People Explain What Career They'd Choose If A $400k Salary Was Guaranteed
Have you ever wondered what job people would pick if they knew they'd be financially stable?
Not rich; we're not talking "retire-in-luxury to Buenos Aires" level coin; just comfortable and with growth potential if you're smart about things.
If any job in the world put you at the precipice of stability - what would you *choose* to do?
Reddit user "talldmbfan" asked:
"If you got to pick any career/job and earned $400,000 no matter what, what career/job would you pick?"
Ya know ... a $400k salary sounds like it could be a few smart money choices away from the very serious business of picking just the right pun for my new boat's name or whatever it is rich people do with their time. So let's start there.
What WOULD Reddit do for work if people actually got to choose? Let's find out.
Ranger DangerNational Park California GIF by Ovation TVGiphy
"Park ranger. Specifically at Banff National Park."
"Yeah, I was thinking the same. However, it’s becoming an increasingly dangerous job these days I have heard."
"One the one hand maybe it's just misbehaved tourists who are becoming increasingly obnoxious, and on the other hand hardened, armed criminals trying to do their business in private."
"Criminals like hiding in National Parks, feeding themselves by spotlighting game (whatever they can shoot they will shoot) and using gill nets to catch dozens and dozens of fish."
"Each ranger has a LOT of area to keep under control, it’s not unheard of to pull over a truck and 5+ guys come out, fully armed and it’s just you by yourself until backup arrives."
"Former Ranger here. The job and positions of a Park Ranger vary widely."
"It does have its perks and I really liked it, but it also sucks in ways and has big drawbacks. Humans are the worst animal to have to manage."
Effort And Criticismsacha baron cohen hotel GIFGiphy
"USD 400,000 per year, right? I’d say be a hotel / resort critic."
"That way I get to travel, stay comfortably & get paid for a rather (seemingly) low effort gig."
"I've been in travel positions before, it's pretty fun for a bit but as 'spoiled' as it sounds, hotel and restaurant living get tiring after a while."
"Sometimes it's better to just come home to your loved ones or pet or whatever."
"I did that while I was single. I don't have kids, but I can't imagine being in that type of role when you do."
"Being away from them plus putting the entire burden of raising children on your spouse? Not for me."
"I met a girl several months ago who is a travel journalist and gets paid to do this very thing!"
"While I do get envious of all her comped trips (since I met her several months ago she’s been on fully paid trips to Oaxaca, Curaçao, a couple of luxury Caribbean cruises and had to turn down a trip to the German Christmas markets) I get the impression her job is a lot more stressful than we’d all imagine."
"She says pretty much every minute of each trip is filled with activities she’s expected to write about with very little down time."
"She’s lived all over the world with her job but also never really put down any roots, so that’s a downside. Even so - I enjoy living vicariously through her travels!"
Let's Go LegoAwesome The Lego Movie GIF by TrolliGiphy
"Lego set designer"
"A LEGOland near me just posted a position for a master builder and i was like 'f*ck yeah!' ..."
"except that it pays $12/hour."
"Yeees! This has been my dream job since I was a kid. Only reason I’ve never pursued it is because it doesnt pay well."
"I didn’t even think of that!"
"My cousin and I love legos soooo much, I have that Disney castle set and we are constantly making the most random things. If I became the top set designer, there would be a lot more weird sets lol"
Helping Hoarderskhj GIFGiphy
"The same business I have now. I help the elderly and hoarders organize their homes. I quite a job that payed well and to do this and it is so rewarding."
"A simple tip: To maintain control over a hobby/collectables, designate a space for it. If it overflows that space, it is time to rethink the activity."
"It may mean finding a bigger space, or looking for outdated or unused items for that hobby. This helps to maintain control and keep the hobby from taking over."
"This one sparks joy!"
"I’d love to know more about this. I worry I’m a hoarder sometimes."
"I am not a psychologist so please take this with a grain of salt, but from my experience the term hoarder is often misused. Hopefully this will be helpful to you!"
"I have helped people who have ranged from perfectly normal to people with head trauma. Yes, they can all be categorized as different levels of hoarding, but I try and focus on the reason why they hoard, rather than the term itself."
"Customer 1: was a lady whose house was just a mess. Not disgusting, just nothing was organized. She had a lot going on and was feeling very overwhelmed and her place was taking a turn for the worst."
"She was a bit ashamed and kept indicating how she was a hoarder."
"In the end, over several sessions we cleared out the garage, the living room, the bedrooms, the dining room and never once did she hesitate to throw something away. She wasn't a hoarder, she was overwhelmed. So this was solely situational."
"Customer 2: Another lady, good friend of mine too, very much fit the typical hoarding situation. In her case she was just really bad at putting things away and thus everything ended up, everywhere."
"She still has this problem, but as long as I come over from time to time, stuff gets put away. She has been really good at throwing away or donating items, but she needs someone to sit down with her to help motivate her."
"Customer 3: A gentleman who was my inspiration to get into this business is probably the closest to the true nature of a hoarder."
"He received a blow to the head many years ago due to an accident. Because of that he has had difficulty staying on track. He looses focus frequently and thus things fall to the wayside."
"I go over from time to time to help him clean up. I will make him return stuff he buys when he really does not need it, because he easily becomes distracted. He forgets to return it or that he even bought it."
"I can get him to get rid of stuff, it just takes a good deal of prodding and coaxing."
"In the end, With all my customers I tell them to stop focusing on the negative. Don't worry if your a hoarder, rather spend that mental energy on what you can do to move forward."
"Tip: if you need an idea for a first step, Listen to a podcast or you tube video on organizing."
A Place For PassionNervous Season 6 GIF by Paramount+Giphy
"I’d want to own studio space where people could take classes, not just art or dancing but also like general hobbies to knitting, sculpting, writing, photography."
"I want to help people find a passion and explore it. And I’d be able to support others by paying them to teach their own passion."
"Look into maker spaces or hacker spaces. That literally exactly what they are!"
"I've seen them have facilities and classes ranging from running a cnc machine to beer brewing to programming."
"Membership is typically expensive (50-200 a month) but most give discounts or free membership for teaching classes.
Keep in mind I don't know if they are running with covid."
"There's a place near me called Handmade Toledo that does this!"
"The front of the building is a storefront where local artists, makers, and crafters can sell their stuff (anything from t-shirts and cards to candles and soaps, including snarky greeting cards and patches)."
"The back of the building is an events space where they have classes a few times a week, and a big event once or twice a year where more artisans come and sell their stuff."
Dungeons, Dragons, And Daycare?how to train your dragon smile GIFGiphy
"I would run Dungeons and Dragons campaigns for k-6 graders to teach them about problem solving and conflict negotiation."
"I use D&D to teach conversation strategies and cross-cultural communication to Japanese university students and it’s f*cking great."
"I think every pre-school/lower school should hire you, this is a fantastic idea to implement those values while having fun!"
"One of our friends runs dnd campaigns for kids as a way for them to work through their trauma."
"I don't know all the ins and outs, but it seems to help them. My husband has a 3D printer so he prints their mini figs for them."
