Thursday, October 27, 2016

Pet Peeves #4: Featuring the worst hold music EVER

On the way to a Boston restaurant recently, my husband and I sat in the kind of traffic that stalls more than it crawls and I'll tell you what, we sat through at least two cycles of lights at a complete standstill.

In Boston, people are very respectful of their signal to stop and wait if it's convenient. 
When we reached the intersection with only a few seconds left on the yellow, a man in headphones loped into the street and leisurely crossed while he studied his phone. The light turned red and well, there were some frustrated drivers, I'll tell you what. 
My husband said some bad words. 
But not me. Because I have a new monthly blog feature called Pet Peeves and this was the perfect way to kick off the ones most worth mentioning this month. 
Herewith:
1. People who wander into an intersection just as traffic begins to move and don't hurry up.  This kind of behavior doesn't deserve a label, because it's not as off-putting as "arrogance," or "entitlement," or, "elitism." But I'm pretty sure this person will be in line at Panera during the lunch rush where they will be one of the... 
2. ...people in long lines at Panera during the lunch rush who finally reach the counter and say, "I don't know. I'm torn between the pick-two and a whole sandwich. Or a salad. I could get a pick-two with a salad and a soup right? (pause) I can't read what it says up there. If I get a pick-two, can I substitute an apple with a smoothie? Wait, are drink refills free? I forget..."  

The only thing that makes this situation happier than an airport security line is that if you're bored, you can start a conversation with anyone around you because you're all hangry and want to complain about it.    
3. Misuse of serious labels for behaviors that are just annoying. A person who is self-centered is not a "narcissist."  A person who is moody is not "bi-polar." And a person who is super-organized is not "OCD." I've known people who have these disorders for real. Most would love to have annoying behaviors instead of debilitating anxiety or personality disorders. Except narcissists. Narcissists have no idea that there's anything wrong with them at all. 
4. Hold Music. Some people believe hold music is used to irritate a customer off the phone when the average wait time to speak to a customer service rep doesn't get rid of them. But this isn't good for anyone. Most people who do hang on, have to. Then, not only are they exponentially more agitated with every new exposure to the "St. Elmo's Fire love theme,"  they've become too flustered to remember the question they spent all morning organizing. 
5. Passwords or user names that are not "found in the database," because who can  remember all the configurations of birthdays and maiden names and high school graduation dates we use to differentiate them?  Did we use an uppercase or a lowercase letter in the cat's name? Did we use a "!" or a "?" for that symbol that is required to make the password  security-compliant? And was it the password or the user name that wasn't found? It just makes me miss "Susan1." 
6. It's me, not you, but I'm surprised to see how many of us still misuse the word "literally" to mean "really." Because, if you were literally "climbing the walls," e.g., it would mean you aren't a human, but a tree frog with little suction cup feet, like the one Gus found clinging to the wall in the living room last week and literally scared into motionless terror by staring at it from four inches away.  
7. Restaurants that not only don't offer an online reservation service, but also don't open to take your call for another few hours. Sure as my name is Susan1, I will forget to call back but also will have forgotten to choose an option B. And, is there anything worse than not knowing at 4:30 on a Friday, what your Friday evening plans are? Yes, literally, there are worse things, but not really.  
8. I love older people, but I really don't love the term, "old fart." I know everyone uses it with affection, and self-deprecating comments can be charming, but it still makes me wince, for two reasons:  I don't think of people as out of touch, or clueless or saggy or slow or bad-smelling  until they refer to themselves that way. And, it's never good to describe yourself in terms of bodily functions that you try to be private about.  Look at millennials. Do they call themselves "new farts?" No, they literally don't. 
9. Televisions in places where you'd rather not be, that are tuned to cooking or talk shows and feature very gregarious people laughing very hard at not-at-all-funny banter. It's not just that these bubbly shows usually argue with the setting (dentist, eye doctor, tire store, emergency room); it's also that they hurt your ears and eyes when your mood is becoming a hungry, tired toddler who's been refused a snack at the supermarket check-out at 4:15 in the afternoon. 

And with that, I give you the least peevey music I saw on the internet this month. That is some talent on one stage, I'll tell you what. 










11 comments:

  1. Susan, I'm afraid your intelligence makes it hard to live in this world. I empathize.

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  2. Oh, Susan I love this. However the truth is.... I may or may not have been in the Panera line in front of you at one time or another....sorry..

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    1. It's okay! It's okay! I can't write this feature each month without being exposed to Panera-esque situations. I'll be that person behind you with a notebook and a smile. Okay?

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  3. Oh my gosh---YES to ALL of these!! No.2 & 5 especially make me CRAZY!

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    1. Ha, my son is a journalist and we once agreed that being a writer means you are never, ever bored. All these behaviors everywhere, waiting to be exposed, I take a lot of notes :)

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  4. All of the above. But especially #5. NUMBER 5!!! Aarrgh!

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    1. Right? This can push you right over the mood cliff, in my opinion.

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  5. So funny & so true, all of them. Why do people mosey across the street? Have a great weekend!

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    1. I want to think it's passive-aggressive, but I'm not sure. It could just be clueless.

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  6. So funny! You remind me of Dave Barry. I am your cranky grievance soul sister, btw.

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