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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IF MY DOG HAD A LINKEDIN

Dogs are amazing. We love them. That is really the theme of my life and I don’t know why everyone is not on this train. Then we have the opposite of the bliss that is a puppy, which would be work. Little devil that is my Monday through Friday routine. With work, you have to deal with fun, professional, technologies. Such as Slack, an HR platform, some sort of organizational tool, Google Sheets, and obviously LinkedIn.

As many of my hardcore fans are aware, I’m not the biggest fan of LinkedIn lately. It is professional SPAM. And who has time for that? Not me. I have a financial advisor. I have insurance. I am not in charge of decisions for apps that my company uses. I am not actively job hunting. Stop bothering me. Let me come to you if I have questions, or any possible life needs. Side rant aside, LinkedIn is a thing if you have ever been in college and been in hunt of a job.

To recap, us humans use the LinkedIn. Imagine for a second, though, that our lovely pets had a LinkedIn account. What would they even do on it? How many connections would they have? Why would they need one? What kind of engagement would they have with it? How would they even create an account since they can’t read … and don’t have thumbs? Why would I even be thinking about this? Lucky for you, I spend my free time, and my work time, thinking about these kinds of things.

I have a strong feeling that my beautiful puppy would not be able to create a LinkedIn account. I think if she somehow figured out how to use a computer in general her first social media account would definitely not be a professional networking option. But, if for some reason she decided that she needed to get paid for all the fabulousness that she is, I guess she could end up writing a resume and seeking out people she might have jumped on at some point.

In my mind, my dog would use LinkedIn to solely promote herself. It’s hard to imagine that she would want to actually post business related branding materials, so it would probably be more like a Twitter feed. Ironically, I think her genuineness would garner a huge attention and her number of followers would be gigantic. Her connections, on the other hand, would be 0. Because she doesn’t have time to accept connection requests. She’s too pretty for that.

Basically, she would leverage LinkedIn the same way some people do and use it for attention. And nothing else. Which is ironic since the last thing she needs is more attention. Let’s be honest, even when she doesn’t want to be loved, we can’t keep ourselves away for long. She’s too adorable and soft and fun to make chase balls and fun to just dog watch in general. Especially when she’s doing weird things like trying to catch flies that are on the outside of the window when she’s on the couch indoors.

Most likely she would harass people to make playdates with her. Or to give her human food. Her puppy dog eyes are irresistible so I think that the Internet would not be able to resist. She may even end up with a GoFundMe for a backyard makeover that she could use to play with her puppy friends. Other than that, I have a hard time believing LinkedIn would be her jam. Especially if you bring the squeaky ball out. Then it’s game over for the Internet.

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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VIDEO CALLS: YAY OR NAY?

It’s been over a year of working from home, wearing masks, and upping our loungewear game. So much time for a new normal to set in and make it hard to remember what life was like pre the ‘vid. Things that now seem so strange and truly horrible. Like having to appear at the office in person every single day of the week … the mental energy alone to plan actual outfits that don’t involve stretchy waistbands is exhausting. Who has the time now? Honestly, if I appear somewhere in jeans and t-shirt today it’s a win. And that’s only a very small margin of victory over a hoodie and sweats.

Then there’s the whole fashion industry of masks. I’m going to come out and say it – I don’t hate wearing the mask. It’s not always ideal. For example, if you ate something delicious that didn’t agree with your breath and is making you an actual dragon you have to suffer with that for the entire length of the mask experience. On the flip side, though, what if something gets stuck in your teeth? No one, but you, will know. You don’t ever have to smile in pictures. Because no one can tell. You also don’t ever have to smile at strangers after making awkward eye contact with them. You can mutter sweet, angry, nothings to the person who thought they could cut in line. There are pros for sure.