OK Go Away NowSeason 5 April GIF by Parks and RecreationGiphy
"I’d like people to enjoy my work, but otherwise forget about me and leave me alone."
"I went to a lecture given by Andy Weir once and he said that writing is a great way to be famous because you’re famous for a few weeks when they make a movie out of your book and you get invited to parties and stuff and it’s a lot of fun, but then you get to go back to civilian life rather quickly because everyone forgets about you pretty fast."
"So you get a taste of the celebrity life every now and then but you’re not stuck in the spotlight all the time like someone in the film or music industries."
"I second this! Reclusive writer would seriously be an awesome job to have and make $400,000 doing."
"A mysterious person that everybody knows by what you do; but whose identity is unknown because all you put are your initials, rather than your full name? Before you know it, you're both the most famous yet unknown person that everybody is talking about."
Here Kitty Kittycat lady cats GIFGiphy
"Cat rescue and rehabilitation. I do it for free when I can, so it would be awesome to be paid for it and have actual resources."
"My family used to do this as well and it was so much fun growing up with up to a dozen cats in a town house at a time."
"Had a friend who co-owned a rescue. It’s good work but man was there so much drama from cat people. Half of her energy was spent managing different crazy personalities who volunteered."
"She ended up stepping down to a smaller role and opening a cat cafe."
These Actors Were Perfectly Cast In Their Roles | George Takei’s Oh MyyySometimes an actor comes along that is able to reach the audience on a deeper level. The actor that immediately comes to mind is Robin Williams. Although it ...
Masters With No Moneyshocked oh my GIFGiphy
"Librarian. Let me teach all about and facilitate the free borrowing of books while arranging events and services that help bind and strengthen the community."
"I would do it if librarian pay could support even myself decently. A lot of public service jobs (like librarians and teachers amongst others) do not pay very well and it can be hard to support yourself on such a salary, let alone a family if you want to have one."
"Still, if the issue of being able to live on the salary is taken out of the equation, I would choose to be a librarian every time."
"Oh man, my mom was a librarian and it is a real calling for some and I so love and respect that."
"Librarians are amazing!!!!"
"This was absolutely my first thought as well."
"I was halfway to a master's degree in library science when I did several shadow sessions. Everyone I talked to had gone to school for library science and was working part time shelving books and waiting for a librarian position to open up. Unless I was willing to move, it really didn't seem like a good option."
"It's a profession where the expectation is to have a masters degree and the pay scale for the vast majority of positions does not reflect that."
"I AM a librarian and it would still be my answer for this thread, but you'll often get that because you have to want to do this job to do it for the kinds of pay you can expect."
"I'm just lucky I'm in an academic position rather than public as that tends to set the starting pay a bit higher."
What's Up, Wonka?Animated GIFGiphy
"Ice cream truck driver, but everything is $1 or less. Or maybe running a candy shop."
"While I’m at my mentally draining job, I dream of just being able to make people smile, but I just can’t afford to live on the money that provides."
"There was this man who had an ice-cream truck that went around my neighborhood (I lived near a small park) and he was so nice. He couldn’t speak English well, but he just radiated a warmth around him that can never be bought or sold."
You know what Reddit would do, but what about you? If you had enough money to be comfortable, what job would you happily get up and go do?
Is there a job you wouldn't do even if someone offered you a $400k salary?
What's your labor worth? Let's talk about it, fam.
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Reddit user finnjakefionnacake asked: 'What things do men do that are sexy that they don't realize are sexy?'
More often than not, when men try to do something "sexy" in an effort to impress a woman, it tends to backfire on them.
Perhaps it is the visible amount of effort behind what they're doing or the fact that they don't do it as well as the movie star they took inspiration from.
Either way, despite their best efforts, women tend to find this sort of behavior anything but sexy.
In fact, more often than not, men have a way of turning people on without them even realizing it.
As it's often the little things that can make someone blush, anything from opening a door or slicing into a ripe tomato.
Redditor finnjakefionnacake was eager to hear all the sexy things men do without their even realizing it, leading them to ask:
"What things do men do that are sexy that they don't realize are sexy?"
When They Don't Even Know Their Own Strength
"Was getting busy with a girl one time and her head was too close to the headboard, trying to save her a potential concussion, I moved backwards and grabbed her under her hips and pulled / lifted her about two feet down the bed towards me."
"The sound she made and the look she gave me is still in my head lol."
"Afterwards she brought it up and said it was incredibly sexy how I could just handle and move her around so easily with so little effort."- Mage2177
So, So, Hot...
"I once changed a radiator in my house and that, without doubt, got me more attention and flattery from the women in my life than anything else I've ever done."- Jasper-Packlemerton
It's The NOT Knowing...
"It’s a trap fellas, just live in ignorant bliss."
"Once you realize something is sexy, you will become a self-conscious dork about it and it will no longer be sexy."- PMMeUrHopesNDreamsWhat Just Happened Wtf GIF by SomeGoodNewsGiphy
"My bf and I went to eat at this restaurant before we knew we had feelings for each other."
"While I would talk he would either laugh or smile and once while doing so he circled the rim of his glass with his finger."
"I later found out that he did it unconditionally but I short-circuited while he did it."- AsasLowkey
To Each Their Own...
"An ex of mine once got turned on when I told her I put a hand on the wall when I pee."
"I’m not sure I fully understand that one."- PaleAleDale
One Hand, One Heart...
"My wife has told me taking my shirt off with one hand is a thing."
"That kind of blew my mind."- trugrav
"One- handed steering wheel grip, reverse parking with their arm resting behind the passenger seat."- getupandstudymotor oil shot GIFGiphy
Doing It For The Thrills... And Then Some...
"My girlfriend was locked out of her apartment and I picked her lock."
"I picked the hell out of that lock."- paulo39Atati
Hits The Spot...
"My heart does a little flip each time my significant other, ever so slightly puts his hand on my back when we’re walking (to guide me), or if he’s trying to squeeze by behind me."
" I don’t know why that gets me fired up lol."- princess19977
Knowledge Is Power!
"If I ask my boyfriend a history question and he randomly knows the answer to it or if I ask about a math problem and watching him figure it out is the hottest thing, like yea you divide those numbers baby."- maneaterlexMatt Damon Math GIF by MIRAMAXGiphy
Nice And Oily...
"An ex said it was hot watching me change her car's oil."- SafeAndSane04
Compassion Is Always The Answer
"Caring for helpless things."- Maleficent_Scale_296
Speed Can Be A Turn On...
"There was a study done in Japan to see what school-aged ladies saw as attractive in their male counterparts and 'running fast' was like number one or two for elementary and middle schoolers."- Embershot89Run Fast Running Man GIF by TRTGiphy
There's Someone Out There For Everyone
"I heard one million power in 'Rise of Kingdoms' gets you any girl you want."- Key_Vermicelli_3138
Strong And Efficient...
"Carrying as many folding chairs as you can at once."- KbossDPT2019
Most of the time, the sexiest things are also the most unexpected.
That being said, any good boyfriend knows that a wet t-shirt now and then can't hurt...
