If you ever find yourself in the position of second-guessing anything you are about to do you probably shouldn't do it. Why? Because as cliche as it sounds, whatever you do can really change someone's life forever.
(Content has been edited for clarity).
"I was playing a show with my band, opening up for another band who was on the verge of breaking and was gracious enough to let us on their bill. They had a few notable people from record labels come out to the venue that night, who were seated right by the stage.
As I was setting my guitar rig up for our set, I accidentally knocked over a mic stand from the stage that fell onto the table that the record executives were sitting at, which led to their drinks being knocked over and spilled all over them. I wanted to apologize and buy them drinks, but right as that happened, the lead singer of our band began to play the first song. From the corner of my eye, I could see them getting up to leave and they never came back."
"I was complaining to a buddy about this girl that had a stalker-ish crush on me. She would wait for me outside my dorm room and come in unannounced when the door was unlocked. So my friend sat and listened to me talk for a while about how this girl was obsessed with me and how I just had no interest in her. I later found out that my friend was secretly in love with this girl and desperately trying to get her attention.
I started dating someone else and she lost interest in me. The friend never hooked up with her; he was socially awkward and not good looking, and all around a mess up with women. He ended up dating this odd girl who kept him on a tight leash, and we drifted apart because of her."
"We had an employee whose entire job was to manage a spreadsheet. To help her out, I wrote a massive Excel macro that did her eight hours of work in 30 seconds. By 'entire job' I mean every day. I replaced all of her responsibilities with the push of the keys 'ctrl-G.'
Instead of finding something for her to do, the boss fired her, and I got employee of the month honors and a $750 award for saving the company money by eliminating her position."
"I was young. My wife was home pregnant with our first child, and I was out late one evening getting her a drink from Sonic. I should say at the time, I was working a full-time job and going to school at night, so I was tired. It was after 10 p.m., and I was waiting on traffic in a median to pull into the fast food place. It was all clear, so I started to drive and all of a sudden there was a loud bang and I black out for a second. It turned out that a guy on a motorcycle whipped out of the gas station next to Sonic and I hit him on my way through. I blacked out because the air-bag went off and knocked me out for a second. When I came back, I was rolling forward through the oncoming lane and I saw sparks flying when I looked out my driver's side window as the motorcycle skidded down the road. I put my car in park, got out still dazed and fell over. A bunch of people at Sonic ran over to me and the guy on the motorcycle. The thing is, he had his kid on the back who was about 15 or 16 years old.
The cops got there and they called life flight. I never saw the guys motorcycle lights, and when I saw it going down the road, I didn't see lights on. I just didn't see him. I am sure he didn't have them on but because it happened so fast and I was already dead tired I can't be completely sure. I got the usual breathalyzer and what not which all came back negative. They both survived, but the kid was some big football star at the high school and probably would have had some scholarship lined but because of the accident he had to get some major surgeries and steel rods put in his legs. Nothing ended up happening legally as it was ruled an accident and there was no followup. Just what I did to make sure they survived and about the kid. I'll never forget the look that kid's grandpa was giving me at the scene of the accident when both his son and grandson were being picked up by life flight and weren't sure if they were going to make it."
"A customer needed $650 to get their family dog out of the pound, otherwise it was going to be put down. They came into my gold buying store with all the gold they had (watches, rings, a couple of necklaces) but nothing was real. It was all gold-plated.
I couldn't do a thing to help them.
The husband broke down and started crying and the wife looked like she died inside.
They told me that something happened and animal control was called and took the dog. I assume it trespassed or attacked someone, but they showed me pictures of the dog and the whole family was devastated.
If they were giving me a story, they were convincing."
"There was a guy I used to work with who went on holiday with his girlfriend.
While he was away, we thought it would be hilarious to spread a rumor around the office saying that he'd proposed and she said yes, thinking that when he got back he'd be like 'what the heck?' His inbox was flooded with congratulations messages from colleagues.
Little did we know though, that he actually did propose on holiday, and she said no. He came to work for two days that week, then we never saw him again.
I'm a horrible person. He wasn't just a colleague but a good friend. I didn't start the rumor maliciously; it was supposed to be the joke that he would have had a good laugh about and move on from if it had gone how it was intended."
