10 Mind-blowing Stories from Industry Whistleblowers

Users shared a lot of home truths when one Quora member posed the following question:

‘What's something that is common knowledge at your workplace, but would be mind-blowing to the rest of us?’

1 Filmmaking

A lot of what you hear when watching a movie is actually added post-production. According to the estimations of a film student, around 40% of dialog is re-recorded and added to Rom-Coms, which increases to around 60-80% for action/adventure movies. Any background noises, such as chatter or city noises, are also recorded separately and added later.


2 Travel Websites

When you’re searching for cheap flights or hotels you often find that a loading screen pops up (while the site is searching for the best results). Well, it turns out that this screen is completely artificial as the results are actually available in less than a second. The reason why travel sites use this practice is that surveys and customer testing has shown that customers consider the results more valuable if it takes several seconds for them to be processed.


3 Tracing Telephone Calls

We’ve all seen movies and TV shows in which the police monitor a call and ask the victim to stay on the phone as long as possible so that they can trace the criminal. In reality however this is absolutely unnecessary as phone companies record who calls whom every time anybody makes a call for billing purposes. These reports are given to the police upon request, thus making on-screen representations highly exaggerated.


4 Fast-Food Advertising

One user shared the rules in place on the set of a fast-food advert. Contrary to popular belief, an employee of the restaurant has to make the food on display, using only products from the restaurant. Although, so-called stylists choose the best looking materials from lots of samples and can help the employee dress the food. Plus, the employee can have as many tries as he or she needs.


5 Funeral Directors

This is one hell of a story, so I strongly urge you not to click the link below if you are squeamish. Let’s just say that the process of preserving the body is a lot more disgusting and involves a higher level of mutilation than people are aware of. Funeral directors also play on the grief of their customers, asking them to sign vague contracts which include charges they don’t want or need. It’s purely a case of sales tactics which seems rather insensitive.


6 Cinemas

You’d be wrong in thinking that cinemas make money through ticket sales. 85% of the money made from tickets goes to those who made the movies. Where cinemas actually make their money is on snacks and refreshments.


7 Propaganda

One user who works in a propaganda department of the Korean government has disclosed that the government funds Korean pop music in order to improve international relations. Over the space of four years, the equivalent of 115 million USD was poured into promoting K-pop. And where did this money come from? The Korean tax-payer.


8 Investment Banking

According to a former investment banker, practically nobody in the business knows what they’re doing, especially those working for big names such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Although they might do their research sometimes, much of the advice given is based on educated guesses and making stuff up! Juniors can work 80-120 hour weeks. Confidential information isn’t always kept under wraps. And many bankers, despite what they believe, are overpaid.


9 Porno

One young woman’s first job was at an adult entertainment website. Her job as a ‘Describer’ meant watching up to 20 movies a day and writing copy about them, which was less of an enjoyable experience than one might think. Sometimes illegal works slipped through and she saw some unsightly videos.  She became desensitised to the work over time. But on the positive side, the company held very strong policies against sexual harassment and had a great benefits package, which is something she hasn’t been able to find since leaving the job.


10 Politics

A former campaigns-worker claims that the hand-written placards you see at political events are in fact usually made by the event team and handed out or placed in the crowd strategically. Photogenic, enthusiastic members of the crowd are instructed to move into areas where the cameras can see them. And basically anything which occurs on a candidate’s tour of the country is pre-planned e.g. someone giving the candidate flowers.


If these stories are true then they truly are astonishing insights. Can you back up any of these claims? Feel free to share your own mind-blowing stories in the comments below.

Image available under a CC license from Christian V.