Have you ever seen a co-worker walk into work wearing the exact same tie (excluding those required to wear uniforms)? Have you ever earned respect from your boss because they happened to be in the same fraternity or sorority as you in college? Have you ever been in a meeting in which you and your sworn office enemy happened to shout out the exact same idea at the exact same time, before awkwardly battling over who should take credit?
We live in a small world, but the workplace is even smaller. Thus, the odds of perplexing occurrences of unexpected similarities are greater and, hopefully, make the daily grind a little less of a drag. Members of the working class who claim to have experience such circumstances took to Reddit to share their craziest coincidences they encountered on the clock.
Say, wouldn't it be crazy if one of these stories turned out to be yours? What a coincidence?
"For context, my boyfriend was adopted at birth. He knows his biological parents' names, but had never met them.
About a year ago, I started working in a new pharmacy. A week in, a man came in who looked vaguely familiar and whose name was familiar, but I couldn't quite place. The next day I saw the name again and it clicked. I literally said 'HOLY POOP' at a volume definitely not appropriate for a pharmacy. He was my boyfriend's biological father. He looked familiar because he looks like my boyfriend.
The other people in the pharmacy had never seen him before and he had never filled a prescription at this pharmacy before. I saw him multiple times over the course of a month due to a short term health issue. I haven't seen him since.
Due to privacy laws, I couldn't tell my boyfriend that his biological father was a patient, but I did bring up reaching out to his biological parents. He had mentioned it before but had never acted on it, but this time he did. He had recently taken a 23andme and he decided to give them both a heads-up. He sent Facebook messages to both parents.
Here's where it gets crazy. His biological father never responded, but his biological mother replied IMMEDIATELY. The message he sent was along the lines of, 'If I'm a secret, I understand. Make sure your family doesn't use 23andme to keep it that way.' His biological mom replied that he was never a secret, that she'd been waiting 30 years for him to reach out, and the whole family had been keeping tabs on him discretely. He was inundated with friend requests from aunts, uncles, cousins, and a half brother.
His biological mom then mentioned that while she lived abroad she was actually stateside for three more days as she wrapped up the affairs of her mother, who had died two weeks prior. When asked where she was, it turned out she was five miles away. We have moved across the country twice, don't live where we grew up, and have never talked to this person before. After waiting 30 years, my fiancé was only five miles away from his birth mother on one of only a handful of days she was going to be there.
They were able to meet and he found a lot of comfort and closure in meeting her. She went back abroad and they're still in touch, but he's never been more sure that his adoptive parents are, in every sense of the words, his true parents."
"In college, I got in a fight one night at about 3 a.m. in my neighborhood with a random guy who was mouthing off in my taxi. I have no idea who he was or remember what he looked like. I had a dog tag necklace that had my brother's initials and mine on them. I never took them off for years. Apparently, they came off in the fight in the street. I went back at about 4 a.m. with a flashlight and searched for an hour, but they never turned up.
The next night, I was standing outside the bar I work at before we opened, having a smoke, and the streets were pretty empty. The bar was about four miles from where the fight took place. A random guy walked by and his shirt was inside out, so I decided to do him a solid and stop him to tell him. He had no idea and said thanks for looking out. He took his shirt off right there in the middle of the street and guess what was hanging around his neck? My dog tags.
He said they were on his friend's coffee table that afternoon and he took them. I took them back, obviously. In less than 24 hours, the dog tags found their way back to me somehow. Crazy."
"I run a small company creating and selling software for small businesses. About a year ago, I was looking for a temp office for a few weeks while we were transitioning from one permanent office to another. I only needed a few desks and I found a guy online ('Ben') who had a few desks to rent out in his own small office in a building full of small business offices. We agreed to meet at 2 p.m. for me to view the space.
Come 2 p.m. and I was downstairs in the lobby of the building. It was one of those buildings in which someone needed to ring you up, but because he didn't tell me what unit number he was in, I couldn't use the intercom. I only knew the floor. I texted and called him, but got no response. It was about 2:10 p.m. when someone walked into the building. It was obvious he was looking around for someone. I went up to him.
ME: 'Hey, would you happen to be Ben?'
BEN: 'Yeah! Are you "Nick"?'
BEN: 'Great. Sorry I'm a bit late. My last meeting ran over a little bit. Come with me, let's go up to my office.'
So, we got into the elevator and, while we were in the elevator, Ben made some small talk.
BEN: 'So, busy day so far?'
ME: 'Not really, I had a big night out the day before and I had nothing on this morning so I woke up at 1 p.m., got some lunch, and came here.
He kind of gave me a weird look and then it started to feel a bit awkward. OK, that was a bit weird but, whatever. We got to his office and it was super messy, I did not see any vacant desks anywhere. He sat down at his desk and pulled a chair for me. I sat down.
