I wonder how many people, participating in the April A ~ Z Challenge, will choose “pet peeves” as their topic today. I’m pretty excited about it. I expect it to be very satisfying to commiserate about things that really gripe me. So, on with it!
- Misspelled words. I’m a good and careful speller but, in rereading essays I’ve posted, I still find mistakes. It’s frustrating, but fixable. With all the spell-checkers available, it should be a rare problem. Unfortunately, I’ve seen the language so garbled, I wonder if the writer is even trying!
- Bad grammar. Especially when it comes from the mouths of people who know better. As if saying “ain’t got no” will make them seem more relatable, somehow. To me, it just makes them annoying.
- People who can’t tell the difference between apology and empathy. I’ve written whole blogs about this. If I say, “I’m sorry,” unless I have stepped on your foot, bumped into you or said something out of line, I am most likely offering empathy. You don’t have to assure me that I didn’t cause the death or disaster. So many aggravating conversations go exactly like that, though. “My water pipes froze, and burst, and flooded my basement.” Me: “I’m so sorry!” “Well, it’s not your fault…” Ugh! I know it’s not my fault!
- People who work in customer service that don’t seem to know the first thing about customers…or service. Having spent more than forty years working in restaurants and stores, I know how it should be done.
- On the other hand, I am also really bugged by customers who refuse to allow for things that are likely beyond the control of the person in front of you. At a restaurant, the server has little control over the portions, prices, quality of food, or speed of the kitchen. It makes me extremely uncomfortable to be dining with someone who chooses to make themselves feel important by demeaning the restaurant staff. In a retail establishment, the clerks have zero control over the prices. When you take your frustrations out on service workers, you are picking on the people who are on the bottom rung of the ladder.
- People who telephone, and then don’t identify themselves. When I’m home, I can usually recognize the voice because there aren’t that many people who call. At work, though, where I field dozens of calls in a day, why, in heaven’s name, would you presume I’d know who is calling? Even if the voice is familiar, I may struggle to associate a name or a face with it. I’m often desperately trying to identify the caller based on the information they give: “…was in your store yesterday,” “…my dog Spot is throwing up,” “…still struggling with that electrical issue,” until a pause in the conversation allows me an opportunity to ask, “Who is this??”
- Sarcasm. When I was younger, I used to think it was cool. Now, I think it’s usually just mean.
- Unkindness. No matter what, I think we have to hold on to our human decency.
I feel better already, giving voice to all of my pet peeves first thing in the morning!