DEAR POLITICIANS: IF YOU CAN’T WALK THE WALK, DON’T TALK THE TALK

I’m not really a political person. And by that I mean I avoid politics like I avoid anchovies on pizza. I will straight up toss a conversation in the trash without a second thought. Because politics are evil. They tear people apart. This side, that side, the middle. Who cares? What do the sides even do anymore other than use their resources and energy trying to block the opposite side? It feels more like an offensive line than a government unit. That’s a football term for my non-sport fans. The offensive line has one job – protect the quarterback. Let no one get to him and if they try to, level them. 

Which works great in football! It makes sense since you’re trying to win a game. A game that doesn’t impact millions of peoples’ access to healthcare. Or educational initiatives. Or the environment. Or tax cuts. It does impact the economy, though. In a positive way by bringing people into your city. Similar to how Hamilton can make any town a booming metropolis just by showing up. We, the people, want entertainment. 

It’s not even politics itself that I have an issue with. Democracy is a good thing and I value my right to vote. What I do have questions about is our current approach to politics. Specifically during elections. Maybe it was a dream I had, but I thought there used to be a time when political ads would focus on the candidate that approved them instead of the person they were running against. Did I make that up? Doesn’t really matter – the point is I can’t stand whatever finger pointing game is happening on my tv right now. Sally said this. Jill did that. Karen, well she’s a Karen, are you really surprised? I don’t care! What are you going to do?!

Anyone can be good at tattling on someone else. That was a lesson you learned at some point in elementary school. A social right of passage, so to speak. One way, or another, you learned that no one likes a tattler. We all have to live with our actions, we don’t need someone else calling us out all righteously like they’re a perfect porcelain doll. So, anyways, we have these adults vying to lead our country just straight up tattling on each other. Like four year olds.

Is it too much to ask for honesty and transparency out of a leader? Feels pretty reasonable considering the startup world is founded on those principles. If I vote for this person, will they continue to simply tattle on all the people who told them no or got in their way? What even is their running platform? What issues are they standing for, or against? I honestly don’t know. If elected, what will you do for me? Your constituent. Does it line up with what I was hoping to support for the next four(ish) years? Again, it’s very hard to tell. Kind of like trying to read a book with nothing but blank pages. Isn’t communication a requirement for this type of leadership (even though it is ROCKET SCIENCE)? Why can’t you communicate with me, via a tv ad, about why I should vote for you? Not why I shouldn’t vote for the other person. There’s a major difference. 

All those questions aside, if elected why can’t you follow through on most of what you promised? Oh, right, because the starting defense from the other side has put their top talent on the front lines to prevent you from scoring. I think it might be an issue of side A versus side B. The side lines are blurry anyways. Besides, it’s 2020, how are we still stuck in such an archaic party system? On the flip side, it’s 2020 and I don’t know who gave both the Republicans, the Democrats, and every independent party in between, my phone number, but if I get another political text I might run straight into a brick wall and flush my phone down the toilet.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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DEAR TWIX: NOBODY CARES, STOP MAKING US PICK SIDES

We all know commercials. The ones that inconveniently interrupt your binge-watching session so that someone can profit. Is it the TV provider? I certainly hope not! My bill is high enough so if you’re getting commercial revenue in addition I would like a discount. In actuality, I think it’s mainly for the shows, or movies, or reality stars, or puppy bowl participants, to make money. Which, ok, on one hand this strategy makes sense. You spend millions of dollars per episode and that has to come from somewhere! I’ve never owned a million dollars and would happily work for a few hundred, so if it’s a payroll problem hit me up. On the other hand, though, we live in a modern age. An age where promotional consideration is everything. So, why can your promotional products not pay for what I’m watching? Apple is doing just fine, they can bankroll your movie if you opt for the iPhone look over Samsungs. 

Maybe I don’t know enough about how the screen world works. I will admit, these could be both accurate and incorrect assumptions at the same time. What a fun paradigm that is! Hypothetically, if you’re both wrong and right, are you actually wrong? Is right even a thing? Is it possible that two wrongs don’t make a right, but one wrong can? I have a million questions for the philosophers behind morals now. I believe I’ve found the loophole to life! Wasn’t where I thought this was going just a paragraph before, but wow! I’ve shocked myself and that doesn’t happen often.

