THE 5 STAGES OF EXPERIENCING BROKEN TECHNOLOGY

Nobody likes broken technology. I mean, I guess there are some people out there who get a weird sense of satisfaction from fixing broken technology, but are they really excited that it’s broken or that they were able to fix a problem? Are there actual human beings living in 2021 that pick up their phone and hope it doesn’t work? I have to believe the answer is no. Unless you were trying to get off the grid for a while. Broken broken feels like a strong wish, though, when you could just turn it off or leave it at home.

For the more sane among us, broken technology is never a fun time. Technology, for starters, is expensive. Like sell your first child expensive and every year those prices climb a little more. It’s the most exhausting hill climb I’ve ever done. Remember when you could get a phone for like, well I don’t actually remember anything pre several hundred dollars, but at some point it was affordable. Same with gas, and clothes, and houses, and cars, and toothbrushes, and watches, and all of the things. 

So you’ve spent your entire paycheck on something the size of your palm. It’s fun! It’s new! It’s the envy of your friends, co-workers, sidewalk strangers – everyone! Until it’s not. There’s always the one day where you go to power on a device and get the infinite loading screen of death. A stalled progress bar. A spinner stuck in time. A loading bar that never starts loading. A percentage that would fail every test, regardless of the curve. You know what I’m talking about.

Few things bring greater frustration than broken technology. Why is that? My guess: we need working technology to find a solution for our current problem. But if the solution magician is also asleep at the wheel, how are we ever supposed to move forward? Stuck in a black hole of questions and no answers. A lot like English exams. What answer are you looking for?! An opinion is not an accurate way to assess my knowledge of a book! Everyone is different and my current opinion is best left in my head.

Anyways … despite my raging passion against standardized English testing, technology is the same puzzle. And so we travel down the path and start walking through the 5 stages of grief with our currently most hated possession. Starting, of course, with grief. Grief for not being able to get it working. For never knowing if you’ll see the login screen ever again. A genuine sadness that it doesn’t work all the time. Like the price tag indicated.

We quickly move on into the angst portion of our journey thinking about all the potentially lost data if our technology does not magically come back online. When was the last time you ran a backup? Do you even know people’s phone numbers? How are you supposed to contact someone to send help? Will we ever see those unopened messages again? Once we’ve accepted our sadness, fears, and anxieties around our current situation we move to confusion.

Confusion around how to even begin fixing this. Who knows how to fix these things? Do you have to physically go to a store? Wait in line and hope you can explain the problem enough for someone to fix it. General confusion on how it works to begin with. Literally think about that for just a second. How do these things do all of the things they do? I have no idea. But that is a short rest area on our way to anger. Why? Simply why must things be like this?

You want answers. I want answers. Everybody wants answers, but the place with the answers is currently closed. So where does that leave us? About to throw something at a wall probably. And you can see how we easily get to tears. Throwing is never the ideal solution. Brute force, after all, usually makes it much worse. But at the end of the day, hole in the wall or not, we are frustrated to the point of literal, or metaphorical, tears. 

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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RANKING THE iPHONE COLOR OPTIONS

Every year in September we wait patiently for Apple to unveil their latest technology. Or, I guess, more accurately, their new marketing spin on what remains mostly the same from year to year. Rarely is it something so dramatic it requires an entirely new version number and higher starting price, yet here we are. Trained like Pavlovian dogs to anticipate the most attention apples everywhere will get all year, then to open up our current phones, cry because we’re now out of date and no longer cool, and pre-order what’s to come.

Kind of feels like the circle of (modern day) life. Buy the latest technology. Be in the know. Low key flex on all your friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and strangers that you encounter out and about. Operate with the latest, bug-free systems … well, ok, nothing is perfect and usually the newest releases have the most issues. So basically you spend all of the money to get the latest flashy piece of equipment that doesn’t work as intended. Seems like a solid investment.

I’m not here to rant about new phone releases, however. All the companies do it, not just Apple. I mean, shoot, even Samsung is branching into the rainbow for their latest Galaxy versions and bringing back the flip phone. And why would they not? Everyone loves the colorful Apple options! Or do they? I, for one, don’t particularly care for the iPod feel of the colors. This, after all, is the next level up. The iPhone. They kind of look like toys. But no toy I had growing up came with a four digit price tag. I want my phone to be sleek. I want it to feel expensive – because it is expensive. And the color options scream standard edition model.

