CHEERS TO THE RED, WHITE, AND BLUE

Drinking and fire is a combination. Not an ideal one, but one nonetheless. Probably because alcohol and confidence go hand in hand. I have found, though, that confidence and cockiness often get confused and I think the real issue is that alcohol and cockiness go hand in hand (more on that dilemma in THIS POST). Enter the 4th of July. America’s Independence Day. Which, at some point, was probably a historical celebration. I’m not sure when that changed, but now it’s a bonus day off work and yet another excuse to drink (because who doesn’t need another one of those?!).

Official, and unofficial, drinking holidays are essentially the modern calendar. A millennial edition, so to speak. When you know that a giant cookout themed with the American flag, and its respective colors, is this weekend, you understand exactly where you’re at in the year. No question. Beginning of July. Over halfway to Christmas. One month into summer. One month until school starts … but not for me because I’ve crossed into the “adult” realm and have, wait for it, another month of work. Three months until Fall starts, which is obviously the best season of the year. Since alcohol usually leads to a fall at some point. Thus, more drinking!

And obviously, once one has started drinking, the pack mentality kicks in, and everyone else follows. Unless you’re at a party with children, in which case, some are allowed to have fun and others are stuck “parenting”. This brings one main question into my mind, which, of course, is was there no babysitter available? If not, is there no allowance-dependent pre-teen in attendance who would gladly take your money to sit in the same rooms as the children and watch TikToks all night? Because I feel like the latter is always a great bailout. 

Thanks to Heineken, everyone can drink, but not all drinks have alcohol. And this is perfect for Independence Day. Specifically for the designated person, or group of people, known as the fireworks lighter. Because, have you ever considered that maybe the person in charge of lighting the fireworks should not be the same one holding an open beverage? Seems like an interesting decision. I’m not really a fire fan in general so I definitely don’t trust others with flames. Especially when I don’t know the sobriety levels of said individual(s).  

No matter, though, fireworks are but a small portion of our celebratory weeks / weekends. An optional one. Sometimes an illegal one. The main draw here is clearly the ridiculous use of American themed decorations. You can buy anything in the flag pattern. And I do mean anything. Feel free to use your imagination on some of the most extravagant, questionable, straight up weird, items and I guarantee they come themed specifically for this day. Flag leis, flag solo cups, flag swimsuits since it is summer after all and clothing is not mandatory, but masks are. Luckily you can also get themed masks.

Never has there been a holiday where the Red Solo Cup is a more appropriate addition, or acceptable drinkware. Outside of anything planned / scheduled prior to your quarter-life mark. That’s one of three colors done automatically, if you’re opting to decorate sans actual flag decorations. A chance to flex your creative side. Which just leaves blue and white to round out the festive atmosphere you’re trying to create. If you happen to be attending a celebration on some sort of water, blue is in the bag as well. If not, will there be clear skies? Still no? You’ll have to get creative with one of the food dishes, or table accessories. White is the same color as napkins so as long as you’re not treating guests like cavemen, a third strike! 

If this sounds like any weekend at the lake, day at the beach, party at your friend’s house, that’s because it probably is very similar. The only real difference is a free PTO day with which to either recover, or pre-game. In other words, we love Independence Day so much we celebrate it constantly. Year round to be exact. Sometimes we swap the flag for pumpkins, or trees, or hearts, but deep down we’re still celebrating the same thing. Freedom. 

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!


FOLLOW TRP

Follow TRP on Twitter for shorter, daily insights on life as a millennial.

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox for maximum procrastination.

CONFIDENCE V. COCKINESS – THE STORY OF A FINE LINE

Everyone strives to be confident in life. The feeling where you are self-assured and nothing can get to you. How you dress, how you act, what you do, what you eat, how much you eat, how little you work out, what your hobbies are, who your friends are – everything. Is that person throwing the side-eye and definitely hard core judging you? You don’t care. You’re cool as a cucumber. Fly as a butterfly. Stinging like a bee. Swiping like a boss. It’s sexy. It’s healthy. It’s strong. It’s a good way to be successful … well, at least according to Hollywood.

