Monday, October 17, 2011

Trivial kvetching

There are a bunch of petty annoyances that don’t matter much in the larger scheme of life but that I enjoy complaining about anyway:

• The Terms of Agreement that some websites and online groups make you click "I agree" to before giving you access. You click on the link to the terms, hoping to scan them quickly and agree so you can get on with whatever you want to do. The site comes up. You start scanning...but then you spot this line at the bottom: "Page 1 of 35 pages." Are they kidding? They know perfectly well that nobody, except a bored attorney, will read all 35 pages. So you just click "I agree" and hope that it doesn't come back to bite you. So far, so good. But it is annoying.

• Toilet paper in public bathrooms that can give you a paper cut…and in a very sensitive location. Come on, businesses. Be kinder to your customers. Spend a little bit more and get the softer stuff! And two-ply, please.

• That pesky mail from major banks that have at least four pieces of paper with my name and address on them. Checks to consolidate balances, offers for new credit cards, and more. Shredding them isn't hard, but what if I don't feel like going upstairs and plugging in the shredder? (I complained to Chase, where I bank, and they made a change in my profile but warned me that it may take 90 days to take effect. I'm still in 90-day limbo.)

• The fact that with hundreds of cable channels, and a hefty bill to prove it, there are still times when there's absolutely nothing to watch. (And I have pretty eclectic—and not always sophisticated—taste in TV shows.)

• Drivers who think it's not cool to use their turn signals. I've been surprised many times when a car in front of me suddenly slows and turns right while I, foolishly, assumed it was going my way. I give my "you selfish moron!" look, but they're long gone, so it's of no use.

• Cashiers who engage in conversations with coworkers while they're checking out your purchases. I'm pleased to see that this is rarer today. Companies must be doing a better job at customer service training.

• Mothers out for a stroll with their babies or toddlers and on the phone, gabbing away. Wouldn't it be nice if they paid some attention to their little ones? I accept that sometimes it's necessary to take or make a call. But engaging in a long non-emergency conversation when you're supposed to be spending quality time with your children? I even saw one mother crossing the street, little one in hand, having an engrossing conversation. The one is beyond petty annoyance for me. It's dangerous and wrong! (Having said that, I'm glad that cell phones weren't invented when my children were small. I'm sure I wasn't fully engaged all the time. Motherhood is a challenge!)

I am now pettied out. For a day or two. If I think of more ways the world can get my goat, I'll write about them later. If, when you read this, you find my whining about the small stuff irritating, don’t tell me. I would find that very annoying.