Tuesday 27 Sep 2016

Pet Peeves
Matt Seinberg

Let me make one thing perfectly clear, Pet Peeves are what we notice everyday. I do something that peeves you. You do something that peeves someone else. The circle plays on and on, getting bigger and bigger.

What bothers me doesn't bother others. What bothers others doesn't bother me. Peeves are universal, part of the human condition, but no stain on it.

I enjoy writing about peeves, yours or mine. Being peevish is fun, not judgmental. Here's my list of top peeves.

On any sort of chat, such as AIM, Yahoo Messenger, Facebook and so forth, you say hello to someone. You receive no response at all. What's with that? If you're busy, don't sign on to chat. If you do sign on, at least be polite and say hello. Say you're busy and be done with it. If your computer automatically signs you on when it turns on, change the settings so you won't be bothered.

If you finish the toilet paper roll, replace it. Make sure it's over not under; over uses fewer sheets. How hard is that to do? Finally, don't forget to flush and wash your hands!

Who wants to see hair in the sink or shower drain? Come on, if you lose it, clean it up, how gross! Let's not even discuss hair on the toilet.

You leave a message on a home answering machine, voice mail or cell voice mail, but don't get a call back. The first time, I'll accept the excuse, "I didn't get your message" or "when the kids listen to the message, they delete everyone." Thereafter, it is ignorance or you don't care. I won't call back, ever, even if you call me.

We've all had this happen to us, drivers that leave their directional blinkers on for miles without turning. Holy cow, how annoying and dangerous is that practice. If you're in Florida, be extra careful. You never know what the driver is going to do.

If you want something done right, do it yourself. I truly believe this and I hate "delegating" stuff around the house, but when you work the stupid schedule I do, it's hard to get everything done. How hard is it on Monday and Thursday to put out the garbage cans without someone telling to do so for ten years?

Why must some men and women always be late for an appointment or date? If you say you're going to be somewhere at a certain time, arrive on time; call or text that you're running late. I had a friend in college that was late for everything. The only way to get him on time anywhere was to tell him we were going to be there an hour before necessary. Do you people ever look at a watch or clock?

Rude women and men, who don't, for example, signal when changing lanes, cut lines and walk into stores like they own them and give the sales person the "hand" as if they are overly strong handshake as if they're a football player. Well, those people deserve what they get in return, usually nasty looks, poor service or no discount.

Another peeve, of mine, is someone who repeats a question, many times, even though the answer is always the same. Some women and men think rephrasing the question will change the answer. If the answer does change, on re-phrasing the question, you're hearing lies.

Indecisive people, who for the love of gawd, cannot make up their minds on anything drive me batty. The worst is going to the same restaurant, with the same people, who take forever re-reading the menu. How about the person shopping who knows what they want, but go around in circles for hours trying to make up their minds?

Shoppers who talk on a cell phone as they wander around the store. Focus a little and you won't make so many returns. How rude is it to take a call while maintaining a conversation, with the salesperson?

My sister, the optometrist responded to the pet peeves about cell phones. She said she had a patient who used a cell phone during the visit. My sister walked out, of the exam room, to let the patient stew for a while. The patient got the message, eventually.

If the patient was running late, for another appointment, he or she could say, "Excuse me, I need to let [whomever] know I'm running late." Then make the call, while the physician or dentist is out of the room. Everyone would be happy, if this were the script for such situations.

Another action I find only annoying and downright rude are people hovering over your shoulder to see what you are doing. Peeking is ok, I guess. A quick look is fine, but don't hover expecting to see everything I am doing!

Here's another all too common peeve: your physician or dentist sets an appointment time for, say, 10 am, and at 11 am you're still waiting. What's up doc? Maybe late in the day, a few minutes here and there add; a wait is expected. First or second appointment, in the morning, having to wait, without a word, is not acceptable.


People who don't or won't listen peeve me. How many times to I have to repeat myself to you before you actually listen and figure out my words? "The bathroom is down the hall, second door on the left," is not rocket science. My limit, to repeat the same statement, is 3 times. I really hope you get it by then.

People that lie, cheat and steal peeve me to you know where. I don't mean the slogan for a tag-team in the WWE. No, I mean men and women who work hard to get what they want illicitly or illegally.

Little aggravates me more than telling someone the truth and she or he look at me as if I have three heads. Yep, they hear what they want to hear and disregard the rest, as Paul Simon wrote. If you don't believe me, say so and we'll try again. I suppose, there are so many men and women lying, cheating and stealing their way through life, it's sometimes hard to recognize the truth when you hear it.

Nothing good comes of walking into your home, after a day at work and hearing, "Do you know what your children did to me, tonight?" Family life embarks on the giant slalom, quickly. Are you sure these are my daughters? Where are the DNA test results?

Phone tag drives me nuts. I hate phone tag. If you leave me a message, I will call you back ASAP. I expect the same. At least text back, but don't leave me hanging, especially if we're trying to make plans or want me to like you.

My final pet peeve, for now, is telephone solicitors that don't stop calling, even when you are on the National Do Not Call List, and you ask them to stop calling. In the same category is the pushy car sales person that keeps calling, even after your children pick up the phone and tell him to stop calling. You'd think he would get the hint when a 9 year old tells him off.

That's my Top 20 Pet Peeves, but I have thousands, I'm sure. The term, pet peeves, is less than one hundred years old. It derives from an Old English term, peevish, meaning stubborn or bad tempered.

Yes, I think that's where the habits of other people take me: into a bad temper. I started out stubborn and my pet peeves are making me a curmudgeon. A curmudgeon doesn't care about the absurdities of life, but I do, deeply, and want to put an end to each one.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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