So, without further ado, let’s rank the available iPhone color options! According to me. The Restless Professional. You may feel differently and I guess that’s fine. You do you. I’m doing me. As a quick helpful background, there are currently 13 color options depending on how far back you go on the available, still updating and actively maintaining, iPhone options on Apple’s official marketing website. For fun, we will rank all 13 in order of most desirable to why:

  1. Graphite
  2. Black
  3. Pacific Blue
  4. Blue (iPhone 12 Edition)
  5. Purple
  6. Silver
  7. White
  8. PRODUCT(RED)
  9. Coral
  10. Green
  11. Blue (iPhone XR Edition)
  12. Yellow
  13. Gold

As established earlier, not a huge fan of the colors so it should come as no surprise that those fall into the middle of the rankings here. Despite the color versions traditionally being kind of obnoxious, Apple has actually made the blues a nice toned down navy starting with the 12 and I find it acceptable. White, silver, and purple are all interesting. I don’t particularly dislike any of them, but as a general rule I like to get things that won’t get dirty as easily and I feel like these lighter colors have a higher chance of getting stained. Which is not a good look. So the darker ones are my top preference. Down at the very bottom of the list is yellow. That’s a happy color. It’s not a phone color. I don’t want to look like I’m calling you from a sunflower. And that just leaves gold. Why is this an option? It’s not real gold. It doesn’t even look like real gold. It’s dull. It’s like a weird mix between the white and the yellow and I’m 100% not here for it. Besides, only rich people opt to buy the newest phone model and not get a case to cover it with.

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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RECEIPTS, RECEIPTS EVERYWHERE

Aren’t we in the middle of an environmental awareness movement as, you know, a planet? Which is probably a good thing, if we’re honest with ourselves. Don’t want to proactively kill our great-great-great-great? grandchildren because they run out of oxygen or something fun like that. Some projections have the end of the environment as we know it in hundreds of years and others are saying we could be feeling the effects. I think it’s safe to assume it’s somewhere in the middle of those two estimates. So … in like a hundred-ish years? If I’m still alive in a hundred-ish years I have to assume that the technology keeping me alive is doing the same for Mother Nature.

There’s all kinds of initiatives going on. Electric cars, recycling (kind of), composting, gardening, sustainable farming, reusable grocery bags, and paperless options for mail. Among others. I would like to take a second and wonder quietly where we went wrong with recycling. Like most great ideas it has fallen quite short of what was promised. So many rules to follow, for one. Then certain areas of the country don’t collect recycling? Or they have specifications – for example, recycling must be in a blue trash bag. If it’s in a trash bag, though, can it even be recycled? If it was as easy as the garbage I think more people would participate. Another thought, don’t make me pay a monthly recycling bill, but make me take it myself to a special center anyways. Just saying.

Despite all the various options out there for people who want to be involved, the paperless options are the most exciting to me. I really don’t like getting mail. I have to go all the way to the mailbox. Get the mail. Walk back. Sort out all of the ridiculous pieces of junk mail. Open the relevant mail. Then throw away said mail after I’ve read it. Because what would I need to save it for? I can find the same information on the Internet. Thank goodness the email copy is a read and delete alternative! Doesn’t solve the junk issue, however. I guess I can’t have my cake and eat it too when it comes to paperless. 

While email versions of monthly statements, or bills, definitely come in handy, I would like people in the consumer world to answer why there are so many receipts when you buy something. One receipt is kind of acceptable so you can “keep it for your records” and “balance your checkbook”. It’s courteous, I suppose. What I’ve found recently, though, is that one is never enough. Two is not enough. Sometimes three is not enough. I mean, just what? Who needs all these copies? Where are they going? Not with me, that’s for sure!

Typically, I hold onto a receipt until I see a trash can. If I’m shopping, I never keep my receipt, and yet I get presented with my copy, and the store’s copy. If I’m at a restaurant, I never keep my receipt, and yet I get presented with my copy, the restaurant’s copy, and a third unknown copy with the same information as the other two. Sans a signature line. Occasionally, I have received four receipts and I’m not here for that. Four?! More places should give the no receipt option.

