firefighter (Metaphorical)*

          In fiction, we have sections for litfic, crime, children’s, fantasy/sf, and women’s domestic fiction (there are a few men in there, it’s about the genre not the gender) which is where our Mary Stewarts would be!

    6. TurtlesAllTheWayDown*

      I spent high school and college working in libraries, both public and academic (plus a stint in a college bookstore), and volunteering at my public library during a year of unemployment. My books are shelved that way too (fiction alphabetical, non fic separate Dewey Decimal), and everywhere I go, I have to fix the books, to my husband’s chagrin. His bookshelf has to be separate from mine because his is all willy nilly and I cant handle it!

    7. ArchivesPony*

      LOL I work in higher ed archives and so non-fiction get shelved by Library of Congress number :D (Fiction is by author last name)

      1. rgkj*

        former university library employee, LC all the way! my friends both think I’m insane for having my books in LC order, and also ask for advice on how to do something similar hahah.

    8. Jaunty Banana Hat I*

      Oh god, I work in academic libraries as a cataloger, and my thing is that I cannot stand Dewey for nonfiction. LC all the way. Fiction the way public libraries do it is the ideal way though, and I wish my library did it that way.

      I have to stop myself from physically cringing whenever someone finds out I catalog and they start talking about Dewey, because I *hate* it.

        1. Dek*

          For real. Like, the kind of racist where even people from his time were like, “Y’know what, hold up…”

    9. wounded, erratic stink bugs*

      … Are there people who don’t divide books at home by fiction and nonfiction and shelve fiction alphabetically by author’s last name??? I guess if you don’t own a lot of physical books, but…? What happens if you need to, I don’t know, find a book you own??

      (Much of my incredulity here is put on, because I know that different people are different and that’s going to be true for all aspects of life, but it honestly never occurred to me that not everyone considers this level of book sorting to be the minimum.)

      1. Resident Catholicville, U.S.A.*

        I shelve all books- fiction and non-fiction- together and alphabetical by author’s last names. When I see books willy nilly or by something arbitrary like color or spine length or something, I’m always agog- how do you FIND things that way?

        1. AngryOctopus*

          Mine are loosely arranged by genre/topic (mysteries, magical realism, romance, food). But I also try to not to have an insurmountable number of books (I don’t have a large house, or else I’d own a lot more books, TBH) and it lets me browse my own books sometimes.

          1. Kimmy Schmidt*

            I’m a librarian and this is also my home organization strategy!
            I am decidedly not a cataloguer.

          2. workswitholdstuff*

            Sorting is first fiction V non fiction.

            Then it’s by genre (fiction), subject area (non fiction), with authors roughly alphabetically within those categories.

            So, main bedroom bookcase is historical fiction (top shelves), fictional takes on mythological middle shelves, sci-fi bottom shelves.
            Spare bedroom has a Pre-Raphealite and Stained Glass top shelf, then it’s classic children’s fiction (Anne of Green Gables, Narnia, Joan Aiken etc).

            Study (small boxroom/bedroom) bookshelf. Mostly Folklore, magic, fairy reference books, a goodly section of fashion history reference books, and most of my Peter Brears food history stuff.

            Understair bookcase – general historical reference, my crossstich patterns, overflow recipe books.

            Dining room – recipe books

            Living Room – classics, mythological or special meaning books (so my old copy of Jane Eyre I bought myself in a jumble say, the Neverending Story a pal bought me for my 21st, the Shakespeare/poetry books my parents used to buy me for presents)

            General histories are cronologically though, even if different authors – as I’m more likely to be looking for a particular period for refence.

        2. kendall^2*

          As a kid, I always knew where each book was, even though they weren’t in alpha order or anything. I guess I just kept track of something that important?

          I still don’t organize my books much, other than children’s, Judaica, and everything else. (I’m down to about 1300 books now, after a big purge; it used to be around 1800.)

          Fun fact: as a child, I went through a phase where I organized books by colophon! It was so nice seeing all those penguins or sowers or whatever in a row :-)

        3. Dek*

          I usually like rainbow whatevers, but rainbow bookshelves just make me clench up. IT’S SO MESSY! WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!?

      2. Snow Globe*

        I was recently looking through a home decor website and saw a photo of a bookcase with books arranged *by color*. I was horrified.

          1. Insert Clever Name Here*

            Nope, I am a prolific reader and my books are organized by color. It’s the way my brain processes information. Within each color is where author last name or LC come into play ;)

            1. Blarg*

              Yes! I also organize by color. Not just books. For instance, the apps on my phone are grouped by color. It’s the way I think about things. I don’t know how to explain it, but if I want to find something, the color is the the standout item. I don’t need to think of the title of a book. (When apps change their logo/color, it annoys me cause I have to a) remember a new thing and b) move it to a different folder).

          2. Shynosaur*

            (: I always say the clearest sign of a non-reader is someone who thinks organizing by color would prevent a reader from knowing where their books are

            My home library is organized by Library of Congress classification, but I know where books are because I know where they are, not because I have every LC number memorized. My mom has no organization principle to her books whatsoever and knows where the books are. Readers know. Readers always know.

      3. Hlao-roo*

        I have variously organized my books by size, color (of the spine), and topic. Right now my books are organized by some combination of the three (all books on a shelf that matches their size, then some of those shelves further organized by spine color or topic). I have probably a middling number of books, so it doesn’t take me too long to scan through both my bookshelves when I’m looking for a particular book and it’s pleasant to have a reason to look at all of my books, not just the one I want at that moment. I also have a pretty good spatial memory, so I look for books based on knowing where they usually are on my bookshelves.

      4. Sharks are Cool*

        There are!!! I organize books by sentimental value and then by size. I need the favorite, best books to be in the most visible, eye-level shelves. I like seeing same-size books together, and I am one of those people who get PISSED when books in the same series are not the same size. (I guess I do keep fiction/non-fiction separated but mostly because I don’t have a lot of non-fiction). I recently built a whole new shelf because I’ve been buying a lot of 8″ and 9″ hardcover books, and every bookshelf available commercially is too tall and too deep. 10″ high and 6″ deep shelves display my growing collection perfectly, and my new jam is displaying several books cover-out on the shelf. It makes me feel like I live in a bookstore and it’s beautiful. My non-alphabetized book display situation sparks a ridiculous amount of joy for me. :)

      5. The Rise and Fall of Sanctuary Moon*

        I have about 600 books so not the biggest library, but I have done by color, by last name, and no organization, and it takes me about the same amount of time to locate a book. I just … know where my books are? To be fair, I tend to stare at my bookshelves when I’m thinking, so that might be a factor.

