Sometimes work gives you a relentless feeling. Not the typical "Is-it-5-o'clock-yet?" sort of feeling, but one that is even stranger. One that comes from a place of vague origin and uncertainty. Perhaps a customer emits a foreboding vibe, a coworker seems to be hiding a dark secret, or you suddenly, inexplicably, feel the mortality of your employment.
With the mixed bag of feelings one already experiences at the office, the premonition that something unappealing is afoot can be an especially tough one to swallow. The following stories come from people who sensed that something was not right at work, and turned out to be right. The next morning you come into work, be sure to trust your gut.
"I worked in an auto wrecking yard. We had this regular customer who was very weird. He always came in and bought random, off-the-wall stuff. A new guy and I were loading some stuff into the back of the weird guy's van. He got in to leave and the new guy was standing behind the van next to the building.
'Hey, I wouldn't stand there,' I said to him.
The new guy looked at me puzzled and moved. Sure enough, the weird customer put the van in reverse and punched it. He backed right through the wall of our office."
"I work as an ER nurse and I took handover on a patient who had a little dizziness, a little nausea, and a swollen abdomen. She was fairly bright and able to talk. Nothing seemed too horrific, except that she was turning a grim gray color and breathing quickly.
Our average wait time that was two hours. I could have put her back in the queue and moved on. But I had a little dark feeling that there was something sinister happening. I called our most senior doctor out of a consultation and asked him to see her, freaking immediately.
Have you ever heard of your abdominal aorta? The enormous blood vessel that can pouch out, suddenly rupture, and make you bleed internally to death in minutes? It is called a burst AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm). That's what she had.
I had never seen one before, but now I have. Within five minutes, she was barely responding. Within ten, her blood pressure had dropped to a barely sustainable level. Within 20 minutes, I was pouring blood into her and eight people were around the bed. Within an hour, she was on an operating table clinging to life. Because I raised the alarm, and because my team worked our butts off, that woman is still, somehow, alive. It felt good."
"I used to work at a university as a departmental administrator. There was one student who came in multiple times to talk to my co-worker who had an adjoining office. He would regularly come in through my office, occasionally try to hit on me, and then sit down to chat with my 65-year-old coworker.
Most days when he came in, he was dressed pretty emo. One day, he came in dressed like some sort of pageboy, complete with a hat and suspenders. He hit on me even more aggressively than usual, talked to my co-worker, and then, literally, skipped out of my office. I went home that night and told my husband about the guy about how he just had a horrible cloud of creepy around him.
The next day, he was arrested for taking advantage of a girl by putting a roofie in a smoothie he made for her. The imbecile cops who arrested him left him alone in detainment. He managed to escape, cut off his handcuffs, steal a car, and then flee across state lines. It ended up being a multi-day chase. I don't even remember if they caught him.
The campus sent out several update emails, even going to far as to warn people whom he had contact with to keep watch for him wanting some sort of revenge. I have never had such a strong premonition that someone was deeply evil and I hope never to again. It creeped me out for a good while."
"At my old job, there was a regular who would be there right when we opened the doors and would head directly to the music department, where I worked. When you're working in the music department, you can't leave it unattended. I had to stay back there. This guy would come back and just chat my ear off for about one and a half to three hours every day, sometimes more.
From Day One, I got a weird feeling about the guy. I was not exactly sure why since he seemed nice enough but just very creepy. I told a lot of my coworkers that if he creeped you out, get management, get security, get anybody. Just don't be alone with him, especially girls. A couple days later, I heard from some other co-workers that he had asked for a ride home from a younger looking male coworker of mine.
Next time he came in, I told him he could not just be asking for rides like that. I had seen him walking places, so he could continue to walk everywhere. He tried to play it off like nothing happened and that he just needed a ride somewhere. But, he asked ONLY that male coworker for a ride, no one else. I knew something was up.
One day, I was opening up my department and expecting to see him come in and talk my ear off, but he never came. The next five mornings or so, he never came in. I felt relief, but I was also curious why he went from coming in every day for about two months to just no more. After I left work that day and got home, one of my managers texted me.
