People Share Their Best 'I Did All That For Nothing' Moments

You ever have those moments where you realize you've been doing something the hardest way possible or for no reason at all? Like the dude in this article who ate oranges wrong his whole life? Yeah, that's a thing.

So, not everyone has a moment as bad as realizing you've eaten oranges all wrong or that you've been sorting your trash by color like Michael Scott from the Office? One Reddit user asked:

Michael Scott sorted garbage into whites & colors for 8 years, for no reason. What's your "I did all that for nothing?!" moment?

And yeah, I've seen the episode. I know the incredible disappointment. I was in those comments SO FAST - because everyone loves a good fail whale moment when it's not in their life. No need to hide it. I know my audience.

Here are some of the more popular and more face-palmy replies.

A New Stick

I spent probably the first 20 years of my deodorant wearing life struggling to get that little plastic cover thing off the top of a new stick of deodorant. I'd pry it off with my nails, even go so far as to use my teeth on a particularly stubborn one. Then at like age 32 (married with a child I was responsible for keeping alive) I realized all I needed to do was turn the dial on the bottom, extending the stick slightly, and the plastic cover thingy popped right off. I'm utterly ashamed to have just admitted that, but I feel such a weight off my chest. I am not a smart man.

- dante_fiero567

What's My Password? 

Not me but a buddy of mine - he wanted to check his bank balance from my computer one night so I said sure. So he loads up the bank website and tries typing in his password. At that point he notices that the password dialogue will only accept the first 6 characters. His password was 8 characters long. So he's like WTF? So I also use this bank and was like, dude, it has only ever let you do a max of 6 characters. He said no, he's always had an 8 character password for this bank site which he's used for years. So I said, why don't you try just typing in the first 6 characters of your password anyway and... it logged him in. So for years he was typing an 8 character password on this site, not realizing that it would stop at 6 every time. Now maybe because we'd had a few beers at this point but we had a good laugh over this one...

- Laser_Stronghold

Six Gas Cans


When I was 16 and had just learned how to drive I got distracted and ran out of gas about 2 miles up the road from the gas station. I called my best friend and she came and got me and we drove to the gas station to get a gas can and fill it to take it to the car. But all the gas cans only held 2 gallons each, and I had a 12 gallon tank! So *naturally,* we bought 6, filled them up, used them to fill up my car, and then handed out the remaining gas cans as gifts to family members. I will NEVER forget the look on my stepdad's face when I explained why I was giving him a gas can.

It didn't even occur to either of us that the function of the gas can was just to get you back to the gas station. I was on my way to the beach about an hour away, so I drove the whole way down there with 6 empty gas cans in my car. And never once thought to question my excellent decision. :)

- Yellowbug2001

That's Not How Internet Works

Not me, but years ago in one of my classes "Technology and Society" or something.

I watched the professor bring up Yahoo search, search for Google, click the link to go to Google search, and then type the exact URL of the website he wanted to go to into the search bar.

- Studlum

The Safety Evaluations

Bullshit paperwork. Apparently, I was the only person including an equipment checklist and safety evaluation in my post job paperwork packet for a whole fucking year before someone told me we didn't have to anymore. Corporate was just throwing those in the trash.

They'll shit their pants demanding certain things but just let you flap in the wind doing menial tasks if it is of no consequence to them.

- AmanitaMikescaria

15 Hours And Damaged Knees

I used to be a lighting technician in an office high rise. I swapped out all the florescent tubes on a floor for LED tubes. We're talking like 350 bulbs and 2 days work. I would go up the ladder, take off a lens, swap the bulb and then reach to do the same thing on another light (if the layout allowed it). Then come down, move the ladder and repeat, hell on my knees and a real pain in the ass. I managed to develop a grinding in my knee due to a condition I was unaware I had and ended up in physio because of this. On top of that. I had to keep the area spic and span in case someone wanted to look at the space to lease it, which meant I'd have to walk the cases of old bulbs to the area where I was to keep them and then take them to the recycling area when I got too many.

