Category: Career

Why I won’t date Adi, a girl who travels

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Adi, who probably gets away with a lot of bullshit because she’s kind of hot

The short answer is because I’m married, though I suppose if I wished to date someone on the side a transient would be an ideal candidate. The longer answer is that as evidenced by this post on Medium (which is apparently like the Thought Catalog but possibly worse), people who describe themselves as “travelers” have an insufferably high sense of self-importance. Wanting to see the world is one thing. Considering yourself an entirely superior class of person because you sometimes like to go to places that aren’t the place you’re currently in is another. It’s the same with men who attach far too much self-worth to their beards. Congratulations asshole, your accomplishment was managing to avoid doing for two weeks something that no man enjoys doing anyway.

Let’s look specifically at why Adi doesn’t want you to date her

Don’t date a girl who travels. She is hard to please. The usual dinner-movie date at the mall will suck the life out of her. Her soul craves for new experiences and adventures.

You pig. Why would you take a girl to dinner when BASE jumping is always an option? You are SUCKING THE LIFE OUT OF HER WITH YOUR BANALITY. Also, what adult does dinner at the mall? I’m thinking Adi hasn’t been on a date since high school.

And she will never pay over $100 for Avicii because she knows that one weekend of clubbing is equivalent to one week somewhere far more exciting.

To be fair, I’d endure a transatlantic flight, food poisoning AND pay $100 if it meant not having to listen to Avicii. Maybe I do need to date a girl who travels.

Chances are, she can’t hold a steady job. Or she’s probably daydreaming about quitting. She doesn’t want to keep working her ass off for someone else’s dream. She has her own and is working towards it. She is a freelancer. She makes money from designing, writing, photography or something that requires creativity and imagination. Don’t waste her time complaining about your boring job.

This paragraph is I think what pisses me off the most about this exercise in verbal autofellatio. Look: I’m a freelancer myself. I’m aware of the freedom it brings. But to suggest that preferring to spend your paycheck on travel means you’re more creative than or somehow “above” regular working stiffs is fucking outright insulting. You know what working people do? They take those steady paychecks and save them so that they don’t spend 15 years of their lives living in squalor. You know what they do after that? They do some traveling of their own, only they do it better than you because they aren’t impetuous 20-something shitbags.

She’s not sure when the next paycheck is coming. But she doesn’t work like a robot all day, she goes out and takes what life has to offer and challenges you to do the same.

Ooh, such challenge. Yes, because some people choose to allocate a little more time to sustaining themselves, they’re WASTING THEIR LIVES. Hey, did you realize I can work somewhat normal hours and still get out there a little myself? The naivete of 20-somethings who think that this is their “only chance” to travel kills me.

Oh wait, Adi is the co-owner of a little surf hostel. Looks like she knows exactly from where that next paycheck is coming.

Her days are ruled by the sun and the moon. When the waves are calling, life stops and she will be oblivious to everything else for a moment.

So, she’s an easily distracted animal, like a cat, maybe?

She cooks well and doesn’t need you to pay for her meals. She is too independent and wont care whether you travel with her or not. She will forget to check in with you when she arrives at her destination. She’s busy living in the present. She talks to strangers. She will meet many interesting, like-minded people from around the world who share her passion and dreams. She will be bored with you.

Travel: The secret key to the success of feminism. My takeaway from this isn’t that you shouldn’t date Adi because she likes to travel. You shouldn’t date Adi because she’s a self-absorbed shithead who would seemingly be an intentionally terrible friend or girlfriend. How does “living in the present” mean that she’ll “forget to check in with you?” It doesn’t. It means the act of being somewhere that isn’t here is more important to her than you, because she is the most important thing in her life. Don’t “share her passion” for staving off adulthood, or do you even go so far as to make the pesky suggestion that she could turn her interests into a means of sustenance were she just a little more structured? I can smell your boringness from here.

And if you unintentionally fall in love with one, don’t you dare keep her. Let her go.

She’s all yours, fellas.

_____________________

I’ve run out of essay to pick at, but God dammit is this girl the worst, most oblivious fucking person alive. At the very least, she’s an archetypal example of the worst, most oblivious fucking people alive. What makes it obnoxious is that it’s all a matter of choice. It’s not like she has a job that requires her to be away from home 3/4 of the year. That would be one thing. “Reasons why it’s hard to date a traveling salesperson” would be an interesting read.

