Anyone who knows me well knows about my pet peeves. I’m nearly as OCD as a high school band director, but without as much patience. Here are just my top ten.
- Do NOT interrupt anyone else while they are speaking. My sweet husband is bad about this, so if I’ve been interrupted three times trying to say something important I just leave the room. Someday the house may be on fire, but he won’t realize it because he interrupts me at “The house is. . .” and rambles on for a while.
- Poor grammar, spelling, or punctuation. This is unacceptable in this day and age. We have spell check on our PHONES! Please do not put misspelled or grammatically incorrect phrases on your marquee. I will never go there for anything. Ever. Same with emails, internet ads, and flyers.
- Don’t assume I’m an idiot because I’m female. I truly didn’t think this still occurred until my husband’s newly-replaced rear window in his convertible shattered the very first time I put it down. Actually, I thought it should have been replaced free of charge since it was clearly mounted too tightly. But no. I called to get an estimate for yet another replacement. The price they quoted ME was TWICE the price they quoted my husband a day or two later.
- Don’t give me parenting advice if you aren’t a parent. A former step-brother used to do this when my eldest was about three. He gave me constant suggestions on what I should say or do. My eldest son was in a Ninja Turtles phase and liked to bounce around pretending he was a TMNT. He’s 26 now, and that was about as wild as he ever got. Last time I saw that ex-step-brother he was on my family farm looking for UFOs. Multiple religious sects rejected him. Thankfully, he has never fathered a child.
- Never say, “I know how you feel” unless you are in constant pain, are no longer able to practice in your career field, and have watched all your plans, hopes, and dreams dissolve in front of you.
- When I’m angry or frustrated do not pat me and say, “Now, now.” One of my father-in-law’s girlfriends (while my dear mother-in-law was still alive) did this the first time I met her. There’s really no coming back from that.
- Don’t insult my housekeeping or my pets. One sister-in-law (after I’d kept her dog for a week for free) insisted her husband call to tell us her dog had gotten fleas while at our house. My dogs didn’t have fleas, but I keep them on their flea/tick meds year-round because we have a very large, woodsy back yard. She clearly got over it, since we ended up taking care of the sweet pup every time they left town until he passed away – all for free. Another sister-in-law called me up the weekend after Thanksgiving to tell me that their family would be unable to attend any gatherings at my home because with my dogs (two chocolate labs at that time) and my poor housekeeping skills her children had horrible allergic reactions. I apologized, and said I hoped to see her at a family gathering somewhere else in the future. Guess what? There was a New Year’s Eve party that year she really wanted to go to, but couldn’t find a baby sitter. They asked if WE could watch their kids overnight. Hmmm, so your children’s health ranks a bit below your social schedule? Or does your need to insult me rank higher than either of those?
- Speakerphone. It’s great! I use it so I don’t accidentally hang up on someone because of my tremor. But DO NOT do it professionally or about sensitive family matters when you’re not alone. I can hear that other person, or other people in the background. I don’t want to speak to random people. If I called YOU I want to speak with YOU. Not everyone who happens to be in the room with you. Common courtesy demands that you announce you’re on speaker-phone at the beginning of the conversation.
- As a nurse, spouses or adult children speaking FOR the patient. If a doctor or nurse asks the patient a question, they want the patient’s answer first. If you have something to add wait until the patient stops speaking. And if you’re a spouse, NEVER bring up your own health issues. Talk to your own doctor on your own time (even if you both have the same doctor).
- Apathetic salespeople. My nineteen-year-old son told me he appreciates people ‘being real’ while working at a fast-food place, a movie theater, or a restaurant. I was just stunned. At the very least I expect someone to whom I’m giving my money to smile and say please and thank you. Even on the phone. I know for a fact people can tell if you’re smiling while you’re talking on the phone. Common courtesy should be extended to EVERYONE. Of course my youngest is always terribly embarrassed when I’m walking out of a store with my cane (bad pain day) and hold the door open for some 15yo hoodlum. I yell, “You’re welcome!” with a smile. Most of the time the young man or woman will be embarrassed and say ‘thank you’. But many don’t, and some even mumble obscenities. #sadworldwelivein
What are your pet peeves? Please share, so I don’t feel like such a prissy-pants!