Archive for the ‘Living Drama-Free’ Category Review: Everything you hate about online shopping

Want a factual and unbiased review of Here it is. If you’re skeptical about how bad it really is, that’s normal. Google “restockit reviews” and read what hundreds of irate customers have to say, such as the Epinions review page for Restockit. Knowing them they’ll probably try to sue this poor, struggling former employee to get this review removed but thankfully, there is no case for libel against truthful, non-malicious facts and opinions. Its important that the facts be known in the interest of the public.

I’ve been told that the co-CEOs of never give promotions. In my opinion, the extent of their employee retention strategy is Bagel Fridays and an occasional company outing where we solve puzzles, play games and learn more about the company’s core values.  However, in a year I hadn’t noticed anyone take on added responsibility.  They outsource additional roles to contracted consulting agencies that aren’t familiar with our operation and charge more than it would have cost to utilize existing employees with the same capabilities.

In my opinion, the reason why people quit so often is because they all realized that is a dead-end career. In my judgement, the CEO who is active in daily operations is a sociopath (treats people like pawns, unable to feel real empathy towards others). He is very intelligent and is talented at getting people to like him. He showers his employees in doughnuts, bagels, ice cream, coffee creamer and cookies that keep blood sugar levels high, improving mood and productivity. Instead of giving financial incentives like promotions, he gives what are called “Swooshes”, small plastic tokens of achievement in the form of a bouncey ball, a plastic button and other items. From my perspective, no one who values their future stays here longer than a year or so.

In my opinion the operations manager appears to be “phoning it in” in terms of effort. She does a good job at turning the co-CEO’s business directives, which in my opinion are whimsical and sometimes half-legal, into completed projects without passing judgement as to the viability or impact of those projects. On a weekly basis I’d hear this phrase coming from the co-CEO’s office: “I don’t want to go to jail for collusion but…”

All day long, orders get misshipped. The three top problems seem to be shipping the wrong item, sending the right item to the wrong address, or sending far more of the item than was ordered. If that happens, they will call you and give you a choice to either return the extra items on your dime, or buy the overshipped items over the phone at a discounted price. ReStockIt also buries its bad online reviews with biased good reviews. They’ve given financial incentives in exchange for good reviews, which I believe is actually illegal. It’s called astroturfing. See Wikipedia’s article on astroturfing. As of this writing, gives each new employee $50 to shop on and then write a positive review about the service. Here is a recent review about posted to on May 1st 2012 that existed at the time of this writing. You can determine for yourself whether the review is real or not. Take notice of the correct capitalization of

“All my purchases from have been excellent choices that convinced me to register for the auto-delivery. The prices are great and there are so many items to choose from. I would definitely recommend to my family and friends so that can reap the benefits also.”

I’m aware that’s auto-delivery feature is something that they had recently been wanting customers to join, and that a wide selection is actually a company angle. At the time of this writing their homepage said “Widest Selection Online” and “200,000 New Items”. In reality the number is much less as many items are out of stock at any given time. My advice is not to trust your shopping to a company who piles good reviews on top of bad ones instead of improving to minimize mistakes.

The facts and opinions expressed in this post are not published with malicious intent but to inform any consumer who is considering purchasing from them, or anyone who is considering applying for a job there.

There was a time when I loved working at ReStockIt. They admit, from the beginning to the end of my term there I did excellent work. I took the job knowing that the salary offer was much lower than I deserved, because I was confident that I would be able to prove my worth. It was a small 26 employee company, the perfect size for getting in early and moving up. Although they were impressed by the work I did (for example, single-handedly reversed their diving organic traffic due to the Panda algorithm and making it higher than it had ever been), they refused to offer a raise because I lacked a college degree. They wouldn’t even consider giving me more responsibility at the same pay. After almost a year of hard work, developing my own methods to complete large projects more effectively and faster than ever, I found myself having a hard time paying my bills. If you’ve ever worried about whether you could afford rent or where your next meal was going to come from, you know how I felt.

