People Who Signed Now Expired NDAs Share What They Couldn’t Tell Us Before
When you get a new job, you might be asked to sign an NDA. The contract states that you can’t speak about any behind-the-scenes activity within the company for a certain period of time. From a moving company to a national bank, signing that piece of paper is crucial for work. This contract can also be found when you’re getting an early glimpse of an exclusive or unfinished product.
If you accidentally break your NDA, you can face severe penalties, including getting sued. After the NDA ends, however, you can dish on that hidden stuff to your heart’s content. These people broke free of their NDAs a long time ago and shared what went down. As expected, some of their stories are insane. If you’re ever been confronted with an NDA, you’ll be able to relate to the following stories.
#1 Gotta Keep Them Separated
I interned at a major daytime TV talk show. My job was to give audience members either a red, yellow, or purple card based on how attractive they were and to seat them accordingly. Good looking people got yellow and really good looking people got purple, which meant hey got sat in the front and waited in the nice big room with free pizza and AC. Red people waited in the overcrowded room with no AC and got seated last. When they asked about why they were in different rooms, we had to say it was because of a fire hazard. Since the audience is on camera, they specifically told me to seat fat and handicapped people in the back and corners. Ratings! Also, the guests on the show were incentivized to overreact.
#2 Fake Money Don’t Work Here
I signed an NDA when I worked at a bank. We had to censor information in documents. One time, an old guy bought a car in his wife’s name. He ended up missing a payment date. Turns out, he was scammed out of his money by a con-artist who told him the monarchy would be restored with its own money, so they should invest in it at a reduced price… The poor guy tried to pay the bank with fake money.
#3 Complain Online Instead
I used to work for a first-line support call center, operated by a very large IT heavyweight. I was working a particular account and was advised that if anyone asked to make a complaint, we had to direct them towards the complaints area on private intranet (which we did not operate or have access to). The secret which we were told to keep, on the threat of disciplinary dismissal, was that the complaints area didn’t actually exist. There was no complaints procedure to skew the customer satisfaction figures from the desk to entirely positive. The assumption was that people would just not be able to find the complaints area, give up and not bother pursuing the complaint.
#4 The (Encryption) Key To The City
Part of the way digital content is protected when transmitted on HDMI interfaces is by the use of encryption. To make this work, every HDMI device must contain a unique encryption key. This is enforced contractually, or at least it was where I worked. If the ROMs we made for use with HDMI contained a duplicate key, we were liable for a $10,000 fine per duplicate.
We had multiple instances reported to us of us providing ROMs with duplicate keys. The system we had for writing the keys was managed by one guy, and he had apparently screwed up a few times and re-used a key file. Each key file contained hundreds of keys. Had our companu ever found out about this, we would have been on the hook for fines totaling millions of dollars. They never found out, because we never told them.
#5 Breaking The Law
I was one of the first 500 people to test a videogame. I was under NDA for quite a while. Really, the only thing worth sharing at all is that the game in that state was an even bigger wreck than what they shipped, which still ended up failing. On the bright side, the developers were awesome and really cared about community input. I’m not sure why the game shipped the way it did. There were probably just too many different opinions in the community. It’s honestly a shame as the community and development team sincerely cared. Oh well. I wish them all the best.
#6 Taking Care Of Important Documents
I worked for a large retailer doing KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) for roughly four-and-a-half years. You would regularly have high-profile celebrities and business owners that would have to supply documentation such as passports, bank statements and utility bills. This is the law in the European Union if you want to sell using a platform like ours. You would know where they lived and loads of other personal information. The NDA forbids you from mentioning who you have verified and the processes used to do so. There is no expiration date on the NDA due to the data you handle, which makes it interesting when you are interviewing for other jobs in the anti-fraud industry.
#7 No Fame For You
I worked on commercials for a very popular mobile phone company. They would set up and film a fake commercial while the real ones were shot in a nearby building. The sad thing is, the actors in the fake commercial thought it was real as if it was going to be their big break. I wasn’t able to tell them it was all an illusion and no one would ever see them. The company went through all that trouble to keep their marketing strategy a secret until the commercials were released.