      6. goddessoftransitory*

        This is exactly how I do things! Within are little clusters, like books on writing, or Bill Bryson, or what have you…

          1. Firefighter (Metaphorical)*

            This is the best cataloguing system ever! Authors who would like each other! Books as trans-historical symposium!

      7. LAM*

        I have mine mostly by non-fiction and fiction, yet there is some intermixing with my European literature. Like Kafka, Kundera, Vaclav Havel, and Karen Capek are next to my nonfiction books on Prague. But some of those non-fiction discuss how events affect writing styles or how fiction influences how people see themselves.

        I’m team alphabetical when there is no original order, or it’s crap, but I tend to organize my fiction by author’s style/time period/geographic location and then chronological therein rather than alphabetically by title. Unless it’s Agatha Christie, hers is by detective and then alphabetical.

      8. shelves*

        Most of mine are alphabetical by author, regardless of fiction or nonfiction, but I have one bookcase that has a few categories of special interest (travel memoir, poetry, fairy tales, a couple others) and then another bookcase of “things I really should get around to reading” which is just willy-nilly.

        I’ve moved something like 8 times in the last 15 years and unpacking my books is usually one of the first steps when I settle in.

      9. Rachel*

        I store my books in 4 or 5 distinct places throughout the house and loosely organize them by topic (but I’m not super strict about it). Sometimes I “lose” specific books for a while but I can always find them once I really start looking for them.

        However, I thrive in chaos and would probably do much less reading if I had all of my books organized “correctly” because I would get so stressed out about organizing my books “correctly” that I would never actually end up displaying them.

        (Sometimes I do organize specific bookshelves by color or size gradient because I do want my house to be pretty and the thought that seeing it might cause somebody to clutch their pearls is honestly delightful to me :) ).

    10. Famous Amos*

      I was a library page in high school. I definitely shelve my books fiction/non-fiction! They’re also flush with the edge of the shelf.

    11. Shynosaur*

      I would have thought you were me if not for the DDC! I’m a Library of Congress girl. I’m a cataloger by trade but cataloging is still my definition of fun and my entire home library is organized by LC…and I keep a shelf list. I just added an Oversize shelf this year and it’s made life so much better! lol I tell my friends I honestly think I *am* a library

    12. RetiredAcademicLibrarian*

      I was an academic librarian, but I organize my fiction more like a public library, with fantasy, science fiction, mysteries, romance, and fiction. Nonfiction is by LC.

    13. Penny Parker*

      I did that to my own book collection (which was enormous) when I was a teenager. When I spent about twenty years as a rare book seller the habit came in very handy.

    14. Bumblebeetuna*

      I am the worst librarian. My books are thrown higgledy-piggledy all over my shelves! I work in an academic library though, and not with books, so maybe I can be forgiven?? I bow down to you!

      1. Galloping Gargoyles*

        I am right there with you. I keep meaning to get them organized. Maybe this winter…. :-)

  20. Former Themed Employee*

    I worked as an attractions supervisor in a major theme park. To this day, when I see queue ropes/barriers that aren’t straight, I’ll straighten the posts. And if they’re using actual rope (rather than “tensa-barriers”) and it’s too loose, I’ll try to tighten the ropes.

    Also worked at a place that was themed to the Polynesian Islands. It took months before I stopped answering the phone with “Aloha!”

    1. Aerin*

      Same thing for me with untidy queues. I spent a lot of time on parades/events so I am very sensitive to crowd flow, chokepoints, and obstructions. So if you’re fiddling with something on a busy sidewalk, I will not hesitate to tell you to move to the side or do that later.

      Also it’s been 15 years since the Mouse and I still two-finger point.

      1. Melewen*

        Former Blizzard Beach Ride Op here — It’s been over 25 years for me, and I also still do the two-finger or whole hand point. It’s also where I first learned to use “that’s a great question” as a starting point for answering a question I have no idea about.

        And when I randomly hear a song from the park’s soundtrack, I still anticipate the next track. The music it was basically a mix of Christmas music and the Cool Runnings soundtrack with a few other Reggae songs thrown in.

        1. Aerin*

          OMG yes on the soundtrack. That also made visiting WDW as a DL CM really disorienting for me when I would encounter a familiar music loop. Kind of an uncanny valley feeling.

    1. Not Tom, Just Petty*

      I was going to add this about a friend. He always beeps twice before backing up from his UPS training.

    2. RaginMiner*

      HAHA I do this. Sometimes I even reach for my preshift equipment inspection card. and I have a hard time breaking the habit of reverse parking everywhere since it was a safety rule at previous job

  21. pally*

    Writing the date. On anything. And being very specific about dates for everything.

    We have a very specific format we must follow for our documentation. It is day-month-year format. Always two digits for the day, three letters for the month, and four digits for the year.

    Example: letting my Mom know when I will pick her up. “Mom, I’ll see you Saturday (02-Sep-2023) at 11 am for our trip to the store.”

    1. No Tribble At All*

      My husband teases me for using the ISO standard (2023-08-31) on normal people forms.

      I would appreciate that amount of clarity in texts!

    2. JustMyImagination*

      That’s how I date, too! I used to switch between work date format and standard US date format outside of work but when I had to really think about how to write 02Sep2023 as 9/2/2023, I just gave up. Now everything is DDMMMYYYY.

      1. General von Klinkerhoffen*

        Part of my job is to get people in Europe to sign forms which will be filed in the USA and I just ask them to put the month in words so there’s no possibility of confusion. 5 Jan 2023, May 12th 2023, etc etc.

        So you bet I write the month out when I’m filling in a form (eg today at a British bank physically located in the UK).

        1. Lab Boss*

          I manage two departments, one in the US and one in the UK, that do the same work and often collaborate on a single project or even as single report. I finally had to demand the month be spelled out also.

    3. A Girl Named Fred*

      I do similarly! Worked at a blood center for a while that had to follow certain government regulations for writing (only black ink, MM/DD/YYYY for dates, only one line to cross out, etc.) and I still do most of them today. I’ll at least use different colors of ink now but it feels a little weird if it’s on a work document lol

      1. pally*

        Yes! Error correction! I do similarly to you: cross-off, initial and date, then write the correct word next to it. And I do this for everything written!

