Fail Hard 2: Fail Harder

Feeling a little down lately...

Feeling a little down lately…

I’ve been feeling a little down lately.  You know that feeling you get when just feel like you could be so much more?  That feeling where you just aren’t living up to your full potential? I’ve been working my whole life to make a difference and just can’t get over this proverbial hump. I just want to make an impact, but I just can’t seem to get tha little break, a bit of luck, or mix in that missing ingredient, to blow this thing up worldwide.

I’ve been working my whole life to become a big time failure, but my small time failures just aren’t hitting the Richter Scale of Epic Failures.

Then, the other day, I read an article. It was about some of the world’s greatest failures and my heart dove. For the first time in a long time, I felt a renewed sense of purpose. There really are people out there, that achieve Epic Failure status, and it could happen for me. Here are some failures that knew how to do it right. First up, Blockbuster Employee.

A failure MVP.

A failure MVP.

In order to truly make a Failure Impact, you have to make just the right actions at just the wrong time. This guy parlayed his terrible customer service into the destruction of Blockbuster and the creation of Netflix at the same time. Not only did his terrible naivete motivate his customer to be upset, but he brought it to a whole other level. By enforcing the stupid late fee, he singlehandedly and indirectly created binge watching. His misattention to detail, created Orange is the New Black. His snarky attitude towards his customer created House of Cards. His late fee insistence made a good version of Daredevil possible. His arrogance took down Blockbuster itself.  If he can do it, why couldn’t my bitterness be the downfall of Blockbuster and the rise of Netflix?


This baker had the fire within. 

I can learn from this baker. I need to start thinking bigger.  He saw the big picture. He wasn’t just trying to ruin a pie. He wasn’t just trying to multi-task horribly. He let his inner fire spread outly. He wasn’t just trying to burn the kitchen down. He wanted to watch the whole world burn.  In the end, he only took down London, but then aiming at the moon, sometimes only destroys stars. It took guts, and a burning desire to take failure to this level. And his impact will be felt for many more years later as they named a festival in the Nevada desert after him, The Burning Man.


A million dollars for a company that is going to make you billions? Pass!

Being an Epic Fail as a company takes ingenuity, arrogance, and ignorance and Yahoo! has that in spades. They wanted to be the next billion dollar company, but something was preventing them from getting there. Opportunities came to them all the time. Companies that needed to be ignored. But only the biggest and potentially brightest up and comers that they ignored would make them an Epic failure. Though the company would did its best to be arrogant by their logo and name, the spectacular exclamation mark and company named after what a cowboy says when they wrangle cattle, their true arrogance was completely realized when they failed to purchase a company for a million that would have made them billions.


These guys don’t need tinted windows. We know who’s inside. 

When you live right next to the most arrogant neighbor in the world, who thinks they run the world, it’s hard to get any attention. Just like a middle child trying to get attention, Air Canada did its best to become a spectacular failure, by forgetting that it’s stubborn brother is the only one in the world that uses the gallon system. In the end, Canada still couldn’t get the notoriety of its neighbor to the south, because it couldn’t produce the spectacular end disaster, and they ended up apologizing to their customers because they are so polite.



They knew how to tree-t it. 

This is to all the employers and traditionalists that believe people need experience in the real world to fail spectacularly. Believe in your dreams of failure, no matter how young or inexperienced, because this person while being a mere grad student, with no experience in the real world, was able to create a natural disaster with just a little disregard. Thanks to their ignorance and mishandling, they skipped destroying saplings, and went for directly for the take down of world’s largest tree. Kudos to you, Grad student for subtly taking down in one fail swoop what neither nature or man could previously. While I would have gone the direct chainsaw route, you had vision and knew it would take “field research” to take down the Behemoth.

These failures have truly inspired me to think bigger, to act more globally, to fail to plan more spectacularly. This world is in need of failures, beacons to look to, and I intend on making my mark in this world.  Let us raise a glass of Cherry Limeade to all those who will not crash and burn in anonymity, but with let their failures burn as bright as the sun which will someday consume this failure we call Earth.


