Thursday, February 2, 2012

Annoying People

So, I'm just gonna come out and say it.  There's a lot of annoying people in the world. 
I fully realize that I'm not perfect, and I'm also certain that there are many who would also put me in the category of an annoying person.  I guess that's fine.  Probably my difficulties with handling some of these annoying people is my own burden, and I should learn to deal with it.

But since I have a blog, I'm going to vent a little in this space.

1.  People who speed up/slow down on the Highway.
We're all pretty much familiar with this scenario:  You're cruising down the interstate, cruise control set, and a car passes you.  No big deal.  But then, after they pull in front of you, they inexplicably slow down, just a mile or two an hour less than you... so you start gradually gaining on them.  Eventually you just speed up and pass them and resume your normal cruising speed.  Only to have them speed up, pass you again, and then slow down again.  It's unfathomable.  And it happens all the time. If you want to speed up and go faster, by all means... do it!  If you want to slow down and go slower... by all mean... do it!  You are a danger to yourself and others, and you are ridiculous.

2.  People who can't operate an ATM.
Being completely honest here, there are few things more frustrating than being stuck behind the person that can't operate the ATM.  I use the ATM all the time.  I use it for deposits.  I've bought stamps there.  The longest I have ever taken is 5 minutes, and that was a deposit and a withdrawal, and using two different accounts and cards.  Sitting behind these people who take 10 minutes (yes, I have timed them, I have waited 10 minutes for a single customer, many times)... what the heck are you doing at the ATM?  Are you attempting a hostile takeover of RJNabisco through the Automated Teller?  If you can't operate the machine... get a 3rd grader to walk you through it because you are driving the rest of the world crazy.

3.  People who don't move ahead after their transaction (ATM/Fast food) at the drive thru.
Ever get stuck behind this person?  You are in your vehicle waiting in line.  The person in front of you has completed their transaction.  They have gotten their cash and their card back (or their food, and change...if it's fast food).  Next, you sit incredulously and watch, as they put their change or cash in their purse (or wallet).  Sometimes they open up their food bag and start passing out items to other people in their car.  Sometimes they drop change on the floor, and stop to pick it up (you won't believe how often this happens, and how easy it is to recognize what has happened from the car behind).  Listen, I know you need to put away your stuff.  I know you want to have everything organized before you leave the drive thru area.  But do me, and the rest of the world a favor...and pull ahead one car length ahead... and let someone else have access to the window/ATM.  It's common courtesy!  You are holding up the entire line so you can put your things away....and you can easily do this after you have moved your vehicle ahead about 8 feet.  This needs to be taught in Driver's Ed.

4.  People who sit and talk and block traffic.
I live in a small town.  Small enough where we don't even have traffic lights.  So, I don't expect everyone to relate to this experience.  You may think that living in a small town without lights, and without traffic would be nice, and you would be correct for the most part.  However, we have a problem with a small portion of our population.  They seem to think, that since traffic is sparse..that it's perfectly fine to sit in the middle of the road, and chat with someone.  Two cars...heading different directions...see each other, and just stop and talk in the middle of the road.  If someone comes up behind them...they don't care, they just continue their conversation.  If you have the audacity to honk at them and tell them to get out of the way, because they are, you know, blocking traffic to "chat".  They get very upset, and will show you a derogatory digit, or perhaps even yell at you when pass them(assuming they move to the side of the road).   What is the lesson we teach little kids about being in the road?  As a Father of four children I believe it's something like "STAY OUT OF THE ROAD".  This wisdom doesn't end just because you are old enough to drive and in a vehicle.  You want to stop and talk with someone, pull over, meet somewhere, but get out of the road, and stop blocking traffic.  You are NOT more important than everyone else who is driving on that particular road.  Which is basically the statement you are making.

5.  People who do things wrong on purpose, and get upset when they are caught.
As a teacher, I admit I have alot of experience with this.  For example, our school does not allow the students to use their cell phones during school.  They can bring them to school, but they are to be turned off and left in their lockers.  But, if as a teacher I catch a student using their phone...when they all KNOW they are not supposed to, they get mad at me.  Like it's my fault they are using the phone.  Very few are the students who know behave like "Yep, I was wrong".

Well, I was thinking about this concept and it applies to adults too.  It's like people who get pulled over for speeding, and then get upset because they get written up for not wearing a seat belt.  Um, it's the law... you know it, you broke it on purpose... deal with the consequences.  Similar to the people at work who don't follow their responsibilities and when this is pointed out to them at their next evaluation, get upset at their supervisor... like it's the supervisors fault they were shirking their duties.  Ridiculous.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not holier than thou.  I make mistakes.  I mess things up.  I forget to do things.  I've occasionally, not often..but I'm no saint, done something wrong on purpose.  But, here's the deal... if I get caught or told I'm doing something wrong... I admit it. 

Personally, I can't fathom a world, where I didn't do anything wrong, and everything was always someone else's fault.  This is a major problem in our society today, not to mention a major buzz kill.