        1. A Girl Named Fred*

          Exactly! I’ve mostly managed to stop myself from adding my initials and date, but it’s almost always the single line and then the right word! I used to be a “scribble until it’s a full box” person, so that was definitely an adjustment lol

        2. AngryOctopus*

          When we had paper lab notebooks, you have to strikethrough and initial, then write the proper thing. I’ve unthinkingly initialed many a cross-out on regular notebooks before enotebooks took over!

    4. Agree*

      I do this on all my checks. Today is 31 Aug 23. Started in college when I was dating a guy in the Corps of Cadets.

      1. Filthy Vulgar Mercenary*

        Same here!!! Plus using 24 hour time/military speak with civilian people. Thankfully my family of origin is from a country where “20 o’clock” is normal to say, and half my family and friends are also military, so it works fine.

        1. AnonORama*

          I use 24-hour time; started on an international trip where a lot of the timing for events was posted that way, and never stopped. I feel so much more accomplished leaving work at 18:00 than 6pm!

    5. Dust Bunny*

      Archives: Same. Dates and names on everything, except I do 2023 08 31 so things sort chronologically.

    6. Silver Robin*

      I always do Jan 1, 2023. Not sure where I picked that up but it reduces confusion! I support your clear dating habits!

    7. Magnus Archivist*

      ooh, this is a good one. As an archivist, undated items are incredibly frustrating (can’t assign dates to things based on vibes). I date everything these days, and usually in ISO!

    8. Dragonfly7*

      I love this! As someone who perpetually can’t tell the difference between this Monday and next Monday, I like dates.

    9. Anon in Aotearoa*

      Oh, I love your workplace already. I got into the habit of using three letters for the month (eg 19 MAR 2023) when I spent a year working in the USA, far from my native Aotearoa New Zealand, and was endlessly confused by written dates. Is 01 02 23 the first of February, as I’d interpret it, or actually the second of January?

  22. Sir Nose d'Voidoffunk*

    This isn’t a habit, but my old EMT roommate used to practice IVs on me while he was getting up to speed. This was usually after a night of drinking, so I benefited from it as well. He said I had great veins for it.

      1. Sir Nose d'Voidoffunk*

        Just saline, I believe.

        This guy had the nickname “Deuce” for always needing two tries to hit a vein, so I hope I was helpful.

    1. A Girl Named Fred*

      The last time I had to get blood drawn for some tests, I turned my arm up for the nurse to poke and her response was a delighted, “Oh boy!” because my right arm vein is huge and bright blue in my elbow crease lol

        1. AnonORama*

          I used to be very helpful to the trainees when I donated blood; I have large veins and donate blood every two months, so I’m used to the process. But the last time I had a trainee, she tried SIX times to get the needle into my vein, blood flew up in the air and ruined what I was wearing, AND I had a bruise all the way up and down my arm like a purple evening glove for weeks. Now I ask for an experienced person. Maybe unkind, but hey, I felt proud that I didn’t stop donating at all after that!

          1. Zweisatz*

            Wow. Uh, I’d say consider your services to the nurses of the future rendered. Now somebody else can step up.

      1. goddessoftransitory*

        Mine is too, but it’s actually too tough to hit now due to years of random blood draws–I tell them to use my nice bulgy hand veins instead–smooth as silk.

      2. Bronze Betty*

        I am so jealous. My veins roll. I initially get, “Oh, your veins are fine.” Then, as my veins roll out of the way (I swear they see a needle coming and react instinctively), I get an “Oh, I see.”

        1. Kayem*

          Same here. I tell them every time and every time they don’t believe me until it’s happening. The only phlebotomist who ever got it in one try was 80 and had been doing it since she graduated high school. She was practically a sorceress and I miss having her do my blood draws.

        2. allathian*

          My veins roll too. When I had to get a blood test, the nurse was very inexperienced. She tried for 20 minutes before calling in her supervisor who found the vein on the first try. I felt like a needle cushion afterwards. It was before I was due to give birth and they trained midwives and nurses at that hospital.

  23. Insert Clever Name Here*

    My last day working at the coffee shop was almost 15 years ago (I worked there for 2 years), but I still follow several of the health department habits I picked up there like if a rag falls on the floor, it does not go back to the counter/table. I was a somewhat sloppy person before that job but it turned me into a fairly tidy one!

    1. Pottery Yarn*

      I have a way that I open straw wrappers without touching the actual straw, which I used when I worked at a restaurant to distinguish the Diet Coke from the regular Coke or whatever, and I still open straws this way 12+ years later.

      1. Teaching teacher*

        I do the same, just for myself! Like it’s super important that I don’t touch my own straw or something.

    2. Dust Bunny*

      Used to work for a veterinarian and, hoo boy, can I wash my hands. Halfway up the forearm, all the way around, in between all the fingers.

      1. NurseNo*

        That is such a good habit! During the pandemic I would look at how people disinfected their hands at the store etc, and I could always tell if they had any health care training or not.

    3. Nikki*

      I still obsessively announce when I’m carrying a hot beverage, particularly when passing behind someone. I do it in the office and at home.

      1. Miette*

        Also: HOT BEHIND, followed inevitably by “why thank you :)”

        I worked in a bakery once and we would always do that. But this does come in handy in restaurants–I’ll say it when I walk behind a server.

      2. tsumommy*

        Ha ha, we’ve never worked in a restaurant kitchen, but my husband and I yell KNIFE when we walk through the kitchen with a knife.

      3. starsaphire*

        1000%, along with “OVEN” and “DOOR” and “Knife in the water!”

        Food service jobs stick with you. (Like when you start crying at work, and your first instinct is to head for the walk-in… but you’re in an office…)

        1. Tad Cooper*

          Dang, OK… until just now I thought my husband always said “Knife behind” when we cook at home because it was smart. He worked in food service years ago; that must be where he picked it up.

    1. ZSD*

      A high school friend worked at Denny’s, where they had to yell, “Door!” any time they went through the swinging doors to the kitchen in either direction. One of our teachers had her as a server and thought she was repeatedly calling him a dork.

    2. Ally McBeal*

      Yep – I feel like I sometimes get weird looks from the servers when I’m doing this in a restaurant (haven’t waited tables since 2007) and also from people “out in the wild” who’ve never worked in restaurants, but I’m kinda compulsive about it.