Life lessons aside, commercials are a part of life. They mostly suck. Some commercials are absolute gold, though, and worthy of my time. The Snickers feed the world Super Bowl spot, for example. Progressive’s parental life coach is also on that list along with another premium insurance one – that, of course, would be GEICO’s “well, the squirrels are back in the attic. Your father says it’s personal this time” ad. When that first came out, I simply thought the tagline was excellent. Since then, however, my parents have become obsessed with the squirrels in their backyard. This is a true story. They drink coffee and watch the squirrels. If you’re in a conversation with one of them, and they see a squirrel in their peripheral, they’re no longer listening to you. It’s an experience. I’m sure it will be a whole post very soon.

I’ve just spent a lot of space, and mental energy, very off topic. Let’s circle back! The majority of commercials that grace our television, computer, phone, tablet, treadmill, bike, watch, etc. screens have no business being there. Limu Emu being one. What even is happening with the emu? Where did Doug find Limu Emu? How long have they been partners? How is the emu contributing to insurance, in any way? Yellow, why yellow? Why a car from the 60s? That was 60 years ago now, is the company doing that bad where they can’t afford a new model for their best agents to drive around in? I’ll stop hating on Liberty Mutual there. 

The ones that irk me the most, though, are the infamous Twix commercials. Twix used to be normal. I used to buy Twix candy. And then, someone, somewhere, on their team decided that division was the best way forward. Literally. Right vs. left. Left vs. right. I’ll just say what we’re all thinking: it’s the same thing! No differences exist. When you package all as right, you’re now lying to customers. Because, some of them have to be left. And vice versa. If you’re going to compete, against yourself might I point out, at least have some differences. Make one side caramel and one side peanut butter. One side milk chocolate and one side dark chocolate. One side a rectangle and one side a circle. Anything! 

Because it’s confusing to open a pack of Twix thinking there’s two different pieces of candy (since they’re different and you have to choose according to their marketing team) and finding out they’re simply the same. One is on the right and the other is on the left. If you flip the package 180 degrees, then the right is now left and left is now right. What even – I definitely have questions, but also I would just like it to stop. There’s enough separation in the world without Twix throwing their two cents into that pile. Was anyone buying into this scheme? How has it lasted so long? Moral of the post is, I rarely eat Twix anymore because it’s now a stressful experience. Like taking an AP English exam where all the multiple choice answers are based on your opinion and interpretation of the passage. Another day, another time.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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DEAR NCAA: DID YOU FORGET THAT YOU’RE IN CHARGE?

It’s a weird world that we live in now. Surely, I can’t be the only one who feels this way? The NCAA has become a major pushover, TikTok is the hottest black market drug in the social media world, and butterflies apparently have a lifespan of 3 – 5 days. How cruel is that … 3 – 5 days?! Some of them are born without a mouth, and thus without the ability to eat. If that doesn’t traumatize you, do you even have a soul? I, for one, would be devastated if I finally glowed up out of my caterpillar-looking self and couldn’t eat. Ever again. What’s the point of being beautiful if you can’t eat food? Not a tradeoff I would take. In fact, I would probably be ok looking like Shrek as long as I could have my midnight Cheez-Its. He has Fiona, an entire swamp, multiple children, and a talking donkey. Oh, and food, obviously. 

Maybe that’s why King Farquaad is always so angry? Instead of eating gingerbread, he maims them and throws them away. Tragic. Kind of like what’s happening with collegiate athletics’ supposed juggernaut of a leadership entity. Recently, there’s been a push for them to take a step back from every single potentially political, disruptive, or triggering decision in favor of ambiguity. That’s fun. Instead of being the bad parent, they would rather be best friends with all of their children. The problem here, though, is that you can’t be a good parent without knowing when to lay down the law. Drop the hammer. Let your children cry it out in their cribs all night if that’s what it takes. Because, eventually, they will stop.

Watching an authoritative organization try to make everyone happy is like watching a ticking bomb. I’m guessing, I’ve never watched a ticking bomb. I choose not to put myself in those situations. For safety. The longer you do nothing, the closer you are to the explosion. And when you’re one group trying to hoard off the (dead) masses, it becomes a lot like the epic battle of WINTERFELL. Except without the Hollywood underdog win. Why does everyone hate the NCAA? Quite simply, because they’ve become soft.