In today’s world, we have tablets, we have the Square register, we have credit card readers for smartphones, we have Venmo. What is the consumer world waiting for? All the trees to disappear? Ironically, small businesses are the ones who seem to have jumped on this train well before corporate America. Irony is the wrong word there. Appropriately, small businesses have started this trend. Much like the federal government, I don’t think corporate America could make a decision about speeding up or slowing down for a yellow light for at least a month. It’s possible that years ago the leadership teams started trying to adopt paperless and we have yet to see the fruit of that direction. Maybe in another 10 years, who knows.

My point is that I get too many receipts. And I would like it to stop. I throw them away. Quickly. And without regret because what am I going to do with it? I can see that “receipt” online any time of day because that’s how technology works. A digital checkbook where it balances, records, and reconciles everything for you. Why would I do it manually? Save the trees. Save my sanity. Just print the one receipt you need to calculate tips.

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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BECOMING AN ADULT: EXPECTATIONS v. REALITY

Remember being in college and wanting so badly to just be an adult already? Start making the money instead of selling the devil your soul to be able to afford tuition each semester? Oh to be young and dumb again! In hindsight, I would like to make college last as long as possible. A victory lap if that’s what it would have taken to prolong becoming an adult for an extra year. But alas, that’s how life works isn’t it? The grass is always greener somewhere else. 

There are definitely perks to being a full-blown adult, though. Namely, the money making part. Also the no homework part, the no exams part, the do what you want when you want part, the bigger and better vacations part (because you now have the money part), and the adult relationships part. Specifically the part of said adult relationship where you, and society, feel comfortable rescuing a puppy together. Which is really the goal of life, I think. Get to that stage and what could be better?! Kids? Mmm, ask me again in 10 years. It’ll be a close call.

By now, you know that I think dogs are angels sent to make all the bad times seem meaningless compared to the joy that we are capable of experiencing. Thus, there really is no flip side to that part of the adulting phase in life. There is, however, a flip side to the dolla dolla bills portion of it. Disappointments, really, that no one, not even Hollywood, prepared me for. Frankly, I’m disappointed that growing up they fed us lies that high school would be Wildcat wonderland, college would be the equivalent of doing your favorite thing in the world day after day, and then, seamlessly, we would blossom into well-mannered, brilliant, funny, personable, desirable, and social adults. Like a caterpillar emerging from it’s college cocoon. 

Granted, you can never expect too much from the film and TV industry. Guidance counselors, though, where were you? Department heads, where was the curriculum to prepare us? I have a lot of RANDOM SKILLS, but I would have liked to have had some practical skills and realistic expectations from my colorful coursework. Maybe a course on what is health care. What all the hundreds of papers you have to sign are referencing when buying a car. How to do your taxes. The basic art of cooking for one. Anything along those lines.

Among the list of biggest disappointments are the following:

  • Work
    • Just in general, I’m already over this
  • Being Tired on Friday Nights
  • Cooking for Yourself
    • This is harder than it seems when you’re growing up and it was just always there
  • Having to Make Your Own Appointments
    • You have to know your calendar, and the commute time, and you have to talk on the phone with someone … just not great all around
  • Bills
    • A disturbing amount of the money from that fun work thing goes to paying other people for basic things like the Internet
  • Student Loan Payments
    • A cruel form of bills as payback for not preparing you for being a real-world adult without a trust fund
  • Responsibility
    • All of it – it’s overrated
  • Communication
    • People expect you to magically be a poet laureate and beautifully articulate in every email, Slack message, personal thought, etc.
  • Vacation Days
    • A novel concept, but there is somehow never enough to make up for the 3 months of summer break, 1 week of fall break, 1 month of winter break, and 1 week of spring break that you are now lacking. In other words, I would need a minimum of 18 weeks PTO to be comparable
  • Sales People
    • And suddenly, spam! Spam everywhere! Leave me alone, if I want to buy something I know how to search on Amazon for it

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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TREADMILLS ARE MODERN DAY TORTURE DEVICES

It’s summertime, which means that it’s warm outside and the humidity devil is well upon us. And who wants to run in a literal sauna? Not me, that’s for freaking sure. I usually don’t want to run in general because there are so many other options today in the fitness industry that are not as boring. Yet I still do it from time to time so that I don’t feel as bad about eating entire pints of ice cream by myself or missing 100% of my stand hours during a work day.

