People Share The Time They 'Judged A Book By Its Cover' And Got Schooled.
As a society, we often tend to judge people based on their appearances. Superficiality is never a good thing to solely base a person's character off of, but we still tend to do it. As the following AskReddit stories prove, people, when given the opportunity, are more than willing to surprise you (and in a positive way).
Source links available at the end.
There was this old man (around his mid-70's) in judo that moved like, well... an old man. When he was practicing moves, he was still jagged, and you could tell he was weak and a bit slow. But when he looked at you, it was like what I imagined the "Sherlock Holmes" look would be. He was also a Black Belt.
Well, sparring time comes around, and we get paired up together. I decided (from his looks) that this dude was a fighter, and I was going to treat him as such, no matter what his age was.
He was unmovable. Seriously, nothing worked. Every time I tried to move, he'd use the slightest pressure on the perfect spot on my body to render my throw as useless as a new born baby.
I decided to wait for him to slip up before I made any more moves, but I never got the chance. He was pressing so softly to get me off balance that I never even noticed it until I hit the ground.
That's when I learned that looks don't mean anything. Not only in fighting, but in all facets of life.
I teach an art class. It's mostly little girls. We only have one little boy, a 5th grader. He comes in and does his thing. He loves art, loves all of the same girly bands (One Direction, Selena Gomez, etc.) that all of the little girls love, kind of chubby and very nerdy, but full of life though. Usually, his mom drops him off and picks him up. One day, a motorcycle pulled up and this GIANT, tattooed up, 'Hells Angel' looking character approached the door to the studio. I had my guard up (yeah, I profiled him, but what else am I to do when I'm in charge of the safety of a bunch of little kids). When he walked in the door, Anthony ran over to him and showed off all his less than par artwork. His dad got on one knee and told him how proud he was, how amazing they were, and asked if he'd had fun that day. Supportive dad, regardless of how much his son isn't a "tough guy" like his daddy. I melted.
I jJust finished my sixth year teaching at my current high school. I teach Physics. In my first year here, I had an extremely belligerent student, the kind who would go to football games looking for a fight. I remember thinking, "How far is this guy going to get?"
He graduated and joined the Marines. He came to visit once in his dress uniform, and he could have done their TV commercials. He looked SHARP! His attitude was also noticeably different (for the better).
Well, recently one of his classmates (who is in the Air Force) dropped by to visit and told me that my former student had taken several college courses through a program that the Marines had set up before he got out. He then enrolled at LSU with enough hours to already be a sophomore. Then, he gave me the kicker- he's majoring in theoretical physics!
I made a decision then and there that I would never again make an assumption about a student's life results based on his behavior in high school!
I work as an automotive in a tourist town. One evening, just before closing, this old Ford F150 rolled into the shop, overheating. It was a guy dressed in overalls, family in tow looking for help. We brought the truck into the shop and found a coolant leak or a broken fan belt. To be honest, I really don't remember what the problem turned out to be, but it was a simple fix.
I remember thinking to myself, "This guy's broke" as I explained the issue. He said, "Just fix it."
About 40 minutes later, I presented his bill waiting for the anticipated bulk of the price. Instead, he laid down an American Express Centurion Card, also known as the "Black Card".
It was the first and last time I've ever held one. That thing is made of metal.
One afternoon, I was walking home from the supermarket. It was only two blocks away, and I didn't have a car. It was about three in the afternoon, but I'm always on high alert. There was a guy walking behind me. He was a buff dude with tattoos everywhere. I'm paranoid so I put my hand in my pocket on my pepper spray. He seemed to be following me, and I was scared. I was walking faster and faster, and he was walking faster and faster. I was almost at my apartment when he starts yelling something. I fumbled with my key. He got up to me and said, "Excuse me, Miss, you dropped your wallet." I was surprised because the guy looked like one of those tough, hardened Marines, and I'm a short girl who couldn't win in a fight with a 9-year-old, but that's a different story.
