The Bitter Owner’s Manual


Like a Bosh through a portal, out pops the dreaded “Owner’s Manual”.


Some people I know like to build Legos.  Or rebuild engines.  Or fix computers.  Or put together furniture. Or mend relationships. For some reason, when they do these things, they think it brings some sort of order to the universe.  It doesn’t.  What they don’t know is that it brings something evil screaming into the world like Loki brought the Chitauri into the portal on earth.  The unholy and evil Owner’s Manual.  These wretched spawns are supposed to be a step by step process of how to build, fix or repair something.  Some of them are just a list, some are pictures and some are lists and pictures.  But the one thing that is universally included in all Owner’s Manual’s is something that will make even the smartest, sanest person alive as destructive as Wreck-It Ralph.  Missing steps.  In the Owner’s Manual program in colleges, they teach this as a necessary step. There is no owner’s manual to becoming bitter, but I do have a list of a few things that will help along those lines (and there are also some missing steps, per the traditional owner’s manual).

Fail to plan, so you can plan to fail – Everyone thinks it take so much dedication and planning to become bitter like this, but it doesn’t.  It takes a lot of things, but planning isn’t one of them. Bad manners maybe.  Unrealistic expectation, certainly, but planning never.  Do you think I sit around writing steps on how to avoid work at work all day? No.  It’s just a spontaneous thing.  Will I read other blogs? Will it be ESPN that day, or, or will I take long breaks in the break room.  You can’t plan these things.  Things come up all the time that can get in the way of your “plan”.  You just have to be ready for anything when it comes to avoiding work.

Focus on your Failures – A lot of good things can happen during the day.  You might get a raise, a promotion, or your boss might be gone for the day or week or month.  Some people might find those things to be really great and that is just not something that will help you be bitter.  You must learn to find the bitter in things.  For instance, you got a raise? Awesome, now you have to pay more taxes, more people are going to want money from you, and now you will have to buy a Lamborghini that is even less fuel efficient than your current stupid car.  And that will make it so you get to work earlier.  Who wants that?  And a promotion? Why would I want to do more work again?

Looks good, but get's you to work too early, has bad gas mileage, isn't the Batmobile.

Looks good, but get’s you to work too early, has bad gas mileage, isn’t the Batmobile.

Don’t Finish Things – If you have an owner’s manual, this might cause you to finish something. How is that good? If someone knows you are good at finishing things, then they will depend on you. Then more work comes your way and something way worse.  Trust.  And the only thing that comes with trust, is pressure to always be there for someone in their times of need.  That means less time on the couch, sharing your pizza, and “listening to someone’s feelings”.  Seriously don’t have time for any of those things.

When you are in the zone, take a break – You know what it’s like to be in the zone right? Ideas are flowing, brush strokes are flying, the video game controllers is practically molded directly into your hands, all your dreams are coming true(you better wake up, you’re late for work).  And you think that the “zone” will last forever, so you take a break.  I don’t need to write those ideas down.  I’ll just put the paint brush down for a little.  I’ll just push pause on the game to “listen to family members” talking about something.  I’ll just wake up and completely remember the codes to the bank vault.  And when you come back the zone will completely come back right?

You're in the zone, taking pictures, then you take a break...

You’re in the zone, taking pictures, then you take a break…

Take shortcuts.  They key to unsuccessfulness in bitterness, is to take shortcuts.  Walk on people’s grass instead of their sidewalks.  While driving, don’t come to a complete stop, roll on through.  At a long red light, cut through that gas station to get to the other side.  At work, cut out of meetings for “an appointment” or “you have to go to the bathroom”.  When buying clothes, claim there is tiny hole and get a discount.  When learning how to fly, you don’t need an airplane, just a really good catapult and a set of something that kind of looks like wings.  When becoming a basketball player, just be really good at sitting on a bench, fake clapping encouragement, and work on your towel waving ability.

Buy Expensive things that have fatal flaws.  – Buy super nice computers that just have bad motherboards.  Buy expensive refrigerators that have ice makers that fail instantly.  Buy an expensive car that has automatic everything that is controlled by a computer run by Windows.  Buy a smart phone that has a dumb battery and that allows phone calls.  Buy a blog domain that includes the name bensbitterblog.

