Monday, July 31, 2006

Astringency

People who get really offended when you compare someone to a famous person. "Did you just compare him to Jesus Christ?!" they say in an indignant tone. Yes, yes I did. IT'S JUST A COMPARISON. TAKE THE MAIN POINT AND MOVE ON

Rappers who hit me with so much of the same thing (saying "hit me" sounds cool, huh):

Male rappers: "I have hos, cristal, and thongs dropping all over the place"
Female rappers: "Your girl can't do it like i can, I'm so hot i reject guys left and right, don't you want me"

Frankly, my hip-hop brethren, these claims are so tired and old that when I hear them, I just want to take a nap in a rocking chair with a piece of straw in my mouth. Please. Give me something new. Tell me your business plan. Tell me your favorite breakfast restaurant. Tell me something!!!!

Video games because they're not fun any more. Ooh, MPGs!! Ooh FPS games!! Wow, I can spend 4893895231952 hours trying to figure out how to open this door! Please give me a god damned break and let me jump on some turtles' heads. The last fun game: Super Mario Kart on SNES

CALTRAIN I HATE YOU SO MUCH. What kind of POS transportation system has the most CONFUSING schedule on earth, a web page that obfuscates its own times, and trains that sporadically don't run at normal hourly times? Now I am an educated man, but one look at their schedule here made me question the dozens of years I have spent and thousands of dollars I have spent learning how to read. Is this a personal story? MAYBE LIKE LAST THURSDAY NIGHT WHEN I WAS STUCK IN SF THANKS TO THIS HORRIFICALLY POORLY RUN SERVICE

When you go to a restaurant and try to pour the crushed red pepper on your pizza, only the stupid bottle doesn't pour more than one flake out at a time. This means that I have to spend about 15 minutes furiously pouring the red pepper, while burning about 72,000 calories. I sincerely wish there was a dump truck full of crushed red pepper that unloaded its glorious cargo whenever I snapped my fingers. It's these moderate dreams that get me through the day.

Bagels. I don't how stupid Americans started liking bagels in the late 90s, but allow me to mock you and condemn the ABSURD ACT OF EATING PLAIN BREAD WITH NO TOPPING OR TOASTING. My favorite bagels are the 12-for-$2 bagels that you get in the grocery store--the ones you actually TOAST and put cream cheese on. Yet unbelievable amounts of people will go order plain bagels (or sesame, or whatever) and just EAT THEM PLAIN!!!!! Perhaps I'm blowing this out of proportion but I can't remember ever seeing someone walk into a Safeway, buy a loaf of bread, then casually eat it while walking around on the street, hands in pockets, whistling, all the while moaning in pleasure for how "mmmmmm good" it is. I hate you, bagels.

Registrars. What is it that draws the meanest, most anti-social people to this position--at any school? Or perhaps the position actually creates disgruntled, socially awkward people. Whatever the case, I will welcome the day when this job is offshored or computerized.

Puzzles, Sudoku, and any other "games" that are not fun

Waiters who ask, "Would you like to hear our specials?" and then proceed to list about 62 DIFFERENT SPECIALS WITHOUT STOPPING TO SEE IF WE CARE ANYMORE. How many times have you been at a table when this horrific monologue started, and you and your friends are just looking at each other embarrassedly? "Please stop," I whimper to myself. "Please stop." If I were a waiter and I saw 4 of my customers looking down at the table, inspecting the nearest fleck of microscopic dust, and slowly reaching for a screwdriver with which to kill themselves--aka NOBODY WAS LISTENING TO ME--I would probably stop, leave, and send free drinks for everyone to atone for my mortal error. Quick tip: If it looks like someone is going through the pain of giving birth while listening to you, you can safely assume TO STOP TALKING RIGHT NOW.

That stupid Josh Groban song, "You Raised Me Up," which every aspiring singer on TV apparently must try to reproduce. This is like me trying out for a cooking show and making an entire meal around Spam. Why not at least pick something good to copy?

People who go on Elimidate and then get sanctimonious about others' behavior. IT'S ELIMIDATE, NOT TRAINING FOR A NUNNERY. Girls will be like, "Ugh (rolling eyes), I can't believe she did that. That slut!" Dude, she's here to win and you are here to gain other female approval. Stop wasting my time. My favorite time was when an Indian girl went on Elimidate ("Indian girl" and "Elimidate" have never been uttered together before) and was the most prudish of all...of course. WHY DID SHE GO ON!? And the best part was that she said, "My parents and grandparents will be watching this." This is exactly the same reason why I would never go on TV to play in the World Series, NBA finals, Superbowl, or any other athletic event.

Anachronistic ad agencies. I will short you all

When you get into bed and are all comfortable, but then realize you're on TOP of the sheet, so you have to get up and readjust yourself. This is so nitpicky that it's a surprise I haven't had a heart attack yet.

The moronic tendency of people to pre-judge a jury verdict before it comes out. "Oh, I know OJ is guilty," many people said, to which I replied: Are you out of your god damned mind? How on earth do people purport to know (1) whether someone really did it and (2) what a jury will say when (a) THEY ARE NOT IN THE TRIAL, (b) THEY DIDN'T WATCH ANY OF THE TRIAL, and (c) EVEN IF YOU DID YOU STILL COULDN'T PREDICT IT WITH CERTAINTY. Yet these people will nod reassuringly and essentially pat themselves on the back, "knowing" that they know the right outcome. Will they ever be held accountable? No. Will they ignore disconfirming evidence if they're wrong? Yes.

People who get overly serious about recycling stuff:
Me: "Hey, where's the garbage can?" (Btw this is at a party where everyone is having fun)
Friend: "Oh, it's right over there."
Me: (Walks over to throw my coke can away)
Friend: PHYSICALLY STOPS ME AND LOOKS OUTRAGED. "Aren't you going to recycle?" he says in the same tone as if he'd found a body in the trunk of my car
Me: (Stares at friend, blinks)

Props to my brother for suggesting this one. Now, I'm all for saving the environment when it takes a few minutes of my time, but perhaps we can stop the global war on putting ONE COKE CAN IN THE GARBAGE CAN.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Chafe

Anyone who--while hanging out with friends and paying back some money they owe to one of them--hands it over and coyly says "This is for last night." Is that even supposed to be funny anymore? It's been used 59,901 times since we were kids. Also, I don't think prostitutes take IOUs.

People who get in relationships and then never see their friends anymore. HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU KNOW LIKE THIS? These are the people who we disparagingly say "got married" in college, even though they didn't officially do that. What we really meant is they found a girlfriend/boyfriend and basically disappeared from everyone. I seriously hate this, and it's probably the fastest way for me to hate you. Talk about making a bad decision. Hmm, let's see, it's Friday night and I'm on a college campus, with more young people than I'll ever be around again. I think I'll hang out with the same person, stay in, and watch a movie!! What a life!!

Common phrases by these people:
You: "Hey dude, want to come out with us on Saturday?"
Lame-o: "Oh, I'm not sure....let me check with Michelle"

You: "Hey, we're going to get some food tonight, want to roll?"
Lame-o: "Yeah, we'd love to come" (even though they actually gave a once-in-a-blue-moon agreement to come out, WE DIDN'T INVITE YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER!! SOMETIMES WE JUST WANT TO HANG WITH YOU)

Lame-o (when they finally email you like 8 months later): "So...what's been going on?"
You: Silence (where do you even start? and why bother?)

The sad thing is not only the people who break up later, and find they wasted some of their best years sitting inside and watching Cheaters at 1am on Friday night. It's even the people who DO end up staying together, who one day will realize that they have exactly....1 friend.

This rant isn't over. What's funny is that, once every 39054213 years, these lame people will try to invite friends out to "reconnect." It will usually be something like a dinner, which requires little to no planning (of course). And they are inevitably SHOCKED when few people respond to their emails. WHAT A SURPRISE!! YOU STOPPED RESPONDING TO EVERYONE'S INVITATIONS FOR THE LAST 5 MONTHS/YEARS. WHAT WOULD SERIOUSLY MAKE YOU THINK THAT ANYONE WOULD RESPOND TO YOUR INVITATION AT THE DROP OF A HAT? Are these people out of their minds?

PLEASE, PEOPLE: DIVERSIFY YOUR FRIENDS. IT'S REALLY NOT HEALTHY TO HANG OUT WITH THE SAME PERSON ALL THE TIME. PLUS, IT'S MORE FUN TO HANG WITH OTHER PEOPLE. Why do I even bother with recommendations on this one? It's like trying to teach a wombat how to do viral marketing. Hopeless.

Update: How funny is this shit. 2 people have IMd me saying, "Wow Ramit, your post about college students getting married was so funny!!" Ironically, these people did not realize that THEY WERE INCLUDED IN MY RANT. Just because you're not in college anymore doesn't make you immune to this point. AGHGHGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! However, I take solace in knowing that I will never, ever run out of material for this site.

The way your hands are still wet after you wash them and dry them with a towel. One of my nightmares is going to the bathroom, washing/drying my hands, and then walking outside only to have someone IMMEDIATELY shake my hand. WILL THEY THINK I DON'T WASH MY HANDS?!? You can see the daily horrors that I confront every day when I wake up.

Anybody who says they can tell anything about your truthfulness from body language. For example, stupid people will say, "Did you know that looking to the top-right means you're telling the truth because you're accessing information from the left part of your brain?" Unless you're Paul Ekman, you don't know what the hell you're talking about. READ THE LITERATURE PEOPLE

What is it with indignant, self-righteous parents who don't take ANY suggestions people make about their children? A kid could be screaming with half his arm about to be eaten by a bear, but god forbid you say "Excuse me, I don't think that's safe." What can we expect the response to be? "HOW DARE YOU!! DO YOU THINK YOU KNOW HOW TO RAISE THIS CHILD BETTER THAN ME? I'M A GOOD PARENT, SO DON'T YOU DARE TALK TO ME OR MY CHILDREN LIKE THAT." Now let's break it down here. First of all, you're probably not that good of a parent (just a numbers game). Second, stop yelling, you hysterical crazy old codger. But finally, can you please be original? God, if I hear one more nutty parent yelling out the same tired old phrase ("DO YOU THINK YOU KNOW HOW TO RAISE THIS CHILD BETTER THAN ME?") I am going to jump off a boat into the ocean while tethering myself to an anchor of ice. Of course, I have to admit that I actually never hear this in real life--it's more often on TV shows like Desperate Housewives, where the moms are going crazy when someone says something about their kids. I guess parents like that don't hang out at VC offices and entrepreneurship conferences, my regular hideouts. Still, if every TV show says this is happening, it's probably true.

