‘Stuff’ is what people do to encroach on your space, time, comfort, state of mind, or a combination of these things. They may not mean to do it but, they do. The explanation for this behaviour must be that it is harder to avoid doing ‘stuff’ than to just go ahead and do it otherwise, why do it, right?
I am not talking about the big-ticket item stuff like injustice, wars, abuse of vulnerable people or world hunger. These are heavy duty issues that I share with the rest of humanity in terms of abhorrence and trying to do my modest bit to help. I wish to talk about the everyday stuff that gets me to froth at the mouth as though I had an unfortunate accident with my hot cappuccino. Here are some examples:
Bad Timekeeping: Being 5 or more minutes late is difficult to accept and my attitude towards the tardy person afterwards is largely negative. I am happy to accept lateness when it is forewarned so, this does not count as ‘stuff I hate’. This also applies to defaulting on deadlines. Being promised something will happen by a specific date / time and then reporting failure to deliver at the agreed date / time rather than giving an early warning. As to when I am the perpetrator, I am guaranteed a miserable week thereafter because I am so angry with myself for my negligence.
Hanging On: Receiving a phone call from someone’s assistant asking if I was free to speak to him then making me wait to connect us. The outrageous presumption here is that their time is more valuable than mine and therefore, I must wait on the line while he is informed by their assistant that she got me trapped listening to garbage ‘music on hold’. This is the equivalent of someone knocking on your front door and when you open the door they ask you to wait while they finish eating their sandwich.
My Car Park: going to a busy carpark and finding there is only once space left, except for the fact that some moron has decided he/she would like to use TWO parking spaces for their little Mini car because they are either very selfish or can’t park a matchbox in an empty football field. Or perhaps they think the carpark is their own property, I am not sure.
Missing the Bus: I am not sure why this upsets me so much because I am just a witness rather than a victim of such situations. My motto is ‘never run to catch a bus instead, walk and catch the next one’. I do however feel very anxious when I see someone else running to catch a bus / train / tram and feel ecstatic when they make it but thoroughly miserable when they don’t. It is ‘will they, won’t they’ kind of suspense that I wish to see a happy outcome and when it is not, I start to worry about the potential dire consequences of them missing it, like not getting that job, missing a date with a potential future partner, not being able to say a final goodbye to a dying elderly relative, and so on.
My Airline: I imagine the same type of people who are late for meetings are the people who get called on the PA system at airports to go to their gate because the flight is ready to depart. There we all are seated, belted and waiting for the two idiots who are having a drink at the bar somewhere in the terminal building, comfortable in the knowledge that the flight will not take off without them because they have luggage checked in. I had reason to travel with someone who liked to play chicken with airplane doors on regular basis and I had to suffer ‘guilt by association’ as we boarded planes to the hateful stares by the other passengers.
Middle Seats: Why the hell do airlines think it makes sense to have so many of these infernal seats? Let’s face it, no adult in their right mind would want a middle seat in an aeroplane. I can see a limited benefit of having ‘some’ middle seats when two adults are travelling with a small child to put between them but, for full grown adults to be sandwiched between two strangers for hours on end is the ultimate nightmare. I have a theory about this. Next time you fly in a wide-body jet, go up and down the aisles and count how many men v women occupying middle seats. I did. Let me tell you that 80%+ of middle seats are occupied by women. It is not because women prefer these seats rather, airline staff have a tendency to assign them to women for their own messed up stereotype reasons.
Reply All: I spoke about this matter a billion times and the more I speak about it, the more people do it when they reply to an email by automatically hitting ‘reply all’ without thinking if all the other recipients are in the least interested in the ensuing inane rubbish being exchanged. STOP IT PEOPLE!!!! Sorry, I didn’t mean to shout.
My ultimate hate is perhaps an unfortunate combination of the above examples of let’s say an airline employee who receives a phone call from work, told to hang on before he is put through to his supervisor, who then asks him to change shifts at short notice, because the supervisor decided, on the spur of the moment, to go and visit her mother for the weekend by taking a flight that day. He rushes to get ready, runs to the bus stop and only just misses his bus ride, runs back home to take his car instead, gets in to the staff carpark and takes two parking spaces in his haste to save a couple of minutes, gets admonished by the same supervisor who created the situation in the first place. The supervisor then signs off her shift and before she boards her flight, she decides to buy her mother a present from the cosmetics counter, knowing fully well her flight is about to take off. The bullied employee goes to his check-in desk in a bad mood and out of spite, assigns middle seats to the largest passengers, and at the end of his shift, he checks his emails to find a few non-work related funny emails about cute cats chasing laser lights and dogs that resemble their owners then hits ‘reply all’ to the 250 other recipients making comments like ‘that’s cute’, and ‘very funny’.
Worse things can happen on a given day, right? Anyway, I hate all that stuff!