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Viktorija Ošikaitė

“Professional Incompetence”: 30 Things That Are More Common Than People Would Like To Think

Many things might seem uncommon at first glance, especially when there’s no one in your circle going through the same thing. But members of the ‘Ask Reddit’ community recently revealed that some occurrences or situations are way more common than one might think.

They started a discussion on the topic after one user asked them about such things that are more common than people realize, and in their answers, the netizens covered everything from amicable divorces to professional incompetence, and beyond. Scroll down to find more of their examples on the list below and see what other things might not be as rare as they seem.


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Childhood trauma. A lot of us hide it, mask it, or pretend we had normal lives. PS: Please don't include childhood stuff in team building workplace activities. This stuff is so hard to avoid and uncomfortable, even something like "A picture of you as a child!" or "Favorite childhood memories and goals!" I'd much rather focus on the person I am today, than the vulnerable little body I was many years ago.Not having any friends when you're older. After you graduate college, especially if you move to a new city for a job, it's hard to maintain friendships. And it's definitely hard to get new friends once you're in the adult world working every day. Many people's only friend is their spouse. And if they aren't married many people just don't have any paycheck to paycheck. We are all broke and can’t believe how expensive groceries arePeople who don't wash their hands after using the restroom.Chronic pain.Alcoholism. There are many more “functional” alcoholics or recovering than people would guess.People being ashamed of things they like. Pro wrestling, tabletop games, types of media (anime, reality TV etc.). People are way more insecure about people getting a peek at their true selves than people realise.Imposter syndrome. No one knows what we are doing. We are all just winging it. Most of us are hoping that asking questions and being nice will get us there.Professional incompetence. On all levels, from cashiers at McDonald’s to nuclear scientists.  The difference is in how the organization handles and mitigates failureMental health problemsFeeling lonely. Even if you're married/with kids/etcIlliteracy among high school graduates.The number of people being left behind by services going digital. They come into the library where I volunteer to find help, not only do some of them not have email addresses (and most of the ones who do rely on the computer remembering their passwords) a significant number don't even have mobile phones.Parents regretting having childrenHoarding. People see the TV show and think those are isolated incidents. But ask your local fire and EMS providers, and watch the horror creep across their faces. I've been in houses where you couldn't actually touch the floor, you walked on top of the....debris.... Houses where the door they use is the only door or window in the entire residence that can be opened. Houses where we had to station firefighters every couple feet along the "path" through the mess, and load the patient onto a mega-mover (basically a heavy duty sheet with grab handles on the sides), and pass her person-to-person out the door. It is WAY more prevalent than you can even imagine.people popping pills to barely functionThere are a lot more very kinky people doing very kinky things than you think. Seriously. Most people just have no ideaCredit card debt. 45% of Americans carry a credit card balance from one month to the next.Low self-esteem. I don't know how many times I have seen people not invite, include, or initiate something with someone for fear of rejection or the other person finding them annoying, and then the other person feels rejected from not being included. A lot of people think they are more annoying or unliked than they actually are.Autism in women. Sure, TikTok etc is making this omnipresent in a stupid, possibly dangerous way, but it’s a reaction to growing up in a world where it was thought only boys could be on the spectrum. (All my teachers knew something was wrong with me, but never what specifically, and I had a real hard time as a teen. As an adult, I’ve sought out a diagnosis, but because I’ve had so many shifting and conflicting mental health diagnosis, it makes it really hard. I’ll probably never get a formal diagnosis, but if they could see how some of the older people in my family were, there would be no question).Miscarriage. The Mayo Clinic says up to 20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, which is already a lot. This is obviously heartbreaking for wanted pregnancies, but can be difficult for unwanted pregnancies too. But in addition to that 20%, many people miscarry before they learn they're pregnant. While not distressing in the same way of knowingly having a miscarriage, it's distressing for many people because of an seeming inability to get pregnant.People not knowing about whatever the