When we do something exciting or helpful, it’s always nice to get a little credit. Naturally, not everyone wants to be recognized for their good work, but it always sweetens the pot. That said, not everyone gets the credit they deserve, whether they want it or not. Here, people share the best things they did without getting any credit.
#1 Carpet Capitol
I'm from the Carpet Capitol of the World (Dalton) and in my seventh-grade art class, we would do "carpet design competitions." The carpet mills would take student designs and turn them into products that they sold. They didn't give any money to the kids whose designs were chosen and then sold for profit. Plus, it was a mandatory part of the art class.
#2 Ungrateful Dad
When I was just out of high school, my dad was having some booze issues. I lived with my boyfriend, was going to college full-time, and worked full-time. I'd drive the hour to my dad's house to stock his fridge once a week. I paid his utilities for him for almost two years. I endured intoxicated 2:00 a.m. phone calls during this time. So, I decided to take a semester off, to get ahead on money, and didn't go back. After about two years of this, my dad got a operating a vehicle under the influence and quit drinking.
Flash forward ten years. My little brother and sister are ten and 12 years younger than me and just beginning college. Our dad pays their tuition, their apartment rent, visits them to take them out to eat, and sends them cash every week. He also "jokes" with me that maybe one of them will get their degree and do something with their lives. It was absolutely my choice to do everything that I did, but some acknowledgment of my help would be great.
#3 Blacksmith’s Forge
I discovered the first recorded evidence of a blacksmith's forge in a major (literally world-famous) Roman site. I was uncredited as I was working as part of an unpaid archaeological student excavation team. I’d have to say that to this day, it still irks me that I didn’t get any recognition for a find that huge.
#4 Shared Freely
I believe I was the first to remove the border on the Commodore 64, shared the code freely with my friends, only to discover that my "friend" would post it as his own in a code-competition in a magazine back in the early ‘80s. So, that was my first taste of treason and humanity and I really didn’t care for it.
#5 Write the Script
I wrote a Perl script that saved my company $10 million when the electric company dug up our data lines. We were able to continue production for 17 hours and keep the Jeep plant running with no interruption. It wasn’t even my job to write that script, I just saw the potential emergency situation and decided to do something about it. I got my normal two percent salary increase that year. Thanks, Exel.
#6 Still Salty
I wrote a paper for our senior year. My partner did nothing except mess things up and write like an infant. Despite that, though, we won the award for the best paper at graduation. He was the only one mentioned and got the award because he got 0.5 more points on his oral exam. The award was a $300 gift card, so I’m still salty.
#7 Not the Smartest Move
I caught a predator who had been successful and the authorities were hunting for. He asked me to go down on him when I was only nine or ten years old. After telling him no thanks, I followed him until he parked and wrote down his licence plate number. It probably wasn’t the smartest move in retrospect.
#8 Hero’s Recognition
In high school, I convinced a kid not to take his life and reported it later to a teacher. He was sent to a hospital for a couple of weeks. The teacher said to me, "You're not going to get a hero's recognition for this, but remember that you probably helped save a life." I looked this guy up on Facebook 20 years later and he's still alive.
#9 Saving the Holiday
I was 18 and on holiday with my girlfriend in Italy. We'd just arrived in Rome having flown in and caught a train to Termini Station. We stopped in a park not far from the station to take a break and have some food before finding our hostel. Since we were both tired, my girlfriend started napping and I was lounging out too, occasionally shutting my eyes.
After enjoying the sun for 20 minutes or so, I opened my eyes to see a man walking away from us but quite close by. I then thought that was strange because I hadn't heard him at all. I looked around and immediately realized my girlfriend’s handbag was gone. I jumped up and run after the man who I realized was wearing a big coat and clearly in a hurry to leave.
I shouted after him and managed to catch up before he got out of the park. Then, I grabbed his arm, spun him around and wrestled the handbag from underneath his coat. He ran off and, not particularly wanting to start a whole thing, I decided to leave it and return to my girlfriend. Her handbag had her passport, mobile phone and holiday money.
Amazingly, she had slept through the whole event. So, I woke her up, told her what had just happened and that I had essentially saved the entire holiday. Her response? Nothing. I didn’t get one “thank you,” not even to this day. About eight years and several girlfriends later, the whole thing still annoys me.