This is a shallow one. My friend wanted to introduce me to her fiance's friend. I don't know what his real name was, but everyone called him Skip. Total turnoff for me. Sounded like a Peter Pan (never grow up) name. That's right, I judged him by his name! We were both in the wedding party. He was hot, funny, and smart. I missed the boat.
At summer camp one year, there was a female counselor that was about 6 ft 1, built like a lineman, with a baritone voice. Being a 14-year-old boy, I immediately judged her. Turns out, she was one of the funniest, most enjoyable people I have ever met. Brought me to tears of laughter more times than I could count by the end of camp.
Our national manager came to visit our workplace a couple of months ago. I was only on my short day, and we'd been absolutely demolished. I started to refill the deli cabinet before I finished my shift at 11. At 10:55 they arrived, impressed by the cabinet and our service, all that jazz.
There were two men. One was a gentleman in his fifties and the other was young, no older than thirty. I assumed he was the older gentleman's second. On my way out from the lockers, I was approached by the younger gentleman who commended my work and we chatted for a while, twenty minutes or so. He offered me his phone number and a coffee one time soon and I thanked him and went home.
The next day my boss was in hysterics. Turns out, I got hit on by the national manager who is 28 and incredibly successful and company proud.
My mom is driving my sister and I home from Catholic school. Yes, we had uniforms. No, they weren't sexy. Our principal, who is a nun, is in the car behind us. We're at a stop sign in a rich neighborhood when suddenly my mom's car stalls. Principal chooses to ignore what are obviously her students trying to push the car etc. Out of nowhere, a homeless guy appears to help us. We had never seen any homeless people anywhere close to that area either before or after, because like I said, it was a rich area. My mom, of course, gave him some money for it.
I was vacationing in Denver and scored a couple Denver Nugget Playoff tickets. I went to the stadium early to try to find/recruit a cute girl to join the game with me at a nearby bar. Upon arriving in the area, I walked passed a scraggly looking younger kid who asked if I had an extra ticket. He had a suitcase and looked a bit disheveled. I put my hand up, ignoring him, and moved on. About 10 yards later, I said whatever, I'll just offer him the ticket. The young man turned out to be a new college Burkley grad, who had spent the last 18 months bicycling from New York to where we met in Denver. His plans were to head up to Minnesota, so he could hitchhike on a boat down the Mississippi River, and then try to find a boat to ride on to get to Europe. Besides being very educated, interesting, and knowledgeable, we had a great time at the Nuggets game. We even snuck down to lower seats to watch the second half and then hit up a bar post game where he helped lure some beautiful woman to spend the night with us. I have no doubts he made it to Europe, and I'm glad I did not "Judge a book by its cover" because I would have been robbed of such a memorable and inspirational night.
18 months ago, I was 5'9" and 240 lbs. I gained 60 lbs since graduation. (I'm back down to 195 now).
I joined a basketball league to get some cardio and lose some weight. Basically every game, they would put their smallest and worst player to defend me, assuming that I sucked.
My background is, I actually played varsity for 3 years in high school, and I played all through college leagues. (Not the school team. I didn't bother trying out for the college team. We were Division I. There's no way my 5'9" frame would have gotten in). So, long story short, five minutes after the game starts for every single one of the league games, they also always switch to their best defender to guard me instead.
Pit Bulls. I used to be afraid of them, but realized that behind the scary muscles and face is a sweet dog.
My current roommate. The first time we met, I thought she was your typical high-maintenance sorority party girl- dressed like one, talked like one, etc. Designer clothes, the works. Thought I was going to hate her.
Now she's my roommate and best friend. Yeah, she's in a sorority and works at a designer store, but she's one of the most willing people I've ever met to get her hands dirty and do real work. Parents own a farm, likes to climb trees, etc. Now I don't know what I'd do without her.
