5 Things That Annoy Me (Part 2)

The vandal annoyingSuch was the response to my first posting about what annoys me, I’ve decided to vent my spleen on another five outrageously infuriating nudniks or thingamabobs that really tick me off. With the benefit of hindsight there are a couple here that really deserve star status and therefore should have been in part one. Well, if I ever get to a part three I’m sure there’ll be a few more star candidates. But let’s get on, because my number one surely belongs at the top of any annoyances list.

1. The @ key! Now it has only been since last century that we have been using this key on a minutely, hourly and daily basis, yet it still hides in the most stupid places on any keyboard. On my keyboard it is alt G. How logical is that? Why can’t it just replace the § or < or ¨ keys that never ever need cleaning due to a complete lack of use? Not even God, ooops sorry, I meant Steve Jobs, has got around to fixing this bit of computer stupidity.

2. Tourists who travel in gangs because they can’t stand the foreigners in the exotic destination they have chosen for their holiday. As an Aussie you can read here drunk, beer guzzling, swearing and Lipton tea drinking Aussies on holiday in Bali. I won’t offend other ethnic tourist stereotypes, but I’m sure you have your own pet variety.

3. Geographically challenged Americans. Look, I’m really sorry if I upset you guys with this, but it happens so often that it must be like some kind of contagious disease over there. So once and for all, I live in Switzerland and not Sweden. Switzerland is in the middle of Europe, not Africa. That’s Swaziland. And yes, it’s a different time here. All the time. And yes, I come from Australia not Austria. That’s next to Switzerland….oh I give up.

4. Packaging. I call it ‘wrap rage’. Why does everything have to be packaged in a way that requires a chainsaw and a blunt axe to open it? The most annoying is the two part formed plastic enveloping little electrical gadgets. The plastic seems to be made from some alien material that defies our earthly scissors. Marmalade jar screw tops must be next. I mean, only grand mothers eat it and they have no hope of opening the blighter. They have to wait for a grandson with a wrench to visit.

5. Mobile phone contracts. How come they are always longer than you think? Just when you get all excited about getting a newly released model, you discover that your contract was for 250 years and not 18 months as you thought and that you’ll only have to pay a ‘get out of my contract’ penalty of $685.86 plus a new connection fee of $45.00. But hey, why worry, your new phone will only cost you a dollar!

Be warned. Part 3 could become a reality.


21 thoughts on “5 Things That Annoy Me (Part 2)”

  1. SchriBlur Mayirp

    You know when the packaging seems most annoying? When you're waiting for a book for 14 days and you have to use a knife to unpack it! :(

  2. 1. That's interesting! When I press the alt G combination I get ©, the copyright symbol. The hash tag (#) is another one: I have to press alt 3 for that. I do have an iMac, mind, for which the @ is shift 2 (above and between the Q and W keys).
    2. Totally agree with this. Don't go anywhere near the places that these gangs go any more.
    3.No comment (not sure you wouldn't find some of these anywhere in the 'educated' western world. I do feel sorry for touring parties from the US, who 'do' Europe in 3 weeks!
    4. How much blood has been spilt with sharp implements, opening packaging!? A fair bit in my house!
    5. We now do cheap SIM only contracts, on a rolling monthly contract and buy the phones separately. If you do the financial arithmetic on this, even including the cost of borrowing the money, the cost works out six of one and half a dozen of the other. Do you have this option in Switzerland?

    Yesterday, I put another heading on my promised / potential list of posts for my 'Forty Two' blog: "Where has all the common sense gone?". Some educational reform is necessary I feel!

  3. I follow you on Twitter and even though I read a gozillion blogs, I am so glad I stopped and read this…I added it to my reading list so you are a gozzillion + 1 and I am still laughing! And yes I am American and yes we are geographically challenged… :D
    I am @jonesbabie on Twitter

  4. Dave Bartlett

    1. Why are apple owners always ready to point out the faults of 'windows based' PCs and how their macs are so superior, but whenever an annoying 'feature' of the mac is mentioned, they talk as though the whole universe is affected?
    My '@' sits on its own key (which admittedly it shares with the apostrophe) and requires only one (shifted) key press.

    2. But they wouldn't be tourists if they didn't do that, or at least might not be recognisable as such, and therefore wouldn't be quite as easy to avoid.

    3. Totally agree. Their geographical knowledge or lack of it, is matched only by their arrogance that borders on the chauvinistic. How come just because I can't decode all 50 two-letter US state abbreviations without thinking about it, I'm looked on as some kind of cretin by a moron who thinks that Yorkshire is either a town near Liverpool, or is somewhere in Scotland (which as all Americans know, is in England!)

