IF MY DOG HAD A LINKEDIN

Dogs are amazing. We love them. That is really the theme of my life and I don’t know why everyone is not on this train. Then we have the opposite of the bliss that is a puppy, which would be work. Little devil that is my Monday through Friday routine. With work, you have to deal with fun, professional, technologies. Such as Slack, an HR platform, some sort of organizational tool, Google Sheets, and obviously LinkedIn.

As many of my hardcore fans are aware, I’m not the biggest fan of LinkedIn lately. It is professional SPAM. And who has time for that? Not me. I have a financial advisor. I have insurance. I am not in charge of decisions for apps that my company uses. I am not actively job hunting. Stop bothering me. Let me come to you if I have questions, or any possible life needs. Side rant aside, LinkedIn is a thing if you have ever been in college and been in hunt of a job.

To recap, us humans use the LinkedIn. Imagine for a second, though, that our lovely pets had a LinkedIn account. What would they even do on it? How many connections would they have? Why would they need one? What kind of engagement would they have with it? How would they even create an account since they can’t read … and don’t have thumbs? Why would I even be thinking about this? Lucky for you, I spend my free time, and my work time, thinking about these kinds of things.

I have a strong feeling that my beautiful puppy would not be able to create a LinkedIn account. I think if she somehow figured out how to use a computer in general her first social media account would definitely not be a professional networking option. But, if for some reason she decided that she needed to get paid for all the fabulousness that she is, I guess she could end up writing a resume and seeking out people she might have jumped on at some point.

In my mind, my dog would use LinkedIn to solely promote herself. It’s hard to imagine that she would want to actually post business related branding materials, so it would probably be more like a Twitter feed. Ironically, I think her genuineness would garner a huge attention and her number of followers would be gigantic. Her connections, on the other hand, would be 0. Because she doesn’t have time to accept connection requests. She’s too pretty for that.

Basically, she would leverage LinkedIn the same way some people do and use it for attention. And nothing else. Which is ironic since the last thing she needs is more attention. Let’s be honest, even when she doesn’t want to be loved, we can’t keep ourselves away for long. She’s too adorable and soft and fun to make chase balls and fun to just dog watch in general. Especially when she’s doing weird things like trying to catch flies that are on the outside of the window when she’s on the couch indoors.

Most likely she would harass people to make playdates with her. Or to give her human food. Her puppy dog eyes are irresistible so I think that the Internet would not be able to resist. She may even end up with a GoFundMe for a backyard makeover that she could use to play with her puppy friends. Other than that, I have a hard time believing LinkedIn would be her jam. Especially if you bring the squeaky ball out. Then it’s game over for the Internet.

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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VIDEO CALLS: YAY OR NAY?

It’s been over a year of working from home, wearing masks, and upping our loungewear game. So much time for a new normal to set in and make it hard to remember what life was like pre the ‘vid. Things that now seem so strange and truly horrible. Like having to appear at the office in person every single day of the week … the mental energy alone to plan actual outfits that don’t involve stretchy waistbands is exhausting. Who has the time now? Honestly, if I appear somewhere in jeans and t-shirt today it’s a win. And that’s only a very small margin of victory over a hoodie and sweats.

Then there’s the whole fashion industry of masks. I’m going to come out and say it – I don’t hate wearing the mask. It’s not always ideal. For example, if you ate something delicious that didn’t agree with your breath and is making you an actual dragon you have to suffer with that for the entire length of the mask experience. On the flip side, though, what if something gets stuck in your teeth? No one, but you, will know. You don’t ever have to smile in pictures. Because no one can tell. You also don’t ever have to smile at strangers after making awkward eye contact with them. You can mutter sweet, angry, nothings to the person who thought they could cut in line. There are pros for sure.

There are also cons – have you ever been to the gym and been required to wear a mask to workout in? Why make that process more horrible than it already is? I struggle enough to breathe sans mask during an exercise routine, so there is no way that adding in a breathing inhibitor is going to enhance my fun. The ability to get fresh air is basically impossible. I would rather lay on the pavement during the height of summer than continue that requirement. On that note, if you need the mask for more than about 30 minutes at any given time, it may be best to rethink where you’re going. Flights, doctor’s visits, the DMV … maybe not the best time for those.

