The angst begins sometime around noon every Thursday. It begins as a tiny voice at the back of my head and by mid afternoon it has become a relentless question; more accurately a feeling of panic that won’t go away. “What am I going to write in my blog this week?”
This has become a Thursday tradition in my world.
Another tradition involves Thursday dinners at which Gimalle now routinely asks, “have you decided what you’re going to write about this week?”
I sheepishly reply. “No I haven’t,” and the noise in my head gets louder.
I wish she would stop adding to my anxiety by asking that question but I’m afraid to tell her because, well, she scares the hell out of me.
And yet I have to write a blog every week as you, my millions of devoted readers around the world, wait anxiously each Saturday for my new posting and I dare not disappoint you.
Actually, the real reason I write at least one each week is because I have naively deluded myself into thinking there are people out there who gain value from what I have to say.
Self delusion can produce really nice, warm feelings of self importance.
You should try it sometime.
So I thought this week I would write about pet peeves. A peeve is, as you know, something that someone else does, that is annoying or irritating.
When you do that exact same thing it is neither annoying nor irritating, it is justified and understandable.
For example, when my wife asks me if I have decided on a topic for my next blog, that is annoying and irritating because:
- she knows I haven’t and she asks anyway
- she is deliberately increasing my stress and anxiety levels
- she enjoys watching my discomfort because women are evil.
Conversely when I call her at her office, fifteen times between 8:30 am and 10:00 am to ask what we’re having for dinner that is both justified and understandable because:
- I am helping her improve her decision making skills
- I am teaching her about accountability and overcoming procrastination
- I do all this selflessly because men are caring and nurturing.
So I decided to share with you a few of my pet peeves and invite you to respond with yours.
Here is my partial list.
“Yes” is not a greeting.
I cannot believe how many times I have gone into a store or other type of business and been met by a bored looking clerk who has looked at me with that expression usually reserved for things that crawl out from under rocks and the only warm word of welcome I hear is “yes.”
For the majority of you who study my blogs for personal self improvement; “yes” is an answer to a question.
It is an affirmative response to an interrogative statement.
A greeting usually begins with words like “hello, good morning, hi.”
Look it up.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of greetings please don’t ask “can I help you,” unless I am lying on the floor with blood pouring out of my eyes.
Parking in handicapped stalls
A friend of mine once made a comment to me about golf, his addiction, that taught me a valuable lesson about human behaviour. He said “golf doesn’t build character, it reveals it.”
I believe the same is true for those many self centered pillars of the community who routinely park in clearly marked stalls that have been designated for the exclusive use of people whose health conditions require close access to where they are going.
In the front of the condo building where I live there are five visitor parking stalls. Four are for short term visits and one is for use by vehicles displaying handicapped stickers.
All are clearly marked with large, legible signs and not a day passes without our property manager having to ask several inconsiderate, selfish uncaring boors to move their vehicles from the Permit Required stall.
In doing so she has been sworn at, threatened and constantly entertained with the ever charming and highly original, “but I’m just going to be a minute.”
Of course, she has then had to deal with their self righteous angry outbursts after she has had their cars ticketed and towed.
These stalls are there for a reason. Using them to satisfy your own needs rather than parking elsewhere and walking exemplifies the truthfulness of my friend’s comments about character, “it reveals it.”
The death of politeness
Many years ago a client shared with me a “technique” he employed whenever he was considering hiring a person as a senior manager in his company.
The final step in his due diligence process was to invite the candidate to lunch at a nearby Denny’s Restaurant.
He watched closely how that person interacted with the restaurant staff. If s/he was polite and friendly, used long forgotten words like “please” and “thank you” and generally treated the staff respectfully, an offer of employment was presented.
If the candidate treated the staff as lesser beings, snapped their fingers as a way of summoning them and chose not to use the aforementioned magic words then s/he was told that there would be no opportunity forthcoming within the company.
My client’s theory being that, should he hire this person, he was witnessing the manner in which his staff would be treated and, as a business owner, he would not tolerate impoliteness or disrespect.
I doubt there is any science to support the efficacy of this hiring method but I, for one, think it’s fabulous.
A wise person once said “politeness costs nothing, the cost of its absence is incalculable.”
This is the last peeve I will write about. Actually it’s not a peeve, it’s a national disgrace.
Every single day drunk drivers kill six people in this country. Six people. Day in and day out.
That totals almost two thousand people every year and does not include their victims who do not die but whose lives are forever damaged.
Imagine if the H1N1 pandemic killed two thousand of us. We would be marching in the streets demanding that something be done.
And remember, these drunks kill two thousand of us EVERY YEAR.
We have all been put in the position of trying to convince someone we know to leave their car and call a cab or allow us to drive them home only to have them tell us that they’re ok to drive and to mind our own business.
Here’s my view on this topic and I’m sure many of you will strongly disagree.
“I made a mistake,” is not an excuse. If you choose to drive while impaired and make it home safely it is only through sheer luck or the Grace of God that you got away with it. You could have ended someone’s life. Perhaps your own.
If you are convicted of impaired driving you should forfeit the privilege of ever driving again.
After you complete your mandatory jail sentence.
Even if you’re the Premier of B.C.
One last thing. To those of you who are Gimalle’s friends. Please don’t show her the part about me helping with her development.
Malka’s crate is really uncomfortable.
Till we read again.