But no, she chose her life, and then decided she needed to write a thinly-veiled missive about how her life choice is superior to anyone else’s. Obviously, we all feel that way to some extent, because we need to justify our choices to ourselves. But there’s a difference between quietly reassuring yourself that you’re doing what’s right for you and dismissing 90% of the population as less than you in a public forum.

Even more disconcerting? The comments/annotations on the article. Apparently, lots of like-minded people think Adi has hit the nail on the head:

“I want to be this girl.”

“Fantastic! You managed to capture the essence behind the lifestyle.”

“Preach! This is the story of my life.”

“I am this girl. But I love sharing my life, love being inspired by what many may call the mundane. I love grounding myself in a modern city and hanging out with worker bees.”

Look at that, people. You banality is downright inspiring to your travel-minded overlords! I look forward to the post ten years from now titled “Don’t date a girl who has nothing to show for her time spent traveling in her 20s.”

Also, don’t worry: Someone did you the favor of writing a genderless version of Adi’s post.

AskMen is Making me an Advice Columnist. Please Solicit my Advice.

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So, AskMen decided they’re going to have a go of making my regular weekly column into an advice column, and I’m stoked. I’ve been providing advice in various corners of the internet for a couple of years now, so it will be nice to do it on a larger platform like AskMen. In order to introduce the idea, this week I shared a few things I’ve learned from giving dating advice (mostly women). Namely, behaviors that guys think give them an advantage, but actually turn girls off. Via AskMen:

The Behavior: Reluctance/refusal to DTR (define the relationship)

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, amirite? You’re spending a lot of time together, you’re obviously exclusive, so what’s the problem? Even without the label, it should be obvious to her that she’s your girlfriend. I mean, why else would this still be going on if she wasn’t?

Why it drives girls nuts:
For all the progression we’ve seen in modern society, you’re still expected to be the one to make this overture. Sorry. In your mind, you’re thinking something similar to the above paragraph. In her’s, she’s thinking something more like, “OK if we’re so invested in one another, why wouldn’t he call me his girlfriend? If he’s comfortable enough to leave the bathroom door open while he poops, why is that so hard?” And, face it, fellas, she’s got a point. The funny part is that she essentially agrees with you that the label itself isn’t necessarily important. But, if you’re unwilling to do something simple and apply a meaningless label, she’s going to question whether or not you intend to apply further, more meaningful labels down the road. Would you want to live with that kind of uncertainty?

How to fix it:
There’s no denying that having a DTR conversation is up there with talking to your parents about sex in terms of discomfort. In fact, proposing marriage was the easiest DTR talk I’ve ever had, because at least the script is simple. That’s why it doesn’t have to be a drawn-out affair. When my wife and I were dating, I defined the relationship simply by referring to myself as her boyfriend in passing. I didn’t even really think about it, but it stuck. NInety-nine percent of the time, actions speak louder than words in relationships, but this is one case in which they matter, no matter how trivial they may seem. Have a drink or two and lay it out there for her. If by this point she hasn’t rejected you as a human being, she’s unlikely to reject the label.

So yeah, that’s what I’m doing now. Hopefully, it will be in the standard “Dear Abby” question and response format. I think it’ll be good for both the site and the readers, because one thing that AskMen lacks is any level of engagement and interaction with their consumers. Instead of reading fake questions answered by “Doc Love,” now you can send them in and see your real question answered by a real person (me).

Of course, that can’t happen if we don’t get a steady stream of questions. Send your questions to editorial@askmen.com, and I’ll do my best to answer them. Also, by no means does the question have to be about dating or sex. In fact, I’d prefer if at least some of them weren’t. Ask me about etiquette. Ask me about what to wear to the office. Ask me something hypothetical. Ask me a “would you rather…” type question that makes me cringe. Literally, ask me anything.

Last Week’s Article on AskMen: Hitting Your Late 20’s

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I wrote this last week, but it’s still super popular so I figured I’d share it here with the subset of people who follow my blog but don’t read AskMen, which I assume is around 2 people. I think people enjoy reading things they can relate to, and most of AskMen’s readers are either approaching their late 20’s themselves, or passed them by not so long ago. A snippet:

It’s great if your first real, adult relationship results in a lasting marriage, but if not? Welcome to your first real, adult breakup and everything that comes with that. Those pitfalls are also, I think, what makes the 20s so significant. You’ve gone from an age in which you had a lot of support to an age in which not only does life get harder, but you’re expected to handle it much more on your own. If you can limp across the finish line into your 30s, chances are you’re much better off than when you started. Your teens might be when you’re ushered into adulthood, but your 20s are when you lay the groundwork for the man you’ll eventually become.