Mask assessment aside, any professional, student, or job candidate is probably way too familiar with video meetings. The conference room. The Zoom link. The Microsoft Teams setup. A Webex interface. Hanging out on Google. Whichever platform you prefer, or your company dictates that you will prefer, video calls are deeply ingrained in our work culture now. In person meetings feel like an outlier. Why meet face to face when you can only put clothes on one half of your body and have HULU up on the second monitor?

Some of us are all about virtual meeting culture. Some of us go back and forth depending on the day. And some of us would be happy if virtual meetings died with COVID. Where do you fall on the love / hate spectrum? Yay or nay? I would like to play devil’s advocate and argue for both sides of the equation. Then you, as the reader, are free to decide. You may have your own opinions already. You may be set in stone one direction or the other. But, regardless, I would like to hash out my current dilemma between yes or let it burn so you’re welcome.

YAY / IN-PERSON IS OVERRATEDNAY / LET IT BURN
1. Pants are optional1. Work / life balance is questionable
2. Virtual backgrounds2.   Need to hide your actual background
3. Camera on is optional … sometimes3.   Camera on is required … sometimes
4. Multi-task like a pro4.   Easier to miss important information
5. No commute time to a meeting room5.   No time to debrief between meetings
6.   Screen sharing and collaboration6. Less interaction
7.   Give presentations and not be the center of attention7. When giving presentations there are so many awkward silences
8.   Work from anywhere8. Sense of disconnection from team
9.   Eat at anytime regardless of if you’re actually hungry9. Eat at anytime and not when you’re actually hungry
10. Your cup could have anything in it10. Less attentiveness as the day goes on

And there we have it. The top 10 things that came to mind for both the yay and nay side. In retrospect, and after re-reading both columns of the table, I think I’m torn on which is more ideal. As much as I love connecting with my coworkers, though, my heart loves the in-person is overrated side of this table. It gives me the freedom to travel and work from anywhere in the world. It minimizes my need for a diverse wardrobe. I have freedom to be creative in what professional background I will have each day. My stage fright has disappeared. And my stomach / liver have never been more well-fed. Yay for video calls!

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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PORTA POTTY FEARS

Have you ever been to an event and needed to use the bathroom? Or been in a city and needed to use the bathroom? Or really just been anywhere outside of your home and been hit with the urge for a bio break? Some places you can count on to have indoor plumbing. The cleanliness usually varies between gas stations and educational buildings, but nonetheless, you know where you can find a toilet in case of an emergency. Unlike some of the more socially aware businesses, however, not everyone offers a restroom option. 

Granted, when you aren’t in a physical building, it becomes harder to provide human waste outlets. For example, parks. City sidewalks. Trails. The woods. Any business in a giant tourist city. Most outdoor places come to think of it. Which, honestly, can’t come as that much of a surprise. Part of nature’s beauty is the absence of human tampering. But alas, we have been gifted with the beautiful, convenient, adaptable to any environment construction that is the porta potty. What says natural more than a blue, or green, plastic box designed for special moments?

Despite their unappealing exterior, porta potties are a necessary evil. Think of the last time you used one. I have to believe it was out of necessity and not out of a strong desire to be in the crap sauna. If there had been another option, in any sort of normal brick and mortar building, regardless of the indoor plumbing setup, my gut says we would all choose the more traditional and, arguably, hygienic version. But maybe not, I don’t know you. I know without a doubt what my preference would be though.

Imagine if there hadn’t been a porta potty available in your most desperate moment? What would your options be then? Public indecency? That could result in jail time and AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT. Trying to find a slightly wooded area where you can quickly relieve yourself before another person wanders by? Best of luck to you – sometimes it pays off and other times we’re back at the naked in public issue. Hold it? Well, sure, but Murphy’s law will undoubtedly put some liquid sound, visual, or thought into your immediate space so this becomes harder by the second.

