DON’T PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD … UNLESS IT’S A PUMPKIN

Fall is great! The seasons G.O.A.T, if you will. What’s not to love? Sweater weather, pumpkin flavored everything, cooler temperatures, football season, one of the two best Reese’s shapes reappears, corn mazes, apple picking, lumberjack fashion is in style, there’s a pair of boots for every outfit, the leaves change colors, your A/C bill becomes negligible, you can run at any time of day and not have to wake up at 4AM to beat the humidity, and holidays centered mostly around food are right around the corner – to name a few. 

It’s also one of the only times where it’s acceptable to play with your food. No one will yell at you. No one will scold you. No one will take away your dessert. No one will lecture you about not playing with your food. No, instead they will actively encourage it. What a fun twist of fate that is! All year long you’ve been carving pictures in the butter container, decorating your pancakes with syrup art, rearranging your peas and carrots into a sad face to no avail. Only an extra helping of vegetables and an indefinite suspension of your knife privileges. 

There’s whole businesses dedicated to selling the one food not intended to be consumed after picking. Entire block parties where people come together and compete for the best designs. Food Network shows where professionals show off their skills. Pause. How does one become a professional? How many practice attempts were needed? How do they have endless time to slice, dice, and create next level designs in a food? How does one get into this profession, and why? At what point do you wake up and decide that your next hobby will be food mutilation? How much money does this cost? What am I even talking about?

Pumpkin carving, of course! Every kid’s food dream. And, apparently, some adults’ as well. What happens if you carve a beautiful piece of art into the side of a pumpkin? You probably get some candy as a celebratory treat. You definitely get bragging rights over your siblings, friends, co-workers, neighbors – whoever is judging their artistic abilities against yours. This fall tradition is hilarious to me. So many interesting choices for an “activity” and I have questions on how it began.

Think about this for a second: at some point, someone was bored (I’m assuming) and decided to take a knife and carve a design into the side of a pumpkin. After cutting the top off and removing all of the pumpkin guts, of course. Then, they decided to put a candle in it at night to show off the disturbing jack-o-lantern to everyone within a visual radius. Wut? If a friend came up to you today, handed you a jagged knife, and asked if you wanted to hollow out a watermelon and carve a design in it you’d probably smell their breath for traces of liquid influence. Or question your taste in people. To clarify quickly, cutting the top off a fruit and filling it with liquor is not the same as mutilating it for strictly visual entertainment.

Such a fascinating experiment in human decisions when left alone for too long, don’t you think? Makes you wonder what new “traditions” we may see when COVID finally decides to go back to its spaceship and travel to a different planet. Of all pastimes, I usually avoid ones with sharp objects. As a general safety rule. I’m more of a go to the pumpkin patch, pick out a perfect small to medium sized pumpkin, and use a modern decorating approach to simply place it on my porch. If I’m feeling crazy, I might draw on it. Feels more humane.

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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LIFE LESSONS FROM CUSTOMER SERVICE

Working on the front lines in a customer facing role feels like a crucial life skill that everyone should experience at some point during their working lives. It gives you a certain viewpoint and helps lead to empathy, patience, and kindness towards those workers in the future. For normal people anyways. How could you not want to be kind to a customer service representative if you’ve had the chance to be on the receiving end of the call? Especially knowing how unpleasant some customers are to deal with.

Let’s clear the air and set one thing straight. Rarely is it even the customer service worker’s fault. Did they break the product? No. Did they send out a marketing email promo that doesn’t work? No. Did they go on the coffee run and get your order wrong? No. Did they decide to completely pivot the business model screwing over current customers? No. Did they decide to acquire a rival company? No. Did they make empty promises during the sale? No. Did they fail to complete a thorough product test before shipping the update to production causing a major bug? No. Did they conjure up a storm that knocked out power, and thus the Internet, causing you to lose access to unsaved changes? No. Did they deliver the shipment in a careless way causing damage? No.

I could go on, but I feel like the main point here is very clear: the person you are talking to is merely a middle man attempting to help you, despite it not being their fault. Saints. Granted, you usually can’t go straight to the source, which, honestly, is the smartest thing companies ever implemented. That doesn’t make some of the responses warranted, though. But this post is not about how some of us really need to calm down. No, it’s about what working in the customer service industry teaches an individual.

Mute Buttons are Your Best Friend

Has there ever been a time where you’ve responded to someone without really thinking about what you’re saying, or the potential professional implications of those words? The mute button exists. Use the mute button. Think of it as a trial run. It could save your life.

Some Things Need to Run Their Course

Remember that time when you were really angry and summarized all of your feelings into one, concise sentence? Me neither, because that’s not a thing. Angry is to rambling as white is to rice. They go together – wait out the storm.