There are also cons – have you ever been to the gym and been required to wear a mask to workout in? Why make that process more horrible than it already is? I struggle enough to breathe sans mask during an exercise routine, so there is no way that adding in a breathing inhibitor is going to enhance my fun. The ability to get fresh air is basically impossible. I would rather lay on the pavement during the height of summer than continue that requirement. On that note, if you need the mask for more than about 30 minutes at any given time, it may be best to rethink where you’re going. Flights, doctor’s visits, the DMV … maybe not the best time for those.

Mask assessment aside, any professional, student, or job candidate is probably way too familiar with video meetings. The conference room. The Zoom link. The Microsoft Teams setup. A Webex interface. Hanging out on Google. Whichever platform you prefer, or your company dictates that you will prefer, video calls are deeply ingrained in our work culture now. In person meetings feel like an outlier. Why meet face to face when you can only put clothes on one half of your body and have HULU up on the second monitor?

Some of us are all about virtual meeting culture. Some of us go back and forth depending on the day. And some of us would be happy if virtual meetings died with COVID. Where do you fall on the love / hate spectrum? Yay or nay? I would like to play devil’s advocate and argue for both sides of the equation. Then you, as the reader, are free to decide. You may have your own opinions already. You may be set in stone one direction or the other. But, regardless, I would like to hash out my current dilemma between yes or let it burn so you’re welcome.

YAY / IN-PERSON IS OVERRATEDNAY / LET IT BURN
1. Pants are optional1. Work / life balance is questionable
2. Virtual backgrounds2.   Need to hide your actual background
3. Camera on is optional … sometimes3.   Camera on is required … sometimes
4. Multi-task like a pro4.   Easier to miss important information
5. No commute time to a meeting room5.   No time to debrief between meetings
6.   Screen sharing and collaboration6. Less interaction
7.   Give presentations and not be the center of attention7. When giving presentations there are so many awkward silences
8.   Work from anywhere8. Sense of disconnection from team
9.   Eat at anytime regardless of if you’re actually hungry9. Eat at anytime and not when you’re actually hungry
10. Your cup could have anything in it10. Less attentiveness as the day goes on

And there we have it. The top 10 things that came to mind for both the yay and nay side. In retrospect, and after re-reading both columns of the table, I think I’m torn on which is more ideal. As much as I love connecting with my coworkers, though, my heart loves the in-person is overrated side of this table. It gives me the freedom to travel and work from anywhere in the world. It minimizes my need for a diverse wardrobe. I have freedom to be creative in what professional background I will have each day. My stage fright has disappeared. And my stomach / liver have never been more well-fed. Yay for video calls!

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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THINGS SPORT ANNOUNCERS SAY THAT LITERALLY ANYONE ELSE COULD ALSO SAY

Sports are a way of life. Not for all people, certainly, but for a lot of people. Because who doesn’t love getting overly invested in the performance of your favorite team and favorite players? Probably people who enjoy more stress-free ways of living or low blood pressure. It’s irritating when your team is not playing well, or worse: losing, or even worse: losing to your rival. In those moments you learn a lot about yourself as a person – where your priorities truly lie, how you handle stress, what you’re like under the pressure of trash talk, whether or not you’re a gracious loser, and how competitive you are regarding things that you have less than zero control over.

While sports have a lot of positives, there are some negative aspects that you have to deal with. Rioting, losing friendships, scandals, losing money, cheating, drugs, etc. And then, of course, you have the announcers. Sport announcers are there to say helpful things and aid in the viewing experience of the game. Supposedly. There is a most curious breakdown of things that can, and will, come out of an announcers mouth during the period of play. Ask any sports fan and they have announcers that they like, announcers that they tolerate, and then announcers they cannot stand.

Regardless of how you feel about the announcer, their dialogue can best be summarized as follows. Usually they throw some fun statistics in there and some inspiring story about the team, or a specific player. Constantly they will talk about what can best be described as sport conspiracy theories regarding playoffs based on the team’s performance to date. This includes, but is not limited to, previously played games, the current game being played, upcoming schedule of games, and what both a win and a loss mean going into the next day. It’s great to hear when they’re talking in favor of your team, and it’s the most obnoxious thing in the world when it’s against your team.

