Friday, February 12, 2016

Pet Peeves

Map of Ocean Temperatures (NOAA)
The national political scene has put me in a sour mood and I've turned into a curmudgeon lately. I'm really sick of the media coverage, sick of the candidates, sick of the name-calling and personal attacks, sick of what looks to me like a purposeful deflection away from true issues and what needs to be done about them. It doesn't matter which political party, either. The national political scene is one giant pet peeve to me right now and I don't anticipate it losing that status any time soon.

I wonder if it has something to do with El Nino.  I've been noticing lately more and more of my pet peeves happening around me. For example:

** People who cluster on the sidewalk, the full width of the sidewalk, talking and laughing, oblivious to people trying to pass them from either direction. I'm glad the cluster of people is having such a great time, but they are blocking the sidewalk.  If someone asks them politely to move, they respond as if they've been asked to inflict pain on themselves.

** And then there's the two people who keep moving around (granted, it's cold here right now) and making it difficult to find a safe, open route around them. They are also oblivious to the inconvenience they are causing.  People need to be aware of where they are in relation to the rest of the public in a public space and act with some courtesy and consideration.


** Cell phone use in public has been a huge pet peeve of mine for quite some time.  It's only gotten worse.  Dangerously so.  Just today, as we were driving on a freeway, a car to our right began to drift into our lane. My friend, who was driving, hit the car's horn once, but the car continued to drift for a moment then slowly returned to its lane.  As we passed, I saw that the driver was talking on a cell phone.  What is so important that it cannot wait until you get home?  Or why not pull over to the shoulder, finish the conversation, and then drive on?  You'd think by now that every person in the country would know how dangerous it is to drive and talk on a cell phone or drive and text on a cell phone.  Yes, it will happen to you if you continue to increase your odds by continuing to use your cell phone while driving.

** I now ignore anyone talking on the street. It used to startle me and I used to think they were talking to me, but it always turned out that they were talking to a cell phone. For a while, I'd listen. After all, if someone is so stupid to have an important conversation on a cell phone in public and speak in a normal voice so everyone around him or her can hear, then I can listen along with everyone else.  Then I began to wonder if no one had seen Francis Ford Coppola's movie The Conversation. Really, people!  Don't talk on a cell phone in a public space!  It's really rude and annoying to the people around you.

** And then there are the people who present themselves as competent but who really don't have a clue.  It seems that I get stuck with cleaning up after them.  I don't know which is worse, either: truly horrible incompetence on a gigantic scale, or the person who knows a little but is otherwise incompetent and makes lots of little blunders.  The truly frustrating people are the ones who are incompetent and who believe that they are not, but everyone else is.  Which, of course, makes me wonder about my own competence....

 ** People who call customer service while doing something else.  For example, I had a call one day from a woman who was washing her dishes while she talked to me.  She was making a lot of noise, and I was having problems hearing her.  It never occurred to her that she was actually making the call more difficult than it had to be. Other examples include someone hammering something, loud rock music, loud traffic noise, and my personal favorite, a dog barking loudly.  I do wish people would focus on the call rather than trying to multi-task.  The call will then go much, much faster.

** Finally, there are the wealthy people who claim that they have the working poor's interests in mind and want to help, when, in fact they are only helping themselves...again.  For example, it is a historical fact that cutting taxes on the top 1% does not help the 99%. It only helps the top 1%. I'm fed up with politicians who pander to the wealthy in order to obtain money for campaigning and to gain power. They have no interest in governing.  They have no interest to doing what's best for the country.

I can imagine that my personal quirks and behavior could irritate someone somewhere. However, when I notice others behaving badly, it makes me want to behave well.  How about you?

1 comment:

Daughter Number Three said...

I like to think that's my reaction. For instance, research shows that when there's a lot of litter in an area, people litter more because they get the sense that's the norm. But I'm pretty sure I wouldn't litter in those circumstances, and would even pick the litter up if I have time.