Hotel food, probably the worst of all. It's still stupendously shocking to me that people book receptions/fancy meals at hotels, only to be faced with 8195153 pieces of silverware (ooh that's really fancy, I'm so impressed), lukewarm chicken that tastes like glue, and no hot pepper. Get a life, hotels

Conferences that are either free or cost more than $2,000. I have been to both and let me tell you: They're both horrible. Here's why. Because they cost no money, the free conferences bring out the shadiest people on earth, all of whom call themselves "independent consultants." This means they are unemployed. And, not surprisingly, the ratio of "consultants" to entrepreneurs is about 2421498 to 1. In other words, if you are someone with a legitimate business at a free conference, prepare to be swarmed by geeky, socially awkward, needy people. Second, the $2,000+ conferences. These are also a waste of time AND money. See, everyone who goes to these things is sponsored by a company, so nobody really cares about anything. At the last one I went to, literally over half the people in the room were reading their email ALL day. It was like being back in a college lecture hall. If I were the presenter, I would have shut down all wireless Internet, screamed at everyone in the hall to pay attention, reminded them that their company was paying for them to attend, and ended with an ominous "Shame on you." Don't go to these goddamn rackets.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Don't kill me

Ok, apparently it's been a long time since I posted. I know this because of the many angry emails I've been getting. I'm kind of scared of you people.

I will update early next week. I promise! And to the person who complained about my lack of updates, asking "You started liking everything around you now?" I think one conversation with me would answer that. Started liking everything around me. Are you out of your mind?

SEE YOU NEXT WEEK

Monday, December 12, 2005

Wrath

Anybody who starts an essay by defining a term. How many juvenile essays have you seen that begin like this? "Webster's defines impropriety as blah blah this essay will be read by no one because I am a horribly boring writer." Why not just announce that you are a moron in the title of your paper? WE ALL SPEAK ENGLISH AND DON'T NEED A DEFINITION IN THE MOST IMPORTANT REAL ESTATE OF A PAPER--THE FIRST SENTENCE. The best part about making this observation is that the people who write like this (and would therefore be the most offended) simply lack the faculties to write back to me and complain. I win!!!

The unbearably little amount of cheese in the regular (not supreme) Taco Bell nachos. WHY!!! Taco Bell, I have sung your praises for so long!!!

Closing after the sale. This is when someone GETS what they want, but continue to argue for it. The other day, I was eating at an Italian restaurant with a bunch of friends, and the waiter was one of those idiots who talks and talks and everyone wants him to leave. Unfortunately, the person who was in charge of coordinating the dinner was the kind of guy who can't lay it down and tell someone to shut up, so our ENTIRE table was subjected to the most horrendous type of monologue imaginable. Finally, when the guy placed the order (THIS WAS OVER 5 MINUTES AFTER THE WAITER CAME, I KID YOU NOT), the waiter CONTINUED saying why this was a good choice, why it was the softest pasta on the menu, etc. WE ALREADY PLACED THE ORDER. YOU DON'T HAVE TO SELL ANYMORE. PLEASE LEAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Closing after the sale is also a cardinal sin for salesmen. Watch for it next time you're out and please just stop the people and tell them what they're doing. Collectively we can begin shaming these people into stopping talking.

Stupid companies that don't list their prices on their site. Yes, I understand how enterprise software/hardware works, but that doesn't mean I won't single you out and mock you. I worked at an enterprise company and the dirty secret is that--even though there are list prices (which procurement officers have to dig up, explaining why they're so astronomically high)--they are routinely sold for for 50% off, 70% off, or even 90% off. I guess I understand why there are no prices on the Web site. They might as well put "WHO KNOWS!?!?!" on it.

Girls who overestimate how hot it is to see them making out with another girl. I cannot count the number of times some girls want something and say something like "Are you surrrrre you don't want to hang out? Who knows what will happen?" (wink, hugs her female friend). Ok. First of all, stop teasing because I have known you since 2nd grade and nothing is going to happen. Second, KISSING ANOTHER GIRL IS NOT AS HOT AS IT USED TO BE. Thank god the Internet has disintermediated your power. Actually, it's kind of sad to see the vestiges of something that may have worked 4 years ago (you offering to maybe kissanother girl) still struggling to exert influence. Incidentally, let me explicitly say that I am not opposed to this. Just don't taunt me with it.

ANYBODY who points at the stars and says "Can you see that? It's the [some astronomical term.] I genuinely believe that literally everyone who says this is lying. YES!!! YOU ARE LYING!!! NOBODY CAN TELL WHAT THOSE STARS ARE!!! And the most amusing part of this is standing next to other people who nod like lemmings and say "Oh yeah.....I think I can see it!!" Can you also see me stealing your wallet?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I am still alive and I will post soon

Ok, here's the deal. I have been reading all your comments pining away for more vitriol and, believe me, I will deliver. I have just been busy with other stuff and am traveling for a few days.

I will start posting again Monday. Come back then!

Also, if you want to read some of the other stuff I've been writing, check out my new series on personal entrepreneurship.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Recoil

Guys who seriously think that girls are really just gold-diggers and are actually after their money. Now I agree, it's fun to joke about, but th ere are REALLY guys who think this for real. I think it's a nice excuse for why these guys can't find a girl who's legitimately interested in them. But of course it can't be due to your personality, can it? It must be that they're all gold-diggers. On the off chance that you actually DO attract gold-diggers, you are sending out some seriously messed-up signals. Perhaps blurting out that you drive a BMW while rubbing your Cartier watching within 15 SECONDS of meeting a girl is not the best strategy?

When you wear a white dress shirt, praying that you will not go out to lunch, but are of course invited out to Italian food, where you spill a huge glob of red sauce on your shirt. Too personal of a story?

People who get promoted into positions of power and begin speaking in typoical BS, cover-your-ass language. Everyone has met people like this, and you always wonder if they were ever young (or fun). They're the people who say things like "Well, even if that were possible, it's not how things are done." They love using the word regulations, and they love bureaucracy. And I hate them. I know a bunch of people, even CEOs, who have risen to the top and still keep it real--they tell it like it is, instead of being machine-like automatons. PLEASE BE REAL HUMAN BEINGS AS YOU CONTINUE IN YOUR CAREERS

Organic foods, which are more expensive, go rotten faster, and have a fundamental prommise ("they're better for you!" that is far from conclusive, or even close to it. There is a nice strawberry patch near my house and I bought strawberries there a while ago. THOSE DAMN THINGS WENT BAD IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS!!! And finally, I don't need to prove that I am a good person by buying organic and smirking at others eating Cheez Its. No thanks, organic foods.

People who think they'll make it big once they find that one big idea. I've written about this in detail: The Myth of the Great Idea

Parents who make their kids take Chinese because "it's the language of the future." You know what--I know people at Stanford who do this of their own free will, too, so let me not just blame the parents. This is so absurd. It's like putting one of those propeller hats on a submarine because you think it will improve its speed. If you are worried about competing in the global economy, try to get good at what you do and meet people. DON'T TRY TO LEARN A LANGUAGE OF A CULTURE YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND JUST SO THAT YOU CAN TALK TO "THOSE PEOPLE" ON ONE HYPOTHETICAL DAY. GOD DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE AT ALL!?

Post-hoc analyses of written works that are completely WRONG, yet sound sophisticated enough to pass muster and even sound insightful. I've written things where people analyzed my work, saying it took an amazingly sophisticated postmodern look at viral-marketing techniques. I don't even know what post-modern means!!! Ok, the whole last part about people ever reading my stuff is a lie, but you know what I mean.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Frustration

Fake smiles like Kristin on Laguna Beach does. Other offenders: Julia Roberts, Lara Flynn Boyle, basically every female celebrity who, as a reaction to having to smile all day, have developed this singularly annoying technique. It's an entirely fake type of smile that makes it seem that they are amazingly amused and goes like this: The girl leans her head back, opens her mouth so widely that no rainwater within a 2-mile radius can escape, and gives some fake-sounding laugh. Listen, I have told some funny jokes in my lifetime, and I have never evoked a reaction so amusing that they literally had to lean their head back to contain themselves. STOP THE FAKE SMILES

Cold fries at fast-food restaurants. These alone are enough to enrage the common man. But looking beneath the surface, I hate one thing even more: the poor saps that take these fries and don't complain at all. And the finger-pointing ends on one group: the stupid American consumer.

I'm constantly amazed how dumb the American consumer can be when it comes to getting what they want. In other countries, retailers and customers lie to each other, insult each other, and blow them off. But you know what? And in this seemingly laborious exchange, each side gets what it wants.

The American model is a different, stupid, top-down approach: The retailer offers some good, sets a price, and the consumer accepts it. EXCEPT THAT THEY DON'T QUESTION ANYTHING AT ALL, EVER. WHEN YOU GET COLD FRIES, YOU ASK FOR HOT ONES. I cannot COUNT the number of times when my friends have gotten cold fries and, when someone (me) pointed this out, they turn into Stockholm-Syndrome-afflicted consumers, shrugging their shoulders and saying "Oh...it's not that bad" (thousand-yard stare).

PLEASE, FRIES EXIST FOR ONE REASON: TO SERVE AS HOT, NOURISHING SUSTENANCE FOR YOU. If they're not hot, they're not FRIES. And seriously--ask for what you want. If your fries are cold, they'll make them hot for free. If the pants you're buying have a button missing, ask for a discount. If you're not happy with the service, tip less. If DO I REALLY NEED TO GO ON?! JUST ASK YOURSELF THIS SIMPLE QUESTION: WWAID? That's short for What Would An Indian Do?

Forbes gets in on the action: http://www.forbes.com/2005/03/07/cx_cw_0308hate_print.html

When newspapers use this stupid style: "Acme Corporation downsized to 13 employees from 18 and will continue to tighten business..."

Why oh why do they put "to X from Y" when ANY normal person in the world would say "from Y to X"? Try it--read it out loud. This is done by some of the most prestigious newspapers in the world, including the Wall Street Journal. Why?

What is it with blogs that don't have contact information or a simple biography? I was doing some research yesterday and wanted to get in touch with blog owners, but less than 50% of them had ANY WAY TO CONTACT THEM. What is your email address? Phone number? ANYTHING!!! This is slightly ironic considering that I accidentally messed up the code on this site, erasing my email address and picture. Oops.

People who confuse doing something for a long time with being good at it. I swear to god, if I hear another middle-aged person look condescendingly at someone else and say, "I've been doing this for 15 years," I am going to jump off a bridge into an alligator pit wearing nothing but a steak necklace and alligator boots (they still miss their uncle). Doing something a long time doesn't mean you're good at it. Look, I cut onions for 6 months before my mom saw me doing it, laughed at me, and then told me the right way to do it. I could have been doing it my old/wrong way for 15 years, and I still wouldn't have been GOOD. JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE WORKED SOMEWHERE OR DONE SOMETHING FOR A LONG TIME DOESN'T MEAN YOU ARE GOOD. (I repeated this 3 times because sometimes old people take a long time to get it.)

