As Featured on News Cult: How to Get Out of Jury Duty

I’m one of the few people who can’t wait to do jury duty. I find it fascinating—the whole legal process, fighting for justice, being a part of it all. Unfortunately, the only times I’ve been called to report have been in my hometown, where I no longer live, so I have yet to actually have the chance to serve my civic duty—every time I miss an opportunity to report for jury duty, a puppy loses its innocence.

I’m aware, though, that my outlook on jury duty is contrary to popular sentiment. So, for those of you who wish to shirk your responsibilities and have no interest in advocating for due process, the best way to get out of jury duty is to say something during the screening process that calls into question your sanity, potential bias, and/or intelligence. Thus, here are the best lines to use.

“I support Donald Trump—those Muslims have really got to go. It’s only logical.”

• “I don’t like Gilmore Girls.”

• “I’m going to go visit the mother ship just as soon as I’ve finished burning my next door neighbor at the stake—I caught her entering the local Planned Parenthood, aka Baby-Killin’ Sinner Factory, the other day—can you believe it?!”

• “I do CrossFit.”

• “I’m going to vote for Hillary Clinton—obviously—she voted FOR the Iraq War and gave weapons deals to Clinton Foundation donors!”

• “Some of my idols are Tom Cruise, Will Smith, John Travolta, Leah Remini before she was possessed by the Devil…”

• “I’m not a fan of sweets…”

• “I’m not going to vote for Bernie Sanders—after all, he voted AGAINST the Iraq War and has served as a true public servant over his lifetime, failing to amass exorbitant wealth in the process—where does he get off, running for president when he isn’t a corrupt, greedy warmonger?”

• “I tried CrossFit once.”

• “I use the ‘pull out’ method.”

• “Climate change isn’t real. Nope—it’s just a buncha liberals up in the sky holding their space heaters down at us.”

• “I wear fedoras.”

• “I own a Confederate flag belt buckle.”

• “I don’t believe leggings count as pants.”

• “I don’t believe healthcare is a human right. Maybe if all you poor people would just pull yourselves up by your bootstraps and stop being non-white and be born into a wealthy family and shop at Whole Foods like me, you wouldn’t get cancer.”

• “I enjoy CrossFit.”

“I wear a Confederate flag belt buckle.”

• “I go to strip clubs and read Playboy and am in a fraternity/sorority and in favor of elective cosmetic surgery and thought MAD MAX was a feminist movie and generally support the degradation and subjugation of women in this society.”

• “I take selfies.” [yes I am guilty of this and yes I think just as poorly of myself for it as I do everyone else #myselfhatredknowsnobounds]

• “I juice.”

• “I’m proud to be a Millenial.”

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/get-jury-duty/

As Featured on News Cult: How to Get Through Airport Security

It’s no secret that TSA officers are the least qualified people to do their jobs. Thus, it takes a special kind of witchcraft to be able to get through their security hoops. But I’ve got it down to a science, so fear not—here’s how you make it through airport security.

1. Pray to the gods of TSA Pre√

Pre√ is like Nutella—Heaven sent. It means you get to keep your shoes on, your laptops in your bags,  you get to skip the line of losers who didn’t make the cut—the world is your oyster with Pre√. Unfortunately, it’s up to a random iPad to assign it (I think there are also other ways you can get it permanently, like if you travel often enough, or pay a fee or some bullshit like when you get to use the HOV lane without carpooling as long as you buy a transponder), so your prayers may only be as effective as those who pray to end gun violence.

2. Do whatever the fuck you want with your liquids of 3-oz. or less

Unfortunately the equal to or less than 3-oz. rule is still in effect, but I’ve found that it is no longer necessary to fit all 3-oz. or less liquids into a quart-sized plastic bag. How did I learn this? By just ceasing to follow the quart-sized plastic bag rule a couple years ago, and getting away with it every time, with no mention of protest by any TSA dipshit agent.