Sometimes, though, very unfortunately, confidence crosses the line into an entirely different territory known as cockiness. Now, I understand how this is confusing to people. Both start with a ‘co’, both have 9 letters, both have 3 syllables, both have kind of similar letters, both inflate your ego to where you wake up and love seeing who’s staring back at you in the mirror, both kind of sound the if you say them quick enough for an extended period of time. 

As a blogger, I feel a need to educate the public on the symptoms, treatment, and prevention of cockiness to keep everyone in the happy, healthy, goal-attaining place that is confidence. Let’s start with the symptoms. How can you tell if someone has crossed the threshold into cockiness? Well, for starters, they’ll tell you all about it. How great they are, how beautiful they are, what they do for work, what they’ve got going for them, how everyone wants them, how the world simply doesn’t see their potential, etc. Then, they’ll walk away mid-convo because you aren’t worth their time anymore. Sound like someone you know? Is that someone you? Don’t worry, there are treatment options.

If you, or a loved one, or a random stranger who approached you, are experiencing the above symptoms, here are the (unofficial, and not scientifically, or medically, backed) treatment options. The most recommended one is to simply remove all sources of arrogance and conceitedness by deflating the ego. One can be creative here, but verbal cues that a cocky person is not who they think they are tend to be effective. However, you will need examples to back this up. ‘No, you don’t have a music deal about to come through because you have never once recorded anything.’ ‘I understand that everyone wants you, but somehow you blow up my phone every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights because you’re bored.’ ‘Oh, that makes sense, you were the greatest pole vaulter in school history. Except that the team cut you on the first day for not attending tryouts.’ Adjust to match your specific situation.

Another option is to encourage said person to help others. Volunteering, seeing the world in a new light, being helpful towards other human beings in a way that doesn’t involve talking about yourself, all can help soften a heart and open the eyes. Help someone to help yourself. If they are highly against doing some volunteer work or community service, Jesus is always a solid option as well.

If the above treatment options don’t work, you can pretend to get on their level and attempt to out-cocky them. A word of caution, though, once you reach that level for an extended period of time you could become confused on what’s happening to you and also turn into a meathead. Hopefully there are people who care about you and can bring you back to reality.

Finally, prevention. This sounds like something everyone should avoid so how can we prevent it in ourselves? Listen before speaking. Think before speaking. Try targeting what’s in your head at yourself and see if you receive it well, before speaking. Care about others. But, like, actually care. If someone is feeling some type of way, be there for them, listen to what they’re struggling with, and sympathize with that. All the while, not caring if it means you have to miss out on another party. Funny thing about preventing cockiness, is you’ll probably pick up that confidence along the way. You’ll trust yourself and the decisions you make. That is essentially the condensed Google definition so I don’t know what other evidence you need.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who is experiencing the devastating symptoms of cockiness, pass this along and they can reach out if they don’t agree. If you yourself are concerned about falling into the black hole, follow the prevention methods and you’ll be golden. Thanks for reading!


FOLLOW TRP

Follow TRP on Twitter for shorter, daily insights on life as a millennial.

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox for maximum procrastination.

IF MY DOG HAD A JOB

In honor of National Take Your Dog to Work Day, I took some precious work hours to imagine what life would be like if my dog had a job. How does she stay focused? What would she do? Would it be strictly for money, or would she actually enjoy her field? Does she have bills she has to pay? Is that why she has a job? How does she type? Does she even have a computer? Is it less of a tech-y role and more relationship building? How is she working remotely? Who taught her to use a computer and the webcam? Is she a contributor, or does she stare at her beautiful self on camera all day? How has she not been fired? What are her goals and how is she focused enough to meet that? How does she communicate with her co-workers? Do they speak dog?