Unless you’re packing adult diapers in your pocket for emergency situations, it usually ends in the decision to suck it up and enter the portable toilet. And no matter how mentally prepared you are entering it, I believe every human goes through a certain set of fears regarding the time they will spend both in the potty, and immediately after. Those fears are as follows:

  • Porta Potty tipping over with you inside
  • Porta Potty being loaded onto a truck, with you inside
  • Forgetting to lock the Porta Potty
  • Not being able to lock the Porta Potty
  • Having no toilet paper in the Porta Potty
  • Having no hand sanitizer in the porta potty
  • Dropping your phone, keys, or wallet into the hole
  • Physically touching any part of the seat
  • If it’s over 60 degrees outside, the internal heat the interior will be packing
  • If it’s over 70 degrees outside, the internal smell it will be emanating
  • Not being able to unlock the Porta Potty
  • Realizing that you forgot to lock the Porta Potty
  • Finding a way to disinfect your hands, in a quick (ish) manner, after leaving
  • Finding a way to disinfect everything that could have touched something in a quick (ish) manner, after leaving
  • Exiting to find a long line of people waiting for said Porta Potty

My exact fears every single time. Hours later I’m always thankful I wasn’t forced to hold it until the UTI stage set in, but wow, in the moment it doesn’t always feel like a blessing. Especially at big events where there’s a line and it’s just been a non stop flow of humans in that tiny space. The things we do for entertainment and to wander around in nature is peculiar. And yet, we will gladly take the porta potty any day over alternative options.

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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HINDSIGHT MAKES 90’s TOYS CREEPY

We all remember the 90s. Probably for different reasons, but we still remember the 90s. For example, I remember being put in timeout in daycare. It was traumatizing, which is why all these years later it lives vividly in my mind and I feel a need to share the audacity with the Internet. What even is the purpose of isolation for children under the age of 3? They have to learn social behaviors and how to follow the rules. Not sure what sitting alone at the window watching all the other kids play on the playground taught me, other than resentment. Sure, the teacher told us to be quiet while she went to get craft supplies from the closet, but I, even at the tender age of 3, was a budding social butterfly. Also, again, what? You’re gone for a minute and we have to be quiet? That is prime make friends time – quick, and with a hard stop in case things don’t go so well. 

Ok, enough about my terrible experience at daycare. That pretty much sums up the 90s, though, right? Irony. In my case, getting punished for being a child. In a general population sense, creating the World Wide Web then being afraid it was going to end all of humanity on midnight of 01/01/00. Maybe that’s why the “popular” toys were all … what’s the right word … creepy. As we do on TRP, let’s overanalyze the heck out of this.

  • Troll Dolls
    • Ah, the troll doll. Hard to play with, but hard to forget since they’ve been reincarnated in animated form for the youth of today
  • Tamagotchi
    • Nothing says responsibility like managing to keep a digital pet alive. Alternatively, nothing says trust me like managing to kill a digital pet
  • Furby
    • AKA Lucifer in toy form. If you haven’t had a Furby randomly come to life in the middle of night and give you a heart attack, are you even human?
  • Hit Clips
    • Why millennials are bad at commitment – 30 seconds and thank you, next. Besides, who didn’t want to pay for the free iTunes preview of a song? Only suckers would pass up that deal
  • Polly Pocket / American Girl Doll
    • One you carry around in your pocket, like a hostage. The other you dress up to look exactly like you. And they wonder why we’re obsessed with followers today
  • Mr. Potato Head
    • What really can you say about this toy. The whole point is to mutilate the face of a potato. A potato? Of all possible things. The starchiest vegetable that sprouts it’s own growth if left alone long enough
  • Bop It! / Simon Says
    • Well, at the very least you learned how to listen. You also learned who was a follower and who wanted to blaze their own path in life
  • Easy Bake Oven
    • LOL if this wasn’t a read between the lines toy I’m honestly not sure what is! Oh, drugs are a problem in our generation? I wonder where those thoughts originated from
  • Tickle Me Elmo
    • Elmo is my favorite Sesame Street character, but this toy makes me scratch my head. Or rather my belly. What’s more fun than tickling a stuffed toy’s stomach? Literally everything

Luckily, those were so last century. Some have, mysteriously, outlasted both Y2K and the 2012 saga to still be present on shelves today. With a modern twist, of course. For example, Bop It! Now comes in Olaf edition which laughs when you poke it … similar to … yes! Tickle Me Elmo! Who is approving these? Have we not spent the past 20 ish years innovating every other industry? What’s up with the toys on the shelf today? They seem to be regressing. Pack the Alpaca? Hatchimals? Dope or Nope? What a time to be alive.

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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