Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What’s Wrong with People?

Fair Warning: this post will sound a lot like a rant.

A couple of days ago, my husband and I were returning home. As we drove toward our neighborhood, my husband said—look at that! What he had seen was a shopping cart abandoned along a sidewalk. The nearest store was about a half mile away, so obviously someone had commandeered a cart, then abandoned it. My husband knows this is a particular gripe of mine—people who just leave shopping carts in the middle of the parking lot. Sometimes, I go up to someone who appears to be about ready to just leave a cart, and say (sweetly) –can I take your cart back for you? This usually startles her enough to prompt her to say—why, thank you.

All of which got me to thinking—what’s wrong with people (or for ease of writing WWWP)?

Have you ever had the experience of stepping on a wad of gooey chewing gum? Several years ago, as I was leaving the grocery store, I saw a young woman coming toward me. Not more than 3 feet from a trash can, she spit out a wad of gum right on the ground. I stopped and glared at her, then said—excuse me, you just spit out your gum and right over there is a trash can. I handed her a piece of scrap paper and said—pick it up. She did.

Why do people spit gum on the sidewalk? WWWP?

Have your ever been some place where quiet is desired? And then someone’s cell phone starts jangling and, worse yet, she starts talking? There was a time we sat in church when suddenly a cell phone began ringing (in the middle of the pastor’s sermon!). The woman fumbled around in her purse and FINALLY found the jangling phone and turned it off. Thankfully, she didn’t answer it.

Why do people insist on leaving their cell phones on ring (or in talking on them) in some quiet place? WWWP?

Occasionally, I drive through my local city, Harrisburg, and invariably encounter a car double-parked in the middle of the street. There is room for the drivers of these cars to pull off, but—NO—they park in the middle of the street. WWWP?

Oh, I could go on—but it would make me sound much more curmudgeonly than I really am. The common thread in these examples is a lack of courteous regard for other people. I hope I am not guilty of the very thing I decry here.

So, what’s your WWWP pet peeve?


Mary said...

Dear Donna,

You are making me have fits of laughter and I appreciate it before bedtime!

We are of the same breed - constantly wondering "WHY???" If I spit out my gum, I aim for a trash receptacle. And just the other day, I had to leave my low heels in he garage because I, unfortunately, stepped on someone's chewed-out wad of Juicy Fruit as I was stepping out of my car!

Ruth said...

Too many people throw dump garbage out of their cars, especially at intersections coming off the highways. We have an abundance of garbage cans along our sidewalks and roads that take little effort to use. I get very irritated, especially when I see people do this in front of their children...a bad life lesson.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Yes! I so would love to rant about what I deal with on a daily basis--(but don't feel I can be as honest as I'd like on MY site)--maybe because my job requires it, so I make that effort all day, to be kind and courteous, I know it can be done! So, when I see others NOT taking the same effort, or when I'm off work and facing people in the store, with screaming kids that go on and on and on,...--I could just scream at them myself.
Somehow, our reconition of the next person stops at the end of our own nose, I guess. My gum is not my problem on the bottom of your shoe!

Dorothy said...

Gosh Donna, your question evokes many answers in my little corner of the world. My biggest peeve used to be people throwing litter out of their car windows, but now it is cell phones. People who drive talking on cell phones or people who don't know or care that they are annoying others by talking loudly on their cell phones. I could go on....but I'd say these are the top two for me.

Pam said...

The bottom line for me is that thoughtful, courteous behavior seems to be slipping by the wayside. It doesn't take any more energy to be polite than it does to be rude, so I can only assume that people just don't care and I see it all the time. It saddens me.

Mary said...

I have several WWWP pet peeves but one that raises my hair every day is the condition of the kitchen here at the office. I don't want to go into the details but I'm working around slobs and I can't imagine what their homes look like. We had a meeting today about it today and I was asked to post signs in the kitchen:

Please keep this kitchen clean.

Wash your dishes, clean the coffee pot, and remove your old food from the frig.

(Your mother doesn't live here.)

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

One of my "WWWP" moments is when people pull out in front of me when I'm driving 55 mph and then they think they can take their sweet old time getting going. And what's worse yet is when there are no cars behind me. WWWP??? Thanks for writing this post to allow us to vent our WWWP moments.

Also, the book you are currently reading...is it a good book? The title sounds very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Donna: You make me think of a story your mother used tell. One time she and your Aunt "Kay" were sitting together in a church service, and a woman behind them was chewing gum, ruminating loudly. And your Aunt Kay turned around, stared her straight in the eyes, and made her jaws & lips go up and down, sucking and smacking as loudly as she could. Your dear mother was embarrassed that her sister would do such a thing. I wonder if she would have been embarrassed at her daughter. Love, Father "C"

Climenheise said...