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#10 Not a Word
This dude in front of me at the self-checkout paid in cash and then forgot to pick up his change. It wasn’t pocket change, it was over ten bucks in cash. It was insanely busy and I yelled something like, “Hey, sir! You forgot your change!” But he didn’t hear me. So, I left my cart and all my stuff and literally chased him down out into the parking lot to return his money.
He didn’t even say thank you. I said, “Hey, you forgot your money at the self-checkout,” and he just went, “Oh, okay.” He then just turned and walked away. I was totally miffed but I figured someone else would acknowledge my good deed. But when I went back, someone took my place at the self-checkout so I had to go to the back of the line and no one, not even the attendant said a word to me. Just...ugh.
#11 Used Cars
I used to work at an exotic car dealership startup and was a detailer at the time. We had a meeting to discuss ways to improve cash flow because we weren’t selling enough cars. I had the idea of using the empty front parking lot of about 30 spaces to sell cheaper cars. They shot that idea straight out of the sky. I was eventually fired for “not caring about the business.” A year later and guess what they were doing? In fact, they’re not even selling exotics anymore, just used cars.
#12 Underground Nest
As a child, I accidentally drove my RC car into a lamb's ears plant and agitated a nest of wasps. After they stung me several times, I told my mom that the nest was underground. She checked it out and decided to call the local zoo. They told her that there was no such thing as an underground hornet’s nest. A year or two later, we took a visit to the zoo and guess what was on a special exhibit? An underground hornet’s nest that the zoo took credit in discovering.
#13 How Much I Love Them
I helped raise and take care of my niece and nephew for many years. I decided that I couldn’t stay in my mother’s religion anymore and left it when I was 19. They were no longer allowed to speak or have anything to do with me after that. For many years, I changed their diapers, fed them, bathed them, cried with them, rocked them to sleep, cleaned so much vomit, drove them to and from school, took them to work with me, watched cartoons, etc.
It was all taken away in the blink of an eye. I saw them a few years back at my dad’s house (he’s not in my mother’s religion). They hadn’t seen me since they were about six years old and they were both getting ready to graduate high school. They barely remembered who I was and didn’t say two words to me. It breaks my heart to this day to know that they’ll never realize how much I love them.
#14 Pulled Her Out
I saved a girl's life once. We were at a concert and there was a giant pond to swim in. There was a floating plank thing in the middle that everyone would play king of the hill on. Anyway, this girl got stuck under it and was drowning, and I was the only one to notice, so I pulled her out. I wonder how she's doing from time to time.
#15 Openly Hostile
A lot of people on my course in college left all their coursework to the last minute for the whole year. I'm talking one week before the deadline, most people still had the first assignment to finish. So, I stayed from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. every day that last week — including on my birthday — to help them out. Some of them even got distinctions when they would’ve been disqualified without me. Yet, when the next year rolled around, not one credited me for helping them and most got openly hostile if I suggested that I did help them.
#16 Cold Revenge
About 10 years ago, I applied for a job as a recycling coordinator. Part of the application process was that they left me alone with a laptop to answer the question, "How would you improve compliance?" So, I laid out this idea I had about a PR campaign. I didn't get the job. But about six months later, they rolled out a campaign that was exactly what I had proposed. I'm still waiting to serve cold revenge to the director of that department.
#17 Refusing Contact
I actually donated my bone marrow to a totally random woman and, from what I’m told, directly saved her life. I asked the registry people if I could call and check on her or send a card or something, but apparently she refused to have any contact with “the donor.” I don’t ever bring it up in real life because if you donate and talk about it, I think it somewhat negates the meaning of the act itself. But, yeah. Nobody actually knows I did that and the one woman who does, for some reason, refuses to have contact with me.
#18 Saved the Building
There was a fire in my apartment building. The old lady who lived in the apartment below mine had fallen asleep with a smoke, waking up to her apartment on fire. She got out but was too shocked to notify anyone else. So, I was the one who noticed it, got my girlfriend out of the place, then ran through knocking on doors and yelling in windows.
Everyone got out safe. I sort of voluntarily avoided credit for two reasons; first, my girlfriend was recently divorced and spending the night, which her parents didn't approve of. Second, my local news had seemingly been on a string of interviews where not a single person being interviewed didn't come off as being a yokel. The apartment complex thanked me by moving the old lady back into the same apartment, despite her refusal to quit lighting up. My lease renewal was coming up, so I noped out then.
#19 Green Checkmark
Back in 2009, I used to work in social media development. I came up with a rather simple idea: "What if we had a special slot for a new photo we ask people to take, with them having the site name and their username written on a piece of paper? We can give them a little verified green checkmark if they do it."