BEN: 'So, you're the website guy, right?'
ME: 'Yeah, I am.'
Most of the people we work with are pretty tech-illiterate, so I assumed he meant 'software.'
BEN: 'OK, well, we had a website guy before, but he was really bad and mucked us around. I'm hoping you're going to be better.'
ME: 'Uh... OK...'
BEN: 'Right. Well, how much did you say you charge again? We need this website pretty fast.'
At that point, I was pretty confused and had no idea what the heck was going on.
ME: 'Uh... sorry. I don't make websites, I sell business management software.'
BEN: 'What?? You said you're the website guy!'
ME: 'Well, yes, I have a website, but I don't CREATE websites for other people, I sell software.'
BEN: 'What??? Aren't you Nick??'
ME: 'Yes.... and aren't you Ben???'
We were both getting increasingly exasperated with each other.
ME: 'Sorry, but what did you think this meeting was about??'
BEN: 'For YOU to create ME a website for my restaurant!!'
ME: 'OK, sorry. This is a huge misunderstanding. My name IS Nick, but I came here to view office space for rent.'
BEN: 'I don't have extra office space!!'
ME: 'All right. OK... Well..., sorry about all this. So, I'm here to see a Ben for office space, but you're not that Ben, and you're here to see a Nick for a website, but I'm not that Nick.'
Ben didn't say anything, but just, kind of, looked at me, wide-eyed.
ME: 'OK, well, let's just go back downstairs and see if there's two people in the lobby.'
At that point, we both got up and started heading to the elevator. I checked my phone and I saw a few text messages from Ben, saying that he was there at the lobby. We went back downstairs to the lobby, where I saw two people waiting there. One of them was named Ben and one of them was named Nick. It turned out that two Ben's and two Nick's had a meeting booked at the same day and same time and both Ben's had an office on the same floor of the office building.
I could not even describe how trippy the whole experience was. The funniest part for me was the part in the elevator when I basically told him I was a lazy dolt who drank excessively when he thought I was the guy who was going to create his website."
"My old work once ran a Secret Santa the week before Christmas. It was a $10 limit and the person I was buying for I didn't know very well. I left my buying to the last minute because I just didn't know what to get her.
So I was in town and walking past some shops when, lo and behold, I saw an old copy of Oliver Twist in the window of the second hand book store. It just called to me, so I went in and picked it up. I checked the first page for the cost and, guess what? $10. Perfect.
Come the day of the Secret Santa, we were all opening our gifts, some 150 people. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw some people crowding around a woman who was crying. I kept listening and people were calling out for the person who was her Santa. I went over and revealed that it was me.
The lady I had bought for was crying and hugged me. She said 10 years earlier, her house burned down, along with all her of possessions. The book that I bought her, was her favorite and also the exact same edition with the exact same cover she remembered.
Because it was a secondhand book, it was even weathered in the same places she remembered. It was as if I had grabbed the book off her shelf before the fire and delivered it to her 10 years later."
"When I was about 12, I went to a summer camp on the coast of North Caroline where we learned about sailing and Jesus and stuff. I was a small kid, pretty reserved and didn't really get to know many people, and was kinda skittish about getting in the water, taking off my shirt in front of people (I was chubby), etc. My counselor was really cool and would always help me get up my courage. He called me 'little bro.'
He was this hippie guy who looked like the lead singer from Blind Melon and he had two pet iguanas. On one of the last nights of camp, I decided to go sit out by the shore after sunset, and I noticed down on the jetty my counselor was there smoking a 'stick.' I walked over and talked to him for a minute. He was a really cool guy.
Ten years later, I was working at a Mexican restaurant and, after I had been there a few months, they had me train a new guy. He looked to be about my age and had a shaved head like me. I taught him the ropes and we started hanging out after work at the local Buffalo Wild Wings. One night, the trivia question on the screen was about sailing. I was half in the bag, so I rambled about how I should have known the answer to that because I went to this summer camp when I was a kid. I went on to explain what my counselor was like, with the two pet iguanas, etc.
My friend turned to me and said, 'I can't believe you're saying what you're saying, bro. Ten years ago, I worked at that camp, and I had long hair at the time, and I had two pet iguanas. One was mine, one was my girlfriend's.'
Mind blown. But there was more.
After finding this out, he encouraged me to go back as a counselor, said it was such an awesome experience. I applied and he called up the camp director and put in a good word for me. I ended up working there for the summer. Every week, we had a new group of campers. On the last week, I decided to walk out to my old spot by the jetty and smoke my last 'stick.' As I stood there, one of my campers from that week, a small kid who didn't say much, and had to be encouraged a little to get in the water (just like I did), peeked out of the tree line by the shore and saw me standing on the jetty. He walked up, and we talked for a while. I hope he thought I was a really cool guy too."
