Sand in the Sheets
I don’t usually write about those little things that are so unimportant, yet completely annoying and irritating, mainly because they fall under the realm of things I can’t do anything about.
However, after a full day of teaching I had to drive 40 miles to the grocery store and endure garbage music while trying to figure out what I needed to buy for the week. Of course, it would have been easier if I’d had a shopping list, but the decision to grocery shop was last minute due to a change in the weather situation. I know not everyone shares my taste in music. But in public places, music should be either non-existent or soothing–something that is unobtrusive and background. Not jarring. Not screaming from the rafters and rattling the windows. Music in shops used to be there for the customers’ benefit, designed to keep them soothed, happy, and shopping. Today, however, most music in grocery stores or businesses is for the employees’ benefit, not the customers. Whichever manager or clerk happens to have access to the radio chooses the music and most times this means the musical selection is NOT designed to keep customers in the store shopping.
We have become a society that is addicted to noise. We dread silence or being alone and frantically seek to fill every single moment of our day with some form of cacophony. Want to cut back on shoplifting? Make sure the store music is classical, not rap. Teens will avoid any lengthy time is such stores and those bent on mayhem will be obvious as their state of nerves ramps up exponentially. Meanwhile, the adults will have a soothing environment in which to stay and shop and shop and shop meaning more profits for the store.
Another pet peeve is technology-related: specifically Netflix and the Internet. I can’t tell how many times some twenty-something college grad decides to “tweak” the interface and make life more difficult. Not every new innovation is appreciated, necessary, or efficient. Certainly having to scroll through several screens before being able to select a movie or trying to figure out where “My List” disappeared to or why it was renamed adds nothing to customer satisfaction. Cutesy falling snowflakes on Yahoo mail are nice…if I had been given the choice to turn it on or off. The constant distraction becomes annoying after awhile. I don’t mind technological advances, but changing something just because you can isn’t always the smartest move. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a good policy for most things most of the time.
Perhaps my greatest irritation is with folks who overcorrect their usage of “he and I/him and me.” I understand why the phenomenon occurred. As teachers we spent so much time telling kids, “my friend and I went to town” whenever they said, “my friend and me went to town,” that it became a habit. However, we neglected to explain WHY. So instead of saying, “The teacher gave the apple to my friend and me,” everyone auto-corrects to, “The teacher gave the apple to my friend and I.”
Even educated people make the same mistake and I wince every time I hear it. I want to run screaming in the streets and grab people by the arm and shout, “NO! I comes before the verb; use me after the verb!” I realize if I try that I’m going to be locked up in the looney bin, so I wince, autocorrect them in my mind and continue with my life.
Like I said earlier, pet peeves aren’t important issues. Nobody is going to die if they aren’t fixed, the world will continue, and life goes on without a hitch. But it is an interesting commentary on who we are as individuals to see what it is that really bugs us.