I wasn’t sure how to make extra money, but I needed it. I had no family or spouse to rely on, no one to help me but myself. I couldn’t wait tables or bartend because I had no experience. So I did the only thing I knew how to do well; I started my own retail website. There was a woman at ReStockIt who was a musician, so naturally she played in a rock band for extra money. The IT admin was good with computer networks and languages, so he taught classes on the side to pay the bills. I was good with internet marketing, so I started a website called, a Contemporary luxury goods retail site. On the rare occasion I would use the office fax machine to send documents related to my own business, which is not good practice but can hardly be said to be an abuse of company resources; it doesn’t even consume ink or paper. I left a copy of my fax in the fax machine once, which is how ReStockIt’s management learned about my company. I had never attempted to keep my company a secret, just as much as anyone else thinks it important to inform his boss about their side jobs (“Hi Sir, I just thought it was important for you to know, I’m delivering pizzas at night”).

The website never detracted from the speed or quality of my work at the office, and I continued to receive good reviews about my performance. In the end, however, once the CEOs knew about my website they spent weeks secretly reviewing people to replace me, then terminated me instantly on Friday March 15th without warning. In their eyes, the suffering and hardship that comes with sudden termination was of little concern to them so long as they could enjoy the convenience of uninterrupted work. The reason for termination, they said, was a violation of the non-compete agreement that I had signed at the beginning of my career there. Now, at this point I’d like you to visit, which is a 26 million dollar a year office supply website, and then visit ModernManCaves, which sells modern furniture. You can determine for yourself whether those two industries are related. If I could afford a Wrongful Termination lawyer I would surely win a case, but of course as the co-CEOs are probably aware, poor people can rarely acquire lawyers.

For weeks, the CEOs knew they were going to fire me without giving me the smallest chance at getting another job (which you may know is difficult to do right now), yet they smiled at me and greeted me every day as if nothing had changed. Websites are not easy to make profitable; not everyone can invent Facebook. My retail website was supposed to generate a little bit of extra income while allowing me to keep my internet marketing skills sharp. Since ReStockIt refused to allow me more responsibility, I needed to educate myself or else my only marketable skills would grow dull. None of this concerned them. One co-CEO in particular, in my opinion, considers his employees to be drones that don’t deserve the same opportunities that he enjoys, only deserving of the jobs that they were originally given for years on end. As soon as he discovered someone in his company had a little initiative, a little inner drive, he got rid of him.

If you’re considering applying for a job at ReStockIt and you think that your experience will probably be different, think again. In the full year that I worked there, four other people quit for the same reason; they all realized that there is no opportunity for growth at ReStockIt, professionally or financially. Each one of them moved on to better jobs. At least I was more loyal; I didn’t quit to a new job even though my salary put me through hardship; I continued working for them, hoping that they would change their minds about promoting from within the company. Instead, they hired someone to replace me behind my back and terminated me because of my side business, a website in a completely unrelated and non-competing industry. My advice to you would be to not consider a job at ReStockIt and if you do, never ask for a raise or you will single yourself out as someone that needs to be replaced.


The excuses we make

It’s strange; the saying “life is short” is one of the most common in modern American culture, yet only the slightest fraction of the population act on it. We all have dreams, an ideal life, so why is it that we rarely ever pursue our dreams? For most of us it’s because we don’t really believe that we are able to achieve them. Think about this: If you were somehow guaranteed to achieve your dream life if only you would make the attempt, wouldn’t it be infinitely easier to take that first step and see your goal through? Anything good takes sacrifice, in terms of time, money, effort, or any other type of energy. We don’t pursue our dreams because we don’t want to make a major sacrifice for what we tell ourselves is a shot in the dark. It seems foolish, we’d rather invest our energies into sure things with small returns. Let me make the case that not taking that chance is the most foolish thing you can do.

This viewpoint helps me see things through…give less importance to the actual achieving of your goal than to the effort you make towards it. Being able to tell myself that I tried my hardest is even more important that actually achieving the goal, for life really is too short. When it’s all over and your time is almost up, you may look back on your life and think “Man, I should have tried harder. Looking back on it now, there really wasn’t anything in my way but myself”. Regret is one of the worst emotions a person can feel. Regret for wasted time, time you can never get back. Whatever it is that you really want to do, don’t make it an issue of failing or succeeding. Make it an issue of whether or not you gave it your best shot. Reaching for your dreams and failing is far better than the regret of not trying. Let fear of regret be your motivation.

