Tinder is a Video Game

Did you here about this guy on Tinder who got, like, a thousand matches because he replaced his photo with an everything bagel? His profile photo, instead of his face, is this shot of an everything bagel with deli meat, scrambled eggs, and just pornographic amounts of melted cheese. What red blooded American woman can resist? The man is a goddamn genius.

Are any of you on Tinder? In case you aren’t, let me tell you, it’s awesome. Not like, you can actually use it to get laid all the time, no. At least not when you look like this. [refers to self] Men who get laid all the time using Tinder look like Ryan Gosling, not like a background character in a Ryan Gosling movie, not like third mathlete on the left.

But it’s fun to a…nerd like me because it is a video game. This is how you’re supposed to use it: There are humans, they upload pictures, and there’s a little space to write something about themselves. Their photo pops up. Swipe right, on a face, if you like them. Swipe left if you don’t. If two people swipe right on each other, that’s the only time you’re allowed to contact that person. But, and this is the thing, if you match with someone, and you don’t message them right away, a little number pops up on the side of the app, a little red number that goes up every time you match with someone.

Aaaand now they got me.

I can’t ignore little numbers, man. I grew up on Nintendo. Numerical scores are like crack to me. So now I have to see how high I can get that number to go. Like I have to find out. I have to get the Tinder high score. But not actually score. Because if I message any of these women, the number goes down.

And by the way, I don’t cheat. I don’t just swipe right on everybody. I still only swipe right for very special ladies whose photos make me want to, you know, settle down and get married. I just don’t message any of them so the number won’t go down. I tell my friends and they’re like “well then what’s the point of being on a dating app?!” That’s when I flip the table we’re sitting at and run away.

I don’t cheat at the Tinder video game. I do swipe left, a lot. Because I’m a ball of neuroses. Some things on Tinder that make me swipe left are things that would make anyone swipe left. Like a profile will come up, and there’s no photo. Tinder is NOT the place for blind dates. Are you insane? Swipe left. Or worse, with photos but no face. Like every photo is… [turns back]. This sunset and/or grand canyon is amazing. [faces forward] Or like the hair is dramatically covering the face. If you’re that embarrassed to be on here, maybe don’t be on here? But some of the reasons I swipe left are just nuts-to-the butts. For example…

If the first letter of every word in their summary is capitalized. — Not that they’re writing in all caps like they’re…screaming at me. I LIKE LONG WALKS ON THE BEACH. Just the first letters of every word. What is that?! I mean, people make mistakes. I’m not going to judge someone for typos or grammar. English might not be their first language! Maybe they’re French…and hot. But there’s just no excuse for this specific mistake. It’s not even that they don’t give a fuck. I respect not giving a fuck. But people who don’t give a fuck don’t capitalize anything, or won’t write anything at all. Capitalizing the first letter of every word is willful ignorance. And I can’t date that! Can you imagine dating someone who does dumb shit on purpose? Yes. Yes, you can.

I’ll swipe left immediately if they have the same facial expression in all the photos. — If you’ve got the same half smile and dead stare at a rally and a baby shower and Burning Man, then you are obviously a sociopath and this is your heavily rehearsed people-hunting face. And that face, half smile plus dead stare, that’s usually the face. It’s never a big smile, it’s always Mona Lisa minus the humanity. “Am I smiling at you? Or do I want to eat your liver?” Because if they’re actually making A face, a single wacky face, in a bunch of photos, well then that’s performance art. That’s the bit. I get it. I can work with that.

Another one is, all their photos are group shots with their friends. — Hey, I’m down with #squadgoals. Bros are important. Girl power is, hands down, my favorite kind of power after natural gas. But maybe just one photo to show — you’re an adult who can be left alone in public.

What else? Oh! Their profile mentions that they love Jesus. On Tinder. — Whoa there. What kind of man do you think I am? Whipping out god is solid third date stuff. First date, common interests and trivia. Where are you from, where did you go to school? Second date, heavy petting. Third date, Jesus.

Swipe left if they will date you depending on astrology. — Their write up starts with “I’m a gemini and…” Nope! [swipe left] Nope nope nope.

I only have one more and it’s the worst.

