Service of How to Annoy Others

July 27th, 2023

Categories: Annoying, Bicycles, Bus Trips, Business Etiquette, Irritating, Irritations

Who wants to open a corn you’ve torn open??

There are many ways a person can irritate others. Here are a few that deserve to be recognized:

  • Peel open fresh corn cobs to check the kernels and toss the rejected ones back in the pile even if the farmer or store ask you not to. Last week at the Union Square Farmers Market I watched a woman open six, [at $2.00 each], and leave the stall without buying one.
  • Waiting for the public bus can seem interminable if you’re running late or are boiling, freezing or wet. A passenger who has plenty of time to find Metrocard or smartphone and elbows her way to the front and then blocks the door as she searches for hers so she can pay gets a star for annoying.
  • Friends or colleagues who congregate in the middle of a sidewalk to chat, say goodbye, or individuals who stop abruptly in a narrow place to read texts and emails when there’s room nearby to stand next to a building are also in line for a prize for annoying others..
  • Take days to respond to a business email and you’ll infuriate someone.
  • Caregivers who let young children cry and scream incessantly in restaurants and houses of worship. No matter how precious, cute or beloved the little ones are, they make it uncomfortable for others who are trying to relax or listen to the clergyman or woman speak.
  • Bus drivers who don’t stop at a stop, [happened to me on Sunday], or who pull a few feet away from a stop, so they won’t accept additional passengers, when the traffic light in front of them is red. I see it almost daily.
  • Bicyclists who miss pedestrians by a thread when they zoom down a sidewalk or in the wrong direction on the street.

Can you share favorite instances where people annoy others [but don’t have to]?

Hey, folks–mind leaving a lane for other pedestrians?

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17 Responses to “Service of How to Annoy Others”

  1. BC Said:

    When I was a teen, I worked in my father’s food market. I put the fresh produce out each morn. Ladies came by routinely and squeezed the tomatoes. Finally, I put a large sign on them which said, “Don’t squeeze me til I’m yours”! Seemed to work too.

  2. TC Said:


  3. Jeanne Byington Said:


    What a great sign! I fear that these days many would smile or even laugh and continue to do what they wanted to do. It explains why much of the produce at Trader Joe’s is in heavy plastic containers. They prevent customer handling the tomatoes or grapes or blueberries etc.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I would be tearing out my hair at such behavior.

    However, I don’t think it is a woman/man boy/girl thing.

    I think it is an entitlement issue. Some people don’t care about others. We know and observe many like that. It doesn’t occur to them that another customer might be late for an appointment or needs to get back to work or has a bad back that’s causing pain or is wearing uncomfortable shoes or has an overtired child about to blow.

    It’s also an issue of efficiency. Some people want to move things along in general, so they try to predict steps or issues that might hold them and others up.

    It might also be related to whether a person has an A or B type personality.

    And last, I wonder if power has anything to do with it. “I do it because I can.” I’ve seen young, physically strong pedestrians walk slowly in front of a stopped car against the light because they know the driver sees them and won’t run them over yet they can disrupt the driver’s ability to move and cause a traffic pileup. Maybe there’s a dollop of anger in there as well.

  5. Martha Takayama Said:

    I can only agree with all the instances you cite. In general public and even personal interaction has become more thoughtless and rude than it used to be at least pre-covid and even 20 years ago.

    Bike travel in general is very often thoughtless and dangerous. Kowtowing to demands for bike lanes etc. on already overcrowded streets that cannot even accommodate four-wheel traffic without risks to pedestrians and interminable snags is an example of annoying behavior elevated to political policy.

    Insensitivity in shopping whether for fruits, vegetables or carelessly discarded clothes tried on, but rejected is another.

    In general our prevailing social interchanges do not take into consideration anyone other than the person engaging in the activity. The results are baffling, uncomfortable and often even cause mayhem.

    There does not seem a lot of pressure to be less annoying. Will the tide turn?

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I shared with TC all my guesses for why people behave as they do. As I respond to you I thought of another that is related to my entitlement ID and answers your question about the tide turning.

    People aren’t born with empathy. They need to see it practiced by a parent, mentor or someone they respect. The tide will turn when parents have had it living with a spoiled little one and point out another way to behave.

  7. Loretta Adams Said:

    Loretta on Facebook: Those who carry on an extended conversation while in the waiting area of the doctor’s office, unaware that some people are really not feeling well.

  8. Linda Levi Said:

    Linda on Facebook: Having lengthy and often highly personal phone conversations on board public buses or trains. A quick call to say “I’m running late” (although a text would suffice) I can understand. But some of what I’ve heard would shock an OB/GYN!

  9. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I’m surprised that a receptionist doesn’t ask the annoying chatty patient to step outside. Wow. That’s far worse than my complaints.

  10. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I used to call my husband once I was inside the train on a Friday evening and I’d say, “I’m on the 5:19.” That was IT.

    Years ago there was a wonderful conductor on MetroNorth–Mary–who would tell passengers to keep it down if they spoke too loudly and if she’d pass by a few times and a person was still yacking away she’d tell them to cut it out. One woman paid no attention to her many children who were disrupting the other passengers many of whom welcomed a snooze after a busy day. She chatted happily away. Incredible.

  11. EAM Said:

    Yes to Bicyclists who miss pedestrians by a thread when they zoom down a sidewalk or in the wrong direction on the street.

    Many pet peeves but people who got on the phone and are completely distracted while you are speaking to them or checking their phone while having a face2face conversation.

    Writing to a person for a time to set up to speak and then they ignore your follow ups.

    Getting several samples at a booth or market with no intention to buy. I’m talking about locally (not Costco).

    People who don’t signal or suddenly stop while driving.

    Stores that don’t post that they are closed or on vacation to customers.

  12. Nancie Steinberg Said:

    Nancie on Facebook: Those people who put their shopping bags on seat next to them on bus or subway with no intention of moving them unless you point to the seat and say “I want to sit down.”

  13. Nancie Steinberg Said:

    Nancie on Facebook: Linda Levi–completely agree. Gives me a headache.

  14. Jeanne Byington Said:


    FABULOUS list. I should have asked you to write this post.

    Checking phones takes the place of what used to happen at a networking event before mobile phones. You would introduce yourself or say “hi” to someone you know and they would search the room for other people.

    At a farmer’s market upstate I’d see children grab a bunch of crackers that the booth owner wanted customers to use to dip into their jams or mustards. Nobody stopped the children. Amazing.

    Websites with incorrect information drive me nuts too.

  15. Jeanne Byington Said:


    And they look annoyed when you ask them to move their bundles–right? I’m amazed if I land in a bus filled with lower school children all of whom are seated with their parent or caregiver, and none are told to give up their seat to older passengers.

  16. Lucrezia Said:

    I don’t give the ear of corn “monster” the slightest thought. There are times good pieces are exposed, thus saving me time and trouble to find the right one. Germs are no worry – the boiling water kills. As for other nuisances and inconveniences, I remind myself, neither I nor friends and family must walk to Poland, having lost everything, and at times, everyone, at home.

  17. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Living like sardines in NYC we must try to be conscious of others. There are so many things that don’t have to happen as the list from others attest.

    We are relieved and thrilled that NYC is coming back after the pandemic but there are unwritten guidelines in a crowded place that folks in the suburbs don’t need to address. The bus issues don’t impact most as they drive in cars. Sidewalks are usually empty I suspect. etc. etc.

    As for opening the corn to me it’s no different than opening a banana. I didn’t even think of germs. It accelerates the aging of the corn. In any case, I take my chances and choose the closed ears.

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