Some of the time they will interject with memories about their time participating in said sport, which usually feels more like a backdoor brag than anything. But then, the rest of the time is spent with them saying ridiculous things that anyone else in the whole freaking planet could also say. Sports fan, or not. And it just makes you stop and think about how they landed this cushy, well-paid, gig when you could also easily make broad statements about the nature of a sport. Statements such as:

  • What they’re trying to do here is win
  • If you ask me, they need to score more points
  • Coach does not look happy
  • If I played like that, I’d be sitting on the bench
  • That’s not good defense
  • To win, they’re going to need to beat the other team
  • I’m not sure what they’re thinking out there
  • Defense fell asleep on that play
  • They’ve dug themselves a big hole
  • Time is running out
  • I don’t agree with that call
  • I think that was a good call
  • From this angle, it’s hard to tell
  • I can’t see what’s happening down there
  • I think that a win would feel good
  • Offense wins games
  • Defense wins games
  • A loss is not going to be good here
  • They’re not going to be happy leaving the tournament early
  • They’ll only be satisfied holding the championship trophy

I could go on, but this feels like an inclusive enough list to make my point. Basically, sports announcers just find different ways to state the obvious. Or to say the wrong mascot for a team. People want to win. People don’t like to lose. Other people are often in charge of making decisions that you may, or may not, agree with. Failing to reach the end goal is never satisfying. And reaching a longtime dream is the best feeling in the world. None of that feels overly exclusive to sports – more of a life thing in general. All I’m saying is change the sport terms into everyday terms and you’ve got a recipe for inspirational sayings. Kind of feels like anyone could do 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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I JUST REWATCHED MONSTERS, INC. AND I HAVE QUESTIONS

Nobody likes having monsters under their bed at night. At least not until we learned how absolutely lovable they are! I think monsters have gotten a bad reputation in the human world for some time, and thankfully Mike and Sully helped shed some valuable insight into the reasons behind the scare. Despite the questionably logical approach to energy creation in Monstropolis, I have some unanswered questions, and plenty of observations from this adorable film:

