By Bill Taylor
It seems to me that we all have those petty annoyances in our lives – you know, those pesky little nuisances that irritate us far more than they should. One I experience every so often is a very small pebble or something similar that mysteriously appears in my shoe and irritates my foot until I locate and remove that tiny object. I can never figure where it comes from or how it got into my shoe which just adds to the aggravation. Anyway, here are a few more.
We subscribe to three home-delivered newspapers. One is regularly deposited next to our garage door under the roof overhang to help protect it from the weather. The other two, however, may be found almost anywhere such as: next to the garage door; under or on top of our minivan parked in the driveway; in the flower garden next to the garage; in or under the bushes next to the front door; or any combination of these. The one place I can almost be sure of finding them is on the driveway between the sidewalk and the street – but only when it’s raining or snowing. I suppose I could consider this as a “game” but I’m always “it.”
The Sunday newspaper is chock-ful of ads often including one that’s about a quarter of a page kinda folded over the outside the rest of the paper or section. These are so awkward to handle they go directly into the recycle pile without getting so much as a glance. Probably the most irritating ads are those arriving on Sunday but don’t take effect until the next Wednesday – the ads from the previous Sunday are valid through Tuesday. Confusing? You bet. Particularly since recycle pickup is on Monday meaning the “current” ad will likely wind up in the recycle bin.
Not long ago the cable company announced subscribers had to have a company-supplied converter box to receive programs over the cable. The box would be “free of charge” for a year after which a monthly fee would be imposed. Well, we got and installed our one authorized “free” box – only to find our cable bill increased by $25 a month. When I called and asked about the increase, I was told, it had nothing to do with the cable box. “It’s just that we no longer offer the package you have at the price you had.” (Do you think I had just been “had”?)
When I protested they were advertising a much more extensive package for about half the cost I was now paying I was told, “That’s a promotional price which will increase to the regular price at the end of the promotional period.” No wonder this company is rated as the nation’s worst in customer satisfaction.
One of the irritating practices on some TV channels is when a program starts five minutes or so before the hour or half hour. We tend to change channels to watch the programs we prefer so we get annoyed when we watch the end of a program on one channel then switch channels only to find a program is already underway. The counterpart is when a program runs five minutes or so after the hour or half hour. To see the end of these programs means we miss the beginning of one on another channel. Aggravating, bothersome, disagreeable ? You betcha.
Right up there on the aggravation scale are the TV ads with what appears to be disclaimers about some product or service – but the print is so small it’s impossible to read – kinda like the way the score and other statistics are displayed for some sports events. Not everyone has a six foot wide TV.
I’m sure our names and addresses have been sold to a whole slew of organizations wanting donations. I don’t mind getting all those return address labels as gifts from organizations I’ve never heard of, but somewhere along the line, my name was misspelled and the error has spread. Hey, if you want my money, you really should get my name right. More immediate recycle stuff.
How about those drivers who don’t use their turn signal when making a right turn? Guess they figure it’s no big deal – but what about those folks who are waiting at a stop sign for an opening in traffic that would be available if the signal were used. Unawareness? Ignorance? Indifference? Whatever. It’s frustrating.
Well, I suppose one good thing comes out of these and other petty annoyances – they keep our minds distracted from big issues and problems. It’s difficult to be concerned about the presidential candidate dilemma or the ever- increasing public debt when a piece of dental floss has broken off and is stuck between two teeth. At least that’s show it seems to me.
Bill Taylor, a Greene County Daily columnist and area resident, may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .