THANKS FOR READING, PLEASE LEAVE A TIP

On this beautiful day, let’s participate in a quick thought exercise. It won’t be hard, I promise. And I don’t break promises, so from the almost nothing you know about me, and that statement, there’s zero reason for you not to trust me. Ok, let us wander down memory lane to a time when you could buy things, anything really, and simply pay for it. List price plus any sales tax. That’s it. You pay for it, and then you grab the bag and leave feeling satisfied. How far back in time did your mind travel? 

Actually, pause, I think we should address the question in your head. Was I supposed to go far back? Technically, I gave you no real instructions other than a time you spent money, so I guess not. My bad. But, if you think about the last time the custom additional payment line was added to a receipt, it may have been a while. That’s right, I’m talking about tipping! And America, I believe we have a tipping problem. Not the tipping you experience from consuming maybe one too many adult beverages. No, I’m talking about the tipping that comes from your wallet. The tipping that you have to do math to get to. The tipping that is optional, but mandatory. 

Are you picking up what I’m leaving on the table? When was the last time you weren’t asked to leave a tip for someone? It’s getting consistently more difficult to find examples of plain old pay and walk away. We tip for everything now. Not just when eating out, back when that was a more mainstream, and safe, adventure, but we’ve gotten to a place where almost every business feels it’s acceptable to ask you for a tip. You can count on it with any food adventure. It’s almost guaranteed for any type of experience you participate in. Don’t think that retail isn’t trying to hop on this bandwagon either. Where did we go wrong?

Since this is an opinion based blog, I would like to take some time and dive into my thoughts about being asked to make additional payments on things I spend money on. If this is your first time realizing there are zero factual backings to any of these posts, I apologize. But, also, we may need to discuss your ability to interpret sarcasm. Anyways … moving on … tipping! Or robbing, you decide. I think there are limits to the number of “services” that can acceptably ask me to spend more money than my receipt says.

If you give me a fantastic tour of a distillery, then of course I’m going to tip you – excellent service pays off. If you’re refilling my drink before I even know it’s getting empty, then of course I’m going to tip you – hard work pays off. If I order food and you drive it to me, then of course I’m going to tip you – not being lazy pays off. If I, however, pick out all of my own groceries and place them on the conveyor belt, then why would I leave the cashier a tip? You’re just doing your job. And I did all the hard work, so, what is that about?

For starters, why not just factor my tip into my bill? Then I wouldn’t care. Make me calculate it, though, and all of a sudden it’s an extra expense (and an annoyance). Use mind tricks with people – make us believe that was always going to be the total. Basic math equations aside, if I do all of the work and you simply are working at the register, what on earth is making it acceptable for you to ask for a tip?

Don’t get me wrong, tipping is not something that I see as an employee problem. In fact, I actually support adding extra money so they don’t have to make whatever absurdly low hourly rate their business has decided is appropriate. The main problem is that we still have places paying people less than half the minimum wage and banking on the fact that tips will push them, on average, to the federal minimum. How horrible would it be for you to start their pay at minimum wage and allow them to earn much more than that for their hard work? Why is that like asking for the moon?

Second imagination station train of the day. If you’re at your job, and have a meeting with your manager, what do you think their reaction would be if you asked for a tip / bonus for meeting the basic requirements you were hired (and are already paid) to do? You may be job hunting the next day. You may get laughed off as a joke. You may get the silent stare of terror. You may get a snarky comment. Small chance you get a tip, though. I feel like that should be no different in the consumer industry, but maybe that’s just me.

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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THE MYSTERIOUS ZAMBONI AND IT’S MAGICAL HEALING POWERS

Well it’s chuck the puck season and that is exciting. I love the irony of watching a winter sport in June. You start your adventure in the summer, enter the arena where suddenly it’s winter, then leave and immediately start sweating because your layers are way too much for the humidity of the late evening air. It’s like time traveling, but without leaving the present in any form. The only real downfall is the attire portion. How do you plan for it? Short answer: you don’t.

Hockey is a great sport. I recently got very into it and my only regret is that I didn’t give it enough love during my youth. It’s all the best parts of football, soccer, and lacrosse and then on ice. Fights, goals, strategy, big hits, fast pace, shots, penalties, referees constantly in the way, dope jerseys, sticks, skates, and, of course, alcohol. Well, not for the players, but for myself anyway. Why I spent my whole life counting down from February to September to see grown men destroy each other when all along I could have been getting a hit fix all the way through June, I’ll never know.