#8 A Change Won’t Do You Good
I was under an NDA for a classic videogame I loved. Development deliberately didn’t listen to people and openly mocked those who told them it was too much of a change from the traditional game on closed forms. They knew it was going to bomb, and I felt it was deliberately done so the mother company could permanently shelve the older version of the game. The company changed teams a lot. It was quite obvious that it was done so that they could downsize companies they bought out, then close them.
#9 The Happiest Place On Earth
I made all of the linear stators that a world-famous theme park uses for their magnetic roller coasters. It was all contracted through a company in Massachusetts where I live. So when you got your whole family on a magnetic roller coaster, your entire life- nay, your entire family’s life -is in my capable hands.
#10 I Can’t Hear You
A cellphone company I worked for 100% replaced their phones for users because of a bad antenna. We were instructed to dodge, deflect, and deny this was the issue. Cellphone providers were terrible and the phone was a fluke, but it didn’t matter. Don’t admit fault, we were told. Now, if they were there for reception issues (vs. water damage, buttons or battery life) we had to make sure we were swapping them with phones from the “newer” batch of phones. It was a recall without being a recall.
#11 Were The Roses Fake, Too?
A huge part of The Bachelorette was scripted. The company I worked for at the time was a major tourism service provider and it was featured prominently in one of the seasons. We were told by the higher-up managers that spilling any secrets was punishable by a $5 million lawsuit. I didn’t care about the show at the time… and I still don’t. Just wanted to do my job. The “Bachelorette” herself was clearly there to further her public profile or “acting” career. The scenes were always set up before filming. Behind the camera, nothing was happening. The cast was told where to go, what to do and how to do it. If half those guys weren’t on their phones texting their real girlfriends most of the time, I would be surprised. So fake… 100% fake.
#12 Always On The Move
I used to work for a company in the Middle East that provided relocation services to people in America. We represented three main companies under nine different names which changed every so often when the reviews got really bad. We had receptionists whose main task, aside from damage control, was to write a few extremely positive reviews for each company every single day in order to counter all the negative ones.
I worked in sales. Our job was to catalog everything our clients wanted to move and then provide the best possible price while lying through our teeth about the service itself. We promised professional movers who had all the necessary training and tools for the job, great prices, quick deliveries, you name it. On moving day, the movers who showed up were often in unmarked trucks or ones with completely different names and branding on them.
The workers were often immigrants who were paid under-the-table and had no experience whatsoever. The deliveries themselves often took a long time and items were often lost as multiple moves would be stacked into one truck without much labeling of items or categorizing in general. As mentioned earlier, we changed company names fairly often as the negative reviews and bad press stacked up.
Moving is a toxic business, and people will always try to undermine and cheat. This is something you should never cheap out on as the money is well worth the comfort of knowing your move is in good hands. If you are moving, I recommend finding a company that is local if possible, so that you can meet the people who represent it and see that their business is legitimate. More importantly, they will be able to send someone to survey your belongings and give a more realistic quote and time estimate. Even if it costs much more than the quotes you receive online or from salesmen, it is well worth the peace of mind on an already stressful venture.
#13 Vase Of Spades
I had to sign an NDA for a secure shipment that came into a building I ran security at. The shipment came in at 2 a.m. in an unmarked transit van. Two guys had to verify their biometrics and give me the correct password, then I had to deactivate the cameras on the floors along the travel routes they took inside the building and wipe the footage of them ever being present. They unpacked a set of vases and trundled off to put them in a private vault. Don’t know what the heck was in them, but I’ve seen less security for pallets of precious metal bullion.
#14 Airing The Calamity
I was on a “documentary” show on a prestigious network before they turned into reality trash. The camera crew staged pretty much everything. They managed to start fights among us, then filmed it all. And the stuff that they said would never be aired, ended up being aired… with commentary. I got called terrible things when the show aired. And, according to the very broad terms of the NDA, I couldn’t defend myself online. It was such bull.
#15 Dude, You’re Getting A Pink Slip
I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone that a certain computer hardware company fired all their factory employees every 90 days from a temp agency to avoid ever giving them full-time benefits. They regularly used undocumented illegal immigrants in the Nashville factory by hiring them through the temp agency that supplied their labor to keep their costs down. The temp agency would occasionally refuse to pay those workers after they fired them too, and they’d show up at the office asking why the temp company at the time wouldn’t give them their paychecks.
