durantelallera / Shutterstock
People do bad things every day. The news is full of horrible acts done all over the place. There are those though that stand out as being so disgusting that they stay in people's minds. People in the following stories share appalling acts they've witnessed people do.
(Content has been edited for clarity)
"I was standing with my father on a train platform in Lao Cai, a city on the Vietnamese/Chinese border. Next to us, an Australian woman was trying to negotiate down the price of a shoe-shine with a local boot-black, a boy perhaps eight years of age. The boy pointed out the obvious: his asking price of 500 ng (about 3¢ US at the time) was rock bottom, not by his policy but by the fact that the Vietnamese government did not print any bill smaller than the 500.
That stymied the Australian for only a moment. 'Shine my shoes and his,' she insisted, indicating at me --- a person she had never seen before in her life, but, by virtue of my white face, apparently more worthy of her largess than this starving child.
I indicated that my shoes --- which were plastic sandals of the sort Americans call 'flip-flops' and Australians call 'thongs' --- could not be shined, so the woman moved on to the only other Westerner on the platform, and forced this poor kid to clean my father's suede athletic shoes as well as her expensive pumps.
(My father, in a memorable act of grace, tipped the boy 15,000 ng, one US dollar.)"
Tomas Skopal / Shutterstock
"I had taken a year off college and was working at a restaurant and met this girl who was also taking a year off and was working there. We became good friends and went out several times a week after work.
She came from a wealthy family, as her father was in a very successful law firm. This was her first time away from home and in 'the big city' (Boston). While I also grew up wealthy things had changed, unfortunately, and I was now required to work to help pay for my education.
She had a conservative Catholic upbringing and had a strong sense of how people should act and what their responsibilities were, etc. She believed in 'what was the right way to do things' and was not very accepting of people who deviated from social norms.
I, on the other hand, grew up liberal and was receptive to alternative lifestyles. This made for heated and interesting debates over a drink, especially when I pointed out inconsistencies in her actions. For example, 'where is your sense of responsibility?' I would ask when she would go out with many guys just to do it with them and never pick up the phone when they called nor had any desire to talk to them again? She, of course, would argue against what she perceived as my inconsistencies. It was in this way of this-for-that that we each explained and defended our sense of morality. This went on for about a year, and we were great platonic friends.
Until one night.
My phone rang and when I picked up the phone I heard uncontrollable sobbing on the other end. 'Could you please come over? I really need you.' I replied that I could and as soon as I hung up went downstairs and took three buses (taxis were too expensive) and got to her apartment as soon as possible.
When she opened the door she immediately turned and walked towards the couch, slumping deep in its cushions as if she wanted to be consumed by it. She grabbed a pillow and covered her face with it, as I heard the muffled cries coming out from behind it. As I walked in I was enveloped by an all-encompassing blackness. All the blinds were down and there was no light in the apartment.
If depression had a face, then this must surely be it.
I sat down and asked what happened. After much hawing and hesitation, she finally blurted out 'I have cancer. She then proceeded to tell me that she needs an operation and that she doesn't want to tell her parents. Furthermore, she needs $500 to help with the 'operation' and could she possibly borrow it from me.
There was no hesitation in my mind as I told her, of course, she could. We met later the next day, and I gave her the $500.
Fast forward a year now. I am back in school in Boston, and my friend seems to have 'beaten' cancer and has returned to her parents' home in Upstate New York. We talk on the phone once in a while, though it's becoming less and less frequent. I haven't gotten my $500 back and, needing the money for school (and with $500 being worth a lot more at that time), I ask her to send me the money.
She doesn't. I ask a few more times. She doesn't. Then she stops taking my calls. I decide the best alternative is to go to her hometown and sue her in Small Claims Court. It was a bad idea but I didn't know better at the time.
So I take a bus to her town, see her at Small Claims Court, win the case, go back to Boston, and I still don't get my money.
A few months later I call her and her father answers. He tells me, 'If you ever call here again I will sue you for harassment.' I hang up the phone and realize that I will never see my money.
As years go by and I think about this incident, it isn't the money that is the enduring memory, though at the time it was. It's the memory of the late night conversations we had, where we each, so youthful at 22 years of age, were defining ourselves. Who we were was marking the hands on the face of a clock, as we explained our morals and what they meant to us. For hours. It just strikes me as a bit sad that most of that talk was in vain. Maybe I remember it because it was my 1st personal experience of seeing the wide valley that exists between what a person says and how they act. And I find it disconcerting.
But that's not the end of the story. I found out later that she never had cancer. She lied. The $500 was for an abortion."