I swipe left if they’ve got a photo of them helping underprivileged children of color. — Ohhhhhh daaaaaamn. Shit just got real. It’s fine! We’re gonna talk about this. You’ve seen these photos, right? There they are, and they’re usually white. They’re obviously middle class or higher. And they’re in a classroom, teaching or just, like, hugging [awkward hugging motions] these black or brown kids who are obviously very poor and foreign. Like, this isn’t Harlem. You can tell from context clues. (And by the way, if it’s East Asian kids and the students are well dressed, well that’s South Korea or Japan. So she’s an English tutor at a prep school. That’s fine. You don’t have to worry about that. I mean, it’s still weird but whatever.) Now, benefit of the doubt, maybe they’re an honest to goodness humanitarian. Except they can’t be that much of a humanitarian if they don’t get why this is creepy.

Let me explain, ever seen a photo of Hugh Hefner surrounded by…props? In the form of…6 or 7 leggy blondes? This Tinder person helping-the-needy photo is like that. They’re Hefner in a silk smoking jacket. And the kids are leggy blondes. (This metaphor may have fallen apart.) I’m not saying it’s the same! I’m saying that’s what it looks like. Not bad, per se. Just uncomfortably exploitative. Like they could put up photos of, I assume, them in front of the school or outside, carrying buckets of water, or…in bed fighting malaria. That’s exciting! Right? And they can totally have photos of the kids because they loved them so much. That’s fine! Have those photos. But don’t put them up…on Tinder. Show them to me, in private, on our third date, after you tell me about Jesus.

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6 Simple Steps To Get The Job You’ll Eventually Quit For Your Dream Job

Times have changed. Back in the old days of dial-up and tape decks, a simple life of office drudgery was all you needed. After college, you’d get a grown-up job then work your way up to pushing buttons and making sprockets or whatever. It’s vaguely dehumanizing, but it’s easy and some of your coworkers are mildly attractive. Forty years later, you’ve got a pension, two kids who never call, and a gut grown hefty with regret and, thankfully, bourbon.

Well not any more. Those inspirational bastards behind the twin temptations of books and schooling have filled our minds with dangerous ideas, like having a fulfilling career. You don’t just dream of being a musician, damn it, you bought the fashionably pre-ripped jeans. But that’s just the start. The world is filled with yoga instructors, social media experts, competitive eaters, improv actors, and people who just…travel.

The irony is that if you want to live the kind of life where fulfillment, not money, is the main priority you’re going to need some money. So on your way to opening your own cat themed pie shop you’re going to need a Perfect-For-Now Job to continue eating food, sleeping on a bed, and fucking on that bed.

Seriously, don't bring a date home to a futon. Have some self-respect.

Seriously, don’t bring a date home to a futon. Have some self-respect.

But you shouldn’t take just any job. Bad jobs are where dreams go to die. Working for a company that’s wrong for you even when you know it’s only temporary can be stressful and frustrating. It will drain you of your creativity and health. Like prison. Which is why if you want to find a PFNJ you’re going to have to…

1. Weed Out Bullshit Job Openings

Job hunting is like grocery shopping. You got to have a plan. Go to the supermarket without a list and you might end up with 12 packs of bacon, a case of beer, and a heart problem. So before you start browsing Craigslist, make your own list.

First, identify what you can do (paint houses, use Photoshop, pole dance), what you’re willing to learn (sales, make espresso, pole dance), and what you will absolutely not do (work with animals, work with children, pole dance).

Second, write down an estimate of how much money you’ll need every month. Usually that’s [all your monthly bills and expenses] + [taxes] + [emergency money] = your desired monthly wages.

Third, note how much free time you need so you can keep working on your actual career. If you need to take extra classes to learn Advanced Social Media Marketing in the Age of Grumpy Cat, write the class schedule down. Most, if not all, full-time salaried jobs won’t be available to you because of your schedule. Don’t worry. You don’t want those jobs. You might think that you can handle 40-plus hours at the dildo factory and then work on your art. But honestly, unless you’re mainlining Red Bull, you probably won’t have the energy.

Now, take the list you just made and let it be your guide. Ignore any job posting that doesn’t fit with your list.

BONUS: Ignore job ads with three or more grammatical errors, that includes using multiple exclamation points (!!!!!). Ignore anything that is WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS. Ignore ads that don’t require you to submit a resume. And, ignore any ad that doesn’t tell you which company is hiring. More often than not these are scams, or written by people who don’t have their shit together.

BONUS the Second: Try to get a job in the field you want to eventually work in, or somewhere related. If you want to be in publishing, work for a publishing company even if it’s just running errands. If you want to be a travel writer, be a receptionist at a travel agency. Remember, the PFNJ must not distract you from your endgame. So the closer you are to your ideal job, the better.