Anyways... I get the floor done and I am eating lunch with some of the office folk, someone asks where I have been because they haven't seen much of me, so I explain. The head of tenant construction stops me and says "Why the hell did they make you do that? We're tearing the walls out and changing the lighting layout." Apparently leasing knew all about this but my department manager neglected to check in with them before starting a retrofit on what they assumed was an empty floor.

Close to 15 hours of work and damaged knees, for nothing.

- Paperdawl

One Spoonful

Another guy's moment:

Worked in a kitchen and saw a guy scooping new, solid fryer oil into the cleaned, empty deep fryer with a spoon.

The block of oil was large and the process would take ages.

I grabbed the box of oil, flipped it over and placed it on top of the deep fryer, pulled off the cardboard and the plastic and walked away. The pilot light would melt the solid block, eventually, and it could be left unattended.

The look on that guy's face was priceless. He had been scooping it in, one spoonful at a time, for years.

- blinkysmurf

It's A Fake

My wife has a notoriously black thumb, she cant even keep the weeds alive. So I bought her a nice plastic succulent arrangement for her desk rather than getting her a real plant. The other day she said to me "I'm so proud of myself, I've been watering that plant and moving it daily so it gets enough sun, and I've kept it alive for a year!" She was not pleased when I told her you don't need to water fake plants. Slept on the couch that night but I had a great laugh.

- bacchus8408

How To Eat An Orange


About two years ago I was having breakfast with my landlady and her son (I used to work with him), and she gave me an orange. I started eating it the same way I've been eating oranges for my entire life (I was 25 years old at the time), but I couldn't help but feel like something was wrong.

I kept catching them looking at me out of the corners of their eyes as we talked and ate. It really messed with my head and made me think that there was something wrong with me. They kept sneakily looking at me, then at my orange, then at each other, then back at me, and when our eyes would meet they would quickly look away. "What are they looking at?!" I thought. "What am I doing wrong?!"

I figured it had to do with the orange, so... after breakfast I went home and tried to look up "how to eat an orange." Man oh man...

Apparently the flesh of an orange is edible?!

I had always thought that only the juice was edible, and the flesh and skin were not, so for YEARS, for my ENTIRE LIFE, I would get an orange slice, chew it until I'd squeezed all the juice out of it, and then spit it out and place it on a napkin before moving on to the next slice. I "ate" oranges like pieces of gum. Chew until flavorless, spit out, repeat. Like chewing tobacco!

To this day I am still so embarrassed by the fact that these people were looking at me create this disgusting tower of chewed up, spit out, mushy orange flesh on their dining room table, and they must've found my behavior to be so odd and unsettling that they just couldn't bring themselves to say anything!

- rubcar91

The Neighbor Is Dead

I used to pick up my elderly neighbors mail from the lobby in our apartment block every day and post it into her flat for 3 years. Turns out she died 6 months after we moved in.

- mattkem8

Go ahead, share your shame. What's your worst "all for nothing" moment?

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Here are a some people admitting strong opinions they no longer have, and what it took to change those views. Redditor u/segafarm asks:

What is the strongest opinion you once held but no longer hold, and what make you change your mind?

Jade-Colored Glasses

I used to think that being cynical/negative was realistic and somehow smarter than being positive. I've since realized that a "be prepared for the worst but expect the best" is far better. We can't control the outcome of anything in life. Being negative makes you miserable rather than protected from bad things happening.


Cant' Have A Conversation With A Parrot

I used to be a conspiracy theorist. Believed that 9/11 was committed by the US government and that we never landed on the moon.

Once I started looking outside of the echo chamber I was in and started looking at alternate explanations, theories and listening to different viewpoints I soon realized how ridiculous those notions were.


A Big, Mysterious Universe

I used to be a strict, hardline atheist. I was the kind of bastard that would bring the subject up for no reason, just to argue. I don't know what the hell my problem was. Now I feel like, the universe is big, I don't know what all might be out there, I don't really care. I live as if there is no afterlife, because that makes sense to me. But if you don't, and you believe in one, that's perfectly fine, and maybe you're right. Who knows?


Portrait Of An Artist As A Young Man

I used to believe anyone can be a successful artist if they just put the time and effort into it. There is no such thing as talent, only hard work.

What changed my mind: Art school. There were quite a few people that tried hard, but just weren't able to achieve professional level art.