Until recently I genuinely believed that no human looked forward to the humidity. Except for those who willingly choose to live in Florida, of course. You might as well put yourself in an oven and bake – that’s how it feels every time you step outside in the deep deep south. Regardless, I finally met someone who prefers 100% humidity over any other weather. And the kicker is that they live up north. Like north, north. So I’m not fully connecting the dots there, and I thought I was super weird, but now I realize that there are some even weirder than I.

But I digress. Running. Heat. Humidity. Bleh. For the sane of us, we tend to look inwards when faced with this challenge. Inwards to the gym where there are running devices that prevent us from having to lose every ounce of water weight we have in 30 seconds. I’m talking about the treadmill. I have to be honest, when you look through the cardio section and see treadmills stacked up next to stationary bikes, ellipticals, stair steppers, rowing machines, etc. they look very unassuming. Like an awkward shaped L with no pedals, or fancy buttons, or preferred form, or anything. That’s how they get you.

Treadmills are evil. They draw you in with their guise of quick and simple to use while failing to mention you will be on the most monotonous ride of your life. Literally, you go nowhere. Part of the appeal (strong word, I know, but it’s on the pro side) for running is getting to explore, be outdoors, and get to move about. The manufactured machine removes all of those options from the overall experience. There is no exploring. There is no outdoors. There is no moving about. It’s all simulated in screens that take you through foreign lands and beautiful trails, or towns, to trick you into thinking you’re having a good time.

While I appreciate the technological advancements, and drone footage hours, that lead to perceived exploration, it’s not the same as being on those trails. Staying on this topic a bit longer, why are so many of the covered areas uphill? Why would you trick me into thinking I have to exert more energy? I constantly find myself getting closer and closer to the screen because my incline is on 0, but in my mind I’m climbing a mountain. 

Also, why are all of the trails so narrow? Why do none of the people who accidentally get caught in the filming process never know the drone is there until it’s literally on their head and they get startled? That startles me! I like to give fellow people a good berth when running so they don’t think I’m trying to pickpocket them. Or scare them as the technology version likes to do. Share the road, SHARE THE SIDEWALK, share the airspace, just share. I have to believe that whoever is flying them can see the people ahead and have the ability to avoid them … but apparently that is also incorrect. 

If the fake nature isn’t your jam, you can always turn to the TVs in the gym for mindless entertainment. Although they always, always, are on either the news, some ridiculous drama, a cooking show, or a sports network. The news is as boring as running and is always so depressing – hard pass. Dramas are my least favorite option anyways – the world has enough drama, I don’t need fake drama. The cooking shows always make me hungry, which is not ideal in the middle of a workout. And the sports networks remind me that I’m a mere peasant in the fitness world compared to the professional athletes out there who get paid to run indoors. Basically, all of those options suck too.

I guess you could also watch people, but you have to be sneaky about it. Have you ever caught someone running on a treadmill hardcore staring at you? It’s terrifying. The intensity of the glare, mostly because they’re running and it’s hard to look like you don’t hate everything when you’re running, combined with the sweat and heavy breathing is honestly a bit creepy. In short, there are not good eye wandering options indoors on the treadmill. There’s really no good reason to get on a treadmill. If you must run, go outdoors. But know that it’s 2021 and there are lots, I mean LOTS, of better alternative cardio 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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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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ALL OF MY THOUGHTS WHILE UPDATING MY COMPUTER

Technology is kind of the sh*t. We all use it, but we all have a strong love / hate relationship with it. Some days bring more love and most other days bring the hate on strong. Think about it, when was the last time you went an entire day without using some sort of technology? If you’re reading this right now, you need to think further back because this wonderful thought exercise of mine is powered by le technologie. How fun for both of us, am I right? Living the dream through other people. 

