Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on December 11, 2007 By Draginol In Blogging

I know it's not nice to say that some people are losers. But that doesn't mean it isn't true. Awhile back I wrote an article on this topic. Now, I'd like to put together this simple test that if someone I know or work with blatantly shows these signs I can just print it out, highlight and hand it to them.

Are you a loser?

  1. Do you leave a given situation worse than you found it? For instance, if you borrow something do you bring it back damaged? Loan a loser a car and it'll come back with a stain on it. Loan them a took and it'll come back damaged or broken. Let them stay at your place and they'll leave it a mess.

  2. Do you exploit the good will of others? Do you find yourself betraying the trust others put in you? Do people describe you as inconsiderate? Are you the guy at the office who eats the majority of "community" food? Are you the guy who leaves dirty dishes for your roommates or coworkers to clean up after you?
  3. Do you make pathetic excuses for routine failings? Nothing says loser than the guy who acts like they are the only person in the world that has a life to deal with. Are you the guy who is late for work regularly and uses excuses ranging from "train" to "traffic" to other lame things? What makes you a loser in this case is the obliviousness that everyone faces issues in life but still manages to get things done.
  4. Do you have no sense of delayed gratification? A loser not only doesn't have any money, but will rationalize spending money they don't have because they gotta have stuff "now". Sure you're going to be a bonus or a raise at work? Then hey why not buy that new gadget right this second even though you haven't gotten the job, bonus or raise yet right? That's what losers do. Losers almost never save or invest because they need all kinds of shiny crap now.
  5. Do you see yourself as just having bad luck or a victim of circumstance? A loser always sees themselves as a victim. All the bad things that happen to them are someone else's fault. Losers think their boss "has it out for them" or they couldn't have known their interest rate might go up on their adjustable rate mortgage or still can't believe that they got evicted for not paying their rent – didn't the landlord realize that they've been having a tough time?
  6. Do you think people who are doing better than you are just lucky? Losers seem to assume that rich people just inherited it or stole their money. Losers are just "too damn principled" to "play dirty" to be successful or "just weren't born with silver spoons in their mouths". When a loser sees someone who is doing better they think those people are doing better either because of luck or because they were dishonest.
  7. Do you worry about "Fairness"? Losers think there should be some sort of objective "fairness" in life. You can spot a loser because they will whine about something not being "fair". Life ain't fair.
  8. Do you have a loser work ethic? A loser's work ethic functions as follows: If they think they are underpaid, they will simply work fewer hours and screw off more. They will rationalize that they should really be making X (where X is almost always 25% more than they already make – they've done studies on this). Therefore, they'll figure they really only should put in 30 hours of work and will mess around the other 10. Losers don't realize that they are simply sabotaging their futures with such a stupid, unproductive strategy.

Comments (Page 2)
on Dec 11, 2007
So one would be just that guy that does okay? That suits me. Being a loser sucks, being a winner is too much pressure.

Too much downside as a winner. I've been there before, and the pressure of remaining there just killed me. My ego makes me want to slap myself across the face for saying such a thing, but it seems to end up on the losing side more frequently nowadays. It's somewhat akin to an option. The delta is too close to 1 as a winner, such that each defeat is a total loss. A little closer to the strike means a lower delta, and therefore less lost for each individual defeat. Of course for a loser, the delta is also 1, so that's not a solution. At least the winner gets to enjoy the rewards of winning.

Laziness is definitely taking me in. But hey, I'm young, manage to save a good amount in 401k, and still have plenty of adventures. The only one of the traits that I find difficult is the delayed gratification, but even that has been getting a lot easier of late. I have no clue as to why that is, though.
on Dec 11, 2007
Dude, what is your avatar? It looks like a cheeseburger molesting a cricket!

, it's suppose to be a Chevy Camaro peeling out. I had to shrink it a bit, I do plan on changing its soon. What a vivid imagination you have.
on Dec 12, 2007
There we go. Thanks Pat. I accidentally deleted this.
on Dec 12, 2007
Good article. However, "Loser" would be a bit harsh to describe someone who doesn't ace everything on the list.

It suggests they are a loser of something. Loser of what? Likewise, if you humbly submit that you are Optimus Prime on every point and thus a "winner".. what do you win? Life? The internet?

I do commend the list. Following it in general surely would benefit most people.

I'm a bit bias because I myself am not fond of the word "loser". It almost always is a label applied to men (mostly by women, I don't think men call each other losers that often, they use other terms), to describe someone who shouldn't be dated, because the "loser" in question is chronically unemployed or addicted to drugs or generally unambitious in life.