    4. Don't get me started. Shrink wrap packaging is the worst. I'll regularly search for ages for the tell tale little red line with the 'easy tear tab' only to eventually give up and attack it with my teeth. So why then does the bloody red stripe sit there looking at me from the discarded polythene five minutes and a lost filling later?

    5. My last mobile phone contract was for 24 months, and I wanted out, so as soon as my 24th monthly payment had left the bank, I cancelled the direct debit, only to receive a threatening letter from the service provider a few days later; apparently, I had to give them a month's notice even after the 24 month contract period. I told them that it was a 24 month contract, not a 'minimum of 24' month contract, and to stick their telephone service up their arses. (It's the charming kind of guy I am when some corporate prat upsets me!)

  5. I think #3 might have something to do with the way they are taught geography in grade school. They are shown a map of the world and their place in North America, except that the map is missing Canada…and the rest of the world. So they are left with the impression that the USA is THE world(okay, obviously this is a gross generalization, but I think it offers at least a partial explanation – kind of like the fragment map of the world.

    Anyway, another great post!


  6. Akhen1khan2 aka Jack Eason

    I have a minor addition to your 'tourists' beef Derek.

    Tourists who complain bitterly about the food etc in the land they are visiting, expecting everything to be just like home.

    My answer: If you love home so much – stay there! :)

  7. Oh dear. I have tickled a few soft spots! :) Great to read your comments!

  8. ©YEAH!! I finally found out how to do the © symbol, for me its the alt 0169 combo. Thanks for the prompt and idea that it may be a key combo.

    Yes I agree about the hard to open packaging, and the invariable injuries that follow. I also agree that geography is almost nonexistent in the US. I could cite many examples, but you are right. They don't teach the main subjects, nor any subject for that matter like they did in the past.

  9. I think a lot of people have a bad sense of geography. American or otherwise. for example, my Scottish (as in living in Scotland) ex once told me he thought Florida was near Maine. um… so, I think we could all use refreshers sometimes ;)

  10. I once got very annoyed about Imperial Leather when they started wrapping their soap in plastic. I wrote them a stern letter. To their credit they wrote me a nice polite letter back saying why they had done it. I wasn't satisfied though. It was soap. It doesn't get dirty. It doesn't need to be protected from dirt. It is the dirt that needs to be afraid!

  11. I love your take on #4.. I totally agree! #5? That's why I got Metro… My cell phone would mysteriously "stop working" which led to me having to get a new phone 3 months before my contract was up. Hence, a new contract… the evil vermin rhymed with "Horizon".

  12. Scooter Carlyle

    As a native Montanan (in the USA for the geographically challenged), we like to point and laugh at the tourists who try to pet a buffalo. Then we call 911.

  13. Great post. Packaging is a sore topic for anyone with a child, especially at Christmas. Try telling a three year old they have to wait half an hour while mummy removes the packaging from their new toy!
    Oh and BTW. Greece and Cyprus are actually two different countries. Yes they do speak the same language, sort of but that's about it!

  14. How many times Cheri! I'm a Swede living in Hungary. Or am I a Turkey living in Oz? Oh, so confused. Please pass the Atlas! lol

  15. Oh it's not just Americans who can be geographically challenged. When I first moved to Paris (lived there for nearly a decade)the woman I worked for couldn't understand why I didn't book a trip home for Christmas week since I was so homesick. Eventually her husband pointed out that New Zealand is NOT part of Greenland…..

  16. I share all five peeves.

    Re geography, someone once said ‘War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.’

    But one can’t criticize the Yanks; far as I can make out, geography as in where is this or that country doesn’t feature on the UK school curriculum – that would count as ‘facts’ – shudder, think of the damage to creativity & self-expression. Besides, it’s unnecessary when you ‘can look it up on the internet.’

    As you can tell, those two words really hit my ‘Annoyed’ button: creativity & self-expression – Grrrr.

    I’m sure you can add other delights to your list, ekkp them coming!

    1. I don’t think I’ll ever run out of annoyances Elizabeth. But education is always a gripe for me. Ever changing and ever diminishing returns. I often wonder if state education is really just 12 years of state sponsored childminding and if tertiary education is a ploy to keep unemployment percentages down.

      I recall one government in Australia in the 70’s that heavily subsidised tertiary education, then proudly announced that they had solved youth unemployment. End result; thousands of waiters and waitresses with Arts degrees.

  17. I still remember having to explain to a co-worker which state Montreal was in… then, that Quebec was in Canada. :-P

    When I worked for the city, I had the pleasure of explaining to foreigners, more than once, that no one local knew where “ver-SIGH” was, because the town was pronounced “ver-SAYLES” in Kentucky.


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