It’s no secret that the Big Apple can be a tough place to live.
So, when a post on Reddit’s Ask NYC subreddit implored New Yorkers to share their ‘worst day of NYC-specific mishaps,’ hundreds poured into the comments to regale each other with their most horrifying tales from life in the five boroughs.
The original poster (OP) kicked off the share-a-thon with a story of their own.
After a ‘fine’ day at work, the OP went off to a doctor’s appointment, only to get on the wrong train, and then when they finally arrived at the doctor’s they got some ‘bad news (nothing serious but just annoying).’
A flustered Redditor took to the Ask NYC subreddit to to ask for people’s ‘worst NYC-specific mishaps’ to ‘feel better’ about their own day
It’s no secret that life in the Big Apple can get messy – but for some of the city’s unluckiest residents, that concept has been taken to a whole new level
From there, the OP swung by Whole Foods to get groceries, and started walking home.
‘I feel good at this point about my large bag and 12-pack of Diet Coke, until I encounter a loose brick, trip, and face-plant. Cans are flying everywhere. My leg is bleeding and my hands are scraped,’ they said.
‘Two nice men help me up and help me gather my soda. I am at this point fully sobbing while reassuring them I’m ok which must have been a confusing experience.’
Back at their apartment, OP goes to rinse off her cuts and scrapes from the fall – only to discover that her tap water is ‘s**t colored’ – the product of rust, and the water didn’t turn clear again for more than an hour.
‘This felt like a very only in NYC day that, sometime in the future when my leg feels better, I can laugh about. I’m sure folks who have been here longer than I have much crazier stories,’ OP concluded, encouraging others to try and top their own.
And they certainly did.
Among the top-rated submissions was a fecal-related tale of woe.
On running late to see a movie, they were ‘rushing up the steps to the subway, I trip and catch myself with my hands.’
Hundreds of Redditors took to the comments section to share their ‘worst’ days in NYC
‘Only to see someone had shat wet diarrhea at the top of the stairs and it was… running down the steps… the ones I was touching,’ they grimly recalled.
Another story combined a run-in with projectile vomit and further humiliation on encountering the new neighbors.
‘On an E train that was severely delayed for the night shift due to construction, a homeless man projectile vomited on me and laughed lol,’ the person wrote.
‘It was March and snowing, I’d left my coat at the coat check in Manhattan on accident, and I have a 15 minute walk home at the time.
‘My building was family oriented, so no one is going to be awake, we don’t have cameras in the hallway and the trash chute room is right across from my apartment.
‘I decide to 86 the clothes (they were old) in the trash chute. Boom, there’s my new next door neighbors while I am my bra and thong. I just looked at them and said “A homeless man threw up on me,” and went inside and showered.’
The neighbors apparently ‘actually knocked on the door the next day to see if I was in danger or having some sort of mental episode which was swee … The wife and I became friends for a bit actually, but the husband was wary,’ she admitted.
Some stories had taken place in recent years, while others dated back decades
A third narrator recalled their stint as a fashion intern, which got off to an embarrassing start on their ‘first day.’
After initially showing up at the wrong building, the then-intern had ‘to take everyone’s lunch order and pick it up.’
‘I forget someone’s latte and tell her right away that I’ll get it for her. She said not to worry about it and kept saying it was fine. For the next 30 minutes she proceeds to keep repeating “I’m so thirsty” until I just get up and say I’ll go get your latte.
‘I open the door super frustrated and fall down all 11 cement stairs with a line of models outside. I get up and my hands are completely bloody. Try to keep it together and get some napkins when I get the latte.
‘I come back and immediately am instructed to hang all of the clothes for the spring collection. They’re white and I have bloody hands. Needless to say, I cried and cried that day but I tell the story and laugh so much now!’
Submissions ranged from catastrophic falls to unfortunate encounters with bodily fluids
One man shared a particularly upsetting anecdote from back in 2007. Notably, this was years before Uber was commonplace, also long before most people had apps like Google Maps on their phones.
