WEATHERMAN JOB PERFORMANCE STANDARDS v. EVERY OTHER FIELD

Weather might be the most unpredictable thing in our lives. Well, aside from that person you really like who is sending mixed signals with their choice to say hi instead of hey! – how am I supposed to take that?! You’re only mildly satisfied to talk to me?! You didn’t think I deserved a full on exclamation point?! I mean, you get all cute and flirty, then don’t respond for 8 hours….you may be at work, but we both know you’re checking your phone. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions that’s frankly exhausting.

Full disclosure, in the middle of that tangent I forgot where I was going and was about to write a post about dating, but let’s climb that mountain another day because we have more important things to talk about – specifically, how in the world weathermen (or weatherpeople to be politically correct) don’t get fired constantly. Now, I am a young professional, wait, no that feels too mature for the way I’m approaching the work life…I have a job (that feels 100% appropriate). And in said job, there are certain performance criteria that I have to meet (over and over again, apparently, which is a separate rollercoaster of emotional pain). And if I fail to meet said criteria I will no longer have a job. Instead, I will have a lot of free time Monday through Friday between the hours of 9AM-5PM. As much as I like to believe that I’m “special” and “unique” and “going places”, and all the other things that older generations think us millennials wake up and repeat to ourselves in the mirror daily, it turns out that EVERY job has performance standards. Not only that, but in ALMOST every job, those directly correlate to whether or not you keep said job (more so said income, am I right?). Funny thing about that though, is that apparently this isn’t true for all jobs – two come immediately to mind, one of which we are about to dive into so grab your umbrella and buckle up those rain boots because it looks like full sunshine today!

Meteorologists, more commonly known as the weatherman, seem to have no clear performance standards. They give us a wildly inaccurate forecast day, after day, after day, after day, etc. and somehow end up on billboards all across the country. One of the news channels where I grew up used to brag about having the most accurate weather around – at 90%. What about the other 10% you ask? Well you’re just S.O.L. for that part of the week because no one has a freaking clue. Although to their credit, they are incredibly clever. Have you ever looked up the weather and seen a 0% chance of rain? No, you haven’t because it’s always at least 10%…just in case the sun gets sad and starts to cry. Or, have you noticed that news channels always include a weather report after a Breaking News segment? Yep, it’s because 30 minutes ago they weren’t sure if it would be raining right at this moment, but now they are 100% sure it’s not raining outside currently. So better update the public and make the meteorologist seem like they’re earning their keep.

For all this hate, though, I honestly have a ton of respect for meteorologists. Have you ever gone to a science museum, or a kids museum more accurately, and played in the exhibit where you have to read the weather map while simultaneously trying to navigate a greenscreen live on camera?! Let me just tell you, it’s not easy – so they clearly have true talent…as actors. That exhibit, however, did teach me a lot about how they read the weather. They read it off a BLANK SCREEN. No wonder it’s never right. That’s like a doctor reading a patient their diagnosis from a BLANK PAGE. Or an Uber driver navigating with a BLANK APP. Or a restaurant giving you a BLANK MENU. In my experience, some sort of guidance helps…anything really.

We’ve established that weather accuracy leaves a lot to be desired. The hourly forecast for a day is questionable at best. And yet, several popular weather sites offer services where you can pay (ACTUAL MONEY!) for a 96-hour forecast. Listen, you come talk to me when the 48-hour forecast is a sure thing. Who’s paying for that is what I want to know? Not me, because I’m smart and I have a big person job and I have big person bills so I can’t be bothered with those frivolous lifestyle additions.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If someone you know is a meteorologist please thank them for having the self-confidence to fail continuously, but look great doing it. Thanks for reading!


FOLLOW TRP

Follow TRP on Twitter for shorter, daily insights on life as a millennial.

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox for maximum procrastination.