Most people think that by the time they're in their 30s, they'll have their life together.
It's only when they get to that point that they realize that's not totally true.
Maybe those in their 30s have a job, are in a serious relationship, and have a home. Perhaps they're married or have kids.
However, that doesn't mean they don't make mistakes.
According to Reddit, people in their 30s make all kinds of mistakes, and Redditors are ready to share what those mistakes are.
It all started when Redditor cthulhu34 asked:
"What’s a common mistake people make in their 30s?"
"Stay in unhealthy toxic relationships."
"Alternatively, leaving healthy relationships because you’re bored and want to have fun."
"Romanticizing your 20s and fearing your 40s. (live where you are)."
"This is so good. So easy to romanticize the past and fear the future. Life is organic and so are we. We will keep changing and often times in a good way (stronger, wiser, more confident etc.). I'm so happy to be who I am at 37."
Compare and Contrast
"Comparing their lifestyle to other 30-somethings."
"This is a good one. Your peer’s success can seem perfect from afar and make you feel inadequate."
"But if you sit down and talk with them you will learn all sorts of shortcomings and difficulties in their life that will make you appreciate something about yourself and your situation."
"In other words we all just out here tryna function."
It's Never Too Late
"Thinking they are too old. Never too late to switch career paths or look for a new relationship or start taking care of your health."
"Almost 40, just started my MBA. Never too old!"
"It's absolutely never too late. I'm 42 and honestly feel like everything is getting better, ESPECIALLY dating and relationships in general. It's a relief to finally know myself and what I want."
"Also, I'm returning to study next year and looking forward to a career change. Having a beginner's mindset, always curious and learning. My dad is an inspiration, her had a stroke in his 60's and changed his life. After he recovered, he got a divorce, moved countries and decided to study medicine. He's now in his 70's living this dream and working as a doctor. It's never too late!"
"I feel and look younger than when I was 30! I know many people well into their 60's and 80's with this growth mindset and I'm determined to be like that until I die."
"Not exercising enough and eating a crappy diet. You can't get away with those things anymore like you did in your 20's."
"My doc told me at the end of last year that I'm not 16 anymore and now is the time in my life where I get to decide whether I want to see my daughters grow up or whether I wanna die of a heart attack in my 50s. Sh*t cut deep but I got the message lol."
"Dropped 40 pounds since January and might be in the best shape of my life tbh."
"Your 30s is when you are really in the thick of "adulting". It's easy to loose focus on what is really important to you among all the demands and responsibilities."
"Not Fostering Friendships: As you enter your 30s, maintaining and nurturing friendships becomes more challenging. It's a time when connections can fade, and forming new ones becomes harder. It's very important to invest effort in the friendships you currently have. Edit: A few people have commented about what to do when people don't reciprocate? My advise - keep trying! Everyone is under water in their 30's, they likely won't be able to make every attempt at outreach you make. But over time as things become less hectic they will remember you kept trying (without guilt) and will appreciate it and come back to you. But toxic people, yeah cut those out!"
"Not Nurturing Your Romantic Relationship: Responsibilities increase in your 30s like careers, parenthood, and caregiving for aging parents. It's common for the most crucial relationship – your romantic partnership – to be inadvertently neglected. Avoid taking your partner for granted, assuming they'll always be around, or treating them as an outlet for your worst moments."
Be Who You Are
"Not Preserving Your Identity: Similar to the previous points, your 30s come with a whirlwind of conflicting priorities that can lead you to lose touch with your identity. It's easy to forget what truly brings you joy and satisfaction. Maintain a hobby that gives your life purpose and regularly reflect on whether your job still fulfills your needs in terms of purpose, financial stability, and overall satisfaction."
"I'm 33 and in the process of rediscovering who I am, what I like doing beyond just 'filling in time' and how I like to present myself. It's scary to be caught off guard by the realisation that you don't know you and just as scary trying to start down a path to change that."
"I'm happy with my job and my role as a mother. But as an individual... I just feel like a crusty 90's kid, wearing 00's fashion and focusing on everyone else's needs because it's hard to find a direction for me that will 'spark joy'. I want my wonder and whimsy back!"
Change Always Happens
"Thinking you're a finished product, not likely to change all that much."
"Have you tried not moving in the ocean? It’s damn impossible. You can’t be stagnant in the turmoil of this world."
NOT Forever Young
"Biggest mistake I made in my 30's was not enjoying them more."
"Young enough to party, still play some sports, and perfectly in place in any bar. You have energy, you have a circle of friends (that will get smaller, trust me)."
"Try to carpe a diem every once in a while, the decade passes VERY quickly."
"Do whatever you can while you are young. 30s is a peak time. I'm 64 now, forced into early retirement, and I can't do half the things I "thought" I would be able to do in "retirement". Can't bend to do gardening, can't climb the ladder to get into the pool, can't handle a walk for more than a few minutes due to arthritis and more. I'm mentally "still young" but my body is telling me otherwise."
Life Is Tough
"Got laid off at 32? Just said F it, got 2 degrees in different fields (37 now). But I kept expenses really low and saved/invested a lot of money when I did work. I went from medical research, to analytics, to education, to computer science now."
"30's...uhhh not starting investing by 35, because that's the last stop on the compounding train."
"Also, I see people get wrecked by bad marriages/relationships. That's probably one of the biggest wealth and happiness destroyers I've seen."
"Also, waiting over the fertility window. People tried to have kids later on and it looks like an absolutely expensive brutal experience with the OBGYN visits and the $15k USD IVF rounds (multiples). Then dating over your thirties seems like a hopeless market from what I can see. I never really tried so I dunno (data analyst in me looked over the stats as a 5'7 East Asian male in North America, I'm out!)..."
"Oh yeah!!! Health! Working out is crucial. After 40 it gets super tough to achieve any exceptional fitness goals. That's the best case scenario. Some people come down with nasty metabolic diseases like diabetes, and the CVDs - hypertension, cholesterol, and heart disease - these are very difficult to reverse and they kind of stick to you with more aggressively the longer they persist."
"Also, daily brushing/flossing, apparently dentists are expensive in older age. Brushing avoids cavities, flossing avoids gum disease and cavities."
"Also, not constantly learning about economics and economic/social/technological/political trends, because the pace of technology will wipe out people's economic opportunities faster than their head can spin. I see a lot of people get broad sided by economic malaise because they didn't get their financial house in order before a crisis hit. Life can be rough!"
– Deleted User
I'm not 30 yet, but I sure will learn from these stories!
When people are out in public, it's sort of implied that we all stay on our best behavior.
But walk down any street on a New York day, and you quickly realize most of the world missed the memo on this matter.
Or they got it and just crumpled it up and tossed it in the garbage.
This makes us all spectators to some serious nonsense.
Oh the things we can never unsee!
Redditor Defaultuser9148 wanted to hear about the most messed up things they've witnessed others do, so they asked:
"What is the most f**ked up thing you saw someone do in a public place?"
I try not to look at people in public too much.
I've already witnessed more than my fair share of crazy.
