GAS STATION ETIQUETTE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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NO LEFT TURN LIGHT SHOULD ONLY HAVE THREE OPTIONS

I know you know how much I love traffic. Specifically, how much I love other drivers. If this is the first you’re hearing about this, well, surprise, I guess. Maybe hit pause and go check out my other traffic posts. They might be relatable, or they might not be and that’s concerning. Because then you may be the person I’m talking about so … this is awkward. And yet here we are. Maneuvering the intricacies of life in an almost successful way.

Mmkay, circling back: traffic. Specifically traffic, what’s the word, hardware? Enhancements? Not sure so let’s just call it what it is. Traffic trash. Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about the left turn light with only three lights. Just three. Like a normal traffic light. Except it’s not a normal traffic light at all. It’s a left turn light! Where you should have the option to turn if it’s safe, otherwise, you’ll be there indefinitely since we all know that a left turn green is not the same length as a straight green. At least if you take the average across all traffic lights ever. I think.

This is one of the most perplexing things to me, as a driver and overall human being. Specifically where there’s new road construction. It’s one thing to have it there from the before times when the only option was a heathen version of the left turn light. Although, back then it was new technology so it was probably pretty revolutionary at the time. Anyways, as we move forward with the age of tech and have other options, like a four light left turn light for example, why would we not implement those … everywhere?

For the first time ever on TRP, I actually asked a traffic engineer about this. Did some actual research. And their answer was mildly acceptable. Apparently, not every left turn is in a place where it’s safe to let people make their own decisions on if it’s safe or not to turn. On the one hand, ok. Yes, we, as a species, have not necessarily proven our decision making and focusing skills while on the road. On the other hand, though, how easy is our driving test where we aren’t confident that licensed drivers can make an appropriate decision about when it’s safe to turn, and when it isn’t? If there is a car coming, then you must wait. Basic physics and basic laws of traffic.

This is what I heard from that conversation: people can’t be trusted. I don’t know that I agree with that sentiment, though. Trust people until they give you a reason not to is my motto. I think a good solution here is to maybe have the penalty for poor left turn decision making being a suspension of your license. And / or a remedial class on how to use common sense to not turn in front of someone else. Because that would make life better for all. Imagine if at every left turn, it lasted the entire length of the straight arrow, plus the bonus turn only green? Left turns wouldn’t suck nearly as bad.

The amount of times that I’ve sat at a red left turn light while there were absolutely zero cars coming from either direction all because of a few bad apples … oh my goodness. It’s infuriating. Does it make you angry too? I’m not going to encourage breaking the laws of traffic, but I often wonder what would happen if I just decide to go on red anyways. Which, at that point, are we any worse off than just letting people make their own decisions at a flashing yellow? I have to believe no. People at least wouldn’t be thinking about running red lights that way so that, in and of itself, is a positive.

Long story short, I think we need to eliminate the three light left turn option. For everyone’s sanity. For the integrity of our traffic laws. To help reduce driver stress, even if only in that one area. To force people to think about their actions. To add more flashing yellow lights in the world and yellow is the color of happiness and who doesn’t want to be happier? It just makes sense.

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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LET’S TALK ABOUT MOVING WALKWAYS

You know what’s great? Dark chocolate Oreos and Chewy Chips Ahoy! What’s better than delicious cookies? Football season! What’s better than football season? Waking up on a Monday to find out it’s a holiday and you don’t have work! What’s better than a paid company holiday? Vacations! What’s better than a vacation? The moving walkways in the airports that take you to your blissful destination!

We live in a fast world. Have you ever waited more than five seconds for an Internet site to load? No, because nobody has time to wait. You’ve gone back to your Google search and are moving on with your life! Same concept in meetings. Have you ever waited endlessly for someone to start talking? No, because we all have a million other things on our to-do lists and don’t have time to wait for someone to grow a pair and say ‘good morning’ to the team. Thankfully airports have also adopted this mindset. Why walk like a normal human being when you could straight up become the Flash and travel at supersonic (walking) speeds? 

