It turns out that insider knowledge can come in handy, especially when you work in the insurance industry, a sunscreen factory, or a vanilla distributor. Here are some handy hacks from Redditors in the know.
The Internet's Best Life-Changing Tips Based on — What Else? — Experience
Buy Off-Brand Sunscreen
Redditor @Ramtakwitha2 cautions those outside of the sunscreen industry: “If … there seems to be nothing different except the label on the bottle, the generic is probably the exact same thing and from the same factory, and may even be the same batch as the name brand.” Doubt it? “Literally, all it took was flipping one switch on the machine I operated to switch from making [name brand here] to [store's own brand here], all it did was switch what label it applied.”
Make Your Home Accessible Before You Need It
Noting that they work in accessibility, @HipityHopityHotSauce urged other Redditors to make sure their homes are disability-friendly before it’s too late. “Put grab bars in your bathroom before you fall in the shower, not because you already had a fall in the shower.”
Don’t Make Bad Friends
While having standards in choosing friends probably isn’t covered in med school, one ER doc feels that it would keep a lot of people out of harm’s way. “I teach my kids — whatever your friends do to other people, they will eventually do to you,” explains @Tank3613.
Choose a Medical Power of Attorney Wisely
Ironically, @RN4237 doesn’t think a family member is a smart choice, instead recommending a friend or someone outside the family. “Discuss everything with them, and fill out a specific advanced directive (Mayo Clinic has a good one). No one wants to talk about death, but it is soooo important. Discuss living if you had to be on a ventilator, or never being able to eat again, or living the rest of your life in a nursing home.”
Don’t Buy the Expensive Vanilla
During the time @Artarous worked in vanilla manufacturing, they learned pricier doesn’t necessarily mean better — or even different. “That Trader Joe's vanilla you spend $15 for 8 oz of? You can buy 16 oz of the same exact thing from Costco under a different label for the same price. We probably made the exact same vanilla for roughly 30ish companies all selling it at different prices.”
Skip the Expensive Helicopter Tour
As a former paralegal at an insurance defense firm, @TrainwreckMooncake learned a depressing lesson. “At least in Hawaii, a lot of the helicopters aren't well maintained and there are a surprising amount of crashes they manage to keep quiet. One of the evidence exhibits I helped put together for one case was a picture the family had taken in front of the helicopter before they boarded it and were all killed when it crashed. That was almost 20 years ago and that one sticks with me.”
Don’t Accept Health Insurance Denials
Redditor @SmashLanding urges others to fight back (and hopefully save some money). “They (health insurance companies) will arbitrarily reject claims with no justification. This Redditor also says it’s best to check over bills to make sure the amount being requested is correct. “Iinsurance companies will always send you an Explanation of Benefits (EOB), which is not a bill, but has the amount that should appear on the bill. If there is any question in your mind about a bill, always compare the bill from the provider with the EOB.”
Expect Your Packages to Be Roughed Up
Having worked at FedEx Ground, Redditor @Sharp-Pop335 thinks everyone needs to stock up on bubble wrap, at least if they’re shipping anything. “Pack your s___ like it's gonna get dropped off a cliff. Stuff it with whatever, packing peanuts, expanding foam, bubble wrap.”
Skip the First Run of Anything
Being an early adopter may not pay off in anything other than bragging rights. Redditor @gloggs, who claimed to build and maintain automation, warned readers, “Employees need time to learn how to assemble the product properly and trades need time to work out the kinks.”
Don’t Do Methamphetamines
A clinical social worker, an ER registered nurse, and an inpatient mental health worker all said one thing — meth is a hard pass.
Don’t Get Anything Framed at Michaels or Hobby Lobby
A former Michaels employee, Redditor @RedEyesAndChiliFries urged others to stay away if they want their artwork or mementos to last. “You don't want college kids (not like me, because I actually tried to do a good job) or their ilk, handling your artwork, or collectibles.” Michaels wasn’t the only subpar framer. “Don't buy frames from Hobby Lobby (they're usually warped or low quality), or have them frame anything. They're just as bad.”
Don’t Get Coffee or Tea on a Flight
While you might think the water in a hot drink will kill any germs, Redditor @TopTear5385 warns that isn’t the case. “I’m an airline pilot, and that hot water comes from the ‘potable water tank.’ Never gets cleaned, only has cleaning tablets thrown in there every now and again and tested for E. coli.” Yeah, don’t ask for a glass of water, either.
Never Buy a Hamster
Redditor @Angelisaurus was a pet store worker for several years, and learned one critter was not as cute is it looked. “No single animal bit as much or a fraction as hard as the godd___ hamsters. So many parents would come in looking for a furry little friend for their sweet Jimmy, and I'd do everything in my power to steer them towards the guinea pigs, the mice, the rats. No, Jimmy wants a … hamster, and he wants to hold it, please. Jimmy gonna learn today. I'm sorry, Jimmy.” Guinea pigs are looking better all the time.