That's why so many actors are waiters. They get a flexible schedule so they can go to auditions, and every order they take is a little performance entitled “Our Specials Tonight Are”. The tips are the applause.

That’s why so many actors are waiters. They get a flexible schedule so they can go to auditions, and every order they take is a little performance entitled “Our Specials Tonight Are”. The tips are the applause.

2. Create the Perfect Meh Resume

“Wait a minute,” I hear you say. “Shouldn’t I make an impressive resume, filled with meaty experience?” Ha! No! You stupid-idiot. Sure, you can just put everything about yourself onto paper and shop it around like a screenplay. You might even get lucky. But an experienced employer will glance at your three page professional life story and immediately click delete. Why? They don’t have the time. There could be dozens of applicants for the same barista job you just applied for. You need to make your resume stand out by being ridiculously easy to digest. You need the Wheat Thins of resumes.

It has to be concise and specific. One page should be enough. Only mention qualifications related to the position you want to fill. And put a graphic header near the top so that if the hiring manager is flipping through resumes, yours will catch her eye.

The little grey triangles in the corner shout LOOK AT ME!

The little grey shapes in the corner of this Google Docs template are shouting “LOOK AT ME!”

3. Ace that Interview by Being Real

A job interview is like a first date. If you work too hard, you’re going to freak someone out, and Lisa Katz will never let you unhook her bra.

Breasts are the job in this metaphor.

Breasts are the job in this metaphor.

So follow the same advice that pop songs have been giving you since you were little: be honest with your feelings. Remember, you’re not trying to marry them. You just want to get to the next level.

Do not show up in a suit. Only clueless teenagers and desperate yes-men wear business attire to an interview for a non-corporate entry level job. Wear business-casual. You want to be clean and presentable, not formal.

Don’t act like you’re happy to be there, be happy. You just beat out god knows how many people to get this interview.

Once the interview starts, remember that you’re having an actual conversation. You’re not in court. No one is trying to implicate you in an armed robbery. Just relax and stay on topic. Listen carefully to the questions they ask. If you have to take a second to think about your answer, do that. And always tell the truth. If the reason you’re taking this job is to earn enough money for DJ school, say so. It will let them know that you’ll take the job seriously because it gets you where you want to be.

What if they don’t give you the job because you didn’t show up in a suit, super excited for the chance to flip burgers or fold jeans? Then that means they’re looking for a minion, not an employee. If they are dead set on hiring only the most enthusiastic candidates, they’re looking for a commitment you aren’t prepared to give. So be glad you didn’t waste more time and effort. Just like when you and Lisa Katz didn’t work out because she wanted to get super married like right now.

4. Weed Out Bullshit Job Offers

Wooooo yeah! You have a job offer; you’re set! Or are you?

If you get a job offer, do not just jump on it. Weigh the pros and cons. There is a certain amount of shittiness inherent in any job. Dealing with shitty customers, for instance. But too much stress in a temporary job will leave you unable to keep working on the real important stuff after hours. So be on your toes. A company policy of “The Customer is Always Right” might not mean you’ll have to deal with dicks all the time but it does mean that when you do, you’ll have to bend over. This should be unacceptable.

Take note of small companies that throw the term “entrepreneurial” around. This usually means long hours for below industry standard pay with the promise of big benefits somewhere down the line. To hell with that, you’re not in this for the long haul.

You may be tempted with a job that pays off the books. Listen carefully: you’ll be keeping more money because you won’t be paying taxes but it also means no record of employment. You’ll have nothing to show in case of abuse, or in case you need to apply for unemployment benefits.  It also means no professional reference if you need to look for a new job. Don’t go rogue!

5. Never Stop Hustling

So you’ve got a job now. It’s not the best but it pays okay and you like it. This is, of course, only the beginning. Like the vengeful mummies of old, you’re locked in now. Everyday contains easy but repetitive tasks, and muffled grunting. But you’ve got a lot of real work ahead of you too. Perhaps a little less murder involved than if you were an actual mummy, but no less important. After all, you’re looking for a new life — like a mummy.

Or Brendan Fraser.

Or Brendan Fraser.

Never stop working towards your real goals. Never confuse milestones at your job with real achievements. Do not get distracted. Remind yourself everyday where you’re headed with notes, and posters, and frequent trips to places that inspire you like your favorite bakery, gallery, or strip club.

Be a little selfish with your time. You don’t need to go out every time someone asks. Cherish your routine. It will help you avoid burning out. And don’t be afraid to be a little boring in the name of making progress. Enjoy making progress, for now.