What's your industry's best-kept secret?
From the magic ingredient of the "special sauce" to the real reason you're being kept on hold, every job has insider knowledge the public isn't meant to know.
A recent thread on news site Reddit asking users to reveal their biggest industry secrets attracted more than 30,000 comments, ranging from the hilarious and surprising to depressing and even scary.
Here are some of the best responses:
"I work for a major third-party hotel booking website - I'll spill!
"Secret #1: Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Travelocity are literally the same product inventory and rates. There is no point in ever comparing them. They are all owned by Expedia and even managed by the same product team/connected to the same inventory system. Trivago is also owned by Expedia and is used primarily to promote Expedia's travel sites (which all have the same rates anyway).
"Secret #2: Meta-search hotel engines like Trivago, Kayak, TripAdvisor etc. are NOT necessarily scouring the web for the best price. They are actually just displaying the prices of agencies that pay to be featured and bid on the hotel. Trivago is especially useless as there are major online agencies that refuse to work with them. From my experience hunting for cheap hotel rates (as part of my job) TripAdvisor by far the best one."
"Most coffins are crushed shortly after they are buried - dirt is heavy."
"Any fee a bank charges you is not based on anything more than what their research has shown to be the maximum people are willing to pay. One of the research projects I worked on at a major bank dealt with the fee they charged for making your mortgage payment over the phone. You aren't required to make your payment that way - you can have auto-pay, or mail it in, etc. We kept upping the fee amount until the numbers started falling off, then backed up a little and went with that fee amount."
"I work in the trucking industry and it's frightening how much food product is sold and resold after being rejected. Had a customer have a load of cheese refused because it was too warm, but took it back to another warehouse, cooled it down and resold it to another customer. I have seen it done with cheese, juice, meat and seafood. Only seen it done about four or five times out of 10,000+ loads I have moved, but that is still too high."
"I volunteered at my local fair for several years. Midway games at carnivals or fairs purposely let people win early on in the day. This way people carry around the prizes and advertise them for the rest of the day."
"Every programmer in the world occasionally writes a very bad code that sticks with the app/program forever."
"A lot of people probably know that when a TV show goes into syndication, some scenes will be cut from episodes to make them slightly shorter, to fit in more commercials. What people don't know is that the show can be slightly sped up as well, to squeeze in just a little more advertising."
"In the healthcare industry, physician/nurse-assisted suicide is much more common than you would think and is usually performed with morphine to simply lower respirations to the point of death. It won't be charted, it won't be ordered and it won't be admitted but everyone from the doctor to the nurse knew when they gave that dose of MS sublingual to your loved one with respirations sub-six that it would be their last.
"It was all by design, too. That is why we have been giving you morphine even though you have been unconscious and shedding respirations per minute for the past two days. Of course this isn't something that happens to everyone, but terminal people, happens all the time. We act like it doesn't happen in America, like it's illegal, nah we even have a cute name for it: 'snowballing' or 'snowing'.
"Some people in the field will deny it, some will not know about it but talk to people that work with terminal patients, talk to hospice nurses and doctors. It is a very well kept secret."
"Record labels and producers sometimes use 'ghost vocalists' for pop stars who really can't sing. Ghost vocalists are like singing impressionists who come into the studio and re-sing the song in the style of the popstar, but better. Often the popstars in question don't even know that their vocals have been replaced. Oh and, for the record (no pun), terrible singers can't be fixed with Auto-Tune, it is only used to polish slightly untidy vocals. This is why ghost vocalists are used."
"When a movie trailer has shots that turn out to be 'missing' from the actual movie, that's not because scenes were cut. Those shots never existed in the movie. The trailer didn't test as well as they wanted, so the studio inserted scenes specifically made for the trailer during 'additional photography'. Also, we hate making sequels and franchises as much as you like to complain about them. Probably more. But those things make money. Most movies lose money. Vote with your pocketbook - see an original-concept movie in the theatre."