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock
"I like to consider myself to be a pretty good judge of character. With that being said, I worked as a server in a restaurant a few years back, and there was a new guy that started. He seemed friendly and charismatic. A little too charismatic.
He was working there for a short period of time, about three months, before the baby that his girlfriend had, sadly, passed away a few days after being born. He showed up to work the next day. This struck me as odd. I didn't give it too much thought and offered my condolences. I told myself people grieve in different ways. And it's true. They do.
A few days later, I was walking by a table that he was waiting on, and I swear I heard him telling the people at this table that his newborn passed away. What??! Did I hear that correctly?? I mean...it's not completely unethical, but I just found it inappropriate. Anyway, maybe I just misheard him.
Fast-forward another couple of days. He was waiting on a table near a POS. The guests were done and looked like they're ready to leave.
This server walked up to the table to took the check presenter with the closed out tab, opened it in front of the guests as they are putting their jackets on...looked at the tab, looked back up at them, and said, 'You know what, guys? My baby just died.' Those were his exact words.
Apparently, he wasn't happy with the tip that they left him. My jaw dropped as I, without hesitation, made eye contact with him. Then he smiled at the customer and said, 'Have a great night, guys'
I could not believe what I just heard. I told my manager, who was also a good friend of mine at the time, about the situation that just happened. She slowly shook her head and said, 'This guy. We've been asking him all week to stop doing that.'
Apparently, there had already been quite a few customer complaints regarding this situation. As I said, people grieve in different ways, but it just looked odd from where I was standing."
kennethkonica / Flickr
"It was quite a while back, maybe 2005. Close to my parents, there's a major road, connecting a few suburbs. About in the middle there's a high school, and one night there was an accident - a motorbike jumped the robot and rode into a car, a man with his son inside. His son died right there.
Not sure if it's only here in my country, but when there's an accident the family puts flowers down where you died, usually against the fence or by the closest lamppost.
Great, so newspapers and flowers later, and it is a busy walkway with the school there. So the mother of the child starts walking up and down past the flowers, crying and close to hysteria about her son who died, the son being the only breadwinner, how will they live what will they eat. So, of course, people started making donations, cash here and there. This was a rich school; there were talks about ZAR500. (To put that in relation, the estimate you'd give a parking attendant or a beggar at that time would be about ZAR5.)
This went on for a week or so, there was even an article in the newspaper about this, describing the poor mother and her status.
Until finally the real mother read the article and rocked up at the scene. All I know is that there were words, and the police were called, very little more than that was unclear.
But that sickened me. How can you be so desperate, and spit in Karma's face and take benefit from another person's dead child."
Pixabay / Pixabay
"A parent is killing her child, very slowly. And there isn't anything we can do about it. Both my parents work in education. The other day my mom came home really distressed. In the preschool she worked at, there was a child who showed up every day and was very fat at 4 years old.
Sometimes kids are unhealthy for a little bit, that's just the way they are, but this wasn't the same. He opened his lunchbox. He had a 16oz. Dr. Pepper and a sandwich that was made by putting a chocolate bar in between two pieces of bread and grilling it.
And that's it. Every single day.
My mom, along with a preschool teacher confronted the poor kid's mother at the end of the day. What did the mom do? She yelled and verbally abused both of the women and claimed that she could feed her kid whatever she wants. It's her business, and he likes his lunch.
They couldn't change her mind. That kid will probably be unhealthy for the rest of his life, which won't be very long if she doesn't change his meal plan.
The most morally disgusting thing I've ever seen is complete and utter child abuse due to pure ignorance. It's sickening that we can't do anything about it either."
UfaBizPhoto / Shutterstock
"I was a typical introverted engineering-physics student with a small circle of close friends but challenged when it came to any wide circle of friends. I was working many hours evenings and weekends and living frugally as almost all money available eaten by tuition and rent. I didn't have a girlfriend due to the combination of lack of free time and awkwardness at parties where there were a large number of loud strangers and drinking involved.
My junior year, a girl starts to spend time with me when I am outside of my apartment relaxing. After a few weeks, I think she likes me, and we go out to dinner and a long walk through a nearby park. Afterward, come back, we sit on the couch, drink, I give her a massage, and she goes home. End of a nice date, maybe beginning of a nice relationship. So, I think.
Four weeks later, I received threatening letters from the university administration telling me I was accused of assault by a mysterious unknown party. Through the process of elimination (I only knew the one girl), I immediately understood who had to be involved. A long involved administrative hearing process followed with threats of expulsion from the university - never mind that I had already paid nearly three years of tuition there. Luckily I learned early on from the advice of a roommate, who was in law school at the time, to be quiet and not say anything about anything to anyone. The panel found there was no basis on which to base anything and eventually concluded they could draw no conclusions about the accusation and closed the matter.
