There’s a book going around about annoyances. I haven’t read it. But an annoyance happened to me this morning. Actually, some things really annoy me and some things that annoy other people don’t annoy me. I think the Observer type, me, is good at handling many things other people are annoyed by because we can look at life in a relatively objective way.
1. For example, when I had lunch at a restaurant in San Francisco with an Asserter friend of mine, she didn’t like the way the waiter treated her and she didn’t like the ingredients of the drink she was served. Being an Asserter, she wanted to teach the restaurant a lesson. Being an Observer, I had the attitude that nothing we did would change this old financial district restaurant that was used to catering to businessmen and had been making drinks the same way for forty years. I thought, what difference would reforming this place make in the large scheme of things? And to me, the service was just fine. So I was annoyed that my friend was annoyed, but on the other hand, I got to observe this bizarre interaction between server and served.
2. At 5:30 a.m. this morning my phone rang. I was completely asleep and I didn’t hear it.
Then I did. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Then it stopped. After that I couldn’t get back to sleep. Was it my daughter calling from Vienna, the way she did on 9-11-01 when she saw what was happening in New York on TV and called to tell us about it? A family emergency? Someone soliciting? No. Nothing like those.
I got up around 6:30, about an hour earlier than usual.
The phone message was a steady rhythm, maybe a washing machine, with a faint voice in the background, maybe a child. Okay, this has happened before. Probably a kid got hold of the parent’s cell phone and pressed a button that dialed our number. Maybe my friend’s kid in Hong Kong or a grandchild.
3. Presidential campaigns that last two years. I hate the money they cost and I hate the unintelligent way they’re done. They could accomplish just as much in three weeks.
4. I am annoyed by people who have TV or loud music going all the time and expect you to hold a conversation at the same time.
5. The head of the Japanese utilities company resigned in disgrace after withholding information about the earthquake and tsunami. It annoys me that those in the U.S. responsible for the financial mess we’re in have not voluntarily committed hari kari. I wonder what the regulators and bankers who messed up the real estate in our country think about what they did? Do they have any moral standards? Or do they say to themselves, “What can I get away with next?” Wouldn’t it make us all happy to see them resign in disgrace?
6. It annoys me that we aren’t marching in the streets to protest the increasing gulf between the rich and the poor. Unions are discouraged, minimum wages are discouraged, college students are going deeper in debt. This stuff is crazy, annoying, and then some. But the biggest annoyance is how complacent we all are. I liked it when we marched in the streets for our beliefs. Now we’re letting people get away with stuff. That’s scary.