Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Let the Annoyer Who Is Without Fault, Well, Annoy!

Photo by Frank Hebbert, via Flickr.
Recently, a good friend of mine told me that a coworker corrected her grammar from a casual correspondence that was none of the coworker’s concern. The unsolicited advice was (obviously) annoying, and my friend asked me (an editor who never makes mistakes) if she had, in fact, been wrong. Well, yes, she had been wrong. But just out of curiosity, I asked what her coworker’s correction was. Lo and behold, the annoying, presumptuous coworker was also wrong! It got me thinking: why the F would you correct someone (annoyingly) if you aren’t 100% sure that you are correct?! It just opens a can of worms for you to be forever considered a raging a-hole.

Unfortunately, this behavior abounds. Last night I went to the Janis Joplin tribute show on Broadway (which was amazing, by the way—the only downside being the other theater goers). The chairs were all numbered, but confusingly each armrest had a different number, so it was easy to make a mistake and sit in the wrong seat. The usher helped me to my seat and told me to just count the seats from the outside in to know if you were in the right one (i.e., seat 10 was 10 seats down). So these two women are sitting behind me yapping away and another couple comes and tells them they have to move down. They immediately get in a flutter and pull out their tickets, arguing that THEY were in the right seats and that the other couple was wrong. My rampant perfectionism could take it no more, and I turned to tell them that they were NOT in the right seats and to move down. “That’s BS,” the woman said to me. “You’re meant to count from the outside aisle.” I said, wanting to add “it’s the new math.” This was met with a quiet “Oh, right.”

And finally this morning on the Metro North (vessel of all annoyers), I was horrified when an old grumpy woman screeched at some young, pleasant exchange students to get their feet off the chairs. “Hate to break up your party,” said she, “but you’re not allowed to do that here.” (Can only assume by “here” she meant in the good ole U.S. of A., thus being annoying and ethnocentric all in one breath. Okay, yes, it IS annoying when youth put their feet on chairs. But these youngins were actually pleasant and cultured, and having a quiet, intelligent conversation rather than being glued to their smartphones. It wasn’t this commuter’s job to stick her ginger head in their space and lay out the law . . . especially when five minutes later she simultaneously broke EVERY unwritten rule of commuting: she space invaded the young foreigners and tried to make nice by conversing with them, she began to hack her germs all over without covering her mouth, she began to talk on her cell phone, and she began to talk loudly to her seat companion. All that was missing was some nail grooming.

So to all ye who annoy: back up on out of others space, do not attempt to teach others when you yourself know nothing, and don’t get righteous unless you know you are right!


  1. Amen!! Too many people like that out there looking for an argument. It's the way of the world. Too many pricks abound.- Uncle Kevin

  2. Wow, I was just complaining that this one of my biggest pet peeves! Just the other day I posted a status on Facebook saying I felt like John Candy in rookie of the year, he's the overly excited announcer and has a great quote about the cubs extending their winning streak to 2 games, the longest of the season. Well a friend of of mine decided to chime in and post "John Candy isn't in rookie of the year" which makes me look bad to those who don't know the truth... Helloooooo, have you seen the movie? Obviously he is. Why would you post that? I always check IMDB because making such accusations. Jackass.

  3. The worst thing about annoying people is that they have no idea they're annoying. Not everyone can be as perfect as AmyMC and her many bffs, as has been proven time and time again, by space-invading, feet dangling, phone-beeping commuters, office whistlers and food crunchers, sick people who go to work, grammar eschewers, and people in our way on the street, just in general. Keep fighting the good fight, Amy. We may not win, but at least we'll live our lives in frustration and feelings of superiority.

  4. I was actually scolded once for putting my feet up whilst riding the Metro North. And it's a moment that I'll never forget. It was during my first semester at University and I was returning back to the city after Thanksgiving break. It must of been an off hour because the train was eerily empty. I sat in a four seater (you'll have to excuse that grave error as I was a neophyte commuter back than) and began to read a book. I believe it was "The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh." At some point an elderly gentleman sat in the four seater with me. And again, the train was still empty so I found this to be a bit curious. But like, whatever dude, I am enjoying my book and the quiet ride to the city. So much so that I eventually put my feet up on the seat across from me. My companion, who had kept to himself this whole while, quickly turns to me and says "WOULD YOU DO THAT IF IT WAS YOUR MOTHERS COUCH!?" Now, I must admit that I was quite taken aback by this. A thought like that had never even crossed my mind. Probably because my mothers couch is not made out of dirty ripped vinyl (these were the old trains). In any event this really upset me. That he would have the audacity to say such a thing. To judge my actions. My character. I slowly lowered my book and in them most polite way possible I said "Well of course I would not do this if it was my Mothers couch. No no my good fellow, if this was my Mothers couch I would do this..." at which point I stood up, pulled down my pants, and defecated on the seat beside him. Then I beat the ever living life out of him. Literally. He died. I laugh about it now because if he just sat there and minded his own business, he would still be alive today. Well, maybe not, he was old and this was like 20 yrs ago.