Patience Doesn’t Always Work

Patience is a virtue. And Oreos are delicious. Doesn’t mean they’re healthy. There are situations where being passive is not the right choice. Put your best fake smile on and go with blunt honesty. Don’t let the bulldogs walk over you because you appear willing to listen indefinitely.

Some People Are Just Sour Patch Kids

We all know the human Sour Patch Kids. The ones who are sour at first and absolutely ruin your appetite for no reason. Like, I don’t know who peed in your Cheerios this morning, but I did not do, whatever it is you’re upset about, to you. Your complaint isn’t even about our company.

Life is Short, Move On

Not everyone is worth your memory. Deal with it in the moment, then make like a goldfish and forget. Move on! You’ll be happier.

Sometimes It’s Better To Not Say Anything

Would you jump in front of a moving train? I certainly hope not. Know when you need to simply put your headset on the desk and SURF BUZZFEED for a bit until the anger train finally comes to a stop. If you get invested in an article and simply can’t return to the question, ask how it makes them feel to start that steam engine again.

You Won’t Always Have an Answer

There will come a point where you are no longer all-knowing. Where you will need to go find the answer and circle back. Don’t be disappointed, this buys you time and teaches you something! Might as well kill two birds with one stone. Maybe hot head will have cooled down in the meantime.

Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, And Dodge

When in doubt, follow the 5 D’s of dodgeball: dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge. Throw the department who put you in this mess under the bus. Did I spit on your pizza? No, that must have been an oversight from the cooking staff – I will follow up with them right away. Who me? No you must mean that team over there. Deflect for the win … and for your sanity. Besides they won’t be able to contact the real problem team to confirm.

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 THAT ARE OUT OF STOCK, BUT SHOULDN’T BE

For all the aliens that recently arrived on Earth, we are (still) in the middle of a pandemic. A pandemic that over 6 months ago everyone thought would disappear with a 14 day recommended stay at home order. Not a quarantine. No strict enforcement. No accurate timeline on when things would be back to normal. No real initiative from leadership. No clear decision. Blah, blah, blah we all have feelings. We’ve all probably voiced those at some point, or other. It is what it is now. Many moons later we’re still confused on when masks will stop being a fashionable accessory to everyone’s outfit. Apparently, we are also still confused on purchasing patterns.

In case you missed the memo, toilet paper and paper towels are back in stock! Yay! That was a stressful time for everyone. But, thankfully we’ve managed to get through it and can now enjoy the go once more (as long as your toilet is UP TO THE CHALLENGE). I’m not sure if living in a constant state of unstocked panic is our main takeaway from the past few months, but it sure seems to be on the forefront of people’s minds. Hoarding habits are still going strong and for, honestly, some very strange items. Certain products are pretty much indefinitely out of stock, but shouldn’t be. And I have thoughts on all of them:

Furniture (Couches, Tables, Chairs, Bedroom Suites, etc.)

We’re all home more so we probably all realized that not all of our furniture is top of the line. I’m all for upgrading the zen in your room flow, but why the rush on couches specifically? Why are none of those available to order until November? Where are the furniture makers?

Office Supplies (Monitors, Laptops, Webcams, Desks, Desk Chairs, Printers, etc.)

Of all things on the list, this makes the most sense. The scramble for the remote office was real. Was. It’s been forever now, how has this not been restocked? These companies are missing lots of potential sales.

Electronics (TVs, Nintendo Switch, etc.)

To binge watch like a pro, obviously! Nintendo Switches have been MIA since the beginning, though. Why? Because why social distance with friends processing turnips in Animal Planet when you could have a video call and actually speak to them?

Fitness Equipment (Weights, Bikes, Yoga Mats, etc.)

Frankly, this being out of stock is unacceptable. There was a toilet paper-esque rush on this stuff. Much like the gym in January, though, most of it is now just sitting in the corner needing so much more than dusting. Bring back the fitness equipment for the love of all good things! 

Lawn Chairs

Is it so you can attend outdoor church services? Where are all the lawn chairs? Is everyone now a camping hobbyist? This feels like an interesting thing to not only be out of, but also to not be able to restock. Is the demand really that high?

Bakeware

When you can’t workout, why not bake more?! Seems counterintuitive, but it is comfort food and food seems to be the only consistency now-a-days. Watch out Food Network, your submissions are about to jump way up!

Dish Wands

What were people using before? Just the plain old simpleton sponge? Why are these not able to get back in circulation, either? Are they in demand at the hospitals? Are they in demand on football sidelines? This makes negative sense.

Paper Plates

Why? Simply why? How many people need paper plates at this moment? What’s wrong with the regular, reusable ones? 

