Three pet peeves

9 11 2009

My favorite all-time show is Seinfeld for one obvious reason: Jerry and the crew complain about the most useless crap. Jerry once broke up with a girl on the show because she ate her peas one at a time. Elaine couldn’t go out with a guy who painted his face for hockey games. I don’t have any outstanding breakup stories, but I have my list of complaints. Actually, there’s a lot of them. I’m just going for three here, but truth be told, I could make 30 articles of three pet peeves. Consider this an ongoing list…

Pet Peeve #1: A person who answers his or her cell phone to have a conversation while you’re having a conversation with him or her.

One of my friends actually does this. It’s utterly irritating because how are you supposed to tell if the person who typically does this is even listening to you in the first place? I think all cell phone talking should be done alone in a separate room. Firstly, nobody wants to hear someone rant about their day to someone else in the phone. Secondly, nobody wants to hear someone argue with the person on the phone. Those are all conversations meant for the private quarters of a bedroom.

Now, I don’t mind someone answering the phone during a conversation to say that they’re busy talking and they’ll call back. That’s fine. Totally legit. But to just cut off the conversation to begin a second one? That’s basically telling the first conversee (I made that up), “Hey, why don’t you chill for 15-20 minutes and wait to talk to me again while I talk to someone more interesting about something more important than what we were just discussing?” It’s really the ultimate “fuck you.”

Pet Peeve #2: The guy/gal who yells “move to the middle” as everyone boards the subway.

Okay, this one straight pisses me off if it happens in the morning. Nobody likes taking the subway. We New Yorkers understand it’s just a fact of life, even for those lucky few who have a car. The subways here suck, especially in the summer when they’re sweltering hot. The MTA has decimated its budget to the degree that some of us have to wait two or three subway arrivals before we’re able to finally cram in like we’re trying to set a Guinness World Record for most people lodged into one subway car. Believe me, I’ve seriously considered “moshing” just to get out of a couple taller dudes’ arm pits.

So when we elbow our way into a subway, trying not to touch the body parts of people we don’t want to touch or trying to keep a lookout for the inevitable Bad Breath Guy, the last thing we need to hear is some jackass at the door yelling, “Hey move to the middle, go to the middle, CREATE SOME ROOM!” Not only is that guy stupid for choosing a middle car and not wisely waiting for a back-end one, he’s a complete lunatic for not slyly pushing his way to the front of the platform before the subway rolls up. That’s key. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of taking a rush hour NYC subway, remember that nugget of advice. It’ll get you a primo spot in the car upon its arrival.

Pet Peeve #3: Bitchy, humorless bartenders.

Ohhhhh, man. It’s 2:30 p.m. two Fridays ago and I wanted to get a beer at a bar. Just a thirsty guy looking to get out of the rain, get his weekend drinking ON. (Don’t ask why I got out of work so early.) I stop by PS 450 on 31st and Park. Once inside, I saddle up to the bar and ask an attractive yet obviously unhappy blonde for a beer.

She brings it, I slightly smile and say thanks, then make some innocent joke about something. I really can’t remember what it was, but I know for a fact it wasn’t especially tacky or revolting. It was just a middle-of-the-road “test” joke. You know what I mean. The safe joke to get a feel for someone’s sense of humor. I was expecting a harmless laugh, followed by a quick wipe of the bar with a towel and an even quicker turnaround to go do something else. But all I received was a two-second expressionless face, followed by a slight roll of the eye. Let me tell you — nobody likes that girl. At least I don’t.

I feel that if someone is going to bartend, the least he or she could do is to laugh at even the safe jokes. If they want tips, that is. I’ll gladly tip 30-35 percent if I feel the bartender plays along and just shows some personality. If I’m at a bar, I’d rather not be bored or depressed. I want to talk in that situation — about anything. But a bartender who’s tight-lipped, with bad body language and a “Don’t fucking talk to me” attitude makes the experience a total drag. Why bartend if you’re just going to make people miserable?

Only two things should reasonably matter in hiring a bartender: an ability to multi-task at a decent pace and the versatility to converse with a number of people. That’s it. Anyone can learn how to make drinks, especially when half the battle is just pouring draft beers. Yet a smile and a good fake laugh will earn brownie points every time.




One response

9 11 2009

Wooooo keep em coming

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