We've all had the gut feelings that tell us we need to dip out of whatever we're doing before chaos ensues. It's so, so important to listen to these instincts because they can be life-saving!
Perhaps they were incredibly intuitive or the red flags were too obvious to ignore, but these folks were able to recognize when it was time to leave a messy situation. Read on to see what made these people say "Forget this, I'm out!" Content has been edited for clarity.
Mothers Know Best
“I was a blissfully unaware 12-year-old, but my mother knew better. I had just done a commercial and while shooting my mom got to talking to the stage moms, which talked her into getting me into modeling. When she floated the idea to me I thought it was pretty cool. I was excited after having made what my mom made in a week in just three hours, so why the heck not? This was in the newer days of the internet, so resources were limited. She found a kids modeling agency in the papers and we went for an interview.
The place was small and kinda dingy. I remember hearing talk about how my mom had to give them a big payment to get me started with headshots and stuff and talk about me having to be available to travel with them at times. My mom explained she was a single mom who worked full time and probably couldn’t come on a moments notice and they told her that ‘it was fine’ that she could send me alone and that they took the kids without their parents to these shoots and stuff and that it was nothing to worry about.
My mom didn’t feel right about it. She smiled and told them she’d think about it and hightailed it out of there with me. She explained to me that it felt dodgy and we went out for pizza, so overall I was happy.
With the internet now and stories I’ve heard from models concerning agencies, the best case scenario that was a modeling scam and worst case scenario it was a child trafficking ring. So, thanks mom for taking me out for pizza instead.”
“I was living with my boyfriend at the time and his two kids (11 and 9) who’d been abandoned by their mother.
He and I worked at the same place, but in different departments on opposite ends of the building. I was working 20+ hours of overtime every week so we could have an extra nice Christmas for the kids (their mom dropped them off in the parking lot of our apartment with a plastic bag of wet clothes and we never saw her again).
Payday came and his check was extremely short. Turned out he’d been taking voluntary time off whenever it was offered, going to his friend’s house to smoke and play video games all day. When I found out, it was like a kick in the gut. We had agreed that we would quit smoking together because we had kids in the house now, so that compounded the betrayal.
I took the next day off and moved all of my stuff out while he was at work.
Though leaving the kids was the hardest part. I was more torn up over them than I could ever be over any man. I’ve kept in touch with them. They ended up with grandma (his mom) who is a solid lady and awesome human being. They both graduated high school with great grades and are working while going to college now. Pretty good considering all the things they’ve been through.”
“I Hated That”
“I was doing a home cable installation and this particular customer had a basement I needed to go in. Absolutely had to or I would have to rewire the entire house on the outside which is trashy and the customer definitely didn’t want.
Anyway, this basement was infested with literally thousands and thousands of crickets. But they were like cave crickets or spider crickets or something. Each one terrifying and I had never and still haven’t seen them ever again. I didn’t even know they were crickets. They were jumping and flying everywhere. They lined the walls and the ceilings and the floor. And I had to get through three rooms of them, as well as make 3 separate trips and then spend about 5 minutes trying to work on the wiring next to a hive. The basement had no lights so it was whatever I carried with me.
I first opened the door down there and saw them all and said forget that but when I had to do I came back with like 4 entire cans of hornet spray. Emptied them. Barely phased the crickets.
I hated that.”
Such A Strange Night
“I was in college and out at the bar with some friends and my former girlfriend (now wife). Throughout the night, my lady was being bought drinks by some random dude in his late 20’s who was your typical buy-drinks-and-hover-guy. I am not the jealous type, and that man’s credit card was keeping money in my bank account.
As the lights came up at 1:40 am, no one wanted to call it a night. Random hover-dude yelled that his house was up the street and we simply followed him out like a parade. His house fills up, and quickly it’s clear that he has at least one roommate who wasn’t quite in the partying mood. A guy from the bar starts harassing the fellow who just woke up to like thirty college students in his kitchen and living room. A yelling match leads to an ejection for our parade…except of course my lovely girlfriend, myself, and a couple of quieter people who happened to be in the back of the kitchen. A few minutes of looking at phones and chatter passes. A couple other people leave.
He invites me and my girlfriend to come into the basement. I watch a lot of cop shows, read my share of procedurals, so I glanced at a stack of mail on the counter as we passed into the mudroom toward the basement, without thinking. My girlfriend, while being led downstairs with me doing the investigating asks, ‘What’s the address? My friend Liz wants to come by.’