    3. YouwantmetodoWHAT?! *

      I do this EVERWHERE! That habit isn’t going away – it’s been decades since I worked in a restaurant!

      1. goddessoftransitory*

        Do you have a cat that wants to see what’s in the fridge or oven all the time? I swear my Peanut thinks they’re entrances to Cat Narnia or something.

    4. Also Mimi*

      I came here to say this, I have been away from restaurant work for 25 years and still say behind if I’m passing someone with their back to me or if I’m in a kitchen.

    5. ferrina*

      This is so useful! I only did food service briefly, but the habit re-emerged when my kids got old enough to goof around in the kitchen. “SHARP, COMING THROUGH!” “HOT! COMING THROUGH!” The kids immediately move- it’s saved us from an untold number of disasters.

    6. Jay (no, the other one)*

      Hubs is a glassblower these days and he now also yells “behind” pretty much any time, not just in the kitchen.

    7. Name (Required)*

      I’ve been yelling “behind” in the tight quarters in the pottery studio when I started taking classes again. It works great!

    8. Corrigan*

      haha I never worked in a kitchen but I always yell “BEHIND YOU WITH A KNIFE” if I’m putting one away and my husband is jn the kitchen

    9. Ned Schneebly*

      I also do this. And I do it at restaurants when I happen to walk behind a server or busser. Despite the fact that I have not worked in food service in 28 years.

    10. Yikes Stripes*

      I was literally coming here to say that after seven years waiting tables I still instinctively say “HOT BEHIND”, “BEHIND”, “CORNER”, and “DOOR” as the situation demands. I also FIFO the hell out of my kitchen and bathroom.

      1. Yikes Stripes*

        Oh, and at literally any social event where individual place settings are called for (ie a recent bbq at a family reunion) I’m the one wrapping silverware in napkins – it’s been literally 15 years since I worked food service, and I can still do it with my eyes closed.

  24. The Prettiest Curse*

    I can’t turn off my events brain when I’m at an event. I’m always looking at their branding, sponsor recognition, queue management, name badges, lighting … you name it, I’m looking at it and either thinking “hmm, I tried that and it didn’t work” or “that might be something we could try at our events.” And sometimes it’s really useful go to an event that’s not so well-run so that you can see the mistakes they made from the outside.

    1. IrishCatLover*

      I do this as well. Worked in events, mostly large-scale black tie events and awards shows, and some of my habits have been seared onto my brain!

      I don’t work in the industry anymore, but attend a black-tie dinner and award show once a year and still feel the need to comment and analyse the event set-up – cloakroom, table-setup, menu, stage-up, AV, etc.! It drives my partner up the wall!

    2. Kate Lathrop*

      OH hello twin! I run our membership and board meetings for work, and I am always looking out for any tips I can pick up at other meetings I attend. There are times my husband just rolls his eyes when I make a mental note of things that aren’t done so well at other meetings.

      Its interesting to go to meetings in other industries to see how things are done there – sometimes it gets me thinking outside the box on how to apply a thing to our meetings.

      It also has me appreciating all of the hard work that goes into planning events and meetings.

    3. Caramel & Cheddar*

      For me, it’s tables without table cloths or other types of coverings on them at events. Every time I see a naked table, I start to cringe!

    4. workswitholdstuff*

      Heritage, but I do some events.

      I have a pal who does work in semi-related field for nature conservation.

      Both of us make/use/create interpretation in our jobs.

      Our mutal friends laugh at us when we visit any venues that hit either heritage/nature interpretation and we’re half enjoying the visit for the visit, and half having a mutal conversation about the good interpretation ideas we’re going to use…

      (I mean, there’s a reason #DullMuseumSnaps is a hashtag on various SM apps….)

      We both visited a fantastic light show @ Belton last Christmas and half the time we were ‘oooh, pretty!’ and the other half figuring out how particular affects had been achieved…)

    5. J. Jonah Jameson*

      Totally the same – I go to a large event for fun and I’m comparing everything to the large event I do at work. To the point I did a presentation on it this year for my work team.

      1. The Prettiest Curse*

        I’ve never got to the point of doing a whole presentation on ideas from other events, but I will take photos of stuff at other events and send them to the rest of my team.

    6. Bridget*

      Yes! I’ve mainly worked on the venue side (hotel catering sales) and I always judge setups—one of my big pet peeves is attempting to sit 10 people at a 60” round (so tight!!) and I have a deep hatred of chiavari chairs. I love seeing what people do with their linen and centerpiece selections and I fully judge people based on their hors d’oeuvres. My husband now knows not to touch his place settings at weddings so I can get a photo if I want one. He can also point out chiavari chairs now, haha.

  25. Ole Pammy's Getting What She Wants*

    I work in a creative firm with all millenial/older gen z women…. definitely abbreviating everything. Samples are samps, precious is presh, etc. i know this is bigger than our firm but it’s definitely where i picked it up, haha.

    I worked in restaurants for ten years before changing careers and still say “corner”, “behind” etc out of habit. I catch myself tapping my partner on the back when i move behind him the same way we would tap each other behind the bar, lol. he is a cook so he isnt phased.

    1. lilsheba*

      OMG I can’t stand that trend now of making up abbreviations for everything it drives me NUTS. Just say the whole word like a normal person.

      1. Ask Jeeves*

        I was reading some PG Wodehouse the other day and this has been annoying people for at least 70 years!

  26. LovelyTresses*

    I still accidentally greet people who walk into stores while I’m shopping. I haven’t worked in retail in almost 20 years.

    1. Ole Pammy's Getting What She Wants*

      i havent worked retail in maybe 9 years and have been out of restaurants for about five and STILL gets asked sometimes if i work in whatever store I’m currently in

      1. goddessoftransitory*

        I’ve been asked that ever since I was about twelve–apparently I have some kind of aura.

    2. Resident Catholicville, U.S.A.*

      I haven’t worked in retail in 15 years but, I can be pushing a cart with clearly my own shopping in it; in my coat; and have a purse on my shoulder and people still ask me where things are. This was delightful when someone asked if I knew where the Turducken was and it just so happened I did, in fact, know where the Turducken was.