What went wrong for us as a species? How did we end up so consumed in stuff from the magical world wide web? Obviously, that’s a rhetorical question and you should subscribe to this blog for the ultimate entertainment (sent straight to your favorite inbox twice a week). While our endless black hole into living vicariously through highly curated content is an exhilarating ride in the moment, it’s not as exciting when it ends. Yet we keep going back. Ergo, technology is one of the most addictive drugs on Earth. Not as deadly as others, but addictive nonetheless.

One of my, it’s hard to say favorite because like with children (I’m assuming), that title gets bounced around to different techy devices on an almost hourly basis. But … typically that distinguished privilege falls on my laptop. Depending on pending updates. Because if there’s one thing I hate more than a SOUR PATCH KIDS, it’s operating system updates. Why are there so many of them? It’s always a super exciting emotional game to play when you take the leap of faith into going through with an update. On that note, here is a mostly comprehensive list of my thoughts (and probably yours, as well) while enduring the pain that is an operating system update:

  • What exactly is the reason for this update?
  • What new features will I be able to use?
  • What existing features will be broken?
  • How many times will I need to supplement this with additional updates until it’s stable?
  • How long is this going to take?
  • If I don’t restart now, will I remember to restart later?
  • What are the consequences for forgetting the restart?
  • Why is my storage always full?
  • Why are the updates always massive?
  • When will Apple finally get their estimated remaining time game right?
  • If it says I have 15 minutes left, do I need to plan for 1 hour or 5?
  • Why did the screen randomly go black in the middle of this?
  • Why is the screen continuing to stay black?
  • Will the screen ever recover from this unknown state?
  • If the screen doesn’t ever turn back on, should I hit the power button?
  • What will hitting the power button do to the update?
  • Still no movement, when do I call for help?
  • Ah, there it is! What was it doing in the background all that time?
  • Why did the progress bar start over?
  • How is my estimated remaining time now at 53 minutes? We were halfway through 15 before
  • Is that a real 53 min, or not?
  • No – apparently we’ve jumped down to 8 minutes. Is that a real 8 minutes?
  • It’s been at 2 minutes remaining for 45 minutes, should I call someone? 
  • Did it freeze?
  • Are we 100% sure this wasn’t actually a hacker attack?
  • Will my computer still work?
  • Will I ever move past 2 minutes remaining?
  • Oh! Look! A login screen. Why does that initialize a loading spinner?
  • What happened to the standard progress bars?
  • Why do I have to log in twice?
  • Why do I have to log in a third time?
  • Why is the progress bar back? 
  • How have we not already completed this update?
  • It appears to be loading my settings – will it work?
  • When was the last time I backed up my computer?

And that about rounds up the ride from excited to terrified as one does when making big decisions in life. Clearly, software updates are one of those. Heaven forbid your hard drive can’t handle the newest OS and it just breaks in the middle of it. Then you have to get support involved and that’s a whole different adventure in troubleshooting. On the bright side, you usually get to see the not as beautifully styled screens and functionality of your laptop. For better or for worse.

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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DEAR LINKEDIN: IF I WANTED TO BE SPAMMED, I’D ANSWER MY PHONE

We are all familiar with LinkedIn, right? The social media version of professional networking. A beautiful blend of fun, connection, and the potential for future employment. Supposedly. I think when it first started it was a great way to meet other professionals in your space, or in a space you were hoping to break into. It was easy to use the people you knew to help you reach out to people you were hoping to know. Got it? You got it! Glad we’re all on the same page.

Like most good technology ideas, somewhere over the years it’s turned into the newest way to get spam messages. And I am 100% not here for it. I’m not talking about the recruiters. The recruiters are the foundation of marketing LinkedIn as a rival to Indeed when it comes to landing the next job to help you live your best life. Through the people you already know, obviously. But also probably through a more elaborate version of your resume and cover letter on your profile. 

Recruiters are cool, I have no beef with them. They’re trying to help you after all, and if it isn’t the right fit for whatever reason just hit ‘No, Thanks’. Better yet, mark yourself as not actively open to new positions. Literally could not be easier to opt out of those. What I have an issue with is all the other business development representatives, or financial advisors, or anyone in a mildly sales related role. Stop spamming me.

Like most social media platforms, the number of followers you have are loosely connected to your actual status as a person. LinkedIn uses the term connections, but in the Activity section those translate to followers and this was the start of the downfall. Because now everyone wants to make those numbers jump to help themselves stand out from all the other users as a well-connected professional. As a result, any rando will reach out to ask for a connection. Regardless if you know them professionally, personally, or from anywhere in your closest 250 mile radius. 