'I guess now we're all gonna listen to your feelings about people,' read the text, which included an attachment that linked me to an article about the guy. He was a convicted child predator who had moved to my state to get away from his previous convictions, only to do the same thing here."
"I work in some clubs on weekends, so I see people fighting very often. After some years, I can really feel if there is some 'tension' in the room, so I can call our bouncers. Mostly after 5-10 minutes, a fight starts. It amazes me. Everytime I call for them, they say that some barkeepers also called them because they could also feel that something is wrong.
Once, there was a young girl dancing in front of my workplace. I had some bad feelings about her, but I wasn't sure what would happen. I asked her politely if she wanted to dance at our special spot, guarded by our bouncers. Thirty minutes later, her ex-boyfriend walked in, looking for her. He walked straight toward her while holding a small black thing is his hand. We saw him and immediately took the girl to our storage rooms, where no one could enter without sounding an alarm. The moment we tried to close the door, the ex ran and tried to stab a security guard, who was wearing a stab-proof vest. He took the guy down very quickly.
Police were called and the guy was arrested. If we had not noticed that there was something off, she would have been dead. A photo of the man's weapon is still on the wall where everyone gets their equipment for the night, just to remind us that we should trust our feelings."
"I work at a motorcycle shop. A guy with a big head and beady little eyes came in expressing weird mannerisms. I think I changed a tire or something on his bike. I always get weird vibes from some customers. This one's name was Stewart Mettz.
It so happens that, later that year, he basically staked out Officer Kenneth Copeland out of San Marcos, Texas, when the officer arrived to issue an arrest warrant. Mettz murdered officer Copeland.
It was a big freaking deal in the region. They shut down I-35 the morning of his memorial and hundreds of police cars escorted the officer's body in one huge procession. Fire trucks and crews were parked on almost every overpass on a 30 mile or so stretch of the highway. It's just creepy to know that I shook that murderer's hand."
"All of my logins for my organization's social media accounts stopped working. The people who would have known the passwords would not respond to my calls or texts. The Number Two person at the organization asked if I was going to still be in my office in a few hours. He said he was going to swing by. He arrives, and the organization's Number One person was with him.
Normally, if she was coming to the office, she would just text me and say, 'I'm on my way in. You need coffee or anything?' My anxiety had been building for the past few hours, but once I saw her walk in with Number Two, I knew I would be clearing out my office shortly.
'Why?' I asked her about firing me.
'I don't want to get into it right now,' she replied.
'Is there anything I could do to change your mind?'
I said goodbye and thank you to them, packed up my stuff, and left."
"I was a nanny for the kids of a woman getting divorced. I had been working about two or three weeks. She had me take the kids to a neutral location to meet the dad so they could spend the weekend with him. When we got there, he seemed really peeved and was acting weird. I went back to the house afterward and told the mother that I didn't like how he was acting. I was scared he would flee with them or something. I told her to be careful.
The following Sunday evening, I heard my mom start screaming, 'He killed her!'
She was watching the news and saw the story. Long story short, the mom I was nannying for was shot in the head by her estranged husband while she was tying one of the kid's shoelaces.
Luckily, she survived but had to be hospitalized for a while. My mom wanted me to quit, but I couldn't leave the kids with relatives that their dad had been brainwashing them against. To be fair, the grandma had issues, too."
"I distinctly remember waking up one morning, preparing for the drive for work, and feeling a little odd. My drive to work at the time took exactly seven minutes. There was not a lot of time to think about anything or to do much but, maybe, have a single smoke on the way in.
Three minutes into my drive that day, my stomach suddenly got that awful feeling, that 'something was very, very wrong' feeling. Usually, that happens when I'm about to get written up for something. At the time, as concerning as it was, I was trying to laugh it off, or at least push it to the back of my mind. But, when I got to work, everyone was oddly quiet, really off, and solemn.
It didn't take but a couple minutes to find out that one of the supervisors that a lot of people really loved, who was personable with both employees and guests, had committed suicide that morning. I trust my gut."
"I worked at a jewelry store in a local mall over the summer. They ended up hiring a woman shortly after they hired me. I didn't like her from the get go. I found her super shady. Her husband also worked in the mall, but was always looming around my work, checking to see if his wife was there, and always seeming like he was up to something. He would sit right outside the store and wait for her. He was equally as sketchy as she was. My gut told me these were bad people, but I didn't have a specific reason why.
