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Illustration: Ian DingmanSecrets And Lies

The lies you’re told every day

Locals reveal their most common on-the-job fibs.


The realtor
“Granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances
have become the lingo for new. But it can mean total shithole. Hotpoint makes [faux] stainless-steel appliances now. Hotpoint is the bottom of the barrel. It’s the garbage of all garbage appliances. We put that in a lot of our properties so we can say it’s stainless steel. It’s not even stainless steel, actually—it’s plastic. We’ll list hardwood floors; well, a lot of the hardwood floors are actually Pergo, which is like a plastic floor.”—real-estate agent for eight years

The server
“People will come up with all sorts of crazy requests. Sometimes the requested additions are things that are totally possible, but I tell the customer the kitchen can’t do something extra because if I ask the chef to do it, he’ll scream at me. Someone wants to add onions or cheese, and it’s like, ‘No, I’m really sorry. We can’t do that.’ I totally go back to the kitchen and make fun of those people. Also, basically anyone who asks for the manager—people who want to complain about the food or the service or people who come in with résumés—the manager is pretty much never available. He could be standing right next to me, but officially he’s not here.” —server for nine years at several fine-dining restaurants, most recently at a respected farm-to-table spot

The bartender
“The first and foremost lie is that I give a flying fuck about my customers’ problems. I don’t! It’s like, ‘No, you’re not annoying me at all’ when it’s busy and they’re trying to tell me their problems. And I always tell the two-pack-a-day, alcoholic regulars, ‘You won’t be single forever’ and ‘No, that fifth Cosmo won’t make you fat.’ ”—bartender for two years at a smattering of new bars, including an upscale hotel rooftop spot

The flight attendant
“Whenever people have connecting flights and we’re running late, people are always freaking out. We always tell them they’re going to make it, but there’s a good chance they won’t. [Laughs] And one common thing we always lie about is, we often turn on the fasten seat belt sign and the pilot will come on the loudspeaker and say, ‘Hey, there’s turbulence.’ That just means he’s gotta go piss. [Laughs] The FAA says we have to turn on the fasten seat belt sign to open up the cockpit.”—flight attendant at a major U.S. airline for nine years

The store manager
“There are a lot of things at my store that I think are really ugly. When people try them on and they’re like, ‘What do you think of this top?’ I’m like, ‘Oh, it’s so great! We just got it in! Actually, we just sold a ton of them!’ In my head, I’m like, That’s the ugliest piece of shit I’ve ever seen. I gotta make my numbers! But the biggest lie is the store credit card, how it’s a rewards-based card. Really it’s just a credit card that screws you over with a horrible interest rate. You have to buy a lot to reap any rewards.”—manager of a trendy clothing chain for 13 years

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