I’m actually asking all the people who are forever casually strolling by the Jedi of escalators like they aren’t aware of the magic on their left. Is it like a real world Harry Potter concept where not everyone knows it’s there? Do you have to have a “gift” to see the moving walkway? Or are you actively choosing to remain mortal? Maybe I’m a bit impatient, maybe I still have an inner child well and alive in my soul, maybe I don’t spend enough time in airports, maybe I should plan my terminal transition better so I don’t need to use the walkways, maybe I simply enjoy moving plastic contraptions with railings – I don’t know. What I do know is that I never, and I do mean never, miss a chance to take a moving walkway.

Traveling isn’t always perfect, let’s be honest. Sometimes you get a layover that’s longer than comfortable. Sometimes you don’t get a layover at all. Sometimes you end up having to book a new flight because someone cancelled on you at the last second without warning. Sometimes you have to raise your voice to get your point across. What I’m trying to say is that air travel and relationships are clearly analogies for each other and / or maybe the same thing. 

Anywho … moving walkways. I’m no expert, but if I had to guess I would say that they were designed to help you get from one end of the terminal to the other in a quicker, more efficient manner. Which is fine, I guess. A bit boring, honestly, but logical. Are those the requirements for use, though? In a rush and needing to traverse a great distance in minimal time? Because if so, I have not once used them correctly. I’m what one would call a walkway rebel. If I’m j chillin’ at my gate and have to use the bathroom, I’ll use the walkway. If I come out of a terminal store and happen to be positioned in the middle of a walkway, I’ll walk to the end just to travel back towards where I started at the store. If I’m trying to waste time, I’ll walk up and down the terminal using every moving walkway just for kicks and giggles.

As great as moving walkways are, there are still courtesy rules. Well, really there’s just one. Don’t stand on the moving walkway. First of all, wut? The purpose of the walkway is to speed you up, not slow you down. Standing is making you move like a sloth. A real life Zootopia demonstration. That’s a new level of laziness. Why walk at regular speeds when you could stand on the slowest possible moving surface and barely move at all? Do you have time to kill? Great – do it somewhere that isn’t in the way of my fun, entertainment, and terminal joy. But if you need to, for reasons unknown to me, then by all means squash yourself up on the side of the railing like a bug. You get half of a normal person’s allotted space (more on walking space allotments in THIS POST) since you are the one in the way. Your suitcase can, and will, count against you. Make like Stanley and flatten up! 

Long story short, I am a moving walkway slut. If I see one, I will ride it without hesitation and without shame. If you’re standing on the moving walkway, you better channel your inner thinness so I can zoom zoom right by you like I’m in a Mazda commercial.  If you’re on the side of the moving walkway, I will judge you and question your decisions. 

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 BEING STUCK IN AN ELEVATOR

Elevators are an invention. A way to assist in moving vertically with minimal effort. Or if you are physically unable to use stairs, which, in that case, this post is not for you. As a mildly claustrophobic person, you can imagine that elevators are rarely my first option for getting between floors in a building. While I do regret saying this to the whole world that is the Internet, and thus, is forever, I am a stairs first kind of kid.

Stairs have a lot of advantages over the metal death box that is the elevator. For one, it will never fail on you electrically. It will never stop unexpectedly in the middle of the ascent, or descent. It will continue to be the emergency exit route in case of fire … or when you find out there’s a BOGO at the taco truck down the street and you need to get in line yesterday. It will always be a better form of exercise. It will not require awkward silences with strangers. Overall, a solid option considering there are usually only two at any given time.

I think now is a good time for emphasizing my point. Stairs will never fail on you electrically and they will never stop unexpectedly in the middle of the ascent, or descent. Elevators, however, will and do. At a shockingly high rate. Their stability and built-in “safety” measures for when you shift your weight from one foot to the other way too quickly leave a lot to be desired. And in case it was unclear from the title of this post, one of my nightmares came true recently and I got stuck in an elevator. Not even a nice, big service elevator either. Just a standard hotel, can maybe fit 6 people pre-COVID, elevator.