Read the rest at AskMen.

New Article at AskMen: Launching a Startup

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If you follow me on twitter, facebook, or this blog, you’re aware that I’ve been peppering the interwebs with news of my new startup, datesocial. This week at AskMen, I talked about some of the perceived roadblocks to starting a business, and hopefully motivated some people with ideas to get up off their asses and actually execute them. A snippet:

You don’t need (much) money

The biggest barrier to entry in the startup world is the perception of cost, and at one time that was a very real barrier. If you wanted to open a store, you needed retail space and product to sell. If you wanted to manufacture something, you needed materials and equipment. Thanks to the internet, that cost barrier has morphed into more of a cost speed bump, especially if you’re looking to provide a service rather than a good of some kind. Datesocial’s landing page is hosted by launchrock, a free service for startups. Customers will register and pay for events through eventbrite, which is free to use and allows you to pass on its (incredibly modest) service fees to your customers. Facebook and Twitter are where we’ve done most of our marketing, and those are, of course, free. I’ve paid for a domain name, a logo design, some business cards and a few traffic pushes on fiverr. Our gross investment at this point is right around $100. That’s a weekend’s worth of dinner and drinks. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you read about tech startups raising millions of dollars in funding, but if you’re willing to hack it at the start, you simply don’t need that.

I ended the article by saying I could go on for another 2,000 words, and that wasn’t an exaggeration. One thought that I did want to share, however, is the notion of technology and the role it plays in the startup world. Everyone, so it seems, wants to create a “tech startup”, a new app, a new website, etc. It’s all you read about at Valleywag, TechCrunch and whatnot, and it’s very easy to get caught up in the idea that a new business has to be cutting edge or rely on some kind of new technology. It doesn’t. The core concept of a business is finding a void with your consumers and then filling that void. You can do that by offering something that no one’s ever seen before, or you can take an existing model that’s broken and perfect it. It’s very rarely a tech problem.

When my wife and I were conceiving datesocial, our first thought was “Oh shit, we need a website and neither of us know how to design or build one.” We built a landing page at launchrock, but we were still focused on tech, tech, tech. We were building a startup, so we assumed it had to be a “tech startup.” It didn’t, and it isn’t. I had an epiphany when I was talking with my friend Ryan Melogy, co-founder of faithstreet. He said something to the effect of “Dude, you’re essentially trying to throw a party. Your first step is throwing that party and getting the word out.” That’s when it kind of clicked. Datesocial isn’t a tech company. In fact, it’s the opposite of a tech company. It’s real life, it’s on the ground, and it’s about interacting with real people and helping them interact with each other. Sure, we rely on tech to facilitate things, but it’s a vehicle, not the core concept. That’s why I don’t understand sites like Grouper, who purports to match people based on some kind of algorithm that examines their facebook data. It sounds like a cool science project, but I believe in people’s ability to do their own matchmaking. When you start a company that claims to connect people using something as detached as a computer program, you’re either way too deep in the weeds or unwilling to get out there and mix with your customers.

If you have an idea for a business, provided it’s not an actual tech product, tech should not be your first concern. Your first priority should be creating a prototype and testing it. There are so, so many free or cheap tech products out there that will get you where you need to be, or at least get you to where you can launch a beta product. You can (and should) hack it at the start. Why sink thousands of dollars into a web designer and developer when there are sites like facebook, twitter, and eventbrite that can serve essentially the same purpose (and make it easier to tap into social media to boot)? Unless you’re running a true “tech startup”, it’s not a tech problem. It’s an execution problem, or a motivation problem.

Read the full article at AskMen

11 Things Your Bar Customer Won’t Tell You

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Bartending, despite being a fine profession, is often a thankless one. I’m not a bartender, but I’ve worked in restaurants and customer service before. Everyone who has knows that while most customers are decent and benign, some are nightmares. It comes with the territory. “The customer is always right” is more of a guideline than a rule, and having to explain to a customer that they are wrong without sending them into a fit of rage can be a real headache. Still, if you’re in a position that requires you to deal with other human beings, if you want to keep your job it’s necessary to learn to navigate those waters. That is, unless you’re a bartender, apparently.