  • We get a very Soul type vibe in the intro. Jazz music and all. Nice recycle here Disney, though Soul did have a necessary modernization for it’s 2020 release
  • The main monster in the intro skit looks like a venus fly trap
  • This little boy in the simulator is not suspicious that his closet door opened on its own? Fake news
  • How does Flem manage to destroy the entire room?
  • I enjoy the intern vibe of the assessor’s “assistants” not knowing the answer to clearly a basic question
  • Mr. Waternoose is correct – there is nothing more deadly or toxic than a human child. Thus, my current lack of them
  • If screams produce energy, why does Mr. Waternoose casually let a whole capsule free just to prove a point? Seems like a waste
  • ‘Less talk, more pain Marshmallow boy’ – if that isn’t motivating, I don’t know what it
  • Does Sully just wake up and work out, growling at Mike and all, without brushing his teeth?
  • Monsters, Inc. matches children to their ideal monster? That is a nightmare factory of a serial killer
  • We’ve all been Mike in the Monsters, Inc. commercial – covered up by the logo and not giving a darn
  • How is it efficient for the building doors in Monstropolis to all be customized to its residents?
  • Grocery is not spelled Grossery, but maybe monsters can’t spell
  • If the monsters are walking, why does the sign say Don’t Stalk / Stalk? Nowhere else in the movie is it referred to as stalking
  • Do any calls get through at Monsters, Inc.? Celia puts everyone on hold
  • You could roll Celia into a ball and she would still only be about half as round as Mike
  • Why would you put a slug monster in charge of keeping the floors clean?
  • ‘My succulent little garden snail’ – wow, incredible use of adjectives for what is obviously a monster version of a Karen
  • If monsters created the ability to jump through some space time continuum into human bedrooms, why haven’t we figured out the reverse?
  • The scare floor is quite the operation … like a factory line … for nightmares
  • ‘A kid almost touched me. I could have died!’ is a relatable feeling for all young, single millennials
  • The announcement for neverminding Randall’s temporary lead is like every day on the job where you think you’re doing a good job, then realize you’ve been doing it all wrong
  • One would think there was a less intense process to remove a single sock from a monster. A kid, yes, then the CDA seems necessary, but a sock? So extreme
  • How do you become a scare recruit versus an ordinary Monstropolis citizen? How hard is it to get accepted?
  • Lol odorant instead of deodorant
  • Is Mike the only assistant that doesn’t file his paperwork? How has he not been fired?
  • Why doesn’t Sully just throw Boo in her room, like a football, and slam the door? It would be more effective
  • Did Sully really think flushing those toys down the toilet would work?
  • Is Boo demented? Why does she want to play with Sully? Who is a monster
  • I think having an octopus as the sushi chef is a bit of animal profiling and also a sick joke. He’s probably chopping up his friends
  • No one notices a walking bag in a nice restaurant? That doesn’t raise any concern?
  • ‘It is my professional opinion that now is the time to panic’ – a news report in Monsters, Inc. that also could run at any point in today’s current society
  • Imagine you’re a giant monster, and there’s a tiny child – why not just scare them and let CDA handle it?
  • If Sully and Mike live in the penthouse, how did they just walk out the door onto the street?
  • Did they not realize how innocent kids were when they were asleep? Why does Boo have to be the one to show them?
  • How many kids have walk-in closets? Apparently everyone in the world. And how many remember to close them each night? I don’t even close my closet door
  • Bring an obscure relative to work day – how does Mr. Waternoose not know he didn’t approve that
  • Is Boo actually potty trained? I find that hard to believe
  • How is Boo so slippery? Why does Sully keep losing her?
  • ‘Put that thing back where it came from, so help me’ is the Pixar short we all need in our lives
  • Why is Celia in a neck brace? How did that happen? What was her arrest like? It seemed pretty docile
  • Mike legit forgot that lunch was in 5 minutes? I’m calling BS since every employee ever knows when their lunch break is
  • Sully basically saw his pet get run through a trash compactor and pounded into a block. His poor emotional state
  • All the CDA agents were using the bathroom at the same time. Why? Are all their relief cycles synced up?
  • No wonder Sully is single, he gets attached way too quickly
  • ‘1, 2, 3, 4 get the kid back through the door’ – a babysitting moto
  • When in doubt, go down the dark tunnel completely unprepared for what you may encounter
  • ‘If you’re gonna threaten me, do it properly’ is why we all love Mike Wazowski
  • Mike says hello to the scream extractor. Those actual words. ‘Hello.’ It’s a machine
  • Does no one else in the company know this dungeon lab of Randall’s exists?
  • Who names their kid Fungus? Poor guy
  • Was Sully previously unaware of his scare face? He had to know, right?
  • So, let me get this straight … Monsters, Inc. had a door specifically to banish monsters out of? For what reason? Why not just fire them? So dramatic
  • The Abominable Snowman looks like a giant sheep
  • Why are the monster lips so realistic looking? With wrinkles and all it’s slightly creepy
  • Mike is so emotional, but his communication skills are on point
  • Celia is very up and down with rattlesnakes on her head – what does Mike see in her? 
  • ‘What a plan, simple yet insane’ is me before every workout
  • Do the doors have to move at warp speed in the warehouse? Is that necessary?
  • Would it not have been easier to climb up the three doors to Boo’s instead of travelling through random kids’ closets?
  • Sully, the number one rule is to close the door. And what did you not do? Close the door. You deserved to be kicked out
  • Did the CDA not see Mike and Sully’s claws on top of Boo’s door? Quite observant this group
  • Mr. Waternoose moves surprisingly well for an old crab
  • Of course Roz is number one at the CDA. Who else should we have expected?
  • Was Boo not ever hungry during this adventure? When was the last time she ate?
  • Boo has a little Jesse, you know, from Toy Story because why not throw easter eggs in
  • How much therapy do we think Boo will need to mentally recover from this?
  • Why are Sully’s legs only about ⅕ of his total body height?
  • Sully pulls the last piece of Boo’s door off his clipboard, which was taped on there, and it comes off, but there’s no tape on there anymore. Never in my life has that been true. Where did the tape magically vanish to?