A few months after the panel came to that conclusion. I found out accidentally from other people who knew the girl in question that she had first attempted to approach the local city police department with the accusation, and they told her that, without some behavioral or physical evidence (we never became intimate, she never went to a hospital), they simply could not pursue it. It was clear I had dodged a bullet. Had I made the mistake of believing she was interested in me and pursued an intimate relationship, I would have been in deep trouble, and would likely have wasted all my tuition and three years of my life at that university, never graduating.
I finished my junior year, went into senior year and finally came to the end, only two more courses from graduation. I spent the summer after senior year near the university to finish the last two courses and to get the diploma. I rented a room at the top of a large house from a friend who was away that summer. In that house, in another large bedroom below mine, lived a young couple. He worked as a short-order cook at the restaurant of a nearby high-end hotel. She sat around the house all day doing nothing and playing with a stray kitty she had adopted at some point before I moved in. In the evening all their friends would show up, and they would sit in that large downstairs bedroom partying with the door closed until the smoke shot into every corner of the house. I would get up before the sun rose, go to work, come back around noon, prepare my classwork for the next few hours into late afternoon, go to the corner food cart for dinner and head to class in the early evening. So, I was home with the directionless girl from noon until late afternoon. She was polite, friendly and had no one to chat with during the day, so we used to talk a lot about everything during that summer.
About half-way through the summer, she made it clear to me that she was interested in having a relationship with me. She was beautiful, but, even though I still had no girlfriend, I wasn't in any way interested. First, she was jobless and directionless, sitting around the house all day doing nothing. Second, she was living with another man who I am sure would look on this whole thing unfavorably. Third, the large elephant in the room - after the experience the prior year of being accused of assault, and only dodging that bullet because I didn't get intimate, I was never ever going to put myself in the situation of losing all the tuition I had paid and the years I had invested to not graduate. No way was the thought of having a relationship worth the kind of risk that involved losing all of that.
Nothing happened. The summer ended. I graduated, got my diploma, moved away from that city and moved on with my life. One year later, I ran into the friend from whom I had rented the room that summer. We spent hours reminiscing. He recounted what happened to everyone that lived in that house after I moved away. It turns out that the beautiful, vivacious girl, from which I had walked away, was pregnant at that time, but did not tell anyone since her parents would have been furious with her. The child was her boyfriend's, but the boyfriend was a floater who couldn't hold down any job for more than six months and only knew how to work in restaurants as a short-order cook (not any skilled chef).
This girl was STRATEGICALLY LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO BECOME THE ACCUSED DADDY to support her. This was in the early 1990s when there was no DNA testing available to prove or disprove a paternal relationship. There were remote sort-of kind-of blood protein tests that could be used, but their predictive power was so low that they were not admitted in family court to prove or disprove anything (again, my good friend and former roommate who is now a practicing divorce attorney as the source of this info). Simply because I had learned a valuable lesson the prior year about random girl that might take an interest in someone who was way too busy with his life to have a girlfriend (and was not helped by being a little awkward around women I didn't know), I dodged the biggest bullet of my life and was not roped into an 18 year long prison sentence of raising someone else's child at a point in my life when I wasn't ready to do so, given all of the amazing things I have seen and opportunities I have discovered since that time."
Anatoliy Karlyuk / Shutterstock
"I know a guy, let's call him Brian, who is married with four children.
Brian and his wife are able-bodied parents, fairly educated, but jobless. For the longest time, I wondered how he was able to raise four kids and dress so well.
I was told that about four months ago, he broke his arm while riding a decked out/modified electric scooter which supposedly cost him $8,000 to put together.
He came out for drinks with us when his cast came off and was giving us the rundown on what exactly happened and the series of operations he had to endure.
In that conversation, Brian somehow decided to let loose that he was given medical leave for six months. I was confused and asked why he needed it since he wasn't working.
It turns out that to receive government handouts, he needed it as proof that he was unable to work.
He then went on a tirade declaring that since it was 'free' money, he should just take whatever he could from the government, for as long as he can, especially since they weren't doing a 'good job' of running the country - whatever that meant.
I was perturbed and politely trailed off the conversation. I later confided in another friend who had known him for a longer time and found out that tragically, none of his children had benefited much from the handouts and were, more often than not, fully dependent on hand-me-downs, diaper samples and formula milk powder that others were kind enough to donate.
I was disgusted and left the get-together shortly after.
The next morning, Brian texted our Whatsapp group chat and informed us that he got into an accident while riding a cab home.
