Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pet peeves: What drives you crazy?

By Kazim Ibn Sadique

Case 1:
Fingers flying over the keyboard, Tarif types as if there's no tomorrow. Actually, there isn't. He has to send in his report by midnight, or there go 25% of his marks for the course. Mentally cursing his laziness, he finishes the assignment just 5 minutes before midnight. With relief and thinking vaguely of Cinderella, he signs into his E-mail account and starts attaching the report. At that moment, on the lower right hand corner of the screen, a speech bubble comes up: “A network cable has been unplugged”. He almost punches through the monitor in frustration.

Case 2:
Neamah's cousins have come over to visit; among them, the bratty young cousin that's the thorn at the side of every family member below the age of 25. In front of the older people, he asks for her iPhone to “play games”. She can't refuse. Half an hour later, the phone is returned, smeared with chocolate…or what she hopes is chocolate. The applications are malfunctioning, the phone keeps turning off; in other words, Neamah is contemplating whether killing the little midget is worth going to jail.

The number of things that drive us nuts [not in a good way] are VAST. Although people generally agree that most peeves are bad, they each have their own list of what is worst. While nose picking in public may make someone's top list, another person might decide that the schedule conflict between EPL and Desperate Housewives tops hers. Here's a look at what we got from our [tiny] Facebook survey. It might interest you to know that someone found Facebook surveys in themselves a pet peeve.

Attitude: the common ground
Arrogance seems to be a generally disliked characteristics [like duh!], right next to hypocrisy. 42% of those surveyed listed liars and people with attitude problems in their list. Plastics and fake were words that came up numerous times. While some found people blocking the way to class due to an important discussion about nail polish quite maddening, others mentioned chipped nail polish as a source of irritation. Just goes to show the duality in humans.

The Web
Steering clear of the people factor in annoyance over the web, a study showed that people found pop up ads to be the most annoying, as well as registration log-on pages and having to install softwares to use a site, such as flash. The study shows almost 70% of the people are unlikely to return to the web page.
l33t 5p34k [leet speak, the internet shorthand] statuses was mentioned in our survey, as well as facebook stalkers and people having ridiculous edited profile pictures where they are being fawned over by supermodels.

Lack of food was a big issue. A total of 36% listed lack of food as a peeve. “Coming home hungry to find there's basically nothing good to eat is definitely not something to feel rosy about,” says one particular participant. If there was only korolla-bhaji, we sympathize.

Recent study conducted in the US found loud talkers to be the most irritating in the workplace [32%]. They were followed closely by cell phone ringing during the meetings [30%] and people using their PDAs during meetings. So people, tone down the volume a little if you want to be popular at work.

It's personal!
Parents and family members also popped in often on lists. 30% stated parents or siblings imposing their decisions and bugging them as a peeve respectively. There were also mentions of things that shouldn't be exposed to the public. Procrastination was mentioned by some, while others mentioned low jeans showing off underwear.
As for personal space, lack of soap or toilet paper in the bathroom also was blacklisted, along with messy rooms and terabeka photo frames.

Edward Cullen and the Randoms
This is the title under which most peeves seem to fall. Ketchup packets from fast food shops that smear your hand while you open them, dustbins, dung on the streets, noise while sleeping, bad beat in poker, Dhaliwood: the list of peeves is endless. Why the Edward Cullen in the sub-title? 25% named Edward Cullen and his fanbase as a source of irritation. We're guessing the others didn't think this was worth putting on the list and decided to act as if the whole thing does not exist.

Captain Obvious…dead?!
What was the most astounding of our finds was the fact that only 3% of the people surveyed mentioned traffic jams, littering and crowds as annoying. No mention of beggars, not one. Have we started to accept traffic jams as our fate and way of life? Do we have any other choice but accepting it? Apparently, hours wasted away amid the fumes and the smog have no effect whatsoever on our tempers.
Life is full of annoying little things. But if it wasn't full of Chelsea fans, would you really get pleasure from seeing Chelsea getting whopped? You have to take the good with the bad and try not to think about the things that drive you crazy, unless your answer to the question posed in the title is the same as Osama's: women in satin.
Thanks to everyone who participated. Names have been changed.



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