Part of LinkedIn’s charm is that you can message people you aren’t connected with. That confidence to do a cold reach out pays off. Most of the time. Enter the sales world who feels it’s appropriate to reach out to any and everyone. They start so innocently, too, which is now a pretty sure sign there is an ulterior motive. Tell me about how you got to your current position. I’d love to hear about your journey into this career field. How do you like your current job. Then, out of the blue, sales pitch! Ew. 

A simple message that you can choose to leave on read is not the end of the world, however. By now, I’ve become quite the expert ghoster on LinkedIn. Zero part of me feels any sort of regret for reading and not responding to a message. The true horror comes in when these scam artists send you a connection, then immediately start guessing at what your company email address might be. And since business tends to stay predictable in certain areas, it’s not that hard for any high school attendee to guess either your first name @ the company, or your first name plus last name @ the company combo. 

To this effort, I like to kindly show a certain finger in my mind. This is a step too far. If I look at my phone and see a connection request notification right under an email from you, when I have zero clue who you even are, that is the easiest swerve of my life. For all the sales people reading, this actively makes me want to avoid both you and your business indefinitely. The follow up email making sure I saw your previous one is also unnecessary. 

If you want to market your product to myself, and my team, do it the old fashioned way – through an obvious email marketing campaign. Or via any sort of conference. If you have a booth and are giving away shirts, I’ll gladly give you my email address. I have no shame. But this creepy stalk you online and send you an email technique is no bueno and must be halted. After all, if I really wanted to be spammed I’d just answer my phone.

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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MY MOM THINKS I’M A HOE BECAUSE I MET SOMEONE ONLINE

The older I get, the more aware I am of all the social stigmas that exist in society. And there’s a lot of them. A lot a lot. An unnecessary amount of things that other people use as some sort of basis for judging your life. You know what I’m talking about, right? By what age you should be married. How old is too old to have children. What is an acceptable job coming out of college. What is an unacceptable job coming out of college. The amount of drinks you should consume at once, and in a week. How often you should use the microwave to make a meal. The list goes on and on.

It seems to me, that one of the biggest categories for these stigmas is the dating world. Especially in today’s society where we have these fun little things known as dating apps. Not all of them are winners, but there are definitely options for everyone. And I do mean everyone. Yet, as with pretty much all things in life, people feel a certain type of way depending on what name you drop when asked how you met your current significant others.

I also think people like to assume that using dating apps means you’re hindered in the personality department. Since meeting someone casually in a random bar and striking up a conversation and falling in love isn’t overly common today. Because we have smartphones. And, thus, no longer have a need to talk to strangers at a bar. We wait for our friends to arrive. Or, more accurately, we play on our phones until we finish our drink and then leave. I don’t know a single person who would go out and just willingly approach other social groups to introduce themselves with zero reason other than to hopefully make a new friend.

Enter technology. You know I love technology. I’m a millennial – technology is practically my middle name, after all. The best thing about technology is that now you no longer have to be socially awkward and approach strangers unless you’re simply that extroverted. But if you’re that extroverted, chances are you’re there to meet your friends anyways. And approaching other groups of people when you are in a group of people is exponentially easier. So, basically, you can meet other humans on your terms and not feel like you’re intruding on a private conversation. How fun!

In this new age, you match with someone, then decide if you like them enough to meet them in person and actually talk to them. If you don’t want to do that, you don’t have to. You no longer have to sit through a dead end conversation with someone who only talks about themselves. Or who only knows how to answer questions with one word. Or who could not be less interested in learning anything about you. Anything at all. Not that dating apps eliminate bad dates, but at least you get some sort of a chance to weed out the duds beforehand.

Anywho, assuming you and your match are super compatible, and you actually like each other *gasp*, then you start going down a more involved path. Whatever that looks like to you. Dating, a relationship, friends with benefits, talking to them once a week … I don’t know you, but I know you know what I mean. If it goes a route where you talk about them to your friends and family, well then they always want to know how you met. Enter our friend, the dating app stigma.

