There is a select group of people in the world that, to the collective shock of everyone that knows them, make it through life with minimal knowledge of how the world around them operates. Whether it's a relative who refuses to believe that getting a job is more difficult now than it was in the 70s or a friend who has been sheltered their entire life, we all know someone like this.
Let's take a look at some of the moments that people realized a person had no idea how the world worked.
All posts have been edited for clarity.
"I lived with some Japanese exchange students during the final summer of college. They were really nice girls, but one of them, who was around nineteen, obviously had no idea how anything worked. She spoke the best English, and I was tutoring some of the other girls while they helped me with my Japanese.
But she would constantly call me to come to get her because she thought we had free buses. She thought every single bus was free. After all, we were students. That wasn't the issue. I could deal with that. It was a whole new culture. She was learning.
But what happened that made me realize she could not be left on her own was when she ended up in Eloy, Arizona. Which was around four hundred miles and five hours from where we were. She had been talking to some guy on campus, he said he was visiting family in Arizona, and she said she wanted to go.
He just took her with him, and she went without even telling us. She had just assumed the guy would take her back, but he said he couldn't because he was staying in Arizona. So I had to arrange a ticket, get her on the bus via the phone, and then pick her up two hours away because she missed her second bus by napping."
"We had a relatively new hire where I worked, a young woman relatively fresh out of college. Because we had been colleagues in another department when she was interning, she often ate lunch with me.
She frequently complained about how bad her co-workers were. I didn't know them, but it seemed odd. After about a year, she applied for and got a different job at the company, but the new job didn't start for two months.
She asked me if I thought she should take a leave of absence until then because she didn't think she could stand working two more months with her current co-workers.
I asked what they were doing that was making her so unhappy. She complained that they often told their mutual boss that she would come in late, take very long lunches, then leave early.
'Do you do those things?' I asked.
'Well, yes, but they don't have to be pricks about it,' she replied."
"My dad used to be the typical Boomer and always thought I was just being lazy and not doing things right. Until he got injured, and could no longer work in an industry he had over thirty years of experience and seniority in.
It took him several months to get a new job of any kind and was shocked when he realized that he couldn’t just negotiate for higher pay. He was fired on the spot when he threatened to organize a strike and was barred from the premises.
When he had to move, it baffled him that he couldn’t just give the landlord a few hundred bucks and move in right away, but had to wait a week for his application to go through, and the landlord to do a background check.
Probably my most satisfying one was when he finally decided to get into the industry I’m in. Truck driving. He learned very fast that it wasn’t like it is in the movies from the 80s.
Truckers don’t now, nor ever have cared about one another. Sure some are nice to one another, but if it’s a choice of you or them, don’t hold your breath. Most big trucking companies in the US do not care about you, or your family, and they’re only concerned about your safety because it saves them money on lawsuits.
After his third trucking job ended with him getting terminated and living off my income, he stopped giving me a hard time about my problems and is still job hunting."
"I have a thirty-six-year-old friend. She pretty much got by on her looks when she was younger. She worked as a secretary and paralegal. Getting by on your looks is okay when you are young, but as you are fast approaching forty you kinda want to have your life sorted out, a bit of stability, and a nest egg.
The point at which we realized she didn't know how to adult was when she dumped her boyfriend of three years when she was thirty. She had been living rent and mortgage-free in his house. Because of Australian law, after two years she owned half of his house, so she wanted her half and to keep living in it without him. That was fine, so he moved out and she lived in the house. He was a nice guy and decided to let her take it. She then went to transfer half of the property title in her name, got a mortgage for her half and paid him half the market rent each week. She was a property paralegal so she knew what to do.
The problem was he had changed the house type to a rental, not his primary residence when he moved out as she was paying him rent. So when she went to transfer half the title to her name, she had to pay stamp duty for half value of the house. Stamp duty is the taxes paid for buying a house. That was about eight thousand dollars in fees, which you don't have to pay if it's a primary residence and first home. She couldn't afford that because she had no savings, so she made him sell the house for around four hundred thousand dollars. They each ended up with fifty thousand dollars each after the mortgage and expenses. He bought another house, moved on, and is now happily engaged.
She moved in with a friend, bought a twenty thousand dollar new car despite her five-year-old car being fine. After four months, the friends asked her to move out. She moved in with me. While living with me, she bought a seven thousand dollar mattress, three thousand dollar bed frame and drawers, a thousand-dollar Dyson vacuum, and a thousand-dollar Sonos speaker for her record player. All sorts of other things someone renting in a share house doesn't need.
After four months, I asked her to move out because I couldn't handle living with her, so she moved in with another friend.
At that point, she wanted to buy a house and was telling everyone how hard it was with only a twenty thousand dollar deposit. Pity, she wasted thirty thousand dollars on buying new cars and furniture she didn't need."
"At that point, the other friend asked her to move out. Since that friend asked her to leave, she moved in with two other friends until she went through all friends that would let her move in. Over the past year, she had moved in with two other people found through classifieds, and they both kicked her out after a few months. Currently, she is couch-surfing while looking for a new place to move. I'm looking after her dog while she does this, but I do not want to live with her again. No one does.