    3. Tegan Keenan*

      Same. Also, my first retail job was at a swanky store known for its customer service. We were not allowed to point to where a customer could find what they were looking for–we had to walk them to it (two-story, large building) and continue to assist them with the sale. It’s a habit that has served me well throughout my life, though. Especially at a job for a municipality where we had two buildings connected by a skywalk. People often came into my office looking for a department across the skywalk (and kind of hard to find). Unless there was something I could not walk away from, I always walked people to their destination.

  27. Ewesername*

    I used to work in a fabric store where we cut and folded fat quarters a lot. (it’s a quilting thing. cut 1/2 yd long, 1/2 the reg width) Anyway, we folded them a particular way. And we’d spend hours doing that during show season.
    30 yrs later, I still instinctively fold my towels in the classic fat quarter fold – long edges to the middle, fold in half so you have a long skinny piece. bring the short edges together, fold in thirds so the edges are contained in the middle. My partner thinks I’m nuts.

    1. Anonymask*

      Is this why my mom folds all her towels this way? Because her mom was a quilter/sewer? And is that why I fold all mine that way, because she taught me? Mind. Blown.

  28. She of Many Hats*

    Face outs. I worked for a major bookstore chain for 5-7 years and we would “face out” multiple copies of certain titles so the shopper could see the cover art instead of just the spine. It took nigh on twenty years to overcome the urge to face out books that had 4-5 copies of a title. Actually, occasionally, I still can’t resist the compulsion….

    I also enunciate my phone number to CSRs because I hated asking 2-3 times for someone to repeat the phone number they just rattled off in a half second.

  29. Dr. Rebecca*

    I admire people’s skulls. Not their face, or their bone structure, no, I spend considerable time musing on what their skull looks like.

    1. Dr. Rebecca*

      I have forensic training–thought I should add that. I’m not being morbid, I just really like bones.

      1. allathian*

        An ex-grandboss had a beautiful skull, which is fortunate for him because he went bald in his mid-30s and shaved the rest of his hair off. My husband also shaves his head and while I prefer the shaved look to the male pattern bald look, his skull is all bumps.

        I realized I’d been watching a few history documentaries too many on NatGeo when I started wondering what random people’s skulls looked like under all the soft tissues…

      1. Dr. Rebecca*

        I think all skulls are gorgeous, but I have particular fun cataloging skeletal anomalies, like, “oh, wonder who broke his nose for him?” or “that’s a *textbook* button osteoma!”

  30. EmcW*

    I used to work at a non-profit that had a real start up culture. We did hybrid Zoom meetings pre-covid, and as a result had developed some hand gestures to use in them.

    If you agreed with someone, you were meant to “wiggle” your hands (think one-handed jazz hands). However, this got so ingrained into the culture, that you’d find yourself doing wiggle hands in face to face conversations while enthusiastically nodding. If someone was speaking in a meeting, they’d say “can I get wiggles for that?” (what a horrible phrase). It got to the point that I’d wiggle at my friends in non-work settings.

    To this day, and several jobs since, I still fight the urge in meetings to wiggle my hands in agreement.

      1. Susan Calvin*

        YES! I only took one semester of sign, 10+ years ago – I barely remember how to finger-spell, but jazz hands as quiet applause has just hardwired itself into my brain. I do that SO MUCH.

        1. sb51*

          And it had a vogue at my church/church youth group for applauding performers when people weren’t sure if applause was really appropriate in a worship service – since it’s silent, it didn’t disrupt solemnly moving on to the next reading or whatever, but also recognized a special performance. Pretty sure it came directly from the ASL sign.

          1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

            Yep, I picked it up at a youth group where they were regularly introducing large groups of people at statewide meetings, and the girls used jazz hands to “applaud” each individual without making it take forever.

            1. wordswords*

              Yep! It’s become a thing in at least some folk dance circles too; I noticed ASL applause starting to spread as a habit some years back. It’s a great way to applaud for each person in a long list of names without slowing things down. Often people do clap at the end of the whole thing.

        2. AnotherOne*

          we did that at a summer camp i went to. there was a reason explained- i wanna saw- was something to do with some people not being able to handle the applause which went totally over my head, at the time.

          in retrospect, there must have been some campers who were neurodiverse and i was just totally oblivious to it.

          but yeah, i’ll still randomly applaud like that 30 years later.

        3. Dragonfly7*

          I still do this when I’m applauding as well! I also took my semester of ASL and my first semester of Spanish at the same time and still have an odd habit of signing white at the same time I say blanco. I never have figured out why I do that.

        1. The New Wanderer*

          Our elem school teaches this to the kids too, to keep noise levels down during assemblies. It makes sense when you otherwise have to choose between “hold applause til the end” or allowing the clapping that happens anyway. I wish it would catch on in more places!

    1. Tinkerbell*

      I worked at a summer camp and we used the same signal. We called it Twinkle Fingers. And if you couldn’t be seen, you could always say “twinkle that!”

  31. Kate*

    I guard against this vigilantly, but the professor version of this is absolutely monologuing without a break in social situations, because you’re so habituated to lecturing for an hour!

    1. ThatGirl*

      Hahaha we have a friend who’s a professor and he definitely can start slipping into lecture mode without realizing it, on nearly any subject :)

    2. Caz*

      My dad has done this all my life. He’s retired now, and stopped actually teaching around 15 years ago, but he still does it. I once took him to a show for his birthday and wanted to pick something up from the merch atand for him – I told my boyfriend (since upgraded to husband) “distract my dad – ask him a question!” With the queues etc I took 15 minutes to come back to them. Dad didn’t notice I was gone.

    3. Perihelion*

      I realized I have a different tone when I start doing this (I try not to! Unless someone asks me specifically). Really, though, my wife asks me to tell her about something I was teaching and I can hear myself go into lecture voice.

    4. Umami*

      Omg, that is my husband! Just last night at dinner some friends joked that they had never heard me say so many words at once because he had gone to the restroom and wasn’t there to interrupt and monologue lol. I sometimes have to quietly remind him to let someone else talk.

    5. Lurkers R Us*

      My dad was a professor for 25 years. He slipped into lecture mode at the drop of a hat, especially if my brother or I got into trouble.

    6. OtterB*

      My father was a lawyer and sometimes at the dinner table you could hear the difference when he moved into explanation mode. We called it the courtroom voice.