You're Not Your Emotions

For the longest time, I thought my emotions were in a sense the most "real" part of me. I was always a very emotional person and I didn't make a real effort to control it as I thought it was a good thing, that I was just being honest with myself. Over time though, I started to become very depressed and the negative emotions just keep adding on and on. I thought "this is just how I am I guess". Unfortunately it started hurting other relationships I had, and everything changed when my girlfriend broke up with me. After a lot of reading I found that emotions are not who we are at all. They're just reactions and there's nothing that requires us to act on them or feed them. I'm learning to let it go through me instead of hanging on like I used to.


Don't Forget Big Willie Style

I used to think that hip hop was bland, repetitive, and all about clubbing and sh*t. Then one of my friends pointed me towards people like Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Nas and Run The Jewels, who all have great songs and clever lyrics, and I realized that Hip Hop is pretty great.


The A**holes Will Always Find A Way

I used to think that the catholic church was responsible for all of the hateful people in it. I gave people the chance to challenge my opinion and someone explained it very nicely to me. Basically, the hateful people use the church as an excuse, if you remove the church they will gladly find another excuse.


High Times


I used to tell myself that I would never stop smoking weed, and that I'd be happy if my kids grew up to be pot smokers... Now I have a kid, don't smoke, and realize what an idiot I was when all I did was smoke all day. I could probably be in a much better position if I hadn't smoked all through college.

But I mean, I still think pot's okay... Just in moderation.


The Road Less Traveled

"All taxation is theft, man! I made my money without any help from public institutions or the infrastructure they support, I should be able to keep every last dime of it!"

Naturally that was when I was 18, living at home rent free, and working at Pizza Hut as a delivery driver who relied upon public roads for pretty much every cent I made.


All Those PSA's Didn't Do Much

The whole D.A.R.E anti-drugs. Yes crack and heroin is bad, but they over dramatized what happens when you do smaller drugs. Weed isn't even a gateway drug, alcohol is more of a gateway drug. When I saw weed for the first time I thought it was tobacco (This was after all the D.A.R.E training too). Letting the government teach you your morales and philosophy is a thing that sheep do. Don't be a sheep.


Where Would We Be Without The Kindness Of Strangers

I used to think people on welfare and state assistance just weren't trying hard enough. I grew up spoiled and entitled and it seemed like any kind of charity was a stigma.

Then, my husband became chronically ill, and the economy took a shit. My family has been close to homelessness more than once, and have relied on state insurance and assistance off and on throughout the past few years. There are definitely people out there who abuse the system, but some just get stuck in a horrible cycle of poverty.

I also work in a school that has a high number low income and refugee families. It has really opened my eyes to the struggles that some people face.


He's Still There For You, The Best He Can Be

I could go through life and could seek meaningful advice from my Dad who has always been there for me.

Now he has been reduced to a feeble condition, I am starting to understand I'm out there on my own, and even what he's sure of is suspect given his mental and physical facilities have been rapidly deteriorating in his late seventies. I feel horrible that I have noticed this long before he did - or at least admitted as much.


Clear Your Mind

This was before I received an ADHD diagnosis. When my doctor referred me to an ADHD specialist, first of all I refused to believe him and was kind of slighted that he even suggested that I could possibly have ADHD.

I had a very strong opinion that if I get a diagnosis that I would refuse to take prescribed amphetamines because they are "bad" and "addictive" and that they would ruin my life.

Then I actually tried the prescription and it was like magic.


Going Through The Whole Spectrum

Used to be fairly open with my views on immigration policy. Then I worked for a while down near Corpus Christie doing immigration work. I'd say one out if every hundred people that came through our office was going to somebody who actually wanted to work and try to make a living here. So many people simply wanted to exist enough to get welfare. Many were young men who we would later defend against exportation as a result of their criminal activity. I began to despise the work of defending these men and wished they would be deported.

Now, I'm dating a foreign girl and we are in the legal immigration process. She has advanced degrees and skills, so that makes things a little easier. But it does make me resent people who just bypass the system. We can't bypass the system because I imagine my participation in immigration fraud could get me disbarred.


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