Archive for the ‘Pet Peeves’ Category

Service of Charity Missteps

Thursday, February 23rd, 2023

One day’s worth of requests for money in my mailbox

I wrote two years ago “Service of How to Discourage Me from Opening My Checkbook for Your Charity.”

My advice for charities in 2021: Delete names from your mailing list when you’re told about a death certainly after the second request; improve your Charity Navigator rating by reducing your CEO’s (outrageous) high six figure salary and your marketing expenditure–25 percent of the budget is too much; allow donors on a website form to dedicate a contribution in celebration or in memory of a friend or relative and confirm to the donor that you notified the family or person of the gift if requested.

I have some new ones:

  • If you haven’t received a donation from someone for four years**, don’t start your fundraising letter “Thank you for your unwavering support and friendship.” The recipient of a letter last week was my husband who has been gone that long. What are computers for? **And maybe the time should be two years.
  • If a person you are asking to contribute a princely sum is active in your organization and you have a modest number of members, and one responds to your email outreach, acknowledge the correspondence. And, for goodness sakes, under no circumstances, don’t send him/her two more requests identical to the first.
  • I have enough return address labels to last through Christmas but keep them coming. Just don’t expect me to pay for them.
  • And if I sent you money to honor someone who died and you are the family’s designated charity and you haven’t received a penny from me ever since, stop mailing me letters and/or selling my name to other charities.

Do you have pet peeves regarding fundraising practices?

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay 

Service of Pet Peeves III

Monday, February 22nd, 2021

I wrote the first two Pet Peeve posts in 2010 and 2011, summarized below as my feelings about them are unchanged. And although they’re not earmarked as such, many posts over years focus on irritating situations that fall in the peeve category, such as the recent ones about bait and switch sales tactics and euphemisms like “food insecurity” for hunger.


Hard to believe I have so many new ones.

I recently paid by credit card for bread in a bakery and dinner from a takeout-only Chinese place. In both instances an automatic tip request popped up on the tablet’s screen. Why should I give a tip to someone for putting a loaf of bread in a bag? I gave a tip for the Chinese takeout, even though I picked up my order, but friends who tip generously said they wouldn’t.

I don’t answer when surveys ask me what my income is and don’t believe that they should ask.

TV news producers: Stop showing close-ups of injecting vaccines into arms. For the squeamish who aren’t planning to get the vaccine it’s a turnoff and deterrent.

Train your vicious dog or give it away particularly if you live in an apartment house.

Respond to personal texts within 24 hours–especially if the sender infrequently reaches out and/or if they pose an important question.

If I never hear from you for months and we are personal acquaintances send me something more than a link to an article.

If I consistently “like” your Facebook postings, every once a quarter please “like” one of mine.


I’m surprised at how many of the oldie peeves are pandemic-proof. The exception might be how miffed I feel when my hands are full and someone near a door doesn’t hold it open. These days some might be afraid of getting too close. Another that irritated me 10 years ago was someone borrowing my pen and not returning it. I wouldn’t want it back now.

Otherwise, here are many of the oldie but still valid:

You call at a scheduled time and are told “Call me in 20 minutes.” The person who changes the time should make the second call.

Repetition of misinformation so it becomes true to some.

Drivers who don’t use their signal lights. It’s as handy a communication tool for pedestrians crossing city streets and avenues as it is for drivers.

Waste by government and corporations.

Buzzwords and jargon.

Tell me privately something that impacts me–don’t first announce it in public and if you want to give away something of mine, don’t ask me if it is OK in front of the potential recipient so I feel forced to say “yes.”


  • roll your eyes if I ask a question
  • offer to do something you know you won’t do
  • pull out on me causing me to slam on my brakes

Lack of traffic lights or signs at dangerous intersections drive me nuts.

Have your peeves stayed the same over years? Any new ones? Do people close to you know your peeves or do you keep them close to the vest?

Service of Euphemisms

Thursday, January 7th, 2021

We’ve come a long way from the days of “sanitation engineer,” one of the first head scratching euphemisms I remember. Outrageous euphemisms are a first cousin of jargon which is top of my list of pet peeves.

The one that gets me these days is “food insecurity” when hunger says it all.

The NBA wants team owners to be called “governor.” What’s wrong with owner? Others that get me are collateral damage and ethnic cleansing.

In “25 Terribly Misleading Euphemisms,” Amber Healy on INSH identified some that were unfamiliar to me: Take “compassion zone.” She explained that it refers to “an area within Kansas City designated for homeless people.” What about flashlight therapy? It’s “another way of saying a person is beaten by a flashlight, usually one carried by law enforcement officers.” She wrote that transfer tubes are what the military calls body bags and another way to refer to excrement is biosolids.

Do euphemisms that try to soften the truth irritate you? What are some you embrace?

Service of What to Do With Tidbits of Time

Monday, August 10th, 2015

I listed 23 pet peeves in two posts four and five years ago and have no idea why I left out this one because it has driven me nuts since my first job out of college—if not before.