The dude gave her a fake address! Of course, I stood there stupidly while he shut the basement door, leaving me in the kitchen. I am seeing red… the basement door is locked. I start yelling. His roommate (calmed from the booting by now) runs downstairs as I am readying myself to kick down the basement door. He has a key. We open it and I fly down there ready to kill. They’re just standing at opposite corners of the room. My girlfriend whispers that we need to leave. She had no idea it was locked. The roommate is like, dude, you locked it again you moron…
Then the key-holder raises a couple eyebrows at my girlfriend and I and says, ‘Well, if we’re down here…’
Without thinking I just backhanded him. I’ve never done that in my life. But I straight slapped this strange man. We hustled up the stairs and out the thankfully open and near to the basement rear door. We took a side-road and called a cab. Such a strange night.”
The Opportunities Weren’t So Amazing After All
“My freshman year in college I was looking for a job and saw an ad for AMAZING OPPORTUNITIES at Vector Knives. So being the broke student that I was, I decided to check it out.
It started off as a group interview, then we were placed in some kind of room where I think our behavior was observed through a camera or a one-way glass. Finally, the person in charge gave us a demo of their product while explaining how the company operates and how you make money.
It was then that it dawned on me that this was yet another one of those pyramid schemes where you work on 100% commission and have to sell to friends and family. I politely excused myself and left. The guy came chasing after me and was manically trying to convince me that I was missing out on an opportunity of a lifetime.
Banned From Campus For Life
“A lot of people don’t know this, but the largest religious University in the United States is called Liberty University. It was founded by a fiery evangelical TV preacher named Jerry Falwell. During my visit to Liberty University, Mr. Falwell himself kicked me off the campus and said I was never allowed at Liberty University again. Good!
You see, I flew to Virginia that fateful Spring day and when I landed I was immediately disappointed. All the women had dresses down to their shoes, the men were wearing ties, it was a nightmare. And the meetings, so many meetings! I was there for ‘Liberty Immersion Days’ where high schoolers from around the US were invited to stay in the dorms and check out the school. But they had us in meetings every hour for three days. It was too much, I had to escape. I managed to make it through the Friday meetings somehow, but the Friday night entertainment was too much. There was a movie with an animated mouse, and all the college students were watching it. Then they had to hustle back to the dorms to check in by the 11:00 pm curfew. ‘What is this place?!’ I almost screamed out loud. We have all seen college movies with togas and bikini-clad women, there are no curfews and long dresses and there sure as heck aren’t any people watching movies with an animated mouse.
Saturday, I woke up and I didn’t know it but I was about to embark on one of the best days of my life. I was the last one to roll into the 7:30 am ‘Breakfast with the President.’ Suffice to say most of the other students were more excited than I was for this rendezvous. Jerry Falwell immediately took the stage and started talking about all the evils facing today’s young people. That’s when I looked at the schedule, and to my horror, all Saturday was filled with meetings, from 7:30 am until 6:00 pm. ‘Oh no!’ I accidentally yelled out loud. It was involuntary, it just came out. The meeting stopped briefly and everyone stopped and looked at me. No way I was doing this. I jumped up and ran out the back door. Someone ran after me and in my mind, I like to think it was Jerry Falwell, but I’m sure it was one of his lackeys. It didn’t matter, I was in high gear, I was gone. I raced back to the dorm I was staying in, grabbed my headphones, my Beastie Boys and Snoop CDs and ran back downstairs.
Now on this day, I did do something I would later regret. In my life, I had never stolen anything, I had never been intimate with anyone, I had never drank. I tried to live a clean religious life. But on this day, I did steal a bike. The closest town was Lynchburg, Virginia. It was over 5 miles away and I needed wheels. I tried to pick a rickety bike, one that might have been left from the last semester. I jumped on the stolen bike and rode off the prison/college campus, over the river, and into town. Once in town, I tried to purge myself of the horror I had just seen. I played the most violent games in the arcade, I ate at a bar and grill, the best lunch of my life. And then I saw all the R rated movies playing that day. I went from one movie to the next until I had seen them all.
