Tag Archives: pet peeves

PSA: Your Voicemail Message and You

8 Aug

I have to make quite a few outgoing calls to people at work. I hear a lot of voice mail messages, and I feel it’s my duty to inform some of you: you are doing it wrong. The worst offenses?

1. Not saying your name on your outgoing message. I’m sure you assume everyone calling you knows you are you, but some people don’t. What if someone is calling you for a professional reason? If they’re not sure they’ve reached the right message you might never know. I know I can’t leave a message if I can’t confirm that I’ve gotten the right number.

2. In that same vein, holding the phone to the radio while it plays a song does not an outgoing voicemail message make. What it makes is a garbled mess, and I am unsure if it is your voicemail or you answering the phone in a crowded bar.

3. Vivaldi Four Seasons ringback tone. First off, the last time a ringback tone was acceptable was 2004. I know they were cool, mine was Poison’s Talk Dirty to Me. But that time is over. Secondly, picking the one classical song you can recognize does not make you classy, it makes you unoriginal. Also, the extremely large number of people who pick this leads me to believe maybe it’s free. So possibly you’re also cheap.

4. “Hello? …  …  … Gotcha, leave a message!” Is not funny. It has never been funny. What it does is piss me off, which makes me hang up, which means you don’t get whatever information I was calling you with. Also I send all my hate-y vibes for the day into the universe specifically for you. And they’re pretty poisonous. So beware.

5. Please try to keep world frustrations from creeping into your outgoing message. It’s super awkward to hear about your loser baby daddy, or how much you hate your job. I know whatever you’re dealing with probably sucks, and I’m sorry, but it’s hard to focus on why I’m calling you when I have to hear a four minute message about how much of a bitch your mom is.

Voicemail messages are not an arena of creativity and self-exploration. They are not your therapist. If you can’t manage something like “Hi, this is Joe, leave me a message,” maybe just say your name so it can be inserted into the automated message. No confusion, and I don’t wish for a piano to fall on your head, Looney Tunes-style.


Cal is a boy’s name, anyway.

2 Jul

There’s a woman at work. She’s a nick-namer. Kimberly is Kimmie, Joseph is Joey, though I’ve never heard these people introduce themselves as one of the short versions of their names. The other day, she called me… Cal.

And I… I answered.

And now I’m doomed.

I had to answer, because she was asking a question and it was oh so apparent she was talking to me. Also, when people get my name wrong, I’ve never been sure how to correct them. If I let it go, the pronunciation becomes entrenched and it’s too awkward to change later. If I correct them, it seems like they over-pronounce, make it fancy, like I’ve done something hoity by having a way to say my name. (This is more of a problem with my last name, because it’s pretty hard to pronounce Cally any way other than how it should be.)

I don’t know what these name-choppers are thinking.

I knew a girl in high school who was a name-extender. A rarer problem, sure, but a problem nonetheless. You thought you were Chris? No, you were Christopher. Often, she didn’t say my name- I think it’s because she couldn’t make it any longer than it was. It’s the same side of the coin, though, because in both cases you’re just ignoring what I have told you I should be called. To me, it smacks of arrogance, that you know what’s better for me than I do. That you’re going to stomp on my wishes and change my name, one of the very essences of my identity, to suit your preferences. You override me.

Am I blowing it all out of proportion? I don’t know. I don’t think so. If I told you my name was Cally and you decided to call me Jerk Face, then I’d be perfectly allowed to have an issue. I see this as almost the same. It’s a subtle dig, like a back-handed compliment.

What I do know, is I’d rather chew on rocks than have anyone ever call me Cal every again.

Tale as old as time

20 Jun

I know time and time again, girls have whined about this and boys haven’t listened. I can’t help it though, I’m compelled to complain about it. What is up with the beeping at girl pedestrians, dudes? Who taught you how to do this, and why haven’t you stopped already?I’m about 99.9 percent positive that no girl has ever thanked you for this behavior.

Living in Chicago, walking everywhere, I don’t think I had to deal with this once. Maybe it was the fact there’s too many pedestrians. Maybe the fact that traffic basically crawled, so if you embarrassed yourself with the beeping you couldn’t make a fast getaway. I don’t know for sure, but I do know that I’d gotten used to it, so much so that I didn’t even remember it was a thing that happened in the world.

Then I moved.

I walk about 3.5 miles total a day, to and from work, on major streets. I am beeped/shouted at anywhere from 2 to 6 times a trip. I ignore because there’s really no proper response. And that’s the problem with the whole thing. There’s no response. You’re not going to get anything from me, be it my telephone number or a punch to the face. So why? Is it funny? It’s not because I’m pretty, because you’ve seen me for all of two seconds while you speed by, and also my 60 year old grandma used to get beeped at, too. It’s not a compliment, and sometimes it’s downright scary. If the car slows down in any way I’m pretty much convinced I’m going to get kidnapped. One time a semi truck beeped at me while we were under the overpass, and I honestly thought I was going to die, it was so loud. I’m a big fan of knowing the motivation behind an action, and I simply can’t wrap my hear around this one. Hence, it is not a legit course of action.