As a whole, hockey is much more exciting in person then on television. I think most sports are this way. Baseball, for sure, should only ever be watched in person where you can be distracted by more enticing elements like the food stands, the bouncy castles, the fast pitch games, and, of course, the fresh beer. But I digress. Hockey games are lit. Especially during playoff season. For starters, the advanced graphics that teams are now displaying on the ice is unreal. One of my favorite parts of technology. Because on ice, it just looks cooler than it ever will on a basketball court. Sorry, not sorry.

In person, you also get access to the crowds. If you have never had the pleasure of experiencing a sporting event at a packed stadium cheering alongside tens of thousands of your new best friends, you are missing out. I scream, you scream, we all scream the same thing! Usually a team chant or a consensus disapproval of the referee’s latest call. There are also t-shirt tosses and if you haven’t caught a t-shirt in your life, try harder. There is no greater feeling than overpaying for great seats and getting a free, probably $10 at most, t-shirt. It’s rewarding in a unique way.

Specifically in hockey, you also get the enjoyment of watching the Zamboni do its thing in between each period. Talk about magic on ice. You take something scratched, rough, and in need of love and polish it in the most efficient, systematic, and peaceful way possible. Quite the amazing contraption that I wish someone would scale down and produce for my hardwood floors at home.

Zambonis are the definition of ASMR in the sports world. No other event has as satisfying of a ritual. Zero argument here, it’s simply a fact. As fun as the game itself is to watch, I find it hard to tear myself out of my seat for a refill when the zambonis are out. They take the most curious circle path around the rink, but somehow it works. Gets me every single time. Is no one else as amused as I am? It’s on the same level as the MOVING WALKWAY magic in airports. Stop and smell the roses. Stop and watch the zamboni. Truly the little things that can change your whole mood.

Think about it for a second. Something often overlooked, or never even seen, while spectators fight each other to get refills on the food and drinks. Or while waiting in the interminably long bathroom lines. Why don’t we plan this better? I mean, we’re all best friends for the night, but not when it comes to lines. Regardless, I notice. And I love it. And I am here for it. And I will promote the ceremonial Zamboni presentation every game.

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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LET’S TALK ABOUT MOVING WALKWAYS

You know what’s great? Dark chocolate Oreos and Chewy Chips Ahoy! What’s better than delicious cookies? Football season! What’s better than football season? Waking up on a Monday to find out it’s a holiday and you don’t have work! What’s better than a paid company holiday? Vacations! What’s better than a vacation? The moving walkways in the airports that take you to your blissful destination!

We live in a fast world. Have you ever waited more than five seconds for an Internet site to load? No, because nobody has time to wait. You’ve gone back to your Google search and are moving on with your life! Same concept in meetings. Have you ever waited endlessly for someone to start talking? No, because we all have a million other things on our to-do lists and don’t have time to wait for someone to grow a pair and say ‘good morning’ to the team. Thankfully airports have also adopted this mindset. Why walk like a normal human being when you could straight up become the Flash and travel at supersonic (walking) speeds? 

I’m actually asking all the people who are forever casually strolling by the Jedi of escalators like they aren’t aware of the magic on their left. Is it like a real world Harry Potter concept where not everyone knows it’s there? Do you have to have a “gift” to see the moving walkway? Or are you actively choosing to remain mortal? Maybe I’m a bit impatient, maybe I still have an inner child well and alive in my soul, maybe I don’t spend enough time in airports, maybe I should plan my terminal transition better so I don’t need to use the walkways, maybe I simply enjoy moving plastic contraptions with railings – I don’t know. What I do know is that I never, and I do mean never, miss a chance to take a moving walkway.

Traveling isn’t always perfect, let’s be honest. Sometimes you get a layover that’s longer than comfortable. Sometimes you don’t get a layover at all. Sometimes you end up having to book a new flight because someone cancelled on you at the last second without warning. Sometimes you have to raise your voice to get your point across. What I’m trying to say is that air travel and relationships are clearly analogies for each other and / or maybe the same thing. 

