Reddit is a treasure trove, for real. There is nothing better than getting lost in some random Reddit thread you’d literally NEVER think about, and do a deep-dive into a topic that, yes, actually, is super interesting. You know, like non-disclosure agreements. Yawn? Not so much.
This Reddit thread user, Gabz09, asked people for the scoop. The tea. The dish.
Here’s what the previously silenced folks had to say. On NASA. And Betty Crocker. The government. And million-dollars businesses:
“Moments after I was unceremoniously fired because my tech skills were found to be insufficient, the bosses who fired me demanded to know the whereabouts of a hugely important computer file I had worked on. I refused to help them. I even cited the exact language of the NDA I was compelled to sign. “I am prohibited from disclosing details of my employment with anyone, including past and current employees of the company,” I expounded, adding “So ask someone who works here, because I don’t” It was a great f*ck-you moment that I still cherish five years later, But now I think I can disclose the truth: I only hid behind the NDA language because I had no clue where to find their damn computer file.or even where to look. I suck with computers.” —ALinLOSANGELES
“The cake/cupcake shop I used to work for claimed everything was homemade, but used Pillsbury cake mix as a base.”—idrawstone
“My graphic designer best friend won my town’s “design the centennial logo” contest, despite having never set foot in the town. I worked for the radio station, and just did an interview with one of the organizers, where he lamented that there weren’t very many entries. So I called my friend and said, “Want in on this?” He said, “Sure!” As he lived on the other side of the country at the time, I spent the next day texting him photos of the town for inspiration. Anyway, when he won and they found out he was a professional graphic designer who lived on the other side of the country, they made him and me sign NDAs because the town was afraid people would think they brought in a ringer.”—originalchaosinabox
“I dug up some (ancient) bones, gold, and Mycenaean tombs! I couldn’t discuss the finds until the institution who ran the archaeological dig could publish the data. You can read about it here! Edit to add: I’m a classics student — not the one running the whole dig, but my role in it was very much legal and official lol. We knew to dig there because there was another tomb next to it, and it’s located near a big Mycenaean Bronze Age palace. I only dug there for one summer but it was a blast — if you’re interested in archaeology, you should see if there are any local groups that you can volunteer with!”—caravaggiho
“I Learned Silver Facepalm I was a contractor for NASA. I still fully support the agency, but I was extremely bugged when I learned that each separate NASA center (e.g., JPL, Kennedy, Ames, Goddard) hides many of its inventions and breakthroughs from the other centers so that when HQ is ready to assign a big mission (and a lot of dollars) to one center, they have a better chance to compete over the others. “Look what we invented! Ames can’t do this over there! Give us the next moon orbiter!” The downside is that there is a ton of reinvention and duplicated efforts going on. Sometimes years of work go down the drain when another center does the same thing faster. My perspective was: you all work for NASA. Share knowledge, collaborate. I was frequently ordered to tone down anything revealing when speaking to other centers.”—DrunkThrowsMcBrady
“As a lawyer, I’ve viewed a lot of these in tort settlements. The most common use of the NDA is to keep the award amount quiet so everyone won’t sue the company hoping to get that sweet, sweet settlement money.”—gud_spelller
“A ‘tort’ is a kind of cake, generally made with Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines cake mixes, rarely made from scratch anymore. A tort settlement is simply a small community of bakers who specialize in making torts. Try and keep up, please. ETA: ‘Tortoise’ means something cake-ish, from the french in the same etymological fashion as ‘turquoise’ means something turkish-ish.”—boogertom
“I used to do data analysis of revenue management for some big companies. Many companies have no clue about their data or their revenue streams. I’m talking several million dollars of revenue disappearing in the pipeline and no one knowing what happened with it, or even caring really. There were multiple times I had to inform clients that we had huge gaps in their costs and we needed to find the missing numbers somewhere in order to make our final reports correct and was met with the (paraphrased) reply: just sprinkle the missing costs over the existing one. We just want the final total to be correct.
All the companies cared about if the amount of money they have at the end of the year is higher than at the beginning and anything that happens in between is inconsequential. I objected at first to my bosses, saying that what we were doing was incorrect, but they said to just do as the client said. In the end, I got disillusioned and whenever our clients came with requests that made no mathematical or logical sense, I’d just execute as requested and let their analysts figure out later that the analysis they paid 6 figures for was basically nonsense. I didn’t care, because I had documentation of all their requests and my objections which were thoroughly ignored. I had a few cases where clients came back disgruntled several months down the line after some in-house analyst had done a deep dive of their data and came up with objections that I had pointed out months before. I’d usually dig up the relevant emails and clear my name.
My choice of action was to tell them to pound sand, but my bosses always bent over backwards for clients, so we’d have to do the cleanup I anticipated. In the end I learned most of our economy is held together by ductape and wishful thinking. At most 10% of people working at big companies are competent and carry the bulk of the work and rarely are the competent ones the ones in charge.”—Abell370
“You know NDAs are only good if you have the money to sue? Worked with a company that didn’t pay me, so I told them their NDA didn’t apply. They threaten to sue. My response “You can’t even afford to pay me, you sure as hell can’t afford to sue.”—IamAWorldChampionAMA
“Well this is already public knowledge, and they forgot to have me sign an NDA anyway, but Savannah College of Art and Design’s omudsman Sofia Bagnoli (the independent person who’s supposed to represent students in cases of unfair treatment by the school) married one of the school’s vice presidents to and is now Sofia Alletto. It’s definitely a conflict of interest but she’s still serving as “independent” ombudsman, and currently refusing to help students get any kind of refund now that all their classes are online and they don’t have access to the expensive equipment their expensive tuition is supposed to be paying for.”—dmsfx