"I casually mentioned that my roommate was a pathological liar to the other people on our dorm floor, back in college. In my defense, I thought they already knew!
Apparently, I accidentally unraveled a pretty massive web of lies.
He left school the next semester."
"There was this kid that always got straight A's in high school because he cheated constantly. He got into Stanford because of it. He even cheated off of me and we got caught. The teacher thought I was cheating off of him, so I flipped (I was on the A-, B+ student), and got people in the class to take my side because every student knew he cheated. My teacher then told other teachers, so he got caught in every class after that, didn't graduate, and didn't go to college. I mean, he deserved it, but I feel bad.
He was, in fact, a smart guy, and came up with creative ways to cheat. If he had worked as hard studying as he did to get out of studying, he still could've gone to a great school, but probably not Stanford."
"I'm pretty sure I got a gas station attendant fired when I accidentally sprayed several gallons of gasoline all over myself, my car, the ground and him. I was a fairly new driver, and I convinced him that I could pump it myself (in Oregon, the attendant must do it). My car tank was finicky and the handle got stuck. When I tried to pull out the nozzle, gasoline went shooting everywhere. His eyes, my eyes, our clothes - all drenched in gasoline. After flushing out our eyes with water in the bathroom sink, I had to sign a piece of paper that said that it was my fault. He probably got fired anyway. I still feel so bad and embarrassed about it.
Goodness, I've never told anyone about that incident. I need a drink."
"I got the man who abused me when I was in middle school sent to prison for 12 years and registered as an offender. He couldn't get a job when he got paroled, and one day I was out shopping and passed by a homeless man who yelled obscenities at me. It was him. He was jailed again, later, for stealing a slice of pizza and making his arrest record even longer. I was vindictively satisfied.
According to a police friend of mine, the second arrest was for the stealing, the imprisoning was for being within a certain distance of an elementary school."
"In high school, I met a girl and started hanging out with her. She expressed interest in me and told me the guy she was dating was controlling and abusive. She broke up with him, and I publicly talked trash about him without knowing anything about him. She was the first girl I'd ever been near, and I was obsessed with her. I thought I was just defending her against some jerk. We started dating right after they broke up. He took his own life less than two weeks after that.
We dated for a long while after that, but the way she talked about him changed completely, so some of the things I had said about him were most likely untrue. He took his own life, but I'm sure I made things crappy for him leading up to it."
"In the 10th grade, my good friend/neighbor and I brought coolers to school. They were leftovers from a barbeque. A group of about five of us would sneak and drink them throughout the day. During third period, I got called down to the office and of course, I'm freaking out. The principal came in and sat the empty cooler bottles on his desk. By that time, I'm about to pee in my pants. As soon as he opened his mouth, I panic and blame everything on my friend. I even wrote statements confirming what I said was true. I also ratted out everyone who drank, even those who took sips. We were all taken to get tested and my parents were furious. Later on (after telling everyone that my friend was the one who ratted them out, not me) everyone stopped talking to my friend. She even got kicked off the soccer team. Not to mention soccer was this girls life.
The most messed up part? My friend's mom was so mad and embarrassed by her actions that she packed up and moved out to nowhere land, without saying a word to anyone. To this day my old friend won't add me on Facebook or even answer apology messages."
"So, to start things off, I should say that I am a straight male and the incidents occurred during freshman year of college at a top-20 private university (not Ivy, but close). I met the guy, who I'll just call Ben for anonymity's sake, during my first week there. He lived down the hall from me at my dorm. He seemed normal enough as I had the naive assumption that because the university was so hard to get into that all of the kids there were had a pretty sound mind.
However, things got strange with this kid quickly. First of all, I noticed his large assortment of prescription medicines. I didn't want to pry as to what ailment he had had, but his eyelids were always half-shut. He always had a mildly stoned expression and chuckled a lot. He was obsessed with working out and fitness and would often be seen doing jumping jacks outside of the dorm in the wee hours of the morning.
Unfortunately, this kid became quite obsessed with me. It was kind of scary. Our dorm was community-based and my roommates would often leave the door open. Often, I would come home from class to find Ben sleeping in my bed. He would do things like find me in the library where I was studying and demand a lot of my time. At first, I was a bit annoyed by this, but I tried to be friendly.