DEAR CAR COMMERCIALS: PUT IT IN PARK

We live in a world full of expectations. Everything has an expectation attached to it. How to dress, who to hang out with, when to get married, how much money to make, which side of the Earth the sun will rise on, how much is a “single serving” of food, etc. I have a lot of thoughts on the current state of “serving sizes” and how unrealistic those are (you can read more on that in THIS POST), but I don’t want to derail in the opening paragraph.

Personally, I like to defy social expectations – sometimes by choice, usually based on external factors, and occasionally because I’m simply oblivious. For example, apparently there’s an unspoken rule where if you (an adult) are in a line and there are children behind you, you (the adult) are supposed to let the children cut in front because…I don’t actually know why. Because they’re rude and have no manners?! Do they have priority? What gives them this priority? I’m older, smarter, more successful, less messy, better mannered, educated, a social contributor to the economy, I can go on and on. Besides, learning patience is a valuable skill, so I definitely do not let their tears sway me. Wait your turn, like the rest of us, to pet the owl. 

However, there are certain expectations that are just the worst when they don’t turn out how you imagined in the land of rainbows, unicorns, and no bills. Can you guess what the most frustrating one is? Yes! Car commercials! I believe we are all on the same page here. Let’s talk about the massive amount of expectations that car commercials put on the consumer. And then all the let downs that come from that.

For starters, where is all the traffic? Does your car repel other cars? If I buy it, will I never have to deal with other drivers? It’s very obvious that you’re in a major city, so is it a zombie apocalypse? Why are you not evacuating? Is this car also plague / zombie / natural disaster proof? For the cars that are shown driving in the countryside, this still applies. Where are all the people of Earth?! There’s 7.7 BILLION people on Earth and you’re telling me you saw NO ONE?! How do I get this magic in my life?! Ironically, it’s the cars driving through the desert, or a winter storm, that always seem to find companions. That would be where I would expect no other people to be with you. Everything I thought I knew about roads, and traffic, is clearly a lie thanks to the commercials.

Traffic questions aside, what’s the deal with parking? If you show me over and over that said car can ALWAYS find a spot right in front of their destination, or be in a completely empty (and free it seems) parking garage, I’m going to believe that buying the same car will bring this luck into my driving life. Not sure exactly how this works, but I’m assuming if you arrive at your destination, the driving gods will simply yeet the current vehicle in said spot somewhere else. Seems logical. If I lost you at yeet, here’s a 2 second breakdown for you: yeet is to throw, yoink is to grab. A quarterback yeets the ball to a receiver, a dog yoinks meat off the counter. With me? Excellent, welcome to life as a Gen Z’er. 

So far, this car seems freaking amazing. No traffic, parking everywhere, what else can it do? Fit everyone and their mom into the back? Yes. Drive up a staircase? Yes. Navigate turns at high speeds, but only on a closed course with a professional driver? Yes. Fit my entire house into the cargo unit? Yes. Play my favorite television shows on the entertainment center? Yes. Drive itself? Basically. Come with a giant festive bow on top? Of course. Sit in the driveway of the house I can’t currently afford, but maybe this car prints money too? Well, duh. Why else would someone buy a car?

Has it won any awards, you’re probably wondering? Oh boy, let me tell you about every single J.D. Power and MotorTrend trophy that has been given to this car. An award for color options, bucket seat depth, sunroof width, number of cameras, optional add ons, aluminum framing, stain resistant interior accessories, etc. In the world I grew up in, only one person could win. Yet, it seems like every car has won the same rewards. They feel more like participation trophies at this point. 

This is just the basics of every car commercial. No wonder I am constantly let down by mine. I have to drive it MYSELF. The trunk can actually fill up with stuff. At some point, no more people fit into the backseat. I still frequently have to park miles away. My daily commute is 10% driving and 90% staring at brake lights. I’ve never tried to go extreme with my vehicle because what if the sand dunes sink or get all up in my air filter? What if the massive puddle floods my engine? If I get halfway up the stairs and lose momentum, will I get stuck or slide back down? If my vents were shooting out Franklins I’d be testing this thing to the max, but I’m still waiting for my payday. Ironically, I’m paying the dealer a LOT of money so hopefully this return on investment is coming any day now.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who recently bought a new car from a commercial, let them know that it’s too good to be true. If you know someone considering upgrading, pass this along so they can be forewarned. Thanks for reading!