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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CHEERS TO THE THREE DAY WEEKEND

I’m not sure who is in charge of time, and years in general, but they seem to not have gotten the memo that it’s 2021. Get with the program. COVID was so last year. Actually, it was obviously just an election hoax. Yet here we are. Still in the middle of a raging pandemic with scary high death counts and new cases reports. All the people who keep extending the hard stop for this disease based on unrelated events remind me of the doomsdayers. Who, ironically, may be the only people not affected by the ‘vid since I’m pretty sure they’re still hunkered underground from the 2012 end of the world scare.

As if having 2020’s devilish tentacles slither into a fresh year isn’t bad enough, America is still hanging on by a thread. Literally. If you’ve ever visited Washington, DC, you understand how hard it is to get into a public restroom at Shake Shack, let alone the freaking Capitol Building. I mean, so many questions here. Why being the main one. Followed closely by what. As in, what even did I just witness? 

As mentioned in previous posts, I’m not a political person, but our “leaders” are trying hard to keep me invested. You know what I miss? Just plain old work stress. Not being worried about dying from some ridiculously contagious virus. Or about my general safety, not just until January 20th, but beyond, if we’re being honest, after recent events.Remember the good days? When you could go to work and get stressed, then come home and only be worried about not wanting to go back the next morning? What a life that was. It must be a good time to be a therapist. That has to be the most lucrative job in the world at the moment. With incredible job security as a bonus. 

With all the craziness that’s happening, it’s easy to forget the little things. Like how Monday is not a workday! What?! Holy guacamole, bless the three day weekend, it cannot get here soon enough! I know, I know this feels like fake news. But it’s true! The first three day weekend of the year is upon us. At the same time that it is every year, yet, it somehow feels like we could be deep into April showers and I would be none the wiser. 

This has been a weird two weeks and I have to believe I’m not the only one looking forward to doing nothing on Monday. Other than the usual. Staying hydrated. Catching up on my social status points by binge-watching Bridgerton. Spend a ridiculous amount of time scrolling social media and looking at everyone else doing normal, adult things. Eating all of my meals as takeout, because who has time to cook. Procrastinating on my responsibilities. Just a standard day in the life. Sans work. And the stress that comes with that.

So, let’s dive into the time anatomy of a three day weekend. Because that is something I’ve had lots of time to think about. 24 hours, specifically. Three whole workdays, in case you missed that reference. It starts on Thursday evening. Some might argue that it starts Friday evening, but I have to disagree. Almost all good things start on Thursday, for one. Weekends, if you have the right mindset. Being thirsty. Golf tournaments. Vacation, if you know how to do it right. Anyways, we have Thursday evening. Which is when we mentally begin to prepare for an entire extra 24 hours of freedom. For all the Sunday evening festivities that we won’t feel guilty about. This is also the time where we start to understand what our wrap-up tasks are for Friday.

What’s a wrap-up task? Easy. Something that you have to get done to enjoy a stress free long weekend. Typically people think in terms of work here, but I also like to add chores to my list. Because, again, this is basically a staycation and who has time for chores on staycation? Once you have your list, and you wake up on Friday, you should be ready to hit the ground running. Sprinting, actually, to get all your wrap-up tasks done since the earlier you finish, the earlier your weekend starts. Unless you’re required to stay at work until a certain hour. At which point, my thoughts and prayers are with you, young Jedi.

