WEATHERMAN JOB PERFORMANCE STANDARDS v. EVERY OTHER FIELD

Weather might be the most unpredictable thing in our lives. Well, aside from that person you really like who is sending mixed signals with their choice to say hi instead of hey! – how am I supposed to take that?! You’re only mildly satisfied to talk to me?! You didn’t think I deserved a full on exclamation point?! I mean, you get all cute and flirty, then don’t respond for 8 hours….you may be at work, but we both know you’re checking your phone. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions that’s frankly exhausting.

Full disclosure, in the middle of that tangent I forgot where I was going and was about to write a post about dating, but let’s climb that mountain another day because we have more important things to talk about – specifically, how in the world weathermen (or weatherpeople to be politically correct) don’t get fired constantly. Now, I am a young professional, wait, no that feels too mature for the way I’m approaching the work life…I have a job (that feels 100% appropriate). And in said job, there are certain performance criteria that I have to meet (over and over again, apparently, which is a separate rollercoaster of emotional pain). And if I fail to meet said criteria I will no longer have a job. Instead, I will have a lot of free time Monday through Friday between the hours of 9AM-5PM. As much as I like to believe that I’m “special” and “unique” and “going places”, and all the other things that older generations think us millennials wake up and repeat to ourselves in the mirror daily, it turns out that EVERY job has performance standards. Not only that, but in ALMOST every job, those directly correlate to whether or not you keep said job (more so said income, am I right?). Funny thing about that though, is that apparently this isn’t true for all jobs – two come immediately to mind, one of which we are about to dive into so grab your umbrella and buckle up those rain boots because it looks like full sunshine today!

Meteorologists, more commonly known as the weatherman, seem to have no clear performance standards. They give us a wildly inaccurate forecast day, after day, after day, after day, etc. and somehow end up on billboards all across the country. One of the news channels where I grew up used to brag about having the most accurate weather around – at 90%. What about the other 10% you ask? Well you’re just S.O.L. for that part of the week because no one has a freaking clue. Although to their credit, they are incredibly clever. Have you ever looked up the weather and seen a 0% chance of rain? No, you haven’t because it’s always at least 10%…just in case the sun gets sad and starts to cry. Or, have you noticed that news channels always include a weather report after a Breaking News segment? Yep, it’s because 30 minutes ago they weren’t sure if it would be raining right at this moment, but now they are 100% sure it’s not raining outside currently. So better update the public and make the meteorologist seem like they’re earning their keep.

For all this hate, though, I honestly have a ton of respect for meteorologists. Have you ever gone to a science museum, or a kids museum more accurately, and played in the exhibit where you have to read the weather map while simultaneously trying to navigate a greenscreen live on camera?! Let me just tell you, it’s not easy – so they clearly have true talent…as actors. That exhibit, however, did teach me a lot about how they read the weather. They read it off a BLANK SCREEN. No wonder it’s never right. That’s like a doctor reading a patient their diagnosis from a BLANK PAGE. Or an Uber driver navigating with a BLANK APP. Or a restaurant giving you a BLANK MENU. In my experience, some sort of guidance helps…anything really.

We’ve established that weather accuracy leaves a lot to be desired. The hourly forecast for a day is questionable at best. And yet, several popular weather sites offer services where you can pay (ACTUAL MONEY!) for a 96-hour forecast. Listen, you come talk to me when the 48-hour forecast is a sure thing. Who’s paying for that is what I want to know? Not me, because I’m smart and I have a big person job and I have big person bills so I can’t be bothered with those frivolous lifestyle additions.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If someone you know is a meteorologist please thank them for having the self-confidence to fail continuously, but look great doing it. Thanks for reading!


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

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

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

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

Scenario 1

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

Scenario 2

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

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

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

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


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SWIVEL CHAIRS ARE THE SLICED BREAD OF OFFICE FURNITURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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