6.  Fans who immediately call for a coach's firing when a team is struggling.
I know alot of people like this.  Shoot, I'm related to people like this.  Coaches in today's world in our society have an extremely high pressure job, that is backed by people who don't live in reality. 

If you asked most people "Who is the greatest college basketball coach of all time?"  Many would answer back with:  John Wooden.  He is a solid selection.  He won 10 National Championship in 12 years, including 7 in a row.  No one else touches him, to be honest.  Did you know, however that John Wooden took over the UCLA Bruins program in 1948 and did not win his first championship until 1964.  It took "the greatest coach in the history of the sport" 16 years to win his first national championship.  That would never happen today. 

It's almost humorous how people blame the coaches for all the faults of their favorite teams in today's world.  Like they are on the sideline telling people to fumble the ball, or miss those crucial free throws.  Coaches are human, and they make mistakes, but woes and difficulties do not lie at their doorstep only.  To suggest that this is so, is absolutely ridiculous.

7.  People who cheer for politics/politicians like sports teams.
I get it, "your guy" won.  Whatever that means.  The moment I realized that political parties pretty much only exist to get people elected, I lost a lot of interest in politics.  There are not a lot of high and mighty principles at stake here, people.  Just men and women who will do and say almost anything to get elected.  I'm sick and disgusted with our current two party system, and wish a legitimate third party could shake things up, but that won't happen, because THEY won't allow it to happen.  Anyway, it's not a sporting event, and it shouldn't be about "strategies" and "electability".  So go ahead and celebrate like you "won" something.  We've already won the jackpot being born and living in this country.

8.  People who "don't watch" TV and act superior for it.
Goody for you!  I happen to enjoy some television.  I don't watch hours of it a day, but I have some shows I follow, and I enjoy them.  What is wrong with spending a little downtime in front of some entertainment?  Certainly, there is a great deal of poor programming on the airwaves and cable networks, but there's some good stuff too.  Please go be high and might about something else, because the fact you "don't watch TV" doesn't impress me, or really anyone else enjoys it.  We don't care, so just keep that to yourself, OK?

9.  Parents who think "their kid" doesn't lie.
This is probably the teacher in me, because I have to deal with more children and more children's parents than people in most professions.  But, I'm going to use myself as an example here.  I was a good kid.  I grew up a pretty good kid.  I never got a detention, or got kicked out of a class in school.  Shoot, I can only remember a teacher getting mad at me once, and I still remember that incident (Sorry that I was drumming my pencil in Geography, Mr. Borchardt... may he rest in peace, great guy, great teacher, and he was right to correct me).
I lied.  I lied to my parents.  I lied to teachers.  I lied to friends.  I lied to a number of people.  I'm not proud of it.  I try very diligently to be an honest person.
As a parent, I have good children.  I am proud of all of them.  They are wonderful.  Good students, hard workers, all that nice stuff you want to hear about your kids, I hear that stuff.  And my kids lie.  They try to get away with things.  I think it's just human nature.  Try to get out of it, so you don't have to face the consequences.  If you are a person who is delusional enough to think that "your kid doesn't lie", I actually feel sorry for you.  And your child.

10.  People who yearn for "the good old days".
They never existed.  There are no days in the past better than now.  Yes, there are lots of problems now.  The thing is, there always have been.  When do we want to go back to?  The 60's?  The "counter-culture" because that movement sure took hold and changed everything.  How about the 50's?  Go back to the days of the Greasers and the start of rock and roll. Of course, there was communism, and racism, and lack of civil rights, but hey... I know, let's go back to the 40's.... oh yeah, World War II... the holocaust.... the 30's?  the great depression... Well maybe back to the turn of the previous century...that would be better right?  Women couldn't vote.  Racism.  And I've left out a whole bunch of stuff.

Just realize that all people who live in all times have their problems.  All generations feel like things are "going to hell in a hand basket".  Every generation seems to look back at a certain time before they had to deal with the issues that are going on now, and think that before those problems, life was much easier.  It wasn't.  I'm not trying to be a downer here, I'm actually approaching this the other way.  Sure, we've got problems, but we always will.  We should feel encouraged and strengthened that we will deal with our problems just like all other generations have dealt with theirs.  By borrowing money from other countries and relying on our children to pay it off.  Ba-dump-bump.

Have a good one everybody, and enjoy your Super Bowl Weekend.


  1. I think "the good old days" that most people refer to is their childhood. We latch on to those years as the best years because we didn't really live in the real world. Kids are oblivious to most everything that goes on. So when people yearn for those times I just think they want to go back to the days of their youth.

  2. I think coaches at the highest levels of sports have a greater level of responsibility for the performance of their teams. At lower levels you obviously don't have a huge talent pool to select from and, I would assume, not be able to cut and add new players.

    That said, there is a lot of hamstringing of coaches that goes on in organizations that is visualized as inept coaching.

    But let's face it... Dr. Peter's principle applies to coaching as much add any other profession.