I could keep going, but for the sake of time, and post length, let’s start with those and see what fun path we end up on. For starters, my dog’s attention span is negative. Unless you have food or have a squeaky toy. In both cases, she is laser focused. This poses several problems in a work environment. One being that no one could keep snacks at their desk because co-worker Dog would be at their side all day and, thus, not contributing her fair share of the work. Another one being that most people would get annoyed at the constant sound of a high pitch squeak from a questionably clean ball. The other major issue is that what happens when neither of these attention grabbers are present? She’s a loose cannon. Nobody knows. Could be sleeping on the carpet. Climbing on a desk. Begging to be pet. Sniffing a chair for the thousandth time. So many potential options.

Given the lack of productivity, what would she do? I’m thinking brand ambassador for something like pet food, pet supplies, or Windex (because there is no spatial awareness between her wet nose and the glass, let’s be honest). Clearly she isn’t in it for the money – she’s a dog. What would she do with money. Probably try and put it in her mouth which is a separate issue. Besides, being a brand ambassador comes with perks. Depending on the industry she could get free food, free squeaky toys, or free attention. Her three favorite things.

This is clearly the right title for more reasons than her attention span and ridiculous cuteness. If given a computer, she would just try to sniff it, lick it, or bite it. Again, we’re talking about a dog without opposable thumbs. Or the capacity to perform computer type tasks. I love my dog (MORE THAN I LOVE PEOPLE) and she is fairly intelligent, but imagine asking your pet to turn on a computer and open the Internet. Pets work on routine. Computer tasks are not routine. If they were, a robot would do them for us. So relationship building it is! Can’t think of a more perfect role for an outgoing pup. Meet new people … constantly. Get them to like you, and we’ll give you a treat. 

With the current situation in the world, you’re probably wondering the same thing as me. Which, of course, is how brand ambassadors are working remotely. Video calls / appearances? Probably works well for humans. But remember how we’ve been over the less than ideal scenario that is your pet using a computer, or a phone, or a tablet, or a smart watch, etc. In an alternate reality, let’s pretend that a human friend (the owner, perhaps) has set up the video call for the dog. What a nice thing to do, you may be thinking. I know my dog, though, and if she saw herself on camera it would be game over. She spends a ridiculous amount of time staring at herself in the mirror so add a bunch of unrecognizable noises coming from the reflection and her head would be in a constant curious tilt. Probably wondering how she could be so beautiful that the reflection wants to talk to her. 

Which, then would beg the question how she has not been fired? There’s only so many times you want to see a dog’s nose right up close and personal in the camera before you realize she isn’t listening to a word you’re saying. She’s in her own world. Has met zero goals. Has no strategy for changing her behaviors and getting back on track. Just a pup entranced by the sight of herself.

Out of this entire scenario, the part I find the most mind-boggling is how she would communicate with her co-workers. Do these humans have a gift I do not of reading the minds of a dog and interpreting their barks? Are they able to respond? Because as far as I know the only words she answers to currently are her name, food, walk, and outside. Seems like a limited choice for making coherent, work related, sentences. Imagine if you were trying to get through her thick skull and accidentally said a trigger word – all progress would be lost. She would be spinning in circles running back and forth to either her food bowl or her leash. And, just like that, all focus is once again lost and someone (probably the owner) would be taking a brief exercise lap around the block for the third time that morning.

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!


FOLLOW TRP

Follow TRP on Twitter for shorter, daily insights on life as a millennial.

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox for maximum procrastination.

ROLLING UP IN SWEATS BECAUSE THAT’S JUST WHERE I’M AT IN LIFE

I’m not sure why we didn’t make loungewear first and then decide to boycott all other forms of clothing. If the Victorian era folk could only see us now, they would be speechless – either from our choices in fashion or because their corset’s were too tight, maybe both. They’re probably rolling over in their graves. Women who don’t wear dresses that turn them from a normal, healthy size, into a quadruple 0 everyday? Blasphemy! Men who don’t wear three piece suits just to go walk around outside? Sacrilegious! Children who wear onesies? Adults who wear onesies? Loose fitting clothing? Oh my heavens, it’s the apocalypse for sure!