They do a lot, but at the end of the day, their responsibility is to govern member organizations. Now, in their defense, they are definitely governing. But they’re copying the wrong example of a government. Pushing decisions off and hoping they resolve themselves is not proactive, or reactive. It’s passive. And no one wants a passive leader. We put you in charge for a reason. Because we, the people, don’t want to make these decisions. Should we play sports this fall? Well that feels a lot like something that needs to be dictated across the board. Whatever ridiculousness is happening right now with conferences, and schools, making their own choices is a recipe for a riot. 

Nebraska thinks they’re Notre Dame. College students are starting petitions to undermine their conference decisions. Parents are getting involved and you know you’ve lost control when parents are talking to ESPN. Parents are arguably one of the worst parts of all sports from youth up through professional. The last thing anybody wants, sports fans or not, is to turn on SportsCenter and hear commentary from the parent of a second string Linebacker. Your child is now an adult. They need to fight their own battles. Better yet, let the coaching staff do their jobs and fight those battles for the team.

I don’t blame the parents, though, for being upset and not wanting their kid to miss an opportunity. I don’t blame the players for wanting to play. I don’t blame the coaching staff for wanting answers. All of the blame can be easily put in one place. No matter what you do, people are going to be upset. That’s just life. Trying to play every angle, however, leads to everyone being pissed at you. Especially since you can’t really crown a champion with over half of the contenders not currently having a season. That’s like saying Florida State won March Madness because they won the ACC Championship. LOL please! They weren’t even the most competitive conference. Now feels like a good spot for me to step back from this post before my competitive troll side emerges. In a move of pure authority, I’m ending it.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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DEAR BANK TELLERS: LET’S BOTH ACCEPT THAT I HAVE NO CLUE HOW TO FILL OUT THOSE SLIPS OF PAPER … PLEASE STOP ASKING IF I HAVE ONE

What a time to be alive. Smartwatches, self-driving cars, every restaurant available for delivery, no shame for laying on a couch all day to watch TV, Chewy Chip-Ahoy. So much progress. So much technology. So much innovation. So much delicious food. So many choices for which piece of paper to fill out when you walk into a bank. Did that entire sector of the economy miss the memo? Did no one tell them that it isn’t 1879 anymore? Why are they always the last ones to know … everytime?

For starters, how long did it take banks to get useful online applications up? Too long. How long did it take for banks to finally jump on the happy app train? Too long. How long did it take for banks to do everything in their power to have minimal interactions with customers? Well, this is to be determined since they still seem to love face to face awkward money conversations. Self service is the future. Why talk to an angry, or confused, customer on the phone when they could read an article, or talk to a robot, and figure it out themselves? Anyways, I digress. Back to what’s really important here, which is how confusing it is to write on paper at the bank. It’s the only time I actually write something that doesn’t involve a screen and a cursor.

Some financial institutes have graciously allowed app users to deposit checks via picture. Genius. One less interaction and one less stressful choice at the paper counter. Choosing a slip is somewhat almost kind of intuitive. They’re all different colors. Then it’s usually an educated guess based on the two words I know: deposit and withdrawal. One is exciting and the other is sad. When in doubt, go with the more positive choice. That’s the easy part, though. After you have carefully selected what you hope to be the right check-sized piece of paper, then you have to fill it out. Who knows their bank account number off the top of their head? I don’t even memorize phone numbers, you think I’m going to memorize my bank number? Hard pass. 

I used to try and be a good bank customer and put my numbers in the tiny boxes on the paper. A traumatizing experience that reminded me of proctored tests in school. You know, the super fun ones where they make you write your name, address, medical information, dreams, every time you’ve blinked, with each letter in a separate box the size of a period. But, then the impossible question of my bank account number stalls me so I would take my half-hearted attempt to the bank teller who would have to finish it for me. Then, like technology, I evolved and would pick the bank paper and just take it up without even trying. 

Now, however, I no longer care about what the bank tellers think of me. I don’t even glance at that table. It’s a straight up swerve. Right into line where I confidently stroll up and tell them what I need – they can figure out which piece of paper I need. That’s their job, right? Or part of their ‘other duties as assigned’ at the very least. If they wanted me to do it myself, why not let me do it online? Or on their app? Or via a chat bot? Or via telekinesis? So many options that don’t involve a bank teller judging my skills as an adult. It also seems like minimizing real life visits would reduce overhead. 