So today, think carefully about the life you really want to live and take one step in that direction. Not two, not zero, just one. Don’t listen to that voice in your head telling you it’s a waste of time; success isn’t even the point, it’s the ability to be able to tell yourself that you tried that’s important. Boldly charge ahead of obstacles, make those sacrifices even if you “know” that you’re going to fail or that it’s a waste of time. Failure is not your enemy, regret is your enemy. You’ll never forgive yourself if you don’t try. And as an added bonus, you may actually get the life you never thought possible. Like they say, you can’t win if you don’t play.

Women are like pasta sauce

I found a video that reflects my thoughts on the most basic fault in American thought when it comes to women, which will come after this most important rant about another fault in the typical American mindset. Most of us objectify women in the sense that we try all sorts of ways to convince them to give you their number, to date you, etc. We develop “game” because of an underlying assumption that women aren’t people, but more like word puzzles; a certain combination of words or moves will bend their psyche to your will. The foundation of that assumption is a fear that they would never like you just as you are.

I’ve heard too many guys talk about their game in this sense but really, they don’t stop to think that they ought to be the ones qualifying them as well. They see a cute girl and automatically assume (or don’t care) that they meet their standards. Or good looks are their only standard. Guys would be much better off if they stopped to check a woman’s qualifications in the same way that a woman typically assesses a man’s worth through observation throughout a conversation.

Many of us start off wrong; we look for a girl with whom we think we have a low chance of rejection, when we really ought to forget our own self-limiting assumptions and keep our eyes open for a girl who REALLY catches our eye, someone with whom you have good chemistry. Don’t regret not going for it, make a fool of yourself wholeheartedly.

The second big mistake we make is that our so called “game” is essentially to rattle off a long list of reasons why you are good enough for her, in the form of what you would call a conversation. We never stop to think about if the stranger we’ve met is good enough for us. Although you will hook up less often, having standards is a much more satisfying lifestyle.

The video touches on this subject, so listen well. When you shop for pasta sauce and see one you like, you don’t immediately put it in your cart. You take care to read the ingredients, see whether or not it fits in your diet and particular tastes, and after careful consideration you buy it.

No Fat Chicks; a Philosophy essay

I think many men have completely lost their balls in this day and age. They’ve chucked their honorable principles for fear that the consequences of speaking their mind, in an age where social power bends to the whimsical ideals of women, would be crippling. They’ve suppressed concepts like, for example, obesity being a bad thing. Well, it is a bad thing, sorry. It is a horrific yet voluntary condition that is a symptom of a person who has no real self respect. It’s a sadistic process of self mutilation. A man should not be made to feel guilty or that he’s a bad person for rejecting the company of a woman who’s done this to herself. Guys, don’t be afraid of being unfairly labeled as an asshole, say it out loud: I have standards!

Ladies, the largely successful and noble Women’s Civil Rights Movement happened WAY too long ago for you to still be pulling out the ole frail-woman-getting-abused card. You’ve earned equality in society, that means your voice and opinions carrying the same weight as a man’s. That doesn’t mean total dominance of modern thought. Guys don’t crucify you for stating your opinions and staying true to your own standards, and something you don’t realize is that men deserve to have standards too. We want to shake off the stereotype of a lonely, desperate dog that will do, say and pay anything for the attention of a girl he doesn’t even know. It’s time for men’s personal standards to raise significantly and that means, in a world of equality between sexes, that you’re going to have to start competing too.

What is luck?

When people can’t make a difficult decision, it’s customary to flip a coin. This tradition relieves the tension of the decision-making process because you are relinquishing your control of the situation and thereby avoiding the possibility of guilty feelings that come from making the wrong choice. But let me ask you this: If it’s not you that’s controlling the result of that coin toss, then who is?