Never have I met someone who has wanted to get stuck in a confined metal space with minimal decorations and no cell service, so I have to believe everyone can relate to my rollercoaster of thoughts, emotions, and panic, during my 90 minute experience. To truly pull you into my mental state, I would like to set some initial background context. I, thankfully, had my significant other with me, but it was just the two of us. It was late at night. We were stuck in between two floors and thus hanging helplessly by the elevator cables in a floating box of death. And with that, please enjoy my survival story:

  • Did … did the elevator just stop?
  • Why are the identifying floor numbers stuck on 3?
  • Did … did the elevator lady just say that we were experiencing technical difficulties?
  • Why are the emergency lights coming on?
  • How do we get out of here?
  • Oh my, we are actually stuck
  • None of the buttons work – are the buttons supposed to work?
  • I can hear the alarm when I press the button, but no one seems to be responding to our cry for help
  • Resist the urge to panic
  • The call button says we’re being connected to the elevator company and … we’re on hold?
  • Why are we on hold? How many elevator emergencies happen at 11PM?
  • The operator! Finally!
  • Oh dear, we’ve been disconnected
  • Call back and we are somehow STILL ON HOLD?!
  • Clearly the call button is not going to be useful. Like the alarm button. Why even have those in there? What kind of sick false hope is this?!
  • Which one of us has a cell signal?
  • I see my cell service doesn’t extend into elevator shafts
  • Time to embrace that the inside of this elevator might be the last thing I see
  • Thank the heavens, my SO has one bar!
  • Is one bar enough to call the hotel? Apparently, yes
  • Not sure that this is the right moment for my SO to make small talk with the hotel clerk so … HELP US! WE ARE STUCK IN THE ELEVATOR!
  • Message received, maintenance is coming. I might live to hit another rooftop bar tonight after all
  • The amplification of noise inside an elevator car is shocking. One would never know unless they were forced to stay in one place for a while
  • Why is everyone in this hotel accessing the other, working, elevator from this floor?
  • If the maintenance guy tells one more person that we’re stuck in the elevator I’m going to hulk smash through the door
  • I see that throwing the breaker 10 times didn’t fix it so what’s next?
  • And, we’re back to having to contact the elevator company
  • Thank goodness I used the bathroom before we got on this death ride
  • Is it getting hot in here? Is there even fresh air flowing in?
  • How do people successfully trick their minds to be in a happy place? Because right now my mind is hella aware of where my body is
  • Breathe. In and out, in and out, in and out
  • The elevator company apparently responds to phone calls but not emergency signals from the inside of the elevator. Interesting
  • Someone is coming to get us out in a cool 45 minutes
  • Where is the company located that it’s going to take 45 minutes? Do they not get police level speeding privileges for this? I could be having a panic attack
  • If we called the fire department, would they arrive sooner?
  • Should we call the fire department?
  • Would the elevator company be mad if we called the fire department?
  • Guess we will wait, it’s been almost 45 minutes already so … what do we have to lose? Besides phone battery
  • Did I lock my car door?
  • What late night eats will be open when we are finally able to get out of this thing?
  • Never in my life have I craved being in my home on a Zoom call as much as I am right now. Free to roam around
  • Why do the new Starbucks store designs look like weird shipping containers?
  • How much emotion exists for a fish? Like what is that spectrum?
  • If I had known we would have been in here for so long, I would have brought my cake leftovers
  • What … is that? Is that the door finally opening?
  • It’s the elevator man!
  • And the hotel staff who want to take us to the lobby … on the other elevator … like the stairs aren’t an option

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 OF A BUG

Sometimes, when I’m outside, I like to watch little bugs take forever to travel the same amount of distance I can travel in a single step. Outside being the key term here. Because I find it fascinating watching all those little legs move so quickly. Working so hard and barely getting anywhere. What a strange life. Your whole goal for the day being to not be in the same place that you started at. Scavenge for some other bugs to eat. Climb some “trees” AKA plants. Fly around somewhere between 6 and 10 feet off the ground if you’ve been gifted by the bug gods. The usual, I suppose.

That’s outside, though. As in outside of the home. The residence. The abode. The lodgings. The main place of living. Do you understand where I’m going with this post? Bugs are fascinating in their natural habitat. Nature. The great outdoors. The environment. Mother Earth. As long as they stay out of my human sized personal bubble. Let me make this statement very clear before moving on any further: I am NOT a bug fan. I don’t like bugs. I think they’re gross. I think they’re pests. I think they’re kind of freaky. I don’t fully understand why we couldn’t have survived with more puppies. I would be fine not interacting with another bug again.