The list of reasons people can't live with her is ridiculous. Some examples are constantly complaining about what you watched on TV unless it was what she wanted, arguing about what bills to pay and splitting them, not picking up after her dog, not looking after her dog, and telling housemates that they used too much toilet paper and she was going to buy her own supply which she kept in her room and didn't want to share.
Through all that, she still had been working full time but with eight weeks holiday per year, usually leaving the country for four weeks at a time. That is a lifestyle choice she is kinda proud of. In Australia, you normally only get four weeks per year, so she just had written in her contract that she gets four weeks unpaid leave authorized every year. However, she was running out of money. To the point that we didn't even hang out anymore because she will only go out if we paid for her.
She was just too blind to see that four weeks of lost income is five thousand dollars less a year before even accounting for the trip expenses.
At this point, she is thirty-six, single, no home, dead-end job, and the same attitude she had when she was twenty-five. She refuses to acknowledge that she might be the problem when it comes to living with other people. She doesn't understand that people our age don't want to live with housemates even though we have a spare room. She gets annoyed that even single people our age don't just want to go out to bars all the time.
Everyone in our group has grown as a person over the last ten years. You have setbacks but you generally move forward with your life. You don't stay still or move backward. Except for this person. She's just constantly bitter that things aren't like the old days.
At this point, a couple of friends in our group have talked to me about dropping her as a friend. Honestly, I would not blame them if they did You just feel bad for people sometimes."
"When working at a video game company, we had three trespassing incidents in just one summer. All three times, it was students from a nearby art school. And all three times, they snuck into the building to cold-crash the art director into a job interview.
The first time, we just figured it was some young student oblivious to the multiple levels of security and protection around our IP. He blended in with a bunch of company employees out in front during their smoke break. When they started heading back in, he walked in with them. Once inside, this guy just started wandering the halls looking for an office with an art director plaque on it. This kid was let off with a stern warning, but nothing beyond that. Very detailed emails went out to all employees to keep our eyes out for unfamiliar faces without badges, and to keep our own employee badges visible.
A week later, it happened again. A student from the same campus walked in through the side door with a group, but they figured something was up. When they asked about his ID, he lied about having a job interview with the art director. They told him to stay put in the hall, but he didn't. He followed them anyway, right into the art director's office. In the two seconds it took the director to call security, this dope had already gone one hundred into his 'I'm the artist for you' pitch. He was told to never apply to our company, and their name got shared with all associated development studios under the publisher's umbrella. Again, emails go out, security is tightened, and side doors were now exit only.
A month later, it happened again. We didn't even know the details. The company email didn't specify how yet another random student from this art school managed to actually locate and sit himself down in the art director's office. Even worse, this student entered his office while the art director was out at a meeting. He just arrived, took a seat, and waited.
When the art director returns to his sanctimonious keep, he was startled by an excited, 'Hello future employer!'
At that point, police were called. We had enough of it, and a message needed to be sent. Stop trespassing into our office, you idiots. The student was removed and met by two officers at the front door to take a police report for yet another case of trespassing. But as that student was getting questioned and processed, we discovered what was happening. It all made sense. We then knew why it is that one particular art school.
There was a teacher at that campus that was encouraging students to sneak in and force directors and managers into cold interviews. He explained to them how easy it was to just follow a group of employees in during their smoke break, to just meander the halls aimlessly as long as they looked like they belonged. He was giving them strategies and techniques to blend in, not raise suspicions, and locate who would be best for an interview.
As you could imagine, he was probably teaching the students that we would be impressed by their initiative and we would know how much they want the job if they did that. I mean, it wouldn't be that far-fetched. I personally had college teachers, also with backgrounds in art and media, encourage the same thing. It was funny because they always signed off with the same assurance, the worst thing they can do is say no.
Surprise. The worst thing they can do is a misdemeanor trespassing charge and hefty citation, as well as blacklist you permanently in the industry as a security liability.
It's so unfortunate that these students were the ones who were punished. They're just impressionable kids putting trust in a dumb art teacher. We don't know why this teacher thought this was okay or what decade they thought they were living in, but it was unnerving to think that kids were paying so much money to receive poor advice from some delusional lunatic with no idea how the real world works.
Their teacher should have been severely reprimanded for doing that to his students. However, after intercepting a fourth prospective infiltrator in the front walk before getting inside, it was pretty clear this teacher was still employed."
"My twenty-four-year-old stepson thought that everything he is not directly asked to pay for is free.
His uncle owned a spa so he got his haircuts there. It was quite far, so I asked him why didn’t he just have his haircut locally. He said because at his uncle’s spa it was free. His uncle never asked him to pay because he is family, but obviously, he still had to pay his staff for their work.
The same went for vacations. I overheard him discussing their next trip with his girlfriend.
Then he just said, 'Nah let’s just do next vacation with my dad because it’s free.'
Not quite comprehending that it was his dad who paid for the tickets, hotels, etc. for both him and his girlfriend.
When he wanted a new phone, laptop, or whatever he just asked his dad and asked if he could buy it through the company for him. As if putting it on the company tab where his father was the sole owner made it free.