Water Filters

Not sure how this is preventative against the current plague. It’s not coming from your tap water. Britas have always been plentiful, but throw a deadly cold into the mix and all of a sudden the inner boug comes out of everyone.

Soda Streams

Wut? Were these popular before? Buy some La Croix and call it a day.

Diced Tomatoes

Again, wut? No other vegetable is in short supply. But randomly diced tomatoes have gone underground? Not regular tomatoes, or stewed tomatoes, or peeled tomatoes, no no. Diced tomatoes have been overtaken by the -VID.

Yeast

Bread is not in short supply. Why spend hours making your own when you could pay a few dollars for someone else to do it for you? This feels inefficient.

Bidets

So, toilet paper is back in stock. If you enjoy the terrifying rush that is a water stream up your butt, though, then by all means continue with your life. I’m not here to judge. Welp, I take that back, how are so many people buying these they’re out of stock?

Hair Dye

Who are you trying to look good for? Let’s talk about the last time I wore a non-sweats outfit … it’s been a minute. Maybe you’ll like your natural color? Give it a shot – if not, there’s still plenty of time to reverse course.

Coins

I didn’t realize people still paid in cash, and coins, to be very honest. We’re a plastic world. In money and in our bodies. Let it happen. Then this won’t be an issue anymore!

Do some of these items shock you? Do some of them make sense to you? Are you currently sitting on boxes of hair dye or stray yoga mats about to cash in on your get rich quick scheme? Well, good for you for being in the know. As someone who tends to not hoard and trust the manufacturing system, I’ll continue living my will it / won’t it be in stock life like a muggle. 

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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MOST INCREDIBLE COVID HIGHWAY SIGNS: A COLLECTION

What’s the best part of driving down the highway? Not the traffic signs, that’s for sure. They’re usually just so bleh. Exit 386 towards city one, via route 19 towards city two, passing through city three, who wishes they were bigger like city 4, but they aren’t, isn’t it sad, and making a brief passing under an I40 bridge that leads to city 5. Mmkay, first of all there should never be more than 2 city options on a highway interchange. Frankly, two is usually one too many. Because my map lady is not a fast reader and she always comes on during my favorite song which is a major vibe killer. My carpool karaoke skills are obviously top notch but my voice rarely meshes with the non-existent beat of an automated map robot.

If it’s not just a standard, “where am I” sign, they’re announcing bad news and no one needs that when you’re on a straight road where the speed limit is 70 MPH, but you’re currently STOPPED. If there’s congestion for the next 20 miles, just throw a pixelated rendition of the poop emoji up. Feels more humane than knowing how far I have to go before I can begin using my gas pedal again. My least favorite highway signs are the exit food signs with zero options. Zero?! Why even make the blue sign? What is the purpose? Who are you helping by doing this? Not my emotions, that’s very clear. I guess that’s just one of the road crews OPTIMISTIC OUTLOOKS for the development of said rural exit.

Despite some ‘smack my head against the wall’ type of signs that have been the norm for pretty much ever, COVID has brought out all the clowns. And I’m here for it! A (very, very small) silver lining from the current worldly chaos. Let’s break down a few of the absolute gems, and also examine some non-COVID related, but general WUT signs for fun:

Drive Like Your Mother is Watching. Wear a Mask Like Your Mother is Watching

Let’s start strong! Attack every momma’s boy where it hurts, while his mother is watching. Yikes – clearly zero cares given here about feelings. Do it for mom!

Seat Belts Save Lives, So Do Masks

This one is fun, because it’s factual. Who doesn’t love a good fact smack as they’re driving at high speeds? Follow the k-nowledge of this one.

Outside With No Mask? Fuhgeddaboutit

Clearly a New England sign, but still a classic nonetheless. Anything that incorporates the phrase fuhgeddaboudit, and does so in a way that is both humorous and makes sense, will convince me. That’s why I don’t do drugs – once saw a sign that said ‘Thinking about trying crystal meth? Fuhgeddaboutit!

Honk If You’re Wearing a Mask

Here we take an interesting turn in the signage. This feels dumb. Why honk? Why wear a mask inside the car, first of all? It’s your car – what are you doing in it? Also, the last thing we need is more HONKERS. They’re the worst.

Less Is More, Avoid Gatherings

Hmmm, what gatherings are happening on the highway? A traffic jam? Don’t mind if I do! Does this give us legal right to report traffic jams as a crime? A lot of different interpretations of what to avoid here.

Stay Safe, Stay Home

Well, it’s clearly a little late for that considering I’m on the road. Thank you, from future me?

Feel Sick? Stay Home

Another fun stay home sign that feels better suited for a television commercial than a roadway, but clearly I’m not in charge.

