GAS STATION ETIQUETTE

Have you ever been to a gas station? There’s probably a very high chance your answer is yes. Unless you grew up in a big city, or are a trust fund baby and have been chauffeured everywhere for all of time. I would like to assume that, regardless of how you live your life, you are all at least familiar with what a gas station is and what it does for consumers. If not, it’s in the name. A station for drivers to refuel both their tanks and themselves. Quality in service, cleanliness, and options range greatly depending on the company and location, but that’s not where the pump we’re stopping at today.

Stops to fill up on gas is a necessary evil if you’re going to be operating a vehicle. On long trips it’s about as rewarding and productive as pulling into a rest area. You don’t want to stop, but you know that if you don’t you’re going to have a major problem on your hands. There’s always that fun game of which stall will be clean enough to use, if the vending machine will be operational, or if you’re at risk of seeing a deadly snake (shoutout to Florida). I, for one, hope to never see a deadly snake at a public rest area. Maybe if you didn’t put a massive pond right next to the building it wouldn’t attract the deadly snakes. Also, for the record, I find it hard to believe that a standard chainmail fence is going to prevent the deadly snakes from escaping their … what is it? Cage attempt? Habitat? Doesn’t matter. This is why I only ever fly to Florida.

So that’s the rest area side of driving. No wonder people miss their own bathrooms when they’re gone. On the other side of the forced activities when driving coin, you have gas stations. In theory, this should be a painless experience. Pull in, fill up, park, get some snacks, maybe use the bathroom, and leave. It should take about as long as it took to read that sentence. Easy peasy. I think what wasn’t accounted for in the flow, though, was people. Are we just hard programmed to try and do things against the grain? Or do we just like to piss other people off?

Being blessed to work in a job where I literally have to try and predict all the ways people can use something and prevent unwanted actions, I am constantly amazed. If I give you a bowl of cereal and a spoon, why would you try to eat it with your hand? What was the thought process here? If I give you an input that says ‘Quantity’, why would you try to enter non numeric characters? What is your end goal with that? To not get any of what you want? We live in a world where the SMH feeling is the expectation and gas stations are not resilient.

Gas stations have 3 main components: the pump, the parking lot, and the convenience store. Each serving a specific purpose. When people use one for the purpose of another, it ruins everything. Let’s start with the pump. The pump is for pumping gasoline into your car. It is not a parking space. It is not a cell phone lot. It is not a waiting area. It expires when your pump stops filling your car. It still implicitly follows the rules of traffic flow. In other words if I have the pump on my left, but you’re the oddball with a passenger side tank, don’t pull in facing me. Then both of us are stuck until the other finishes if there’s a line. And there is almost always a line. 

To be fair, I blame car companies for this. A passenger side tank makes zero sense. You have to walk all the way around the car. You’re always messing up station traffic flows. Why is this not a standard driver side placement? Anyways … if you have to go into the convenience store, that’s what the parking spaces are for. They aren’t employee only spots. They’re publicly available for you to not block others from getting gas. Don’t be that person. If you aren’t ready to fill up, or if you just finished filling up, get your little behind off the pump so someone else can refuel. If you can drive to a gas station, you can drive into a parking space.

Finally, we have the convenience store! Snacks, drinks, restrooms, a road trippers paradise. I’m not sure at what point in history it was decided that gas stations would carry ALL of the candy, gum, and individually wrapped snack options, but I’m here for it. It’s fun to browse the aisles and get a little pick me up. What’s not so fun is the restrooms. I’m not sure how they get to the point that they do, but I rarely go into an even somewhat clean gas station bathroom. It is a crisis. Especially the ones where you need a key and are on the side of the building. What happens in those? You have to have a key to get in. Why does it look like a family of raccoons have been chilling for years. Maybe because the pump parkers don’t know how to use a public restroom either. 

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 COLLEGE FOOTBALL ANTICIPATION

Someone, somewhere, has been counting down since mid January to the start of a new college football season. Many people probably. At any given point in a calendar year you can do a quick Internet search to see exactly how many days are left until American football returns. Much the same way you can also easily find out how many days are left until a particular holiday season … or any random date for that matter. Whatever your heart desires, there is something online that will give you a countdown for it. 

While I enjoy the college football season more than the average person, I find it ironic that the same people who shamelessly countdown to kickoff day are the same ones who generally like to judge others for knowing, say, the exact number of days left until Christmas. If you can keep a daily countdown for football, I can keep a daily countdown until my favorite holiday. That would be 114 days for all you fellow merry reindeer. But today is the start of one of college sports most exciting weekends. Labor Day.

You love March Madness, I love March Madness, we all love March Madness. No denying that. Not as exciting for the College Football Playoff because, let’s be honest, only having four teams compete is garbage. Mostly because the polls are political and I have yet to see a playoff where the four chosen teams were truly the four who should have been in there. I clearly would like a word with the committee, as would a lot of Texas A&M and Oklahoma fans, I’m sure. You’re telling me a team, nay, TWO teams with two losses on losing streaks make it over another TWO teams with only one loss and on 8 game win streaks?! From stronger conferences?! Collusion.