Buzzfeed just published this article called “11 Things Your Bartender Won’t Tell You”, and as far as I can tell it’s the rantings and ravings of a group of people who believe that they aren’t required to practice good customer service by virtue of being gatekeepers to the liquor I’d like to pay them for. Here are some highlights (emphasis not mine):

Do not try to get our attention. At all. We know you’re there, and we know the order in which people got to the bar. We know you want something. That’s why you’re at the bar. Do not wave. Do not yell.”

Hey, your bar’s on fire, but I’m going to respect your desire for privacy in a public setting.

“Honestly, the best method is to be obviously ready to order without asking a ton of annoying questions. Don’t worry, if they make eye contact, they’ll get to you. If you wanted to not wait for a drink, go to 7-11.”

And I guess if you wanted to make below minimum wage without interacting with people, go to the unemployment office

“Unless it is entirely the wrong drink, do not send it back. if your martini needs a ‘smidgen more olive juice,’ then shut up. Make it yourself next time.

“Have your friend drink it.”

“Hey Ralph, thank you for this report that I paid you a ridiculous markup to produce, but it’s not quite right. Can you revise it?”

“No. Make it yourself next time.” Or,

“No. Give it to Gene in the procurement department. He likes his reports that way.”

“Paying with a credit card is annoying if you are buying one drink. If you’re buying a round or keeping a tab open, it’s completely reasonable. Customers often don’t realize how much money bars lose on credit card fees.”

Yes, exchanging money for goods and services in a way that doesn’t require you to test the limits of your education by doing simple arithmetic is a real ball-buster. No, I don’t know how much money the bar loses on credit card exchange fees, but I’m confident it’s less than the profit they make off my $10 cocktail.

“I worked in a Boston pub, so anything that required more than three ingredients was annoying. It was the type of place where you ordered a beer or a gin and tonic. Simple stuff. Not a cosmopolitan-type place.”

Oh, I didn’t realize that your full bar stocked with lots of high-margin spirits and cordials for which I’m willing to pay you money was just for show. My mistake, scratch the cosmo and make it a bud light. From a bottle, please. I wouldn’t want you to have to wash a glass.

The best way to tell if your glasses are clean is to look at the lacing as you drink your glass of beer — basically, does the head kind of stick to the side as you drink it, making little rings around the glass as you drink it? If it does, you’ve got a really clean glass.”

Oh, you don’t wash glasses. Nevermind, then. Draught is fine.

“I personally hate making Long Islands, because I know that people are drinking them just to get fucked up.”

I personally hate manufacturing cars, because I know people are buying them just to drive places. The nerve. Sometimes I wish that there was a source of authority that would make someone stop driving their car if they abused the privilege or used it in an unsafe way.

There’s more, so click over to buzzfeed for more top-secret insider info like “don’t ask them for free drinks.” Since I’ve seen dozens of lists like this, I decided to make my own, only in reverse. The following are 11 things your bar customer won’t tell you:

1) Shut up and make my drink, it is how you and this establishment make money.

2) Shut up and make my drink, it is how you and this establishment make money.

3) Shut up and make my drink, it is how you and this establishment make money.

4) Shut up and make my drink, it is how you and this establishment make money.

5) Shut up and make my drink, it is how you and this establishment make money.

6) Shut up and make my drink, it is how you and this establishment make money.

7) Shut up and make my drink, it is how you and this establishment make money.

8) Shut up and make my drink, it is how you and this establishment make money.

9) Shut up and make my drink, it is how you and this establishment make money.

10) Shut up and make my drink, it is how you and this establishment make money.

11) Shut up and make my drink, it is how you and this establishment make money.

That should cover it. A bartender deserves, like any other human being who hasn’t wronged you in any way, to be treated with a certain amount of dignity, patience, and respect, especially considering that they’re working when we see them. The same applies to a bartender’s customers, even if they happen to not be their platonic ideal of a patron. At my job, I can’t simply step back and be an asshat because I don’t like the people and/or practices I’m paid to deal with. The same should apply to bartenders.

You’ve been Wasting your Time: Turns Out there’s Only One Secret to Effective Management

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Oh look, it’s another pointless article on effective management from a self-proclaimed “business expert”, this time a guy named Geoffrey James. Turns out, he also has a book about business. His advice this week? Forget those management books (except for his)!