Once free from a to-do list, you can engage in whatever sort of relaxation you would like. Starting Friday afternoon. Burning hot through the night and all through Saturday. Your fire may get slightly dampened on Sunday morning as the routine side of your brain thinks you have work the next day, but never fear! You will quickly find your feet again as you realize that it’s basically second Saturday. Saturday squared! Which is rarely a bad thing. Anyways, you crush Sunday like a relaxed boss! 

Sunday night is when you can choose to begin the descent from your mental high, or you can take the approach of that being a problem for future you. Not going to tell you how to live your life, but I prefer the latter option. It’s more fun. For present me, anyway. Then there’s Monday. Historically a fairly dreaded day of the week. The worst day of the week, some might argue. I think it depends on the week, but you can get all my thoughts on which days are the best days in THIS POST. Anyways, you get Monday off and there’s the official breakdown. That’s a three day weekend at its most basic level. Enjoy yours!

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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WORKWEEK SURVIVAL PLAYLIST

I love working! Said almost no one ever. There are some of you out there who genuinely look forward to a Monday morning like it’s a free piece of cheesecake. You and I are not the same. I don’t hate my job, but I also always look forward to Friday evenings. When I’m done for the weekend. Like a normal person. With a life. And friends. And shows to binge.

Despite my feelings on work being a necessary part of life, it is still a thing. Until I stop getting bills, I think work is in my future. Which is what it is. That does mean, though, that unless COVID wipes us out like the asteroids did the dinosaurs, the workweek is very much still a part of our lives. Unless you’re a trust fund baby, or a royal, or a lottery winner, or just don’t care. I don’t know – there are always outliers. But for the majority of us, we are stuck with jobs.

Personally, I have to take my work days one at a time. Or I’ll get overwhelmed by how far away the weekend is. So to help myself make it, I look forward to milestones. Taco (and marg and trivia) Tuesday. Wine Wednesday. Thirsty Thursday. And then, of course, the ultimate milestone: FRIYAY! And what do I do to survive between workday checkpoints? Crank up my jams and dance like nobody’s watching! That’s right! I like to give myself inspirational playlists to not burn out and today I’m here to pass this ground-breaking, innovative, idea of themed music onto you, my readers.

We all listen to different types of songs, artists, and genres. I get that. Which is why I don’t like giving out specific titles for people. This is what I like to call a suggestion of song ideas that lead your mind down certain trains of thought. For work, specifically, we want survival, happy, breaking the glass ceiling type of vibes. But enough of this foreplay! Here are the themes that should definitely be on your workweek survival playlist, or we might find you crying in the broom closet on Wednesday morning:

  1. Songs about Personal Strength
    1. When you’re feeling drained, and exhausted, and frustrated, you need someone telling you that you can do it! You’ve got the power!
  2. Songs about Overcoming Hardships
    1. When your boss is yelling at you, and you just had a terrible quarterly review, and the CEO thought you were an intern, you need someone telling you that no matter where you’re at right now, it gets better! Chase those dreams!
  3. Songs about Doing The Impossible
    1. When you have to put out a massive fire, or a customer is yelling at you and your patience is running out, you need someone telling you that you can do it! This is your time to shine!
  4. Songs about Getting Money
    1. When you’re staring at a spreadsheet, or when you’ve been denied PTO, or when you just cried in your car before clocking in, you need someone reminding you of why you do the grind! Make that money!
  5. Songs about Being Great
    1. When you’ve been told by customers and co-workers in a not so subtle way that you suck, you need someone telling you that they don’t know you! You’re grrreeeaatttt! 
  6. Songs about Being Happy
    1. When you just feel pissed off because you’re at work, or when you’re sad because you didn’t get the promotion, or when you’re just bleh because, again, work, you need someone to snap you out of it! Don’t worry, be happy!
  7. Songs about Vacation
    1. When you’re about ready to chuck your computer at the wall, or shove your phone down the toilet, or shred all the important documents you made, you need someone reminding you that there is a paradise out there called Vacation. And you deserve it!
  8. Songs about Just Hanging Out
    1. When you’ve got so much work to do you forget to eat lunch, use the bathroom, and blink all day, you need someone telling you to take a breath and chill. Hang ten, baby, life will go on!
  9. Songs about Drinking
    1. When you’re just at work and anything, really, happens that doesn’t pump up your excitement or laughter meters, you need someone telling you that alcohol will always be there for you! The steadiest of friends!
  10. *Songs about Christmas
    1. *This one is optional, but highly recommended at any time of year. When you’re sad, and struggling to keep up your bubbly personality, and really just feeling stuck at work, and maybe in life, you need someone reminding you of the best time of year! It’s a holly jolly time!