People who read a book and take it WAY too literally. A friend of a friend read "He's Just Not That Into You" (a great book for the most part). Anyway, she was going out on a 2nd date with this guy, and he didn't call the exact time he said he would. So when he called (A FEW HOURS LATER), she told him, "Sorry, you're not taking this seriously enough so I don't want to waste my time" and that was that. SHE ENDED IT BECAUSE SHE DIRECTLY APPLIED A BOOK'S TEACHINGS TO HER LIFE. PLEASE, PLEASE SELECT YOURSELF OUT OF THE GENE POOL

Monday, September 12, 2005

Consternation

Sorry about the long break from posting, but the truth is I was too happy. I was on vacation, doing a lot of fun business stuff, etc...but now that my happiness is taken care of, I'm back and angrier than ever. Let's do this.

The interminable wait when you pour a coke and wait for the fizz to go down

After this post, I think I may be creating the new Emily Post guide to etiquette--Ramit style. Ok here's the deal: IF YOU ARE LATE, YOU ARE IN THE WRONG. If, for whatever reason, you show up late--especially when more than 1 person is waiting for you--you should be apologizing profusely, not making up excuses for why you were late. AND!!! You should EXPECT people to be irritated. How dare you get mad at them for being irritated!!! God I often wish for a blunt weapon in these circumstances. And I have seen this more times than there are stars in the cosmos. And on these special occasions, I think it perfectly appropriate to use the time-honored and maternal insult: "Shame on you, Ramit. Shame on you." (Extra points if their name isn't Ramit and you say Ramit anyway.)

People who are on college email lists and complain that they get too much email--and then remove themselves. Way to be a recluse, Mildred. Actually, let me not narrow this down to college students. If you complain you get too much email, YOU ARE NOT MANAGING IT PROPERLY. I have had people say "Ramit!! I get 60 emails a day!!" and wipe their brow with sweat. I am simultaneously in the corner laughing at them as they say this, and clenching my fists in barely restrained rage. I also get lots and lots of email (and there are people who get significantly more) but the fact is, email's like money: It's not how much you get, it's how you manage it. Isn't it ironic that people spend such a significant amount of their lives on email now, yet they don't take a few hours to learn the MANY, MANY email-management techniques out there? This smacks of idiocy and I have been struggling for ways to take advantage of these people for a long time. STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT YOUR EMAIL AND LEARN HOW TO MANAGE IT PROPERLY!!!!!

People who ask for "honest feedback" but don't really want it. Has this ever happened to you? Special note: if it's your boss asking, 99% of the time, run.

Stupid radio stations that shoot themselves in the foot by running a MINUTE-LONG AD ON HOW THEY PLAY MORE MUSIC. "This is Kiss 98.1, where we keep it real by playing ALL the music with FEWER commercial breaks. We have smooth R&B, blah blah, Luther Vandross, blah blah, history of R&B, upcoming events, but we play more music than everybody else." Then what comes next? You guessed it...a commercial.

Any political slate that runs for something that is literally impossible. Last year--this was in COLLEGE--I saw a group campaigning by putting flyers all over campus. Its main argument was that it would change pub night to accomodate teenagers too. OH REALLY!! Teenagers in a bar! So let's see...that would be illegal, prohibitively hard, and the 21+ people wouldn't want them there.

GREAT!!!

This is the equivalent of the elementary-school campaign that said it would make cafeteria food better. THANK YOU JOHNNY!!!
jackass

Friday, August 19, 2005

Hostility

You, if you make stupid gut calls that are completely uninformed by real data. This is true of everything, but let me focus on one area today: germs. There is almost nothing more irritating than someone who is afraid of "gross things" and complains about it all the time. "Eww!!" they might say, "I can't walk barefoot to the laundry room! I might catch something!" Oh really. NEED I REMIND YOU THAT YOUR SKIN IS LIKE SARAN WRAP? Witness the thousands of things that wash off of it, including so-called permanent marker and superglue. Frankly, if it doesn't make me sick, I basically don't mind. This isn't to say I wallow in the mud routinely, but I don't complain ad nauseum about getting some dirt on my hands. It's always interesting to me how these people chronically misjudge the risk factors. Ooooh, god forbid they accidentally touch someone's feet, but the very same people will then go make out with an unknown person (or share their drink). Let's just think this through for one second: If you make out with someone, you are exposing yourself to roughly 1,000,000x more risk than walking barefoot in a laundry room or touching something slimy. Now, I'm not casting judgment--except for on these stupid people's thinking and behavior--but really, can you please use some simple commonsense to judge your risks? Not everything is gross, except your incompetence

Hella stupid people who try to be political. These are the people who take the most SUPERFICIAL impression of politics and blow it up into a massively overblown/inaccurate interpretation of events. Now, I don't personally care to engage in a political debate here, but if you take what you hear from the news--whether you're Republican or Democrat or whatever--and don't actually investigate what you read, you are a moron. I can't count the number of stupid college students who have something like this in their AIM profile: "I can't believe the President/SecDefense/Head of EPA did that!! Can you believe how many jobs we'll lose! And add this to the fact that global warming is increasing and our country is going downhill." Listen up, Themistocles: First of all, it's always easy to throw your hands up and bemoan the way "things are going." I love how easy that technique makes it for you to distance yourself from any responsibility or actionable items. Second, perhaps I would take you more seriously if you didn't just read the color-coded pie charts from USA Today, and actually did some research on BOTH sides of the issue. And finally, how seriously do you expect someone to take your position if you write it in YOUR AIM PROFILE?! Perhaps you could write a memo or a letter to the editor or an essay and post it online. Ohh, but you won't, will you? That would take effort and force you to actually think about a rational position and, god willing, some recommendations. It's much easier to just sit there and complain, isnt it? Hatred

STUPID-ASS CORPORATE PHONE SYSTEMS THAT *REQUIRE* YOU TO SPEAK (NOT TYPE) YOUR INFORMATION IN, GIVING YOU NO OTHER CHOICES. First of all, can we just stipulate that if you're stupid enough to put one of these systems in, the system itself is probably not that good? And furthermore, it is extraordinarily hard for a machine to distinguish the spoken characters of something like "A805OCBETG." And yet there are companies that offer ONLY the option to speak your information, not type it. Talk about a mode error--I wonder if the CEO thought "ooh cool speaking functionality!" when he heard it. Jackass

People who post furniture for sale on Craigslist but don't put a picture. Why not just move your post to the garbage and save the middleman?

Friday, August 12, 2005

Spite

The way most people are atrocious photographers. I am frankly more than a little surprised that we have raised a society of people who take consistently bad photographs. Let me break it down: Are you tired of getting photos taken of you where the smiles look fake? Where 2 people have their mouths open? Where everyone just looks crappy?

Worse yet, are YOU the person taking these photos?

Here is a simple remedy that defies social norms but is a good way to get great smiles and photos that don't make me want to jump off a building backwards (might as well check my reflection on the way down):

Usually, when people are taking pics, people say something like "Smile! 1...2..3" and then either (1) THEY DON'T HOLD THE BUTTON LONG ENOUGH, SO NOTHING HAPPENS, LEADING TO THEM LOOKING AT THE CAMERA CONFUSEDLY WHILE EVERYONE'S FACES ARE TURNING TO STONE (anger) or (2) they just take a crappy picture where everyone looks fake.

Listen up people. There is another way. Get the people gathered. Get them warmed up. Tell them a nice joke. GET THEM LAUGHING NATURALLY. Then Take The Picture!! It's ok if they don't expect it!! REMEMBER!! You don't really have to count "1...2...3" in order to take a picture!!

People forget this and look stunned when I suggest it. Yes, it's true. Try to get a natural laugh out of your audience and the pictures will look great. And hold down the god damned camera button.

Cold showers

Sorry, but I have even more camera hatred. What is with the people who you ask to take a picture of you/friends and they look at the camera like it's a foreign weapon? "Uhh...I'm not really sure....(bewildered look)....no....sorry" and they refuse to take the pic because they don't know how to use a camera. Now, I very very very rarely get mad at someone for not knowing something, or make fun of them for that. After all, you can't really mock someone for not knowing something--maybe they just didn't have the opportunity to learn, etc.

But there are some cases I feel very comfortable mocking people: when they don't know something that any functioning human being should know in the course of breathing oxygen and living on this planet. For example, if you're under 85 years old, you should have dealt with a camera. So when I hand it to you, PLEASE DON'T RETURN IT TO ME LIKE IT'S KRYPTONITE. TAKE A PICTURE AND PLEASE POINT IT THE RIGHT WAY.

Another thing: Learn how to pump your own damn gas. (People that live in NJ etc, yes we know that you're legally not allowed to pump yours, so thanks.) There is absolutely no excuse for not knowing how to do this, people. My parents were so smart that they made us think we were LUCKY to be able to pump gas. Meanwhile, they chilled in the car and listened to the radio!! Brilliant!!! I will be fortunate enough to pass on that wisdom as soon as my toddler child can walk.

Interesting sidenote on the gas thing: In high school, I had a friend who didn't know how to pump gas. So one day we were driving somewhere and I had to get gas. Remembering that he didn't know how to do it, I made fun of him and then made him get out and pump my gas. I was feeling very good. Then he got back in the car and we continued driving. It was a cold night, so I had the windows rolled up and the heater on. By the time we got downtown, all of us mysteriously had POUNDING headaches. Upon further investigation, it turned out that my friend--the one I Was so happy about making pump gas for me and learn how to do it for himself--spilled gasoline all over his shoes, which then seeped into his sock. Apparently the smell of gasoline in an enclosed space for a long time is not good.

And finally, this is the last hatred (for now) about people who don't know something. I am CONVINCED that if you take a sample of top college students--say 100--some surprising amount will not know how to put the toilet paper on the toilet-paper roll. THIS IS MY GREAT CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIETY!!!!!!! I call it the Toilet Paper Hypothesis. Let me explain: See, these are people who have never really had to learn how to do it. When they were at home, their mom always put the toilet paper on. And when you get to school, there are maids who do it. So really, when would there be a necessity to learn this? And if you're a top college student, it's even more likely that your mom did it at home and you had maids at school.

The interesting thing is that when I tell people this, they scoff as if it's the most outlandish thing in the world. LISTEN, I WILL PUT MONEY DOWN ON THIS. Here's the bet: You get 100 people, take them into a bathroom one-on-one, and say "Ok, fix this"--and there's a new roll of toilet paper sitting on top of the toilet. The subjects have to put the new toilet paper back on the roll within some reasonable amount of time (say 30 seconds or whatever). If they can't, they fail!!! I bet that at least 3% of students have never done this in their lives.