One day, the woman came in crying. She said she had to quit the job because they got evicted from their apartment for some stupid reason that made no sense. It seemed weird that she had to quit her job because of that. Then, she and her husband brought back a ton of stuff they bought from the store - watches, bracelets, a necklace - but, it was on someone else's credit account.
Eventually, a news story broke that, while they were employed at the mall, they duped two men who came in regularly with a program for mentally disabled adults by convincing them to open up multiple store credit cards and buy things... for themselves. Some of those things included the jewelry that had to be returned to the store. They ended up racking up about $8,000 in charges because they were being tricked into thinking they were 'helping.' They even tried to get one of them to sign over his disability benefits to them. My gut instinct was definitely right.
I hope they rot in jail. What kind of a garbage person tricks mentally handicapped people into opening up credit cards?"
"There is such a thing as 'mechanic's intuition.' I work on an aircraft. In my career, I used to work on aircraft that were due for maintenance based on HIGHLY accurate life limit terms. These were aircraft that would not 'maybe' fail but were guaranteed to fail, usually within 10 hours of the predicted replace by date. That's why I'm there to work on them, to replace them, and get the aircraft back in service limits. Aircrafts DO NOT fail because a part timed out, but because someone messed up. Please do not think after reading my story that parts are unreliable and someone messed up and sent us an old part. Aircraft are incredibly safe. The checks I did were to ensure safety.
We put a new engine on a regional jet and were about to take it out to 'break it in.' This is kind of a misnomer, as engines usually come ready to fly, but the air carrier wanted us to gather performance data and ensure reliability within their standards. Pretty standard stuff - no flying, just full blast on the run-up pad for a few minutes.
After a while, you get used to the sound of things. Car engines sing their own song and so do jet engines, particularly when starting. This engine, a CF34, makes a really deep howl that sounded like a cave troll achieving gratification when starting. But this particular engine did not sound like that. It made noise, but it just didn't sound right. I brought it up to the mechanic running the aircraft and he said it would be alright, so, we went on our way. But the engine just didn't sound right.
I had a really nervous feeling about running it or even releasing it. Jet aircrafts sync their engine speeds in order to decrease vibration and oscillation. That's why they kind of make a smooth humming or singing sound from inside the cabin. It is also why you when you hear, and even feel, a pulsing when taking off, the speeds fall out of sync. About 20 minutes into the run, I started hearing that pulse. I checked the vibration monitor on the instrument panel and saw nothing, but the pulse was still there. I let the others know and they said they heard nothing. I walked back in the cabin to get a better listen. At that point, the pulse was getting noticeable, like two tones slowly going out of tune with each other and beginning to fight. But, the mechanic in charge was finished and shut the engines down and we taxied back. They had passed, but I still had a really bad feeling about the engine.
I mentioned it to my supervisor who said I didn't have the experience to make that call and that the aircraft would be released pending QC sign off. I have never wanted to go over my own boss, but this time I was certain something was wrong. I submitted a safety net report anonymously on the job and aircraft. This got management involved and they were REQUIRED to investigate. I was immediately placed on administrative protection to prevent retaliation. QA began to inspect the engine based on my report. People were interviewed and everyone was found to have been doing their job as asked. So, there was no gross negligence, but the engine inspection failed spectacularly.
It turned out that the carbon oil seal in the turbine had failed and was causing oil to leak into and combust in the turbine, making it run faster than the other engine. Had it been released, it would have failed and likely caused a malfunction and failure in flight. It certainly would not have caused a crash, but definitely a rough ride. The supplier of the engine messed up and sent a used engine that was way older than their records indicated. The company self-reported to the FAA and I was thanked by the company I worked for. Lots of safety nets were missed, but that's why mechanics like myself are trained the way they are. If I didn't write that report, someone else would have before that aircraft left."
"I worked in and around the busiest train station in Sydney. There was a kid, about 12 years old, who would hang around causing trouble. Eventually, I noticed he was talking to a man. I instantly wanted to give that guy a piece of my mind for letting his son ran amok, but, shortly after seeing their body language, I knew it was not a father and son relationship.
