Sunday, 2 September 2018

Driven crazy

A journalist has compiled a handy list of all those everyday annoyances we come across - those things that drive us crazy but usually we can't do anything about, unless we're ready for an angry argument.

Here's a selection of his petty irritations:

1) Kisses from people you've never met
2) People who board trains (or buses) without letting people off first
3) Out-of-control children in restaurants
4) Loud phone talkers on public transport
5) Losing the end of the cling film or sellotape
6) Automated checkouts (there's always a problem)
7) When you can't remember your passwords
8) Other people's personal noises (tapping on table, sniffling etc)
9) Food served on wooden boards
10) People who suddenly stop dead on pavements
11) Slipping-down socks. And itchy bras
12) Bags on seats when others are standing
13) Litter droppers
14) Packets of food slightly too much for your storage jar
15) Train announcements - long, rambling, unintelligible
16) Drivers who take up two parking spaces

I'd agree with most of those. But which ones really exasperate me? Out-of-control children maybe, especially if the parent is oblivious to what they're doing. And people who stop dead on pavements, or walk at a snail's pace when you can't get past them. And food served on wooden boards. Firstly, what's the point, and secondly, how hygienic are they?

I've always enjoyed kissing, so I'm happy to accept kisses from just about anyone, be it in the flesh or on social media. But I would draw the line at smelly old drunks. And I prefer a kiss that isn't accompanied by an unnecessary kissing noise like "Mwergh". Why do people do that?

I'm not too bothered by loud phone talkers, unless they're discussing the clap clinic or their bowel habits. Their strange conversations can be quite entertaining, especially if they're having a heated argument with their spouse/ girlfriend/ boyfriend.

Your everyday annoyance might be my unexpected pleasure.


  1. Those are all such minor annoyances. On the other hand, had you classed them as anger producing incidents, I would have a problem with the person who became angry, and disturbed the peace for nothing.

  2. I would add doors slammed in my face (all too frequently and not by the young but the old) and it's hard to be selective when it comes to a purse-mouthed kisser waiting to pounce and then spittle my cheek. It's happened a few times. I hate it.

    Any loud or messy or inconsiderate intrusions into the public realm is annoying. For instance I have a neighbour who consistently lets her door slam. They are heavy doors and every time (s)he does it I jump. And (s)he does it a lot.

    I try to be mindful of others but I am sure I sometimes fail too. Oblivious.


  3. Doesn't take much to annoy you, does it? Maybe you should take a chill pill, take up meditation and/or yoga. If all else fails, take to the solitude of the mountains. Nobody and nothing there to annoy you. Mind you, knowing you as I do, you'd probably find the silence and LACK of things to annoy you annoying. Still, as long as you have something to complain about, dearest Nick, your blog will be going strong.

    U :)


  4. I do find loud phone talkers the most exasperating. And when they have the Bluetooth in their ear, it looks as though they are talking to themselves, which is just creepy.

  5. Joanne: They're very minor annoyances. Mostly I don't take much notice of them, I just shrug them off. They're utterly trivial beside the serious annoyances like poverty and homelessness. And yes, people who get publicly angry often only make things worse.

  6. www: I do agree about doors being slammed in my face. Do people not notice my presence? As for loud doors, can they not find a way of muting them?

    Bijoux: People who seem to be talking to themselves are very weird. I always look for the person they're talking to!

  7. this isn't a personal annoyance so it might not count. but I'm beyond annoyed by all restaurants blaring the music so loud that you literally can not hear the person sitting across from you trying to talk. just part of the new age here. I don't know if it's just an American thing or if it's world wide now.
    but sometimes after eating I have a headache! once in a restaurant I asked if it could be turned down and I was given a look of both amazement and pity! LOLOL!!! oh well.
    I also live next door to door slammers. every time they leave or come home. all hours. SLAM! it's weird. it appears to be a normal door. you'd think it could only be shut if you SLAM IT! maybe it's subliminal anger. hahaha.

  8. Tammy: Totally agree. Many times Jenny and I have gone into a restaurant and come straight out again because of loud music. If we're already in the restaurant, find the music distracting and ask for it to be turned down, it's lowered very slightly or not at all. It's odd how other people are happy to talk at top volume to compete with the music!

  9. Some happen here too but, most don't. My list in chronological order will be as follows. I hardly leave my home and that would explain most.