3. Request the metal detector instead of the full-body scanner

Maybe because you don’t want your organs to be zapped by x-rays, or for the security agents to be able to see right through you, or you just want to fuck with them. But insist, for whatever reason you make up, that they let you go through the metal detector, and see how flustered they get. It will be sufficiently amusing. Please note: this may/probably will entail a pat down. During which, you come on to the person patting you down. Male or female—it doesn’t matter. Turn the tables on them—they get to molest you? You get to sexually harass them, verbally. Some suggested lines to use on them:

•”Oh boy, I haven’t been touched like that since last night. When I touched myself. But I much prefer this. Keep going, please. Almost there..” [of course escalate your volume and heavy breathing as the sentence progresses]

•”Are you single? Because I’m visiting my family and they’re going to be severely disappointed that I haven’t found a mate yet. How do you feel about kids? Which holidays are you required to spend with your family? What are your thoughts on buying a home? Jenn or Angelina? Miranda or Gwen? Bernie or Hillary?”

•”Where would I even hide a bomb? You, on the other hand—is that an explosive device in your pants or are you just happy to see me?”

4. Use a tray for every item you have

Even Kanye has to do it. #thereisaGod

Nothing pisses them off more than when you put everything you have in individual trays. Your shoes go in one, your laptop goes in another, your coat in a third, your purse in a fourth, your roller bag jams into a fifth, and so on. And insist on waiting to proceed until you’ve watched each and every one of your trays go a safe distance onto the conveyor belt. If they urge you forward, insisting you abandon your trays, tell them you don’t trust them not to steal something out of one of your bags while it’s still stuck on the metal rolly things, before it gets on the belt, and while you’re waiting in line to be violated. This will piss them off even more, and then you’ll say, “Why are you so upset? You know, people usually don’t react so adversely to criticism unless it touches on some insecurity in them. So, what I’m getting from this interaction is that you, yourself, don’t trust that you won’t steal one of my valuables,  and you simultaneously hate and get some elicit pleasure from that aspect of your personality. Did I get it right? Hmm? What do you have to hide, Fred??”

5. Pack embarrassing things at the top of your carry-on

I’m talking hemorrhoid wipes, XS condoms, underwear that says “#squadgoals,” and a self-help book entitled Coping with Everyone Else’s Inferiority. So that when they pull your bag aside to search it by hand, you can make unwavering, confident eye contact with them as little bits of their soul die off, one by one, for each personal item of yours they grope. Feel free to narrate each item as they pull it out, too, for added effect.

6. Wear shoes that are easy to take off

All kidding aside, having to untie elaborate laces or pull off knee-high boots is just not what we want to be spending our time doing, so I say strap on those Uggs and get it over with. MAKE SURE to wear socks. We don’t need to be contracting any foot fungi from the thousands of disgusting people we are forced to accompany through the same carpet space. To balance out the unfairness of the shoe game, wear a hoodie with nothing under it. Then, when they insist you take it off, you’ll get to flash everyone, and when they freak out about it, you’ll get to say, “Well you told me to take it off—I’m getting mixed signals here. I’m just following the rules you told me, Fred. It seems like you’re the one who’s lacking an understanding of the proper procedures here, Fred, not me. Fred, if I may be so bold, how did you get your job? Did you have to do any training at all, or were you simply let in because you have a proclivity for blindly following orders without so much as a thought to question what you’re taught, like, for example, a Nazi would’ve done?”

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/guide-getting-airport-security-quickly-humanly-possible/

As Featured on News Cult: How to Write a Customer Service Complaint

For those of you in need of a lesson in the art of customer service warfare, here’s how you write an effective complaint.

First, actually write one

People underestimate the power of the written word. When it’s in the form of a complaint. That will then be passed on to upper management. And could affect bonuses, Yelp stars, and/or Better Business Bureau ratings. Don’t be the apathetic asshole that is everyone in our society—the person who is so not content with how things go, but is too lazy to do anything about it. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Towards annihilating the corporation or customer service rep who hath wronged you.