COVID-19 Testing

Who? What? When? Where? Why? This provides no details and we all know what happens when you let humans make their own decisions with zero guidance? Yep, you guessed it, COVID.

State Law: No Driving While Impaired

I love this sign so much because an impaired person probably isn’t able to read said sign. Also, this is like the basic law of driving – who is unaware?

You’re Not a Firework, Don’t Drive Lit

Lulz, what savages! I was told I could grow up to be anything I wanted, how dare you crush my dream of being an explosive. But on a more serious note, lit people are looking at the sky and interpreting cosmic signs in the form of clouds, not at this sign.

Don’t Be a Knucklehead

What more is there to say here? Straight to the point – don’t be a knucklehead!

Baby Yoda Uses a Car Seat. Stay Safe, He Will

Well, you had me at Baby Yoda! What if I don’t fit in a car seat? Who is this targeted to? Children? Who can’t really read? Because they’re in a car seat? So many questions, but fun nonetheless!

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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YOU MIGHT BE A MILLENNIAL IF …

Have you ever wondered if you’re a millennial? Maybe you’ve recently discovered how much you love working from home, or more accurately the lack of a commute, and feel conflicted. Maybe you tried avocado toast over the weekend and had a eureka moment, and now feel confused. Maybe you bought a bottle of wine with a twist off cap, on purpose, and now feel bewildered. Maybe your phone autocorrected yes to yee and you felt fine sending it anyways and now you feel disoriented.

Do any of those things on their own make you a millennial? How do you want me to answer this? Technically, number-wise, no. But I think the beauty of the millennial generation is the embracement of mindset. Your mindset is a powerful thing. A good mindset can change your entire life. Literally. It can make the crappiest of moments bearable and the best moments even better. A bad mindset makes you the human version of Oscar the Grouch. So if you’re wondering why no one wants to hang out with you, then I have some bad news. Circling back, though, yes, those thoughts and actions would put you in the millennial mindset. Thus making you an honorary millennial. Does that make you happy or sad? You get to decide. Embrace it!

There are obviously some very millennial things that people do today. No denying it. In fact, not all of them are flattering to be known for (hello TINY HOUSES and not taking vacations). Some of them are interesting to put it nicely. Other things are innovative. Look at that. Even in our actions we are all over the map. Unfocused, as some would say. Not living in reality, older generations might believe. That’s ok. I don’t care. Because we made working from home cool before COVID-19, so we had much less trouble adjusting to the new, virtual world.

Anyways, moving on to bigger and better things. Are you a millennial at heart? Well the only official way to know for sure is by random online quizzes so let’s take one. You might be a millennial if:

  • You can’t remember the last time you bought napkins (because paper towels are better)
  • You have ever typed out a single letter in a text instead of a full word (because 100 p, full words are v time consuming)
  • You’ve ever bought wine with a twist off cap for easier access (because priorities)
  • You’ve ever had a night solely dedicated to drinking wine and seeing what happens as a result (because why not, it’s a Tuesday after all)
  • You’ve activated Bluetooth, or the entertainment system, in your car to connect with your phone (because life is better when you have constant access to your phone)
  • You’ve ever eaten an avocado, outside of guacamole, and enjoyed it (because avocados are the bomb)
  • You can’t remember the last time you dusted the baseboards (because who has the time)
  • You went to the grocery store and bought a weird looking produce just for fun (because trying new things is important)
  • You have a hard time remembering life pre-Internet (because that was back in the dark ages)
  • You prefer to use an app instead of doing things in person (because banking is easier on your couch and boarding passes are faster when they don’t need to be printed)
  • Your first thought when you have a question is to Google it (because if Google doesn’t know, no one will)
  • You care more about office culture than the work you’ll be doing (because fun is a feeling and work is a temporary annoyance)
  • You’ve ever taken a picture solely to post on social media (because if it doesn’t go online did it actually happen)
  • You’ve opted for craft beer over more mainstream brands (because supporting local business is key)
  • You turned on the TV specifically to watch HGTV, or the Food Network (because why not get inspiration ideas while relaxing #multitasking)
  • You’ve ever opted for a streaming service instead of traditional cable (because there is such a thing as too many wires)
  • You’ve ever “successfully” multitasked, at least in your mind (because there’s too much to be done)
  • You purposely bought a voice activated home assistant (because they’re so useful)
  • You’ve ever binge-watched a TV series (because what is time, really)
  • You’ve ever worked remotely from a different state, or country, just to experience something new (because switching things up is part of the key to living a happy life)

How many things have you done on that list? 13? 7? 4.5? 1? Then you, my friend, are living that millennial mindset! Practical. Efficient. Innovative. Adventurous. Trailblazing. Don’t be ashamed. We aren’t. Are you ready to embrace it? Yee yee, let’s go! 

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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