#16 Walking With Empty Pockets
I didn’t get paid by a labor hire company in Australia for around $5,000, and 50-ish other workers didn’t either (other numbers are higher, some lower) The company wasn’t paying anyone, and court cases with them didn’t resolve much. Instead of not getting money, my employer who hired me through them paid me the amount from their own pocket and hired me full time. I had to sign an NDA so other branches of the company didn’t have to pay 50 workers money they didn’t owe them. They paid the company and the company didn’t pay them. I was just lucky my boss was a good dude.
#17 A Private Creation
I’m a Red Seal machinist and millwright, with a C-ticket in welding. I was approached by a company claiming to work for the military to design and make a bunch of prototypes of small hydraulic cylinders that would be used in a military weapon. It reminded me of a destroyer droid from Star Wars, the ones that would roll around. I think it would fire an incredibly long-range shot, then would immediately re-position itself before firing again so people could not find where it was coming from.
I never actually got to see ANY drawings or prints’ only the sizing of the hydraulics I had to create and the exact stroke, extend, and retract length they needed to be. My entire shop was placed under a strict NDA and we had to put signs and fences all over our shop. Customers were not even allowed to walk in. We had to conduct all of our business in the hallway or outside, and it was a bit awkward. Anyway, we weren’t allowed to talk about it for three years after the fact, but this was like eight years ago now.
#18 C Is For Cookie
I did a taste test for various cookies in college for $10 or $15. If Otis Spunkmeier created a premade chocolate chip cookie dough to be sold in stores, I can talk about it because I’m no longer under their NDA. If they haven’t, it doesn’t matter since it’s been close to 20 years. All I remember is their cookies had a lot of sugar in them, compared to Pillsbury, whose dough was pretty plain but had chocolate chips in them.
#19 Spotting Those Hard To See Bloopers
I couldn’t tell people what was in series before they premiered. Once it aired, you would know as much as I did, for the most part—there are still “Easter Eggs,” but most people don’t know about, like brand names often being last names of people working on the animation. When I worked on some Dora the Explorer games I did a ton of lip-syncing. That entire time, I never noticed she DIDN’T HAVE TEETH. I don’t watch a ton of Dora, so I can’t speak for the new seasons, and I’m sure there’s probably some art out there where she’s specifically smiling and showing her teeth. But I haven’t seen them.
#20 A Super Extra
I was in the Super Bowl half time show as one of the extras. Let me just say that the two weeks prior to the week in the stadium were fine; they just tried to teach a bunch of marching band kids how to take even steps for two weeks. The week of rehearsals in the stadium, on the other hand, was horrible. They promised to feed us but they had nothing for people with allergies or other dietary restrictions.
They gave us these handheld radios so we could listen to instructions, but that just resulted in six hundred high school students sitting in the stands listening to the music while they talked with the star and guests. They constantly changed what jobs we had and no one knew what was going on. The part I was in required us to run off the stage, out underneath the stadium, all the way to the back gates and to the outside. This run was about a half a mile and we practiced it fifteen times a day for the entire week up until the game. Oh, and the shark (yes the one from the meme) was only there for the actual performance—the person in the suit missed all the practices and I felt bad for them when it became a meme.
#21 Take My Picture
I was hired by a record label to shoot portraits of a musician in the Bahamas. He has one of the most sampled songs in music history. The NDA was that I had to keep silent for months that he would be performing as part of the London Olympics opening ceremony. It was part of the reason they needed updated portraits. Now that the London Olympics are long done, I can speak about this openly.
#22 Ask For Your Paycheck
I had to sign an NDA when I bought my first car. I signed and paid the base model price when it was actually the fully loaded model at $9,000 off. I spent four hours dealing with the owner of the dealership and his conclusion was to have me sign an NDA as well as leave 5 stars on all surveys. About a month later, I got a call from an auditor asking me how long I had worked at that Jeep dealership. They must have tried to claim I was an employee to cover up the price loss on the vehicle.
#23 Preventing A Lab Disaster
A very popular stem cell differentiation product used in many lab experiments was actually very contaminated and based off of bad research practice. Their patents should have been invalidated since their research papers were definitely based off of bad science in a key area. That’s why they hired me to come and fix their product. I did it in such a way that you could never tell there was a problem.