WHAT THE ACTUAL F??!!!Oh My God Wow GIF by The Roku ChannelGiphy
"Saw a coworker take off his shoe and sock, pull up his foot, and bite his toenails DURING A WORK MEETING AT THE OFFICE."
"Covid is over, they said. Return to the office, they said. The exposure to corporate culture will be good for you, they said."
"I used to deliver janitorial supplies to businesses. Part of my route was in the Kensington section of Philadelphia it's basically zombie land there and the whole neighborhood is filthy, idk how people can even live there. Needless to say, I've seen A LOT. But the one thing I saw that really stuck with me was seeing a naked man covered in his own excrement... He was clearly very disturbed. No one paid him any mind either. It was surreal."
Rinse and Repeat
"I once saw a homeless man rinse his mouth out with water from the windshield cleaning 'bucket' at a gas station."
"Just saw something similar here in San Diego on Friday. Pumping gas and a homeless guy in a trench coat in 90-degree heat asked me about my dog in the car as he dunked his head in the windshield bucket. Asked me for a dollar right after too while dripping."
"I was waiting for a bus in the ‘rough’ part of town when I heard two men having a full-blown argument on the other side of the bus stop… one was being extremely aggressive whilst the other sounded confused at the verbal lashing he was receiving. It went on for a couple of minutes and the meeker one was nearly in tears, so I decided to walk around the other side of the bus stop to take a look at what was going on."
"When I poked my head around the corner the poor guy was crying but his aggressor was nowhere to be seen, I asked if he was okay to which he said 'Yeah, don’t worry about him, he’s all talk.' I nodded and turned around just as the nastier man re-emerged to berate his victim… only it wasn’t another person, it was the same guy shouting at himself with an alternate personality. Until you see these things up close you don’t realize how disturbing it must be to suffer from such mental health issues."
It's heartbreaking to see people like that.
The DisturbedScared Kermit The Frog GIFGiphy
"Saw a kid follow around a toad at a state park for a bit, pick it up, and ground it against a tree, eviscerating it in an instant. An adult immediately grabbed them and took them off yelling as the kid didn't look bothered by the interaction at all. It was surreal and disturbing."
"A scary a** woman was yelling at people in a store. The manager told her to leave. She screamed insults at him as security escorted her out. When I left the store, she was still screaming at him. He was blocking her from going back into the store."
"Then she did something I never thought I'd see in my entire life: She reached into her pants, pulled out a bloody tampon, and threw it at the manager. She missed but it stuck to the glass door. She laughed as she ran off. I wanted to vomit. I never want to see anything like that again."
All is Well
"21st B-Day at a Festival in FL called Langerado. Was incredibly drunk but I'll never forget this... unfortunately."
"So, we're listening to a band called Umphrey's McGee and everyone is having a good time. All is well. Heaven on Earth. Until I turn around."
"There's a guy, late 30s or early 40s by himself and he was having quite a time."
"He kept shoving his hand [in his pants] and licking his fingers afterward. At some point, he started chasing people and then some poor souls working security had to deal with him. Ewwww."
In the Bathroom
"A woman at my old retail job I used to work at came in dry heaving to our restroom. It sounded like she was about to give birth. Nope, much worse. She goes into our restroom and shi*s all over the stalls, the floor is coated. It became a complete swamp. This woman proceeds to take off all her clothes and leave them there. She walks out of the store nude, screaming."
"Woman recording a mother and her two children after the mother collapsed and was unresponsive in a Costco. Asked her to stop, but she looked at me and scowled, so I amplified my request which was 'Stop recording, you completely demented, witch!' and the immediate unfavorable attention that got her compelled her to stop. The woman who collapsed, and her small children were terrified, screaming and crying, and it was awful. Can't imagine why you would want footage of such a thing. Just remembering makes me sad and hope that everything turns out alright."
When you gotta go, you gotta go!!Peeing Ladies Night GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy
"In my hometown, I was using the mall food court bathroom which is usually a bad idea... but I had to. While I was taking the worst poop of my life, the people in the stall next to me were getting on the whole time. I can't image someone being that horny next to me in my worst time."
Some people will do it anywhere.
I would run to another restroom if I could make it!
Do you have any wild stories for us, let us know in the comments below.
Yes, civilizations have rules for legitimate reasons. However, when you invent around those rules or find loopholes, does that make you a vigilante? It sure puts some people in hazardous situations, but for these rebellious minds, the rewards outweigh the risks.
Rank The Concertred and yellow light on a dark roomPhoto by Wesley Pribadi on Unsplash
When I was 16, a friend and I created a website with fake reviews of concerts in the Washington, DC area that we didn't actually go to. It ended up working out better than I could have ever imagined: Once we had built it up to our satisfaction, we used it as credentials to gain backstage access to a huge DC area music festival three years in a row.
A simple call to the radio station that sponsored the event got us free passes and access to hang out with and interview most of the bands, including Cypress Hill, Coldplay, Social Distortion, and Offspring. Nobody ever caught on, and oddly, nobody seemed to be suspicious of our age.
The Parking Spot Whisperer
I used to keep a can of white paint, a can of yellow paint, and a small paint roller in the trunk of my car. Why? Because I'm an evil genius, that's why.
Whenever I pulled into a full parking lot I just added a space. I expanded a total of four parking lots before I decided to quit. I also cut a “NO PARKING” stencil from two pages I printed off the internet. It didn't really benefit me in any way, I just wanted to see how obedient people could be. Turns out people are very obedient. I spent an entire day at my bedroom window, watching people drive up, almost park, then pull out and drive around the block looking for spaces. One of the better moments in my life.
Sorry, Wrong Applicant
I was applying to colleges, and having slacked off all through high school, I was getting rejected from every one of them. I finally applied to a university I had no chance of getting into, and marked down that I was "Native American", though I'm very clearly white.
A month later, I learned that I had gotten in, contingent on me completing a summer in a program for minorities, focused on bringing up their skills and background to their more-qualified peers. I accepted, had a very interesting summer—a whole other story—and graduated with honors.
You Here?men's blue collared top near silver MacBookPhoto by Austin Distel on Unsplash
When I was a teenager I worked for one of those crappy call centers with one of those horrible micromanaging plans. So they would divide us into "teams" with "team leaders". So one day they switched our teams and I noticed that they never placed me in another team—therefore, I was never accounted for. I had a crazy idea. I figured there was no way it would work, but I had to try:
I would go in every day, clock in, go home or whatever, then come back and clock out. Eventually, I got too lazy for this and just paid a girl to clock me in and out. This lasted for a month and a half before anyone ever noticed.
That’s Why They Hire Interns
When I was in Paris studying abroad, a large group of us had called a trendy club early in the night to reserve a couple tables, so we showed up around 1 am or so expecting to skip the line—which was a few hundred feet long at this point—and get our table. That's why you make reservations, right?
