Friday, March 11, 2011

Five Things That Really Tick Me Off

These aren't the only things that make my hair stand on end and push me toward "saying something," but they're high on the list:

1. Very bad language spoken loudly in public where sweet little old ladies and young children might overhear. This morning, sitting outside at a table in front of Starbucks, a 30 something gal practically yelled her extremely offensive profanity. For Pete's sake, folks, have a little respect for others and tone it down in public.

2. Bizarre clothing, multiple piercings, and pink and green striped hair on a teen who then gets huffy if I stare. Why do people appear in public like that if they don't want to attract attention?

3. Getting the door of the library shut in my face when I'm walking in with an armload of books. It's not that hard to glance behind, and it's lovely manners to hold the door open for others.

4. Waiting to make a left turn when the arrow has turned green and the person in front of me is daydreaming or distracted by something else going on in her car. And yes, it's almost always a female. I usually tap my horn, but what I'd really like to do is hold it down and scare the living daylights out of her.

5. Trashing anyone or anything in a public forum (and these days there seem to be no private forums). Writers who attack agents or whine about their rejection letters in their blogs are a good example. Professionals in any field should know better.

What about you? What really ticks you off?


Jan Morrison said...

Excellent. I agree with all of these most profoundly. Manners - where have they gone? And I don't mean persnickety manners but simply being kind to others.
OK - here's one that might just be a Maritime bad habit. Standing at the top of a flight of stairs or escalator yacking! Jeesh - what do they expect one to do?

Anonymous said...

All of them! esp. bad language, which feeds into #5. I'm enjoying my "sheltered" life right now, housebound a lot with my daughter. It definitely has its up side!

Have a great weekend!!

L.G.Smith said...

Hi Pat,

Er, well, I don't allow my foul mouth free rein in public, but you don't want to stand beside me if I stub my toe at home. And my pink hair days are long behind me, but that's just rude not opening the door for someone with an armload of books.

What gets me mad is when I'm in first position at a red light and people in SUV's try to sneak up on my right side so they can make a turn. There's no turn lane there, people, and there's only one coat of paint between us.

Karen Walker said...

Hmm, let's see - driver's that don't signal, people not returning phone calls, someone not doing what they say they are going to do, when I don't do what I set out to do for myself, and toilet seats left up.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Like you Patricia bad language is one.
I also don't like people speaking down to me especially I may be older than that person.
Doctor's recetionists who when you're feeling ill say "Can you come 2 weeks time?"
By and large I let people live and let live but these few things get me going.

Have a lovely weekend.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I agree with you. I'll add people talking on their cell phone while driving, because they are NOT paying attention!

Patricia Stoltey said...

We all have our hot buttons, don't we.

Jan, I see people blocking grocery store aisles, stairwells, and all kinds of places as they chat. I'm getting very good at speaking up instead of meekly waiting until they're done.

Ann, sometimes it does make me want to run for the Pat Cave.

L.G., yes, I've been known to say things at home I wouldn't say in public. But some folks need to be muzzled when they go out.

Karen,yep, all those, too.

Good morning, Yvonne. It's true, live and let live is a good way to approach the world...but bad manners and inconsiderate behavior sometimes are very hard to ignore.

I agree, Alex. We've got some laws about that in Colorado because of a horrible accident that happened here last year. Still, folks will turn up their radios, chat with passengers, let their little minds wander.

Arlee Bird said...

I agree strongly with the ones you mentioned as well as the ones mentioned by others in the comments. It amazes me how rude and inconsiderate so many people are these days.

Tossing It Out

Elspeth Antonelli said...

I agree with all of these and most of the others mentioned in the comments. I have noticed, however, that things don't tick me off as much as they used to - although long streams of profanity tend to make me impatient. Seriously, is their vocabulary that limited? I will admit, however, that when I stub my toe, the first words spurting from my lips are not "Bird, thou never wert."

Kathleen Guler said...

The profanity annoys me. Not only do they not respect others, they don't even respect themselves enough to watch their mouths. They're putting themselves in a poor light.

People who slam doors hard enough to knock a building off its foundation is one of my pet peeves. They don't seem to get the door can be closed without waking up the whole neighborhood, rattling windows or breaking the door/doorframe.

Mary Vaughn said...

Oh Pat! I agree with all of them. I'm still laughing at you in #4. I just can't picture you doing that.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Arlee, me too. What I do love is moms who tell their youngsters to hold the door open for the folks behind them. There are manners lurking about here and there.

Hi Elspeth...I am much more mellow than I was even ten years ago...but I also speak up more. Maybe it helps not to keep it all inside. And "Bird, thou never wert" is not the first thing that springs to my lips when I stub my toe, either. :)

Good morning, Kathleen. The slamming doors reminds me of neighbors who rev their car or motorcycle motors over and over...usually during the time I've set aside to write. The list just grows and grows.

Hi Mary -- LOL -- So far I still tap...but really, you have no idea how much I want to blast that horn sometimes.

j.a. kazimer said...

Filled with shame as I am guilty of three of those very things just today :)

Patricia Stoltey said...

J.A. -- LOL -- well, I am really ticked off now.