Next, take your time

Listen, nobody wants to spend their precious free time writing a letter of complaint for something that never should’ve happened in the first place. Which is why you should write it when you’re on the clock and getting paid by your employer to do so. And don’t rush through it—you have to be strategic in your battle tactics, which requires attention to detail, thoroughness, and precise reasoning. Plus, the longer the complaint, the more serious they’ll take you—if you write a 5-page, single-spaced letter, they’re going to know you’re not fucking around.

Do your research

To further bulletproof your arguments. Look up what laws the company you’re complaining to might be breaking, which of their own policies they may be violating, what they promised you vs. what they actually delivered, etc. As soon as you start annotating your written complaint, that smirk will be wiped right the fuck off that P.O.S. Wells Fargo teller’s smug, frankly rotund, face.

Put it on letterhead

Don’t have any? Make one up. This makes it look more official. It honestly doesn’t matter what the letterhead says, as long as it’s there. You could write:

Alex Eason

Wells Fargo Can Fall Off a Bridge, Inc.

123 Blow Me Lane.

Suckadick, FU 66666-6666

and it wouldn’t matter—it’s still more professional than the way you’ve been treated as a customer.

Use big words

The goal is to intimidate the idiots you’re complaining about/to. And nothing says ‘I’m going to make you shit your pants’ more than words like “apostasy,” “reprobate,” and “demeritorious.”

Send it via certified mail

By requesting a return receipt, you’re saying, “I’m watching you, motherfuckers. I will track the shit out of my letter. Try not responding. Just try—I dare you.”

Follow up

If a company can ignore you, they will. But the only way they can is if you let them. Follow up via all communication methods possible—phone, email, snail mail, smoke signal, showing up at their doorstep. If none of that works, stage a sit-in on the front lawn of their office. If that doesn’t work, file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and your local city & state governments. If that doesn’t work, take it federal. What bad customer service reps fail to understand is that we will take them to court, even if it ends up costing us more money, as a matter of principle—something they clearly know nothing about.

Go viral

Don’t just send the company that sucks a letter or email—post your condemnation of them all over the Internet. Businesses hate nothing more than having their public reputation smeared. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp—use these resources as they were meant to be used—to destroy peoples’ lives.

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/complain-things-like-true-boss/

As Featured on News Cult: A Letter to My High School Self

Because if I only knew then what I know now…

Dear High School Alex,

You really care too much. About what people think of you, school, fitting in, guys. I mean, you know none of it matters, right? You’re going to go to college, get a job and learn that life is ultimately pointless and the most you can hope for is a good relationship with a dog before you die—mainly because the dog will then be able to alert your neighbors of your death by barking incessantly because it has some bizarre intuition/after a while it will want food.

Let’s start with boys. First of all, stop trying to fit in with all the senior boys. You’re just a freshman. This is your time to try in vain to make new friends your age, and fail at different elective courses, and hate yourself even more when trying out for the soccer team. Don’t get distracted by these magical, dangerous, older boys. The only thing you’ll get from them is a sloppy drunken make out session and a huge gash on the back of your ankle from trying to climb down the unfathomably jagged concrete stairs at one of their apartments, which will be worse than any shaving cut you could ever give yourself. And that scar will never heal. So that’s some symbolic shit.

Fuck guys—don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to be colossally disappointed by them later on in life. For now, focus on getting to know yourself. But lower your expectations—you’re going to change a lot over the 4 high school years, and then even more in college, and then even more when you go adulting. So just go with the flow, man. Roll with those punches. You’re going to want to be a perfectionist, but spoiler alert: perfection is a mirage. So quit taking your homework so seriously, and feeling like you have to take ALL the AP classes, and be in ALL the honor societies and get ALL the awards—you’ll never catch up to the cloistered, pretentious, God-fearing little goody two-shoes valedictorian who you’ll get into a debate with over abortion rights and she’ll cry, not because you said anything offensive, but because she’s a pussy who can’t handle intelligent discussion over the merits of religious moral authority.