Well, naturally the bouncer apparently didn't get the memo and wouldn't let us in. After a few minutes of pseudo-arguing with their management, my friend pulls out his secret weapon: His ABC press pass—his expired ABC press pass—that he had from his summer intern work for ABC in London. He told them that he was writing a story on Paris nightclubs and that theirs was now going to be let off the list because they weren't letting us in. I started laughing thinking, "yeah sure Ted, good one, let's go home".
And then, boom, all of a sudden the velvet ropes open up and we get two bottles for free at our tables.
That was the coolest trick my friend Ted has ever pulled.
Have You Been A Good Boy?
This happened many, many years ago when I was still a kid. As I was old enough to figure out the truth about Santa Claus, mom took me shopping with her for Christmas. She was buying gifts for the whole family, so the shopping cart was quite full. The department store ran a well-publicized contest where each customer could have all their purchases reimbursed. It went like this: at checkout, the cashier asks you to pick an envelope. If you get the magic voucher, you just walk away and don't pay anything.
Obviously, she asked the "innocent kid" to pick the envelope. But, I quickly realized something: As the cashier handed me the envelopes, the lighting was well-positioned behind them, so I could see through. They're thin and I quickly realize most of them are empty; only one contains a piece of paper. The rest is family history. Not an impressive feat, but it made my day as a young boy!
Car Swapred car parked on parking lotPhoto by Krzysztof Kotkowicz on Unsplash
Working in the city, I really didn't want to pay $80/week for parking. I noticed there was very little differentiation between the “0” and “O” they used on plates. That gave me a crazy idea. I registered a custom plate—O101101—and parked my car on the street every day. 9/10 times, they would put 0101101 on the ticket. Never came back to me and I saved a ton of cash!
Not Lost But Found
Go to the library a day after it rains and tell them you forgot your black umbrella. Free umbrella!
Lose your phone charger? Go to the front lobby of any hotel and see if they have a match in their lost and found bin.
You Better Have My Money
There used to be a routine that you could do which took advantage of the lag between funds available and check processing with ATM deposits.
Basically, it worked something like this: You have two bank accounts with nothing in them. Write an uncovered $1000 check from one to the other. Wait a day and write a $1000 check from the second to the first. The first check will eventually clear using the phantom money from the first because funds were available faster than check processing.
With the right timing you could get a substantial amount of imaginary money flying around in a long cycle for more or less as long as you like. You could then take short-term loans out of the circulating money but managing it would be a lot of work.
I never did this myself, so I might have the details wrong. I had a friend who did this when he was short on cash. But he's maybe not a guy you should listen to... I'd check with him for the details—but he's currently in federal penitentiary.
Did You Beat The System, Or Beat Yourself Upsmiling boy wearing white crew-neck t-shirt during daytimePhoto by Moses Vega on Unsplash
When I was four, I was diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes. When I was six, I took over the day-to-day management of it. That included testing my blood sugar and taking my injections, which then was twice a day—parents still supervised of course but didn't need to do everything and anything for me. It took a few months before I was capable but eventually, I was able to take care of it all on my own and therefore able to do all the other things my Grade 2 classmates did, like have sleepovers and go on school trips, etc.
Sometime later, I can't remember how old I was but I would have been under ten, I discovered how the machine that tested my blood sugar level did it. It would read the color of my blood.
For those who don't know, Type 1 diabetics need to test their blood sugar by pricking their finger and putting the blood on a small strip of plastic. That plastic then goes into the machine and the machine tells you what your reading is. Back in the 80s, it was a little different. I had to drop the blood on the strip of plastic, wait about 90 seconds then wash the blood off with water, then put the strip in the machine.
I figured out that the darker my blood was on the strip, the higher my reading, and the lighter it was, the lower my reading... and the lower my blood sugar, the more I would need a "boost"...like candy.
So my young self thought, “That's interesting”. What is also interesting is that the strip I have to put the blood on is white.
So I started doing my blood tests as normal, then not putting the strip in the machine properly. The machine was no longer reading my blood, it was reading the white strip and giving me a low reading—which to my young mind was full of win! Lollies, cake, and all the awesome things I was never allowed!
My parents were scared and confused. The doctors were baffled as my pathology results were not matching my daily readings, the manufacturers were confused as when they tested my machine it was in full working order. I was getting all the awesomeness I wanted...and getting sicker and sicker.
Eventually, I confessed to my doctor. Although my parents were a little angry I think my doctor was a little impressed.
So there it is...not so much beating the system when all I'm doing is making myself sick but as a child, it felt awesome!
Throughout college, I had a sneaky way of cheating the system when studying for tests. Whenever it was time for me to study, I would send out an email to my entire class saying something like "Hey, I'm working on a study guide for the test...if anyone wants to send me a copy of theirs I will send you mine...just to make sure we haven't missed anything of course".
This is the genius part: Within an hour I would get several study guides sent to me...and I would just send them back a copy of another person's study guide. In the end, everyone is happy and none the wiser.
Thunder Buddies For Life
My swim team has meetings every Saturday morning. They tend to last between three to four hours. On one particular Saturday, there was a thunderstorm. Every time you hear thunder you can't get in the pool for 30 minutes, so the meeting got delayed several hours.
By the time the storm cleared up everyone just wanted to go home. So to encourage the officials to cancel the meeting, I walked out to the parking lot and hit a dumpster with my fist. The boom it created sounded just like thunder. From where I was standing, you could hear everyone in the pool area yell "THUNDER". Dismayed by another delay, the other team's coaches forfeited the meeting and we all got to go home.
You’ve Got Mailperson showing white envelopePhoto by erica steeves on Unsplash
Used to live in NYC for a long time. For personal mail within the five boroughs, I would put the recipient's address in the return address spot on the corner and my address in the center of the envelope. I'd "forget" to put a stamp on it and drop it in a mailbox. Inevitably, the mail would be returned-to-sender...to the address I wanted it mailed to. It worked every time.
Tweet All Your Worries Away
We all know customer service phone centers make it impossible to get good customer service, especially when you need to return something or get your money back. But I found another way.
Pretty much all large companies now have teams of people monitoring Twitter for complaints. Since hardly anyone uses Twitter to complain, I find that any time I complain via Twitter, someone contacts me almost immediately and rectifies the problem.
For instance, my dress shoes fell apart—Johnston & Murphy—and calling their phone center was really painful, but after I complained on Twitter, I got a brand new pair shipped to me the same day. Pretty decent move if you ask me.
My dad works in a chemical company as a scientist. One day, when he was cleaning out the old chemical closets, he found an unopened package containing one kilogram of solid Silver Chloride that had gone past its expiration date. Normally it would get thrown out, but my dad decided to take it instead. He took it to the kilns and decomposed the Silver Chloride back into elemental silver and chlorine gas, and managed to get about 700 grams of silver out of it.
An Endless Roller Coasterpeople riding red and white roller coaster during daytimePhoto by Gabriel Valdez on Unsplash
My dad and I waited in line for hours to get onto the fastest ride at Six Flags. Feeling adventurous, we decided to just see what happens if we don't get off the ride at the end. It turns out that in the rush, nobody notices that you're still on the ride. I couldn't believe it worked. We were only asked to step off after getting five or six rides, but by that time my dad had blacked out anyway.