Passive Aggressiveness – Passive aggressiveness is good for no one.  But just because it isn’t good for anyone, doesn’t mean it isn’t my standard operating procedure.  Sarcasm is my favorite use of passive aggressiveness.  I use it to tell someone how much I can’t stand them, and the idiots that I use it with, don’t understand sarcasm, so it accomplishes nothing.  I won’t ever stop using it on them, and they won’t ever learn that I am totally tearing them down.  Bitterness personified.

See how useless owner’s manuals are? See how useless my advice to you is? See how much time both you and I have wasted going through this whole process? I will never get the 20 minutes back that it took to write this and you will never get the 5 seconds back that you wasted looking at the title of this blog and moving on very quickly.  It was a waste for all and a cause for bitterness.



Bitter Owner’s Manual Ben


58 thoughts on “The Bitter Owner’s Manual

  1. Five seconds? Five seconds?!?! I read the whole thing and reread a couple of the paragraphs. Plus I laughed. Which added time. Now who’s bitter, bub?!


    • I am expertly trained in the art and skill of passive aggressiveness. I love to drive people crazy, with ability to use sarcasm as a weapon against people that don’t get it. Plus passive aggressive notes are the funniest.


  2. LOL This is just too funny! If I ever take the plunge and cross over to the dark side (the bitter side) I will def consider these steps, however it really just seems hypocritical to plan on being bitter and following a manual, if you know what I mean 😉 Great Post! 🙂


  3. #1. I was on the longest_conference_call EVER, so was VERY happy to see you’d posted and I could ignore the people talking (seemingly non-stop) and READ YOUR POST.
    #2. This is especially hilarious for me, given that I just wrote an entire rant on my blog about reading the dishwasher manual AND b/c I’m a technical writer. But, that is what Makes The World Go Round: the balance between bitter and adorable.
    #3. I have no more to say; I just like to work in threes.



    • I can’t even imagine how boring that would have been. I hate meetings more than anything in this world but when you add a conference call to that, you might as well strangle me with a microphone cord. I zone out so much in meetings that I actually wrote a post about how much I hate meetings once and it was one of my mom’s favorites. I don’t envy you at all. I’m so sorry that you work as a manual writer. I think besides my deplorable job as a customer service rep, I think that would be one of my least favorite things to do. At least in the writing arena. You are a brave person for doing that.


      • I bet your mom is awesome.

        Here’s the dirty little secret about tech writing: you write about how things are supposed to work in a perfect world. It is somewhat dreamy. Customer support? That’s when things are NOT working. I get pissed off every time a customer asks me a question. Trust me: you’re the brave one here.

        thanks again for the conference call respite.


        • My mom is a little quirky like me, yeah. She has a similar sense of humor, but not near as dark. Though she finds this blog funny, so there’s that.
          All I know is that at least you get to write. It would just be cool to write about stuff more creatively. Yeah, customer service sucks. It’s even harder, when you are a bitter person like me. That’s why I got the idea to start a 1-900 line where people would just call and complain about anything and the customer service rep could complain right back. It lets people whine and complain back and forth and it would make me more money, because who doesn’t like to rant and rave to total strangers on the phone?


        • Yeah, that’s definitely The Goal — getting to write more creatively.

          I LOVE your 1-900#. It was one of the first things I glommed onto about you. BRILLIANT!

          There was another guy who used to call people and for 2 minutes, pretend that he was a turtle calling. It was pretty amusing watching people get the call.

          I’ve been thinking about how I could sell 1 minute of adorable on the phone. <– dreaming BIG!

          Thank you for always writing back. You are an awesome blogger.


        • I think the reason the 1-900 thing wouldn’t work, is the fact that I haven’t heard one advertised for years now. But it would still be fun to be one of the first complainer-complainee phone lines.
          That turtle thing sounds like a lot of those shows in the 90’s where they would prank people.
          Yeah, I always write back. I think it is the key to getting people to comment on your blog in the first place, if they see comments going back and forth. Either that or I just like annoying people that don’t want me to write back.


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