Service of Pet Peeves II

July 18th, 2011

Categories: Annoying, Compassion, Courtesy, Customer Care, Cutbacks, Deadlines, Deception, Economy, Fashion, Medical, Pet Peeves


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!

12 Responses to “Service of Pet Peeves II”

  1. EAM Said:

    Here are just a few…

    People who flick cigarette butts out their window.

    People who are impolite. I was trying to get into an ATM vestible over the weekend and was struggling to open the door. When inside, I told the woman standing there that she could’ve simply opened it from the inside and she snapped at me. There’s no courtesy.

    People who don’t pick up after themselves in a fast-food restaurant, rest room etc.

    Re: your comment re: deadlines, people who do not honor your timeline, deadline or complicate the project to postpone a deadline.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Impolite is one of my peeves too and people who are thoughtless, which describes those who act as though the world owes them something, the selfish ones you mention at fast-food restaurants.

    In the restroom at my office shared by several businesses, some women can’t be bothered to pick up towels that miss the trash container. Why would they think someone else would want to pick it up for them? Yech.

  3. Lucrezia Said:

    Pet peeves do what they are meant to do: annoy. So why not turn the tables and return the slap? A retailer was being persecuted and harassed by a bothersome customer, and after being pushed to the limit, politely dismissed him. Infuriated by not being able to visibly irritate the intended victim, he howled: “Go to hell!” He was rewarded by a beatific smile, followed by, “See you there!”

    Another person advises greeting bad behavior by simply standing there and calmly looking at its source, until the expected realization dawns on Loud Mouth.

    It takes patience, creativity and quick thinking to counter the peeve, but the fun involved makes it a worthwhile experience.

    There’s also the discipline in not permitting oneself to be peeved. Come to think of it, why bother enumerating peeves? Isn’t life full of other things to do?

  4. jmbyington Said:


    I listed the peeves to get them out of my system. It feels great–and is harmless. It’s a tried and true technique. I’ll see if it works for me with that road sign next time I drive by. If I don’t slap my head again and grumble, I’ll know it worked!

  5. Simon Carr Said:

    I enjoyed your pet peeves, and I could not agree more but what it is therapeutic for the soul for one to have the freedom to air them. However, in the interest of fairness:

    **The stock market is one of the few truly rational institutions in America. It is investors that are not rational.

    **GE’s CEO did what he is being paid to do — he discovered a way for his company to make more money. That American workers consequently became unemployed, is irrelevant. That he would have become unemployed had he not been creative, is relevant.

    **Some Americans come from cultural backgrounds in which it is considered rude to become instantly familiar with one’s neighbors. Indeed, neighbors who have lived side by side for many decades often still address each other as Mr. and Mrs.

    By mistake, I once pushed the wrong button trying to delete an invitation to join LinkedIn. Since then, I have been bombarded almost daily to become “friends” by both people I have known for years and people I have never heard of. I delete them all! To my mind, mechanical “friendliness” is akin to that commandment about bedding one’s neighbor’s wife.

    **As we all know, the automobile is a lethal weapon. Unfortunately, those responsible for weapons control, like speed signs, are victims, like most school goers in this country, of politically correct educations that leave out reading, writing, arithmetic, and most of all, common sense but include a benign winking at drug abuse. “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”

    **Partly, ditto, but also, in the American spirit of “rights” exceeding “duties,” far too many people in this country who have no business doing so, including me, drive weapons.

    **I agree. The punishment for false deadlines should the shortening of the setter’s limbs.

    **As a former civil servant, I assure you that there is little difference between workers in the public and private sectors. At the end of the day, the reason they work is selfish. They wish to be rewarded for their efforts, whether in stock options or boondoggles such as the one you describe.

    **Medicine is an unbelievable mess, but despite that, people seem to be living longer than ever. Just think how much longer they might live were we to agree to clean up the mess, but then what would happen to the rotten administrators, lazy workers doing the dirty jobs, cheating doctors, shyster lawyers, lying politicians, corrupt courts, and murdering insurance executives?


    **Awesome! Those rolls are sexy! You are obviously not a man or a Rubens lover. And if, like me, Rubens is not to your taste, how about Titian’s and Rembrandt’s ladies?

    **No comment since I do not know what a “Valley” girl is. Someone who doesn’t like the cold?

    **Nobody that I know of made you know about Casey Anthony, or Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann, for that matter. (I gather they share much in common, being good-looking liars and amoral corruptions of the human spirit.) I agree with your boycott.

    My pet peeve: People who think Western civilization is better off today than it was a hundred years ago.