As soon as a bug gets bold, or takes advantage of a literal open door, and enters an indoor space … game over! This is a slightly controversial take in today’s world, but I will kill a bug. I do not kindly put it on a piece of paper and set it free on my patio. I do not open the front door and try to shoo it out with love and kindness. The only kindness I’m showing is that of a quick exit. Into bug heaven. With the sole of my shoe. If that bug wanted to live, either stay outside, or stay out of sight. 

I feel like I have digressed quite a bit from the main topic of this post. Which, of course, is what bugs think of how we behave around them. For starters, we have to look like moving mountains to them. Straight up giant dinosaurs. Especially the hills among us – the small children who like to hunt them down to play, or to stomp on their homes. Are they terrified? Are they oblivious? Are they even aware that some of us don’t like to be bothered with their presence? Hard to tell since we can’t communicate with them.

Take this example: you’re driving down the road. Having a great time. Belting out top 40 songs like you’re auditioning for a record label contract. Feeling the sunshine through the windows and rocking your shades. Then BAM! Surprise! A bug has joined you on this journey. And has been with you the whole time peacefully taking a ride, for free might I add, staying in an out of sight place. Why come out? If I can see you, I’m going to freak out. I’m going to do everything in my power to get you out of my car. So my blood pressure can return to normal.

What goes through the bug’s mind, though? When I roll down my window and yeet them back home. Well, I’m assuming back home, but more likely they are in a very unknown territory months of travel away from their families. Honestly, that sounds traumatizing. If that happened to me, I’d be terrified. Why? Because without any sort of technology, how would I even know how to get home? Would anyone come looking for me? Where would they look for me? Do bugs have built-in tracking devices so they can return to their loved ones? 

Ok, so maybe I do care about the fate of the bugs. More so, I care about not leaving any orphaned larvae stuck in someone’s backyard forever wondering why one of their parents never came home after trying to hitch an express train to work. No amount of therapy can give them answers. And since we can’t understand the bug noises, we cannot help ease their pain. Even when we’re the ones responsible for breaking up that family. A true travesty.

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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FLYING GETS ME HIGH

Here’s a fun fact about me: I LOVE flying. More than I love Chewy Chips Ahoy (read about that HERE – Nabisco should be paying me for all this free press, I swear) if you can believe it. What is not to love? For starters, you get to be at an airport (with freaking MOVING WALKWAYS) and airports, in general, make me excited. No lie, just dropping someone off at the airport gives me a bit of an adrenaline rush. Think about it – these super miniature cities are like being back in college. Everyone is in a confined area with overpriced food, cheap souvenirs, and a wide diversity of people. Unlike college though, almost everyone you see is going to be in a different city, probably a different state, and maybe even a new country in a matter of hours. INCLUDING YOU! (I got excited just writing that)

I understand that my love of airports and the terminals is a bit on the extreme side, though. There’s the security line and there are delays and eventually you’ve seen every store available and are STILL waiting to board and you’re tired and cold and broke because you spent all your money on a sandwich with chips, etc. Yes, alright, I hear that. Sometimes the terminals feel a bit like prison. But that is simply the beginning my friends. If you don’t feel a tad VIP walking through the boarding bridge then I question your ability to find joy in life. My favorite ones are glass so you can see the airplanes (like a fun preview of what’s to come), but can also look back at everyone still stuck inside and secretly smirk because you’re about to be a fly motherf***er. The enclosed ones feel a little more secretive, like they’re hiding me from all the groupies wondering where I went so those are almost equally as cool.

Still not convinced? Alright you drag, well now you get to board the plane and leave your terminal troubles behind. First of all, the whole crew is smiling and welcoming you aboard, like thank you, I AM excited to be here! How did you know? Now there are two types of flyers – the people who need the aisle so they can get a little extra room and the window people who understand what this journey is all about (wonder and amazement, obviously). Bet you can’t guess which one I am … anyways you’re in the seat finally being taxied out to the runway (I could write a whole post on getting to the runway, but for length, I’ll paraphrase here) then you get cleared for takeoff and literally this is why I fly everywhere that I can. The little gravity dip that happens right after you leave the ground (when your stomach drops) makes me smile – I’ve tried not to, but I can’t help myself.