"A few years back, while I was working in a little pub, a couple of two-seater tables next to one another were finishing up at the same time. I got them both their checks and both parties decided to split their bill. Upon trying to close them out, I realized that not only were the amounts split identically down to the cent, but each table had matching sets of cards, at least by the final four digits.
Table 1 had a charge of $28.79 on card ending 1000 and another for $28.78 on card ending 5008. Table 2's charges were identical, down to the cent and last four digits on both cards. I have never gotten over how unrealistically improbable it all was."
"I had just found out I was pregnant and was sitting, talking to my partner about names. We pretty quickly agreed on one we both loved if it was a boy. A few days later, I did a random day's work helping out a local company. As well as my pay, they gave me a small gift as a thank you. The brand name of the gift was the exact name we'd picked if we were going to have a boy, first name and surname. Not a known brand name, or even a particularly common first name. And of course, the baby was a boy."
"Sadly, a few years back, my wife's mother passed away from cancer. My wife was very close with her mother. They spoke multiple times a day, were always together, that sort of thing. Things happened very fast after the cancer diagnosis and my mother-in-law passed about a month later. My wife was, understandably, very distraught and it took a while for her to go back to work.
My wife works in the medical field and she verifies her patients by asking them their name and date of birth. On her first day back at work and her first patient of the day, my wife asked the patient for her date of birth. The patient, trying to be funny, rattled off a date that was obviously not the correct birth date. The weird part was, that birthday was my mother-in-law's birthday. Now, the patient was probably born in about 1970. My mother-in-law's birth year was 1939. The patient was just trying to be funny because every person that came into the room asked for her birthday. But the patient said my mother-in-law's birthday exactly to the day, month, and year. My wife was floored.
How did this patient randomly pick to make a joke about her birthday and then randomly pick my wife's deceased mother's birthday on the day my wife returned to work after her mother's passing? Coincidence? Communication from the afterlife? Personally, I think the latter."
"I’m a teacher and usually have music playing in the classroom as kids walk in. I had 'Smooth Criminal' by Michael Jackson playing, and a kid walked in saying, 'Whoa, this is the same song my iPod played as my alarm this morning.'
Less than a minute later, different kid walks in saying, 'Whoa, this is the same song my Sonos played as my alarm this morning.'
Of all the songs possible, me, Apple, and Sonos chose the same one on the exact same day."
"I had two new co-workers start in our division about five months apart last year. Co-worker 1's mom unfortunately passed away the week she started. Five months later, Co-worker 2 was hired and, a couple of weeks into the job, asked me for Co-worker 1's cellphone number so that she could run something by her. So, Co-worker 2 called Co-worker 1. Co-worker 1's husband answered the phone acting really weird, asking who it was, how she got Co-worker 1's phone number, asking if it was a prank.
It turned out that Co-worker 2 got assigned a new company cellphone. The number that got assigned to her was the recycled phone number from Co-worker 1's recently passed mother! So, when Co-worker 2 called Co-worker 1 for the first time, it popped up as if Co-worker 1's deceased mother was calling her from beyond the grave."
"When I was 18, I lived in a town a very long ways away from where I ended up moving. I struck up a friendship with this guy from work in that town. We played Halo, watched movies, and he was awesome. I ended up moving suddenly due to a family emergency and never got his contact information. I didn't even remember his name a decade later, but I thought of him often as he was an awesome guy through all the years.
Eleven years later, I was working at my job, carpooling with someone from my training class, and one night, he asked if I minded his roommate being in the car as he was going to take the car after we got off at work and use it for the night. He introduced us, I turned around and, in the back seat, was the guy from the town a very long ways away.
We reconnected immediately and now live together. He is my best friend, for sure, and the godfather to my children."
"My husband had emergency brain surgery 13 years ago. He went in complaining about headaches and they found a softball-sized benign tumor that had to be removed the next day.
Thirteen years later, I started a new job. I got to know one of my co-workers and it turned out that she graduated from high school with my stepbrother. I mentioned this to my stepmom, a radiologist, who asked if her dad was Dr. 'Lastname.'
Yes, he's her dad. And, of course, her dad is also the surgeon who removed the tumor from my husband’s head 13 years ago."
"I live in Australia. Some years ago, I went to live in Zurich, Switzerland, for 14 months for a job. I was taking over from someone else (let's call him MS) and he ran me through the job for the first two weeks.
Now, I have a very unusual name. When I Google my name, of the first result page, nine out of the ten search results are actually about me. Not because I'm famous, I just have a rare name. During those first two weeks when MS was introducing me to the job, I did just that, I googled my name.
