DEAR TOILET PAPER COMPANIES: WIPE AWAY YOUR MARKETING GAMES

Marketing teams are like shopping ninjas. Out to murder your budget. Just when you think you’re going to stick to your list BAM! Sales! Bonus items! Mega rolls! Celebrity endorsements! Colorful packaging! Cute animals! Health buzzwords! Targeted ads! You name it, I can almost guarantee a marketing department has tried it. Why not, though? That is quite actually their job. To make you buy a certain product over its competitors. Or, in other words, to pay for the marketing people’s jobs. It’s a very survival of the fittest kind of career.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not immune to their stealthy skills. I would actually classify myself as a marketer’s dream purchaser. Swayed easily by packaging, deals, and special ads that clearly are a result of the Internet listening to my private life. I don’t care. Listen, I’ve ended up with some amazing products that I didn’t know I needed in my life thanks to targeted ads. In fact, I now actively start vocalizing bigger purchases weeks in advance so I can get a nice coupon. Although, if we’re being honest, it doesn’t have to be big. If I need more food I throw that out into the universe as well. Google’s fuzzy privacy laws have yet to let me down is all I’m saying.

Where was I going with this? Oh, right! Gullibility! So the other day I was in the toilet paper aisle and it dawned on me that I don’t know what a regular sized roll is. Does anyone? Every single company, let me repeat, every single company has a mega roll as their baseline product. Which, supposedly, is 4 regular rolls. And I would kindly like to call bullshit. Literally since as early back as I can remember in life, the so-called mega roll is a regularly sized roll of toilet paper. If I cut that down by 4 I would have 25% of a normal roll left. That’s it. There are no extra sheets in there. 

It’s also most curious how a lovely 2-ply 1000 sheet roll is slightly bigger than a nice, plush mega roll (the size of FOUR regular rolls in case you’ve already forgotten). What is this nonsense? And where did the four multiplier come from? And that’s just one of the options. Then there’s the jumbo roll, which, apparently, is even bigger. The size of five regular rolls one could say. At what point did mega become the standard? It for sure wasn’t recently enough where we can still use it in marketing. Surely.

Did people in the past not wipe? How many rolls came in a regular, fits under the sink, pack? 48? Was it simply a commodity? Is that why the rolls were so tiny? I cannot comprehend how we would have survived the COVID TP crisis with mere regular sized rolls. And that’s only half of the puzzle when it comes to paper of the toilet. After you’ve blown your mind and stressed yourself out deciding if mega will even be enough for your family, then you have the soft versus strong issue. Why can it not simply be both?

I’m going to say it, I don’t understand this marketing scheme. It’s a lot like the left Twix, right Twix DEBACLE. Soft toilet paper is like a luscious paper towel and is too thick. Strong toilet paper is not as nice to the places you’re wiping. I don’t want one or the other, I want both. I need one that is both soft and strong so I can enjoy the go as my favorite modern day care bears keep wishing for me. To make matters worse, they now have ultra soft and ultra strong. Like, I either want to wipe with a blanket or an axe – there’s no in between. And what do each of those new distinctions get us? Higher prices! Because it’s shiny and new and “better”.

Can I just say that I’m over it. I feel like our marketing efforts started with good intentions, then became a competition, and have gone awry. How much softer can ultra soft possibly be than soft? At the end of the day, it’s just a piece of paper that will get used to wipe your unmentionables and then flushed into the sewer system. Think about that when a T-Rex roll comes out in a scented, plush style. 

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 LINKEDIN: IF I WANTED TO BE SPAMMED, I’D ANSWER MY PHONE

We are all familiar with LinkedIn, right? The social media version of professional networking. A beautiful blend of fun, connection, and the potential for future employment. Supposedly. I think when it first started it was a great way to meet other professionals in your space, or in a space you were hoping to break into. It was easy to use the people you knew to help you reach out to people you were hoping to know. Got it? You got it! Glad we’re all on the same page.

Like most good technology ideas, somewhere over the years it’s turned into the newest way to get spam messages. And I am 100% not here for it. I’m not talking about the recruiters. The recruiters are the foundation of marketing LinkedIn as a rival to Indeed when it comes to landing the next job to help you live your best life. Through the people you already know, obviously. But also probably through a more elaborate version of your resume and cover letter on your profile. 