"99.9 per cent of the guys/girls that you see in ads selling workout supplements don't actually take that crap and are high dosing anabolic steroids."
"I work at a hospital in an area where there are lots of hospitals. Our ER has an EMT lounge with free slushies, soda and snack food, so the EMTs choose our hospital when delivering patients."
"Relative of mine was a mystery shopper and did a lot of car garages. He would get sent in with a car and had to get it serviced and reported on how well it was completed, if they found all the faults, if the customer service was up to scratch, etc. The results were usually 6/10, until suddenly every garage was a 10/10 continuously. He investigated as it was a bit suspicious and found 'MYS' (Mystery Shopper) written on the bottom of the car he was given. One of the garages sussed him out and wrote it there for future garages to find, and make sure they gave it the best possible service.
"TL;DR: Write 'MYS' (Mystery Shopper) on the bottom of your car when you get it serviced to ensure it gets the best service possible. This generally refers to large car garages such as Skoda and SEAT who work on their own model cars for their customers. Going to your local mechanic round the corner, he isn't going to expect a mystery shopper anytime soon. It's more the corporate garages who hire MYSers."
"I attended a songwriting workshop at Berklee School of Music, and Anna Wise (Grammy winning songwriter, Kendrick Lamar collaborator) told the audience during a presentation that whenever someone 'magically' blows up on SoundCloud or YouTube, that it's not authentic. A label will sign the artist in secret, and then suddenly boost their viewership tremendously to make it look like the independent artist did it on their own."
"A bottle of Windex is basically 95 per cent water four per cent ammonia, and one per cent blue dye/fragrance. The most expensive part of the product is the bottle."
"My sister was on The Biggest Loser. Jillian [Michaels] and Bob [Harper] were there two, maybe three days a week. They make it seem like they live there."
"I was a contestant on The Biggest Loser. This is a fact. We mostly spend our days working out by ourselves, or with sub-trainers that the celebrity trainers send in."
"At Subway my manager never once bought real mayonnaise. The Light Mayo and the Real Mayo are both Light Mayo. Investigate those f***ers."
"Patient confidentiality just means your name isn't in the story, not that your story won't get told."
"Preschool teacher. Your children tell us nearly everything about what goes on in your home."
"Our printing department printed your T-shirts wrong, and right now they're filling in the missing ink spots with Sharpies."
"You use way too much shampoo/toothpaste. This is programmed into you by watching the ads where people use a gigantic glob on their brush or a hugely liberal handful of shampoo. They just train people to waste their products so that you have to buy it more frequently."
"Pretty much all the telecoms are working with the NSA and are scraping data from artificial bottlenecks built into the fibre backbone with beam splitters. Part of this was revealed in Hepting v. AT&T. That's when [President Bush] gave telecoms retroactive immunity for spying on US citizens at the behest of the federal government."
"AdBlock does a better job at keeping malware away than antivirus."
"Nearly every caller you hear on top 40 radio is either an intern or someone else close to the studio, everything is fake."
"Companies have quarterly targets. Including shops. So if you're buying, for example, a fancy watch, go in at the very end of the quarter and lowball them. If they haven't hit target for that quarter then they're often likely to cut you a deal. Something they probably won't do at the start of the quarter. If they've hit target, just wait."
"As a pilot, I discovered that some low-cost airline companies will set the humidity on the AC to a lower value than normal, to just the minimum legal value. This will make you more thirsty and more likely to buy drinks or water at their absurdly high prices. Ryanair is known to do this."
"If you're a pretty woman walking by a construction site and hear 'Check the compressor', they're talking about you."
"Most [electronic dance music] DJs are not doing anything by turning that knob during their set. Some DJs just push play and have all the music preprogrammed. The dancing and fake knob turning is purely for your entertainment."
"Customer service also have mute buttons, and they use it to laugh at you and/or call you names while you're busy complaining."
"Customer service text chat can see what you're typing in the box before you hit send."