God I will mock these people until the end of time!!!

Movie theatre seating that is not staggered. Thank you, seat designers, for making me stare into the back of someone's head for 2 hours instead of simply moving my row 3 inches to the right. ANGER!!!!!!!!!! But to be honest, if I were the seat designer and I did this (whether intentional or just a stupid oversight), on the first day I would go into the theatre with a humongous hat and just listen to the whispers behind me. Might as well get some laughs out of it, I guess.

People who write out numbers like "two" instead of just writing 2. I don't care what MLA style says, it's harder to read.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Be back later

I'll be gone for a few days, so no posts while I'm gone!

-Ramit

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Grudge

When you're watching the car in front of you swerve all over the place and you can see the driver fishing around for something in the car

People who use "who's" when they mean "whose"

People our age who try to rationalize stealing music. They will use the most convoluted, nonsensical excuses to reconcile what they're doing. "Well, if the record companies released BETTER music, and we didn't have to buy an entire CD, maybe we wouldn't have to STEAL music!!" or "The record companies are so out of touch. If only they had a place where you could buy reasonably priced music, I definitely would."

Ok, let me make a quick comment on this. When you do customer research, some percentage of your prospects will say "Yeah, I'd buy (your product) at that price, but I'd buy more if you priced it lower." Don't listen to this. Customers have no idea what they're talking about when they engage in theoretical pricing/purchase exercises. As an example, when I Was launching BitterShirts, I did fairly extensive customer research on about 20 shirts, having a representative cross-section rank about 20 designs from "I hate it" to "I'd definitely buy it." When I eventually chose shirts and launched http://www.BitterShirts.com, over 70% of those who said they would "definitely buy it" didn't. So PLEASE, IF YOU EVERY SAY "I'd buy it if it were cheaper" THE TRUTH IS YOU PROBABLY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT--yet you will steadfastly insist that you do. Go away.

Why is it that people above you always lie about what you're about to encounter? Think about people in high school or college, who had taken some class a year before you. You ask them, "Is it hard?" And they will inevitably give you some completely polarized response: "Oh my god, it's the hardest class you'll ever take" (implication: I am really really smart because I got through it). Alternatively, they might say "Oh christ, that is the easiest class I've ever taken" (implication: if you don't get an A+ you are a moron). At Stanford, there's this class affectionately called Rocks for Jocks--it's some geology course that a bunch of athletes take. But it's not that easy!! Neither is Econ1 or CS106a. Yet people will always insist that they are.

With that said, the easiest class in the world is EDGE. Sorry for the inside comment but if you went to Stanford, you know what's up.


WORST DEODORANT EVER

People who only have hot girls on their Facebook friends. Hmm...yes, you are completely transparent

People who have poor hit ratios and continue to talk. These are the people who try to be funny by making like 1839581325 "jokes" per day and, of course, just by probability, maybe 1 or 2 hit and are actually funny. So then they consider themselves very funny!!! Ooh I am so funny!!! I made 3 funny jokes today!!! (Ignore the context, that they made 829359298354 non-funny jokes.) I had a group of friends and we genuinely hated this, so we created the Minus 3 strategy to combat this. Here's how it worked: If you said a joke that was just PATENTLY UNFUNNY--meaning everyone around you would look at you and just say "Why did you say that?"--someone could assign you Minus 1. If you got up to Minus 3, you weren't allowed to talk for the rest of the day. Yes, it's rough, but we succeeded in shutting the morons up for the rest of the year. Tough love, people!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Jaundice

Elevator doors that close slowly. THIS IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM!!! Shit, if I built an elevator, every wall (and the doors) would be huge skull-and-crossbones signs warning people that these elevators were superfast and efficient. Limbs might be lost but I guarantee you would make your meeting on time.

People whose hatreds are really prosaic, like "I hate SUVs." When I interview people for stuff, I sometimes ask "what are things that annoy you?" Some people get so excited and proceed to rant about stuff, and you can imagine the fine talks we have. But other people are so boring like, "Oh I dunno...I try not to be negative...maybe popup ads." WOW THANKS

One of the most irritating types of people are people who are always SKEPTICAL.
You: "Hey, we should go out to this restaurant. It's really good"
Them: "Realllllly? Are you sure? I mean, it doesn't sound that good"

You: "Hey, do you want to meet this girl? I think you'd like her"
Them: "I mean, really? What? Why? What does she do? What does she look like? Is she the most amazing woman on the planet with exactly my physical, psychological, and spiritual requirements? If not....I mean...are you sure?"

You: "Hey, cool quote. Did you know that it originally came from Sophocles?"
Them: "I don't think so"
You: "I STUDIED THIS FOR 10 YEARS IN GRADUATE SCHOOL--I'M PRETTY SURE I KNOW"
Them: "I still, just, I don't think so!"

WHERE IS MY CANE TO BEAT THESE PEOPLE WITH

Along the same lines of moronic skeptical people, I once was at a group interview and met this guy from University of Arizona. We introduced ourselves to each other and he asked where I went, so I told him, and he immediately had this huge chip on his shoulder. WTF? I didn't say anything against him, but ok, I just dealt with it. He was saying things like "Well, I hear it's overrated. I mean, the athletics are pretty good but I hear the East coast schools are better." I'm thinking, ok, thank you sir for your insightful comments, but I just let them go. THEN he asks me (very competitively and antagonistically) what I study at school, so I told him technology and psychology.

This idiot wrinkles his nose like he just ate 4-month-old tomatoes and says "TECHNOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGY? What is THAT?!" Can I please take a small break to say that just because you haven't encountered something before does not automatically disqualify it from being credible. GOD I WISH I HAD SAID EXACTLY THAT TO THIS GUY. Anyway, I tried to explain a little, very comfortable in my knowledge that this person was a moron for questioning something he knew NOTHING ABOUT YET I HAD STUDIED FOR A LONG TIME. I love his ending, though: "Well, I guess you can study that...but I really wonder where it will get you." Remember, we had just met 3 minutes before this! I really appreciated his life advice.

When companies advertise that you could "Save up to 25% or more!!" Oh, ok, so basically you're telling me that I can save anywhere between 0 and infinity. Thank you.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Nausea

Anyone who posts really personal stuff on their blog and then is surprised when people have preconceived notions about them

When you're at the movies with friends and it ends, but everyone sits there waiting for the other person to get up, and you don't know what to do. WHAT DO YOU DO!??! WHEN DO YOU GET UP? IS YOUR FRIEND REALLY ENJOYING THE CREDITS, SO WOULD IT BE RUDE TO GET UP? OR IS HE JUST WAITING FOR YOU?? This is especially pertinent when the movie is something really sad like Schindler's List and 99% of the theatre is sitting there. You don't want to be the jackass who gets up, whistles, and skips out of the theatre while everyone else is sitting there stunned.

The fatal flaws of technology use in education. I've written about this before (http://tinyurl.com/akcms -- warning: serious paper, not funny) but it never gets old when I hear about a stupid school giving away iPods to their new students, putting up LCD monitors in the cafeteria, etc. Give me a break, please.

The Mom Cut, a truly insidious phenomenon. I mentioned this before but apparently I wasn't clear enough, so here goes another tru: This is when college-age girls cut their hair to their shoulders, which resembles a suburban-mom haircut. THIS IS NOT HOT, STYLISH, OR EVEN TOLERABLE. The problem is that girls always say, "Fine, who has a Mom Cut?" The answer is, you know it when you see it. Well, at least I do. Ask any guy and he'll point one out to you.

Anyone who thinks "Well, I called/emailed/contacted them and if they really wanted me, they would get in touch with me." That's not polite or smart, it's arrogant and lazy. Follow up!!!!!

I hate the entire phenomenon surrounding this. Ok, think about what would set off a man more than anything, and this comes to mind for me: Hearing a girl say "I just want a big old ring." And by the same token, hearing a man say "I want my wife to be good around the house" will make women pissed.

I think both sides are being morons about this. Look, when women say they want a big ring, most of them don't care about the ring itself. They're talking about wanting a man who can provide for the family, which there is nothing wrong with. They are NOT saying "I'm going to sit around and do nothing while you go out and work." No!! That's in your head and society's stupid stereotypes.

By the same token, if a man dares to say that he wants his wife to be good around the house, he better have on good running shoes. And Kevlar. Again, morons, the man isn't saying "I'm going to do nothing and you better know how to clean because you're going to be doing it all." NO!!! Hopefully, if he's a good guy, he'll take on his fair share. But the underlying feeling here is that his wife should know how to help around the house, just as the man should know how to help earn for the family.

Bottom line: Can we please stop jumping to god damn conclusions. I know it's really hard in this superhyped, PC, gender-battle society of ours, but if I hear another guy and girl yell at each other about this, I swear I am going to throw a chair at both of them.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Wow...this one takes the cake

Look what I just discovered:

A page called 50 Things I Hate

Let's look a little deeper:

37 - People who call you, ask for someone, you tell them they have the wrong number, and they act annoyed. HEY JACKASS YOU CALLED ME
40 - People who go over their time limit in a presentation. Trust me, once your time is up, nobody cares what you're saying. nor do they actually care in the first place.
44 - Any tests where the answer choice has (A), (B), (C), (D), and then (E) is "none of the above." DAMNIT!!!
45 - Email clients that put your reply BENEATH the original message. Why must you force me to scroll to read what you wrote?


The list goes on and on.

Hmmm...have you seen these anywhere? LIKE MAYBE ON THIS SITE? VERBATIM?

How very sad when a little teenage girl has to steal other people's to feel good about herself. ashleigh_becu of Perth, Australia, I feel sorry for you.

More reading
-About Ashley (in her own words): "hey. my name's ashleigh n im 17. i go 2 uni n im studying science. i also work in a deli."
-The full list is here: 50 Things I hate.

Update: Her site seems to be down now.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Disfavor

Fastweb, the national scholarship site that every high-school student tried. Remember it? The problem was that every other student in America knew about it too, making it impossible for anyone to win anything. This is a good example of something that people say "Well, it's better than nothing! How could it hurt?" But, unfortunately, it does. See, when there is something that provides trivial benefits but then makes you complacent about doing anything else, that's a net loss. For example, when students signed up for Fastweb, they would shrug and say "I'm SEARCHING for scholarships!! What else can I do!?" and then do nothing. And of course they would get no scholarships, and that was that. This phenomenon is also found everywhere in technology, like firewalls ("I installed a firewall, so I'm safe! --> Click on unsolicited .exe attachments). Sad.

