Let’s talk about things that really tick me off. Why? I’m not sure, except it feels better if someone else knows them. Especially if I can get someone to jump into my emotional stew along with me.
For a couple of these things, my own lack of insight keeps me from understanding their reasoning. I’m sure there are reasons. And even though I recognize that, my perspective is just weird enough to amuse myself, so I’m sticking with it. With some of the other items, they aren’t amusing at all. They just tick me off.
One last note…I’m sure, if I thought harder, I’d discover this is just a partial list. I should put a “#1” after the title, because there will probably be a “#2” sometime in the future.
Here we go…
Issue #1 – “Frozen Butter Patties”.
Whose idea was it to freeze butter patties at a restaurant?? I’m tired of sitting on my butter. Future generations won’t understand someone started doing it because their butter was frozen. They’re going to think we thought it was a great idea to sit on our food. I hope they don’t mentally connect Oatmeal and Cucumbers to the butter patties. And yes, I know there is the “Armpit” alternative. That’s a really great choice.
I’m sure it’s a sanitation thing but give me a break. Rotate the butter patties out of your freezer and serve them a little softer for God’s sake. I don’t see them serving us frozen steaks, and I don’t see them boiling our water.
Issue #2 – “Solo Public Restrooms With Door Labels”.
As a natural segue, let’s move on to public restrooms.
I’m sure there’s a state law somewhere that dictates this one, but it is so inanely stupid, someone needs to say something. It affects mostly women, and maybe someone’s already whipped up a public frenzy, but I don’t know that, so I’m carrying the flag of protest against single person public restrooms, with door labels that say, “Men” and “Women”.
Who was it who decided that even though you have two restrooms that each contain only one person at a time, you still have to have one just for Men and the other just for Women? How stupid is that?
There’s a line of 37 women outside the women’s room, with more than half praying they don’t cough or laugh. In the meantime, you have no one standing outside the men’s room, which, by the way, is only five feet away.
Why would you possibly have separate Men’s rooms and Women’s rooms, when each of them only takes one person at a time anyway? Is there fear someone will leave the seat up? I’m pretty sure most women will accept that risk, in return for being able to pee inside the restroom instead of outside the restroom. It’s stupid. Cut it out.
Issue #3 – “Public Shaming For Tips”.
I’m prefacing this next one by first saying I’m a pretty good tipper. Wait staff have a difficult job, they work hard, and they get paid a pittance outside of their tips, compared to other employees in other industries. I recognize that, and when I tip, I generally just take the end total, tax and everything, multiply it by 20%, and that’s the tip.
I’m not a Grinch, and this peeve isn’t even really about tipping. It’s about how I want it to be my choice, without pressure, and I shouldn’t be asked about it, particularly in front of others.
So I will be the torch bearer for all those who forever wonder exactly when it was decided to be okay, to put the customer on the spot and ask him or her if they wanted their change back (when paying in cash).
It’s not about the tip. It’s about the wait staff asking me about it. I want my change back because I don’t want to be put on the spot. I want to decide my tip without feeling like I’m being judged. I want to decide how much, all by myself in my own little mental world. I don’t need someone gently reminding me to leave a tip by asking if I want my change back. It is something, I, as a customer, should not have to feel any pressure about. Again, I feel like I’m walking a fine line here. If I say it’s not required, or if I say “whether or not I leave a tip and how much”, I feel like I’m advocating there should be a choice between leaving a tip and not leaving a tip. And yes, technically, there is a choice. But if you’re going to have a heart, if you’re going to be human, there really isn’t a choice. You leave a tip. And a good one. But again, I want it to be completely up to me.
To ask a customer, who has just handed you cash, if he or she wants their change back, is inconsiderate. A waiter or waitress should assume that the change is wanted, and then leave the customer to his or her own privacy in deciding how much of a tip to leave.
And yes… I know… “But some people wouldn’t leave a tip if we didn’t ask that”. That’s the risk of the job. It’s very unfortunate, and I know waiters and waitresses rely on those tips to make their living. But there is a chance of that. And it’s not that customers forget either. Think about it… if someone would not have left a tip if a waiter or waitress didn’t ask about the change, than the only reason they ended up leaving a tip was because they were made to feel guilty. Those people are rare though. So instead, the vast majority of customers are made to feel the same way, because of the few that deserve it. And the trade off… putting well meaning customers on the spot, is something I consider to be inconsiderate.
Like I said before… I always leave a generous tip. I believe in people who work hard. But it doesn’t mean I want to be put on the spot about it either.
Issue #4 – “Cashiers Asking For Donations”.
When I go up to a cashier, the last thing I want, is to be asked if I wish to donate to a particular charity. For the same reason I don’t want to be asked about giving a tip, I also don’t want to be asked about donating to charity, particularly when I’m in line with other people. I shouldn’t care, but I do. And yes, I know no one’s judging. But that’s exactly what it feels like, and possibly one reason why they ask you that way. They know it’s difficult to say ‘No” when other people can hear your response.
I think it’s terribly inconsiderate. Put a sign where I can see it. If I want to give, I’ll bring it up.
Again, just like with the tipping peeve, it’s not about giving to charity. I try to do my best in that regard. And maybe that’s one reason why asking me when I’m in line ticks me off. I try my best in my charitable efforts. So if I wanted to give more, I probably would have done so already. It’s not about giving. It’s about the inconsideration of forcing someone to say “No” if they don’t want to, or even worse, if they can’t afford to. I don’t want to be put in that spot. I want it to be my choice, under no pressure, whether that pressure is real or imagined.
Issue #5 – “Merging Lane Cutters”.
This one deserves a special place in the Hall of Fame section of my heart.
You’re driving on the highway and you see a sign telling you your lane in going to merge into the one next to you. Soon you’re in the other lane and people are still passing you, but that’s okay…. for now.
Eventually though, there does get to a point where everyone should have merged, and now, the people who are passing you and trying to cut in, are just in it for themselves, don’t really care about other people, and are just being selfish and inconsiderate.
And yes, I understand there is the argument that “like a zipper” it’s supposed to work better when people merge later. Even if that was correct, if the vast majority of drivers are merging earlier, than the person who keeps driving until they find an opening just wide enough to cut in front of everyone, those folks are just cutting in at the expense of everyone else. It’s selfish. It’s inconsiderate. And it’s just the tip of the iceberg, because if they do that, they’ll also cut in line at a movie or single toilet public restroom for women, sell a used car that’s secretly malfunctioning, knowingly keep the incorrect change a cashier gives them, and get away with everything else they think they can get away with. It’s a “me over others” attitude.
Plus I end up stressed because I vacillate between just letting them in because I want to be that kind of person, and ferociously trying not to let them in because there comes a time in life when you just have to protect your home territory.
I don’t need that kind of stress. Cut it out.
So there you go. Five things that tick me off. Frozen butter patties, labeled public restrooms meant for only one person, wait staffs asking if I want my change back, cashiers asking for donations, and automobile line cutters. Some are pretty petty, and some may reflect something a lot deeper. In the end though, I’m glad I’m alive to complain about these things.
David S. Chorney
This is where I'm supposed to write something about myself. I still have some hair left. I am still undecided which I like better, photography or painting. My four major food group are seafood, melted cheese, pasta, and Advil. I love the hunt of a finished piece of art. All quotes, essays, stories, and any other written piece on this website, are original and written by yours truly, unless otherwise noted.