Say I have an appointment to speak with someone at 3:00 pm. I call and they say, “Can you call me in 20 minutes?” I reply “Yes,” if it works, and quickly hang up as I figure they are on the other phone, on deadline or that something’s come up that prevents them from keeping our appointment.

I’ve always wished that the person who is moving the time would say, “I’ll call you back in 20 minutes—that OK?”

But they never do. I know why: Power.

In addition to messing up my schedule, the person has pinched this 20—or whatever number of–minutes from me because I can’t lose myself in another project. I know myself. I’ll look up and an hour may have elapsed.

Am I alone at feeling irritated?

What kinds of projects do you start when you only have a tidbit of time? Under what circumstances do you tell the other person, “Could you call me in 20?” or do you always say that?

Service of Pet Peeves II

Monday, July 18th, 2011


I posted 11 pet peeves a year ago May and thought I’d exhausted my list but obviously, I left out a few. It feels so good to write about what annoys! So here are a dozen more.

 **I don’t like to be flimflammed and that’s how I feel when the stock market goes up on a day with dire financial and political news: Moody’s threatened to reduce this country’s credit rating which would cost us all a tremendous amount of money; there were terrorist killings in Mumbai; gridlock caused by childish political posturing continued unabated on Capitol Hill with debt ceiling deadlines looming; Spain, Greece, Ireland and Italy were patching up the tatters of their economic quilts with little result.

I am not satisfied with the reason given for this up tick: That nine of 11 corporations reported fabulous second quarter earnings that day [more about this below]. To ignore what’s going on outside is like envisioning a woman dressed for a ball, perfect hair and gown but the house has just been pushed to a precipice by a tornado. When she opens the door, instead of stepping out to the walk, she falls into an abyss. 

 **Repetition of misinformation to strike out at an adversary works because people would rather not be bothered by facts. President Obama did not sign the bill eliminating inefficient incandescent light bulbs in favor of  the energy efficient kind-President Bush did–and yet conservatives repeatedly use this as the glaring example of how government increasingly encroaches on our private lives. Maybe it does, but if you are going to blame President Obama, pick another example please.

Isn’t the more important story here–and another peeve–that this bill was the perfect excuse for corporations like General Electric to close US plants that made incandescent light bulbs therefore putting hundreds out of work last year when the timing couldn’t be worse? By moving manufacturing to China, they lowered the cost of making the bulbs. And they can charge more for the energy efficient kind. Along with loopholes that allow GE to dodge taxes, it explains why some of the corporations in the peeve above are doing so well, but at what cost to the economy and to us, to everyone but their stockholders and management? 

 **I am fussy about who I link to or befriend so it’s annoying when someone asks me to join their network on LinkedIn or Facebook and they don’t remind me how I know them. They lazily click the option that shoots out an email message like “Maisey Dokes has indicated you are a Friend: I’d like to add you to my professional network.” It would take a second to add something like “We’re both on the sponsorship committee,” or “I met you at the event at Hearst.” If I see someone on the street who has no reason to remember me, I say, “Hello, Frieda, Jeanne Byington. How are you?”  Or I might introduce myself to someone and say, “You work with my friend Nancie Steinberg. She tells me we have a lot in common.” Trying to link or befriend me is no different.

 **It drives me nuts when people don’t use their car’s right or left turn signal. There are certain congested places where it’s essential and it’s very selfish when a driver doesn’t or waits to the very last minute. I can’t enter traffic if I don’t know if their car is going straight ahead. If it’s turning into the store’s parking area that I’m exiting, I could drive out. Being self-centered not only holds me up but all the cars now lined up behind me.

**On the subject of cars, there are idiotic road signs that make me wonder if the person who installed them has a brain. We pass a little town on Route 82 in Dutchess County where we’re asked to drive at 45mph. The “resume speed” sign comes right before a hairpin turn where if you went 55mph, goodness knows where you’d land.

 **I resent it when someone infringes on my time by creating a false deadline so it affects how I triage my time to meet it. How do I know? They ask for information, a report, photos or copy by a certain date but when I submit what’s due, I get a bounce back email telling me that they are out of the office at a conference or on vacation and will get back with me next week.

**Waste drives me nuts. I get the feeling that there are stacks of boondoggles we will never hear about. If we could eliminate them, we could leave critical programs intact.  According to ABC News: “A $1.2 million federal highway program that sent employees on a 17-day globe-trotting journey to photograph different billboards was suspended Tuesday — an announcement that came after ABC News alerted the U.S. Department of Transportation that it planned to air a report on the program.” In addition: “The initiative, known as the International Scan Program, has been sending federal and state transportation employees to popular foreign tourist destinations for the past decade with the goal of studying how other countries handle the challenges of running major highway networks.” Each trip cost $300,000.

 **If you work in a medical facility, please always be pleasant. It makes a difference. And pay attention to what you say especially if your job is repetitive. I picked up some x-rays from a radiology place where the desk staff is used to saying, “Sign this and sit down and wait for your name to be called.”

So when the administrator asked me to sign for the x-rays she said, “Sign this and sit down.” I replied, “But I planned to leave now,”  confirming that there wasn’t something else for me to do while there. Not realizing that she’d told me to sit down she got testy and nasty in her dismissal.