I taught them proper lab procedure and protocols. Kids, don’t use incompatible lab equipment with the solvents you’re working with. Don’t use the wrong personal protective equipment with carcinogenic and mutagenic chemicals. Don’t pipet off the reagent bottle. Don’t pour back into the reagent bottle. I don’t mention the employees’ names because their culture and people are toxic as heck. I finished and got out of there. While I’m pretty proud of what I achieved for them, I don’t want to associate with them ever again. The NDA was definitely to keep me from sharing about the contamination which plenty of researchers out there would be interested in knowing about…
#24 Generic Is Good
When I worked for a big-box electronics store in the US, our discount was 10%, which was cool on some products but not helpful on others. The KILLER deals were in our company-owned “generic” brand. You could get $20 chargers for literally less than a buck. It was RIDICULOUS how little we actually spent on making the product versus what we sold it for. Really makes you think how absolutely screwed you are getting when you buy electronics due to markup. I’m sure it’s like this everywhere. Most of the generic brand was like that. Product discounts were close to 80% on almost every single thing that our company produced ourselves with the exception of televisions and a couple of other things.
#25 Don’t Taze Me, Bro
I signed an NDA about a top 40 music artist who went to Canada. His tour bus got searched and apparently, having a taser is a felony in Canada. One of the road guys, an old friend of the artist, took the fall for it. He pretty much got kicked out of Canada and the artist covered all his legal bills on the low. He cannot return to Canada as far as I know.
#26 Not So Secret Recipes
I used to work for an upscale bubble tea bar. When I was hired, I had to sign a five year NDA saying that I would not use the recipes for the drinks and go and start my own business. I later found out that all the recipes the owner learned from a paid barista workshop, and that these recipes were in fact no secret at all. In fact, they’re all sort of a standard for bubble tea shops.
#27 Pirates Of The Partial Carribean
I saw the last Pirates of the Caribbean one year before it came out. The CGI was partially done. We were actually the very first people to see it. They recorded our reactions with night vision equipped cameras. We didn’t know which movie we were seeing until we all got seated. Jerry Bruckheimer and the actor that played young Henry was sitting three seats away from me. When I finally saw the finished movie in the theater, it was quite different.
#28 Slow Motion Running Intensifies
I was a lifeguard on a film set and I posted a picture on Instagram of me in my ridiculous outfit making a dumb pose. Then, they had me stand-in for the lead actor, who is being resuscitated by the gorgeous lead actress. I had to pretend be to be dead while she performed CPR on me and they took a picture of it for continuity. Well, I wanted to post it on my Instagram immediately after my first post with the caption of like: “Never mind, I failed. The actress had to save me.” But, the NDA we all signed prevented me to do it so it didn’t work out.
#29 Gotta Find A New Career Path
My NDA lasted 10 years and also prevented me from working with any other company in the industry for 10 years after leaving my position. It’s now been 22 years since I left the position because the company went bankrupt. We made PBU (Pressed Board Underlayment), which generally sucks for home construction, but the company I worked for made it from wheat straw and the product was the best on the market at the time. It would still be to this day if they only had had competent management and marketing.
Nobody has managed to duplicate their product, but the secret to the strength and longevity of their PBU was to take the boards straight from the high pressure, high heat-press, cut it to size while smoking hot, then submerge the boards in a huge tank of ice-cold water for 33 minutes. Less than 33 minutes, the boards would be brittle. More than 33 minutes, the boards would start to absorb the water and the surface would slough off. Nothing mattered more than precise timing of removing the boards from the tank.
#30 Cash It In
The people who work in cash processing at some major Canadian banks screw up ALL THE TIME. There’s an allowable amount of cash to go missing in a period and it’s frightening. This is a facility that has more cameras than George Orwell’s 1984.
#31 Left In The Dust
I was a game tester for Dust 514. We had to agree to an NDA. Basically, I just wasn’t supposed to tell people about how the game played. We all knew it was a shooter, but nobody knew how AWFUL the game was. Imagine having to work really really hard just to be able to resupply your dude with guns, armor, ammunition, EVERYTHING your guy needed just to be able to fight the whole round. THE WHOLE. ROUND.
If you died, you lost all your stuff. If you lost all the items to be able to play that class, you had to pick a different class. The game was a copy and paste of EVE Online, but for a shooter. Such a bad idea. I’m pretty sure my company pays for all of this stuff, not me. It’s a wonder the game even lasted as long as it did. It was just a terrible game, and they never fixed that issue.