What’s on your current work week survival playlist? If you’re more of a podcaster, I feel confident that in today’s market you can find podcasts for all of these themes. If you prefer sitting in silence, I mean, I’m not really sure what to say to you. Why, just why? What is that accomplishing? Focus? Really? Is that the goal? I don’t know. I like a little mood music when I’m doing something not by choice, know what I’m saying?

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 DAYS OF THE WEEK

Honesty is important in most things. Not all things, but the majority. Like if someone from your favorite team’s rival school asks if you can be friends it may be best to smile and nod even though you know you’ll never hang out. Or if your significant other goes grocery shopping and brings home regular Oreos instead of double stuffed it may be best to say thank you and eat them anyways. It is still an Oreo. An inferior Oreo, but an Oreo nonetheless. Or when you lose a game and tell the other team / player they played well even though they’re being obnoxious and you know you lost it, they didn’t win it. Know what I mean?

Those are obviously just a few examples, you can probably think of some from your life I’m sure. In pretty much every other situation, though, honesty is usually the best route. You can choose to lie, but in my experience that only comes back to bite you in the butt. One of those situations is not picking favorites, however. The whole point of picking favorites is to be biased and rank the list based on your current feelings. It’s an honest sentiment on what things you like and don’t like.

So let’s rank some things! What’s something that every human has to deal with? Days of the week. I like to believe that animals don’t since they don’t go to school and learn the calendar system so they probably just live in a state of bliss. Sun comes up, sun goes down. It makes no difference to them if it’s a Monday or a Friday. Also, they don’t work, so a workweek is not a major stressor in their lives. I’m assuming. That all could be inaccurate, I can’t say I’ve spent any amount of time looking into this other than observing my dog.

Enough about how animals choose to live their best lives, let’s break down the best, and the worst, days of the week. According to me. The Restless Professional. You may feel differently and that’s fine. Not everyone can be right. I do think it’s important to recognize that there is a big difference between vacation days and work days. That being said, there will be two rankings: a regular workweek days of the week ranking and a vacation days of the week ranking.

It’s a Workweek Ranking

  1. Saturday
  2. Friday
  3. Thursday
  4. Sunday
  5. Tuesday
  6. Wednesday
  7. Monday

Obviously the weekend is prime real estate during the week since that typically means no work. Saturday is clearly the superior weekend day. Friday is the next best thing because it’s the end of the week and that means that the best day, Saturday, is tomorrow. Some people may be wondering why Thursday ranks above Sunday? Simple. Thirsty Thursday comes before Friday which comes before Saturday. What does Sunday come before? Monday, bleh. But it is still a weekend day so it makes the top half of the list. Taco Tuesday just comes with a whole slew of fun evening events for your enjoyment. Wednesday is, honestly, overrated – hooray you’re halfway done. Not as encouraging as it should be. There’s still half the workweek left. Monday feels self-explanatory. 