At the time, the man was a recent grad en route to a job interview. He lived on the northern part of Roosevelt Island – a residential island on the East River between Midtown Manhattan and Queen – and his interview was down in Tribeca, in lower Manhattan.
‘My goal was to get there about 15-20 minutes early,’ the man wrote. Given the limited transportation options to get off of Roosevelt Island, he was already facing a commute via public transit of at the very least 45 to 50 minutes, under the best of circumstances.
‘I walk out of our building and just miss the red bus that takes you to the train and tram one mile south,’ he continued.
‘I decide to walk instead of waiting 15 minutes for the next bus to arrive. It’s a scorcher. I’m also a pretty big guy (I played offensive line for a D1 school in under grad).
‘I start sweating significantly, but hope I’ll get a reprieve from some AC on the subway. I get to the train, and there’s no trains running to Manhattan. So I decide to take the tram and then walk a few blocks to the subway. With the train delays, there’s a line, so I have to wait for a bit to get on the tram.
‘Eventually I get on the subway but there’s no AC. Making matters worse, our train gets held up underground between stations for like 10 minutes.
‘I’m starting to turn into a puddle.
‘I get off the subway and realize I’m already 5 minutes late. Panicked and unfamiliar with the broken-grid system of downtown, I get turned around. Eventually I make it. I’m like 20 minutes late, I’ve completely sweated through my clothes, and sweat is beading off my forehead and forearms.
‘After a few minutes the HR rep and one of the people on the team the position was for meet with me. They ask me what happened. I tell them the truth. Their response was “well clearly you’re not the right fit here, so you can leave.”
‘And as I’m walking out, the team member condescendingly says to me “You know, you really should try being on time and more put together.”‘
But the wringing tale had a happy ending: ‘Eventually I got a job on a great account (Warner Bros.) and got to work on films like Harry Potter, The Hangover, and The Dark Knight.’
Elsewhere, a teacher recalled one day in which she took her students on a field trip to MoMA.
‘One of my students got in the way of a hot dog vendor setting up his cart. He started yelling and cursing at her and I could tell she was getting angry, so I stepped in and said “hey, she didn’t mean to. Please watch your language in front of my students,”‘ she recounted.
‘Well. He then told me, and I quote “f**k you and f**k your students you stank a** p***y b***h.” IN FRONT OF MY STUDENTS.
‘I grab the student who originally got yelled at by the arm and move to cross 5th Ave (thank god the light is now green) while he keeps yelling at me. I turn around to make sure I have my group and see two of my male students yelling “don’t you dare talk to my teacher like that” IN HIS FACE which was so sweet but also please don’t fight a hot dog vendor on our field trip.
‘I had to go back and separate them — they were seconds away from getting physical.
One man reported that after his girlfriend slipped on ice and broken her ankle in a park, he’d ‘commandeered’ a ‘wheelbarrow’ to transport her to safety
One commenter offered a silver lining on all the harrowing – and often nauseating – tales of NYC living
‘Best part? It couldn’t have been past 9:30am.’
Among the more recent stories on the thread, one man described how just ‘today,’ his ‘girlfriend slipped and broke her ankle on the ice in a park. Got to her, called an ambulance. Waited over an hour in 22 degree weather and said f**k it.
‘Commandeered a park wheelbarrow and two very nice gentlemen helped me wheel her down to the street like a drunk in an old movie. On the plus side, the Uber was much cheaper than the ambulance would have been,’ he admitted.
To this, one commenter jokingly responded: ‘Great story. I think we should start a medical rickshaw company to up end the ambulance monopoly.’
In any case, others commented with words of wisdom about coping through harrowing tales of life in NYC.
‘Everyone always says “If you can make it here you can make it anywhere,”‘ one wrote.
‘But I like to alter that phrase to say “If you can make it through your WORST day in NYC, then you can truly make it anywhere.” This city humbles you. Tomorrow is a new day soldier.’