Thinking Outside Of The Box To Get Inside Of The Bin
When I was in second grade, our school had a carnival with a bunch of different midway-style booths, run by our teachers. One in particular challenged us to build a paper plane, throw it about ten feet, and land it in a small trash bin. Nobody had succeeded in doing so, and I watched many paper airplanes veer off to one side, nosedive, tailspin, and so on. Cleverly interpreting the definition of "paper airplane", I wadded my piece of paper up into a really compact ball, aimed carefully, and tossed my paper ball into the trash bin.
They didn't award me the prize.
Doppelganger Saved The Day
Didn't happen to me but to a woman I met in Japan a couple of years ago, who had gone on a trip to China. After driving in a bus for two hours, they arrived at some destination only to be told that it was already crowded, it was late and they would have to return the next day. Well, one of the people on the bus looked a little like a certain ex-president's daughter, so they told the Chinese people that it was Chelsea Clinton. The place was suddenly open for business again.
Evil Twinphoto of woman's face reflectionPhoto by Alexander Grey on Unsplash
My friend really didn't want to go to her group meeting for a group engineering assignment in the first year of college. Every week, we persuaded her to make up an excuse and not go. After a few weeks, we've started to run out of plausible excuses. So we decided that she should have appendicitis. And then I had an incredible, devious idea.
I decided that it would be fantastic if she walked into her group meeting, pretended to be her own identical twin and told them that she had appendicitis. She did, and they ended up doing the whole assignment for her.
I took the SAT for my best friend. We had someone at our school store make a school ID for us using my picture and his name. When I got to the testing center I told them I lost my driver's license and this was the only ID I had. Worked like a charm. I scored a 1400 for him, which was better than I got for myself, and apparently was about 400 points higher than what he scored when he took it himself.
This threw up a red flag and the SAT people weren't happy. They told us—him—we had three options: get a refund and cancel the score, cancel the score and take the test again for free, or send in handwriting samples to prove it was really him who took the test. This is when we decided to roll the dice. We chose to put up a fight and take option three. I pulled a bunch of homework assignments that I hadn't written my name on and put his signature on them.
We sent them in but apparently, there was still too much of a discrepancy in the score and handwriting that they couldn't accept the score. And that was the end of it.
Cooperating With The Teachers
My school had trips to Spain offered every two years. As a fundraiser, we would sell candy bars. I was quite a bit more entrepreneurial than my counterparts, and offered candy bars on credit. This caused me to essentially corner the market to a point that one of the teachers went into competition with me.
The problem with that sales system was that we could only do it the year before the trip, not after. This is because it was, after all, a fundraiser for Spain. I decided that if I wanted to keep my business going I would need to get a little bit shadier.
The same teacher who ran the Spain trip also was in charge of Key Club. I gave 25% of my profits—not total sales—to Key Club in exchange for protection from the school authorities.
All in all, I netted around $1,600 in profit, or $3,200 in revenue—about 4 per person in my school—while going to school, without breaking the law. The year after was the Spanish fundraiser, so the teacher wouldn't accept protection money.
Like Having A Time Machinered apple fruit on four pyle booksPhoto by Element5 Digital on Unsplash
When I would have an assignment that was overdue, I would leave it somewhere under or around the teacher's desk. So, they would just assume you turned it in on time and that they had just misplaced it; I did this once or twice.
The hotel I work at has a membership to a full-service gym that's totally free for guests. All they have to do is show their room key, and bring a towel.
The cheating part comes from knowing that they don't verify that people with a room key are actually staying at the hotel. Hello, free gym time!
One Step Ahead
In college from—1998 to 2002—at the end of a semester, I already knew who my professors were for the next semester, and those professors used the same coursework every semester. So, I would download their entire website, where they had the current semester's homework/quiz/test answers. That info was very useful when I started the class.
Taking Quality Notesflat lay photography of blue backpack beside book and silver MacBookPhoto by Matt Ragland on Unsplash
When I was in school—at the beginning of the year—we were supposed to deposit empty notebooks for each subject. Throughout the year whenever the teacher for that subject would give us a test, they would distribute the notebooks to us to take the test on at the beginning of the day.
After the test was completed and checked, the notebooks would be again collected and locked in the class cupboard. What I and some of my buddies did was, whenever they would distribute the notebook at the beginning of the day we would write the answers to most probable questions or important stuff on the last pages of the notebook. When the test was taken, we would copy the answers from the back pages. Once done with the test, we would quietly rip off the last pages before submitting the notebook to the teacher. We always scored well.
Hey, Can You Come Pick Me Up?
In high school, a friend of mine had a cell phone. During class, if he felt like leaving school, he would just call the classroom he was in, imitate a security guard's voice, have the teacher write him a note and he was on his merry way.
Losing My Religion
In grade nine math, I told my teacher I was Jewish—I'm not. She was from the Caribbean and had no knowledge of the Jewish religion. Whenever I would miss a day and she asked why, I would just say "Oh, it was Yum Kavandash" or whatever series of Jewish-sounding words I thought would work that day. Basically, this let me take two weeks off the class while playing cribbage with my buddies in the cafe.
Friend With Benefitsman wearing blue denim jacket and sunglasses taking selfiePhoto by Tânia Mousinho on Unsplash
I had a friend from Belgium of Moroccan descent.
This guy was the most charismatic human being I've ever met in my life. I used to own businesses on the Santa Monica Promenade in LA—in the 90s before it became a corporate dystopia—and he worked for me. I remember going to the movie Independence Day when it came out at the time and was about to pay at the box office for myself, him and two other employees who had all done a hard day's work in the sun when he suddenly stopped me.
Instead of "wasting my money" as he called it, he dragged us—a party of four—to the ticket checker and started sweet talking rapidly—something about a lost cell phone. The next second, we were all waved through without paying. We were all astounded but elated. We'd somehow hacked the system through this guy. And my wallet was heavier through not having to pay. He would have taken it as a personal affront if I had paid. He impressed me to the point that I still remember him 15 years later.
Soon after, I learned he had talked the California DMV into granting him a driver's license even though he was a foreign national. Also, not long after, I learned, he'd gate-crashed the Oscars dressed as a chef and hung out for the night with Oliver Stone. All of this I confirmed.
The guy blew my mind.
We Love Free Candy
My high school had a shop run by the student council and they kept all the candy and soda in a locked room by the gym. One day, I noticed they had left the key in the padlock. During football practice, my friends and I snuck in and looted several duffel bags of candy. We did this for the next few days until they finally changed the lock. The best part, nobody thought twice when they saw a bunch of kids making off with full duffel bags because it was by the gym and everyone had them!
Play The Sick Card
I was up the Sydney Tower and for some reason—I can't remember—they were delaying everyone going down the lift. The queue was approx 1.5 hours long to get in the lift down. They wouldn't allow me to take the emergency stairs—but I knew I had one card to play.