I think a few sites had done “verification” back then, but it was mostly pertaining to a verified email address. We had a Philippine admin team just checking photos on the backend so they were all manually approved. So yeah, in my most modest fantasies, I like to think that I helped that checkmark become the standard you see now.
#20 On the Line
Being a volunteer firefighter in a department that never once held post-incident pow-wows to go over the goods, the bads, and the emotions of the crew. It's hard to never hear you did a great job, but it's even harder when you truly thought you did your best but still went home feeling guilty for not being able to do more. I'm 10 years out of that firehouse and was recently told it would be closed and consolidated with another local house. I hope someone can figure out how to properly manage the people who put their lives and mental state on the line for nothing more than a thank you.
#21 The Best Credit
Even though I don't seek "credit" for it, I once declined a full two-year scholarship to study abroad because I was needed at home to care for an ailing family member. At the time, it broke my heart because the graduate program was exactly what I had dreamed of doing. But, it would've been selfish of me to accept the offer when someone I loved dearly needed me. No regrets. I did the right thing. Being able to provide that special care and being loved for it in return was the best "credit."
#22 Leave Now
I notified my neighbors that their house was on fire and helped them exit. I then went back in for their two dogs (mucho flames at this point). Afterward, I walked across the street to tell my wife I was fine, sat down, and walked back over to make sure the neighbors were going to be fine. The authorities told me to leave or be taken into custody and wouldn’t let me get checked out for smoke inhalation.
#23 I’ll Save This
When I was three, my mom gave me $5.00 out of her purse to buy something in the store. Well, I wanted to be nice so I put it back in instead. When she found out she didn’t have enough, she saw the $5.00 and was relieved. I haven’t told her yet but if we ever have a huge argument, I will be sure to bring it up.
#24 Keeping Warm
My mom would fall asleep on the couch with the TV going almost every night for as long as I can remember. Given our lack of money, she never had a blanket as those were for me and my five sisters. I'd get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and see my mom sleeping in the fetal position to keep warm on our old, nasty couch. I’d go back to my room, get my blanket and drape it over her, then promptly go back to bed. I never got a "thank you," but that's okay. My mom is an angel to my son and that's plenty. Also, I never went cold. I'd take a blanket from one of my older sisters.
#25 That Looks Familiar
I designed the TARDIS (from Doctor Who ) on LEGO Design (the site where you could build random stuff with as many parts as you like, then they ship those parts to you so you can build it in person). When I finished this and ordered it, the BBC restricted it for copyright reasons. Lo and behold, two months later, the BBC released Doctor Who LEGO sets with my identical design.
#26 Because of Pride
About 20 years ago, my fire department went to an arson call. Somebody stuck burning paper inside somebody’s apartment door mail slot. The fire didn’t take hold and it became more of a law enforcement department scene. Just before left the scene, the mentally-unstable tenant, who was suspected of the arson, grabbed a piece and charged past us. He was running toward the authorities that were headed downstairs about a floor below. My captain and I grabbed him and subdued him until the authorities came back and disarmed him.
The law enforcement department never thanked us for nor acknowledged our actions that night. I’m sure they were embarrassed that they didn’t properly clear and secure the apartment. I doubt it was ever mentioned in any report, and it bugs me a bit that it’s probably because of pride. But of course, I’m glad we were able to help and would definitely do it again.
#27 Changing Tune
Many years ago, my kid cousin (who was about eight years old) was starting to listen to obscene rap on the computer he was way too young to have in his bedroom. So, I introduced him to Alanis Morrissette. A week afterwards, she was all he was listening to. His parents don't even know what I did for him.
#28 Taking Credit
I leveraged my centers of influence to secure my company a booth at a three-day convention for free. The value was $1800. I spent three days there, got new clients, and ended up closing a bunch of new businesses over the next month as a result of the convention. My boss took all the credit for getting us in the convention and she only attended it for a few hours on one of the days.
#29 Bailing Mom Out
My stepfather and mother separated my senior year of college. My mom was really broke and hard up. I took out student loans that year to finish school, and piece by piece, gave them to my mom to pay her mortgage. I got a full-time job to try and cover semester costs working the third shift at a gas station. The work was ruining my grades, but I needed the money to survive as I'd given my mother the loan money.