Recruiters are cool, I have no beef with them. They’re trying to help you after all, and if it isn’t the right fit for whatever reason just hit ‘No, Thanks’. Better yet, mark yourself as not actively open to new positions. Literally could not be easier to opt out of those. What I have an issue with is all the other business development representatives, or financial advisors, or anyone in a mildly sales related role. Stop spamming me.

Like most social media platforms, the number of followers you have are loosely connected to your actual status as a person. LinkedIn uses the term connections, but in the Activity section those translate to followers and this was the start of the downfall. Because now everyone wants to make those numbers jump to help themselves stand out from all the other users as a well-connected professional. As a result, any rando will reach out to ask for a connection. Regardless if you know them professionally, personally, or from anywhere in your closest 250 mile radius. 

Part of LinkedIn’s charm is that you can message people you aren’t connected with. That confidence to do a cold reach out pays off. Most of the time. Enter the sales world who feels it’s appropriate to reach out to any and everyone. They start so innocently, too, which is now a pretty sure sign there is an ulterior motive. Tell me about how you got to your current position. I’d love to hear about your journey into this career field. How do you like your current job. Then, out of the blue, sales pitch! Ew. 

A simple message that you can choose to leave on read is not the end of the world, however. By now, I’ve become quite the expert ghoster on LinkedIn. Zero part of me feels any sort of regret for reading and not responding to a message. The true horror comes in when these scam artists send you a connection, then immediately start guessing at what your company email address might be. And since business tends to stay predictable in certain areas, it’s not that hard for any high school attendee to guess either your first name @ the company, or your first name plus last name @ the company combo. 

To this effort, I like to kindly show a certain finger in my mind. This is a step too far. If I look at my phone and see a connection request notification right under an email from you, when I have zero clue who you even are, that is the easiest swerve of my life. For all the sales people reading, this actively makes me want to avoid both you and your business indefinitely. The follow up email making sure I saw your previous one is also unnecessary. 

If you want to market your product to myself, and my team, do it the old fashioned way – through an obvious email marketing campaign. Or via any sort of conference. If you have a booth and are giving away shirts, I’ll gladly give you my email address. I have no shame. But this creepy stalk you online and send you an email technique is no bueno and must be halted. After all, if I really wanted to be spammed I’d just answer my phone.

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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THINGS SPORT ANNOUNCERS SAY THAT LITERALLY ANYONE ELSE COULD ALSO SAY

Sports are a way of life. Not for all people, certainly, but for a lot of people. Because who doesn’t love getting overly invested in the performance of your favorite team and favorite players? Probably people who enjoy more stress-free ways of living or low blood pressure. It’s irritating when your team is not playing well, or worse: losing, or even worse: losing to your rival. In those moments you learn a lot about yourself as a person – where your priorities truly lie, how you handle stress, what you’re like under the pressure of trash talk, whether or not you’re a gracious loser, and how competitive you are regarding things that you have less than zero control over.

While sports have a lot of positives, there are some negative aspects that you have to deal with. Rioting, losing friendships, scandals, losing money, cheating, drugs, etc. And then, of course, you have the announcers. Sport announcers are there to say helpful things and aid in the viewing experience of the game. Supposedly. There is a most curious breakdown of things that can, and will, come out of an announcers mouth during the period of play. Ask any sports fan and they have announcers that they like, announcers that they tolerate, and then announcers they cannot stand.

Regardless of how you feel about the announcer, their dialogue can best be summarized as follows. Usually they throw some fun statistics in there and some inspiring story about the team, or a specific player. Constantly they will talk about what can best be described as sport conspiracy theories regarding playoffs based on the team’s performance to date. This includes, but is not limited to, previously played games, the current game being played, upcoming schedule of games, and what both a win and a loss mean going into the next day. It’s great to hear when they’re talking in favor of your team, and it’s the most obnoxious thing in the world when it’s against your team.