Things got weird once I started seeing a girl. Ben, supposedly, had a long-distance girlfriend at home. I thought he was straight, but he often hung out with other gay students in my dorm. I didn't make much of it, as they were nice guys with other straight male friends. However, Ben would become enraged that I spent time with my girlfriend. If I'd go out with her he'd write me long, profanity-laced emails telling me how big of a piece of crap I was. I started considering letting my resident assistant know about this but didn't want to cause a fuss. The behavior, however, just became odder.
I'd constantly tell him not to go into my room when I wasn't there, but he'd always go in and tamper with my stuff. I'd continually find him asleep in my bed after class. The week when I finally reported him, he had slipped a sleeping pill into my soda and started peering in on me in the bathroom as I was using it. The final straw was when he walked in on me as I was showering, and tried to touch my junk. I had to punch him in the chest to get him to back off. As a male, I felt odd about doing it, but I finally reported him to my RA.
Now, I didn't know exactly what would happen as a result of this, but the university has a zero-tolerance policy on harassment. He was forced to move to another dorm as a result. I thought that things would just resolve themselves and that the both of us would move on with our lives.
But, it just got even weirder. Not even a week after moving out, he was found standing out on the ledge of his window threatening to take his life. He didn't jump, thank goodness, but his parents were informed. They finally withdrew him from the university. I never saw him again as he never came back to the university, at least not in the four years I was there. To be honest, I didn't feel bad for him. I was glad that he went home because he really creeped me out and it sounded like he had some issues he needed to sort out."
"I just resigned from my position at a nonprofit. An hour after I left, my supervisor was fired and escorted out.
He'd spent a year doing all sorts of low-grade harassment stuff - my male coworkers weren't allowed to talk to me but only I got in trouble for it, wildly inappropriate 'jokes' about bending me over told to my male co-workers while I was standing right there, constantly being accused of having office affairs with all/any of my male coworkers.
But that wasn't what made me tell on him.
I turned in my written two weeks notice to him, resigning for various polite reasons because I just didn't want to work there anymore. We went to the executive director of the nonprofit, who is a female. My male boss says she is going to yell at me and kick me out that day, so he should go with me into her office. I didn't give a crap so I said 'fine' and he comes with me. She was perfectly wonderful and nice as I resigned and said, 'How long do we have you?'
I replied, 'Two weeks.'
My boss had full control over if they gave me those two weeks. He could have said, 'No, I want her gone in three days.' They gave him that choice. Instead, he told them that two weeks would be great.
He then told me three days. He told upper management that I was reneging my two-week offer and would only stay for three days. He started telling the whole office that I would things like, 'Yea, super unprofessional, she only gave three days notice. Upper management is so livid!' and follow it up with, 'what a female dog she is, right?' etc.
Except that I'm NOT A MORON, so I caught on to what he was doing in less than a day. So, I made up my mind to BURY HIM and lo and behold, life made it even easier for me.
His supervisor wanted to throw me a party, but she said, 'you only gave us three days! I can't get anything ready!'
And I'm like, say what. I gave you two weeks.
And we set a private meeting for my last day.
I got calm, controlled and poised when I'm well and deeply angry, so I wrote out my talking points, made outlines and carefully considered my word choices. I even made sure to dress extra professional my last day.
I told her all the frankly illegal things my boss was doing in the department and the stuff he was forging. I told her about how he lied to the staff constantly about where decisions came down from. I told her about how he kept everyone scared and isolated and told us that we would've been blackballed for going above his head. I also told her the crappy thing he was doing going around lying about my two weeks notice.
And then, when I knew that was more than enough to get him fired, I got into the harassment stuff.
We then went go to the executive director. I went through everything again. Male coworkers get called down to be questioned if the things I say are true. THEY ALL SAID THEY WERE TRUE and EVERYONE backed me up.
I got two weeks of pay, another month of health benefits, and a lot of satisfaction.
He got terminated on the spot.
Was it life ruining? Eeeh, he just bought a big house and now has a three-year gap in his résumé and this nonprofit is super well connected in town. So maybe, depending on how you view things."