    Delayed arrival of newspapers.
    Error and absence of solutions to previous day's crossword puzzles.
    Gardener/Handyman not turning up.
    Delayed lunch.
    Phone call disturbing siesta.
    Courier not delivering on due date.
    Evangelicals calling at home.

  10. Ramana: Disruptive phone calls are most annoying. I don't have a siesta but when I'm engrossed in something and the phone rings (usually a cold call or an attempted scam), I'm not a happy bunny.

  11. I have to say the food on wooden boards trend has died a quick death! When it started I wondered how all the restauranteurs would keep up with the expense because they degrade quickly in a dishwasher and hand washing is just time consuming. Turns out, the restauranteurs didn't keep up, they went to a different style of plate instead.

    I get super annoyed with some facebook threads, just today i had to become disability advocate. Well, I didnt have to i guess but i wasn't about to stand by and allow unthinking discrimination to go uneducated

  12. I'm afraid I can't think of anything that drives me crazy, probably because like Rummuser, I spend most of my time at home and have been lucky with neighbors. Telemarketers used to bother me, but I bought a new answering machine that stops the ringing after the second one so I can easily tune it out. If someone we know speaks we can pick up, but most of the calls are by robots.

  13. I find most of the items the journalist listed annoyances, too, but generally I don't spend time and energy fretting about them. I think only instrumental music should be played in restaurants and at a volume that's strictly background so people can have an intimate conversation if they desire. If people need or want to talk on their digital device in public places I prefer they keep their voice soft as I don't like being subjected to their loud banter.

  14. Kylie: We still get wooden boards here in Northern Ireland. Jenny and I went to a posh hotel last week and all the starters for our evening meal were served on wooden boards.

    I try to avoid getting into contentious arguments on Facebook, but like you I'm sometimes so incensed I have to intervene!

  15. Jean: If there's really nothing that drives you crazy, I can only say - lucky you! BT now has a service that identifies your last phone call and can permanently block the number for you.

  16. Joared: Oh, I don't waste a lot of time fretting about minor nuisances either. I spend much more time fretting about the serious scandals like poverty, homelessness, misogyny, overloaded hospitals, mental ill-health etc. I wish the politicians would focus on these issues instead of ideological fixations like Brexit.

    I agree, low-volume instrumental music only in restaurants is a great idea. I hate having to practically shout to get myself heard over raucous musak.

  17. My uncle's friend used to kiss me on the lips. Fortunately i didn't see him often.

    Oh loud music in restaurants. Why? What is the point?

  18. Talking to myself though, I do that all the time. It's only thinking out loud.

  19. Liz: Other people seem to actually enjoy loud music in restaurants. I can't understand why.

    I also talk to myself all the time. As Woody Allen said, I talk to myself because I'm the most intelligent person I know.

  20. I try not to get annoyed nowadays, although one thing that does annoy me is people who walk into a shop and stop just inside the doorway. Oh and motorists who don't say thank you when I have given way to them.
    As someone who is "interested in my fellow humans" I like listening to other people’s conversations, I agree with you, they can be entertaining!

  21. Polly: The sudden-stoppers annoy me too. Motorists here are usually very good at saying thank you - either a little wave or flashing the breakdown lights.

  22. Food served on wooden boards is annoying? That's an odd one to me. I'm bothered by people who can't drive. Or rather, people who don't understand how the passing lane works.

    There's actually some interesting research behind two of the things on this list (which both are annoying ot me):

    The noises, like tapping or chewing, are troublesome to some people who have misophonia. It's a neurological issue where some noises invoke a rage reaction. There are times when I would like to throttle someone popping their gum.

    And studies on overhearing phone conversations versus actual conversations (in person) show that when you listen to a one-sided conversation, it forces you to imagine the other side of it. It's far easier to tune out hearing two people talking to each other.

  23. Agent: I think Jenny might have a touch of misophonia. Some noises can get her really steamed-up!

    Actually I don't imagine the other side of the conversation. But what I can hear is usually most intriguing.

  24. The kissing thing doesn't seem to happen to me. Maybe it's a regional thing? I'm glad, though, because I definitely wouldn't be okay with that.

    Out of control kids in public definitely makes my list. And people not letting people leave first. It doesn't matter if it's a restaurant, elevator, etc. It makes so much more sense to let the people trying to leave out/off to make room for those coming. The parking thing is another major pet peeve of mine. I'd add line breakers to the list, too.

  25. Danielle: Line breakers? Does that mean queue jumpers? If so, I agree. I suspect out of control kids grow up to be out of control adults - people like Donald Trump.