As we embark on Day Two of the Reader Hatefest let us pause to ponder how future generations may think of us.
Of course, we can never really know any other time but our own. If you are reading this in the year 2784 — when all the world’s problems have been solved — you may be impressed that we had to endure such hardships as difficult-to-remove yogurt tops. Or if in your time Earthlings are condemned to serve as living hosts for larval aliens, you may be thinking that our gripes were laughable.
Anyhoo, here are some things that bugged some of us back in 2011, starting with irritations at the grocery store.
Olney’s David Bancroft hates that different supermarkets use different-colored milk jugs, making it difficult for him to figure out which one is skim.
“At one store it has dark blue caps, in another, pink ones,” he wrote. “At yet another store the skim milk is in light blue caps. Just when I thought I had the color schemes all figured out, one store changed the color. One has to actually read the labels now to find the right one. Why this irritates me I have no idea, but it does.”
Anita Cohen of Baltimore loves the nice wide aisles of most grocery stores but hates the way they “then clog them up by putting huge displays right in the middle, so that two people with carts can’t pass. Sometimes the displays even block access to the shelves. I’m assuming that the stores have agreements with the manufacturers to feature their products, but can’t they put these displays somewhere where they don’t inconvenience their customers, the people they are supposedly there to serve?”
Anthony Draper of Brooklyn, Md., hates it when people with only a few items bypass the express/15 items-or-less checkout lanes for the regular lanes. “I know it’s only a few items, but I can’t/won’t go through express,” he wrote. “Please respect both sides of this coin.”
Fairfax’s Dennis M. Ouellette gets infuriated by “deli counter workers who place my selections in resealable plastic bags and then fold it over and place the price sticker so that it renders the bag unusable after it has to be torn open.”
Lexington Park’s Madeleine Kolb hates seeing “tabloids at eye-level at the check-out counter with articles about how a woman lost 235 pounds by eating junk food. That’s more than my boyfriend’s entire body weight, and he’s over six feet tall.”
Charles Swedish of Vienna longs for the days when cashiers handed you your change properly: coins first, then bills.
“Forget about counting back the change nowadays,” he wrote. “I would not expect that from this new world. However, when did it start that the cashier balances the coins on top of the paper money and then hands it to you? I hate this. The old way you could slide the dollar bills into your open wallet and then spill the coins in your pocket with a one hand operation. This ‘new’ way is clumsy and requires you to put down your wallet and slide the heavy coins off the top of the flimsy paper bills into your other hand, then sort and stash.”
Annandale’s Barbara Hluboky hates it when customers express impatience with a clerk who doesn’t speak perfect English. Wrote Barbara: “Having lived in four countries I have had a lot of clerks show me an unusual amount of patience with me when I am trying to get my wishes across.”
W. Heine doesn’t like having to punch “1” to speak English on the phone. Can’t English “be automatic and to obtain another language, punch whatever?” he wrote.
Linda Davidson of North Potomac has a pet peeve: “In memoriam notices on the obituary page that wish the deceased a Happy Birthday!”
I guess they’re not getting any older.
Tomorrow: the final installment.
Remember, it’s healthy to purge every now and then. That’s what this peevefest is all about. I’m sure I read somewhere that it’s also healthy to donate to charity.
Donating to Camp Moss Hollow, a summer camp for at-risk kids from the D.C. area, is just what the doctor ordered. To make your tax-deductible gift, go to www.washingtonpost.com/camp. Click where it says “Give Now,” and designate “Send a Kid to Camp” in the gift information. Or mail a check payable to “Send a Kid to Camp” to Send a Kid to Camp, P.O. Box 96237, Washington, D.C. 20090-6237.