KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB

Sometimes you meet someone who just has that exterior that’s one way but you know underneath, there’s a sly, terrifically funny guy sitting on the side just waiting to be handed the mike. Casey Ryan is that guy.
I met Casey through fabulous author @EdenBaylee when I was promoting A Walk In The Snark, and she was kind enough to score me an interview. Casey then returned the favor and came on the radio show I did over at the Indie Book Collective where we had to behave (I’m no longer affiliated with the IBC). It was on that show that the topic of ‘kindergarten nonsense’ first arose in our G-rated voices. 
I followed up with Casey and told him to come on over to my blog and let loose, baby. Say what he really meant that day!
So here it is. 

Kindergarten Nonsense: by: Casey Ryan


There are times in life when the most seemingly educated and well-rounded of adults will have a blue-faced temper tantrum over some little breach about an innocuous social protocol that would rival a 5-year old at Walmart the week before Christmas.


I’ve become adept at noticing these behavior patterns over the years, primarily because I have very little patience for them and, also find them quite funny. The first time I coined the term “Kindergarten Nonsense” publicly was during an interview on the Indie Book Collective podcast and have been using it in daily life for as long as I can remember. Clearly “nonsense” was not the first word I was reaching for but, I couldn’t exactly yell “bullshit” either.


Enough of you have asked me to point out some concrete examples of it that I’ve thrown together this posting for you. I’ve selected one “based on a real” story from the work, play, and family arenas and will sum up with my own (simplified) coping strategy.


Work: Bring enough for everyone or don’t bring any at all.


I’ve spent the better part of my career as a corporate sales rep and worked on a large number of teams – each with their own unique flavor. The one common denominator, however, is a ruthless, primal need to win contests. The silly thing is that the prize itself doesn’t matter –if it’s free and there is a metric attached to it, guys will slit each other’s throats for it.


I was once involved in a tense set of negotiations on a huge deal. It would be one of the largest projects ever for my employers and certainly the single biggest for me personally. After several months of contract talks, I made a bet with my bosses that if I were to get a signature by the end of the week, they’d send my wife and I out to dinner at one of the most well-known (and expensive) restaurants in town.


I got my signature and was branded a hero by management. Our CEO called me personally to thank me for all my hard work. An e-mail got sent to the entire company about my victory that also made a passing joke about the dinner I’d won.


That was when the “kindergarten bullshit” started. A teammate of mine went behind my back and spoke to my boss to object to the meal I’d won honestly. He said that all wins were “team wins” and that it was greedy of me to accept the dinner. The money could be used to take the whole sales team out for pizza. A meeting was held and a mock court set up to hear both sides out with the entire team present.


The company sided with me and my wife and I enjoyed our damn dinner. My disgruntled teammate retaliated for the next several months by teasing me to the brink of bullying. The harder he tried to get me to crack, the harder I worked to beat his sales figures. Eventually, he got so worked up that he had a shouting match with the wrong people and quit in anger.


I got promoted based on how I handled the situation which in this case was to keep my own side of the fence clean and keep working.


Play: If you can’t win the game, change the rules.


In my spare time, I volunteer for one of the various Irish community groups here in Montreal. As part of my duties I co-host a trivia tournament 3 times a year. My friend and I took over the “quiz-master” detail after several regular patrons complained that our predecessor’s questions were impossible to answer. I’m a trivia buff and even I thought they were really hard so when the opportunity came for me to run the thing myself, I jumped at it.


Despite spending hours trying to water down the difficulty level but, still make it hard enough to have a clear winner, my friend and I also got blasted for the questions being too hard. Our first effort was met with the familiar shouts of “too hard”, “never heard of the guy”, or “give us new questions”.


One older woman sitting in front row practically started crying and screamed at me that her team was unable to identify any of the famous statues in our picture round – one of which was the Little Mermaid in Denmark. This time I stood my ground and called her out. I looked her right in the face and said I had a special question just for her team alone. When she calmed down, I asked her what she’d eaten for breakfast that morning. Flustered, she said she couldn’t remember but, asked if I’d give half points if she told me what she had for lunch.


Family: If you can’t entertain others, entertain yourself.


The best example that I can come up with for dealing with “Kindergarten Bullshit ”comes from my father. It also probably best sums up my thoughts on the matter and is as close to a first glance as I have.


Growing up, my family was one of a half dozen English ones in an otherwise French neighborhood. As part of the summer ritual, we’d all spend the day at the local community pool with “Les Anglais” all clustered together in the one section to which we laid claim and defended regularly.


The diving towers were located at the short, chubby “deep” end of the L-shaped pool and roped off. One of the strictest rules was that one was not allowed, under any circumstances, to dive off the tower and swim underwater past the rope and into the main section of the pool.


My dad (a former lifeguard himself) thought this was a dumb rule and broke it daily. Whistles would get blown and the guards would shout at him. He’d come up long enough for a big gulp of air, pretend he didn’t hear them, and duck back underwater. The fun would last for about 5 minutes until he had every pool staffer in the place trying to section him off like a criminal on America’s Most Wanted.


