11 Ingenious Yet Unethical Life Hacks

Life is plenty difficult enough. Sometimes we find ourselves working through days where it feels like every element in the entire universe is stacked against us. The idea of catching a break seems like a daring daydream. Well, you’ve probably come across a life hack or two in your day. A life hack that helps navigate the daily grind with just a bit more finesse and a bit less effort. How about the unethical life hacks though? An unethical life hack certainly pushes the line when it comes to being a life hack that we can’t necessarily support, but they’re still out there being used by the fearless and/or desperate individuals. You might just find an unethical life hack in this list that takes to your liking.

1. On calling in sick

An AI image of a hungover man typing on his computer to get out of work.

Sometimes you just don’t have it in you on a given day. You can’t summon the willpower to get yourself to the office and play the game. That’s okay. You’re only human after all. If you’re in desperate need of an excuse, plan to schedule an email to go out at a weird time for early in the morning. If you time that right you won’t need to make the physical call, and your boss is much less likely to doubt the credibility of your fictional tale if it’s at a weird hour.

2. On work calls vs. emails

An image of a young woman talking on her phone while at her work desk.

Now this is how you play the game when it comes to crafty work correspondence. With anything that’ll be beneficial to you, stick it in an email or a letter so that it can be memorialized if need be. Whereas, with anything that could paint you in a negative light, hop on a call for that business. You don’t want to leave the paper trail for those instances.

3. On re-gifting presents

Sometimes, you have a friend or loved one gift you with an item that simply misses all marks. Things can get so bad with certain “gifts” that you find yourself unable to even muster an artificial half-smile. So, you can always go ahead and regift that unwanted gift to another friend or family member as a precious heirloom that you’re ready to part ways with.

4. On references for resumes

An image of a young woman working hard on her resume at her work desk.
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This one plays out especially well for any entry level or lower level job. At its core, we’re talking about rapping off a lie on your resume. Many places still don’t have the necessary time and resources to have someone on hand to thoroughly check out your listed references. Try putting a friend’s phone number down, and list that number as an “old boss.” You could even go ahead and bump your degree up a notch. However, try to make sure you have the actual skills that you say you do on your resume.

5. On parking in heavily ticketed areas

An image of a parked car with a ticket on it.
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If you’re on the hunt for a parking spot and you find yourself in a location with a ton of rows of cars that just got dinged with nasty fines, proceed to pull up, park your car, and walk over to one of those cars. Grab the fine from the car’s windscreen and put it on yours. It’ll look like you already got fined. A bit sketchy? For sure. Can we openly recommend this unethical life hack? Nope. All up to you.

6. On maintenance uniforms

A young man in a maintenance uniform.
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It turns out that it’s exceedingly easy to get yourself into many places just by wearing a maintenance uniform. Think coveralls or a construction helmet with a vest. You could go the full mile and grab a tool box or ladder as well. The rest of the journey is all up in the air, but best of luck.

7. On self-checkout aisles

An image of a young man using the self-checkout aisle.
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The self-checkout aisles kind of form their own version of the Wild West. Many folks will play around with checking their organic fruits and veggies out as entirely regular fruits and veggies. Even that can end up saving quite a few coins in the process. This is definitely one of the sketchier unethical life hacks though. So, proceed at your own risk if you decide to try it out.

8. On getting out of annoying calls

An image of a young man putting his phone on airplane mode.
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If you’re helplessly stuck in a terribly irritating call, see about putting your phone on “airplane mode.” When you put your phone in airplane mode while you’re on a call, it will usually show the call as being failed and not give off the appearance that you intentionally hung up. Just make sure you time out that airplane mode right.

9. On the study guides economy

A young college student working on a study guide.
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If you’re making your way through the education system and having your own struggles with gettin git done, you’ve likely gained a deep appreciation for the instrumental value of a proper study guide. You could try out sending out a mass email to your classmates, and saying that you have a study guide that you’re willing to trade. You might just end up receiving a welcomed flood of study guides from other classmates, while you have no such study guide all along. Just don’t count on not

10. On identifying people potentially looking at you

An image of someone staring at another person reading.
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This isn’t the most sanitary unethical life hack, but hey, you got to do what you got to do, no? If you’re really convinced that you’re caught up in being stared at by the prying eyes of a nearby stranger, simply take a little nose picking pit stop. In general, we’re hard-wired to look away from someone who looks our way while picking their nose.

11. On looking busy in the office

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It’s as simple as walking tall and talking fast while you’re on the move in your office space. For most of us, we’re conditioned to assume that someone is crazy busy when they adopt such body language. Give it a go next time you need to look busy while you can’t find any work to do in your office.

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