Vacation Elation Ranking

  1. Sunday
  2. Monday
  3. Tuesday
  4. Wednesday
  5. Thursday
  6. Friday
  7. Saturday

When you’re on vacation, you want the week to slow down! A Monday means you have so much time to not do things like work. It’s fantastic. That’s why I wouldn’t change a thing. Maybe the person who created this lineup was on vacation when doing so? What would your rankings look like? Similar? Vastly different? No preference? I don’t believe that for a second.

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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LOTS OF SKILLS AND NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM

General education development. GED’s for all you acronym lovers out there (talking to myself mostly, but I know there’s some other weirdos out there, too). What a fascinating use of our education system. If I listed all of the times that I put my Gen Ed to use in the real world, it would take up literally zero space. Say it ain’t so! Yes, unfortunately, all of my current knowledge comes from Google. When I don’t remember something, I turn to Internet Einstein. The all-knowing search engine that only sometimes lets me down. Although usually the let down is a personal ineptitude in search keywords, so I guess I can’t really blame that on someone else. I go more into my feels on the Google, and how literally anything is Google-able, in THIS POST.

College did teach me a lot of things. Mmm … wait, let me rephrase. College forced me to take classes across a disturbingly wide variety of topics in the hopes that I would learn a lot of things and be “well-rounded”. Things like the history of ancient ruins in early Rome. Creative writing and scientific research – conflicting concepts, one assignment. The life of Beyoncé (ok this wasn’t actually a waste, let’s be honest). How to be a wizard – spoiler alert: it’s more difficult than Harry and Hermoine make it seem. The American prison system. Modern day mathematics. All the tree species in rural Africa. So many, what’s the right word, curious offerings.

Still not really sure how those are helpful in navigating real-life issues. Such as filing taxes, applying for health insurance, receiving feedback at work, correctly bagging groceries in self-checkout (when do I have to bag and when is it alright not to? It’s so confusing!), how to remain calm in a highway parking lot (more on annoying traffic patterns in THIS POST), navigating the strange world of online dating, etc.

Somehow, that seems like a better use of my money. If college was free, then this would be a different story. Give me all the classes you’re marketing as required so they don’t get nixed from the offerings list and keep me there forever. Because that is what this is about right? Struggling departments trying to meet butts in seats requirements so they become part of everyone’s coursework. I can imagine this conversation vividly:

Board of Trustees: “Department A hasn’t seen the enrollment numbers we were promised. Let’s take it to the guillotine, it’s been real.

Chancellor: “No, wait! Let’s not make rash decisions. We can force all of our students to take at least one of their classes – it will make them more marketable.” 

Moral of the story is that college is apparently for suckers like me. Trying to do the right thing and get a piece of paper so people will think I know what I’m doing and might consider hiring me. The hard irony being that when you actually walk across the stage they give you a blank piece of paper. Symbolism for the blank spaces on your resume where your experience could have been, but you were forced to learn about how grocery stores arrange their shelves to coerce shoppers into buying certain products. Not unfascinating, but also not helpful in an interview for an engineering position.

Believe it or not, if I wanted to take some of these classes, I would have made that my major. Or I would have done it willingly and not cared about the cost. For three whole credits though, I expect a solid return on investment there. I pay you so that eventually someone will pay me. Yet here we are, not writing bibliographies, not analyzing rocks from my yard, not identifying tree varieties in the local park, not doing math, not mixing chemicals together to see a reaction, not looking at cells under a microscope, not casting spells, etc. No, if I need to do any of that, I look it up online. Clearly the most important part of my education has stuck with me then – how to use my resources to efficiently find a solution to a problem.

Why they force us to take tests without technology is beyond me. I’m not sure how proving that you can remember something for a small period of time after staying up all night studying is applicable in a job environment. Where you have computers. And the Internet. And everyone encouraging you / telling you to figure it out yourself (aka with the help of a robot like Google, Alexa, Siri, Watson, etc.).

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who has also experienced the tragedy of GED’s, share this with them so they can take solace in the fact that college doesn’t just hate them. It’s a universal issue. Thanks for reading!


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