      1. Anon in Aotearoa*

        Oh, my husband is a lawyer and he does this. We’ve been married long enough that I know how to get him to slip into “lawyer mode” just for entertainment value.

    7. Newly minted higher ed*

      me too! and I’m always checking the 10% number of pages for any nonfiction book in my possession! I just got a biography for my birthday and the first thing I did was calculate 10% of total pages for fair use purposes. I’m the only one who will ever see this particular book lol.

    8. Dr Life-of-the-party*

      I’m a lecturer (think my job would be called professor in US terminology?) but have never gone for the monologuing for an hour pedagogic style. I like 2-way communication when teaching. Which means that in social conversation I tend to respond to casual queries or offhand comments with a 5-10 minute careful explanation, apologise for not being able to provide citations off the top of my head, then ask for feedback on whether that was sufficiently clear and detailed, and if anyone has further questions. Sometimes I also offer to send them papers so they can do further reading on the topic, and tell them they can email me if they think of something later they want to ask. SMH

  32. Potato*

    I worked at a Trader Joe’s for a couple years, about 8 years ago. The urge to straighten up items when shopping at grocery stores is still STRONG—if I’m shopping in an aisle that has clearly been recently faced, I’ll pull the item I want from the back so as not to mess up the organization. Plus, I still get the urge to go see who needs help whenever I hear two bells rung in quick succession.

    1. saminrva*

      My spouse worked at a Whole Foods years ago and still does the thing where he pulls the items to the front of the shelf after taking one :)

      1. Wired Wolf*

        I always do that. Sometimes I’ll take the item from the back of the row to not disturb the facings at all. I actually had an employee at a small local store thank me for doing that “you don’t know how many times a day I have to re-face things because people don’t realize that just maybe we don’t enjoy cleaning up after them”

  33. MondayMonday*

    I work in buildings that usually have mirrors on the ceiling corners so you can see if someone is coming, so you don’t run into them when turning a corner.
    Every time I am out somewhere that has a hallway, I am always looking up for the mirrors :)

    1. Morning Coffee*

      I was working in a building that had automatic light switches. I started to walk in to all rooms everywhere without turning lights on. I was often middle of the room before realising that this is a private home, lights won’t turn on by themselves.

  34. Ann Onymous*

    I work in a building where we have scan badges to get in or out of the building and also to move between some areas within the building. A few times I’ve walked out to my car at the end of a long day, held my badge up to the car door, and stood there waiting for it to unlock. I also sometimes catch myself reaching for my badge when I approach the doors of buildings that aren’t my workplace.

    1. Mim*

      Haha, yes, last year we installed a keypad lock on our front door because my daughter was starting middle school, and would be getting home before me a couple days a week. (Parents – this was such a great choice! Never have to worry about my kid losing a key, and it’s incredibly convenient for the adults, too. Imagine going on a walk and not having to bring your keys with you!)

      I have definitely tried to swipe my way into my own home. I’ve also tried to enter my clock-in code from work into our keypad.

      1. Wired Wolf*

        One of my petsitting clients has a keypad lock, and one day I caught myself entering my work badge number to get into her condo (keypad lock is only 4 digits so it didn’t work; that resulted in a somewhat amusing text exchange “I got an alert about a failed entry, are you at my place yet?” “yes that was me, this is what I did”). Well, in my defense it is a second job so…

    2. Working Hard or Hardly Working*

      My office elevators are set up that you scan your badge and select the floor before you enter. I regularly get in elevators elsewhere and literally stand in the elevator waiting for it to move without ever pressing the button – I assume I’ve done it already.

  35. OyHiOh*

    I fold towels and sheets the way I leaned to decades ago working in hotel laundry. One hotel used fitted sheets so I even know the witchcraft that is a neatly folded fitted sheet.

    1. FrogPenRibbets*

      I worked at a hair salon in HS as a salon assistant… so many folded towels!

      This weekend I was getting a pedicure and I got jittery staring at the basket of laundered but unfolded towels. If she had left me unattended I would have been up in a flash to grab the basket and return to the spa chair for some towel folding meditation.

      I also worked in an after school kids program in HS. I knew I’d been there too long when in my HS hallway I yelled out (in teacher voice) “Hey, we don’t run here at…oh shit carry on sorry!”

    2. Lizy*

      Ok wait… hotels don’t use fitted sheets?????? Like… what’s the bottom sheet? I’m so confused.

      1. OyHiOh*

        When I started, every hotel I worked in from cut rate up to resort level, used two flat sheets, one for bottom, one for top. Eventually, the cheaper places started using a fitted for a bottom sheet, and now even pretty nice places I’ve stayed, even places that triple sheet (bottom, top, and separating blanket from spread) are using fitteds for bottom sheets. Yes, I look! ROFL

        This makes me sound like a Old, but is a transition that’s happened only over 30-ish years.

  36. Dan*

    I work in a facility that has secure floors so you need a tap pass to use the elevator. When not at work, I basically end up frisking myself trying to find my tap pass every time I encounter an elevator.

    1. Zeus*

      I have the opposite problem lately – my current building, you tap your pass and select the floor in the lift lobby, and then get guided to one of five lifts – no action required in the actual lift. When I’m in other buildings, I just get in the lift and wait for it to take me up to my floor, forgetting that you need to tell it where to go!

    2. Daria Grace*

      At my office you scan your access card and select your floor at a touchpad that is well outside the elevator, there’s nothing you have to touch inside the actual elevator. I regularly get inside elevators elsewhere and just stand there, forgetting I need to press some buttons inside it

  37. Blarblearble*

    I went on a walk with a friend recently who is a primary (grade) school teacher. Never an opportunity went by when he didn’t ask us if anyone needed a wee…

  38. Dovasary Balitang*

    In my days as a baby employee, I left a job at a pizza place for a job at a speciality department in a big box retailer. One day, completely unprompted, I asked a customer if they wanted their [speciality product purchase] “pick-up or delivery” instead of asking them how they wanted to pay.

    I also answer all phone calls, ‘Dovasary Balitang’s Real Name speaking,’ regardless of what hat I’m wearing because it’s difficult to switch it up.

    Biggest one, though, is four years after uni, I worked at a place where 50% of my job was enforcing safety regulations. To this day, I see red when people violate safety protocols or don’t wear PPE in mandated areas – even if said protocols are seemingly arbitrary from the outside!

