My Top 10 Pet Peeves

Everyone has their pet peeves.  According to Wiki, a pet peeve or pet aversion is a minor annoyance that an individual identifies as particularly annoying to them, to a greater degree than others may find.  While I try not to let them bother me, since they are really minor things, they still get on my nerves every now and then, especially when I am not having the greatest of days.  Here is my top 10 list of pet peeves – see if any one of them resonates with you.

1.       Drivers who stop their car at the yellow box junction.

This I really don’t understand. Although I passed my Basic Driving Theory Test like eons ago, I still know that you are not supposed to drive into a yellow box when traffic has come to a stop.  This is to give way to vehicles from the side road entering the main road.  It really peeves me when inconsiderate drivers stop their cars in the yellow box, especially when I am trying to enter the main road.  Come on!  It won’t kill you to just let me join the main road one car ahead of you. 

2.       People who walk slowly as they text on the phone.

I really hate this, especially when I am in a rush.  With such busy lives now, no one wants to stop what they are doing to send off a text.  Everywhere you look, people are looking at their mobile phones all the time – waiting at bus stop or traffic light, on the mrt, and even walking.  A lot of people cannot do more than 2 things simultaneously; something has got to give.  If you are one of those people, who slows down to a trot when texting, then please stop walking, stand off to the side, and finish your text before continuing with your journey.  You don’t need to hold up the human traffic.  Even more irritating are those people who are looking at their phones and walking very slowly as they cross the zebra crossing.  Come on!  I know you have the right of way but it doesn’t hurt to be courteous and quickly cross the road so that cars can move.

3.       People who sniffle non-stop in public places.

This really peeves me.  Don’t people carry around tissue papers, if not a handkerchief?  Just blow your nose and be done with it.  Oh no.  People seems to prefer sniffling non-stop instead.  Once, I was on the mrt and the lady standing over me was sniffling non-stop.  I couldn’t stand it any longer and offered her a tissue paper.  She looked so embarrassed.  She declined my offer and sniffled less, and eventually, moved to another part of the train.  Which was good.  At least I didn’t feel peeved any more.

4.       People who wait till they are at the exit of MRT stations or buses to start looking for their EasiLink card.

Now, you know for a fact that you will be exiting the station or the bus.  Instead of waiting till the last minute to start fishing around for your EasiLink card right there at the exit, why don’t you get your card out of your pocket or bag and have it ready so that you can tap as you exit.  Oh no, people wait till they are right there at the exit, then start searching their pockets or bag to find their EasiLink card.  So, the whole bus or line of people waiting to exit just have to wait.  Another version is the lady who insist not to take out her wallet but try to tap the card using her entire bag.  Five tries later, she is still at it, seemingly trying to prove that the card and the machine MUST connect through the layers of cloth/leather.  Aiyoh!

5.       Poor spoken and written English.  Their vs. They’re vs. There.  Bad spelling, bad grammar.  The Misuse of Its/It’s.

The list goes on.  I don’t expect the Queen’s English and I do in fact make grammatical errors too.  But really, if you are going to be giving a speech, or be an emcee at an event, or post an article on LinkedIn or post a reply on FaceBook, do check your English and make sure it is grammatically correct.  It’s worse when the writer is someone who profess to be a consultant or career coach or an expert in some areas.  I wouldn’t trust a person who can’t write well or speak well.  I once attended an army function many years ago and the emcee’s English was atrocious.  I wouldn’t have allowed him on stage!  A staff of mine once told me that my English standards were out of this world.  Really?  I don’t think so.  I had to go to school to learn English – my parents don’t speak English and at home, we spoke dialect.  I learnt my English the hard way – scolding and punishments from teachers for the incorrect use of English.  These days, school teachers are a lot friendlier and more understanding.  So, what went wrong with the education system that cannot produce people with good English language skills?

6.       Loud chewing or chewing with their mouths open.

Didn’t your mom teach you table manners?  From as far back as I can remember, my mom has always nagged us about chewing food with your mouth closed and quietly.  That is how ladies should behave, said mom.  I supposed if I were a son, she would have been more acceptable of loud chewing and chewing with my mouth open, but I doubt.  To me, male or female, it is only proper to chew quietly and with your mouth closed.  No one needs to see how your food is being mashed up by your teeth.  A guy I once dated always laughed dismissively when I told him to chew quietly – he would say, oh you and your food silencer.  Needless to say, he became history.

7.       People who stand on the right side of the escalator.

This is the easiest thing to do.  When you get on an escalator, just stand to the left side, leaving enough space for people to pass on the right.  How big are you anyway that you would need to occupy the whole step of the escalator?  Sometimes we forget, especially when we are busy talking to a friend, and the 2 of us stand on the same step chatting away.  The trick is to have self -awareness.  When you noticed that someone behind you is trying to overtake you, quickly give way and stand to the left, smiling apologetically if you can’t muster the courage to apologize.  It isn’t that difficult to let someone else pass.  I am more forgiving if it’s an elderly person blocking the way but when it’s teenage students too self-absorbed in their own conversation to even bother with basic courtesy, that is when it peeves me and I feel the urge to take down their names and school name, and call the school to complain.  

8.       People who don’t silence their phone when they play a game in public.

People who can play games on their phones should know where the mute button is.  Or where they can plug in the ear piece to hear the music and sound effects.  Not everyone enjoys the game that you are playing on your phone.  Again, basic courtesy.  Either play at home when you can have the sound effect at full blast or mute the phone or plug in the ear piece when you are playing in a public place.  Same goes for listening to your own genre of music – not everyone shares or enjoys your choices.

9.       Public display of overt affection.

I don’t think I am a prude.  I am perfectly fine with couples holding hands or kissing goodbye on the mrt or bus.  But when they start massaging each other body parts or engage in prolonged kisses and whispering in each other’s ears, then I become irritated.  There is a time and place for such display of overt affection.  I was waiting at a bus stop one time and this lady was rubbing her boyfriend’s chest repeatedly.  Now, what’s that all about?

10.   Not using turn signals or turning off signals

Not quite sure which is more irritating – a driver cutting into your path without properly signalling his/her intention, or the driver thinking he/she has the right of way and just cuts into your path the minute he/she signals, or the driver who forgets to turn off the signal and you following behind have no idea if he/she wants to turn right or left or stop.  I don’t understand how someone can forget to turn off his/her signal – doesn’t the signal have a ticking sound whenever it is on?  It is so irritating that you HAVE to turn it off.  To me anyway.


So, here you have it, my top 10 pet peeves.  Feel free to share yours.  I constantly tell myself don’t sweat the small stuff.  Breathe.  Take it easy.  There are a lot of idiots on the road and self-absorbed people around.  Don’t let them get you down, it’s not worth it.

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