Here, our dear Draginol is framing "loser" in much broader terms. But then again I'm not sure there is a good word for what Draginol is describing.

Also, in my experience, the loser term is rarely applied to women, and it would seem women can fail his loser test just as easily as men can.
on Dec 12, 2007

Women can be losers too. I see them all the time.

Does someone who has one of the items on the list qualify as a loser? I don't know. I would say that I wouldn't knowingly hire anyone who possessed more than 2 of the traits listed.

on Dec 13, 2007
Well, if you admit that life is not fair, it follows that yes, there are people making tons of money because of luck or dishonesty. And that there are people having bad luck. I know some of the last ones personally and no I don't think they are losers.
Also, about the delayed gratification. I've seen people dutiful saving for their retirements and dying before they reached it. So, much delaying and no gratification.

To me there is only one question necessary to determine whether someone is a loser or not:
- Is the glass half full, or is it half empty.

A loser will always look at what he is missing, not at what he has.
on Dec 13, 2007
call people names, and back it up by not giving them promotions.

In retrospect, this was kind of gratuitous. I don't have to drag class struggle into every single post just because you're a CEO.

I was raised with the "we are all God's chilluns" kind of outlook, so the life skill of dividing people into worthwhile and losers is not something I am comfortable with. (FTR I personally don't have much of a problem with any of these except #7, and that cuts both ways as I benefit from a lot of unfairness too.)
on Dec 16, 2007
9. Do you have a large collection of websites that you created that could be accessed 3 months ago using a dial up connection?
At present they load very slowly compared to the recent past using dial up. In the past these websites have always been in a state of flux
with regard to loading speed and always have loaded slower then all the other sites found on the Internet?
on Dec 16, 2007

call people names, and back it up by not giving them promotions.

In retrospect, this was kind of gratuitous. I don't have to drag class struggle into every single post just because you're a CEO.

I think people should take my words for whatever they're worth to them. 

If someone looks at my life to aspire to, them my observations might have value to them. If my life is something they don't aspire to, then it may have no value to them.

I'm a pretty arrogant guy. I make no bones about it. But the facts are, I started with nothing, worked hard, became wealthy, have a wonderful wife and 3 beautiful, well adjusted children, lots of very good friends and coworkers who I am honored and priviledge to be associated with.  Also, in "real life" I have no negative relationships (i.e. people who cause me angst on a regular basis), a happy home life, and relatively low stress.

I also think an important trait to being successful is always trying to learn from others.

I am not dividing the world into "winners" and "losers". People do it to themselves. Nothing on my list of observations are traits that are inherent. They are behaviors that cause people to walk down the path of misery, stress, and ultimately failure.  How many of those trais someone has to have to doom themselves probably depends on how many corresponding positive traits they have to offset the negative traits. But none of the traits up there are things people would want to have if they can avoid it in my opinion.


on Dec 20, 2007
I've never been a loser---I'm a winner in every way. It comes from having a father who was a winner but became a loser because he couldn't handle his war hero image (WW2). I swore I would not be like that.

You're questions are excellent but in education we might examine staff that way but put it more diplomatically! I like no. 8 especially. Here are some of my definitions of a loser:
- He doesn't aim for the top because he likes sitting on his arse all day and that includes a bar stool.
- The only initiative he shows is in organising smoke break groups, lunch hours that go over time and meetings in the bar.
- He complains about his salary after twenty years service but he has no awards to show for it.
- He has flirted with every female staff member, has halitosis and is despised by all for his laziness. However, he thinks he's the office romeo, jolly joker and the best poker player.
- He is never punctual in the morning because he is (tick one), hung over, has a clapped out , unreliable heap of a car or has unreliable bowels.
- He calls in sick because he (tick one), has a hangover, has a headache and a hangover, has a headache, a hangover and has just received his credit card bill.

A bit of humour there. Without seeming callous, Draginol, I fire losers.
on Dec 20, 2007
Can I edit that slightly: There is no place for a loser in an education system. We are working with children and they are "ultimo primo" at all times. Teachers who are losers are never allowed to hang around. They make too many mistakes that affect the children and the reputation of the school.
on Feb 09, 2008
Having just read a book about a cop's experiences dealing with losers, I think the #1 item of losers is that they have no delayed gratification at all. They act purely on impulse.
on Feb 12, 2008
As it seems right now, I currently feel like I'm failing at life. I am a loser half the time because I get caught up with fairness issues. And I do have a habit of blaming others and circumstances sometimes. So it's no 5 and no 7 for me.