I met this guy on the first day of school. He tried hard to make everyone laugh and smile. He was super hyper, bright, and smart. I just assumed he was a happy kid, normal life, etc. This went on for about a month until he had to give a speech telling us all about his life. Turns out, this boy was an orphan, did hardcore drugs, got a girl pregnant freshman year, etc. He gave the speech and I was just like, "How could I possibly forget everyone goes through a lot of stuff?" It only furthered my goal to stop making assumptions about people.
When I met my ex, he had no car and was living on someone else's couch. He owned the clothes on his back, and that was about it. He was raised really poor, with a crappy and lackluster family, and he didn't excel in school. All that man needed was someone on his side though! He was so ambitious and hard working. His whole life changed when we got together (his words, not mine). Even though we aren't still together, he is a good man who just needed someone to see his potential. He's an electrician now, and he is a wonderful provider and father to our son.
My son's regular hair stylist's place was closed the weekend before his prom, and he was desperate for a haircut, so we went to the barber shop across the street. It was a dump, decor out of the seventies, ashtrays in the armrests of the chairs, a pic of a topless woman on the wall. The barber kept repeating the same unfunny joke to the client he was working on while we waited. I would have left, but I didn't want shaggy hair prom pictures. Turned out to be his best haircut ever. He goes there all the time now.
When I was in high school, there was this girl in my chemistry class who never said a word to anyone. She was always wearing black t-shirts with band names I'd never heard of and her hair was dyed jet black. I was one of those metalheads who thought that all non-metal music sucked and that emo music was one step below the sound of crying children on the list of things I'd like to listen to. Not knowing the bands, I assumed she was a self-absorbed emo kid and ignored the hell out of her.
Then, we got assigned to a group project together, and it turned out she was dating one of my oldest friends. We started hanging out and we've been best friends for the last five years.
I was sitting in a bar watching a baseball game with some buddies. This plus-sized woman was asking everyone to buy her a beer. Everyone was ignoring her. When she walked up to me, I bought her a beer hoping that she would leave me alone after. She grabbed the beer and went back to the area of the bar containing the pool tables.
About twenty minutes later, she returned and thanked me for the beer. I was into the game and didn't really look at her and said, "No problem." She tapped me on the arm, and when I looked down, she handed me two $100 bills and walked out of the bar.
I was called out to do tech support on this guy's laptop at his house in rural North GA, and he came out and greeted me in overalls and a worn out pair of boots and just seemed like your average redneck. While I was working on his computer, he mentioned having to travel a lot for work, and I asked what he did. Turns out, he was some kind of high-up, nationally respected psychologist who acted as a consultant to the government and spent all of his time testifying before Congress and traveling the country helping Institute Training Programs to help governments agencies better work with individuals who had special needs.
My friend and I went to a bike repair shop. We saw a black guy with gross dreads(I can rightfully say that because I had dreads for 7 years and I am black). He looked quite rough around the edges and his clothes were a bit raggedy. I looked at my friend, and we snickered and rolled our eyes. My friend wanted to get her brakes fixed, but it ended up being too expensive. We left and went to a local grocery store. Guess who we ran into? The raggedy man from the bike shop. He was super nice, and he eloquently explained to my friend how she could easily fix her brakes by herself. We thanked him for his kindness, and from then on I decided that I would not judge someone because they look a bit ragged.
I saw a woman begging on the street corner in Tucson, AZ. I was on the opposite side of the road at one of the most notoriously long lights in the city. This was 1997 or so.
She had a dog on a rope leash with her. I was sure she had the dog for begging purposes to look more pathetic.
There's a Circle K on the other corner. Guy comes out and walks over to her. He's got one of those plastic sandwich things with two halves of a sandwich inside a plastic container covered with plastic. He peels the plastic back and pulls one-half of the sandwich out, tears it in half, and hands the 1/4 to the woman, who eats it. He eats the other 1/4 of the sandwich. Then, he hands the other 1/2 to the dog, who wolfs it down.
I drove down the road a mile, made a U-Turn, came back and handed him a $20 out of the window. Anyone in that situation that would feed the animal before themselves gets as much cash on me as I have at the time.