Looking out the window for a hot second mid-flight and realizing how incredible the world looks from 10,000 feet is a good enough reason to love flying. But I know what you’re thinking:

  • I have motion sickness, flying makes my stomach hurt
    • They have drugs for that, good drugs, that may or may not mix well with alcohol … I don’t know I prefer to be sober and absorb the whole experience
  • Turbulence scares me
    • True, but it is a good reminder that you just have to let go of control sometimes and trust someone else to take care of you
  • I’m claustrophobic and don’t like being confined
    • Um, well, if you look out the window there’s literally an entire WORLD you can see, so picture yourself out there, or go to sleep and dream of wide open spaces
  • Flying is just a hassle with security and waiting and everything
    • Ok, well, no one forced you on the plane (I hope) – you could have driven, or taken a train, or biked, or walked, or gotten on a boat, or anything else … quit killing my vibe here
  • I hear you on the takeoff, and kind of on the terminal, but the actual flight is boring
    • Listen to music, read a book, binge watch a show, color a picture, talk to the person next to you, take a nap, play a game, etc.
    • iSpy is super fun in the sky because you can never lose. Day flight: I spy … something white (a cloud), but by the time they figure it out you have left that one cloud far, far, far behind. Night flight: I spy … something yellow (a light, duh) and again they probably aren’t quick enough to get the one you were actually looking at. I’m not going to say I’ve played this with unsuspecting children who happened to be sitting near me, but I’m also not saying that I haven’t

Finally, when you land you’re somewhere completely different. In a fraction of the time any other mode of transportation would have taken. And you got there in a metal bird. Truly amazing. If you read this and still don’t like flying, that resentment is on you. I choose to lead a happier life everywhere I am … even at the airport. But I do understand that this is an unpopular opinion and most people don’t like to fly. Clearly most people are wrong. How do I know? Read above you weirdo, why did you skip to the bottom of my post?

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who hates flying then share this with them and maybe, just maybe, the next time they fly they’ll enjoy it … even if it’s just a tiny bit. And if you love flying as much as me, then hit me up so I know I’m not crazy. Thanks for reading!


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I’M SO GLAD I’M PARKED ON THE HIGHWAY FOR AN ACCIDENT ON THE OTHER SIDE

We’re a curious species aren’t we? Always needing to know what’s happening regardless of what we are doing at that moment. Even if it’s something potentially dangerous like, say, driving, or entering the nuclear codes. 

Let’s take a journey to imagination island. Imagine if you were driving at a high speed (maybe…on a highway) and there are other cars all around you, because it’s rush hour, and something happens on the other side of the road (let’s say a fender bender, which has ZERO impact on your drive by the way). How do you react? Do you:

A. Keep your eyes on the road and maintain your speed because it’s dangerous not to

B. Glance briefly and hope everyone is ok, but keep on keeping on at your speed

C. Stop and stare

Just to be clear, C is not an acceptable answer in this scenario. I get it – you want to be nosy and feel a little better about being a good driver and paying attention. Oh, the irony there kills me. How can you judge the person who caused the accident when you yourself are about to cause another one?! Spoiler Alert: going from 70 to 10 on a HIGHWAY is not something the driver behind you is expecting. You might very well be the next fender bender victim. Who knows, maybe the first one was caused because one of the drivers saw a bird, or new construction starting  (you can get my thoughts on road construction in THIS POST) and slowed down to get a better look.

What’s worse than slowing down for something unrelated to your current drive? Being an innocent bystander stopped miles away from the site of the crash that happened on the other side of the road. Why does my commute have to get tripled because you can’t stop your eyes from wandering? I’m going to be late to work (and of course there’s an early meeting because the work gods are evil like that), my fuel efficiency is plummeting, odds are my preferred parking space will be taken, and my bladder is not cooperating. Then when you FINALLY reach the scene of the crime, there’s nothing left. So I’ve inched along at less than 5 MPH and I don’t even get to see what happened?! What a cruel world this can be. 