People who use the wrong modes of communication. I was going to a friend's house and he told me to come at 5pm. So when I get there at 5:00pm and he's not there, I call him. "But I told you I'd be late!" Oh really? "Yeah, I sent you an email!" AT 4:50pm HE SENT AN EMAIL. WHYYY

Those cereal commercials on TV showing a "complete breakfast" that had THREE different types of drinks: Orange juice, milk (what about the milk in your cereal??), and coffee. When I was a kid, I was lucky if we got water to drink with our breakfast.

http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/archives/2005/06/i_hate_this_son.html

People who come up with business ideas, do no research, and then lose all their money. I know people who talk about opening up a franchise business because it's easy. Really! So the point of your business is to be easy! What's the failure rate of franchisees? What happens if you don't get the real estate you want? What about all the DATA AAAAARGH

Teenage angst, ugh

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Execration

Our inability to make a fully formed fist when we wake up. What would happen if an unknown assailant attacked us at or around 8:15am?

Getting an eyelash caught in your vision, but you're not sure if it's on your glasses or stuck in your eye, so you spend like 10 minutes wondering instead of just taking your glasses off and seeing. DAMNIT

When people complain and complain about someone BUT NEVER TELL THAT PERSON WHAT THEY'RE THINKING. I had a class where people hated the professor and everyone was like, "Just wait till that evaluation comes--I'm going to blast her." (Note how they never just sent her feedback, but ok I understand that people are nervous about non-anonymous feedback.) So the anonymous survey comes around and...what happens? OVER HALF THE CLASS JUST GETS UP AND JUST LEAVES WITHOUT FILLING OUT THE SURVEY. This is your chance to give some feedback!!! But no, you have the attention span of a fish.

The Chappie, Stanford's supposed "comedy" magazine. Quick tip: If every single joke is incomprehensible to everyone but YOUR OWN WRITERS, you are not funny. The oddest thing is that I know a few genuinely funny people who write for the Chappie. I will die with this mystery.

People who use the word dissonance incorrectly. JUST LOOK IT UP ONCE

Anyone who get annoyed when someone calls and wakes them up. HEY!! YOU left your phone on. If it's some unreasonable hour, fine. But if it's normal daytime and you're taking a nap, or you're just sleeping until 2pm, you don't get to be irritated when you pick up the ringing phone that YOU left on. Next time this happens, I'm going to start screaming back at the person. I'm sure my friends reading this can't wait!!

People who come up with business ideas, do no research, and then lose all their money. I know people who talk about opening up a franchise business because it's easy. Really! So the point of your business is to be easy? What's the failure rate of franchises? What happens if you don't get the real estate you want? What about all the DATA AAAAARGH#%*&#%

PS--Happy Birthday Doug, and looking forward to crushing you in Mario Kart next time we play

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Displeasure

Those stupid subscription flyers in magazines. Have you ever met someone who actually subscribed through those?

People who ask a question in class, but actually end up asking 5 questions, so they overwhelm the speaker and he doesn't know what to say:
So, I guess, what types of funds would you recommend? Index funds or stocks? Do you use ETrade or Datek? How long will it take?

STOP TALKING

People who complain about technology but don't take even one hour to learn about it. Actually, this is true for just about everything

Loud keyboards in class/meetings

People who furtively raise their hands in class. JUST PUT IT HIGHER SO WE DON'T HAVE TO WATCH YOUR JACK-IN-THE-BOX SHIT

When you put on dress pants and then dress socks, not realizing that your left pant leg is stuck in your sock. I imagine there are equivalent situations for women

Professors who invite speakers to class and end up explaining theoretical concepts and their own research. WHY DID YOU INVITE THE SPEAKER IF YOU'RE JUST GOING TO TALK AS USUAL?

Students whose executive summaries are not really executive summaries, but long paragraphs with the completely wrong level of analysis

Friday, June 17, 2005

Repellency

After a long break, I'm back...so let's get started.

Those CNN.com polls that ask people their opinion about things they are completely unqualified to answer. "Do you think Viagra causes blindness?" NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT THIS SO HOW CAN YOU EXPECT AN ANSWER?!?

Forgetting to attach a file to an email. OH MAN I really despise myself when I do this

People who go their whole lives with theories about human behavior without ever finding out if they're completely wrong. I heard someone saying something like "I think that people are their most creative when they're tired" or some other nonsense like that. PLEASE LOOK AT THE LITERATURE OR JUST ASK ONE PERSON KNOWLEDGEABLE IN THE AREA. They will quickly tell you if you're wrong or not, and you can avoid being a 56-year-old man who is spouting personal theories that are completely wrong

Even more stupid examples of technology in classrooms that don't improve education. Thanks to JRK for the link (look at his sexy pic)

How there is no keyboard shortcut for "Paste as unformatted text"

When you bite your nails so short that it hurts

Saturday, June 11, 2005

I graduate tomorrow!

Things have been slow around here...because I'm graduating from Stanford tomorrow! So please excuse how quiet it's been. I have a lot I want to write and I'll put it up ASAP.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Martha Stewart's ironing advice

Ironing a Shirt
By Martha Stewart

As many of you know, I am obsessed with the pursuit of a crease so sharp that it will cut your face. BUT I DISAGREE WITH MARTHA'S RECOMMENDATIONS ON IRONING TECHNIQUE.

I DISAGREE VEHEMENTLY!!!!!!

This was important enough for me to put it as its own post.

Thanks,

-Ramit "Champi(r)on" Sethi

Friday, June 03, 2005

Gabe Rosen's guest post #4

This is the fourth and final guest post by Gabe Rosen.

Yogurt. What a bullshit thing to eat. It's spoiled milk, OK? And stop ruining perfectly good fruit by mixing them all together.

As an amateur topologist, I'm extremely interested in the economy of spaces. Sometimes, when I see a bunch of cars parked on the side of the road, I try to calulate how many more cars could fit there if everyone didn't give himself a six foot clearance on either side of the car. Now, in some cases, this can't be helped. But I'll tell you what is really a waste: motorcycles in car spots. When I am in charge, this will be punishable by a minimum of ten years in federal prison.

Awkward, obligatory hugs. I'm as affectionate as the next guy, but it seems to me that our society has gotten so touchy-feely that people with the least little basis for connection somehow feel obligated to hug at every departure. Don't you ever want to say, "I barely know you. Why are you insisting that we touch in a personal and intimate manner?"

Having to justify why you don't like someone to someone who likes that person. Last night, my friend told me, "I can tell you don't like Maurice. He's a great guy!" I explained to her that Maurice has a weak handshake, contributes nothing to conversations, acts like I'm not there, and generally spoils the scenery. Somehow, this became my fault. I also hate being told I could grow to like someone if I only tried. Right, and I'm sure I could grow to like eating wombat eyes too. If I only tried.

People who benefit from nepotism and act as though they earned everything and are a better person than you for having successfully gone through the process.

Thanks to Gabe for a truly bitter week of entries. -Ramit

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Gabe Rosen's guest post #3

This is the third guest post by Gabe Rosen.

The Summer of Our Discontent

How about these people who will only take time off from working/studying to get drunk, not to have a meaningful interaction with their friends? Now, in this case I hate the sin, not the sinner, but it still depresses the shit out of me.

When people make assumptions about your career options based on very little information. Someone asked me recently what I studied, and I told him English, with an M.A. He snorted audibly, and said, "Well, I GUESS you could do some kind of marketing." Just for that, I vow never to work in marketing.

Address numbers that aren't visible from your car. Even more, when an intersection with a stoplight has a tiny-ass, nearly illegible sign way down on the lightpost, as opposed to hanging right below the light in large, easy to read letters like it damn well should.

When menus get too cute for real life. I actually read this earlier tonight: "Chicken, snowpeas, carrots, and cabbage ON A DANCE FLOOR OF JASMINE RICE". If I ever find the person who composed that one, we're going to see something, or someone, else on the floor - the actual floor, that is.

One thing I am reminded of my hatred for every spring and summer is mosquito hawks. I don't care if they do eat mosquitoes (and this is hotly debated). I don't enjoy having giant prehistoric bugs flying around my personal space. One time when I was a kid, one of these monstrosities flew into my face and tried to latch on, and sicne then I have vowed hatred and destruction to the species. Mosquito hawks, you have been warned. Fuck with me and find out.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Gabe Rosen's guest post #2

This is the second guest post by Gabe Rosen.

What is with the streets in San Francisco? Do urban planners just sit around thinking "Hey! Let's put a sign that says "US 101", but not say which direction!", or, "How cool would it be if this street all of a sudden changes names for no apparent reason?" Maybe I'm just unhip to the city (which I probably am) but this strikes me as needlessly confusing.

The guy who won't go out and have any fun with a group, citing monetary woes, but then spends ridiculous amounts on things he enjoys with no one around, like DVD's of every cut-rate TV show he's ever watched, or expensive bottles of liquor that he drinks alone. Then, when you call him on it, it just makes everything worse, or you get more self-pity. Predictably, when he does offer to socialize, it usually takes
the form of watching said TV or DVD's. And yes, I see that there is no reason to be friends with these people anyway, but sometimes it's complicated.

People who have to comment on everything, however uninformative or stupid their comments are. To wit: there is this grad student who has been hanging around my old co-op house (where he lived in the early 90's) annoying the shit out of people, apparently in an effort to ingratiate himself with the community there. The guy's in the 14th year of his Phd. Anyway, I was walking through the kitchen in a tank top and shorts, to fill up a water bottle. He says "Ah yes, the little-seen athletic side of Gabe Rosen emerges!" Very clever, fucko. (If you know me, think about this one for a
minute - "little seen"!). I was very close to saying "Ah yes, the much-seen obnoxious side of Bob emerges!"

I'm always dismayed when people act like jerks at peace/love events. Examples include people warring over parking spaces at the Monterey Bay Reggaefest, or blatantly cutting in line to get tickets to see the Dalai Lama speak. Conversely, it always amazes me when people sit in a rowdy and obnoxious cheering section by choice and then take issue with the level of abuse being heaped on the visiting team.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Gabe Rosen's guest post #1

This is a guest post by Gabe Rosen.

One thing that really gets my goat is when people have no perspective whatsoever on life, as evidenced by the flagrant misuse of certain words - viz. "poor" and "prison". A certain acquaintance of mine, who has inspired numerous previous posts, keeps a box in his car in which to deposit coins for charity. A noble end, you say. I noticed the box, and commended him on it, and he launched into a santimonious tirade about how the Good Book mandated giving to charity, and how he gave despite being "as poor as a churchmouse". This while riding in his somewhat used SUV to a sushi restaurant! Folks, being on some form of financial aid does not make you "poor". Also, I recently heard a girl who had moved off-campus describe living on campus as a "prison". Anyone out there ever visited a prison? How about watched an episode of "Law and Order"?