When I got out of the theatre, it was very late and dark and I knew I was in big trouble. I had skipped the whole Saturday and I had a feeling people were looking for me. I jumped on my rickety stolen bike, put on my headphones, and peddled into the night. Just as I was crossing the river that separates the town from campus, the bike broke. It just crashed down, handlebars broke, the whole thing just snapped. I fell down but laughed because it was such a rickety piece of junk.
I picked the bike up over my head and flung it into the river, letting out such a maniacal laugh that I scared myself. Not only had I stolen something for the first time in my life, but I had also broken it and then thrown it into a river. I was sure there was something so illegal about what I had done, but somehow instead of the guilt I was so often plagued with, I felt amazing. I let out more maniacal laughs and sat on the bridge watching the stolen bike float down the river. I finally decided to make the trek back up the hill where I could see a few remaining lights of the campus up on the hill.
I mistakenly decided to hike up the hill instead of taking the winding road. I found myself covered with mud, cockaburrs, leaves, and water. When I finally showed up to campus I was a mess. There were some very, very angry white men waiting for me there. I was immediately ushered into the meeting area to face Mr. Falwell himself, the supreme leader of all the angry white men. Apparently, I had been a missing person all day.
‘We are calling your parents and sending you home right now,’ Mr. Falwell said.
‘Its almost midnight, no planes are leaving now,’ I said.
The council of angry white men all nodded and decided to have a secret meeting in Mr. Falwell’s chambers. After quite some deliberation the old white men jury came back with their verdict. ‘We are going to take you to the airport first thing in the morning. You did a very bad thing and you are not going to be allowed to take part in any more activities. Furthermore, you are not welcome on the campus of Liberty University ever again,’ said Falwell’s spokesman.
‘Good!’ I said. ‘This place blows.’
I laughed all the way back to the dorms and decided never to set foot on a Christian campus again. And to have more days like that day, any chance I got because it was one of the best days of my life.”
Moving In With His Cousin Was A Last Resort
“After my mother died and I was about to become homeless, I moved in with my long lost cousin. He’s a commercial fisherman and hired me to work on his boat. Deadliest Catch style fishing. That part was fun. Two hours of sleep a night, not so much, so I was tired as heck. I found out how much of a dirtbag my cousin really was – he kept pushing me go on future trips with him and be a full-time crew member all while constantly insulting me. I WANTED to get out of there, but you can’t do that when you’re on a boat. So I stuck it out for the next few days, as he insisted that I keep working for him despite continuously telling him I don’t want to.
When I get back to his place, I mentioned something about his sister (who drank herself to death a few months before my mom did the same thing.) That made him really uncomfortable, though I didn’t understand why. Then he leaves the room, and his roommate says something quietly. Apparently, he was upset because something I said reminded him how he ‘slept with’ with his sister, who then killed herself (but he was adopted so it wasn’t ‘that bad.’)
He knows I know now. I left that day and have only talked to him once on Facebook since.”
Craziest BBQ Ever
“About 10 years ago I was kind of friends with this guy, Rick, who was constantly trying to get me to join a band with him. Rick was somewhat of a musical genius, but had an idea for a new band every other week, so nothing really ever went anywhere and I always tiptoed around giving him an actual answer about joining.
One day I had no plans and he kept asking me to come check out his new practice space. I finally took him up on the offer; partially because I was bored, but mainly because I knew that he owned 2 vintage Moog synthesizers and I really wanted to mess around with those things.
We hung out, had a few drinks, and played some music. At some point, he got a call from a friend about a party going on and we decide to head there. Before we left he pulled a ziplock bag of steaks out of the minifridge in the practice space, telling me that the party host has this awesome grill and loves to cook whatever you bring over.
We get to the party and Rick starts looking for the friend that called him. We find this guy, Tim, and he leads us to the grill to cook the steaks. I’m noticing a lot of stink eyes and confused looks directed towards us, but I chalked it up to Rick’s somewhat abrasive personality. I was figuring that Tim was the host, and while some of his friends had met and had been annoyed by Rick in the past, they’d just deal with it because he was seemingly a good friend of Tim’s.
I went inside to grab a drink and bumped into a girl I sort of knew. She was surprised to see me and asked what I was doing there, to which I responded that Rick Smith brought me. Her jaw dropped at the mention of Rick’s name and said she would be right back. I proceeded to grab a drink and was on my way back outside when three guys came pushing through the crowd of people and one of them yelled, ‘RICK SMITH! WHERE ARE YOU GOON?’ I followed the crowd outside to see these three guys surrounding Rick and Tim at the grill. The one guy is screaming at Rick about how he warned him to never set foot on his property again. Rick, meanwhile, is just grinning and cooking his steaks.