Not all dating apps are created equal. Not all dating apps attract the same types of people. Not all dating apps typically end a date in the same way. Ergo, the stigma around the names. So if you fall in love on Tinder, that’s fantastic! Just know that chances are higher that people will question the long-term validity of your relationship. Much how we question how real the engagements are on the Bachelor and Bachelorette. If, however, you fall in love on eHarmony, more than likely people will be expecting wedding invites at some point in the future.

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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HULU’S COMMERCIAL ALGORITHM: THE ULTIMATE TROLL

Hulu has crashed onto the streaming services scene and has really been making waves. Offering a live TV option. Giving you the fastest access to current seasons. Beginning to rival Netflix’s quality and quantity with their Hulu Originals. Having one of the best color schemes in television apps. Green is honestly superior to red. It’s the color of money for one. And half of the Christmas color scheme. Supposedly, according to my BIF (best Internet friend) Google, our minds associate it with life, nature, energy, growth, freshness, safety, and ambition, among other things.

Despite all the good things going it’s way, though, Hulu has a dark side. Some might think that’s their default advertisement tier. Those people would be partially right. I mean, sure, there is the option to pay for Hulu with no ads. But who has that kind of frivolous spending in their budget? It’s twice as much. And then I would lose my built in bathroom, and snack, breaks. In other words, for more of my money, I would physically have to pick up the remote to pause what I was watching to take a break. That feels backwards. A little unfair, honestly. Thus, I am but a Hulu peasant living with their commercial breaks.

Side tangent aside, the commercial breaks are a necessary evil in my current lifestyle. If you’re living the 1% life and don’t have the basic plan, then you may not be able to relate to the one major downside to Hulu. Which, of course, is their commercial algorithm troll. During my PH years – that’s pre-Hulu in case it was unclear – I thought I was kind of an average, normal-ish millennial. Sure I had my quirks, but overall believed I was in the same general range as my peers. From a lifestyle and preferences standpoint.

However, after leveling up to multiple streaming services and adding the big green H to my TV apps, I’ve realized that I am both a middle aged soccer mom and a lonely college student. I am neither a mom, nor am I middle aged, nor am I lonely, nor am I a college student. At least, I didn’t think I was. Enter Hubert the Hulu Troll. In my mind this algorithm is an angry old man, so I figured Hubert best fit that analogy. Hubert made me realize that I’ve basically been living in some weird dream as a mid-twenties millennial. 

I’m no algorithm expert, but I know that at a basic level it takes your viewing preferences and suggests commercials based on what category it thinks you fall into. Oh, and obviously your smart TV, and any other devices with your Hulu app, listens to your conversations and throws out commercials based on your conversations. So it takes the data it has, steals data from private conversations and stereotypes you. How fun is that?! 

If it feels a bit creepy, that’s because it is. I’ve been talking about adopting a new puppy since the fall. Simply talking. And texting. With my friends and family. On my phone. Which doesn’t have the Hulu app. Yet, guess who keeps getting Petfinder and Hill’s Pet Nutrition commercials? Correct, yours truly. Although, if we’re being honest, it could have been a much worse topic for them to take from my non Hulu related activity, so I guess there’s a silver lining. I get to see adorable dogs on my commercial breaks. On the flip side, though, it also thinks that I have children. I get a disturbing amount of Pull-Ups, minivan, and Hornitos tequila commercials. If Hulu is listening, please just send me more puppies.

Like all good technology, it doesn’t always get it right. Occasionally I get commercials for Meow Mix and I know you don’t know me, but I’m not a cat person. I don’t own a cat. I won’t own a cat. Stop trying to sell me on the impossible. I also find it funny when I get whiskey commercials since I hate whiskey. And all of my private conversations would indicate that. Maybe my significant other is whispering sweet nothings in Hubert’s ear to try and get me on the brown liquor train. But I will stand strong. 

My favorite part about Hubert, is that for a while I naively believed it was just random placements of ads to the highest bidder. Then my siblings, one who is in college and one who just graduated from college, informed me that they got Trojan, Tinder, and Tito’s commercials. At which point I realized that Hubert genuinely believes that I’ve outgrown my youth. I have not received a single commercial for any of those products. And I love a good moscow mule so what’s up with that?!

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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