Why don’t they move all operations online, you may be wondering? I’ve been asking myself this for years. Even Capital One’s reinvented “cafes” are still banks. Just banks with iPads and chairs in them. Which begs the question, why can’t I use the iPad in my house, sitting in my own chair, and not put on pants to come to a building to conduct financial business? Sure, I get it. Some people prefer in person interactions. Well, I would prefer it if I could eat a whole pizza by myself and not receive four plates from the delivery driver like I’m going to share it. I would also like to receive a bank bonus for showing up in person, when so many people are able to avoid that. But, we can’t always get what we want, can we? 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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DEAR CUSTOMER SUPPORT: YES, I’VE TRIED RESTARTING IT

This is for everyone, everywhere, who has ever had to get on the phone with a customer support agent. For all the time wasted listening to one jazz song on repeat over and over and over again endlessly. For all the poor souls trying to navigate through the dizzying maze of menus with only their voice. For all the phone batteries trying to keep up with the unusual increase of constant background activity. For all the family members who will get to relive the experience whenever their loved one is set free, or hung up on. For all the unresolved issues that will endlessly sit in the AI cloud because either the speaker was not able to successfully get to a representative, or they accidentally got yeeted out of the system by the robot for too many unsuccessful attempts to speak with a human – or because they gave up. For all the doodles that are created while waiting in the queue of troubled customers. And for all the food and alcohol that is stress consumed from being “on hold”.

You are not alone. I’m here for you. Having to contact customer support is one of the worst things that can get added to your to-do list. Besides, obviously, cleaning out the gutters, vacuuming the baseboards, and killing the spider that has decided to take up residence in the bathroom. Because you never have to get in touch if everything is just peachy. It’s usually due to a problem, or a frustration, right? Which puts you in an ideal mindset to have an adult conversation where good problem solving can occur and your active listening skills are professional level. 

When you’re frustrated, what’s something that won’t make you feel better? Giving commands to an AI machine. And not just giving commands – it’s more like one of two things: being given a multiple choice question where none of the answers are correct or talking to a brick wall. The menu is a million options long and none of them involve my most basic request to see what the current exchange rate of the Yen is?! Who is in charge of this? Or when you’ve made the educational guess that you belong in zero of the available categories and would like to speak to an actual human being so you can be more detailed about your issue (a.k.a really voice ALL of your complaints at once to someone who has to listen). Why is that harder than figuring out what in the world a jackfruit is? Where did it come from? How do you cut into it? What does one eat it with / how do you prepare it? Why is the outside so bumpy? Is that its protection from predators? What sorts of animals are endangering this fruit? Why does it look like it’s having a melon identity crisis? Is it more cantaloupe or honeydew? How do they get so big? Who first saw it and thought, you know what, that looks delicious and I want to eat it? These are all the questions I’m currently waiting on hold for to ask The Jackfruit Company. This one fruit is an endless sense of distress in my food life.

Anyways … when you finally get to speak to a representative, they usually ask you all the same things the robot just tortured you with. Account verification, what the issue can be generalized as, what the issue can be sub-generalized as, what the issue can be sub-sub-generalized as, if you’re a current customer, what your favorite color is, where you got those amazing new pants that show off all the work you’ve been putting in during leg days, when was the last time you ate a fruit, or a vegetable, did you try restarting it, etc. So … what was the point of going through the automated process if you have absolutely zero of the information that I’ve already provided? Do I have to now start my whole process over? Re-explain exactly why I’m calling? Try to ask for help without a hint of sarcasm, or hangriness, or giving away how annoyed I am?

Being a customer is challenging. Probably not as challenging as the customer service representative job, though. You get to experience every personality type … and mood. Whether you want to or not! My patience levels do not make me a good candidate for those types of positions. Didn’t stop me from trying for a few years, but I can’t honestly say that I miss it. Which is why I always try to remind myself that it isn’t their fault that I had to call in. They didn’t make, or break, the product that I’m currently unhappy with. They simply got stuck having to take my call. Meanwhile, I’ve upgraded my job status to one of those employees who is directly responsible for breakage and upset customers. Wow that is prime irony. Is that like the circle of jobs? Regardless, to all customer service representatives: I sincerely appreciate you, you are the real rockstars, and I apologize for all the work I will inevitably cause you and / or have caused you.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this and want to share it with them, that would seriously mean a lot to me. I’m so grateful to all the current readers and subscribers. If you want to get these in your inbox twice weekly don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for reading!