I decide this is my cue to leave. It’s clear now that Tim is not only not the host of this party, but neither he or Rick are welcome there or friends with anyone there. I’m trying to make myself as small and unnoticeable as possible to sneak out a side door when all chaos breaks loose. Rick picked up one of the charred steaks from the grill and smacked the guy that was yelling at him across the face, while Tim produced one of those extendable metal police batons from somewhere and started wailing on the three guys that were confronting them.
I, along with a lot of other folks, freaking ran for it. Some of us ran into a nearby coffee shop to try to piece together what the had just happened, but no one was sure. Someone thought Rick hooked up with one of the guys’ girlfriends at a previous party, but wasn’t 100% sure. To this day I still have no idea what the cause of everything was. I called a friend to pick me up and decided I was done with Rick. I even went so far as to cancel an upcoming show that my band was set to play with one of his bands. I would run into him occasionally, but neither of us ever brought that day up. He eventually moved to New York City to ‘make it big’ (spoiler alert: he didn’t).”
A Bittersweet Goodbye
“A bit of a preface here: my grandfather was dying and he wanted to spend his last 4th of July with his sons at the lake house he built for all of them. He left this lake house to one of my uncles in his will, Uncle D. Uncle D starts calling my dad and I the night before because he doesn’t want to drive my grandfather home the next day so he is searching for someone to do it for him. My grandfather’s caretaker could not carry my grandfather into the house alone. I tell him I live across the state and was not about to spend 9 hours in a car to take his father home. My father, who is in very bad health himself was not physically capable of assisting the caretaker either.
We take 2 separate cars and make the drive down to the lake house to spend my grandfather’s final 4th of July with him and our family. Upon arrival, my Uncle D (who had clearly been drinking) starts demanding to know who is going to take his father home. My dad says he’s not physically capable, and I repeat that I’m not driving across the state with my toddler for 9 hours.
My uncle starts flipping out telling us that if he has to drive my grandfather (who left him the freaking lake house) home then the party is over and to get out.
I went into the bedroom where my grandfather laid and burst into tears. He told me he loved me, he was proud of me and to have a good year. That was the last time I saw my grandfather alive. That was also probably the last time I will ever see that lake house.
After that, I put my kid in the car and drove straight home.
My brother and I both have kids and my brother told my grandfather that we were really going to miss that house after he passed away. After that, my grandfather told my uncle to sign the house back over to him so he could put it in a family trust….my uncle said no and refused to sign the house back over to my grandfather. We don’t talk to him anymore.”
They Did Not Approve Of Mom’s Rebound
“My junior year of high school my parents got divorced. My mom started seeing her old ex-husband shortly after. That summer, I elected to go live with my mom and her ex-husband/new boyfriend, which was about a six-hour drive south. He had a son that lived there as well. They were a freaking nightmare.
They had no concept of personal space and the internet was bad. The new boyfriend disrespected my mom, my room was the size of a closet, and the town was tiny and had 0 amenities. There were numerous reasons to think that this was a huge mistake.
I was there for three days before I secretly packed all of my stuff into my car and drove back to my dad’s place. I called after I arrived to let them know I moved back home.
My parents were…of mixed feelings about the whole situation. My mom ended up taking my judgment of the whole situation as a huge indicator that something wasn’t right down there. She moved a month later to her own place and they split up.”
“We Noped Right Out Of There”
“I went to an unsupervised high school graduation party just outside the city limits. There was a huge Burning Man-sized bonfire out in the middle of a field. Dozens upon dozens of teenagers of all walks of life were there. My friend and I just arrived and were socializing in a barn when some girl in tears runs through into the corner. Her ex-boyfriend was dragging an axe, clearly wasted like everyone else who followed behind. He entered the barn and slammed the axe into a support wooden pole. He started yelling about something and a few others calmed him and put space between him and the axe. We noped right out of that place. We didn’t even have to time to meet up with the host of the party.
I later found out that this kid still thought they were together, but apparently, they broke up months ago and she was dating someone else. I seriously thought I was going to witness a murder.”