Meanwhile, I don’t remember the last time I wore real pants. You know, like jeans. Clearly doing my best to court a suitor in these outfits – sweats and t-shirts. My sneakers are always the most polished part of my outfit, like a true millennial. Working from home, or not, my sneakers better be clean and they better match the rest of my outfit. I take pride in that, kind of like how men used to take pride in their top hats. Don’t touch my sneakers! The only downfall to having a great sneaker collection, is having to wear non-sneakers to work. This is a problem. For starters, what difference would it make? I’m not client-facing – throw me in the back room and let me wear some comfortable shoes. Sneakers feel more versatile and also have much more personality than run of the mill “dress” shoes. Anyone can rock black and brown, but not everyone can rock teal and pink. Just saying, it’s a gift. 

They’re also easier to run in for all the times that your favorite food truck is about to close up shop. Or for when you’re about to miss the bus because somehow the alarm clock decided (all by itself) to snooze seventeen times, which is weird – AI has gone to a whole new level. While we’re at it, if I don’t have to wear real shoes, then I should be able to apply those principles to my whole outfit. Pretty sure a smart person once said that comfort leads to productivity … or motivation … or nicer human beings in general … or to more appropriate lunch servings (because comfort clothes are stretchy!). I might be thinking of a binge-watching marathon. Anyone can be a binge-watching pro – I talk all about how to crush your next couch day in THIS POST.

No matter, I have lost all shame for my choice of outfits. Oh, we’re going to the grocery store? Sweatpants and a hoodie. It’s time for a doctor’s appointment? Sweatpants and a t-shirt (for easy access to the blood pressure machine – have to stay thoughtful). Do I want to go shopping? Definitely! Joggers and a hoodie for that upscale comfort. You better believe by date 3 the sweats have come out and will most likely stay out. It is what it is. Not trying to set false expectations for the long-term. It looks a lot like this: sweatpants, sweatpants, running shorts, joggers, leggings, sweatpants, running shorts, joggers, jeans (what! I know it happens once in a blue moon), leggings, etc. I couldn’t even tell you the last time I wore a pair of khakis if that gives you any indication of my current life crisis mood (the life crisis struggle is too real – you can read more about the various stages in THIS POST). It was definitely pre COVID-19. 

Some of you are probably wondering why? Why do millennials insist on dressing like a gym locker room? Plenty of reasons. Mainly because it allows you to sit in the MOST comfortable positions without any concern for rippings your pants. Also because it instills a mindset of exercise. At any moment I could bust out some push-ups, or lunges, or go for a run. Who knows? You gotta go with the flow of the day sometimes. Usually that exercise flow hits hard after I eat the whole package of Oreos … again … for the third straight day … and my brain is like STOP IT! Have some control, you animal.

It also feels like freedom. Yes, I’m going to work, but in my loungewear … so is it really work, or is it my choice to do some things today? Because it feels more like my choice. The real reason, though, is so that when we do dress like the adults we pretend to be, everyone notices. And I do mean everyone. Strangers, your relatives who live in a different state, the neighbor’s cat (who never once tried to be nice to me, but all of a sudden I bust out the black jeans and they want to rub their white fur all over my calves), the weather (oh, you wanted to look nice? Here’s some pouring rain and high winds … you’re welcome), your boss (who thinks you might be an interviewee, they’re so confused), and most importantly the bartender (free drinks?! For wearing jeans?! I should do this more often).

Regardless of your personal style choice, own it. Clearly mine is the latest catwalk fashions. In my mind anyways, in reality it’s a bunch of workout clothes and some killer sneakers to tie it all together. That’s just where I am in life and I’m owning it for sure.

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!


FOLLOW TRP

Follow TRP on Twitter for shorter, daily insights on life as a millennial.

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox for maximum procrastination.

HOW PRODUCTIVE WOULD I BE IF BUZZFEED DIDN’T EXIST?

