People Share Their Best "I Can't Believe That Actually Worked" Moments
From broken laptops to broken hearts, these people were all so sure they had been defeated that they tried something completely unorthodox. And guess what? It worked.
[Sources listed at the end of the article.]
Had a laptop slide backwards off my lap, hit the floor and stop working. Showed me an error screen and wouldnt start back up.
Decided to turn it over and drop it from the same height onto its opposite side (why not, its already broken right?) and it started working again.
My friend and I had driven out into the woods to a small fishing hole on a creek in the mountains (about 30km away from town).
We park my pickup truck, I lock the door, and I smack my head as I realize I left the keys inside. The one good part was that the window was slightly open a crack. We had a case of empty beers in the back of the truck, so we cut the cans and folded them into a long thin, slim-jim type tool and unlocked the truck on the first try.
I work on costumes in theatre in NYC. About 2 years ago I was sitting in the front row of a show, and a button popped off one of the costumes.
The next day I took it back to the stage door with my resume and a little note that said "This came off one of the costumes yesterday, and I thought you might want it back. And while I have your attention, here is my resume."
And that is the story of how I got my first job on a Broadway show.
My heavily pregnant wife and I were on a really hot, stuffy train a few weeks ago. For some reason, the heaters were on full blast. I asked the ticket inspector if he can get them turned off, but he said there was nothing he could do. (Read: couldn't be bothered to look into it.)
As a longshot, I tweeted at the train line in question, explaining the situation. They tweeted back saying they'd get in touch with the driver... not two minutes after sending the tweet, and we hear the satisfying power-down noise of all the train's heaters.
I'd just used the tiny slab of plastic and metal in my pocket to manipulate the environment around me with what felt like magic. What a time to be alive.
I have a STAFF lanyard for a major sports and entertainment stadium that a buddy gave to me from some concert 10 or 12 years ago. It literally says nothing but "[Stadium Name]" and "STAFF." White letters on a black background, and then has a small bar code and some illegible gibberish on the other side. It could be entirely fake, as i've never seen anyone else use one like it.
So far, 3 free concerts and one free NBA game. I'm half-afraid to keep using it, but the awesomeness of free events is still worth the risk to me.
When I got promoted at work it came with a small bump in pay. I asked for a slightly bigger bump, and was then given even more than I asked for.
In school, I belatedly realised I had an essay due the next day, which I simply didnt have the time to do.
What I did have time to do was write slightly more than a page. I then printed only the first, full page, and handed this in, inside a plastic cover. I then finished the essay at home that night.
The next day, my teacher grabs me in the corridor and says You realize you only have me the first page of your essay, right?," I said, Oh, shoot, the rest must have fallen out or something. Ill go print it out right now and bring it to your office. So yeah, I gave myself a one-day extension on an essay.
In college I had one class where the professor was very disorganized. He was always losing stuff and forgetting to grade stuff.
It was a small class so there were only 7 of us and we decided to do an experiment. On the day of an exam we asked him if he had graded the exam already and being the disorganized person that he was, he said yes. So that day we never took the exam and a few weeks later everyone received a 100.
His explanation was that he couldn't find the exam papers, but was sure everyone studied hard and did a good job.
One time a bird got caught in our chimney and while me and my roommate discussing how to get it out he suggested we stick our hand up there and the bird will just land on our finger. I laughed at him and said it would never work.... within 30 seconds he was walking to the door with a bird perched on his pointer finger.
I once showed up eight hours late for work. My company was trying out this crazy three-shift schedule that would change every day, but there was no order to the scheme. If you didn't check what the manager put out that day, no one knew when they should be at work the next day.
So after a hard shift I forget to check that bad boy, and when I came in the next day expecting to arrive at the right time, everyone was at their desks working away. Someone sees me and asks, "Hey did you get moved to this shift?" I picked up a clipboard and said, "No, just here to... inspect." I spent about ten minutes walking around the office just nodding or scribbling notes before I went home. Not only did I not work that day, one of the managers thought it was awesome that someone was checking up on projects.