In other words: there’s always going to be someone who wins more than you, so really stop trying so hard to catch up. That doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough, it just means you get to give less fucks. Which is the end goal. On our death bed, we want to give equal to or less than 0 fucks. So you may as well start early. And this goes not just for guys, and academics, but making friends, too. There are going to be those girls who seem just so effortlessly cool, and like everyone loves them, and their friends are part of this secret club where life is just more seamless and sooo creative. But let me save you some heartache—those girls are manipulative sociopaths, and that’s how they pull everyone into their web of lies. You won’t see this going in, and before you know it, you’ll be the fly—caught, helpless, while they continue conquering their prey.

And you are NOT a fly. You are not prey, you are not a victim, and you are not as uncool and in need of validation as you think. You don’t need these capricious foes. Yeah, it may be lonely, but at least you’ll be free. Free to be yourself, free to be unapologetic, free to not be made to feel less than. The girls who seem like they have it all peak in high school (it’s really too bad that you didn’t see Mean Girls until after you graduated). And then they all become fat secretaries. You don’t want to be that. You don’t need to be that. What you need to do is work on finding your own center, and grounding yourself in that, because if you think high school is bad, just wait for the rest of your life—it’s awful (cue all the psychology students’ concern for my mental health). But it will be a lot easier to navigate if, at the end of every moment, you have a strong sense of yourself to come back to.

This is all a long way of saying whatever. Fuck everyone and everything in high school. People who like high school are not our people. They’re like people who don’t enjoy pizza and do enjoy running—we just don’t get them. High school seems so permanent, but it’s really the most fleeting thing (outside of your skinny prepubescent body and Britney Spears’ sanity). You just have to get through it, so that as you walk across the stage at graduation, you can bid everyone ADIEU and GOOD RIDDANCE with your middle finger held high.

I won’t say good luck, because I hate when people say good luck (it just makes me hope they fall down a spiral staircase), so I’ll just leave you with see you on the other side. Where, I promise, the grass really is greener (I mean, I don’t know because I never leave my bed, but I hear it’s lovely outside).

Until college,

Present Day Alex

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/letter-high-school-self/

As Featured on News Cult: 5 Job Hunting Tips

Ughhhhhh job hunting. The worst thing since cough syrup. It’s so hard. It’s fucking impossible. It’s like the worst job you’ve ever had. And you have to do it over, and over, and over (oh, you’re a stable adult who’s had the same career for 22 years? FUCK you).

Here are my how-to tips for finding that unfortunately necessary perfect job.

1. Keep your resume updated

Perhaps the worst part of job searching, resume upkeep is the Devil’s work. But I tell you, it’s a helluva lot easier to maintain if you regularly maintain it. If you don’t touch it in 2 years, you’re going to have a lot more housekeeping to do—those cobwebs run deep*. However, if you update it, say, every 6 months, it’ll be a lot less painful (please note: it will still be really painful).

*This observation may or may not be based on personal experience.

2. Keep a cover letter template

Again, cover letters are basically terrorism, but some antiquated places still require them. You’ll want to tailor each cover letter to each specific job posting, but if you have a template you can start with, it’s a lot easier to just then plug in key words, phrases, and examples of experience than it is to start from scratch on each application.

Tip: I like to sign my cover letter:

“May the bridges I burn light the way,

Alex.”

3. Keep an open mind

Something we’re not used to doing, because we are 100% right in our judgements 100% of the time, but give postings that don’t sound exactly like your jam a chance—you could be pleasantly surprised in the interview and end up getting your dream job (LOL JK we don’t get pleasantly surprised or have dreams. But what I’m saying is you may not end up thinking a job is as terrible as its posting made it sound, which gives you incentive to apply to a wide range of positions).