I ended up flunking most of my classes, withdrawing from college that year and just working to stay afloat. School called in all the loans to be repaid as I wasn't a student anymore. I kept having to work more and get a better job and never got back to school. My mom and sisters give me trouble about not finishing school. No one remembers or cares about me bailing my mom out that got me into this path to begin with.
#30 Imagine That
My first job in my industry had a strict rule about custom software. We originally had a program written by one of our coworkers called IMAGINE. It essentially allowed us to do shortcut combos for a program we use instead of having to press buttons. Super handy. However, the company said since it was coded for work, the source code didn't belong to him.
He quit, and ever since then, custom programs were strictly forbidden. We had a project come in. I ran the metrics, and it would take us four months to complete with 24/7 shifts on it. We were only given two weeks to get it done, otherwise, people were at risk of losing their jobs for not meeting the deadline.
I went home, coded a program, and came back the next morning. I told them we could get it done by the deadline if they allowed me to use my custom program. I designed it to work only in this scenario, so no one could use it for any other purpose. The company reluctantly agreed. I pressed a button, and 24 hours later, the project was complete. I never got paid a penny extra and had no recognition that I completed a four-month project in 24 hours. Just to at least feel better about me, I named the program ENIGMA I, which if you rearrange the letters, spells IMAGINE.
#31 I’m Tired
I made more money than my brothers, who were almost homeless. I’ve bailed them out, which took thousands of dollars out of my savings, yet they constantly ask for money and are ungrateful. It’s hard. I just want to worry about myself and my own financial future, but I’m still in their lease so they don’t get evicted. I’m tired.
#32 Downtown Donut Shop
When I was about 10, I walked by myself to a downtown donut store for breakfast. I was pretty happy because I didn’t really get to do that kind of thing. On my way there, I passed a homeless guy sleeping on a stairway, so I got an extra donut and left it next to him on my way home. No one knew about it, I didn’t tell my parents because I didn’t want to feel like I’d just done it for attention. So it’s really my own fault I wasn’t “credited.”
#33 Super Betrayed
I was on a team for Science Olympiad at my school. I built this car thing, did all the calculations, made it changeable on the spot and it worked great. I happened to be on a different event that I hadn’t signed up for, but the teacher asked me to do it, so I did. Needless to say, the two people who ran my car won medals and I felt super betrayed.
#34 Famous Slogan
I came up with a slogan that’s used in a national campaign for a huge burger chain. At my work, our CEO sent an email saying we were partnering with this company, and that they wanted new slogans for a campaign. I submitted my ideas and never heard back. Three months later, it was used in a national commercial.
Of course, I looked for the email, printed it and went to my CEO. Two weeks later they sent a company email congratulating me for the win and the burger chain sent me one year’s worth of their famous burger. I was 21 years old at the time, so I was stoked. What sucks is that they still use the slogan, though.
#35 Changed the Name
I once wrote a paper for a class where the teacher didn’t like me. She gave me a C, so whatever. A friend of mine was in the same class with a different teacher the next semester. I let him copy mine. Literally, he just changed the name at the top and copy and pasted the rest. He received an A+ and the paper was featured in our school's newsletter to alumni that quarter. How about that, Mrs. W!
#36 A Real Job
I worked with social media while I was still in college. I already earn more than virtually all of my relatives up to 10 years older than me and graduated from college, but my family keeps saying I should get a real job. I already have one, people! And I’m pretty happy about it and can't wait to finish my grad so I can dedicate all of my time to it.
#37 All the Credit
In middle school, I once wrote a one-act play just for fun, and our drama teacher liked it so much he decided to put it on. The thing is, I was really self-conscious about it, so I didn’t actually take credit for it. My friend let me put his name instead of mine, so he got all the credit for it at the end of the year.
#38 My Notebook
I’m really into clothing and fashion and I like to write down my weekly outfits in a notebook. My friend came over one day and she saw the notebook on my bed. She opened it up and started complimenting how the outfits looked together. The next week I walked in wearing the outfit I had planned to wear that day and there she was, wearing the same exact thing.
This happened for the entire week and I later learned that she told everyone that she came up with the outfits and that I asked to wear them too. She even started calling me "fake" and "an annoying sister nobody likes.” Thankfully, I exposed her with my notebook and we don’t talk anymore. Good riddance, witch.
#39 More Than Most
My parents acted like I was always on the verge of becoming a dropout junkie good-for-nothing. Years later, I have a family, home, and a college degree with total stability along the way. I’ve moved up in my career at a decent pace and even managed to move overseas on my own, which wasn’t easy. I’ve traveled and done more in 30 years than most do in a lifetime. Yet everyone fawns over the cousin who only had one child they couldn’t afford.