JUST KIDDING! You shouldn't have told us. :)

Holly Ruggiero said...

Excellent points.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Holly -- thanks for stopping by.

Now I'm off to get dressed and head to the Fort Collins Hilton for day one of the Northern Colorado Writers Conference, leaving dear hubby at home to watch over Katie Kitten's feeding and medicine schedule. I'll check in later this evening.

Dorothy St. James/Dorothy McFalls said...

Great list! It irks me when someone in front of me in line is so engrossed in a cell phone conversation that she ignores the clerk and everyone else around her.

Jemi Fraser said...

Those are good ones! Also people who never listen - just wait for their chance to talk.

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Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I agree with all of these! Good picks, Patricia. :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I find most of the drivers irritating me lately have been guys on their cell phones.
The manners thing is not good all over. As a teacher I try to model good manners to my students and point out when they don't use them. Believe it or not, it works. Most of my students use excellent manners around me but it's sad they have to be taught as teenagers what manners are.

Val Thevictorian said...

Tailgaters tick me off. Not the partying, pre-football-game, parking-lot tailgaters. The motorists who attach themselves to my bumper like a champion NASCAR driver drafting to save fuel. If I'm going the speed limit, then you shouldn't need to go faster. I'm not going to speed up just because you're road-raging me from behind.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Between cell phones and bad drivers, we can come up with dozens of annoyances...I was on an airplane recently when a passenger near me ignored the order to turn off his phone. I actually spoke up that time...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patricia .. all your points and loud talking on mobile phones anywhere ... cannot believe the inanities that people seem to need to have conversations about.

Sometimes patience really is a virtue real and proper! Cheers Hilary

Holly Jahangiri said...

Excellent question, Patricia!

With regard to #1: I'm not a saint, but there's something about little old ladies and children that tastes like soap in my mouth. (Then again, little old ladies and children can be some of the worst offenders, when it comes to public profanity - usually with comic effect, but still...!) Really, my personal objection to excessive profanity in public is that the careless, offhand use of the f-bomb is rapidly robbing this versatile Anglo-Saxon word of all meaning. It is the Kleenex of profanity. I predict that within 5 years, it will have lost all shock value and be classified as verbal punctuation, right up there with "um" and "uh" and "like."

When it comes to #2, just smile sweetly and say, "I'm sorry, I obviously mistook you for an anachronistic attention whore." Or tell 'em the joke about the sailor who f***ed a parrot and was merely curious to know if they might be his illicit love child.

As for #3, I took great pains to instill this courteous habit in my kids, especially my son. Consequently, I have a lovely young 14 year old man who is often mistaken for a doorman, and is rarely even thanked by the 20 or so people who barrel through the door while he stands there wondering at what point he can slam it in their faces with impunity. I am now having to teach him how to stand up for himself.

Regarding #4: I am SO sorry, Patricia - was that YOU behind me? I was simply absorbed in plotting my next murder mystery. By the way, you're now IN it.

On #5: Killjoy. I mean, c'mon - the Internet is just one big place to flame and vent, right? Kind of like the steam plants that power New York City. I do have to agree with you, though, that it is just career SUICIDE to go around trashing agents, editors, publishers (or, for that matter, for said professionals to trash the writers they depend upon for CONTENT to work with). Trashing your peers, though, is a time-honored Internet tradition - let the games begin! (Wait, no, I didn't mean - oh, heck with it. Care for a nice cup of tea, Patricia?)


Kay Theodoratus said...

I'll agree with you on the peeves. I'd add a couple of my own, but I'm heading downstairs to my hot water bottle. I spent too much time sitting at the NCW conference.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Holly, dahlink, you are now in my next mystery as well. :) I sure wish you'd drop in here more often. Your comments are priceless.

But, the fact that a young gentleman like your son is ignored when showing good manners is incredible. I've had that happen as an adult, and I've been known to say "You're most welcome," to the rudie's back as she charges on past.

Hi Kay. I crashed last night and slept almost ten hours...and now I'm thinking about another nap. But it was an excellent conf. and I had a great time.

Betty Craker Henderson said...

I'll admit it is tempting to get ticked off about all these things but then I remember that sometimes I do dumb things without really thinking about it and I'll bet others get impatient with me too so I try and make allowances. I just grin and think, yeah, and there but for the grace of God, goeth ME! Ha.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Betty, you're the wise one. When I pull one of these stunts, I just try to look totally innocent...or apologize a lot.


This was an excellent post with so many excellent points made about the things that make all of us angry.

My personal hot button gets pushed when I'm in a business meeting (regardless of my role) and the other person answers his or her phone. Doesn't matter if it's the one on the desk or a cell phone. Don't people realize that if they're in a meeting with you and they answer their phones, they're saying, "This caller, whoever he or she may be, is MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU ARE"? Now, if the other person is expecting an important call and he tells me about it at the beginning of our meeting, I'm okay with him answering the phone. He was polite. He indicated I'm important by being polite.

Come to think of it, I get ticked off when friends answer their cell phones when we're out to lunch or dinner. Which is why I always make a point of shutting of MY cell phone when we sit at the table in the restaurant. Not very subtle, but it usually gets my point across without bloodshed.