4. Don’t be afraid

Your fear of being inadequate—while completely justified—will stop you from applying to jobs that seem too good to be true, or are intimidating because of all their requirements, or are out of your comfort zone. But I’m here to tell you that you are more than qualified for any job you want—not because you are actually qualified, but because if you believe you are, then so it shall be. Confidence, people. That’s all it takes. I mean, look around at all the incompetent men running our world—they clearly didn’t get to where they are because they’re qualified. They just walked into their interviews dick-first with chest puffed, and here we are, with a deteriorating financial infrastructure, rampant war, and overwhelming social injustice.

5. Give your search a wide berth

Ask for leads from friends, colleagues, ex-boyfriends who owe you because they were terrible in bed/in general, your college’s alumni office, Facebook, Google—you’d be surprised at what you can find in unexpected places (and I’m not just talking about the condom you found inside you at least three weeks after you last had sex (you don’t remember using a condom)).

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/unemployed-millennial-5-job-hunting-tips/

As Featured on News Cult: How to Make the Best of a Girls’ Weekend

A girls’ weekend is something that, if you are female, will befall you at some point in your life, if not multiple times. Sentences like, “I gave a handjob in a movie theater once,” will be said, and you will have to figure out a way to survive it. Here’s how.

1. Don’t stop smiling

https://media.giphy.com/media/B0vFTrb0ZGDf2/giphy.gif

The smiling will cover up all the hateful feelings you have. And by just smiling, you’ll sound nicer. If we can sound nicer without actually having to be nicer, we’ll take it. Who cares if on the inside you’re hoping that one of them chokes on a Jägerbomb, or that you somehow miraculously have a heart attack and die so you don’t have to endure the rest of the trip—on the outside you’ll be all rainbows and fucking butterflies.

2. Bring a book

Me on a girl’s weekend.

Or ten. So when they all decide to don their bikinis and get in the pool, you’ll have a socially acceptable-ish reason to merely sit poolside, without going in. #pooladjacentiscloseenough

3. Take naps

This lessens the amount of time you have to spend in their company.  Even if you’re not actually napping, or, like me, are incapable of napping because apparently nothing good ever happens to you in life, feign a nap/plug in your headphones and watch Netflix for 3 hours. If there’s a lock on the door of the bedroom you’ve been relegated to, use it as God intended.

4. Abstain from drinking

Normally I’d encourage you to drink away the weekend and dull the pain, but a sober pedestal is all the better to judge them and their drunken idiocy from.

5. Explore

https://i2.wp.com/www.picgifs.com/graphics/d/dora-the-explorer/graphics-dora-the-explorer-162890.gif

Wherever you’re staying. Go on walks. Even if it’s in the bum-fuck middle of nowhere desert-ville. Surely you can find a Starbucks if you walk long enough. Again, less time in the company of others. And if exercising (which, let’s be honest, walking is for us) means more time away from other people, we’ll do what we have to do.

6. Ask the other girls questions about themselves

People love to talk about themselves, so just get them going so you don’t have to say anything, and then spend the time they’re talking daydreaming about pasta, or a world in which women are treated as equal to men, or going to bed by 9 PM on a Friday—they’ll still be there, blabbering, when you come back to reality.

7. Bring work with you

Even if you don’t have any—make it up. Say you have to get some work done so you can’t join their game of “Never Have I Ever,” or get in on the group FaceTime with the guy one of them is currently ‘talking to‘ (what the fuck does that even mean?? I talk to the bag boy at Ralphs—does that mean we’re fucking?), or go to the bar at a ridiculously late hour and try to impress the ring of guys standing around the dance floor, sizing up their prey, when you literally only brought sweatpants to wear and everyone else is in crop tops and platform shoes—we’re talking Ginger Spice-level platforms.

8. Say daily positive affirmations

You won’t feel like you fit in, and that’s because you won’t fit in, so really you just need to survive. And if that means telling yourself three times each morning that you’re not the worst and that somebody somewhere loves you, even if it’s only the one old man in your apartment complex who stalks you and wears fedoras, it’s still someone.

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/guide-making-best-girls-weekend/