He mentioned that his other arm was broken in the accident."
antoniodiaz / Shutterstock
"The absolute worst behavior I saw was when I was growing up in a small town in a rural part of the UK. In these places, like all similar communities worldwide, everyone knows everyone else's business.
A poor woman had lost her son who had passed away in his late 30s. It was (is still) a small community and a lot of the townsfolk were at the funeral. Taking advantage of this, a particularly nasty individual decided to burgle the grieving mother's house during the funeral service.
Fortunately, he was caught and spent time in jail, but that doesn't atone for taking advantage of someone at their weakest point."
LeNislavAx / Shutterstock
"I was sitting on some benches with a friend at one of the metro stations in Munich.
It was near 5 a.m., and we were heading back to our student dormitories after an exchange party.
There was a man pushing a trolley stacked with crates and crates of pretzels that towered above him and subsequently blocked his vision of sight.
It was thus of little surprise that the trolley eventually toppled over and the crates fell onto the ground with a tumultuous sound. Pretzels were scattered all over the ground.
At that moment, I immediately stood up. My first instinct was to help.
Nonetheless, my friend, without as much of a glance at the poor man now scrambling to pick up the pretzels, called out to me, 'Why are you staring at people? Don't be rude.'
Apparently, it didn't occur to him that I wanted to help, or perhaps he has projected his own belief to refrain from interfering in any matters that do not concern him onto me. He once bluntly put it across to me, 'I don't help just anyone even if I could. Unless that person is a friend.'
I told him, 'I am going to help.'
I went towards the man who was still picking up the pretzels and helped him to replace the crates on the trolley.
To my dismay and befuddlement, nobody at the train station bothered to help. Nobody stepped forward to pick up the scattered pretzels. Nobody cared.
My friend continued sitting on the bench, unmoved and unperturbed."
rebbeccadevitt0 / Shutterstock
"In Ireland, they have these teenage discos. They're brilliant and allow kids from all over to socialize in a genuine nightclub with club music, etc. The only difference between the teenage disco was no drinking was allowed.
I was 13 years old, out with the kids from my area. We headed for the bathroom and as usual, there was almost a crowd to get in. Eventually, we got in, I was at a urinal when I overheard a Belfast accent.
Now, Belfast boys were known for fighting in groups, knives, blades, etc. So I kept my head down and finished. I walked back to let my friend go when I noticed they seemed to be picking on a fella and wouldn't let them out of a cubicle.
It was almost humiliating to watch. I walked out. I stood outside the door and mentioned to two of my friends if they were up for a 'scrap' (fight) one laughed looked in and saw what was going on and shrugged it off. There were probably eight or more Belfast lads in the toilet, not to mention how many others in the club that arrived in buses.
I could hear the smack of an open hand slap and cackles of the Belfast lads, and I snapped. I walked in like a little hard man, walked up to the biggest one I saw, jumped up and head-butted him, within seconds the toilets were full of teenagers punching and kicking everyone.
I remember something cold on my arm, my chest and just below my right jaw bone! It felt like the fight was going on forever but I was dragged out by a bouncer, then lying on the floor and everyone screaming. The music cut off and lights came on. I could feel myself all sticky and I was trying to get away. Then I noticed the bouncer's hands were covered in blood and his shirt was all little droplets.
I blacked out and woke up with paramedic, police, and friends wheeling me out of the club into an ambulance.
I had been stabbed/slashed seven times!
It was a foolish thing to get involved in---looking back, but I don't regret what I did. I did it for the right reasons.
After I'd been stitched and stapled up, a blood transfusion and some rest, I went around to my dad and brothers. They told what had happened and that police wanted to speak to me. So naturally, 'I can't remember' was my answer to everything the police asked. The next evening was Saturday. My dad was speaking to a man and woman over by the door of the room and the woman was crying.
My dad introduced me to them. They told me that their son was being bullied and it was the kid I'd helped.
They kept in contact with my dad. The boy's father got my oldest brother a brilliant job over it all and to this day we're all still in contact.
It turned out, the bullied boy was born with a hole in his heart. He lives a normal life, but one can tell there's something up with him medically and I say that respectfully. The boys that I'd been fighting with had been bullying and mocking him for years. That had been his first night out and he was out with his cousin and his friends, but I guess they got separated in the crowds.
Bullying is something that's always absolutely disgusted me, never mind someone with a disability or medical condition! The boy had an operation recently, so he's taking it easy, but we're currently planning a night out together to go 'womanizing' for his birthday!
Despite bullying, mocking, health issues, trouble socializing, and all the rest of the various medical details, he soldiers on through life with a brilliant attitude towards life. When life gets this kid down, he gets right back up and goes twice as hard!"