He couldn’t speak much French himself but, did understand enough of it. This didn’t stop him from pretending like he wasn’t able to. If he was in an especially good mood, he’d make sure I was close enough that I could hear what was going on. They’d bark at him in French, threatening all kinds of expulsions and he’d just stare at them with an incomprehensible glassy look on his face. The game would get shut down when they’d either find the one staffer who spoke English or bring one of the other English dads over to translate – or more accurately pretend to.


My point to all these ramblings is thus a simple one – “Kindergarten Bullshit” is a vicious circle because fighting back perpetuates more bad behavior. As a safety check to our own sense of normalcy, however, it’s our duty to point it out when we see it but, in doing so, pick our battles carefully. Most arguments aren’t worth having and you get more mileage out of a good meal or funny story than a confrontation. If you feel strongly enough about something, swim under the damn rope.

Casey Ryan is the creator and host of the Cutting Room Floor talk-radio podcast. For the past 3 years, the show has sought to highlight the works of independent entertainers of all types. The half hour segments air live on Sundays at 12 PM EST with recorded copies posted shortly afterward.

A self proclaimed pop-culture addict, Casey is always trying to read up on the latest entertainment news stories. His film education consists of a lifetime of watching and studying movies. He holds a BA in Industrial Relations and Economics as well as a diploma in Sciences. For the past 10 years he has enjoyed a prolific career in corporate sales – often using his skills to help his guests market their work on air. Proud of his Irish heritage, Casey sits on the Board of Directors of the Montreal Chapter of the Ireland-Canada Chamber of Commerce – a volunteer group seeking to create greater business ties between the 2 countries. He is also a member of the Montreal Press Club.

Casey was born and raised in Montreal, Canada where he currently lives with his wife of 7 years. Follow Casey on Twitter @CuttingRoomMRB.

Casey Ryan, host of Cutting Room Floor

Casey, I couldn’t adore you more. Please reply to Casey  or I directly with your own Kindergarten Bullshit stories below. 
About Rachel Thompson

Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released Broken Places and the award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. Rachel is published and represented by Booktrope where she directs the Gravity imprint helping authors share their stories of trauma and recovery. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. For affordable group sessions check out Author Social Media Boot Camp, monthly sessions to help all authors! Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…),,,, and Self-Publishers Monthly.

Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs and the live Twitter chat, #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish.

She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.


  1. KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB via @RachelintheOC

  2. KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB via @RachelintheOC

  3. Kindergarten BS – when good adults go bad…Blog by @CuttingRoomMRB Share your stories & Plz RT

  4. We are all kids RT @RachelintheOC: Kindergarten BS: when good adults go bad. Blog by @CuttingRoomMRB Share your stories

  5. RT @RachelintheOC: Kindergarten BS – when good adults go bad…Blog by @CuttingRoomMRB Share your stories & Plz RT

  6. “@RachelintheOC: #MentionMonday Kindergarten Nonsense – a guest post by Casey Ryan @CuttingRoomMRB Plz read & RT”

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  8. RT @rachelintheoc: #MentionMonday Kindergarten Nonsense – adults have the funniest tantrums! via @CuttingRoomMRB Plz RT

  9. Priceless! Like you, Rachel, I absolutely adore Casey, and what he’s written here gives me one more reason why.

    Casey, the examples for kindergarten nonsense are fantastic. I can especially relate to the work one. The whole ‘team’ atmosphere has become so ingrained in corporate culture that it’s ridiculous. People like to hide behind the ‘team’ when they are unable to perform individually. Conversely, they hop on the ‘team train’ when they want to get credit for something, even if they did not contribute to it (as in your case with your co-worker).

    Hel-loooo? School’s out. Not everyone is a winner. The thinking that there are only winners and no losers in the world is bullshit. Parents do a real disservice to their kids if they don’t teach them this reality. Sooner or later, everyone has to stand on his/her own and the cream always rises to the top. Good on you for standing your ground, Casey!

    This may sound crude, but next time an idiot says to me “There’s no ‘I’ in Team,” I’m going to tell him “Yes, but there’s a ‘U’ in Cunt, and that’s what you are.” Ok, maybe it’s childish but I will get soooo much satisfaction from saying it. hehehe

    Great article, Casey,

    • That’s AWESOME, Eden. And so true. You and I left corporate culture for a reason. One of my many stories: I won lots of awards similar to Casey’s and being a woman makes it even more satisfying. One of the TOP awards I won was only available to employees who’d been w/ the company over ten years & who’d won at least two yearly consecutive awards & had the nomination of two managers blah blah. So, I won. A trip to an exclusive resort in Cancun.

      As JP and I were picked up along w/ others who’d won, it was all old men and their wives. The WOMEN directed their comments to my husband, asking him how long he’d been with the company and what he’d done to win the trip. He put his arm proudly around me and said, “Marry her.” I’ll never forget hearing their dentures snap into place.

      Sometimes those nasty assumptions can bite you in the ass.

      • Love it! Good for JP for coming up with the snappy comeback. I won a trip to Cancun as well – maybe I saw you there 😉

      • Also a great example. The look on the women’s faces must have been hilarious! Thanks again for the opportunity to write this, Rachel. I had a blast working on it.