Some of the time they will interject with memories about their time participating in said sport, which usually feels more like a backdoor brag than anything. But then, the rest of the time is spent with them saying ridiculous things that anyone else in the whole freaking planet could also say. Sports fan, or not. And it just makes you stop and think about how they landed this cushy, well-paid, gig when you could also easily make broad statements about the nature of a sport. Statements such as:

  • What they’re trying to do here is win
  • If you ask me, they need to score more points
  • Coach does not look happy
  • If I played like that, I’d be sitting on the bench
  • That’s not good defense
  • To win, they’re going to need to beat the other team
  • I’m not sure what they’re thinking out there
  • Defense fell asleep on that play
  • They’ve dug themselves a big hole
  • Time is running out
  • I don’t agree with that call
  • I think that was a good call
  • From this angle, it’s hard to tell
  • I can’t see what’s happening down there
  • I think that a win would feel good
  • Offense wins games
  • Defense wins games
  • A loss is not going to be good here
  • They’re not going to be happy leaving the tournament early
  • They’ll only be satisfied holding the championship trophy

I could go on, but this feels like an inclusive enough list to make my point. Basically, sports announcers just find different ways to state the obvious. Or to say the wrong mascot for a team. People want to win. People don’t like to lose. Other people are often in charge of making decisions that you may, or may not, agree with. Failing to reach the end goal is never satisfying. And reaching a longtime dream is the best feeling in the world. None of that feels overly exclusive to sports – more of a life thing in general. All I’m saying is change the sport terms into everyday terms and you’ve got a recipe for inspirational sayings. Kind of feels like anyone could do 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 TRIVIA: I THOUGHT I WAS SMART, THANK YOU FOR THE EGO CHECK

Have you ever wondered how smart you are? Not book smart, per se, but life smart? How much general knowledge do you contain about things that may, or may not, be helpful to you in some capacity throughout life? If your answer is no, then why even continue? I have to believe you can guess where this post is going and it’s pretty much strictly for anyone ever who thought, I need to prove my brain skills against strangers at a local bar on a weeknight – AKA trivia night.

I know for a fact that my general knowledge, and overall trivia skills, are pretty much worthless. There isn’t a lot of room in my head for random tidbits of things. Because it’s full of other items like how to do my job, how much I love my dog, figuring out how to feed myself a healthy amount of times each day, remembering to do chores, memorizing every single Chipotle location within 15 miles of where I live, etc. You know, crucial survival skills basically. 

However, my job title makes people believe that somehow my IQ is at least average, if not exponentially above that mark. And so they frequently tell me how smart I am. Which causes some internal dilemmas until my ego takes over and I make poor decisions … like smack talking other trivia teams. Despite knowing deep in my soul that I’m not able to back it up. Remember growing up when there would be kids who would crush school and kids who would crush life? Book smart versus street smart. And I always believed you were somewhere on that spectrum. Until I became an adult with free evenings and friends.

There is a third type of smart, I’ve learned. Trivia smart. This is a person who just knows things. Not current things necessarily. Not political things necessarily. Not natural events necessarily. Not history necessarily. Not even sports necessarily. No. These people know stuff in every possible category over all of eternity. How?! I genuinely want to know so I can stop losing and embarrassing myself every Tuesday night. 

For starters, where are you getting this information? Google? Reddit? The newspaper? I honestly don’t know. I scroll through the major news headlines every day and have yet to contribute to a current events conversation in one of my group chats because the stuff they talk about I have to re-research. And by the time I have any facts the convo has taken a massive diversion and I’m just confused again. It’s a cycle of playing catch-up and not in a good way.

My next question for these trivia geniuses, is how do you retain this information? My boss has to remind me every morning of our daily standup meeting and I’ve been working there for months. One would think that I would have learned how to open my calendar by now, and yet here we are. Especially if it’s some random fact. That usually goes in one ear and out the other. If you asked me 15 minutes after reading it what the statue’s name was and why it was taken down, it would be a good day if I answered half of those questions. Maybe I never really learned how to “read”? Because it seems to me like I read to get something over with and other people read to learn. So clearly one of us is doing it wrong and one of us is winning trivia. I’ll let you figure out who goes where in that equation.

On the bright side, every trivia team needs that person who is simply there for entertainment, friendship, and alcohol. I am that person. I own that spot on the team. I’m also great at writing their answers down. So they don’t have to stop eating the plate of nachos in front of them. My greatest contribution to my team thus far, has been embellishing us with a name worthy of all the trophies. Not saying that I nailed it, but like, I absolutely nailed it and we are iconically the best-named team each week. No big deal, I’m kind of great at being creative, though apparently not as great at knowing useful things. You decide which is more fun.