 **I agree with a friend who says that it should be a felony to use the word awesome.

 **Average looking or shapeless people shouldn’t wear super trendy clothes. I cringe looking at them as I do when hearing a terrible comedian or a speaker try an unfunny joke. Some women on magazine and newspaper style pages are over-gussied with legs akimbo on skyscraper shoes that make them take awkward poses so as not to crash–so unnecessary. And those low-scooped, too-tight t-shirts over rings of fat are puzzles. T-shirts and tops come in a range of sizes or don’t some people realize it?

**Tired of reading about the annoying Valley girl sing song? The deliberate high speed chatter/swallowed words affectation that some young people use, especially when copied by older people so as to appear to be young, registers high on my list of peeves.

 **I will boycott media that pays Casey Anthony one cent for an interview. I don’t think the press should pay for news to begin with.

Do let loose on your pet peeves! You’ll feel better getting them off your chest–promise!

Service of Buzzwords

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Matt Mecs shared some of the buzzwords that drive him crazy these days. He is an excellent writer, uses words precisely and creatively, his copy is never tired, in fact, he invents words and turns of phrases that create buzz. Matt is director of sales at Local Focus Radio and media studies adjunct professor at Metropolitan College of New York where, along with his strenuous job, he teaches four courses this semester.

Here’s Matt’s list of irritating buzzwords:

Hard Stop: When a person has to take that call at 4 pm s/he might say: “I’ve got a hard stop coming up.”

Bandwidth (synonym for attention span): “I don’t have the bandwidth to talk with you right now, maybe next week?”

Verticals (synonym for categories)





Low hanging fruit

With that said

Do you eat your own dog food? Aka Do you drink your own champagne? {use your own products} Matt noted about the newer, champagne version: “Perhaps people are whistling past the recession graveyard with the talk of grander things.”

And mine [along with low hanging fruit]:

Drilling down

Next Level: “This initiative will take our marketing efforts to the next level.”

Unique {when it’s not}

Needless to say {then don’t}


Paradigm shift

Low fat

Like every few words {especially if the speaker is over 13}

Matt and I are also allergic to trite, greeting card expressions, especially when said with a straight face, but these overlap this topic. I should cover them in another post.

Buzzwords and trite expressions exist for the same reason: They make people feel good as well as cool, hip, connected, with-it and they are easy to use and remember.

Please tell us if any of these buzzwords annoy you and share any that we haven’t listed that have worn thin or never worked in your opinion.

Service of Pet Peeves

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Sharing a pet peeve with friends takes the edge off and allows me to move on quickly to important things. Here are 10 of my mine. Many of the circumstances have been changed to protect the innocent:

**I’m glad to lend you a pen when you come to a meeting without one–it happens to everyone–but please return it.

**Inform me privately of an important development that affects me rather than tell me in front of a million people. Example: A partner or boss announces major news–retirement, extended trip, sabbatical, operation, bankruptcy–to a client or table full of dinner guests. I don’t like to hear daunting information in a crowd.

**This is similar. If you want to give Aunt Mamie’s oil painting to a neighbor, don’t ask me if it is OK in front of the neighbor. Give me a chance to respond in private. The answer might surprise you.

**I take my coffee with skim milk. If I am buying the coffee, I want the cup I get to have the skim milk in it. I don’t want to put down my pocketbook, newspaper and tote to open the coffee cup lid, find the right milk container, pour the milk, replace the top and find a napkin to clean drips.

**Make it easy on volunteers. Don’t expect me to find the attachment you sent last week or remember from last month the phone and code numbers I need to enter a scheduled conference call. Send me all the info each time you want me to react.

**Don’t roll your eyes if I ask a question. There’s an equal chance that your instructions weren’t clear as that I’m stupid.

**If you don’t want to do something, don’t offer to do it and then forget.

**People crowd subway doors leaving a bubble of space in the middle of the car. When I politely ask to squeeze in to take the unused space, they stare at me in anger and don’t budge. If I don’t want to be late, I have to shove in.

**Drivers who pull out in front of me, just as I near their road, causing me to slam on my brakes, are an irritating and hazardous bunch. Most of the time there isn’t another car behind me for miles. I’ve asked taxi drivers about this. They tell me that it often happens to them, on a rain-slicked street, and the drivers, leaving a garage or parking spot, have the newest, fanciest cars.

**Municipalities that ignore countless dangerous intersections without taking steps to add traffic lights and/or signs or make easy fixes that would save lives and reduce accidents, flabbergast me. How come there is no money to fix or alter them but there is money to pay for funerals, hospitalization, body and car repairs or replacements?

I no sooner finished the list when an 11th   pet peeve happened. As I came in this morning, shoulders loaded with bags, balancing coffee cups and angling to free up a hand to pull open the door, I noticed a young man standing on the sidewalk less than two paces away from the handle. He looked at me but didn’t budge to help. Grump.

Boy, do I feel better just getting these out of my system! Please share your pet peeves.

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