Pet Peeves: The things that get my goat!
Listen Live

Pet Peeves: The things that get my goat!

There are some things that annoy Terence Pillay so much that it’s developed into a fully fledged pet peeve. 

Angry woman blowing steam coming out of ears
iStock

Listen to the podcast or read the details below: 

I’ve finally admitted it.

I am an easily irritated person. And in particular, I have an extremely low tolerance for stupidity and ignorance. I believe these are choices people make as opposed to educating themselves, like everyone should. And so it comes as no surprise that I have a number of pet peeves.

A pet peeve is an irritating experience caused by others and which you cannot control. Pet peeves often involve specific behaviours of someone close, such as a spouse or significant other. And these behaviours may involve disrespect, manners, personal hygiene, relationships and family issues.

A key aspect of a pet peeve is that it may well seem acceptable to others. For example, a supervisor may have a pet peeve about people leaving the lid on the copier up or someone may react angrily, or be annoyed when others interrupt when speaking, or be upset by messy desks of their colleagues. So a pet peeve is something that bugs you all the time.

I have a few pet peeves that irritate me so much that I am prone to rage. I think on top of this list are able-bodied people who park in parking spaces that are reserved for the disabled. I’ve had huge screaming matches with people who have done this and on more than one occasion, I’ve had the offender’s wheels clamped by the security at shopping malls. What these selfish, clearly self-seeking people don’t realise is that it’s often a huge inconvenience for someone on a wheelchair to park in a bay that’s not designed with enough space to get in and out of on a wheelchair. And so it’s a huge struggle for handicapped people to navigate these parking spaces if the ones reserved for the disabled are taken up by able-bodied half-wits too lazy to find a regular parking space.

The great thing is that most shopping malls that clamp the wheels of offenders and fine them, donate this money to a charity or an NGO that works with disabled people, so at least there’s a silver lining.

Another one of my pet peeves has to be drivers that don’t bother to indicate before turning. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve come close to road rage after encountering a driver that lacks the basic intelligence to indicate before turning. A BusinessTech article that I read said, “Motorists in South Africa have developed bad driving habits due to a quicker pace of life, impatience, and technology distractions.”

In the article, an insurance company had listed some of the bad habits that South African drivers have and on top of the list was the non-indicator user. They said every road user has somewhere to be and it’s each driver’s responsibility to let the vehicles around them know what they’re intending to do, by using their indicators. Misusing or not using your indicators at all can put you at serious risk. It’s more than just a courtesy to use your indicators; it’s a way to prevent misunderstandings and accidents.

Next on my list are the people who drink directly out of the milk or orange juice container. I had a flatmate that did this among a whole anthology of living and personal space violations. Needless to say, we parted ways quite quickly. If we remained flatmates, I would have been charged with murder by now. When you drink straight from the carton or bottle of anything, bacteria and bits of food take the opportunity to move from your mouth into the container. This does not happen when you pour from the carton into a glass. And bacteria is what causes milk to spoil. The human mouth is a virtual cesspool of bacteria, and some are pathogenic.  If you have a cold, the flu or cold sores you can pass that on by drinking straight from the container.      

Another pet peeve is encountering someone using a speakerphone in public areas. I don’t want to know your business and so you shouldn’t be invading mine with your conversation on your speakerphone. Listening to speakerphone conversations in public is actually an invasion of personal space says recognised authorities in etiquette. We are becoming so insular that we forget we are visible and what’s happening is we’re transferring those behaviours into the outside world and we sometimes forget. In fact, I'm still trying to figure out why people feel the need to have inane conversations on their cell phones in public at all, much less on a speakerphone where I am subjected to both ends of the stupid conversation. It needs to stop. 

This one always gets my goat – people that interrupt you when you’re speaking and then continue to tell you their story and then ask you in an uninterested tone to continue on with your story when they are finished talking. My friend’s wife does this all the time. She interrupts people with some inane thought while you are mid-sentence. Interrupting is typically a rude thing to do. In fact, most of the time interrupting a conversation or disturbing someone when they're talking is never a good thing. It’s gotten so bad with my friend’s wife that we all just look at her mid-sentence to see if she’s going to butt in with a story of her own; and usually completely unrelated to what the present conversation is about.

And speaking of my weird and wonderful friends, I have one that has never gotten an order right at a restaurant – so much so that dining with this picky eater has become one of my pet peeves. This guy, let’s call him Richard, can never order off the menu without customising every aspect of the meal. And because there are so many things he doesn’t eat or is allergic to, he inevitably get his order wrong. I think the waiter is so flustered by all the useless information he has to remember about this guy’s eating habits that he forgets to bring him what he eventually does order. I just don’t go out to restaurants with him anymore but every so often I do agree to a lunch or dinner but now I make sure it’s a place that I don’t necessarily want to go back to.

I think my last yet most annoying pet peeve has got to be people who don't cover their mouth while sneezing or coughing. Being ever so slightly burdened with an OCD, I see red when this happens – especially in public. Covering your cough is important because it cuts down on the spread of germs. Covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue will greatly reduce the number of germs that are able to spread to people and objects around you.

And for those inconsiderate people who simply cough or sneeze right at you, I have a few tips on how to cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing:

  1. Never cough into your bare hand!
  2. Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.
  3. Dispose of the tissue immediately.
  4. If you don't have a tissue, tuck your nose and mouth into the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.


In this way you keep your germs to yourself and I can remain healthy at all times.

What is your pet peeve? You can email Terence Pillay at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter: @terencepillay1 and tweet him your thoughts.

 ALSO READ: Helen Zille: Tweets from a 'twit'?

https://www.ecr.co.za/shows/good-bad-and-ugly/helen-zille-tweets-twit/

If you missed any of The Good, The Bad and Ugly episodes, catch up on them below: 

Show's Stories