On the other side of the scales, I believe we should demand certain things in their proper context. This is why I chafe when a sit-down restaurant, where I am presumably paying for more than fast food, offers only a 1/4 lb burger. Especially if they have the nerve to call it "deluxe".

Everyone who has gone camping (and believe me, Ramit knows camping - ask him about the Big Sur trip in the summer of 2002) has seen this one: You move around the campfire to avoid the smoke, and it follows you everywhere you go, within a second of moving there. It really is out to get you.

People who are painfully insecure and laugh nervously at the end of their own sentences. I swear, I have one friend who does this after every single obvious statement he makes, and what's more, it's not even a normal laugh, but a "huh-huh" - like he's Beavis & Butthead! Several times lately I have been within one box of Franzia of beating him upside the head the next time I hear "huh-huh".

Things are busy but never fear

Graduation is coming up, so things are a little crazy around here, hence the lack of new posts. As soon as graduation comes, I'll be back on my regular schedule.

Also, for this week, we have a special guest blogger: Gabe, whose piercingly bitter comments have all gotten us through the day, will be guest blogging every day this week.

-Ramit

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Vexation

People who do really boring stuff with their jobs. Isn't life too short to do something that's not even worth talking about?

Even worse, people who do boring stuff but think it's important. Examples: lots of government employees in DC, Microsoft (sliding menus are NOT innovation), and most people in finance

Chemlawn, literally the most incompetent lawn-care company that has ever existed. For some reason, we used to use them to fertilize our lawn. WE WOULD ALWAYS HAVE TO CALL THEM BACK TO COME DO IT AGAIN, BECAUSE THEY WOULD STICK THE SIGNS ON OUR LAWN AS IF THEY'D DONE IT, BUT THEY DID NOTHING. Ok the rest of the story is really long and boring, but suffice it to say that NEVER USE CHEMLAWN.

WEB SITES THAT REQUIRE YOU TO TYPE WWW.DOMAIN.COM, NOT JUST DOMAIN.COM. THIS IS A SIMPLE TECHNICAL DETAIL THAT CAN EASILY BE FIXED. GOD I AM SO ANGRY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Papercuts

Investment newsletters that force you to focus on short-term results

iTunes. Yeah, I said it. What other MP3 software is slow, not intuitive, and just plain sucks? Not Winamp, that's for sure.

Any presenter that feels the need to have an Agenda slide in their PowerPoint presentation. Please, show, don't tell. What's funny about PowerPoint presentations is that we all hate them--yet we all contiue making the same horrible presentations. In my strategy class, for example, we learned a bunch of models/frameworks to analyze corporate strategies. So when the first group began their presentation with complicated slides on 5 Forces and Value Net analyses, everyone looked bored out of their minds. Students don't care about that crap from other students. Yet EVERY other group did the same thing. HOW ABOUT ASKING YOURSELF IF YOU WOULD ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT YOUR OWN PRESENTATION?

Friday, May 20, 2005

Aggravation

The way consultants always use those stupid teal-colored arrows in their Powerpoint presentations

I despise the sweat-inducing properties of nylon fabric. This happens when you're wearing nylon pants or a nylon shirt and you're walking around but finally get back to your room, and it feels like you are going to die of sweat. Thank you dear god for inventing cotton

Running out of something you really need (toothpaste, soap, etc) when you are really busy, like during finals. It really would only take 5 minutes to walk to the store to buy some, but you just don't want to. WHY

When a really good song is too short

People you send a NYTimes.com link to and they say, "Ugh, it requires a password, never mind." First of all, what planet have you been living on to have not read anything off of NYTimes.com in the last 5 years? Second, it's FREE. And as Gabe eloquently pointed out in his last comment, can we please stop taking pride in not reading?

People who insist on getting statistically valid, large-scale datasets in order to make a decision, rather than quick prototyping and iterations based on n=10 or 20 or even 5. When writing a paper, these people are the ones who spend 80% of their time doing a literature review and only 20% coming up with original ideas. In business, these morons are generally older middle-management people who are used to looking through piles of paper to seem busy. Adopting this tactic, of course, makes it easy to justify why they move and think so slowly: "We need more data!" Now, I'm not that smart, but I've done a lot of design and basically these people don't know what they're talking about. RAPID PROTOTYPING AND ITERATION, ITERATION, ITERATION ARE THE WAY TO GO. I could point you to 89159154 experts and reports showing you, but I'll just tell you here. Instead of researching, having meetings, creating committees, and creating a massive infrastructure to see if you should change an icon's color from red to green, try doing a theory-based A/B test and then modify your design and re-test it over and over. Try telling this to one of the old-time bosses that believe in formal reports, though, and see where it gets you

The way it takes > 10 seconds to open a PDF file

Anybody who lies and says, "Oh man, I really messed up that test BAD" and then gets an 86. I WILL HIT YOU

When you ask people "Where do you want to eat?" or "What movie should we rent?" and it takes an executive committee to decide something among 3+ people. Sometimes I just say "McDonald's or Jack in the Box?" FEWER CHOICES = 10 HOURS SAVED

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Random updates you should know about

Hi,

Here are 5 things you should know about:

1. Lots and lots of people have posted comments to OLD posts that you probably haven't read. A lot of them made me laugh out loud. Try browsing through the old entries to see new comments.

2. Here are some of the keywords people have used on Yahoo/Google to find this site (from my logs). A lot of these are completely absurd.

-weird things that look like things that tell you whether they'are real or not
-bullshitters
-lindsey lohan dieting
-i hate fake ass people
-list of things that old ladies carry in their purses
-i hate when people put the number of finals they have to take as away message
-girls tongues up guys assholes video
-young people selling their bodies for material things
-who/when was gucci clothing invented
-doesn't reply mail etiquette
-things i hate

3. Blatant advertising for myself
-You might know that I run a t-shirt company at http://www.BitterShirts.com. Readers of this blog get a discount if you want a shirt, so email me for the code and I'll hook you up
-I also run a personal-finance site called IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com, where I make fun of the stupid things people do with money and teach you how to manage your own. Check it out.
-For the thousands and thousands of corporate executives who read this site (that is a lie), I also do consulting on viral marketing, usability, and college recruiting. I'm sure this one will really pay off by posting on my Things I Hate blog!!!!!
-You can read more stuff of mine at http://www.stanford.edu/~ramit

4. If you're a new reader of Things I Hate, send me an email and let me know how you found this site. I'm interested to know. And please tell your friends about it!

5. I have some cool new stuff coming up in the next couple months for this site, so stay tuned...

Thanks,

-Ramit

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Invidiousness

My stupid male friends who have NO FEMALE FRIENDS = CAN'T GET INTO ANY CLUBS = ALWAYS BRING 10 OTHER GUYS WITH THEM. ANGER!!!!!! Wtf is wrong with you? Let me name off their first initials so they know who I'm talking about: V, P, J, ABCJKASIFOJELKMDOUGASFJKZTPXANSFASIUASF ALL OF YOU

Stupid rational economic arguments that completely fail to take social, personality, or other psychological factors into effect. "People should act like X," a dumb economist might say--to which anyone who knows anything might reply "BUT THEY DON'T!!!" I think economists do some cool work, and the intersection of psychology and economics is truly awesome. But people don't always behave in rational ways, so please stop building useless models around that. Thanks

Mail-in rebates

Workplace politics, including turf wars and ego battles. For a project I was working on, I redesigned a system to be a lot quicker and more efficient. When I went into the meeting to present my design, one of the guys was REALLY antagonistic: "Well, what about this? What about that? You didn't do X, Y, and Z." He was not persuaded by the DATA I HAD COMPILED SHOWING THE NEW SYSTEM WAS OBJECTIVELY BETTER AND MORE EFFECTIVE. As I walked out of the meeting, wondering what the hell was going on, I discovered the real reason: That guy had invented the original system

When somebody raises their hand in class after somebody else just commented and says, "Just to agree with what she just said..." -- STOP. STOP NOW!! We don't need your agreement with a point that was made 5 seconds ago! PLEASE TELL ME SOMETHING NEW

When it comes to tipping, my tips have a huge amount of variance: If I get excellent service, I will give a really big tip, but if I get terrible service, I am happy to leave nothing. The problem is when you go out with a group of people, and here I specifically mean girls. See, girls WILL NOT LET YOU TIP $0. No matter HOW bad the service is, you end up looking like the bad guy. I've been out with friends where we were all PISSED at the service, but when the bill comes, what happens? "Oh...she wasn't that bad. You can't give her nothing! At least give her 10%!" By the time they frantically kick in money (and the guys then have to, reluctantly), we've tipped 20%. This strikes me disingenuous and dumb. Why tip someone who did a POOR JOB? Their ONLY job at that moment is to do a good job serving. Smile, check on our drinks, and that's IT! But if you're with a group of people, just suck it up and kick in the cash, learning from my mistakes. And as I type this, this has become an Oprah-esque saga. Many apologies

Sucka MCs

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Exasperation

Plaxo, the service that is supposed to let you stay in contact with a bunch of people. Basically, it goes through your contacts and sends them an email every once in a while saying "Hey, is this information I have on you correct? If not, update it here." The contacts can then update their name/email address/URL/etc online and the information supposedly stays current. Plaxo is stupid for so many reasons. First of all, while I genuinely appreciate how hard it is to manage a lot of contacts, there is something about being just another person in your contact list that is quite distasteful. I just got a Plaxo request from someone that I KNOW and I deleted it; Plaxo makes it completely impersonal. AND THE WORST PART OF PLAXO IS THAT IT HASN'T ADDED ANY SUBSTANTIAL FEATURES IN OVER 2 YEARS. This is despite--or maybe because of--its tremendous amount of VC funding. Give me a god damn break, please. Plaxo, if you want to learn about building relationships and viral marketing, send me an email.