You know all those times when you’re at work and you’ve been there all day, but that lying SOB the clock says you’ve only been there for 15 minutes. You know, like every Monday through Friday. Maybe the clock is broken? It is on the wall after all – didn’t they stop making those about 20 years ago? Must just be outdated technology…those times are the literal WORST though! Because you’ve already done an entire’s day work – much too efficiently apparently. So what’s going to fill the remaining 7 hours and 45 minutes of your time until you can leave the office without having to sneak out the bathroom window so your boss doesn’t catch you and lecture you about being committed and earning your salary and we don’t pay you to play and blah, blah, blah.

Well, naturally, since you’ve finished your work for your day, you turn to the Internet’s black hole of written context – BuzzFeed. Why not YouTube, you may be wondering? Ah, yes, the best way to waste an entire day and not even realize it. It’s simple really: have you ever gotten caught browsing a mind-numbing, unproductive site? Specifically, have you ever gotten caught by your boss on one of these sites during work hours? Clearly not if you’re asking why I’m not wasting my time on YouTube.

Let’s take a ride on the imagination rainbow then (for all you rule following, productive employees)

Scenario 1

You’re at work (hip hip hooray) and are just not feeling it – your brain has hit a wall and simply refuses to go around it in any way so nothing is getting done. You’re becoming frustrated because the deadline is approaching and you’re just now starting the project, like a true procrastinator, but you know that continuing to format and reformat and reformat and reformat the project title is not going to magically open your thoughts again, unfortunately. So you decide to do the professional thing and step away for a second and reset. Up comes YouTube and before you know it you’ve gone from cute puppy videos to watching people drop their ice cream on the ground (not by choice, though, because that would be a crime). You, all caught up in the YouTube space, have lost sense of time and (more importantly) your immediate surroundings. Your boss taps you on the shoulder and brings you back to reality in a giant state of panic. They want to know what a video about an alligator living on a golf course and eating golf clubs has to do with the market analysis on your key demographic…mmhmm I’d like to see you turn that one around without walking out of the office jobless.

Scenario 2

Once again, you’re at work (yay) and got all your tasks for the day done in under an hour. Now, to kill time until, at least, lunch you need some sort of mindless distraction. Enter BuzzFeed and it’s never ending options of articles. Before you know it, you’ve read about all of the best band reunions, the phases of Miley’s life, new and creative ways to use pumpkin in recipes, how fish may be smarter than they let on, etc. Up comes your ninja boss and gives you that ‘What the hell are you doing right now?! That doesn’t look like a roadmap presentation for leadership’ look. (Get ready for it, here’s the difference) So you return his skepticism with a logical explanation: ‘Listen, bossy boss, in order to effectively make a case for where we want the product to go, we need to understand how different trends across similar industries have impacted customers. Band reunions have gotten mixed reactions depending on how heavily publicized it is. Miley’s different stages in life have all been talked about (either in a positive or negative way), but talked about nonetheless so she was always on people’s minds. Pumpkin has long been associated with sweet things, but they’ve been able to uniquely identify and target a whole new demographic by rebranding, etc.’

MIC DROP. Two very important lessons to learn here. First, being that it’s much easier to explain away text than a video because the boss can’t really see what’s happening, so BuzzFeed has you covered there. Second, you just had a breakthrough and are about to crush that project…after lunch of course, though, because, even though it only felt like 15 minutes, 3 hours have passed.

What’s my point with all of this? Sometimes I wonder how much I could actually, not in theory, accomplish at work if BuzzFeed didn’t exist. If we’re being honest, after lunch you’re full and a little sleepy and it’s been an hour since your breakthrough and you didn’t write it down so you pretty much forgot the progress you made there and on and on and on. And so naturally, you turn back to what comforts you – the BuzzFeed black hole. It’s truly a miracle that someone pays me to come to “work” everyday, I swear.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who tends to be super unproductive and can waste time for days online, give them a tight lipped smile and sh*t talk them behind their back because they are making your job 100x harder. On the flip side, if you are that person, then kudos to you – you know how to play the system. Thanks for reading!


