I've come across some bizarre 'holidays' since I got involved in the Greeting Card business. But here's one I rather like - Pet Peeve Week!
It's the second week of October according to one source and another says it's around October 5th. Either way, I discovered it too late to make any cards to celebrate it - maybe next year? - but here are some of my 'Pet Peeves' that I've jotted down, in no particular order.
And I hope you'll share yours too!
- Unsolicited telephone callers in general but in particular the ones who start off brightly asking me how my day is going. It's obviously not enough to interrupt me when I'm trying to do something difficult and 'technical' (like fathoming blogger!) but they want to keep me hanging around making small talk too!!!! My answer, I'm afraid, is usually that I'd be enjoying my day much better if they'd go away and leave me in peace.
- Dog owners who, when their huge, wolf-like furry friend bounds up to me, call out, 'he won't hurt you!' As if that makes everything all right! They really need to realise that, as well as the many people who are terrified of dogs, there are a lot of people who simply don't like them. I grew up with a dog that I liked very much and there are a lot of dogs that I have no objection to - from a distance. I've even found myself smiling at dogs when they are well under their owner's control. But I really hate the smell of some of them; it turns my stomach over. And the thought of being pawed by them, not to mention slavered over, in their excitement, fills me with revulsion. But that apart, a huge hound, however well trained, bearing down on a small child playing in the park, is always a worrying sight . . .
- Politicians who repeatedly talk about 'working families', 'families across the land' and so on when they surely know that a large percentage of the population doesn't live in a 'family' situation. You can read about it here. What about the rest of us, Prime Minister?
- 'Thank you for not smoking' notices,'Thank you for not walking on the grass' notices etc. I'm not sure why this irritates me so much - it has a kind of faintly passive aggressive feel about it. What's wrong with 'NO SMOKING' and 'KEEP OFF THE GRASS' - I'm old enough to remember 'Spitting Prohibited' notices on the buses! Tell that to the Premier League footballers!
- People, usually families of the bereaved, who talk about getting 'justice for their loved ones'. Quite apart from the fact that their loved ones probably aren't in a position to care any more, I often sense that it's really revenge or retribution that they are looking for. And it's not for their loved ones, it for themselves. Nothing wrong with that, if that's what you believe is right, but why not say so?
- Shop assistants who chat amongst themselves while they are supposedly 'serving' me!
- Having to make expensive (0845, 0870 . . .etc) phonecalls to Customer Services to inform a company of an error they've made! Sometimes I can find an normal number for them on a website devoted to helping us to avoid these expensive non-geographical numbers, but I don't always have time and it's not always possible.
- Junk Mail. I think most of us would prefer to do without it but setting my preferences to avoid it doesn't seem to work. Apparently it depends on the postman looking at a list. Junkmail costs a bomb in waste disposal charges but I heard that the Royal Mail wouldn't survive without it.
- Chilled food that has the cooking instructions on the underside of the packaging, causing me to have to choose between spilling the food as I turn the package over or risk putting my back out, trying to read the instructions from underneath!
- Food waste recycling. Enough said - here!
- When giving my details or filling in a form, being asked whether I'm 'Miss' or 'Mrs'. Why is this relevant? Men manage perfectly well without being asked about their marital status.
- People who make a virtue of getting up early and look down on us 'Night Owls'. Yes, I know they say that an hour's sleep before midnight is worth a lot more than several hours later but if you're in the habit of staying up late because you can think straighter late at night than you can first thing in the morning, I'm not sure that this holds true!