The only entry that wasn't about me was about a character in fictional book, written by someone with the same name as MS, set in Zurich, Switzerland. The book had only just been released and ended up becoming a sizable hit in Switzerland."
"I was working at a climbing gym, and one summer day, a nice young lady started showing up. We hit it off and hung out a few times (climbing, hiking, and a few walks). There was definitely a little unspoken romantic tension, but both of us were in relationships, so nothing came of it. She was only in town for a few weeks so, when she left, that was that. This was before everyone had cell phones and social media.
Two years later, I had moved to the other side of the country and was working at an office job. One day, a woman I had never seen before in the office walked past me and we smiled broadly at each other. It took me a few minutes to figure out that it was the same woman! She was the masseuse who had come for employee appreciation day.
I went in for my massage, and while it was happening, I asked her if she figured it out yet. She said I looked familiar, but hadn't figured it out, so I tell her. Neither of us had any connection to either city, and yet there we were, meeting again in a completely different context, 3000 miles away. She gave me her number, we got together after work, and are now happily married 15 years later.
Just kidding. She invited me to come have dinner with her and her new husband. I declined and we never saw each other again."
"I worked for a television show, and the role sometimes involved running errands for the host or production staff. One run involved dropping a suit off at the host’s apartment with the doorman. A few months later, I was babysitting for a friend of a friend back home, and I felt like the apartment building looked oddly familiar.
I didn’t think much of it since there’s a million apartments in New York and it’s the same basic rotating door, marble tile, and elevator in most of the nicer buildings. However, when the mom came home at the end of my time babysitting, she told me about a couple celebrities who live in their building. Sure enough, my boss was one of them."
"Years ago, I was working in a local pub/night club and I was working down in the bottom bar, which was quiet and much more chilled out. I was talking to a guy at the bar. It was just small talk, at first. Then, he asked where I was from. I said the name of a village 10 miles away.
'Oh, I know it well,' he said. 'My grandmother lived there.'
I asked where and he said my street name. I asked which house, then he said my house number.
That was weird enough, but it got even weirder when I asked his name. His last name was familiar. I asked if he was related to a local artist with the same name. He said he was her son. I then proceeded to tell him that, not only did I live in his grandmother's old house, but that it is adorned with multiple paintings done by his mother going back almost 40 years when, in the late 70s, she was commissioned to do a painting of my parents' cottages."
"I worked in the same building and same floor for three different companies over the course of 10 years. Each experience ended poorly and with regret.
The first time was in 2001. I worked for Nortel Networks (they acquired the company I was working for) and they laid me off. The termination meeting with human relations was on the 11th floor of this building. The second time was in 2008. I worked for an investment bank in this same building on the 11th floor before I left that place - terrible company, horrible boss. The last time was in 2011 when I worked for another investment bank, same building, 11th floor. I didn't recognize it at first because they remodeled. This also ended with me quitting and being miserable almost the entire time.
I'm not sure what the lesson was here, but I always thought this was an odd occurrence. For who may be wondering, no, I would never take a job in that building again."
"I worked at Guitar Center and was coming back from lunch with two others. As we walked in the front door, one of the guitar associates walks up to a hollow body on a stand and pulled out a guitar pick from the fretboard that some customer had stuck in there.
When he pulled the pick, it plucked a single string from the guitar - THE SAME NOTE as the very last note on the song that played overhead on the radio. Both the guitar and the song rang out with that same note. It happened at the same exact time. We both realized it instantly, looked at each other, and said, 'Whoa.'"
"I was sitting at work and my coworkers and I were chatting and what not. One of them was half-watching My Strange Addiction videos.
'What's this one addicted to?' she jokingly asked.
I replied with, 'Something stupid... drywall.'
Well, it was drywall!
THEN, the next video came on and my other coworker, who was amazed that I guessed it spot on, jokingly guessed that this one would be addiction to rocks. IT WAS FREAKING ROCKS!
Sooooo, the ability to predict the future is contagious?!'
"I used to work at a newspaper, the late night shift. I had a friend, let’s call him 'Fred,' at the desk next to me and we’d keep each other company all night. I talked about my fiancé and he’d talk about his partner, George, but the four of us had never actually gotten together outside work. One day, Fred came in bursting with laughter and told me that I actually already knew George.
He had been telling George a work story the night before and I guess Fred had never mentioned my last name before and George was pretty shocked when he heard it. I scanned my whole brain because I couldn't think of many people I knew named George, and none that were gay. He finally revealed that George was my high school journalism teacher many, many years before and was embarrassed because his students didn’t know he was gay.
Dude... we all knew. And it’s fun to be friends with him in adulthood."