One day, I noticed the kid coming out of the public toilet and I just knew something was wrong. He walked up waving about $80 cash in my face.
'Guess how I got this!?' the kid asked.
'Dude, you shouldn't be selling yourself,' I said.
'How did you know!?'
My heart sank. The guy in question was a high-up executive who worked in the building next door. Even today I could ID him. I went directly upstairs to the police station to report what had happened.
'Yeah, we know,' was their response.
'WELL,' I said after a shock-induced pause, 'what are you going to do?!'
They proceeded to tell me that there was nothing they could do, even though he admitted it to me and that I could have ID'd the perp. It still does my head in. I never saw him again."
"We had a new temp around Christmas. Everyone seemed to have liked him, but first day people tend to be overly nice anyway. My gut said, Stay as far away as possible. My first thought was that he was a pervert at best, or a pedo at worst.
I usually have a chat with one of my colleagues each time we see each other, even if it's something small and stupid. We tend to work on aisles next to each other so we're quite close friends. My friend, a female, had to work with the temp. I just kept my eye on him to make sure nothing was going on and to step in if needed.
All day, he was just following her around super close. Wherever she went, he went, even if he didn't need to. I gave her the nod of, Is everything alright?, and it was clear she was fine but uncomfortable. I let it go as a first-day-not-a-clue-what's-going-on-maybe-he'll-get-better-tomorrow kind of thing. I started a few hours before them, so when I went home, I had a bit of a chat to just say that I could get a manager to help out if needed and that I would speak to her later.
It turned out that after I left, he faked having a doctors appointment, which was actually a job interview. Then, he went to her and started making inappropriate comments to her. Then, he asked for her number so they could, 'have more fun after work.'
She flat out said, 'No, get lost,' and he kept on trying until she threatened to get management to deal with it. The worst part was that she is 25 he was in his mid-40s. I don't understand how these idiots get a job in the first place."
"We had a guy in his late 50s who used to hang out in our restaurant during the day. He only drank Diet Coke and rarely ordered any food. He would just sit at the bar looking forlorn while trying to get our attention. He creeped out everyone. He would stare at female staff and do the whole sigh... yup verbal tic. Or, he would rub his hand over his face and sigh for attention so you knew he was about to try to drag you into conversation about his A1C levels, the weather, his motorcycle, working out, etc. On that note, he was not fit. He sort of looked like Teddy from Bob's Burgers, but much less lovable and a lot more rundown. We always felt relieved when he left.
One afternoon, there were two girls in their early 20s sitting at the bar near him having drinks and appetizers. They exchanged pleasantries with the guy, as you do when you end up sitting near strangers sometimes. Less than half an hour after they left, the girls came back saying that one of them couldn't find her keys and wondered if she dropped them inside or outside. The older guy offered to help look for them, but no one found anything. She left her phone number with our staff in case the keys showed up or anyone found them outside.The next day, creepy guy came in with the girl's keys. He started telling this bogus story that when he left the day before, he found her keys INSIDE the saddlebag on his motorcycle. He was asking us for the girl's number so he could call her to come get her keys from him at his apartment.
Two of us exchanged uncomfortable glances. There absolutely NO way her keys could have fallen into the closed bag on his motorcycle parked three cars away from the her vehicle. We could see the parking lot from the bar. After further questions, we found out that he actually did have the keys with him. We confronted him about why she would need to go to his place. Why couldn't he give them to us and we call her to come to the restaurant to get them? Or, we could call her and she could come get them from him here. He didn't understand why we thought it was weird that he wanted her to go to his apartment.
The restaurant owner was present as creepy guy was telling us about finding the keys. We had already told her about the previous day's events. She immediately told him that she did not believe a word he said about where he found the keys and that he was behaving in a very creepy way. She told him to give the keys to us or he could retell his unbelievable story to the police. To be honest, it was a bluff, since there was not much they could have done. We refused to give her phone number to him and talked him into leaving the keys with our staff. We called her after he left.
Thankfully, after that, he stopped coming around. I think he came in once in November 2016 to gloat about the election results. We had a lot of new staff members by then, but everyone had been told the story. He hasn't been back ever since, thankfully."