I think we, as a society, need to cut this shit out. It’s not funny, it’s not cute, and sometimes it’s terrifying. And it gets neither of us anywhere.

Duncan Hines Frosting Creations

16 Apr

I have one thing to say to Duncan Hines.

Cut this shit out.

It’s unnatural. What does “frosting base” even mean? If it just vanilla frosting? Because, that’s super easy to make. Literally, no one can mess up buttercream frosting. Butter. Powdered Sugar. Milk. Vanilla extract. Stirstirstir. TA DA. DELICIOUS FROSTING.

And the flavor packets? What the fuck are those? Kool-aid? I see two things wrong with this. First, I can’t imagine that stirring Kool-aid into room temperature frosting will dissolve it and keep me from dealing with grainy frosting. And if you do have some magic the has extra dissolving powers, I don’t want anything to do with that. I especially don’t want to eat it because I have a sneaking suspicion it will dissolve my organs. I need those to eat food that is not your crappy frosting.

Secondly, you know what’s more delicious than powered chocolate? Real chocolate. Additional, frosting should not taste like cotton candy or bubble gum. It just shouldn’t. If I want cotton candy or bubble gum, I’ll get some. It’s just too weird and I can’t accept it. I hope no one buys this nonsense so I can stop seeing your stupid commercials that activate my gag reflex.

Seriously, people. Would you rather eat butter, sugar, milk, and extract; or would you rather eat cellulose gel, gum acacia, maltodextrin and soy lecithin?

Get your own ingredients. Make frosting. It’s a million times better than anything that could ever come from a can. Further, you can make extra and no one will know when you go at it with a spoon, because you’ll still have enough for your cake.

I probably hate your kid’s name

10 Apr

I wonder if I would feel differently if I had a more common name. If I were an Elizabeth, or a Jennifer or a Jessica. I think I’ve possibly met two other people in my entire life with my name. I still feel like I would never be able to get behind some of the things that people are naming their children, even if my name were Sarah Smith. Raiden? Petal? Apple? Blue? Did we reach the limit of children we can name Emily or Joshua?

I also get concerned about the people who take traditional names and make the spelling super-snowflake special. All you’re doing when you name your kid Jayecub is dooming them to a life of teachers pausing and people rolling their eyes and a possible date with a judge the minute they turn 18. Jessyicka isn’t adorable, it’s painful. Riyelyeeigh isn’t going to thank you, she/he is probably not even going to be able to spell their name by age forty.

I’m not saying we should all be named off the top ten list. I mean seriously, if I hear of one more Bella/Jacob/Edward I may poison myself just to escape. (Seriously, stop naming your children after Twilight.) There are a multitude of lovely names out there. We don’t need to start naming babies Facebook and Like and Doorknob. Or one of the seven thousand variations of Aiden. Select a family name, a popular name from a bygone year you or your baby aren’t from. A less popular modern name. Don’t just walk into your kitchen and name your baby the first thing you see. Poor Ladle will never hear the end of it at school. Especially if you spell it Layedelle.

I guess it’s rude of me. I mean, who the hell came up with Cally? (The Greeks, btw.) And I understand your child is super precious and awesome and wonderful and you want to impart all of the awesome wonderful special feelings you have for them into them, make them stand out and be unique and successful and wonderful. No want wants their child to fade into the background and embody mediocrity. I implore you, though. Let your child be super awesome for who they are, what they turn into, and not some ridiculous moniker that they’ll at the least adopt some nick name for, at the most possibly reject all together.

No one ever looked at Steve Jobs and said, “Gee, I like what this guy has to say, but did we really need another Steve in the world?”

Shifting focus

28 Mar

I feel I need to shut up about moving. Or, more accurately, buck up and stop whining about it. So here are the main things I am not going to miss about living in Chicago.

1. My kitchen.

Honestly? Are words even needed here?

2. The plumbing in this apartment. This building… she’s just so old. I love it but it’s got it’s drawbacks. Notice the plunger in the above picture? That’s our special kitchen plunger. Yes, sometimes we have to plunge our kitchen sink. Also, I think it’s safe to estimate that I have spent more dollars on drain-clearing liquids and foams than I have on lattes. Not joking. Also for some reason we have no hot water and no water pressure between 6:30 and 7 AM, the exact time I need to shower.