#32 That Tag Is Forever
I was selected to be an Alpha tester for PUBG (PC of course). The game had one map, Erangel. The graphics were horrible but the game was still unoptimized at the time—animations weren’t motion-captured, sounds were completely screwed, etc. The rounds would not start falling from a plane with a parachute, but with all players just spawning in one small hangar in the middle-west part of the map IIRC.
The map’s colliders were glitchy so you could not clip through certain parts of the map. Trees and other objects were also no clipping through houses all over the map. But I still had a fun time, since up until then we only had ArmA III or H1Z1 for that Battle Royale gaming experience to choose from. Also, at the end of the alpha, all the original testers like me were given free full versions of the game and the special PlayerUnknown’s clothes pack, which I sold foolishly for only around 170 euro on Steam Marketplace. If you go to the official Discord server of PUBG, this is where all the original Alpha testers were invited at the beginning, which was only a few hundred. We still have the ‘Alpha Tester’ tag to our username, so we’ve got that going for us.
#33 Banned For Life
I signed an NDA when I joined a convention in the late ’00s. The NDA covered basically anything that was said behind closed doors. I got to hear about small business owners behaving badly, artists that were selling stolen art, and celebrities that had been guests at the con before. Turns out, one actor had harassed, propositioned, and generally been creepy towards the staff and attendees the few times we’d had him. He was on a sort of “soft ban list.” Everyone who worked with him knew why we didn’t want to invite him back, but we couldn’t figure out how to tell our attendees or other events without risking legal action (in the eyes of con management, at least).
#34 Throw Me A Rope
I taste-tested Sweet Tarts Rope. It was under the Wonka brand name at the time. It was really good and eventually came to market. They had a fatter version which ultimately did not come to market. It has far too large of a filling to gummy coating ratio.
#35 They’re Watching You
One of the big Silk Road busts was made because the perpetrators didn’t understand the limits of WhatsApp at the time. Early on, while text communication was encrypted and thus protected from spying eyes, images were not. The perpetrators thought they were clever by sending images of text as their communications. I suppose they assumed that this would protect them from getting tagged by some sort of search algorithm that flags suspicious communication. In fact, it just made it super easy to bust them because everything they were saying was easily visible to anyone monitoring them.
#36 Building Up Lies
I used to work for a publicly listed company in the UK called Lomart PLC. Their salesman would cold call businesses and lie about what search engine friendly websites we could build. They would literally find their favorite website and tell the client we could do it for whatever the price was. We would get the order through and build a bad, three-framed HTML webpage. Naturally, the client would complain.
The whole time I was there, they worked on the basis that not many would complain they’d just suck it up. All calls were recorded, and they made the mistake of putting me in charge of listening to calls and deciding on refunds. I was there for only a few months before moving on. I’m sure refunds skyrocketed for the short time I was involved. We worked there not long after the boiler room movie came out. We were expected to show up to work to a locked door with nothing but a chair with a phone on it. One of the salesmen got arrested for using the credit card numbers collected during the sale for personal gain. I cannot believe the place is still going.
#37 Say Cheese!
In the late ’90s, I was part of a focus group. They had us look at a bunch of prototype cell phones and say what we liked and didn’t like. Most of them had cameras. They asked us if the camera made a difference. Not a single one of us could come up with any reason to have a camera on a cell phone. It turns out one of those phones was Nokia’s first camera-enabled phone. I guess they decided we’d figure out a use for a camera on a phone.
#38 DJing A Lame Party
I signed an NDA before DJing at an after-party in London. Management, at the time, hinted it was because there would be celebs there that weren’t “out” yet in public and wanted to be kept in the closet. I had to surrender my phone on arrival so I was pumped thinking I was about to DJ for a load of celebs at a mad party… I didn’t know anyone. It was just a room full of boring people I’ve never heard of eating buffet food and talking loudly about their “next projects.” It couldn’t have been a more boring night. The next day, the organizers tried to get my fee reduced since not as many guests turned up as they expected.
#39 Hey, Kool-Aid Man!
In 2008, I signed an NDA while working on a project for the psych department at my college. I wasn’t involved in a lot, especially since I left less than a month after I started. Apparently, they were studying rats’ brains to see if they could program the reward center of the brain as a way to fight obesity. How were they trying to do this? By conditioning then to like cherry Kool-Aid over grape Kool-Aid. Yep, they were fighting obesity with Kool-Aid.