I stated I was a diabetic and I needed my injection which was in my hotel, since I never planned on being up the tower so long. They told me to wait in the queue and I agreed as long as I had a Sydney Tower letter signed by the manager stating that I told them I was diabetic and I was to wait in line delaying me getting my injection. They asked what I wanted this for, and I stated that it was so I had evidence to help my case to sue them when I fell into a coma. Needless to say, I got the next lift down.
Catch Me If You Canperson holding credit cardPhoto by CardMapr.nl on Unsplash
I used to fill out credit card applications: Platinum Visa, AmEx, Discover card, etc. It took about three weeks, but they'd send me cards. I used to go from store to store and just "charge it". After about two weeks, I'd call in and report the card stolen. Then just repeat. I guess based on their system, it's hard to catch or something. I would also buy stuff from the mall with said cards, then take the bags back and get the cash.
College On A Budget
College textbooks are very expensive, but buying used books at the Student Book Exchange (SBX) can save you some money. However, you need to act fast when the book is a new edition and there won't be many used copies available. Since everyone tends to sell old books and buy their new books during finals week, you need a game plan to lock in a deal, especially if you are short on cash—which was me.
What I used to do was cruise the bookshelves and find a used copy of the book I knew I would need the next semester that got turned in early, a week before the current semester was over. I wouldn't have my cash then as I had not yet traded my current books in, so I would create a bridge loan by taking that used copy from one shelf and sticking it behind a big pile of books nearby. The bigger the pile the better as that pile needs to hold up until I return the following week. Piles that are all new books last longer than a pile of used books.
The next week I would sell my books, walk over to the big stack and grab the used copy that I had stashed and buy that one at a lower price. Often that used copy I had stashed was the only used copy available.
When There’s Smoke, There’s Fire
When I was 16, there was a fire drill in my high school in Texas. My boyfriend and I were skipping class and walking around the hallways when we heard the alarm go off. We decided it would be really awesome if we stayed in the school while everyone left—there's about 2,000 kids at my high school. So, we hid and waited.
When we couldn't hear any more voices we proceeded to skip around the halls and goof around. I realized I had a pack of cigarettes in my bag. I told this to my boyfriend. The moment I said it I knew I had to smoke one, the irony was too much to refuse. So, while the fire alarm was still going off, and in the hall right in front of the library, I lit one and we shared it. He put it out on the wall and we ran away screaming with laughter.
Twenty minutes later, after everyone had already come back in, we decided to check out that hallway again. We come across the administration—the principal and a few of the vice-principals. They were sniffing around, clearly wondering why it smelled. I've never felt so empowered.
That’s Why They Call It “Payphone”gray phoneboothsPhoto by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash
There was a row of pay phones outside of my local movie theater. After finishing a movie with some friends, we all waited outside to get picked up by my mom. We were bored, just walking and looking around when I saw a quarter stuck in the middle payphone. I tried pulling it out but couldn't reach it, so I took a piece of cardboard on the ground and pushed it in. Little did I realize, I'd just hit the jackpot: A huge pile of coins came tumbling out from all the people who put money into the—malfunctioning—payphone.
The next few days I would pay a visit to this payphone and push the coins in the back and collect my payment. I even went so far as to create "Out of Order" signs and put them on a few of the other phones to encourage people to use the broken one. Eventually, the theater fixed the phone and put an end to my easy money, but I made away with something like $40 in coins.
Nobody Can Block My View
My house is on a very popular public beach. Tourists usually like to come on the holiday weekends and they will set up tent cities right in front of my house—blocking my steps and walkway to the beach.
So, I just started setting up a whole row of fishing rods and chairs near my steps and walkway. You see tourists start to walk up, take one look at the fishing equipment, and say to each other "Ugh, let's sit over there instead".
Solution Is One Button Away
Recently? Big conference. 18th floor, top of the building. Everyone was going down the limited number of elevators at breaks. Big lines.
People are not going down the stairs by one floor because if you hit down you'd just get a completely packed elevator. My solution? Go down one floor. Hit “up”. Board empty elevator. Welcome people on the 18th and enjoy my quick trip down. The greatest hacks are the simplest.... though it would have been better if it didn't fail the categorical imperative.
Of course, if I wasn't an American I'd just take the stairs all the way down.
Let’s Reset The Tankperson holding black corded devicePhoto by Erik Mclean on Unsplash
Several local gas stations near me would switch from "regular'' pay to prepay-only at a certain time of night. Let's say it was 10 pm. I'd pull up and start filling my tank at 9:58 pm—making sure to keep filling as the clock rolled over to 10:00. When it hit 10, the pumps would go into the pre-pay mode and reset themselves. I'd finish filling my tank and only have to pay for about two gallons.
This stopped working when gas went to $4/gallon and drive-offs became a huge problem, making all the stations go to pre-pay-only full-time.
Life Hacks: Airport Edition
As a college student that lives on one coast and goes to school on the other coast, I have to get a lot of stuff across the country every year. This trick saves me a ton in overweight bag charges.
Go down to the nearest Army/Navy surplus store and pick up one of their backpacks. These fit a ton of stuff and don't look all that big. Pack two backpacks—one regular, one from the surplus store—plus your personal item. When you get to the airport go through security as usual, they don't care if you have more than the usual “1 bag + 1 personal item rule that the airlines use.
After getting through and to your gate, go up to the counter and say you're worried the flight is too crowded and/or you think your bag won't fit—don't let them see the other bag. Ask if there is some way to check your bag now. Most likely they'll "check the bag gate side" for you. Which means they put a tag on your bag and when you walk down the ramp there is a spot to put it. They then put it below with the other checked bags. On the way off the plane, you pick up your bag and you're on your merry way. Best part is you don't get charged for it.
For two years that I was in the dorms, I picked a roommate who said he was going to pledge and join a fraternity. That way, a few weeks into the term, he would move out. It would take another one or two terms to get the paperwork in line that I needed to get a new roommate. I would pick another guy who was soon joining a fraternity. I had roommates in my closet-sized dorm room for maybe two months of my two years, and I only paid for 1/2 the room.
Photoshop Your Way To The Topman in grey shirt using grey laptop computerPhoto by Desola Lanre-Ologun on Unsplash
I was a junior in high school, and I was transferring schools due to a recent move. However, my grades at my previous school were mediocre to say the least. The awfulness of my grades didn't stem from stupidity—I'm quite brilliant, mind you, but rather I had problems with undiagnosed insomnia for a very long time and never went to school because of it. My new school required a personal interview between the principal and myself. During this interview, I was told the school had very strict GPA requirements—my grades didn't cut it.
They'd requested a copy of my transcripts from my previous school, and as I was walking out of the office, I saw a sealed envelope on the secretary's desk—it was from my previous school. I took the envelope from the secretary's desk when she wasn't looking and proceeded to go home with it. I opened it up and sure enough, they were my transcripts.
I took the transcripts to Kinko's and had them scanned at the maximum resolution and quality possible and took them home with me on a CD. Then, I meticulously photoshopped the transcripts and changed my GPA from a mediocre 2.3 to an astounding 3.9. Finally, I had a buddy of mine whose dad worked for the US Postal Service don his dad's work uniform and deliver the transcripts the next day.