My favorite part of the anticipation is the calm before the storm. That is this week. All of the experts have spent literally months predicting different scenarios and arguing for their alma maters. Sometimes they just talk – actually most of it is them just blowing smoke. After all of that settles, though, the only thing left to do is wait for tonight. There is nothing else to be said. We’ve waited 7.5 months and it’s finally here. And can we talk about how great it is to have the Thursday night kickoff now? Why wait until Saturday when you can start your long weekend with some football? Because no work gets done the Friday before an official long weekend anyways.

Sure, some of the D1 teams from smaller conferences kicked off this past weekend, but, does that count? Until we get a top 25 ranked team in the lineup, it might as well be pre-season. If you weren’t busy, you probably tuned in for a bit. If you were busy, don’t worry. You’ve got the big boys coming in soon with another deadly lineup of top team matchups every week to get any sports fan pumped up. Despite their shortcomings in the playoff debacle, the college football scheduling committee knows how to keep fans entertained for over four months. 

Clearly I’m not passionate about the season starting at all. Football is one of the many reasons that fall is the best season of the year. Tailgates being a close second, but what’s a tailgate without a game to attend? Saturdays, and Sundays if you roll with the pros as well, are booked from now through the end of the year. When someone asks if you can hangout, they better put in a Calendly invite for a workday because I’m going to be busy watching a bunch of unfortunate guys get absolutely raked.

There is no better entertainment in sports than seeing a good, hard, tackle. Or a hail mary play. Or a ridiculous, should have never happened, but it did, kickoff return for a touchdown. Or a last minute impossible pick six for the win. Or your team putting an absolute beatdown on a rival. Or your team, hopefully, hoisting the trophy come January. So many ups. So many potential downs, as well, but the season hasn’t started yet. So there is nothing but hope. T minus 10.5 hours to kickoff.

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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WHY TUESDAY IS BETTER SUITED TO START THE WEEK

The traditional business calendar officially recognizes four long weekends every year. One starts on a Friday while we’re all still in food comas and, conveniently, don’t even know, or wouldn’t be functional otherwise. The others, thankfully, fall on Mondays, which is really what the human spirit needs. Monday is probably the day of the week least suited to start a workweek. What does Monday bring to the table really? Nothing. Endless planning meetings. Moody customers. Five whole days of work ahead. Weak food and drink specials. What a resume! 

I believe that Tuesday was created to kick off our weeks and, somewhere along the way, we goofed up and accidentally started on Monday. I’m guessing since we were just so excited to get out of the house and into the office. Clearly this happened a very long time ago, when technology wasn’t a thing, so the office was a social gathering of sorts. You could get away from all of your responsibilities and make some money. Kind of an appealing sales pitch, honestly. Our gungho spirit pushed us into the office one day too early and instead of admitting the mistake, we just stuck with it. Like the proud Americans that we are!

Hindsight is always 20/20, though, and I’m ready to argue for why we need to put Tuesday back in its rightful place. At the beginning of the work week. Because Tuesday is everything that Monday is not. Tuesday has taco and marg specials, for one. Tuesday also gives everyone an entire extra day of rest each weekend so the workweek isn’t as daunting. Meaning people aren’t as moody. And if they are, throw some $2 tacos down their throats, because I have yet to meet someone who can be angry and eat a taco at the same time. Pretty sure it’s physically impossible! There would also have to be fewer meetings since the work week would be an entire day shorter. No more unnecessary shooting of the wind just to hit the hour mark. Get in, get out, get to work. Efficiency at its finest!

Think about this. Even if you start to dread Terrible Tuesday, as we probably will eventually after the novelty wears off, it’s 24 whole hours less terrible than Monday. Monday doesn’t even need an adjective in front of it. It is it’s own adjective at this point. What a Monday! That shirt is so Monday! If you were a day of the week, you’d be a Monday, Karen! Imagine what this would also do for Sundays … you could scream at your favorite football team in peace. You could go to the grocery store whenever without having to be back in time to meal prep. You could start chores after dinner and not worry about completing them before a reasonable adult bedtime. You could drink anything you wanted knowing the next day you could crush some breakfast sammies to feel better.

Even better, imagine all of the Spirit Sunday drink specials that would certainly pop up! I mean, if you enjoy a good mixed drink, something on the rocks, a classic shot, or just the DIY drink making, there would be no more judgement. No more concern over the number of recovery hours between fun and productivity. No more closing up shop early. No more sad Sundays. So many plus sides to this. You may be thinking: ‘But what about all the Monday activities? What would happen to those? Places would just close early then and I would push all my responsibilities off until that afternoon anyways.’ Well, these are good points. I don’t know for certain, but maybe if we tried it we would get an answer? This five days of work consecutively is a lot and I wouldn’t be super sad if it went away. 

Anyways, long rant short, Tuesday is ready to shoulder this responsibility. It’s been preparing the entire time the modern work week calendar has been in place to take this burden on. It’s prepared with drink specials, food specials, trivia, adult sport leagues, college athletic competitions, and one less day of work. Pretty much checks off all my requirements for shortening the week. What would it take for you to jump aboard the Tuesday train?

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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