All traditions of fortune-telling, magic, and ancient religions have at least one thing in common; their traditions involve the relinquishing of all human control of the outcome of a situation, because they believe that there is no such thing as randomness. They believed that randomness was the language of God, that by forfeiting control of a situation as simple as a dice toss or a coin flip, you are submitting your fate to another force. Native tribes, in an attempt to tell the future, would throw animal bones into the air, or create a complex design on the ground with bones and bits of food. When animals would come at night to eat the food, the natives would interpret the footprints and markings that the animals had made.

This is not to say that flipping a coin is always wiser than making a decision by yourself. Mathematically, both sides have a 50% chance of being picked, and by continuously flipping a coin to an easy hypothetical question (like, should I live or die), you can see that the coin will not consistently produce the correct choice, which would be obvious in this example. But if you really focus on the question at hand and wholeheartedly forfeit your control of the outcome, you may be curiously surprised at the accuracy of the first coin flip.

The no-fail way to approach women

  1. If approaching women makes you nervous, you should first work on getting rid of your nervousness. Think carefully about the true source of your fear and eliminate it.
  2. Ready for the best pickup line ever conceived? Here it is: “Hi”. Just say hi, it’s failproof. If she doesn’t like you, then you haven’t risked any pride because you’re just giving a standard greeting. Say hi to enough women and you’ll be able to tell from their reaction if they are open to taking things further.
  3. Sticking your hand out first is a bad move. Even though it is considered normal etiquette, it implies that you are assuming she wants to touch your hand or know your name. Even better, wait until she asks what your name is before sticking your hand out to exchange names. Also, since this might be the first time you touch, make it a good handshake. If she wasn’t impressed by the way you hold her hand now, she’ll never want to hold your hand later.
  4. If your plan is to ask her out, get that out of the way first (after “Hi” of course) Good conversation is vital, but that comes after you’ve confirmed she’s actually interested in dating you.
  5. Don’t bother approaching a woman that you aren’t really all that interested in. Your genuine desire and interest will show and make an impact. Plus, you’ll be able to honestly say “I don’t normally do this, but…”
  6. Don’t use boilerplate stories, magic tricks, or any other kind of pre-meditated dialogue. You’ll come off looking like a con artist or a sociopath. The conversation should flow naturally and if it doesn’t maybe you two aren’t compatible. Forced or memorized dialogue will only acheive two things; you’ll either be ridiculed for it or even worse, it will work and you’ll hook up with a girl that turns out to be completely incompatible with you.

The difference between morals and law

Law is a man-made concept designed to keep order in a heavily populated area, where morals are more like gravity, unchanging universal truths. I’ve met plenty of cops who believe without a splinter of doubt that whoever breaks any law whatsoever deserves the maximum punishment in every circumstance. The problem with that is, laws change all the time, usually depending on the financial demands of government bureaucrats. People who say that the law is the definition of moral order are really saying that good morals are whatever the law happens to be at the time. Following that logic, morals change from county to county and from state to state. That’s ridiculous.

In Broward County, you can be fined up to $200 for riding a bicycle at night without a flashing light. Now, let’s say a poor person who happened to be unaware of this law was in a tight spot and was barely able to pay his upcoming rent. He gets caught riding a bicycle without a flashing light on it. If the cop gives him the ticket, we won’t be able to pay his rent. In this case, enforcing the law is by far the cruelest, least moral thing the cop could do. Laws like this are just a thinly veiled excuse for crushing levels of taxation. If the county’s bureaucratic elite, who could not care less about the lives of common folk, would stop misappropriating public funds in the disgusting ways that they do, they would not have to tax the public in such underhanded ways as hiding behind trees under a hill with a radar gun, causing financial hardship to people all day long.

I am not anti-law. Human beings in general are not capable of regulating themselves. We are naturally opportunistic creatures and on varying levels most of us will do things to better ourselves at the expense of others. Imagine what our cities would look like if there was no law enforcement to keep the fear of consequences in our minds at all times? If everyone thought that they could get away with all of their selfish impulses, the city would become a war zone within weeks. Just make sure that you have a strong moral compass of your own, and realize what the law is and what the law isn’t.

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