A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
During my many, many (many?) years on this planet, I’ve noticed a lot of useful things. Stuff like toddlers are sticky and can’t be trusted, donuts weight a lot more after you eat them and customer service usually isn’t. But one of the most useful things I’ve ever run across is this — happy, successful people very seldom offer unsolicited advice. Why? Because they’re too busy being happy and successful. The people who are always first off the mark with words of wisdom are the ones who’ve taken the “hit and miss” approach to life, and they subconsciously want to get you in on the plot. Plus — and this is the important bit — they always have their own agenda. Here are just a few people you should never take advice from.
Relatives – I have 3 standard responses to advice from the family.
1) “Thanks for the information, but I don’t think you’re qualified to give _________ (legal, medical, real estate, etc.) advice.”
2) “Thanks for the information, but I don’t have enough money to get rich quick.”
3) “Thanks for the information but …. Are you out of your mind?”
Co-workers – Does it make any sense to take advice from a person who never washes their coffee cup, hides porn on their computer, invested a bunch of money in ostrich eggs and would cut your throat to get your parking spot? No — no it doesn’t.
Strangers in a grocery store – When some hairy old person corners you in the vegetable aisle, starts talking about fiber and constipation and the only thing they have in their cart is 10 kilos of cauliflower – well — it’s time to move on.
Insurance people – Remember: their job is to take your money and never give it back — and their powers of persuasion are off the charts. Listen to them for ten minutes and you’ll end up with flood insurance that doesn’t cover water damage, life insurance that’s automatically cancelled when you die and a $10,000 deductible on both policies.
Facebook – Statistically speaking, 50% of the people on Facebook are stupider than you are (Folks, that’s 1.16 billion people!) Plus, somewhere north of 200 million profiles are babies, dogs and cats; over 100 million are serious drug users and another 80 million are fake. The odds against you finding someone who actually knows what they’re talking about on Facebook are astronomical. You’d be better off to go to Vegas and talk to the Blackjack dealer. At least they legally have to tell you what your chances are.
Anyone under 25 – They begin every conversation with “It’s totally easy” and then start tapping icons on your phone like some Rhesus monkey with ADHD. Eight minutes later, you have an Instagram account under the name of Wilbur and you’re doing all your banking at the Honest Shepherd Savings and Loan in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Old people – This is an easy one. These fossils are always telling you what to do because they didn’t have the cojones to do it themselves when they were young. Besides, they know they’re never going to have to face the consequences when things go south. And don’t fall for that old “Don’t make the same mistakes I did” bullshit. That’s just a sneaky way for old people to say “I think you’re stupid.”
Me – At a time when the Internet allows you to have any identity you want, it doesn’t make any sense to choose to be an old, white, middleclass, heterosexual man. This is the first group everybody accuses, the last group anybody listens to and the only group left that everybody can kick around with impunity. So, why take advice from a guy who wasn’t smart enough to tweak his online persona just a little to get a bit of street cred? Think about it!