Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Guest Post: A Compilation of Submitted Hates

Since starting this blog over two years ago, I have become a sounding board for my friends who are annoyed with various things. Sometimes I also hate what they complain to me about, but often I don't have the same hatred. Other times, people tell me they have a good idea for a post, but I realize it would be too short to make a really engaging post. So what I decided to do is provide a compilation of some things that people have told me.
  • Unmixed Cereal- When you get to the bottom of the cereal box and all the marshmallows or dried strawberries are gone and you just have the boring stuff left. Or potentially when your spouse/roommate/child eats all the fun stuff.
  • Berets- I didn't think too much of this, to be honest, because berets never bothered me.  And then I saw an older gentleman wearing a beret walking around Boston and I realized how terrible and pompous he looked.  If you're a man, unless you're in the military or wearing one for a Halloween costume, it's probably wise to stay away from berets.
  • Having to Walk All The Way Around the Grocery Store to Find a Bag for Your Produce- This definitely should not happen. So annoying when you have 3 apples in your hand and go to reach for a little plastic bag and all the rolls nearby are empty.  I have bruised many an apple in this fashion.  Yeah yeah I suppose I could plan ahead and get a plastic bag before picking up some apples, but somedays I just can't spare that much brain power.
  • Packing- Whether you're going away for one night or moving across the country, packing sucks.  Between forgetting something important, or losing something along the way (like when I moved before grad school and lost one rain boot somehow) or just having to fit all your possessions in as few boxes as possible, it's a dreaded experience. 
  • Home Depot- I always get lost at Home Depot and I wind up angry and wondering why I ever came.  I can almost never find what I need, which is usually a store employee to help me.  I know I'm not the only one who hates going to Home Depot, and I do know a lot of people who actually enjoy it (masochists, the lot of 'em).
  • No Toilet Paper in the Stall- Usually more of a problem for females, but also for males in certain situations. This is irritating at all times, but the absolute worst is when someone comes out of the stall and sees you walk in, and doesn't think to say, "Oh that one is out of toilet paper, just FYI."  
That's all I have for now.  Leave a comment and tell me what else you hate!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

How All Radio Stations Go to Commercial at the Exact Same Time

Picture this: you're driving down an open road, singing along to a catchy tune on the radio.  Suddenly the station goes to commercial, so you reach over and press one of the preset buttons to switch to a new station.  Yet you hear commercials again.  On to preset 3 for more commercials, preset 4 commercials, presets 5 and 6 COMMERCIALS!!!!  This happens on TV a lot but that seems more acceptable since in general most shows start and stop on the hour, and thus follow a relatively predictable pattern of advertising (also with DVR it is much easier to skip around).  I do not understand how this phenomenon occurs on the radio, however, since it's not like radio shows follow such a strict format.  Various stations will say "40 minutes of rock, coming your way" or "55 straight minutes of uninterrupted smooth jazz" and so their commercial breaks should not line up.  AND YET! They do.  How does it happen??  Maybe radio DJs text each other and say, "Hey, it's 11:30am now, wanna do commercials in 5 minutes? I gotta piss."

I actually found a 43 page paper and subsequent economics PhD dissertation that describes the financial incentives for doing this (I'll save you some time and summarize: commercial timing discourages channel changing and advertisements are more likely to be heard).  I guess I understand why it happens, but that doesn't mean I don't hate it.  I guess there's always NPR...

Monday, June 18, 2012

When You Don't Ask for Fresh Towels and Get Them Anyway

There is a fantastic trend at hotels right now to not change the towels and linens on a daily basis.  This saves the hotel money, but also prevents the release of excessive detergents into the environment as well as decreases the amount of water used.  Hotels which offer this service have signs in the bathroom or elsewhere in the room that state if you desire fresh towels, to please leave them on the floor.  Otherwise, by hanging up your towel, you make known that you are okay using the same towels for multiple days.  What I have noticed, however, is that this is not the case.  I always hang up my towels, and yet I still come back to fresh ones at the end of the day. I'm not sure why this happens at pretty much every hotel I go to, and I am certainly not the only one bothered by it (see here and here).  It makes me angry because I go through the extra trouble to hang up my towels, something I don't even always get to in the mornings at home, and still come back to zero return for my effort.  I know it's not always cost-effective to be environmentally friendly but in this case I believe it is.  The hotel would save money on water, laundry detergent, the time of the maid, the time of the person doing the laundry, and on new towels due to reduced wear and tear.  It just makes sense, doesn't it?  So why does this not happen??

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Large Groups on the Subway

Complaining about this makes me feel mean, but whatever, here goes. I was commuting this morning on the subway at the peak of rush hour (8:15-8:45am here in Boston). The trains are always packed and it's a struggle to get on and off the crowded cars. Trains here are not like those in other cities. The Green Line trains have only 2 (or every once in a while 3) cars so sometimes you physically cannot even get on the train because it is chock full of people.  So this morning when I shoved my way into a tiny space under some guy's stinky armpit I was kinda TO'd to see approximately 30 6th graders packed onto the train practically screaming at each other across the car.  First of all I wanted to yell at them all to be quiet so I could listen to my NPR podcast in peace, but secondly who brings a large group of people, of any age, onto the train at rush hour?!?!?  Get a bus or wait until 9:30 when the trains are much less full and I don't have to be smacked every 11 seconds by a giant L.L. Bean backpack. And please, no loud noises on the morning commute.

In other news yesterday I saw two college kids attempt to bring a couch onto the train (not at rush hour).  That was hilarious and they did not get far.

UPDATE 6/15/12: Large loud (especially drunk) groups on airplanes.  UUUGGGGH.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Failure to Yield on the Sidewalk

I get really annoyed when I'm walking on the sidewalk and 3 people are walking toward me on the same sidewalk and they don't yield so I am forced to either step into the street or squish myself against a building.  It's SO rude and I hate it.  Yeah, I know it's awkward to be that third person who has to keep moving back to let people walk by, but really it's just proper sidewalk etiquette.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Daytime TV

Sick days are no good when you're really really ill and can barely open your eyes, but sometimes you have a sick day where it's just a bad cold you don't want to spread around the office. Those days it is nice to relax in front of the TV all day eating soup. You start flipping channels and pretty soon you realize, everything on daytime TV is horrible. I mean, wtf. Do TV stations think everyone at home at 1pm on a weekday has an IQ of 63? That in our state of weakened immunity we can't handle much more than two people publicly fighting about whose baby it is? Please for the love of Pete, someone show something worth watching!