FOLLOW TRP

Follow TRP on Twitter for shorter, daily insights on life as a millennial.

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox for maximum procrastination.

SWIVEL CHAIRS ARE THE SLICED BREAD OF OFFICE FURNITURE

Think about your job for a second. I know, I’m sorry to take you there, but play along. Trust me. Now, think about your office building – specifically your desk. What do you love about your desk? Is it the pictures of your friends/family that prove you have a life when you leave the building? Is it the holiday decorations that you refuse to take down because who says you can’t have a cheerful spirit all year? Is it the snack stash that you have for “stressful” times (AKA, every second of every minute of every hour of the work day)? Is it the dividers blocking you from having to actually *gasp* talk to your co-workers?

Sure, those things are all fine. But think more superficially and less emotionally. Think about your desk chair. Are you blessed with a swivel chair? Then you, my friend, are blessed enough! Swivel chairs are my favorite part of the office. Arguably, my favorite invention. Who doesn’t love a good swivel chair?! Monsters, that’s who.

Are there crappy swivel chairs out there? Sure. There’s crappy cars, crappy phones, crappy streaming services, crappy memes, crappy tacos. And yet, we still have a deep connection with all of those things, yes? When you eat a taco that is not your favorite, you don’t go back to that place. You find a better taco joint. When you see a mediocre meme, you keep reading through memes until you find one you can’t stop laughing at. When your streaming service decides to drop the handful of channels you actually watch, you cancel your subscription and level up to a better one.

Same concept with your desk chair. Not all swivel chairs are created equally – I’ll be the first to admit that. Which is why I keep stealing my old chair back when they “upgrade” us to whatever new and innovative seat someone found on the Internet. They can hide it wherever they want, I will find it. That’s how much I like my chair. For the amount of time I’m forced to sit in it, I better LOVE it! So if you don’t love where you’re sitting, find out who in the office is in charge of rear comfort and make fast friends with them. Then ask to be leveled up. Or find a desk with a chair you enjoy, work late one day, casually roll yourself over there, stand up, then accidentally sit back down in the better chair, and roll away.

I’m a self-proclaimed chair testing pro, I can sit in a chair and know immediately whether or not it’s going to bring me comfort or sadness during my time in it. Have you ever gone to an office supply store and just tested out every chair option they have? No? Well that’s why you sit in a chair of disappointment. Because you don’t know what you’re missing. And that makes me sad. A good chair can change your work life. Well…ok, maybe not completely, but it will at least make you happy to sit down.

Now that we all have a blissful place to sit at work, let’s talk about how amazing of a thing swiveling truly is. Have you ever thought about how cool this is? Like really, truly thought about it? Probably not, but I forgive you because I tend to go deep into the details of the most basic things – thus this blog. Need a break from staring at your computer? Don’t get up, simply turn away. Need to ask your co-worker, who sits behind you and always has headphones on, something? Don’t get up, simply turn around and get their attention. Need a quick workout because you’ve skipped the gym sesh for the past couple of years? Don’t get up, simply lift your feet off the floor and use those abdominals to twist from side to side! Need a distraction in your meeting because, you know, meetings? Don’t get up (that’s rude), simply focus on the calming motion of moving in a circle.

Endless opportunities for fun. So the next time you’re having a hard time finding something to look forward to at work, might I suggest your chair? If your company is not progressive and all the chairs are immovable, it might be time to find a job with people not stuck in the last century. I mean, outside of kitchens I didn’t realize static chairs were still “in”. Seems like a waste of office furniture potential.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you have a swivel chair and have never been thankful for it, today’s a good day for that. If you don’t have a good swivel chair, find someone who does, and permanently borrow it from them. Thanks for reading!


FOLLOW TRP

Follow TRP on Twitter for shorter, daily insights on life as a millennial.

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox for maximum procrastination.