    1. Dovasary Balitang*

      Sidenote, I’m super curious what internal flags my comment tripped that led it be being put in the moderation queue! Was it the mention of the most controversial food of all time: pizza?

      1. The Prettiest Curse*

        No, comments getting sent to moderation is often a random thing. Earlier this year, it would happen to me around 10-15% of the time, regardless of content, but recently it seems to have more or less stopped. Over time, you do learn which words will activate the system, though!

    2. Zarniwoop*

      Recently stuck in a doctor’s waiting room with one of those TVs you can’t turn off. It was showing a “reality” show of the house flipping variety. Multiple “aaargh!”s. For example someone with a power drill making a hole in th ceiling a foot above his face … no safety glasses.

  39. Carlisle*

    Retired from the library, but I still straighten shelves and put books in the proper place if they’re misfiled when I visit the library now.

    1. irishsurprise*

      Academic librarian here. I do this too – also been known to pull books to the edge of the shelf at bookstores, and very occasionally at friends’ houses.

      1. Our Lady of Shining Eels*

        Public librarian. Always edging books. It drives me bananas when I see them pushed all the way to the back of the bookshelf.

    2. Plpizza*

      Public librarian, I do that, and absolutely overexplain anything to do with navigating computers or websites as a result of helping the public with their print jobs every day

  40. The Wedding Planner*

    I will hold just about anything without thinking! I grabbed a paper bag that another passenger on a plane was trying to hand to her friend to hold sitting to the side of me while she put her bag in the overhead bin. I was in the aisle getting our things settled, as well, and just reached to grab it as soon as I heard “Can you hold this?”.

    1. Not Tom, Just Petty*

      Compared to managing a bride’s train as she was trying to navigate the restroom, you were like, “naw, I got this!”

    2. But Not the Hippopotamus*

      I read this without looking at who wrote it and my first thought was: sounds like a stay-at-home parent.

  41. Thunder Kitten*

    I used to place electrodes on peoples scalps for EEG recordings. I silently appreciate a bald / shaved head.

    I also like to watch peoples’ eye movements on zoom calls when they are facing the screen – you can absolutely tell when they are reading something (eyes ststematically flicker left to right,) as opposed to viewing am image or video (eyes dart around more randomly).

    1. ZSD*

      I feel like someone who worked with ERPs told me bald heads actually give worse readings. Is that not true?

      1. Thunder Kitten*

        I dont know about ERPs. I do know that for the type of electrodes I used and recordings I did (in the operating theatre), the biggest threat to the ability to record was keeping the electrodes secure. Hair pushes the tape off and makes it easier let the wires wiggle around.

  42. Tigger*

    I would lay out apparel proofs with company logos during my first job. When looking at a shirt, a logo going on the left chest would be visually right on the screen. After 5+ years doing it, I now have to do the “L” test with my fingers to remember which is left and which is right because my brain has switched the two around.

    1. desdemona*

      I work in theatre – stage left is audience right. When I’m tired or have had a long work-week, I flip my left & rights…this makes me a fun navigator when driving to new places.

      1. Magpie*

        I have been scrambled by “skier’s left/lookers left” from working at a ski hill. (Looker’s left is left on the hill from the perspective of a person coming up the lift, skier’s left is left to someone descending)

      2. I edit everything*

        Oh! I wonder if that’s why my partner has trouble with left and right. He did theatre tech work in high school and a bit in college. When I’m driving and he’s directing, I always confirm, sometimes with “driver” or “passenger,” if my sense of direction is conflicting with his navigation.

        1. desdemona*

          Yeah, when you first start you have to re-train your brain a little, and then it can be hard to context-switch…

      3. Sacred Ground*

        I was a theater major in college. It absolutely messed up my left/right perception to the point where I had to double check myself every time. For years after.

      4. Wired Wolf*

        I do that too, and I’ve been out of theater (very short stint acting before I realized I liked behind the scenes way more) for 17 years.

      5. Jenny/AdventuresAlongTheWay*

        Me too for stage left and stage right! (And, actually, @desdemona, I think it’s possible we’ve met in NYC in 2005?)

    2. Bebe*

      I am a massage therapist. Before getting on the table, everyone is mirrored. After they are on the table, everyone is upside down and backwards. I have lost all ability to tell left from right!

    3. NforKnowledge*

      I have the astronomer version of this which is mixing up east and west! They’re reversed when looking at the sky, so astronomical images are generally north up and east to the left.

  43. Bookworm*

    It’s not too weird (I don’t think) but I got into the habit of food prepping for the week for one job and I’ve kept up that routine whether I’m working or not (although I take off weeks here and there and don’t on vacation, etc.).

    And not a “habit” but working at a bookstore taught me how to pack a box more efficiently.

  44. Hannah*

    Asking strangers slightly invasive or personal questions at casual gatherings…..former journalists.

    1. Lana Kane*

      And I always thought I should have been a journalist because in conversations I’m always having to self-calibrate, to keep myself from asking probing questions.

    2. Writer Seeks $$$*

      And don’t forget, not allowing them to reciprocate and ask any questions of you during the conversation!

    3. Marie*

      Happens as a therapist, too. It’s bad to do because it’s rude, of course, but also because people might take you up on it, and now it’s twenty minutes later at the barbecue and you know a distressing amount of personal details about your neighbor’s coworker’s girlfriend.

  45. Marmiter*

    I work in public transit. When I’m out and about in the city I eye every bus that goes by to see how full it is. “Wow, that’s good ridership for an 88 on a Saturday!”

    1. Phlox*

      I stopped mid first date once to take photos of bad roadway routing – thankfully he found it charming!

  46. Library Ninja*

    Head counts. I have done so many public library events that any time I’m at another event, or even a conference session or class, I do a head count for stats.

    1. ferrina*

      I had to do this for daycare- constantly counting the number of kids any time I left the classroom. I can go really fast and not lose count for up to 40 moving people.
      Now I use it when traveling with my family.

      1. Rara Avis*

        Oh yeah: ABC. Always Be Counting! I travel with students often enough that I count groups ALL the time.

  47. Nonny Not a Mouse*

    As a web developer, I definitely find myself judging websites that have a bad design or obvious bugs and thinking how much better their website would be if they built it this other way instead

    1. cleo*

      Yes, this. My spouse will sometimes tell me not to look at the website of a new restaurant he wants to try because he knows I’ll be too distracted by the crappy web design.