We moved offices at work. On the first day in the new building, I tried the username Admin" and the password "Password on the new router login page.
Who has two thumbs and a higher bandwidth now? THIS GUY.
Applied for a job at a french fry factory. The online application asked what makes you want to work for us? I simply put "Potatoes are my favorite food."
The HR and engineering managers loved it, I've been working there 10 months now.
My son was living nearby and had locked himself out of his room. He called me for help. During my many assignments in the military, I was once stationed with a guy who was also a locksmith. He incessantly told me about locks, lockpics, tumblers, etc.
So I show up at my son's apartment, armed with a basic knowledge about how locks work and two paper clips. I half-straightened them out. Used one to flick the tumblers and the other to pull at the bottom of the lock to turn it. Two minutes later, I was in.
My son says 'No way, you actually did it!' Got serious dad points for that one.
I went to NYC for Fashion Week with a boutique I was working for. After the fashion show we attended everyone wanted to go out clubbing. Me, being young and new, I didn't want to be the buzzkill. So I went with them even though I was only 18.
Arriving at the first club we were allowed to skip the line because we knew people. When we get to the bouncer, he's going one by one checking everyone's ID's and I'm sweating bullets. When he got to me we just looked at each other.... He goes "ID" and I freeze and for some reason I said "man I already showed you mine." To this day I don't know if he was being nice or just didn't want to look silly, but he let me in.
Rewind to my junior year of college, when everyone's packed into a living room and getting hyped up in preparation for Super Bowl 49.
Literally 10 minutes before kick-off, a half filled cup of milk gets spilled on top of the cable box and the picture instantly cuts out. Absolute mayhem ensues as everyone starts freaking out. One quick-thinking individual (not me) decides to call the cable company and gets through to a customer service rep and we explain the problem. She just says "Oh not a problem sir, let me just reset your cable box remotely from here..."
Within 30 seconds the pre-game show turned right back on and we didn't even miss kick-off. This amazing person remotely evaporated milk from a cable box.
Used an electric palm sander to clean the soap scum out of my tub. Put a sponge right on the bottom and turned that bad boy on.
It worked like a charm. I thought my tub was just naturally eggshell color, but nope. It's pure white.
A guy we'll call Bob left the company I was at. A year or two later he started recruiting people from our company, and I was interested so I flew out for an interview.
The first five interviews went great. Seemed like a good group to work with. The final interview was with the HR director. It went okay and then we got to the pay part. I said I wanted X amount. She said the average pay for my experience and position was X - 20k.
My response was, "Bob didn't fly me out here because I'm average."
I have no idea why I said that, but I got the job and the pay I wanted. Months later when we were getting drinks Bob brought that up. Apparently the HR director thought I was very quiet and introverted from our interview, so my response caught her even more off guard than it caught me.
One my first date with a girl at the cinema. I bought her some popcorn. Walking up stairs, I notice her watch hand and popcorn hand are the same hand...
I had an evil thought...
What time is it? I asked her.
The popcorn spills everywhere. She liked the prank, and we've been married for 24 years.
The time I avoided getting in trouble by being really boring.
About 6 years ago I was at my ex-girlfriend's house on a Sunday. Behind her house was a service center for city vehicles. So since it was a government building it was closed on Sundays. Behind the main building was a trail that you can walk down for a couple minutes and get into a subdivision.
So me and my ex decide to drive down to the head of the trail behind the building where we would smoke the pot we had bought. We pull up, I take the little baggy we had prepared out of my backpack, and I am about to get out of the car when I look into my side mirror to see there is a cop car 15 feet behind me, flying up towards our car.
I throw the baggy under my seat and push a sweater on top it. The cop car has now pulled up right behind me and two cops are dashing up to the side of the car. "WHAT'S GOING ON HERE, you can't be back here. It's trespassing," said the cop on my side of the car.
"Oh hey officer... we were just.. going geocaching"
"What's that now?"
"Geocaching sir. Umm, here look..." and I take my hiking GPS out of the dash and show it to him. I then go into a 10-minute long spiel about geocaching and what it's all about and I am super dry about the whole thing. My speech ends and I'm looking at him and he just says, "Ok then.... have a nice day." Both cops got in the car and left.