Bitter Failure Ben


92 thoughts on “Fail Hard 2: Fail Harder

  1. okay, talkin’ about failure (here): only time will tell if you and/or I will be catapulted (or some other animal form of “pulting”) to Epic Status — but so far i’ve gotta couple BITTER FAILURE things goin’ for me.

    1. i am considered by many i’ve worked with, tried to “do business with” and (regularly here:) tried to do sports with — as a calibration standard. the “low end” calibration standard. hockey players in my league are ALL “better” then me. if they weren’t, well, they would either hustle and take lessons AND TRY to get better or they’d leave. same with work. I haven’t heard “them” come right out and say it so i can hear it, but when a group presenting a plan wants to test if ANYONE can understand it, they run it by me first. if i can’t understand it, it’s gotta be DUMdown to pass the “understandable even by non-engineers among the general publick”.

    2. The Mantram of the Failure and Futility of trying to Get Ahead.

    years ago, when workers could smoke IN their offices (and not huddled in pathetic shivering groups out in the alley) a couple ‘mates and i were in one of our offices, feet (collectively) up on the desk, they were smoking cigarettes and i was puffin’ a cigar.
    We were, oh, 45 years old or so, and had been applying for in-house promotions regularly, all of us. And we were conjecturing as to WHY none of us had gotten a promotion for quite some time.
    “The other two candidates making the final three to be interviewed are usually a lot younger,” one of us opined.
    “Smarter,” Paul said.
    “Better educated,” added Kim.
    “Better looking!” I opined.
    Being younger and such, those candidates “wouldn’t be the attitude problem and reluctance to do everything they were asked” Paul continued.
    “They’d be less of a health problem” I ventured — being younger and all, less sick days.
    Seeing as how we worked for a Dept. of Energy subcontractor, candidates in mid-management were often more-strongly considered if they met certain EEO categories — minorities, women, maybe slight handicap, etc. — EVERYTHING but “senior citizen”. DOE subcontractors “got points” if there was a significant % of EEO plus-type people in the ranks.
    Kim said, emphasizing and counting the categories/points on his fingers: “So, except for the fact that the other candidates are YOUNGER, BETTER-LOOKING (think attractive female for most points), SMARTER, BETTER-EDUCATED, LESS OF AN ATTITUDE PROBLEM AND HEALTH RISK …”
    “And WILLING TO WORK HARDER FOR LESS MONEY!” Paul interjected …
    Kim continued: “yes, except for those 8 or so minor categories, we three have just as much chance of getting the job as those others!”
    The universe re-assembled itself into a convincing semblance of resolution. We continued smoking quietly, leaning back in our chairs, feet on the desk, watching the smoke curl upward.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d tell you how funny i think this is, but I’m laughing too hard to couch it in the proper bitter phrasing.
    In my own life, I started my first concert choir because the ministerial advisor at the church music university in frankfurt told me to think about another field, since my voice was too sensual to sing Bach.
    after about a week of bitterest anger I started laughing and started my own choir- to sold out venues of usually over 1000. And after getting married, in-laws, a government job, and finally the usual nonsense of conducting, I laugh almost continuously.


  3. Bitter Ben, your epic fails reminded me of this story:

    Dr. Epstein was a renowned physician who earned his undergraduate, graduate, and medical degrees in his home town and then left for Manhattan where he quickly rose to the top of his field.

    Soon he was invited to deliver a significant paper at a conference, coincidentally held in his home town. He walked on stage and placed his papers on the lectern, but they slid off onto the floor. As he bent over to retrieve them, at precisely the wrong instant, he inadvertently farted. The microphone amplified his mistake resoundingly through the room and reverberated it down the hall! He was quite embarrassed but somehow regained his composure just enough to deliver his paper. He ignored the resounding applause and raced out the stage door, never to be seen in his home town again.

    Decades later, when his elderly mother was ill, he returned to visit her. He reserved a hotel room under the name of Clark and arrived under cover of darkness.