    2. Dust Bunny*

      My mom’s family includes four generations of sign painters and we all have Opinions on choices of lettering, spacing, graphic design, etc.

    3. NaN*

      I definitely do this. When I have an issue with a website or service, I think about how it must be implemented incorrectly to cause the problem.

    4. Fish*

      I had to order a client gift from an upscale vendor I hadn’t dealt with before.

      Almost lost my mind before I figured out that their website term for “Shop”, is “Acquire.”

  48. cee*

    I work for a university and frequently refer to May as the end of the year in non-academic settings. I can’t seem to get myself onto a 12 month mental calendar.

    Relatedly, happy beginning of the year everyone!

    1. J!*

      OMG yes, the academic calendar is the year in my mind forever even though I’m definitely not on an academic calendar anymore.

      1. Rebecca*

        Oh, yep. My year starts in September, ends in June, and July and August don’t count. I’ve gone into business for myself and doing my finances on a January-January calendar while my clients are paying for September-June classes is doing my head in.

    2. Three Cats in a Trenchcoat*

      Love all the healthcare related ones!

      I try really hard not to bring my “work self” home, but my husband has definitely had to tell me “that’s what a therapist answer, not a wife answer” during a conversation before.

      1. Mollie*

        Ditto. My husband has called me out for going into therapist mode with him instead of wife/normal person mode.

    3. 3DogNight*

      In corporate sales and many companies have fiscal years that do not line up with calendar years. This has infiltrated my every day conversations in weird ways.

    4. Irish Teacher*

      Same here, as a teacher. “Yeah, that happened around the end of last year.” “Oh, last December?” “No, May.”

    5. Potatoes*

      I’m not in education but September always feels like a “beginning” to me, and May is “ending.” Also.. TV shows.

    6. Elsewise*

      I do the same thing about fiscal years! July is happy new year to me. God help you if you ask me the year July-December, because I’m thinking fiscal year. Related, I hope you’re all enjoying your 2024!

    7. Jaunty Banana Hat I*

      Yes! I’ve worked in academia my whole adult life, and on top of that, my birthday is in September, so it just makes sense to me that the year is really August/September to May/June.

    8. ArchivesPony*

      After growing up in an University town and now having worked in higher ed for over a decade, August is the beginning of the year and my mind refuses to believe anything else.

    9. Policy Wonk*

      I don’t like to admit how long it’s been since I was in school, but same here! And when making plans, I still caution about it being a school night, so I need to get home early.

    10. Mim*

      I haven’t been in school in 20 years, and will never give this up. It doesn’t hurt that I have a kid, so my life is back on that cycle to some extent.

      I started a new journals/planners last week because I was close enough to the ends of the old ones and new academic year will always feel more like a new beginning to me than the new calendar year ever does. I think that the change of seasons also helps — in September the evenings are starting to get cooler (even if the days are still hot), and you can sense that season change is starting. In January, you just go from cold to colder, and it feels like nothing is ever going to change. That hardly feels like a new beginning at all.

      I’ve somehow always managed to to have major life events that involved temporary periods of not working fall during or at least begin during the summer months. It’s like the universe agrees that if at all possible, summer is a time for not working. Baby, 2 separate years with medical stuff, and even unemployment. Summers are for napping, friends. Always and forever.

    11. Dragonfly7*

      Yes, happy new year! This is re-enforced for me not just by the school year, but from growing up in 4-H – the state fair just ended as well.

    12. Tangerina Warbleworth*

      You are my people! Dad was a college professor, Mom was a higher ed admin, I’ve worked in higher ed al my life. YES. January is never the beginning of the year, it’s the middle, between the two regular semesters.

    13. Firefighter (Metaphorical)*

      Ha, me too, then I moved to Australia where the academic year is the same as the calendar year and that completely scrambled my mind for 10 years (I have just about assimilated now).

  49. em*

    I still organize my closet according to the colour scheme of the thrift store where I volunteered as a teenager.

    Now I’m an emergency manager and have become somewhat obsessed with the weather…

    1. Alex*

      I have always wondered why thrift stores organize items by color and not by SIZE.

      Why. Why is this. The first thing I care about when looking at a piece of clothing is is it the right SIZE. Not color. I can see the color!

      1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

        because sizes are not consistent. How many of us have pants that fit in like five different sizes.

        1. Cyborg Llama Horde*

          Yes, but I’d rather look at the 1/8th-1/20th of the rack that is the sizes that are likely to fit me, and pull out anything that’s a promising color, than fruitlessly wander 3/4ths of the rack pulling out very pretty things that are a size 6.

      2. desdemona*

        It may be because 1) sometimes thrift items have had the tags cut out or 2) women’s sizing in particular is ALL over the place.

        Weirdly, a lot of the time if I’m thrifting it’s because I have something in particular I want to find – IE “i need a purple shirt for this work event” or “i need to replace my black cardigan”, so it hasn’t ever bugged me before!

        1. Pocket Mouse*

          I don’t get it – something that is the exact color and style you’re looking for, but not in your size range, won’t work for you!

          1. Hlao-roo*

            It probably depends on what characteristic you’re primarily thinking about. In desdemona’s example of looking for a purple shirt, if the thrift store has a rack of purple shirts, you think “great! I can look at these to see which one fits me,” and start shifting through the rack. If instead you walk into the thrift store thinking “I need a size XYZ shirt” then you’ll be annoyed to see the shirts organized by color (but would be happy to see the XYZ shirt rack and think “great! now I’ll look for a purple shirt”).

            To the sizing is all over the place point, even if the store has a rack of size XYZ shirts, you’re generally going to be saying “now I need to find a purple shirt that fits me” because not all size XYZ shirts will fit the same. Some people might prefer the rack of purple shirts because they won’t have to search through all of the blue shirts and red shirts, etc.

      3. Be Gneiss*

        I am guessing it’s because you can very quickly sort by color, without having to inspect each tag, figure out which tag has the actual size, read the tiny print, figure out if a size 30 pants is a women’s 9 or 10, guess the size if the tag is cut. You can quickly train volunteers to sort by color. Purple is purple. Orange is orange. Done and done.

  50. not neurotypical*

    Saying things at least three times. I taught introductory college courses for many years. When introducing a new concept, you explain it once, rephrase it to make sure everybody understood, and then reiterate it because everybody needs to remember it. Super annoying

    1. What do you think?*