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DEAR COLLEGE: I ALREADY SOLD YOU MY SOUL, I HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO GIVE YOU

I miss college. All of the social activities, sporting events, parties, friendships, constant eating, freedom, and the general lack of real responsibilities. It was a great time. Sure, occasionally there were unfortunate obligations like class and exams and homework, but for the most part it was awesome. What I don’t miss is the amount of bills that I knew, but didn’t really know, I was racking up. That should really be part of the high school curriculum – financial planning. What are loans? What is debt? What are bills? What does the health insurance paperwork mean? How do you file taxes? So many actually helpful things that could be taught.

Because now I have these monthly payments that are no fun at all to make. They most certainly are not awesome or a great time. So many other things I would like to do with that part of my paycheck, like travel, shop, drink, eat, have an experience, donate to charity, etc. Literally anything other than paying back the school that gave me a piece of paper. Go to college, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. You’ll get an education, they said. This way you can get a job, they said. It’s going to cost you everything, they didn’t say. Did I go? Yes. Was it fun? Most of the time. Did I get an education? Yes, but not the kind they probably had in mind. Was it the magic door to getting a job? Haha, absolutely not. Did selling my organs on the black market cover the cost? No, no – it was way more.

So, in other words, I spent all this money to get a job in the field that someone printed on a piece of paper. Some call it a diploma, but I would think that to be considered a big, fancy diploma, then they could have at least printed it on glossy paper. I mean, at this point, you can just add an extra $10 or so to my bill. I won’t even know. Ironically, what I do now could not be further from my field of study. And I’m not the only one. At some point, I was informed that employers care more about seeing that you can finish something. I feel like there are a lot of cheaper ways to do this…but clearly I’m in the minority on this one.

All of this is annoying, and frustrating, but in hindsight, I should have expected it when they asked me to pay a registration deposit and give them rights to my first-born child to attend. Alright, fine, that’s on me and my teenage innocence. What I’m not a fan of, nope too passive…what I absolutely loathe, is when they have the audacity to call me and ask for a donation. I’m sorry, I know you have my records still because you always seem to find my new address to spam with letters. So you would know that I am paying you. Still. From all those years ago when I actually was there. I’m what one would call, a mandatory donor. I wouldn’t say I have a giving spirit towards my alma mater, but more of an, I’d like to maintain a respectable credit score and not get audited type of spirit.

It would make slightly more sense if you asked me for money after I finished paying off my loans. Then, at least, I would be contributing nothing on a monthly basis so it would make sense that I might want to keep that bleeding train of dolla, dolla bills going. Because an object in motion tends to stay in motion. Honestly, the things I plan on doing with all that extra cash each month is not nearly as generous or productive as donating to support the education system. Might as well keep on giving. But now you’ve pissed me off. We both know that if I could afford to donate, I would have paid off my loans. Or simply chosen to pay for school upfront. Either way, I should not be the target demographic for the donor office student cold-callers.

Let’s take a quick second to break down why I’ve been a donor for so long:

  • Air is free everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Meals can be relatively affordable, depending on your choices, everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Learning is free, or reasonably priced (unless you’re in private school, but if that’s the case, this post is not for you)…except on college campuses
  • Nature is free to enjoy everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Sports are free to watch (as long as your friends with someone who pays) everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Hobbies vary in price, but can be pretty cheap, everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Exercise can be affordable everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Reading can be affordable everywhere in the world…except on college campuses

Seems like there’s the issue. You want to wake up today? $427 fee. You want to eat lunch? $28.37 fee. You want to walk on our sidewalks everyday? $13,078 fee. You want to buy books? $5,396 fee. You sneezed? $4.76 fee. You want to submit an assignment on our Wi-Fi and use our mandatory online portal? $28,340 fee. So, to answer your question, do I want to donate today? Bye, Felicia!

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this and want to share it with them, that would seriously mean a lot to me. I’m so grateful to all the current readers and subscribers. If you want to get these in your inbox twice weekly don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for reading!


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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!


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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!


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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!


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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!


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