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 CFP: STOP SHOWING RERUNS

Everyone loves a rerun. Sometimes. Sometimes everyone loves a rerun. And those times are not all of the time, nor are they in all things. Thus the definition of the word sometimes. At least eloquently refactored in a concise, millennial way. The legit Google definition is ‘occasionally, rather than all the time’ so I guess my version was actually more verbose. Which, in hindsight, one sentence later, is surprisingly fitting for the millennials as a generation.

English lesson aside, we all have reruns that we look forward to, some that we feel indifferent about, and others that we would be fine never seeing again. For example, all the Schitt’s Creek and Parks and Recreation episodes in the world could never be played enough and we will always stand up our friends for a good television marathon of those shows. Historic sporting events are hit or miss, depending on your level of emotional involvement, the overall outcome of the game, how long ago it occurred, and what our social calendar looks like at the time of the showing. Then, of course, there’s the no fly zone which includes making the same dating mistake multiple times, never learning how to study in college and continuing to use the ‘D is for degree’ mindset, and eating the entire piece of cheesecake from The (one and only) Cheesecake Factory by yourself. Again. And ending up not being able to eat for 24 hours. Again.

So we get it, right? Reruns are only as exciting as the context that comes with them. The College Football Playoff is not that context. For all who were wondering. Is anyone still enjoying it at this point? Other than the 3 schools that make the championship game year after year obviously. As a fan, however, this is not doing it for me anymore to be honest. We get it. Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State have political pull, and maybe a lot of under the table money (I’m not here to judge), flowing to the ranking committee placing them in the top four each year. 

The problem here is that the top four, and only the top four, even get a chance at making the national title game. And that feels a bit unfair to the teams who happen to be in lesser known conferences. I don’t want to see the predictable. I want Cinderellas. I want upsets. I want an underdog to pull for. Which is clearly why the CFP will never compare to March Madness. Because unless you roll with the tide, think orange and purple is an acceptable color combination, or secretly enjoy sporting your love for Mary Jane, you don’t care about last night’s supposedly biggest game of the year. 

Don’t get me wrong, those teams are good. Clearly. But let’s back up a second and think about all the reasons that Ohio State shouldn’t have even been in the playoffs. Reason one: Ohio State did not play 6 regular season Big Ten games. Nope! They only played 5 so the playoff committee was like, all these other teams have double digit games, but sure put Brutus up in the top four. Reason two: Ohio State was not technically eligible for the Big Ten championship game, and thus, not eligible for the CFP. Say it ain’t so! Oh yes, the Big Ten Conference, as a whole, decided to waive it’s (up until that point) very strict 6 game limit to be eligible for the title game so that OSU could play. In place of Indiana, so Hoosiers fans, my heart is with you during this tough time. Reason three: other than the Clemson win in the semi-finals, I’m not convinced that a new challenger would not have knocked off the Buckeyes based on their measly 6 game record. Few of which were blowout wins, might I add.

Ok, enough hating on the Bucks for now. Let’s examine Clemson and Alabama. Sure, we know that both are capable of winning against teams in their conference. Shocker … since the ACC is not a football conference despite their best trash talking efforts and the SEC has been on the decline in recent years. The real football power conferences are the B10, Pac 12, and Big 12. Fight me. What would happen if the playoff included more than one rotating team? My guess, we would not always see one of the Three Musketeers playing in mid-January.

While we’re hating on the CFP, let’s talk about how a four team playoff is, frankly, a joke. It was always a joke. Since 2015 and the first year of this system. Before going further, I have to say that college football has long needed a better system for determining a national championship. Other than having whoever happened to be one of the top two teams duke it out. A playoff, for example. Similar to how every other sport does it. But four teams?! Who was in charge of that? Eighth at a minimum! If we really want a true champion, though, it really needs to hit the sweet sixteen mark. That’s over half the top 25. We’ll see how crimson, orange, and red fare against the full rainbow then.

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 MECHANICS: STOP ADJUSTING MY SEAT SETTINGS

Like most good things in life, even cars have their downside. Gas is not free. Traffic and other drivers are the worst (you can read all about my traffic thoughts in THESE POSTS). Any sort of service, or repair, is the most inconvenient thing I’ve ever had to do on multiple occasions. Car commercials set up FALSE EXPECTATIONS which is disappointing. And it takes a minute to get all the settings adjusted perfectly. Especially if you drive a newer model, it’s almost like setting up a computer. So many choices, so many buttons, so many console options, so many seat adjustment levers – ugh.  