    The desk clerk asked him, “Is this your first visit to our city, Mr. Clark?”

    Dr. Epstein replied, “Well, young man, no, it isn’t. I grew up here and received my education here, but then I moved away.”

    Why haven’t you visited?” asked the desk clerk.

    Actually, I did visit once, many years ago, but an embarrassing thing happened and since then I’ve been too ashamed to return.”

    The clerk consoled him. “Sir, while I don’t have your life experience, one thing I have learned is that often what seems embarrassing to me isn’t even remembered by others. I bet that’s true of your incident too.”

    Dr. Epstein replied, “Son, I doubt that’s the case with my incident.”

    “Was it a long time ago?”

    “Yes, many years.”

    The clerk asked, “Was it before or after the Epstein Fart?”


    • HAHAH! That is a great joke. This is the thing that I need to cultivate and create. A moment so bad that they name the bad thing after me. Like the Bitter Ben Hurricane, or the BB Disaster. This is pumping me up even more now!


  4. Scenario: A shy aspiring High School male with absolutely zero dates…sees the cheerleader of his dreams, walks up to her as they are going to pick up their diplomas after graduation ceremonies when…..

    Male Genius: “I was thinking about becoming a monk for awhile and see how that works out…hey do you want to go out or something?”

    (No response, no sign of female)


      • it was in my “antisocial” days…when I was trying to adjust to the “culture” and it was not working at all, so I tried to be funny…but no one understood the humor….it was like being a Bushman in New York City, it was not an easy place for me. My social life before 19 was Epic Failure Maximus. So, yes, I did achieve Epic Stardom in the Anals of High School…


  5. Ah, this makes me feel a bit better. I have a similar feeling of ‘breaking over the hump.’ I feel like I’ve plateaued a bit in some aspects of life. As a former Blockbuster employee when I was in high school, I’m pretty pissed that was the spark of their downfall. I never knew! Damn lol


  6. Might I recommend the butterfly effect approach? All you need is one small thing to start a chain reaction. Let’s say you fall down in front of some guy and he trips over you and spills coffee all over his suit. Now he has to lead his work presentation all frazzled and covered in brown stains, so of course he’s going to botch it. Now his boss is upset, the rival businessmen are upset, their bickering devolves into shouting, and the whole meeting falls apart. Years of labor and greased palms and paperwork go up in flames.

    Congratulations! You just single-handedly stopped a multi-billion dollar business merger!

    This technique can be a little tricky to pull off, but it’s immensely satisfying to watch it all unfold. I’ve been throwing myself down flights of stairs for years and I’d like to think that it’s directly caused several international conflicts.


    • I’ve always known that it can be a little thing, like the guy forgetting to watch his pie or the student monitoring the tree the wrong way, but it’s all about timing. Just like Google was created because of timing, Google can only be taken down, by good timing too. So I just need to find my right moment and seize it, so I can cause a worldwide calamity.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This puts my whole day into perspective ^.^ although you never know when my moment of epic failure fame will arrive…it could happen any time now…and then I can take my place among the world’s epic failures. 😛


  8. This made my day today. I’ve been feeling like an epic failure lately. So much so that I haven’t been able to even write about it, yet. This post turned that all over on it’s head, and I laughed out loud at “tree-t” HA!


  9. We all strive to fail, don’t we? Yahoo and the grad student have to you beat today in failure, but you shall prevail tomorrow. Or the next day. Or in 10 years. Keep trying.

    By the way, you get -1,000 points for utilizing a photo of the Doctor, because he rarely, if ever, failed.


  10. I know only you can achieve such levels of bitter failures. I can only imagine on what grand scale it will be. I am here reminded of the great failure in Spinal Tap when they made a miniature Stone Henge since Nigel wrote the measurements in inches instead of feet. The quote to the manager was “It’s not your job to be as confused as Nigel”…but Ben, maybe it is!


  11. Awesome post! I suddenly stopped feeling so loser-ish, haha. Although that tree-story could have been me. I am naturally clumsy like that… 🙂


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