3. Tourists. Oh, my god, tourists. You have no idea how much you annoy me, with your fanny packs and your getting lost and your asking me where the Hancock tower is when we’re right next to it. The way you stop in the middle of the sidewalk to crane your head up at the buildings and then I run into you. The way you don’t know how to ignore the people asking for your change. The way you ask the bus driver for directions. The bus driver is not your tour guide. His job is to drive the bus. Get on the bus if it is going where you want to go. If it is not, then don’t. Simple.

4. Trying to get anywhere in my neighborhood during Cubs games. I will always have a special place of hatred in my heart for the Cubs and their fans. With the drinking and the vomiting on my sidewalk and the wondering if they even know how baseball is played, or if they’ve just descended upon Wrigley en masse for the beer.

5. Perhaps it’s optimism, but people here are really dumb about dressing for the weather. It hits fifty and out come the shorts. Stop pretending you’re not cold! You’re cold. Your lips are blue and you’re shaking. Put on some damn pants.

6. Some of the beaches on the lake here shut down from time to time due to high E Coli levels, especially if we’ve just had a big rain. Then they open again. Where does the E Coli go? You expect me to swim in the water just because the E Coli has spread out? I’m going to need a better explanation for that. Also a full-body, waterproof wetsuit. If you expect me to touch the water.

7. At least one time a week, I nearly get run over by a cab. Cabbies here are crazy muthas. They swerve all over the place and run red lights and don’t care if you’re in the cross walk. Leaving the area will definitely lessen my chances of becoming road kill.

8. They renamed the Sears Tower the Willis Tower. I refuse to acknowledge this change, and this is something that might be easier to accomplish outside of the city. Here, everyone keeps reminding me. Screw you, Willis Tower. YOU DON’T KNOW ME.

9. The wind. I know, I know, the wind is not why it’s called “The Windy City.” But the honest truth is this bitch is windy. I sometimes lie awake at night and wonder if tonight is the night the wind is going to break in and steal my soul. I’ve been blown over flat on my ass multiple times. You hear that? Wind has pushed me over to the ground. Normal wind. I’m not even talking about a storm or bad weather.

10. The hot dogs here are weird. They have on them: yellow mustard, chopped onions, relish, pickles, tomatoes, peppers, and celery salt. The fuck? You know what I want to eat on a hot dog? Ketchup. You know what nearly gets you stoned here if you eat it on a hot dog? Ketchup. I definitely look forward to eating hot dogs without judgement.

Perhaps, when I am sitting on a non E Coli infected beach, eating my hot dog with ketchup and thinking about my normal sized kitchen, I will be more at peace with the world.

Restaurants of the world: I implore you

1 Mar

Glass ketchup bottles are what’s wrong with America today. I don’t think I need to tell you how difficult it is to get ketchup out of those bottles. All I want to do is eat my fries while they’re still hot. But instead I’m locked in an epic struggle with your bottles of ketchup. I shake it before I open it. I shake it over the plate. I bang on the end. I literally throw my whole body into it, bouncing up and down in my stupid seat with absolutely no ketchup ending up on my plate. So I bounce and I shake it and I’m straining and my arm is getting tired and I’m sorry but I really hope no one is watching me, because all I can think about is the fact this is all very similar to certain activities taking places behind closed doors. Or in the backs of cars, if you’re in high school.

Additionally, I’m nearly sure I read something sometime saying that 87% of glass ketchup bottles contain Ebola and the bubonic plague, due to people not being able to access their ketchup. See, this article (which I’m sure I read in a super-scientific journal of science and not Cosmo) said that people get frustrated and use their butter knives to get the precious ketchup out. And these people (who were apparently raised in barns by wolves and aliens) will then lick said knife and put it back in the bottle. So by having glass ketchup bottles you’re basically telling me you want me to make out with every disease-infested guest that has ever wandered through your doors.

What’s that you say? Oh, you change out the ketchup bottles so at most I’m only making out with three to four losers max when I eat my french fries? Oh, no. No, no, no. I’m on to you. Because I know you don’t replace those vessels of disease. No, you refill them (probably with an off-brand ketchup, but that’s a whole ‘nother story). Also, you don’t refill them when they’re empty, because heaven forbid we see a nearly empty ketchup bottle. So you refill when they’re half gone. Ketchup is basically rotting, festering, because you’re adding new ketchup to old ketchup and it’s never a full ketchup replacement. Ketchup is not like blood. It’s not self-cleaning.

The answer to all of your ketchup problems? The super awesome red-colored squeeze bottles. We never see half-empty ketchup grossness. I don’t have to think about hand jobs when I’m dressing up my hamburger. No one needs to shove their knives in and infect the bottles. When I see these red bottles on my table, I nearly break out in song. It’s way, way too rare an occasion though. I need more of you on board.

Please, hear my plea and change your evil ways.

I am not afraid to take this all the way up to the pope of Heinz Ketchup Company if need be.