current activism is on social media. Big example is the Starbucks/ McDonald’s boycott. Everyone online is convinced it’s a huge boycott yet most people in the real world do not know a thing about it. People forget that not everyone is online 24/7 and just because you know about something doesn’t mean others do if they’re not in that same online circle.Grown folks failing to look up ANYTHING on their own, or calling ahead to see if a place is open. The amount of times I got screamed at already this week for “WHY YOU WERE CLOSED ON MONDAY?” Ma’am/Sir, it’s a federal/national holiday that’s been in effect for longer than you & I have been alive. Also, we posted signs stating such on every entrance/exit door on the building on Friday morning. They were still up on Tuesday when we returned to work. Screaming at a random person because you were either willfully ignorant or didn’t think to call ahead and then didn’t READ THE SIGNS plastered all over just makes you look unhinged. Plus, you made a trip today for nothing because the item you’re looking for still isn’t in yet. Had you called ahead, you wouldn’t have wasted your time, energy, and gas getting here for nothing!Local corruption. You think it's just US Senators using inside information to dump or buy stocks or Supreme Court Justices getting kickbacks from billionaires? Nope. It's your town council, too. Do you know what their salary is? Do you know what the town budget/revenue is? Sometimes it doesn't necessarily even have to have a price tag attached. I lived in a town where the elected town council just conspired to take turns running for mayor. Sure outsiders could run but hey "So and so is a member of the council and has been mayor before 6 years ago, he's good". Lot of businesses for those council members got expedited approval, too. I had a friend who lived in Alabama for a while and I was in disbelief to hear that the county sheriff was in charge of the county jails was also in charge of the food budget for the jails, and any "left over" funds for that fiscal year became his. Literally, deposit to Sheriff's personal bank account if there's extra. Surprise surprise there always was.Train derailments. When the wreck in East Palestein happened, a whole lot of people acted like this was just unheard of. I work in an industry that's heavily affected by rail, and let me tell you, it's very common. We are impacted by derailments a few times a month at least.Sleep apnea (and other sleep disorders). It took me 3 years to get diagnosed because my symptoms were dismissed as "depression," because I didn't have any of the sleep apnea risk factors, and because I had a previous history of depression, despite my initial insistence that I'd dealt with depression before, and this was different. I guess I eventually started believing them. Then I got a new psychiatrist. I told her I was having a depressive episode. She asked me about my symptoms, and all the symptoms that she asked about, either I wasn't experiencing them, or they were the direct result of being tired all the time (e.g. I hadn't so much lost interest in activities, I was just too tired to do anything). She told me that it sounded more like I was describing a sleep disorder than a depressive episode, and referred me to a sleep lab. She said she ends up referring a lot of her patients to sleep labs, and another friend of mine who was a psychiatry resident said he also ends up diagnosing sleep apnea a lot. Sleep disorders can mimic or exacerbate the symptoms of mental illnesses, so I guess it takes a psychiatrist to tell when someone *isn't* depressed.SIBO - if you have some weird physiological problems and you don't know the cause, it could be your gut, small intestine bacterial overgrowth especiallyAgreement to Forer statements, also known as the Barnum effect. It's how horoscopes and fortune tellers get you. _Most_ people highly agree with each of the following statements: * You have a great need for other people to like and admire you. * You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. * You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. * While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. * Your sexual adjustment has presented problems for you. * Disciplined and self-controlled outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure inside. * At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. * You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. * You pride yourself as an independent thinker and do not accept others' statements without satisfactory proof. * You have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. * At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, reserved. * Some of your aspirations tend to be pretty unrealistic. * Security is one of your major goals in life.Amicable divorces.Lactose intolerance. It's estimated that 65% of adults worldwide are lactose intolerant. I was in denial about it for a long time, but I finally tried cutting out lactose-containing dairy, and it made a huge difference (for me, the lactase pills help, but not as much as just avoiding lactose).
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