FOLLOW TRP

Follow TRP on Twitter for shorter, daily insights on life as a millennial.

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox for maximum procrastination.

DEAR AIRLINES: PLEASE DON’T TREAT MY LUGGAGE LIKE YOUR EX

Who reading this has ridden in an airplane? Who reading this has ever checked baggage with an airline? Who reading this has ever stressed out endlessly over the safety of the fragile items in said checked baggage until you were able to confirm there was no damage (hopefully)? If you answered yes to any of those questions (hopefully in your head or you might look a little crazy speaking to a computer) then you understand the brutal epidemic that is occurring right now when it comes to transporting luggage from one place to the next.

How hard is it to be just a little more careful when handling my bags? There’s no need to treat it like someone you’re angry with (an ex per se) and throw it away. For one, I’m paying extra money to bring this bag so you should be extra gentle with it. If it was free, I might be a little more understanding. Also, can we talk about general respect for people’s property. Like my uncle says ‘Don’t be afraid to treat it like your own’. Ah, the sound of wisdom.

Not to call out any specific airline, but recently I was traveling and had a checked bag so I took it to the counter. I smiled, tried to be friendly and polite with the airline representative through small talk, then gave her my bag. I wish this next part was a joke, but sadly, for the glass items in said luggage, it is not. She took my bag, lifted it onto the luggage belt (wheels down, so it was standing up), took two steps back, drew in a deep breath, moved forward and pushed (with all her strength plus the added weight of her momentum…remember the back-up) my luggage down. The sound of my 35 pound luggage crashing from its perch, ~2 feet tall, all the way down onto that belt turned my stomach. A lot of things shock me, but that took the cake. I just stood there with my mouth open until she looked past me and said ‘Next’ (with a smug smile on her face too).

Seems to me, from the playback above, that I did nothing to provoke that assault on my possessions. Needless to say, my glass souvenirs from the foreign country I was returning from did not fare so well. Was it the push? Was it a bumpy plane ride? Was it the throw from the cargo bay belt onto the cart by the baggage personnel on the tarmac? Hard to say, but I can still see that poor suitcase falling, falling, falling, unnecessarily might I add, to the unforgiving belt and bouncing a bit from the impact. 

Why is the whole process of handling bags so cruel? I think for starters, they should start referring to it as bag caring instead of bag handling. You handle something that’s about to blow up in your face. You care for something that has been entrusted to you so it’s returned in the same condition you received it in. Would it be more difficult to set bags on the cart instead of tossing them in? I’m thinking it might actually be easier and less of a workout. Would it be more difficult to set luggage flat on the belt? Also, I’m thinking the answer is an easy no here. Would it be more difficult for luggage companies to make shock absorbent suitcases that prevent injuries to innocent, delicate items from certain impacts? Alright, this is probably more difficult, but someone should look into it. I would do it, but I’m a little busy voicing my concern over the safety of suitcases everywhere.

As a quick recap:

  • Airlines pushed down my luggage
  • Items were hurt in the crossfire
  • I, The Restless Professional, felt massive sadness and shock…in public
  • I, The Restless Professional, care about getting this changed for the greater good of everyone
  • Don’t treat my luggage like your ex – love it like a puppy, or a child, or your car, or your phone, or whatever it is you love
  • If you love nothing, please consult a professional, that doesn’t sound normal

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you too have experienced this, don’t tell me – I’ve been there, no need to waste time comparing victim stories. Go straight to the source. Thanks for reading!


FOLLOW TRP

Follow TRP on Twitter for shorter, daily insights on life as a millennial.