  6. ASK Said:

    RE unpleasant and unsightly bulges of fat: As I make my way to the 1 train, summer on 42nd St. this year is not to be believed…I now walk on 41st. It smells worse, but at least my eyesight remains unoffended by said bulges, hairy legs that shouldn’t see the light of day, exposed bra straps, and clunky athletic shoes…

    RE those too tight tee-shirts…last fall I was getting a hair cut, and in two high-fashion magazines, editors were urging women (most likely 12-year-olds) to buy shirts and sweaters a size SMALLER so they would pull attractively, and be “on trend.”

    Also, I’m still wondering, when did sizes 8-10 get designated “large”?

  7. Jeanne Byington Said:


    YIKES! You worked so hard to address each and every peeve. I will only react to a few of your responses.

    Starting backwards, I am grateful to Western civilization because I’d probably be dead by now without some of its advancements and that would be a shame because I like it here.

    I also don’t believe in wishing for the old days but in trying to improve today. With a selective memory like mine, when I think back, I tend not to remember the horrible but focus on the cheerful. Was everything always peachy? No way. I can’t imagine the frustration of returning to a world before computers and products that remove cat hair effectively.

    Call me and I’ll give you a dose of Valley girl speak. I suggest that you take a prophylactic aspirin beforehand.

    Jumping to the front of the peeve line, you were correct to respond as you did re. the stock market because I obviously did a crummy job in communicating my point. I think that there is something fishy going on and that the PEOPLE who are manipulating the stock market [bless it] will eventually be found out. By then many of the small fries will be bankrupt and the rich manipulators will chuckle, slap a knee and meet for lunch at the vintage sports car store to pick out another expensive bauble that lets everyone know “I WON.” And with hoards of starving, filthy people in ripped clothing swarming the streets, they drive through in their fabulous, outrageously expensive car oblivious and insensitive to their surroundings and without the grace to be embarrassed by their extravagance in the face of poverty all around.

    I thank you for the humor in some of your comments. It’s welcome in a grump fest about peeves!

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I am giggling at your comment!

    I wonder if the teens being ill advised would jump off a cliff if so instructed. I don’t recall when I first had a sense of fashion vis a vis my body type. I think it was very early because my poor mother would say, “I can’t wait until you are old enough to go shopping by yourself.” I was fussy but not blind.

    I wonder who is advising the grownups in ill-fitting tops and dresses who wobble down the street in four-inch heels that make them look more crippled than graceful?

  9. Simon Carr Said:

    On rebuttal, two further comments:

    One: I referred to Western civilization, not science.

    Of course, there have been scientific advances, most notably in medicine and communication, but do we live, in accordance with the traditions of Western civilization, in a more civilized socity? I would argue strongly, “No!” My best evidence is dismally awful television programming has become and the absurdity of most social networking.

    Two: I have no quibble about the stock market per se. My point was that we blame “the machine,” not the people who buy and sell on it.

    At about the time that President Reagan came to office, there was a change in the makeup of the power structure of this country. For generations, this country understood, as it did the concept of “checks and balances,” and valued how a strong, diverse middle class protected the mass of the country from the tyranny of the few.

    Increasingly, regardless of political party, we have a power elite, including in the media, with no moral compass. They don’t give a damn about anybody but themselves and manipulate the hell out of the masses to their own benefit, as did certain Germans during the 1930s, and there is nobody to stop them, certainly not the lawmakers, the lawyers or the courts that aid and abet them because they too benefit.

    The stock market behaves weirdly because, thanks to computers, it is easily manipulateable by those few to its own benefit and to the general public’s loss. However, again, there is nothing wrong with the market itself. Indeed, it should serve a good and beneficial roll in a free market society. Ultimately the process will result, as it did in Rome, in the reestablishment of the feudal system and the end of Western civilization

  10. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I think you’ve hit on it by pointing to the lack of moral compass. If we could only find our way again we’d end up better than Rome and the peeves could be silly and frivolous rather than serious and life-changing.

  11. ASK Said:

    Just so you all know, at certain women’s colleges, there is an ongoing concerted effort to rid the student body of Valley-Girl speak. Finishing sentences on high notes is frowned upon as indicative of a lack of self-confidence. Because the tone implies a question, it is seen as lacking a certain authority, read: leadership. Alas, the effort to eradicate Valley-Girl speak doesn’t always register with the students…

  12. Jeanne Byington Said:

    How sad, ASK.

    I don’t like to hear the sing song because it sounds cheap, unattractive and unprofessional. Women aren’t the only ones who do it. It’s on the level of a person who answers the phone, “This is Fran,” or “This is Joe” instead of Fran Smith or Joe Jones.

    I wonder if the instructor could get a clip with a scene featuring a vintage actress whom young women love, such as Audrey Hepburn, and dub in sing-song voice.

    I would tell the students that class participation counts as a third of their grade and that if anyone chews gum while they speak or speaks with this sing-song, the participation grade will drop two levels no matter what they have to contribute.

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