    • ROFLWTSquirrels :-)

    • Thanks for the feedback, Eden. Glad you liked the post. Your comeback line is a great one and makes me wish I’d thought of it. I usually shoot back “There may be no ‘I’ in Team but, there are 2 in both Integrity and Intelligence.”

  10. KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB via @RachelintheOC

  11. RT @RachelintheOC: #MentionMonday Kindergarten Nonsense – a rant by guest blogger @CuttingRoomMRB Retweets are hot, baby

  12. RT @RachelintheOC: #MentionMonday Kindergarten Nonsense – a rant by guest blogger @CuttingRoomMRB Retweets are hot, baby

  13. RT @RachelintheOC: #MentionMonday Kindergarten Nonsense – adults have the funniest tantrums! via @CuttingRoomMRB Plz RT

  14. Casey, what a hoot to read your take on kindergarten nonsense. I wasn’t in corporate culture but I find the stories about communication breakdowns very interesting. Your run-in with that co-worker is priceless. (I always want to know how that guy ended up.)

    I love the swimming pool memory as well — all of the post really — since lifeguards have that certain right to make people hop to: too much sun.

    • Thanks, Justin. Glad that you enjoyed the post. The story behind the guy quitting is also funny but, I haven’t heard from him since.

  15. KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB via @rachelintheoc

  16. KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB via @RachelintheOC

  17. KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB via @rachelintheoc – Loved this, TY Casey and Rachel!

  18. KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB via @RachelintheOC

  19. I’m a teacher. Sadly, my life is all about the kindergarten bullshit. Well, okay, eleventh grade bullshit. But at least my bullshitters have the excuse of being kids! Well put article, and a lesson to us all!

    • Thanks, Lorca. One of my best friends is a high school teacher and he’s got a big pile of stories too. Sometimes the “maturity line” gets frightfully blurry. Mike Judge’s film Idiocracy feels more like a documentary with every passing year.

  20. @ceebee308 @oudjoe @YoungbloodHawk1 @MarkAaronC @justasked @VuDog @hyphend Hi guys! Check out my latest article!

  21. Hi Joe! @joewilsontv as promised, here is the piece I wrote for @rachelintheOC “Kindergarten Nonsense”

  22. #MentionMonday Kindergarten BS – when good adults go bad! Blog by @CuttingRoomMRB Share your stories!

  23. KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB via @RachelintheOC

  24. KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB via @RachelintheOC

  25. KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB via @RachelintheOC

  26. #MentionMonday Post by @CuttingRoomMRB Kindergarten Nonsense & maintaining your own sanity Plz RT

  27. RT @BadRedheadMedia: #MentionMonday Post by @CuttingRoomMRB Kindergarten Nonsense & maintaining your own sanity Plz RT

  28. RT @BadRedheadMedia: #MentionMonday @CuttingRoomMRB aka Casey Ryan shares lessons he’s learned in “how to pick battles”

  29. KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB via @RachelintheOC

  30. KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB via @RachelintheOC

  31. RT @PavartiKTyler: KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB via @RachelintheOC

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  33. RT @edenbaylee: KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB via @RachelintheOC

  34. KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB via @RachelintheOC

  35. RT @CuttingRoomMRB: Check out my guest post on @RachelintheOC’s blog “Kindergarten Nonsense” Please RT

  36. KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB via @RachelintheOC

  37. KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB via @RachelintheOC

  38. KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB via @RachelintheOC

  39. KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB via @RachelintheOC

  40. KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB via @RachelintheOC

  41. KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB via @RachelintheOC

  42. RT @edenbaylee: KINDERGARTEN NONSENSE: by guest Casey Ryan aka @CuttingRoomMRB via @RachelintheOC

  43. Casey, excellent post and one that resonates with ALL of us who have been in the workforce for more than a few years. Rachel, thanks for tweeting me in the direction of his wit and humor!

    One favorite work-related nonsense comes in the form of female vs. male stereotypes and double standards, but there isn’t enough time nor space here to delve into THAT whammy.

    • Terrific to have you here, Stilts. Casey rocks and I plan to have him back for Part Two!

      Yes, the double standards are there, for sure. Women in business experience it every day. I do find, as an author and social media consultant, there is more of a level playing field. Knowledge is knowledge. If people have an issue with the fact that I’m a woman, that’s their problem, not mine. I have male and female clients and all are equally wonderful. That said, I get lots of 1-star reviews from both men and women (though mostly men haha). Again, their issue, not mine.

      Would make for an interesting post. In my first book, I do discuss men vs women in the workplace, interestingly enough. But so much more to write!


  1. […] with you are being petty and immature.  As far as I am concerned; it is the same as that other Kindergarten Nonsense  that Casey Ryan talks about in his guest post with Rachel […]

  2. […] a follow-up to my original Kindergarten Nonsense article here on @RachelintheOC’s blog, I thought it would be fun to throw out a couple of […]

  3. […] I do with all my guests (see recent posts by Justin Bog, Toby Neal, and Casey Ryan), I asked Lorca to share something real from her past. Something that would surprise readers, make […]

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