People Who Are No Longer Bound by Non-Disclosure Agreements Open Up About Business Secrets
by Matthew Gilligan
I’ve never worked at a job where I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement, so I’m excited to see what these folks had to say about the business secrets that they learned over the years.
And I think you’ll be impressed by what they had to say.
Let’s hear about some business secrets that most folks out there are totally clueless about.
“That married grocery store manager in his late 40’s was , indeed, having s** with that 17 year old courtesy clerk in the compressor room.
This was 15 plus years ago when I was a Person In Charge, and not yet a full Assistant Store Manager. Our store in the backroom had a couple of rooms upstairs: a large room that housed all of our electrical breakers and back up generators, and a room that housed all of our compressors that kept our freezers and coolers running. Both were locked at all times for security reasons. They were accessible only through the backroom.
The 17 year old courtesy clerk (bagger), had worked there for a while. She was, uh, not the best worker. She had a habit of disappearing for a half hour or hour at a time. I, and the other PIC’s complained and tried discipline, but the store manager blocked it. So, we just dealt with it. Yes, she was an attractive blonde.
I was in charge one night and we got an alarm that one of the compressors was low. It was my job to check the level, record the compressor number, and turn it in. When I went up to the room, the door was propped open with a bucket. I assumed whoever worked in the room last left it open. If you have never been in a compressor room before, I have to tell you that it is LOUD! Our store had several diesel engines that powered the compressors.
I proceed in to the back of the room, come around a corner to see the girl, not quite naked, but not fully clothed, being…serviced by our store manager (who had left for the day hours ago). Neither saw me and I hightailed it out of there.
I wrestled with what to do. I was worried about my career at the time, so I called the security hotline and made an anonymous call and told them in vague terms what happened and that they should contact me about details. I’m 100% certain that they knew it was me that called.
A couple of days later, the store manager is suspended, and I’m interviewed, the Assistant Store Manager is interviewed, and the PIC’s. They tell us not to discuss it, so of course we did. I was a little late to the party. Almost everyone knew.
The store manager would use his store keys to come into the backroom, meet the courtesy clerk, and then would hook up in the compressor room. She was not the first teenager he had done this with at this store and others.
They fire the store manager, and like an idiot, he sues. Dozens of people are deposed, NDA’s are drawn up and signed. He thinks better of it, drops the suit and that’s the last I ever heard of him.
The girl quit right after the store manager was suspended.”
“I worked at a small bakery in New York City when I was younger.
Every morning the bakery would take their day old cup cakes and deliver them to a tour company that did S** and the City tours.
The tour company would pass our cupcakes off as cupcakes from Magnolia, a significantly much more popular bakery.”
I always wondered.
“The book you’re reading might only be a “bestseller” because the author had enough money to buy thousands and thousands of copies, have them shipped to a warehouse for storage, and eventually destroyed.”
The pretzel world.
“When i was fired from Auntie Anne’s in 2010, I signed a 10 year non-compete/NDA contract, promising not to detail the baking secrets or work for another pretzel establishment.
Well that ended this year so now I can run out and start a pretzel store because the secret I was keeping was making pretzels literally requires 2 products, one of them being water and the other a large bag of pretzel meal/dust/powder.
Quite literally anyone with $2500 can start a pretzel stand and make perfectly fine pretzels, it’s not difficult whatsoever.”
“I used to work for a large gas station chain.
I worked at its warehouse where it creates a lot of the donuts. The room was really hot so we were always sweating. There’s some machines where the donuts get glazed in chocolate. They’re these small machines they look almost like a bbq grill.
They always wanted us to be super fast glazing the donuts. Working in a hot room and working at super fast speeds it was natural for a lot of people’s sweat to just drip in the chocolate underneath us.
Never eat the chocolate donuts from a gas station.”
Behind the times.
“People wouldn’t believe how old-fashioned IT systems are behind big online shops etc. Like anyone with decent IT skills would be able to crack them.
Some of them are 30 years old command-liners that are only in place because everything got build around them and have never been replaced.”
“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.”
“McDonald’s made me sign a NDA regarding a robbery that took place during a graveyard shift.
They made me take a f**king polygraph test because they thought my ex and I were involved due to the simple fact that I had stopped by that day to pick up some documents. (I was a manager, I had business to do).”
“The owner of the company is an absolute psycho.
They have been trying to hire developers for years now, and despite paying really well, they can’t keep them.
I quit after 3 days. I was trying to help out on a high priority bug on my 3rd day, when I said “all the requests to X endpoint are failing” to which he replied “I see 1 out of ~500 requests succeeding, does that sound like “all” to you?”.
He then called a company wide all hands meeting, and proceeded to tell everyone how important it is that we all speak carefully, and that we don’t need f**king retards like me lying to the company making it harder to diagnose issues.
I told him to go f**k himself and quit on the spot.
Turns out the company has a big history of this. My boss who had been there for 2 weeks had tried to quit the week prior, but was convinced to stay on to meet me. He left a few days after me.
Apparently a few people got together and tried to tell the owner that he needs to watch how he talks to people, and he blew up on them about it too. I later heard that I was something like the 10th person to quit within their first month in a row!
The sad truth is that the dude actually seems pretty smart, but has been acting like a megalomaniac while he pisses his money away and abuses his employees that are for whatever reason unwilling to leave.”
“The $100 Million dollar electronic component broker that I worked for shafted me out of $900k (!!!) in commissions when I was in my early 20s.
They assumed I would not have enough money to fight them in court and they took their shot. I got a lawyer on contingency, sued them, and took home a $500k settlement in 2000.
The 20yr NDA recently expired and they can continue to kiss my a** until their graves.”