DOWNLOADING AT 1.6K EVEN THOUGH I HAVE BROADBAND

People who think ordinary actions are "gay," like putting lotion on one's hands. These are usually uneducated, provincial specimens of the male gender

The utter stupidity of the bloggers who think that (1) everyone else is a blogger and (2) everything they say is critically important and (3) The Man is always trying to keep them down. Have you ever read Slashdot or another popular site's comments? It's like watching a feeding frenzy of leeches, only these ones are uneducated, have a mob mentality, and don't listen to reason. LISTEN UP PEOPLE: LESS THAN HALF OF AMERICANS READ BLOGS AND WHILE YOUR INSULAR BLOGOSPHERE HAS A LOT OF POSTS/TRACKBACKS/COMMENTS, IT IS A SMALL BUBBLE. Please, get over yourselves

People who prefer to complain about something but don't want to do anything about it

Wrinkles in my clothing after I unpack my traveling bag. WHY DO YOU EXIST EXCEPT TO DESECRATE MY CLOTHING, WRINKLES

People who say, "But Ramit, aren't you afraid recruiters will read this site and not give you a job?" What kind of reasoning is that? So you're basically saying, "Don't do what you really want because 'some' unknown recruiter MIGHT read this page and not like it." Would you want to work for this hypothetical company anyway? I think companies like real people anyway, not god damn robots

Gas stations that close at night

I'm all about spending money on the things you love. I've written about this before (Irrational but good things to buy). But I hate people who buy the best of EVERYTHING with no sense of prioritization. It's not like your life is THAT much better with your Paul Mitchell shampoo, Prada bag (or Gucci men's wallet), Abercrombie hat, Lexus car, brand-new Apple PowerBook, Mont Blanc pen (I really hate you now), Rowenta iron, and Tide detergent. I was reading a magazine yesterday and I saw a god damn umbrella for $315. The quote was "It's built to last for years and it looks damn good." HEY MORON, IF WE DO AN ANALYSIS I CAN BUY APPROXIMATELY 8732578235 BILLION REPLACEMENTS OF THE WALMART UMBRELLA I CARRY AROUND. I would throw the copywriter of this ad off a balcony if I saw him

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Scorn

FAKE-ASS PEOPLE WHO SPEAK LIKE THEY ARE MADE OUT OF WAX. Here's a simple way to tell: When they're making a presentation, they use phrases like "we must evolve our common perception of" and "it is critically important to engender blah blah blah." HEY. DO YOU TALK LIKE THAT TO FRIENDS? There is nothing more sad and frustrating than seeing someone giving a presentation like this, thinking it will impress people. USE WORDS THAT YOU WOULD USE IN NORMAL CONVERSATION. ALSO, STOP MEMORIZING YOUR GOD DAMNED PRESENTATION AND LEARN HOW TO SPEAK CONVERSATIONALLY. Thanks (not "thank you").

Idiots who try to get 283523958923 friends on the The FaceBook (people they DON'T EVEN KNOW) for no good reason. Does it really make you feel good?

2-door cars

I was in a meeting just now and missed SIX calls from a "Restricted ID" number. HEY I HAVE AN IDEA, WHY DON'T YOU LEAVE A MESSAGE? This god damned phenonenon is rampant among friends, which is fine because they can see each other's numbers. But it is the pinnacle of unprofessional to not leave a message when you're doing business--or if you call someone SIX TIMES IN 1 HOUR!!! God damn it!!!!!! UPDATE: I later determined that it was my brother calling. Good job fool

Companies that try to use "cool" design for no good reason. These are the companies that list their phone numbers as 866.255.5555. WHY NOT USE THE TIME-HONORED (866) 255-5555? Or note MTV, which uses this notation:
__1.2 million viewers___

Wood floors. I don't understand why these are so sought after. They suck and are unpleasant to your feet.

People who treat their parents rudely. Holy shit what is wrong with this country? You hear a mom saying "What time will you be back?" (A VERY REASONABLE QUESTION) and the kid snaps back, "God, I'll be back later, MOM! I don't KNOW!" No wonder you're going to send your parents to an old-folks home and your kids will do the same to you. Enjoy the bingo. I wouldn't DREAM of talking to my parents like that

Along the same line, any kid who gets a car and then (1) doesn't let their other family members drive it OR (2) says "I'm going for a drive in MY car." Trust me, kiddy, unless you've earned the $8,000 for that car and pay the $3,000/year for your hyperinflated insurance, IT'S NOT YOUR CAR. HOW DARE YOU TRY TO TAKE OWNERSHIP OF SOMETHING THAT'S NOT YOURS!!!

We've all seen this: people who haven't read the text for class, but, feeling they have to say something, raise their hand and start talking about some really personal story that starts out with their personal life: "In my experience..."

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Disgust

The sound of your own voice after the song ends

People who say, "Hey, can I see your glasses?" and then say "Wow!! That's a really strong prescription!!" Gee you are original

People who suggest that P2P systems (peer-to-peer programs like Kazaa) should be used by companies to distribute their software. This is their excuse for advocating that Kazaa, etc, should be legal--because they have such redeeming uses. Yes, the arguments are complex around this, but one thing is clear: NO COMPANY IN ITS RIGHT MIND WOULD DISTRIBUTE SOFTWARE THROUGH P2P TODAY!! Why would they? So it can be cracked instantly and circulated among the downloaders? Yes, it will be cracked anyway, but why would a company exclusively distribute to a polluted source? That's like me being Toys R Us and only selling my toys at a garbage dumb. "But Ramit," people say, "companies can save on bandwidth! People will download off each other!" Wow, cool, considering bandwidth is the ultimate commodity and broadband is increasingly widespread. Please, give me a fucking break. Let's come up with some other reasons for P2P to exist besides the supposed value of cash-rich companies being able to distribute software through it to save money. Sorry this was a long rant, but I truly hate idiocy of this type.

Tailgating: What is it about being in a metal contraption that gives us a sense of invulnerability? This is like getting mugged and then following the mugger as he runs away, all the while tapping him on the shoulder. WHY

Rappers who rap about having sex with married women. WHERE IS YOUR LONG-TERM VISION?!? WHAT WILL YOUR FUTURE WIFE SAY? HOW WILL SHE TRUST YOU?! It is of course possible that I'm completely out of touch with rappers, but I find that hard to believe

ANYBODY WHO DOESN'T REPLY TO EVITES. I'M TALKING TO YOU, JACKASSES. How inconsiderate is that?! IT TAKES 5 SECONDS. NOT SURE? TRY THE "MAYBE" OPTION. GOD I AM SO ANGRY!!!!!!!!!!!

The way we automatically stigmatize certain things as "poor," like people standing in line for the bus

Pre-frayed and pre-washed-out clothes, like the jeans you buy that look like they're 10 years old. I have a novel idea for you morons that buy this stuff: How about you actually WEAR YOUR CLOTHES FOR LONGER THAN 6 MONTHS before you cast them off? "But Ramit," you might say, "you don't understand fashion. You CAN'T WEAR those jeans--they're out of style." You stupid bastard, do you realize that you're funding a company whose sole purpose is to take your money for being STUPID?! ARGGGGGGGHGHHG

Weak handshakes

Monday, May 02, 2005

Contradistinction

Bullshitters whose strategy is totally transparent. Some strategies they use:
-When they've been assigned something to do and they didn't finish it, their response is truly wondrous. They'll say, "Well, I didn't get to do that, but did you look at the prospectus? And can you get me the updated figures on the 1099 because I need..."
-Play dumb and friendly but be truly manipulative behind closed doors. These are the people who often seem so nice but their machinations are only apparent when you see these fleeting, terrifying looks flash across their face like the bad guy in Ghostbusters II

Hey jackass. I can see right through you and so can everyone else. The bullshitters actually do very well until they go against another bullshitter, and then it's a clash of the titans

Isn't it weird in our culture that if a woman gets mad, she can throw her husband out of the bed, but a man wouldn't ever throw his wife out of bed?

People, especially adults, who look at me pityingly and say "Have you lost weight?" No, sir, I have not. Also, do I point out how your destructive lifestyle of working 80 hours/wk, eating Hot Pockets every night, and no exercise is leading directly to your pot belly? No, because I am polite. Also, just because I have the figure of a supermodel (sadly, a female one, not male) don't hate

Untestable theories

The vast majority of people who think they can tell the difference in taste among Coke, Diet Coke, Pepsi, and Diet Pepsi. For that matter, anyone who is "sure" they can tell the difference between ANY tastes. I invite you to a blind taste test to challenge your assumptions. Cool fact: One of the Mondavis (wine makers) came to a class and told us a shocking fact. They did a blind test of expert wine testers (you know, the ones who use words like "oaky" and "rich body" to rate wines) and, when red and white wines were artificially colored to look the same, OVER 50% could not tell the difference in taste between red wine and white wine.

Movies before 1985

The phrase "I feel badly," because it is wrong unless you are relatively bad at evaluating your emotions

I am so tired of hearing people say "Yeah, I should do (whatever)." This is particularly noticeable for young, stupid people talking about things that are really good for them; for example, exercising, asking people for job advice, finishing their work, whatever. We might as well change "should" to "am not going to" and dispense with the pleasantries

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Animus

Anybody who, when you're making a broad point and say something like "Old people are conservative with their investments," responds with "Well, my grandpa is TOTALLY aggressive and he buys all kinds of stock!!" or "That's a broad generalization." YES OF COURSE THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS TO EVERY BROAD STATEMENT, BUT THE POINT IS THAT IT'S A GENERAL OBSERVATION. GOD DAMN IT!!! Also, your grandpa has a gambling problem.

When people correct you but they are WRONG. On a paper last quarter, I wrote something like "One's self-concept comprises role identities in..." and the prof crossed it out to say "is comprised of" NO NO NO

Emails with (1) no subject line or (2) something like "Class project"

Government overspending on STUPID STUFF. I know someone who works for a very big state agency who told me this incredible story: They invest in certain local technologies hoping that one hits. Unbelievably, there is no accountability. Out of all the people in the office, there are only 2 people with profitable investments (this person was one of them). I asked, "Well, what's the goal? To at least make your money back, right?" An inquisitive mind, you can see. But get ready for the response:
"No, the goal is to give away all of the money each year." That's right, if these employees don't HAND OUT ALL THE MONEY by the end of the year, the Big Bosses don't think they need that much money, so their budget gets cut the next year. OH MY GOD DO I EVEN NEED TO BEGIN SYSTEMATICALLY DEMOLISHING THE LOGIC OF SUCH INEFFICIENCY

Rayon

The uncomfortable laughter that society compels women to use in order to feminize or soften something said authoritatively or boldly. I had a TA who obviously knew the material but would demean herself in order not to come off too strong ("How do you say this? On-to-log-ical?").

People afraid to fire someone/quit/make a tough decision because the other person is "nice"

Cartoons in newspapers BECAUSE THEY ARE NEVER FUNNY

ANYBODY WHO THINKS THEY KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT FOOD OR DIETING WITHOUT READING ANY REAL LITERATURE ON THE SUBJECT. This is the worst kind of ignorance, sort of like that jackass guy in high-school gym who used to INSIST that "Yellow #5" made your sperm
impotent. I simply don't understand how people parade around acting like they know exactly how fats, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, etc works on the body. THIS IS COMPLICATED SHIT!!! YOU CAN'T UNDERSTAND IT FROM READING THE NEWSPAPER. GOD!!!!! Please stop telling me you know all about how eating food affects people, and please stop telling me about the efficacy of certain diets ("Atkins only works if you eat 150 carrots per day" "South Beach isn't effective because of blah blah blah"). YOU ARE LIKE A LITTLE GIRL INFANT TELLING A NUCLEAR ENGINEER HOW TO WORK. (It was pointed out to me that "GIRL" is a sexist stereotype, which I think is a good point.)