He was given a three-bedroom house in a big, expensive city as well as a car and enough cash to start when he graduated. He laughed at other young people and couldn't understand why they couldn't afford to eat out every day when they earn the same money as him. The fact that most people pay seventy-five percent of their income on rent, mortgages, and have to save for things they need did not click with him.
He never cleaned anything in his house and when it started looking like a dumpster and he couldn't move for all the trash and mess, he would ask his dad to send over one of his company cleaners to sort it out.
When his dad had enough and told him to clean it himself or hire someone he threw a fit and said, 'But your cleaners are free.'
I said no they are not free, your dad pays them a salary to clean company premises. If they are out in your house we either have to pay them overtime or the work that they are supposed to do does not get done. The boy still doesn’t get it."
"I had to drive a well-to-do woman to JFK airport from the Finger Lakes to catch a plane to Britain. She was an old friend of my boss at the kitchen where I worked, and I picked this up for some spare money.
It was a six-hour drive, so I arrived at her home about nine hours before she was scheduled to leave, as we agreed upon. She ended up being late to her own home by forty-five minutes and hadn’t even begun packing for her three-month stay in Britain.
A few more issues occurred later, such as the car she was providing not being gassed up and having to stop for McDonald’s. We were running terribly late, on schedule to get to the airport twenty minutes before the flight leaves.
She asked me to call the airport and have them hold the plane for her.
So I got on the phone with the airport, mind you this woman is ninety-nine percent deaf so I had to shout the whole conversation to her so she could respond. They didn’t hold the plane.
By some miracle, she didn't miss her flight and I got tipped three hundred dollars."
"My friend was complaining that her insurance on her new Dodge Charger was really high, nearly five hundred dollars a month. I had to explain that buying a new sports car was going to increase her insurance, as are the multiple accidents she was in the last year in her previous car. She said none of those accidents were her fault, so I thought the insurance did seem a bit high if she didn't have any points.
So I started looking into it, trying to help her find cheaper insurance.
She later admitted the police held her responsible for each accident she was in and said, 'But it wasn't really my fault, the other drivers lied so my insurance shouldn't be so high.'
I had to explain to her that it does not matter whose fault she thought it was, it only mattered what the police said. She refused to accept that and continually harassed her insurance company to try to get her rate lowered.
I love her, but she thought everything should operate on her own concept of what's fair and was forever blown away when I had explained that no, just thinking about applying for a job doesn't count as applying for one when she was trying to prove job searches for unemployment benefits. She had been unemployed for over a year and had used her government checks to buy the sports car among other frivolous expensive stuff, then she complained about not having enough money to move out of her parents' house. Some things just don't make sense."
"I'm twenty and I had a friend who was nineteen. She was four foot eleven and looked like a thirteen year old. She spent most of her days watching stuff on YouTube that I would watch if I was thirteen. She pretty much had no idea what was happening in the world outside of the community she followed on YouTube. She was the kind of person who knew who Dream was but not Neil deGrasse Tyson or The Offspring.
She also could not hear anything about physical relationships without finding it completely disgusting. She never kissed anyone despite being in a relationship for two years. That was how disgusting she found physical relationships in general. So she never got adult jokes.
Now to be fair, I did enjoy spending time with her, she was nice in general but I had to explain things regularly to her about the world around her because she just didn't know and obviously talking about physical relationships was a no go. But the thing was, that is a part of the real world.
All of this leads me to one particular example.
She was studying in engineering with me but she also spent a lot of time drawing, nothing wrong with that. She also knew what furries were and seemed to like them, she obviously doesn't know how raunchy that community can be sometimes. She wanted to sell her drawings as special drawing requests from people who would like her to draw whatever fictional character they want. She would like to make a decent amount of money from that, maybe enough to live off of while she finished her studies, some people actually did it so I didn't see anything wrong with it.
By now, you might see where this is going. I had to explain to her that most people who live from that make a big part of their money from dirty drawings. I had another friend who was actually doing that and the contracts that gave him the most money were dirty furry pictures because those weirdos were ready to pay a lot for that stuff. She just couldn't believe me. She still doesn't to this day. She thought that most people who live from that are doing regular drawings and that you could just choose which drawings you wanted to do. I told her they can also chose whether or not they want to eat.
So anyway, I can't wait to see her trying to live from her art while dodging anything remotely dirty because she simply didn't want to hear a word when I was explaining that to her."
"A student working part-time at my laboratory at a University came into my office and asked, 'So what all can I eat in the refrigerator? I didn’t know I was supposed to bring my own lunch.'
I looked at him, stunned, and replied, 'Nothing, that food is what people brought for their own lunch, but you can use my Grub Hub to order'.
He did not understand. It took four tries to get him to realize that he couldn’t just eat someone else’s lunch.
I walked into the lab room and told the same student that I made a full pot of coffee in the office and he could help himself.
He asked, 'A pot of coffee? What’s that?'
He never used a coffee maker other than a Keurig before and didn’t even know it was a thing.
He was fired a month later for stealing chloroform."