Would you try and convince a brother that you're not an old curmudgeon? I share the rant gene too. I just finished the dishes, wondering why I have to carry stuff up from the basement. (Lois vacuums: she has lower tolerance for dirt on the floor. I wash dishes: I have lower tolerance for dirty dishes.) Trash thrown on the ground: near trash bins or not: I hate that! I try to pick something up each walk we take, which unfortunately is easy to do. (I enjoyed hearing your own pet peeves.)

RuthieJ said...

I have many pet peeves of people's discourteous behavior, but my #1 peeve is people who throw cigarette butts out their car window. What's that ashtray for? It's not an option you had to pay extra for, so use it already!!

Thanks, Donna for letting me vent on this!

Denise said...

My WWWP are some of the Amish that live in our area. I will never understand why they ride their bikes down the center of the road. I saw two, quite young, boys riding their bikes abreast on one of our state highways and there was a semi (tractor-trailer for you Easterners) right behind them with a long line of cars behind the semi. These two boys were completely oblivious to this. Neither one of them made any attempt to move to the side of the road. This happens often and is more than frustrating; it is extremely dangerous for those on the bikes and for those of us who could potentially hit them. I have, on many occasions, wanted to stop and ask them what they are thinking. I actually did one time and the man just blinked at me as if I was out of my mind. I wasn’t, but I surely was scared. I almost hit him and very easily could have killed him – scared me like crazy and that is why it is my most WWWP.

KGMom said...

To all--I note some common themes in our WWWP rants.
1) Chewing gum--we don't like people to spit it out on the sidewalk, and we don't like people chewing it loudly.
2) Trash--we don't like people throwing it out of cars, or anywhere for that matter. I almost added another WWWP for me--trash thrown on public bathroom floors. What's with that? Every public bathroom I have ever been in has a trash receptacle.
3) Cell phones--we all agree, enough said.
4) Cars--how other people drive (I am smiling because my family knows this is one button that sets me off--I "talk" to other drivers. . .mutter, mutter, mutter then yell--WWWP?!
5) What people do around cars--e.g. Denise's story of riding bikes in the middle of streets--make that major highways.
6) Keeping things clean--dirty dishes at home or in offices; public space--not throwing cigarette butts just anywhere.

I am glad to have provided this rant service. Isn't it good to have cleansed your minds if only for a moment by sharing these irritations with others who all nod their heads and say--yes, WWWP.

(My husband wants to know if I am having bracelets made up that say WWWP! Hmmmmm.)

possumlady said...

Getting in late on this but I have two real pet peeves. One is driving and the lack of using turn signals!!! Particularly if I'm in a left hand lane waiting at the stop light. Light turns green and we move ahead, then the idiot in front of me stops in the middle of the intersection, THEN turns on his turn signal...aaarrrgh.

The other is at work. We have a recycling bin for cans, plastic and glass bottles. I have put large signs on the container and we still will get trash put in the recycling container when there is a trash container TWO FEET away from the recycling bin!! I swear once I dug out a still warm tea bag and walked around the office to see who was drinking tea so I could catch them! Never found them though. WWWP indeed!!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

There are two gripes that really get to me. The first is people chewing with their mouths open. It irritates me so badly I usually have to leave if it's in a public place (NEVER happens in my home!). The second is people plowing onto the elevator without letting riders off first.

Rude- rude- rude!!

-don't even get me started on cell phones!

Anonymous said...

I know I am slow ... I arrived here last. This has been so much fun reading the "Donna ranting" post and then to read the comments here. I have the same gripes as you all or I know someone who does. I love it when I find writing that celebrates our similar feelings about things.

Mary said...

Woooo. Hoooo. Now we all feel better.

Thanks, Donna!

Catbird said...


I'm afraid I'm a day late and a dollar short, but I'll chime in anyway.

I can't stand it when people won't get their pets spayed or neutered because: they want their kids to experience the miracle of life; it's not natural; they'd hate it if someone did it to them. (Insert your comment here.)

It drives me nuts when people sightsee in the left lane, casually pointing out the sights as they cruise along, oblivious to the fact that the left lane is for passing, not for staking out as their own private Idaho, and that some of us aren't driving for pleasure, but actually HEADED TO WORK.

And why won't some people say thanks, or even make eye contact and nod, when I hold the door? Have they never heard of noblesse oblige?

And why do doctors either yell at old people, or talk about them as if they aren't there? That drove me nuts whenever I took my late mother to her appointments, and several times I said, "Her hearing's fine, and so's her mind, so why don't you ask/tell her?"

As for what's right with people -- well, rather a lot.

Thanks -- I feel much better!


KGMom said...

To Possumlady, Lynne, Ocean & Molly--welcome. . .you're not late at all. Just glad to have your WWWP to add to the list.
So, we now add left turn drivers, elevator departers, open-mouth chewers, non-spaying pet owners, yelling doctors.
I agree with Mary and Ocean---wooo hoooo, this really is fun.
The gripes switchboard is open for as long as you all want to gripe!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I've enjoyed reading everyone's gripes- and it's cheaper than therapy!