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Malice

People who have no personality. Not a bad personality--just no discernible personality traits whatsoever. In effect, they are just boring mounds of flesh. These are the people you describe as "nice" but can't think of any other descriptions. Are you this kind of person? Ask yourself this:
-When was the last time you asked the people around you something about themselves other than "How's it going?"
-When was the last time you answered "How's it going?" with something other than "not much"?
-When was the last time you told them something about yourself--unsolicited--that incited a conversation between you two?
-When was the last time you added value to any interaction other than just being there?
IF THE ANSWER IS NEVER YOU ARE TAKING OTHERS' VALUABLE OXYGEN AND I SERIOUSLY DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY YOU EXIST

Anyone who criticizes someone else for changing their mind. For some reason, it's become popular to make a decision and stick by it no matter what. This is idiotic. I have tons of respect for people who make a decision and, recognizing they were wrong, change their mind.

Tater tots. They are not good

When there's only 1 good track on a CD

People who overuse sports analogies. This is partly because I don't understand them, but when they are like "He just has to step up to the plate! He just has to hit a double! He only has to bunt! He only has to throw in the bullpen!" I want to throw something at them. Maybe a whiffleball just for the indiginity of it

I hate almost everything about drycleaning. I hate having to spend more money for maintenance when I buy an expensive piece of clothing. I hate that dry cleaning seems inherently fraudulent and there are all kinds of hassles in terms of getting out of my chair to do something. Finally, I truly hate people who dry clean things that don't really need to be dry cleaned just because it's glamorous, they think their cotton shirt really needs dry cleaning, or they are just incredibly lazy

Absolutely any latency from my keyboard to screen when typing

People who have a slightly different name, and you ask them "What do you prefer, Ricky or Ricardo?" and they shrug and say "I don't really care." Can you please just tell me what you prefer so I don't have to wonder about this for the rest of the day?

People who don't understand the difference between being cheap and being frugal

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Here's the RSS feed for Things I Hate

As requested, here's the RSS feed for Things I Hate:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/ThingsIHate

What is this?
If you use something called an RSS aggregator, you can easily track the blogs that you read. That includes Things I Hate. Bloglines (or any other RSS aggregator) makes it easy to know when a blog is updated.

It's free and pretty easy to use.

Why would I use an RSS aggregator?
If you read more than 3 blogs, an RSS aggregator makes it easy to track when the blogs are updated. You can also read everything from just one page.

So how do I do it?

(Use Yahoo to track Things I Hate)

(Or use Bloglines)

I think you are stupid and I don't understand all these big words you are writing.
That's ok, you don't have to use an RSS aggregator to read this site. Ignore all of this if you don't understand it. Just keep coming back to Things I Hate to see updates!

I love you and I think you are a visionary. Also, I am a really hot girl.
Please get in touch and we can discuss corporate consulting offers, etc.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Disdain

People who start a Web site and immediately want to start selling ads. Maybe you haven't noticed, but things have changed since the time of Gutenberg. Instead of trying to cash in on short-term success, why not build something extraordinary around a community of people who actually like your work? Basically I am saying I want you all to send me a lot of money

People who clap REALLY loudly, usually to be jackasses

The amazing inability for young people to effectively set priorities. People will complain about "not having enough time" but they'll spend 75 hours doing their 4-year plan during finals. Or they'll be "too busy" to get business cards or clean out their email or stay in touch with old friends. Note the pattern: THESE ARE ALL GOOD THINGS. When people say "I don't have time to do that," ask them what they'd do if some big company in New York offered to fly them out to give them a prestigious award tomorrow. They'd shift priorities, right? If something's important, you can make the time. Christ

People who want to leave college as soon as possible so they can...what? Join the rest of the real world and be like everyone else? I truly hate the grass-is-greener syndrome

Organizations/people that provide 2 email addresses to reach them. This is dumb--why confuse people? Offer one point of contact and cut down on redunancy

I teach a 1-hour personal-finance class and at the end, I hand out a signup sheet for the newsletter; people can just put their email addresses on it if they're interested. I HATE WHEN PEOPLE WRITE UNINTELLIGIBLY. I just don't understand making it impossible to read when YOU ARE REQUESTING TO BE SIGNED UP FOR SOMETHING THAT YOU WANT

Stupid educational policies involving technology and education, like giving away IPods to students (ooh that will make them learn better)

On a related note, you might have noticed I wrote IPods, not iPods (this sort of destroys my argument, but "Ipods" looks weird). I hate people who insist on using the actual product names (with the company's marketing punctuation/capitalization) when they write about them. If you use them yourself, cool, but if you insist others do the same, you are a moron. Why? I don't really know if your paper has to be a sales brochure for companies. Would you write "In terms of market capitalization and acquisitions, Yahoo! rivals even the biggest..." NO!!!

People who call you, ask for someone, you tell them they have the wrong number, and they act annoyed. HEY JACKASS YOU CALLED ME

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Umbrage

Thanks for the suggestions for new titles!

The idiotic media who follow celebrities. Have you no life? Don't you have anything better to do than follow around someone else simply because they're "famous"? Are you likeable at all? The answer to all these questions is no

Anyone who says "water doesn't help with spicy food--you have to drink milk." Let's just examine this for a moment, please: ARE YOU REALLY TELLING ME, IN GOOD FAITH, THAT YOU THINK WATER DOESN'T HELP WITH SPICY FOOD AT ALL? How can anyone honestly say that and keep a straight face? The larger hatred here is people who say things that they've heard without USING THEIR COMMONSENSE. Let's do a reality check people

People who repeatedly hear that persistence is the key to success, and they even say it's important, but when it comes down to it, they are utterly incompetent and scared to do anything. They send one email to someone, don't hear a reply, and immediately assume the person doesn't want to talk to them/isn't interested. THAT IS SO DUMB. From someone who has been on both sides of the table (asking to meet busy people and being busy), I really do want to talk to you if you took the time to email me. I'm just busy and might have forgotten about you or gotten sidetracked on some project. Email again or (gasp) call until you get my attention!! THAT is persistence

When the collars on my shirt get streched out

The way girls are instantly seduced by a man playing a guitar. What is up with this? I remember when Dave Matthews used to be "soooo hot." I asked--actually, I told them--LOOK, he is objectively NOT HOT! He has a pot belly and is balding. The reply was always the same: "But he plays guitar... (dreamy eyes)" I am currently contemplating ways to take advantage of this gigantic vulnerability financially

Creamy peanut butter. It's not clear why anyone would intentionally forsake the goodness of the crunchy nuts

Finding out you've been saying a word wrong your whole life. You know how there are some words you read that are actually never said out loud? Freshman year, I was telling some story to about 10 of my friends in Branner. They were really into it and finally I got to the punchline. Then things went terribly wrong:
My punchline: What the hell did she think she was, chick?
My friends: Rapid, dead silence
Friends: "What did you just say."

Of course, I had meant to say CHIC. Only I had no idea how to pronounce it.

Me: (Frantically backpedaling) "Uhh....you know...like in style..."

I have never heard the end of that one.

People who get really mad at the airport counter, as if that's going to solve the problem. "Ah yes, sir, now that you've yelled at me for 15 minutes without stopping to listen, I truly understand your plight and I'm happy to help. Oh wait, sir, there is just one slight problem LIKE THERE AREN'T ANY MORE SEATS ON THE GODDAMN FLIGHT AND YELLING AT ME DEFINITELY ISN'T GOING TO MAKE ME JUMP THROUGH HOOPS FOR YOU." Anyway, find me in a Zen-like state, people-watching, at the airport

People who lurk in online communities but never say anything. Actually, I only hate this if the community is mine

People who quote themselves on their AIM profile

Monday, April 11, 2005

A contest, sort of

As you may have noticed, every entry on this blog has a similar theme:
Abomination
Bitterness
Hostility
Repugnance
Enmity
Infuriation
Aversion
Antipathy
Irascibility

Sadly, I'm running out of words, so I'm running a contest to get new ones for titles. Add comments to this post with your suggestions and let's all pray that there are more bitter words available in the English language.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Trenchancy

Any person who does not respect and love Jean-Luc Picard

Finding a typo in a paper you JUST turned in

Disgusting candy. The ONE thing candy is supposed to do is taste good. If it fails at that, WHY DOES IT EXIST!?!? IF YOU WERE A PERSON YOU WOULD BE DESTITUTE DESPITE SIMPLY BECAUSE OF YOUR INCOMPETENCE, NOT ANY SITUATIONAL INFLUENCES

The absolutely ludicrous prices of any binned foods like dried fruits, nuts, or candy. You know those bins that you can choose from. WHY DOES IT COST $7.99 PER HALF POUND?? Are the peanuts gold

Actually, let me discuss a few other preposterous prices:
-Room service meals: My family never ordered room service, so I tried to do it a couple of times on business trips. In Seattle, I ordered a chicken sandwich, fries, and a shake. Total price? $45.00. In Japan, a bowl of spaghetti and a HALF GLASS OF GRAPEFRUIT JUICE COST $35.00. Sadly, there's really no one to blame in this vicious game of room service. Companies will pay it because they're already inconveniencing their employees by making them travel. Employees treat room service as a given, like "You sent me to another state and you're going to nickel-and-dime me for a meal?" Plus, no one wants to eat out alone. And the hotels are like a satisfied cocaine dealer who's living on one investment he made 25 years ago. So while there's no single party to blame, I hate the whole process.
-Fancy cheeses. I see the dumb trophy wives at Andronico's in the middle of the day, shopping for their favorite cheese on the ENTIRE WALL OF CHEESE, and I just want to ask them why they are so useless. Let's eat some pepper jack cheese on Ritz crackers you pretentious people
-Premium gas. If you buy anything other than the cheapest gas and you are 99% of people reading this, you're dumb. I have written about this before: Saving on gas

Completely mangling a punchline

People who hear of something interesting/amusing/curious/dumb and disparagingly say, "she must have a lot of time on her hands." No, she probably just has far better time-management skills than you and enjoys doing cool things

Things that are pretty but suck. This is why so many engineers hate marketers (and often for good reason). I also want to direct my antagonism to Google Maps, which consistently gives me the most ROUNDABOUT WAY to get ANYWHERE. When I type in a simple address, it has me drive around from the back of campus for like 15 minutes. "But Ramit," people say, "the graphics are so pretty!" AND TOTALLY NONFUNCTIONAL. I hate you