Via Inc.com:

Management books have it all wrong. They all try to tell you how to manage “people.”

It’s impossible to manage “people”; it’s only possible to manage individuals. And because individuals differ from one another, what works with one individual may not work with somebody else.

Some individuals thrive on public praise; others feel uncomfortable when singled out.

Some individuals are all about the money; others thrive on challenging assignments.

Some individuals need mentoring; others find advice to be grating.

The trick is to manage individuals the way that THEY want to be managed, rather than the way that YOU’d prefer to be managed.

The only way to do this is to ASK.

THANK you, Geoffrey (can I call you Geoff?) for POINTING out the obvious fact that we’re ALL unique snowflakes WHO have our own PREFERENCES when it comes TO management by using irritating formatting and EMPHASIS.

To an entitled millennial who wishes for their manager to recognize their unique greatness and allow them to “become who they’re supposed to be”, I bet this sounds swell. To anyone else, this sounds pretty stupid. Yes, it’s true that different people have different needs when it comes to our careers and our managers. That’s why we have one-on-ones. It’s the manager’s job to understand their employee, figure out how to capitalize on their strengths within the team setting, and offer guidance as to how the employee can find a comfort zone within the team and the overall management strategy. That strategy, incidentally, shouldn’t be “adjust my techniques to suit every direct report in my contacts list.”

Imagine you’re a manager (I know, funny, right?) and that you manage a team of six. Your management style, put broadly, is one of minimal to moderate oversight. You fulfill your end of the bargain by making sure each employee is clear on what his tasks are, what the outcomes should be, and when you expect these outcomes. You monitor progress through weekly team status meetings, and every two weeks you have a brief one-on-one with each employee to address any roadblocks or concerns, both from their end and yours. Other than that, you let them be. After all, you have shit to do. All of your employees love this style, except one: Todd. Todd needs, let’s say, a lot of hand holding. He doesn’t like the ambiguity that comes with having only a task order and a desired result. Todd also doesn’t like being called out and congratulated in an open forum, which is something you like to do during your status meetings.

Does Todd have unique needs? Yes he does, and one of them is that he doesn’t need to be on your team. That’s not to say he can’t be great somewhere, just not with you. Trying to change your style for each of your subordinates is like trying to win the Iditarod with a team of dogs that haven’t been trained together. Sure, each member is going to have their own personality and quirks, but to succeed it’s your job as a leader to unite your team behind a cohesive philosophy and strategy. To do otherwise would be an exercise in frustration. Kind of like dogsled racing.

There Is No Magic Pill For Great Leadership (Except This One)

 

 

One of my favorite acts of masochism is reading career articles on LinkedIn’s “recommended for you” page. It’s always a gigantic septic tank of wishy-washy, insipid, substance-free fluff pieces with a few golden turds related to actual business happenings. They have titles like “5 Ways to Unlock your Employees’ Potential”. It blows my mind, because people are paid to write this shit. Take for example this piece by Roberta Matuson called “There Is No Magic Pill For Great Leadership”:

All quotes via fastcompany.com:

I’ve been interviewing a number of executives for my new book, The Magnetic Workplace (Nicholas Brealey, 2013) and so far my findings have been rather interesting. There is no magic pill for great leadership. Yet many organizations believe they can solve problems by handing someone a book (even if it’s authored by me) or sending them to a one-day management training program at the local Holiday Inn. The results by themselves are usually disappointing.

What, you mean there’s no magic pill? Well shit, tell Pfizer to stop what they’re doing and go home. At least this drivel contains realistic, if not obvious truisms, right? Wait a minute…

Here’s how great leadership is created:

Really getting to know your people. You have to be willing to put in the time to really get to know your people so that you can work with them to build on their strengths. Put down your smartphone, walk around your desk, and invite one of your people to lunch.

Oh God damn you Roberta. She goes on like that for seven IQ-lowering paragraphs, with such nuggets of wisdom as “spend money on things that are worth spending money on” or “don’t complain if you hire me as a consultant and don’t like what I’m telling you”. Don’t tell me that there’s no “magic pill” for something and then go on to offer what is essentially your form of a magic pill.

Oh, you’re just writing fluff pieces to promote your book without actually offering a site’s readers anything of value? My bad, carry on then.