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox for maximum procrastination.

DEAR UBER DRIVERS: LET’S JUST ASSUME I DON’T KNOW HOW TO GET THERE

Ride-sharing programs are wildly popular right now. For good reason though – it eliminates the need for you to drive somewhere. Whatever that reason is to you, worry no more! Some rando is about to come pick you up! Sounds disturbingly similar to the warnings I used to hear as a child about stranger danger, but good for the entrepreneurs who decided to capitalize on the tragedy of others, I suppose.

If you think too much about the concept of Uber, or Lyft, or a taxi (first of all, don’t because it gets weird) you’ll probably freak yourself out and choose to walk everywhere instead. Remember the warning about not taking candy from the person with the creeper van or the story about the “friendly” couple who lost their dog and wants you to help them find it? Same concept, except instead of getting candy, or to play with a cute puppy, you have to pay. Actual money. That you’ve worked (way) too hard to earn because companies today expect the world but opt not to pay for it. Feel me? Dream opportunity: work a minimum of 80 hours a week and we will pay you minimum wage so you never pay off your debt to the government and are forever obligated to continue working…forever. Goodbye fun, goodbye friends, goodbye happiness. Different topic – I digress.

So we’ve gotten past the potential for abduction with these programs and have opted to (*gasp*) pay for it. Kudos, though, to all those companies for taking the security of passengers and drivers seriously and continuously making adjustments so you can feel safe (not trying to get sued here because that sounds hella expensive). Now, there are multiple reasons why one would need / want to be chauffeured around:

  • You’re ultra rich and can’t be bothered with poor people things, like driving
  • You’re in a new city and don’t have a car (for whatever reason – didn’t want to rent, couldn’t afford to rent, not old enough to rent – no judgement)
  • You’re going out to drink and want to avoid a DUI (because adults make smart decisions)
  • You don’t own a car / don’t have a license (again, no judgement)
  • You want to feel ultra rich by getting a “personal driver”

Did I miss one? Hit me up so I can make sure this is relevant to ALL, even if your reason isn’t necessarily “common”. No matter your reason from above, one thing we can all agree on is that we aren’t paying someone so we can get ourselves there. So please, for goodness sake, do NOT ask me (your paying customer, need I remind you) for directions. Do I know how to get there? Erm, no. Personally, I ride-share when I travel or when I’m drunk – neither of which are ideal scenarios for me to give you (the money taking driver) the best route to get to my desired destination…that’s why there are apps like Google Maps, and Mapple (AKA Apple Maps), and Waze, and whoever I’m forgetting there to give you directions. Pro tip: you can customize those app settings to give you the fastest route, or avoid highways, or avoid traffic, blah, blah, blah. Point being, no I will not instruct you on how to get there. I need you to figure it out. Is it that you don’t trust what the GPS is telling you?! Because I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if I was feeling like giving you directions, that would be the one and only place I too would look. Are there actually people who can get places without the help of technology? Navigation unicorns.

Also, while we’re ranting, I should never step into a car and hear from the driver that they just took some shots before picking me up…samesies, which is why I called YOU. Obviously assuming that you would not have been doing what I was doing. If I wanted to risk being in a car with an intoxicated driver, I would have driven my own d*mn self and saved the ridiculous surge pricing. Which, can we talk about why surge pricing now seems to be the standard all day long? I’m sorry, did everyone all of a sudden decide that 10:30AM on a Tuesday was when they needed a ride?! I could buy a nice meal for two for less than this 5 mile trip.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you’ve ever used a rideshare program than I’m sure you can relate. If not, don’t let this post scare you – they’re actually quite convenient…for a kidnapping so always let multiple people know exactly where you are, what car you’re in, where you’re going, what your driver looks like, etc. Safety first. Thanks for reading!


FOLLOW TRP

Follow TRP on Twitter for shorter, daily insights on life as a millennial.

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox for maximum procrastination.