I love getting email from readers, especially hate emails like this friendly missive from a gentleman ostensibly named “Doug” (Warning: expletive alert … even though I bleeped some of them, it’s still pretty raunchy):

I’m an aerospace engineer who can’t get a job. I won’t go into the specifics because I’m sure you don’t give a shit, but I just wanted to say this. F— you and that piece of shit article you wrote you smug dildo f—ing c—. You have no idea what the real world is like because you’re too busy living in your bubble. I hope you die soon so the world has one less slime bag on it. F— you.

Got to admire the guy. He’s so expressive.

Anyway, it got me thinking of all the people I know who are jerks but don’t know it. No, that doesn’t include me; I know I’m a jerk. This is for those of you who don’t or maybe have a friend or two who could use a not-so-subtle hint … like our friend Doug here.

How to Tell If You’re a Jerk

You think “entitled” is a compliment.

Dogs always growl at you. (Hey, they know.)

After tearing someone a new one, your coupe de grace is, “Yeah, well it’s the truth.”

You only get invited to events by those who have no choice, i.e. your sister’s wedding.

You’re a know-it-all who feels threatened when anyone disagrees with you.

When bad things happen to people, you think they had it coming.

You ask obese women if they’re pregnant … just for fun.

Coworkers grow quiet and smile uncomfortably when you come near.

You identify with Sean Penn.

When people smile at you, you think they want something.

You occasionally see the glass as half empty … on a good day.

If you ever said the word “sorry,” your face would literally break.

Your significant other gets invited to parties … on condition that she doesn’t bring you.

You get off on telling people how much money you make.

You actually believe that people think they’re better than you.

On the outside you’re all smiles but inside you’re a seething cauldron of jealousy and rage.

You feel threatened when anyone compliments you because they must be after something.

You think all successful people are lucky bastards who had it handed to them.

You see relationships as a zero-sum game.

One of your canned phrases is, “If I don’t tell you, who will?” (Yeah, I’ll cop to that one too.)

You literally see the worst in people because you think everyone’s just like you.

If one or two describe you, don’t feel too bad. We’ve all got a little jerk in us. But more than three – especially the dog one – I’d start reading up on Karma. What goes around really does come around, you know. Also you might want to quit leaning out of open windows in tall buildings. Karma is a bitch.

  • Brian Pries

    I know I’m a Jerk.Hell, I’m an asshole. I grew up in Jersey and I’m a gruff pain in the ass. Very few people who know me very well know that I’m a loving sensitive guy, but that;s very few. I do have to say dogs love me. Ironically none of your list fits me, but many people would agree that I’m an asshole. My cross to bear. But this guy takes the cake. The world is full of people like this, always looking for the fly shit in the pepper. He doesn’t have to read your posts. You don’t force them on people. To admonish you for his problems speaks volumes. No wonder he can’t find a job, he is a dick.

    • Steve Tobak

      Yup, same here. And yes, he is a dick. But I really do get a kick out of the hate mail. Must be something wrong with me.