They didn't even ask me to leave. The power of boredom, I guess.
I cringe remembering this but, a few years ago I was drunk at a party and decided to take out my phone and set the personal ringtone of a girl I liked to "Kiss Me" by Sixpence None The Richer. No idea what I was thinking while doing that.
After a night out partying we hung out together and I told her to call me on my cellphone. "Kiss Me" played, she smirked at me, and before I knew it we were kissing.
Chicago, 2004. At a tech conference and had been dancing with this gorgeous woman at a bar near the event hotel where we're all staying. We get into the elevator after closing time with 8 other dudes, all of whom are clearly jealous I've been dancing with her.
I'm on the 4th floor of a 30 story hotel. She's somewhere in the high 20's.
The door opens at my floor. I look at her and say, "This is me." She says, "I'm really thirsty" and I immediately reply "I have water in my room."
"Great, let's go!"
We've been married 13 years now, together from that night forward. I woke up the next morning and we decided to spend the rest of our lives mornings together that day. She moved states three weeks later and we wed 4 months after that.
Two kids and a very happy life followed that cheesy line.
I had the infamous "red rings of death" appear on an old xbox 360 at one point. Called up a buddy, he told me to turn it off, hold it about a foot and a half above the floor, and just drop it.
I figured that I couldn't make it much worse, so I dropped it. Worked perfectly ever since.
When I was younger I was into magic and thought I invented a magic trick that used subliminal messaging to get someone to pick a card.
I secretly turned the two of hearts over in the deck, and handed it to the kid my mom was watching.
I asked my mom to name any card, then I said to the kid:
"You too, [name of kid], whatever card is in your heart."
Trying to get him to say the two of hearts.
To my disbelief he actually said the freaking two of hearts. I didn't touch the deck for the entire trick and told him to go through it and he saw his selection turned over. I was in just as much amazement as he was.
I was hiking with a friend and a bobcat crossed our path about 30 yards ahead of us. My friend turned around and went "holy crap!" and began to run at which point the cat started running straight at me.
I put my hands up in the air and yelled, "BLAAAAARRGGGHHHAARRGH" and it stopped to a skid and ran the other direction.
We have this math course that's necessary for my major in college. I loathe math and for this reason, I didn't take the course too seriously, so when I finally had to get my act together for the final exam, I could not understand the end of course material whatsoever.
I figured out I needed ~88% on the exam in this class to pass and it wasn't gonna happen, so I decide to cut my losses, study for my other exams, and just re-take the course. For the exam, I just winged it using Excel (test was in a proctored lab and excel was an allowed tool), my limited math knowledge, and whatever test-taking skills I had. Guessed on a majority of the questions, mutter the old YOLO, and hit submit.
I scored 89%. Literally guessed my way to passing a class. May not be the grandest achievement but Ive never had pure laziness and apathy work out like that before. Just goes to show you kids, hard work is for the birds.
Almost got caught making out with a girl by her dad. We're on the couch when he comes in through the door. I froze, laid perfectly still in the dark with my arms and head inside my black t-shirt while they had a conversation, praying he would not turn on the lights or notice an out of place dark shape on the couch. It actually worked.
In 10th grade, I didn't write an essay for AP World History. Like straight up ignored, didn't forget. When my teacher was handing back essays a few days later, she asked where mine was.
Rather than being the honest student she expected, I said "What happened to it? I handed it in for sure." To which she replied, "You did? What was it about?"
The lady had me red-handed. But, in some sort of trance, I delivered a four sentence summary of Napoleon's effect on the development of 19th century Europe.
She goes, "You know, I remember reading that. It was really good. 5/5."
Turned around to find my friend shaking his head in disbelief. He holds it against me to this day.
Breaking up is hard to do.
And when you get the law involved, it's even worse. But sometimes people don't need the law's help to make things overcomplicated, they just have a grand ole time making that happen themselves.
People on the front lines of human cruelty include divorce lawyers. These are their stories.