I was raising money for a well in The Gambia outside a Starbucks in my hometown basically asking for change. So many women with fancy purses would just walk by and avoid eye contact on their way into Starbucks. Then, three guys in sort of punk outfits, smoking, looking unwashed, stopped asked what the charity was, and then gave me all the change they had in their pockets.
I was working the day shift at my pub one day, and it was deadly quiet. It was literally just me standing behind the bar waiting for any customers to come in (I'm a 22 year old lady). Then, this group of bikers came in. They had long hair, tattoos, leather jackets, and bandanas. I just started panicking like, 'Oh good gosh, how am I going to deal with this.' I guess I expected them to be rude and mean and fight or just get hammered. This one guy comes up to the bar, asks if it's okay if they sit and have a drink, maybe something to eat. They were the most polite, kind customers I've ever served. Every single one of them said 'please' and 'thank you,' and they were all just lovely. Made me feel awful for judging them immediately.
My boyfriend pulled up in a '89 Chevy pickup for our first date. The passenger side door opens about six inches from where it was hit by a deer. He has a mohawk and dresses a bit sloppily. Quiet, a few pounds overweight.
He also makes more than my parents put together, bought a house at 22, and owns three cars. He works 16 hours a day and is extremely intelligent; slept through school, yet got all A's on every single test and project he did the night before it was due. The most gentlemanly guy I have ever met. We've been dating 4.5 months, and he still opens my car door every time we go anywhere.
Working as a waiter, I was folding napkins for the evening, next to a table that was occupied by a woman, a man, and their daughter. The woman pointed and said, "You should teach her to do that, if she keeps studying the way she is, she'll end up doing that."
I looked at her with a fairly icy glare and said,"Actually, I'm a third-year physics student with extremely high scores working here so I can pay rent to keep my family in their home. So, if you're lucky, she will end up like me."
I used to work with a woman who was one of the most physically attractive females that I've ever been in the same room with. She was of above average height and was toned and firm while still being voluptuous. She carried herself with grace and power. Beautiful from head to toe.
She was the biggest witch on the entire planet and dumb as a post. Spiteful, lazy, mean, incompetent, incurious, and not interested in learning a thing.
She was married, too. I would hate to be that guy.
I was working in fine jewelry retail a few years ago. One morning, just after opening, a woman walked in, hair a mess and in pajamas. She looked homeless and had stains all over her shirt and pants. We all looked at each other and rolled our eyes. As the other members of my sales staff scurried off to pretend they were busy, I approached the customer and introduced myself. She, as we all had presumed, was "just browsing," She dragged me all around the store as I showed her just about every piece of jewelry in our showcases. She then gravitated back to a $30,000 necklace I had shown her minutes prior. She asked to see it again. I pulled the necklace back out of the case and draped it around her neck in front of one of our mirrors (with my hands tightly gripped around both ends). She then simply said, "I'll take it." This woman turned into a repeat customer of mine and spent over $200,000 in the last couple years I worked there. Her parents owned a ton of commercial properties around town, and she inherited quite a bit of money when they passed.
A female coworker I rarely worked closely with had an absolute stoic face. I had heard a lot of talk about how stuck up she was, and how she had no sense of humor and just how full of herself she is. As a guy, I really can't stand these type of woman and avoided talking to her.
She had switched departments, and I had to work with her on a daily basis and was not looking forward to it. Turns out, she's absolutely a blast to be around. I can't remember another job where I've had so much fun at work. Everything I had heard about her was wrong. No one had ever taken the time to get to know her.
Female friends are a rarity for most guys. I'm so happy that I gave her a chance.
One semester I had in college, there was this big goth/punk looking guy who happened to be in three of my classes and had the same hour gaps between the classes as me. He didn't look very friendly, so I never tried to strike up any conversations with him.
We were randomly put into a group together, so we had to talk. Turns out, he was a really nice guy. We ended up hanging out together the rest of the semester, exploring every building on campus during our breaks.
I found a book without a dust jacket, looked boring. Count of Monte Cristo was awesome.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.