Needless to say, it would be better for everyone if you simply kept going at the stated speed limit. If you do happen to take your foot off the gas, please, for the sake of everyone else on the road, do it very quickly and then (very quickly) get back up to speed. All I want is to stop the madness of highway parking lots. If you live in a city, though, where you’re stopped simply because of the amount of people, then I can’t help you. Move somewhere else, explore public transportation, or live within walking distance of the office.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who tends to be an extra curious driver, share this post with them so they understand the ripple effect of their actions. Even better, ride with them and be that annoying backseat driver until they learn – highways are for driving and parking lots are for stopping. Thanks for reading!


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DEAR AIRLINES: PLEASE DON’T TREAT MY LUGGAGE LIKE YOUR EX

Who reading this has ridden in an airplane? Who reading this has ever checked baggage with an airline? Who reading this has ever stressed out endlessly over the safety of the fragile items in said checked baggage until you were able to confirm there was no damage (hopefully)? If you answered yes to any of those questions (hopefully in your head or you might look a little crazy speaking to a computer) then you understand the brutal epidemic that is occurring right now when it comes to transporting luggage from one place to the next.

How hard is it to be just a little more careful when handling my bags? There’s no need to treat it like someone you’re angry with (an ex per se) and throw it away. For one, I’m paying extra money to bring this bag so you should be extra gentle with it. If it was free, I might be a little more understanding. Also, can we talk about general respect for people’s property. Like my uncle says ‘Don’t be afraid to treat it like your own’. Ah, the sound of wisdom.

Not to call out any specific airline, but recently I was traveling and had a checked bag so I took it to the counter. I smiled, tried to be friendly and polite with the airline representative through small talk, then gave her my bag. I wish this next part was a joke, but sadly, for the glass items in said luggage, it is not. She took my bag, lifted it onto the luggage belt (wheels down, so it was standing up), took two steps back, drew in a deep breath, moved forward and pushed (with all her strength plus the added weight of her momentum…remember the back-up) my luggage down. The sound of my 35 pound luggage crashing from its perch, ~2 feet tall, all the way down onto that belt turned my stomach. A lot of things shock me, but that took the cake. I just stood there with my mouth open until she looked past me and said ‘Next’ (with a smug smile on her face too).

Seems to me, from the playback above, that I did nothing to provoke that assault on my possessions. Needless to say, my glass souvenirs from the foreign country I was returning from did not fare so well. Was it the push? Was it a bumpy plane ride? Was it the throw from the cargo bay belt onto the cart by the baggage personnel on the tarmac? Hard to say, but I can still see that poor suitcase falling, falling, falling, unnecessarily might I add, to the unforgiving belt and bouncing a bit from the impact. 

Why is the whole process of handling bags so cruel? I think for starters, they should start referring to it as bag caring instead of bag handling. You handle something that’s about to blow up in your face. You care for something that has been entrusted to you so it’s returned in the same condition you received it in. Would it be more difficult to set bags on the cart instead of tossing them in? I’m thinking it might actually be easier and less of a workout. Would it be more difficult to set luggage flat on the belt? Also, I’m thinking the answer is an easy no here. Would it be more difficult for luggage companies to make shock absorbent suitcases that prevent injuries to innocent, delicate items from certain impacts? Alright, this is probably more difficult, but someone should look into it. I would do it, but I’m a little busy voicing my concern over the safety of suitcases everywhere.

As a quick recap:

  • Airlines pushed down my luggage
  • Items were hurt in the crossfire
  • I, The Restless Professional, felt massive sadness and shock…in public
  • I, The Restless Professional, care about getting this changed for the greater good of everyone
  • Don’t treat my luggage like your ex – love it like a puppy, or a child, or your car, or your phone, or whatever it is you love
  • If you love nothing, please consult a professional, that doesn’t sound normal

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you too have experienced this, don’t tell me – I’ve been there, no need to waste time comparing victim stories. Go straight to the source. Thanks for reading!


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