NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Every job, no matter how mundane, offers you some insight about the way the world works, or at least your little corner of the world. We just don’t always take the time to think about it.
But recently, dozens of users on Reddit, a social news site, participated in an ongoing discussion to answer a simple question: What strange power or knowledge does your job give you?
In typical Reddit fashion, many of the responses tend to be profane (“I work at a coffee shop. I can give you decaf if you piss me off.”) but a handful do begin to touch on the larger question of what valuable insights employees can pull from their work experience.
“I trash-out foreclosed homes and clear them of anything left behind,” writes one user who goes by the name thegreatwhitemen. In the process he’s learned an odd fact about his fellow Americans based on what items they leave behind in their homes: they “care more about their plasma TV than their children’s birth records.”
Another user, TheyCallMeTalex, who worked at two department stores, says he/she can “tell you how much any garment costs within around 5% of its full price” at most mall retail stores, and, perhaps more interestingly, knows which color and sized clothes get marked down first.
Then there’s Serume, a Reddit user who worked as a mailman and claims to be able to match any town with its area code from memory (a trick used mainly at parties.)
But perhaps the most impressive piece of knowledge – and certainly the most depressing – comes from Ambercherry, who currently works as a palliative care nurse. “I have the skill to usually be able to tell if a person is going to die within the next hour,” she says. “I also have the ability to predict how the family is going to react to the death.”