#40 Bait And Switch
I was a model for a few well-known makeup companies. I did several print ads for magazines and a few television commercials. The makeup artists do use the product advertised, but MINIMALLY. For example, that mascara they’re touting? It’s applied over REALLY GOOD fake eyelashes and they also used another brand of mascara along with the one they’re trying to sell you. Also, the clothes in the ads you see are pinned tightly on the model. They fit nothing as they look. It’s not you. It’s not your body. It’s fake advertising.
#41 Sleep On It
The company I used to sell mattresses for still remains to be one of the most overpriced places ever. They heavily rely on having their own “exclusive” beds so they can’t price match. I’ve sold one for nearly half price and still made a decent commission. Also, the exclusive beds they sell are exactly the same as the ones in other places, but just with rearranged foam cushions or in different colors. They’ll usually be priced at an extra hundred bucks.
We were told that Tempurpedic messed up and that’s why they dropped them as a vendor when in all reality, the company made demands and Tempur-Sealy refused to screw over their other customers. They ended up dropping the contract and we resorted to selling clearance beds. We had to say they were overstocks, floor models that never made it to the floors, rejected deliveries, etc. Truth is, sure, a handful were floor models, but 95% of them were returns that people slept on for a minimum of 30 days.
And no, they were never cleaned—they were just sprayed with what’s essentially an industrial version of a knock-off Lysol with a reduced scent. I don’t know how they haven’t gotten caught by the health department yet… The lesson here is: if you go to a mattress place for a new bed, don’t go for anything priced less than $1,000. They’re terrible. Instead, find a $1,200 one and haggle them down to about $700 or $800. You’re welcome.
#42 Walking Away With Free Tickets
When I was 12, my family was a test audience for the pilot episode of some show that never aired. It was about renovations or house hunting, something to do with real estate. It was a snooze fest. We had to answer a survey about it. The only question that stood out to me was, “Did you find the host attractive?” And I was like “Dude, I’m 12, this feels like an inappropriate question. Also, I can’t remember his face so, no.” We signed an NDA agreement to not leak details, and then got tickets to Cirque du Soleil as payment.
#43 Catching All Of The Blame
I freelanced for a company that distributed a Sony-developed MMO in the EU. We essentially were the distribution, account management and customer support for the game in Europe. We had no control over the servers, game updates or promotions but weren’t able to say that publicly. Often we’d get informed of server downtime during EU prime time with two hours notice.
Our customers could see promotions being run in the US that weren’t being run in the EU, and they’d blame us for it. Sometimes customers would confuse us with the game’s development team and blame us for bugs or poor performances issues. We weren’t allowed to correct that either. It was pretty draining having to read constant negative posts on social media knowing it wasn’t our fault and that there was nothing we could do about it.
#44 Right After This Break
I worked for a radio station that would grossly exaggerate how many commercials they ran for their clients. They would make us doctor the affidavits to show we ran the spots the client paid for when in reality, they probably didn’t get a quarter as much. This same company forces their employees to quit so they don’t need to pay them severance and when the employee sues them for their legal entitlements, the company cooks up a reason to counter sue and drowns the employee in expensive litigation where they can never afford to fight back and eventually have to drop the suit. The ironic thing is the company hires lawyers on barter who most likely get the same fake affidavits of advertising at the end of the day.
#45 Protecting Their Idea
I signed an NDA at a job interview to prevent me from stealing their awesome video game idea. The idea was to look at four pictures and guess which word they all have in common. Why they thought this idea was so valuable I have no idea.
#46 Casino Secrets
I worked for a Native casino. The golf courses lost a ton of money for us, as did the advertising for the courses. We generally broke even on the food because of all the competitions. If a crime was committed by a dealer, they would watch the dealer for three months to see if there were accomplices. They used facial recognition and would pair match you so if the same person sat with the same dealer over and over, they would know. Then, when they busted you, they would sit you down and make you watch a video of you breaking the law. They did this because they wanted you to plead guilty as opposed to having you go through an expensive trial.
#47 Swapping Meds
The previous pharmacy chain I worked for was always at risk of robbery. We were taught to give the robber what they wanted with no questions asked. However, I have heard of instances when the pharmacists replaced the pills with Tylenol, but that was a dangerous move due to possible retaliation by the criminals.
