We all have our pet peeves – things (or people) that annoy us. Often, our adverse reaction is extreme, over-the-top, or even irrational. We can’t explain why a particular thing bothers us, it just does. Why, you may be asking, is he wasting his time writing about such things? The polite answer is I just wanted to get them “off my chest.” The not-so-polite answer is, to paraphrase the late singer Lesley Gore, “It’s my blog, and I can write what I want to.”
So, in no particular order, below please find my list. I am sure that some of these annoy many of you as well.
- Restaurants/doctors that overbook – You enter a restaurant, and immediately see a crowd of people in the lobby. The receptionist tells you it will be “a few minutes.” Everyone else seems to have a reservation too. Oh boy! This can definitely put a damper on a pleasant evening. What is the point of taking a reservation in the first place if you are going to make your customers wait anyway? Do they think I’m going to sit at the bar and run up a $100 liquor bill while waiting for a table? I don’t like going to these restaurants, but I do so for three reasons: (a) the food is really good, (b) my wife wants to go there, and (c) I want to keep my wife happy. Nevertheless, whenever this happens I’m reminded of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry admonishes the restaurateur that he “knows how to make a reservation but not how to keep one.” Doctors who overbook strike me as indifferent to their patients’ convenience. Their attitude is “my time is more valuable than yours.” My solution is to take the first appointment of the day whenever possible (although once I showed up for the “first appointment” only to discover that there were two other people ahead of me who also had the “first appointment”).
- Common courtesy – Common courtesy, like “common sense,” is far from common. I have noticed that many, if not most, people do not say “please” or “thank you” anymore. And “your welcome” is non-existent. In addition, some people, refuse to hold the door for you, even if you are a woman, elderly or laden with packages.
- Electronic devices – Cell phones, I Phones, tablets, etc., are, possibly, the worst inventions ever. How many times have you observed people walking in the street or through a parking lot absorbed in these devices and not paying attention? How many times have you observed an entire family sitting in a restaurant where everyone is absorbed in his device rather than talking with each other, or even eating? How many times have you observed drivers being more attentive to their devices than to their driving? How many near-accidents have you had because of them? ‘Nough said.
- Driving – It’s amazing how many drivers don’t know how to drive and how many lack common courtesy to other drivers. Driving can be hazardous, and not just on the road. The mere act of exiting a parking space can be a dangerous experience, especially while one is backing out. For example, people blithely walk behind you. Other drivers will go past your space too fast. Trucks and SUVs parked next to you create blind spots. It can be a virtual obstacle course. I try to park facing forward, although some parking lots expressly forbid it. How often have you observed a driver who is texting/emailing/talking on the phone? How many times have you seen a driver rolling through a “stop” sign, failing to ingress onto a highway properly, or driving slowly in the left lane, or the HOV lane? I can’t decide whether those drivers are stupid, arrogant, discourteous, oblivious, or all of the above.
- Foreign language telephone prompts – At the risk of being politically incorrect, let me just say that this annoys me. After all, we are in the US. I suspect I’m not alone in this.
- President Trump’s tweets – I’m a big Trump supporter, and I understand that there are times he has to bypass the media, which he perceives as being slanted against him. But, I think he overdoes it, and, at times, his tweets are inappropriate.
- Al Sharpton – In my view, he is nothing more than a “race hustler.” He continually shows up when he senses an opportunity to foment dissension and controversy and advance his own “brand.” He does nothing to solve the problems minorities face, such as prejudice, poverty, inadequate education and gun violence. More often than not, he is wrong, e.g. Tawana Brawley, Duke Lacrosse, Ferguson, MO. Ironically, he is respected by many in the minority community, and if he wanted he could be a positive force in race relations.
- Hillary Clinton – Enough, already! You lost. You bear the responsibility for the loss for various reasons, which I have articulated in previous blogs. You’re not the champion of women’s rights you pretend to be. You’re a disingenuous phony. Stop making lame excuses and advancing criticisms without offering meaningful solutions. You’re hurting your own political party. Just go away!
- Congress – In 1948 Harry Truman won re-election, in large part, by labelling the Congress as a “do nothing Congress.” That is what we have now. The Congress cannot seem to get out of its own way. Its leadership seems incapable of forging any compromises on anything. This has been true for several years. I wouldn’t characterize it as the fault of either political party, as it seems to be embedded in both sides.
- Telephone solicitors – I know they have a job to do, but there should be a special place in hell for these people. The “do not call” law has more holes in it than Swiss cheese. These people call repeatedly; they call at all hours; they block their phone numbers; and they even call on local exchanges in an attempt to deceive you into answering. Thank God for caller ID, but they are still most annoying.
Well, there you have it. I feel so much better for getting these peeves off my chest. Have I missed any? Let me know.