#40 Prop Master
When I was in high school, I did theater. The first show I did freshman year, I was props master. I was so good that they made me head technician. I continued to do props for nearly every show until I graduated. For some reason, they always asked another girl to be props master for our spring musical, which was the biggest show.
She always got credit for being the props master. Even though every other show we did, she was an actor. We got shirts one year with our positions on the back and mine said “assistant props” while hers said “props master.” I always gave 100% and loved the work I did, but four years of busting my behind for “assistant.”
#41 Still Bitter
This was in fourth or fifth grade. A group of firemen came to our school and was describing what they do. They did a Q&A afterward saying they're looking for a specific question, so I told my friend, "You should ask them how birds don't pass away when they land on the electric pole lines." He asks them and they responded with, "That's a very good question and that's a question we were looking for." He went up to the front and the firemen put all their equipment on him, then took a picture with. He never thanked me for it. I’m still bitter.
#42 Want to Recharge
I mask my autism all the time, as much as I can, to please the people around me, including my partner. But any time it sneaks out a bit, like I fail to spot an implication or read an emotion poorly, I get so much trouble for it. It's really hard work and emotionally exhausting but I never get any credit for it. It's driving me mad and I just want to live on an island alone and recharge for a few years.
#43 Big Moment
My grandpa is in his 90s now. When he was a milkman back in the ‘50s, he wrote a handwritten note to hundreds of customers on his milk run to wish them a merry Christmas. The milk company then had a big event in London with all the big wigs and employees. They made a speech on how one man had gone the extra mile and how wonderful it was before then crediting it to someone else! I believe they apologized to him in the following weeks for the mistake, but by then his big moment had gone.
#44 Online Gaming
When I was 14, in the space of eight months, I was able to trade with items in an online game starting from $100 up to $10,000. I did it through trading, bargaining and selling to other players, putting in extensive hours. I didn't tell anyone that I had done this and ultimately my account ended up getting hacked and I lost everything.
The saddest thing about it was that in my head, I just wanted to get to a point and cash out what I earned, hoping to show my parents what I achieved and make them proud. However, I wasn't able to do this and no one even knows that I did this. As a result of this, I suffered severe mental problems for many, many years.
#45 Perfect Score
Participating in the group project. I actually did an entire slide of the thing, then everyone else in the group edited it to the point where it was nothing like my original idea. Then, they removed my name to the credit list. Thankfully, I was cool with the teacher, so she noticed this and berated all of them before I told her what happened. I got 100% and everyone else in the group got a fair grade. But she gave me 100 because of pity.
#46 Peanut Allergy
When I was in kindergarten, we had a girl that was deathly allergic to peanuts. Every time I had a snack or lunch with peanuts in it, I would walk to another classroom or eat in the office with the staff. I always thought I should’ve been given more credit for leaving my friends most days so she could stay with hers.
#47 Neighborhood Woman
There is this woman in my neighborhood who has three kids and doesn't work for whatever reason. I have been covering 100% of her rent and groceries for more than 10 years because I couldn't stand to see them try to do it alone. The woman is my wife and the kids are my kids, but I’d still like some recognition.
#48 Saving Money
I never get any credit for meal prepping every workday lunch and knowing exactly what I'll have for dinner every single morning. Weekday lunches involve roast chicken, roast potatoes and beans and I make that over the weekend. That is some serious thinking ahead, and one of the number one way everyone says that money can be saved.
#49 The Teacher’s Questions
In college, I'd always answer teachers' questions when no one else could, but the teachers used to never hear me answering. The problem is other students would always hear me, repeat what I said and get the credit for it. This happened all the time. My class friends who sat close to me used to mock me every time.
#50 Packed Venue
I was at a really packed concert in Florida and the venue was full. No water was allowed in, but I was able to bring in two bottles because I’m diabetic and claimed I needed it. After the show started, the venue quickly turned into a raging mosh pit. Because the venue was indoors, it quickly felt like a sweaty 100-degree nightmare with people pushing up against each other like crazy.
Multiple people passed out, but I helped at least a dozen people stay hydrated and conscious by sharing my water with them. I only really got to drink about a fourth of one bottle. But, I felt good knowing I helped a bunch of people. I never got much of a thank you but I felt I actually saved some people from overheating.