#48 Dangers of Recycling
The recycling company I used to work for would throw away a lot of stuff. They collected the money from government subsidies and left the employees on terrible salaries in a hazardous workplace that included having dirty syringes. Thank God I never got stabbed by one! I was one of the people who would sort the materials.
I worked for a short time as a QA tester at a well-known game developer and I wasn’t allowed to talk about the game I was testing. There wasn’t really much to talk about, but since the first few versions were basically just running the PC version on a console, there were a LOT of bugs with it. One of the worst was a lighting bug we started referring to as “disco mode,” since it caused a bunch of multicolored squares to show up on everything at night or in dark areas.
#50 Secret Menu Item
In 1990, I signed an NDA at a very popular restaurant chain when they showed me how to make one of their most iconic menu items. No other restaurant in town had anything like it and it was hugely popular at the time.
#51 A Big Slip Up
My company forgot to remove my credentials to their investor’s website when I left. Only five people in the company had access to the site because it had names, addresses, SSNs, credit scores, etc… for over 400k people. Three years later, I was working for a competitor that had the same client. I accidentally logged in with my old company’s credentials and it worked. Someone really dropped the ball there.
#52 Employee Shuffle
The big-name company I used to work for doesn’t hire direct support employees. They open small projects in the US, hire up to 250 contract employees of varying support positions for the project, then, once they get the stats needed to run everything efficiently, they have mass layoffs and outsource their jobs to a country like the Philippines or India that’s willing to accept much less than their US counterpart.
#53 Pre-Screen Privileges
Back in the 1990s, some universities and colleges got pre-screening of movies before they went out for the general public. You just had to sign an NDA that lapsed when the movie got released to the public. This is how I saw the original Scream movie six months before the rest of the general public.
#54 Magic Hoax
When I was a kid, I saw a famous magician do a trick that involved making the Statue of Liberty disappear and it was done with an audience watching. They even interviewed some of the audience where they fawned over how amazing it was to have the statue disappear! Later, I saw a television show detailing how that trick is done and there was no way the audience wasn’t aware of what was going on. Maybe they all had to sign NDAs and be paid as film extras or something.
#55 Hollywood On The Low
I work in the entertainment industry! I have to sign NDAs for everything, even with some celebs (personal and professional encounters). I saw movies like It and Thor: Ragnarok well before release. Marvel has very intense NDAs, by the way.
#56 Spidey Extra
I didn’t sign an NDA, but this reminds me of the time that I was an extra in Spiderman starring Toby Maguire. I’m on camera in the “world unity festival” scene. I didn’t get paid, but I got a free Subway sandwich for lunch. A guy I came with got asked to put on a chef’s hat and do a costumed role for $100, which he took, but he didn’t end up on-screen in the final version of the movie. After the movie came out on DVD, my parents called me one day saying they had found me in the crowd by pausing the movie one frame at a time.
#57 Surgical Flukes?
As a veterinarian, I believe that students who graduated from schools that still teach using “terminal” surgeries, where the animal is euthanized after the surgery is finished, produced better and more practice-ready surgeons than schools that don’t use that method. In most cases, vet students today graduate having only done a couple of spays. That means when I’m doing a splenectomy, or a bloat correction, or a Cesarean section on your dog, it might be the first time, and I might be doing it alone with my textbook open or YouTube playing.
#58 A Sad Secret To Keep
The company I worked for had major layoffs and I was reassigned to a new group. I was super excited to have survived the cut but then on my first day in the new role, I was asked to sign an NDA. The large big-box retailer I worked for was outsourcing some service in their stores and my job was going away but I couldn’t tell anyone until it was publicly announced weeks later.
#59 Inventor Pride
I’ve signed numerous NDAs to put inventors and programmers at ease but honestly, there’s nothing to reveal that was worthy of it. Essentially, new tech people think their idea is so valuable that everyone needs to sign NDAs or we’ll take their idea and make all the money they were going to make. This is a ridiculous notion. The amount of work needed to make it a success is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Only the inventor is going to care enough about it to make it happen if it ever does.
#60 Uh Oh
I sold some equipment to a company once. It wasn’t anything really secret, they just treat all their projects as if they’re classified. Actually, I don’t even know if the NDA technically had an end date. Huh. Someone’s pounding on my door.