Needless to say, it worked. I went on to graduate with a 3.8 GPA in my senior year—I got my stuff together—and was accepted to one of the state's best 4-year institutions. I've since graduated and have a very rewarding career.
Is It A Six Or A Nine?
I went to a conservative university that had a nightly curfew. If you went away for some period of time, you'd have to fill out an overnight leave form online which would need to get approved by a student dean or dean or something. One fall break, I needed to fill out one of these forms for 10/03/06 to 10/06/06. I purposely filled it out for 10/03/06 to 10/06/09—in my mind, hitting a nine instead of a six was a legitimate typo if I had to explain myself. Their online system didn't automatically check for this kind of discrepancy, and the student dean overlooked it when he approved it because the month and day columns looked correct. It got me three years without curfews. I never had to worry about it again.
Think Simple, Think Fast
There was this really nice apartment complex next to our not-nearly-as-nice apartment when I was in elementary school. During the summer, it got really hot and the community pool was not walking distance. Unfortunately, the complex was pretty well fenced so no one without a key could get in—and they had a really nice pool which everyone was envious of. On top of that, the people living inside were pretty strict and would never just let us in. One day, I realized I could stick my hand through the metal grating of the fence and open it from the inside. I swam a lot more after that.
Don’t Overthink Itwhite plastic laundry basket beside yellow front load washing machinePhoto by Anca Gabriela Zosin on Unsplash
I used to live in a condo building that had three clothes washing machines and two dryers on each floor. Often all of these machines would be in use at the same time that I wanted to use them. My solution: Go to another floor and use the machines there. There are 18 floors in the building, that's 54 machines to choose from, so that I could wash my clothes simultaneously, in parallel. It's kind of obvious, but when I first realized this, it seemed pretty cool to me.
Okay, so in Ireland we have two official languages, Irish—Gaelic which is the first—and English. Because of our constitution, all services provided by the state have to be in the two official languages. The funny thing is though that the majority of Irish people cannot speak their mother tongue—Irish. Whenever I do my taxes or any other business with the state I always conduct it through Irish or demand that it be conducted through Irish. The advantage of this being that the queue/line and waiting time for things to be processed for things such as passports, tax credits etc. is always minimal or practically nonexistent.
I don't like the way my co-patriots don't speak our language, but it sure is a massive advantage to me. Also, if the state cannot provide the service through Irish, they try to fast track you through their system of whatever so as to try and not to offend you so you wont complain. I love it.
We’re Here, Obama!
My friends and I went to the Obama inauguration and since driving and walking were out of the question, we took the Metro. Well after the ceremony ended we headed towards the nearest metro stop which happened to be near the Air & Space museum. The stop was closed with a huge crowd of people trying to get in, so we went back to the museum and played poker for an hour and a half. After that we checked back at the station, still closed, so we walked up three blocks to another station, also closed. Then we were told we had to walk all the way across the mall.
At this point it was like four or five in the evening and we had been up since 3:30 am. So, we sucked it up and walked the mile or two across the mall to the one open station, and there was a line because it wasn't open yet...so we waited in a nearby food court for an hour until the station opened, and then we got back in line.
After we got inside the station, there was a solid mass of people trying to get back to Virginia, it would have easily been another hour or two waiting for the train. Then, I noticed that the Maryland-bound platform was nearly empty so I said, "Hey let's ride up a few stops then get on the train headed the other way".
Everyone agreed this was at least a better idea than waiting. After two stops, the platforms were empty and we got off that train and right on to another headed towards home. I was quite pleased as we rode past the platform of people who would be stuck waiting for empty trains for hours.
Like Father, Like Sonperson using phone and laptopPhoto by Austin Distel on Unsplash
I got a free trial cell phone and just didn't give it back. It stayed free for like 7 years, until someone took it from me.
Also, me and my dad used to tell the cable company that C-SPAN wasn't broadcasting clearly—like there was static and stuff. They would come over and remove some "block" which allowed us to watch HBO for free.
Also, in 1999, my dad worked in the IT department of a large insurance company. For Y2K, they needed one person to stay in the building, in case everything exploded or whatever. To determine who would stay, there was a tournament of coin flips throughout the company. Out of the hundreds—maybe thousands—of people who worked in the building, my dad was one of the final two people. It all came down to one coin flip, between him and his former college roommate. My dad said, "Okay, if it's tails, you stay, if it's heads, I don't". Apparently, the guy did not realize that either way, my dad would win.
Also, my friends and I inadvertently realized how to get free food at fast food establishments. You go through the drive-thru and tell them something like you spilled a drink in your car and you need some napkins. Something that they won't make you pay for. Then you pull up to the first window, they just wave you on, because you didn't order anything. Then you get to the second window, and usually, you'll get the food ordered by the people behind you. The two windows don't communicate. The first one just assumes you're going to ask the person at the second window and not take someone else's food.
Does This Ring A Bell?
When I was in high school, we had a bell system that sounded through a tone in the phone that was in each class instead of an old school bell. That gave my friend a brilliant idea. Realizing that this "bell" sound had a very digital ring to it, my friend and I decided to record it one day. Now having acquired the tone, I was able to replicate the sound of the bell, thus fooling my fellow students—who instinctively would get up and leave once they heard the bell—and the teacher into believing that the class had ended.
I was able to use this to end class early throughout a large part of the year until the administration caught on and started changing the tone daily.
This one time on a road trip me and my friend stopped at a local restaurant and bar to grab lunch. Halfway through my friend knocked over the salt and I told him to throw some over his shoulder for good luck. Unfortunately, the man behind us didn't enjoy it so he came over—he was much, much larger than us—and secreted a fluid out of his mouth right in my friend's burger.
Disgusted, but wanting to get back at them, I came up with a great idea. I went over and apologized to him and his friends and offered them a round of beers. They of course accepted and then, me and my friend headed over to the cashier. We said that this man and his group of friends felt bad and wanted to pick up our tab. The girl was skeptical at first but we pointed him out, and he signaled for what he thought was his round of beers. The waitress obliged and we headed out of the restaurant with a free lunch!
Count Me Twicegray computer monitorPhoto by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash
About 10 years ago, I had a summer job that used online timesheets. When I started, my name was spelled wrong on the system. I had it corrected and received a new login, but they didn't disable the old one. That gave me an idea. For two months I completed two timesheets every week and got paid double. Nobody ever found out.
Confidence Is Key
My best “cheating the system” moment wasn't even clever or really even cheating the system. It was just outright lying mixed with extreme confidence. When I was seventeen, a bunch of my friends who were already eighteen wanted to go to an adult club. I didn't have a fake ID, but I didn't want to miss out—so I just went with them anyway. As we're walking in everyone gives the woman at the front podium—there was no outdoor bouncer—their IDs. I'm the last in line and I just gave her my real driver's license.
She looks at it for a minute, and then looks at me with confusion on her face: "This says you're only seventeen". Figuring there's nothing to lose I just went for it: "No it doesn't". She looked back at it, back at me, shrugged, and said, "Okay, go ahead".
BOOM, adult club jedi.