Anywho … moving walkways. I’m no expert, but if I had to guess I would say that they were designed to help you get from one end of the terminal to the other in a quicker, more efficient manner. Which is fine, I guess. A bit boring, honestly, but logical. Are those the requirements for use, though? In a rush and needing to traverse a great distance in minimal time? Because if so, I have not once used them correctly. I’m what one would call a walkway rebel. If I’m j chillin’ at my gate and have to use the bathroom, I’ll use the walkway. If I come out of a terminal store and happen to be positioned in the middle of a walkway, I’ll walk to the end just to travel back towards where I started at the store. If I’m trying to waste time, I’ll walk up and down the terminal using every moving walkway just for kicks and giggles.

As great as moving walkways are, there are still courtesy rules. Well, really there’s just one. Don’t stand on the moving walkway. First of all, wut? The purpose of the walkway is to speed you up, not slow you down. Standing is making you move like a sloth. A real life Zootopia demonstration. That’s a new level of laziness. Why walk at regular speeds when you could stand on the slowest possible moving surface and barely move at all? Do you have time to kill? Great – do it somewhere that isn’t in the way of my fun, entertainment, and terminal joy. But if you need to, for reasons unknown to me, then by all means squash yourself up on the side of the railing like a bug. You get half of a normal person’s allotted space (more on walking space allotments in THIS POST) since you are the one in the way. Your suitcase can, and will, count against you. Make like Stanley and flatten up! 

Long story short, I am a moving walkway slut. If I see one, I will ride it without hesitation and without shame. If you’re standing on the moving walkway, you better channel your inner thinness so I can zoom zoom right by you like I’m in a Mazda commercial.  If you’re on the side of the moving walkway, I will judge you and question your decisions. 

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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WE NEED TO STOP TAKING UNWRAPPED CANDY FOR GRANTED

Think about this for a second: unwrapped candy. How does it make you feel? Angry, upset, annoyed, bleh, ugh, nothing? Those are all incorrect feelings. You should be feeling excited, joy, surprised yet intrigued, curious, pumped, ecstatic, overjoyed, filled with hope. Why? Um, because it’s candy. That comes unwrapped. Does your dessert life get any better than that? No, not at all! All of the tedious effort that was present before, has been eliminated from the equation. This is innovation and efficiency at its finest.

We all know that grocery shopping is a beautiful social experiment, and clearly highly suitable for JOB INTERVIEWS and first dates. If this is the first you’re hearing about this modern phenomena, welcome to the future of problem solving, creative thinking, and flexibility challenges to prove your worth. Grocery stores are kind of a hidden gem – there’s so much happening in those aisles. While each one has its place, this post is going to get laser focused on one aisle, specifically. The candy aisle. The most exciting, but also the most guilt-inducing, aisle in the whole store.

I don’t always travel down the candy aisle, but when I do, I end up with a cart full of sweets and the guilty look of a puppy who just chewed up your favorite pair of shoes. Self-control isn’t even part of my vocabulary. There’s just so many fun things to try! New M&M’s flavors, new Reese’s shapes, new Twizzlers flavors, new Hershey Kisses flavors, new Kit Kat flavors, you get the point. If no one ventured to try the new candies, they would all disappear off shelves forever. Which would truly be a tragedy. So I like to take it upon myself to support the lifecycle of whatever new concepts have appeared on shelves for the good of everyone.

Imagine if no one had taken a chance on unwrapped candy options. We would forever be stuck trying to peel those ridiculous Reese’s paper wrappers off the mini chocolate. Or have to trust that our Kit Kats, York Peppermint Patties, and Twix bars (despite their ridiculous feud over left and right sides – more on my Twix thoughts in THIS POST) had wrappers that weren’t going to do the most to protect its contents. Enter the best thing that has ever happened to sweet tooths worldwide. The removal of wrappers.

Why did we need wrappers in the first place? I get the King Size bars at the registers. Those are their own package and once opened, contain unwrapped candy. But why put a bunch of smaller versions of the same candy in a package where they were individually wrapped in another layer of defense against … what? Air particles? People’s thoughts? Who approved that? What a ridiculous workflow – open a package, select an item, open that item, then you can eat it. Nope. That’s too many steps. 

Thank goodness candy manufacturers leveled up and got smart. Save money on packaging and save time from package to mouth. There are zero losers in the new scenario. Plus, all the packages are now resealable too! What does this mean? You will no longer lose stray candies that venture too close to the edge of the bag without permission. Not that this feature is usually necessary, but if there are people out there who don’t eat the whole bag at once this could come in handy. Wow. How is everyone not losing their minds over this?! Pure genius. Less stress. Less obstacles to consumption. 

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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