Unlike some people, I enjoy driving. It’s thrilling. It’s always an experience. It’s a high risk situation that requires focus. I do not, however, enjoy riding. I’m a terrible passenger. There’s not anything to do but look out the window and judge how close the driver likes to ride the line. Car karaoke is fun, but there’s less pressure as the driver. If you suck, blame it on the fact that you’re paying attention to the road, not on your future singing career. As the passenger, though, you have zero excuse. If you’re not about to belt it out like Carrie Underwood, get out. Someone once asked me how I embodied the restless spirit and I told them to just drive me around. Are we there yet? I’m that passenger.

None of that is really relevant, but here we all are. Having read that paragraph just wondering how it relates to the rest of this post. It doesn’t. I probably won’t tie that loose end up. Not sorry. Anyways … let’s talk about the most annoying / frustrating / time-consuming / expensive (pick your adjective) part of having a car. Having to visit the mechanic. Zero part of that process is convenient. First, you have to schedule a time to either drop off, or wait, on your vehicle. All of the car dealers put baby computers in the cabin now, yet the schedule service form is from the first round of the Internet last century. Why?

After finally figuring out how things used to work and getting an appointment, then you actually have to go. Which is arguably worse. Wait, nope, it’s definitely worse. Your car, and your freedom, are indefinitely gone. If you’re waiting, well you just have to find something to do on your phone, or sit alone with your thoughts, in the service center. Indefinitely. If you drop it off, you need to find a second vehicle to accompany you so you can get back home. Then someone, maybe that same person, will have to take you back to the shop to pick your car up after waiting for it to be serviced. Indefinitely.

That’s a lot of time not knowing what kind of quote they’re going to hit you with. It’s a guessing game, not a fun one, but one nonetheless. Is it fine, or is it ready for the scrap yard? Will my multi-point inspection pass? I came in to get the tires rotated, but is the alignment all jacked up too? So many questions. No answers. It’s a fun time. Whatever it comes back as, I have yet to meet one single person who enjoys spending their money on car service. I most definitely do not. One oil change could get me a night at an AirBnb. Replacing the front brake pads are a couple of party kegs for the weekend rager. Having to get the bumper replaced because the texter behind me forgot they were driving doesn’t technically take my money, but mental energy wise I could have performed at a music festival. 

Then, just like that, you get your keys back! Oh, sweet glory! You are now free to roam anywhere your heart desires again. No road? No problem! Hop up in that 4×4 or risk it in your front wheel drive if you’re feeling a bit hellish. No one can stop you. You’re a lean, mean, driving machine! Except … oh, what’s this? Your seat is too far back, the AC is 10 degrees too cold, the console lighting is now on the opposite side of the color wheel, the seat warmers are turned off, the steering wheel has been lowered, your rearview mirror is no longer helpful, and your side mirrors currently show you the ground. 

How is it that the mechanic who had to make the super long drive from the shop to the front of the store where you were waiting felt it was appropriate to adjust everything? Who do you think you are? We’re not road tripping this thing. It’s not a delivery drop off. No one asked if it was acceptable for them to fix the functional part of my car but totally destroy the aesthetics and comfort parts. This, to me, is a bit rude. If someone trusts me with their vehicle, I wouldn’t even think to change everything so I could be temporarily at home. I would accept my brief time of discomfort so that the next time they got in, it would be ready to go. Besides, the transport time here has to be a minute max.

Imagine if you went to bank and while they deposited your money (after you figure out the PAPER MAZE) they also changed all of your account passwords and security questions for fun. Or if you went to a restaurant and while they made your food decided to come over and completely redesign the table layout and seating arrangements so everyone was eating alone. Or if you went to a tailgate (RIP fall sports) and while you were getting food someone got in your car and changed every single setting. Cause they were sitting in the trunk and didn’t like the mood lighting color choice. None of that would be acceptable and you would definitely not be tipping. So how is it allowed at the car dealers? I don’t know. We may never know. But it’s our harsh reality at the moment.

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 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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