Social Question

jca's avatar

What annoys you in the three following situations: in a restaurant, while driving and at work?

Asked by jca (36062points) September 9th, 2012

I thought of this question yesterday while walking through a McDonalds to use the bathroom, and seeing a table of leftovers and garbage that someone left, obviously expecting the staff to clean it up for them. I thought “that’s annoying that people think they don’t have to clean up after themselves.” Of course they don’t have to, but they should.

I think of this every day, also, while driving (I drive a lot in daily commute). People cutting me off, people not signalling and the most important and egregious error that people make all the time: going slow in the left lane of the highway. If you’re not speeding, get out of the left lane!

What annoys you at a restaurant?

What annoys you while driving?

What annoys you at work?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

80 Answers

cookieman's avatar

• poor customer service
• patrons talking on cell phones

• detail cops standing around doing nothing while traffic is a mess
• drivers blabbing on their cell, not paying attention to the road

• Regional managers making decisions about me and my department, when they’ve never even met me.
• Employees who pretend to know more than they actually do.

Shippy's avatar

Not sure I have to clean up after paying for a service? Anyway, I don’t find much annoying. I understand humans are humans. Specially driving, I have made mistakes too. I guess when people don’t say thank you whilst driving or at any other time.

Oh wait! here people stand very close to you in a queue their bodies rubbing up against yours, it is SO annoying!

downtide's avatar

Restaurant: – Sitting with other patrons too close to the back of my chair. If I have to move mine to let them out, it’s too close.
– Bad customer service (especially wait staff standing around gossiping while customers are wanting service).

Driving: The fact that I can’t and will never be able to?
On public transport: people with their mp3 players turned up so loud I can hear them from 3 rows away.
– Feet on seats. Gah! That shoe probably stepped in a dog turd this morning.

Work: – Customers who think they’re entitled to everything free.
– Customers who don’t read the Terms and Conditions and then complain about something that is already clearly stated.
– Patching up mistakes made by inadequately-trained call-handlers.

Curiously, I’m not a bit bothered about people using cellphones in restaurants etc. As long as they’re not having a loud argument or playing annoying ringtones, I see it as no different from them talking to the person they’re with. But if my partner uses his phone while we’re in a restaurant he’s going to get a sharp kick to the shins.

bookish1's avatar

-Restaurants: When waiters are either completely indifferent, or when they hover.

-Driving: People who tail gate, don’t use their turn signal (and/or change lanes completely at random), or who talk/text while driving. YALL GONNA CAUSE AN ACCIDENT *************. Seriously, this gets me angry.

-Work: Overhearing inane chatter all day.

yankeetooter's avatar

People talking loudly on cell phones.

People driving too slow.

Coworkers being way too loud at the end of the day (after the students have left)...I like to joke around too, but I don’t need to be heard a half mile away to do so.

laurenkem's avatar

– Children who annoy all of the other patrons while Mom and Dad sit there smiling indulgently at how “adorable” their tot is;
– Really slow service; and
– Very high prices for mediocre-at-best food.

– People who don’t signal when they’re about to turn so that you’re not watching for brake lights;
– Like everyone else, people talking away on their cell phones while almost causing an accident (and not caring); and
– Tailgating.

– I hate the fact that all of the folks from our upstairs office come downstairs to our office to use the microwave at lunchtime, thereby leaving our office smelling like crap;
– People who are so busy socializing that they get zero work done; and
– Running out of printer ink and not having a replacement!

kess's avatar

People are people and they would do thing that may annoy you
Intentionally more often than not unintentionally.., b

I go with the flow.. no need to get annoyed because there are time when I would be in that same boat. So when this situation occurs and they are annoyed at me, I take no offence, just do what I think is necessary at the time.

Bill1939's avatar

In all three situations, self-centered, inconsiderate people who think only of themselves tick me off.

Trillian's avatar

“Not sure I have to clean up after paying for a service?”
This is the annoying attitude. The “service” for which we paid is food quickly, wrapped in paper. The waitress did not bring food to the table, we stood in line for it. We have a tray to carry it to the table and afterward to the trash bins which are large, numerous and clearly marked. The fact that there are self absorbed, entitlement issue bullies out there who feel that they can make a mess for someone else to clean up because “That’s their job, man.” is a significant, sad indication of our society.
This same person feels free to bully the poor dope cashier who can’t fight back, cuts people off in traffic, fails to signal, blocks streets and driveways, and steps on anyone under him/her who has the misfortune to have to answer to him/her at work. The same lickspittle takes credit for the ideas of others and brown noses to the big boss.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

What an interesting question. To me, “annoying” means to slightly irritate. It’s like a pesky fly in the room. Some of the answers above would rank above annoyance in my book. Maybe I need a patience tune-up. :)

Restaurant When three or more staff members come to the table at various times to do the obligatory check that everything is alright.
Driving When others don’t use a turn signal.
Work Competitive co-workers when there is no competition.

SuperMouse's avatar

Restaurant – Kids running amok while their parents sit and smile at how cute they are.
Driving – People who have no idea what to do at four way stops so they just sit there and wave everyone through or worse yet just pull right into the intersection whether it is their turn or not.
Work – Know it all’s who seem to know every single position in the company inside and out and are not afraid to tell everyone else they aren’t doing it right.

linguaphile's avatar

Restaurant – Usually teenagers who freak out and refuse to read the paper I gave them with my writing on it so I can communicate. I don’t speak and this happens too often. Also, people who stare at me for being different. There are interested looks (which are okay), then there’s the mouth-agape, ‘oh my god’ stares. It interferes with a nice dinner.

Driving – Road rage or people who scream and cuss. I’m of the mindset that most people want to drive well, are doing their best and will make occasional and trivial mistakes. If you got hit, then freak out, but if you didn’t, what’s the problem?

Work – People who make mistakes, but deny or lie about them, then make others look bad for their own benefit. People who take credit for other’s work.

Sunny2's avatar

In all 3 situations: lack of consideration for anyone but themselves. Talking too loudly when others are around. Tail gating. Goofing off and leaving the work for others to do.

livelaughlove21's avatar

– People who are rude to the staff.
– Bad tippers.
– People who let their kids jump up and down on the booth when another one is attached to theirs. Nah, it doesn’t bother me, I like when your demon spawn kick my seat.
– Speaking of kids, when parents let their kids make a complete mess and then leave it for the server to clean up.

– Slow drivers.
– People that take way too long to turn right when people are behind them.
– People who ride by butt, especially on the interstate.
– People who ride a lane that ends until it runs out.
– People who don’t use their turn signal.

Work – Really depends on where I’m working.
– Lazy employees.

hearkat's avatar

RESTAURANT: Noise. People speaking far too loudly, whether on their phones or to each other; their devices making noises; the background music adding to the din, so people feel the need to speak even more loudly.

DRIVING: Other drivers who seem to be oblivious of anyone around them – whether they are not following the basic rules of the road (e.g. staying in the travel lanes to allow others to pass you in the passing lane); using their gadgets or applying makeup; or blowing smoke and tossing their butts out their windows and the smell and sometimes the butts come up in my car.

WORK: Co-workers who put minimal effort into their job performance, so then I have to correct and apologize for their careless errors, which diminishes the time I have to actually care for my patients, and gives the patients a bad impression of our business from the beginning.

As you can see, selfishness is my main societal pet-peeve. I can’t pretend that I am not lazy and spoiled; but I do try to be courteous of others and I take accountability for my actions and inaction (something else that is horribly lacking in our culture).

livelaughlove21's avatar

Amen @Trillian – in the situation the OP mentioned, you paid for your meal, not the clean-up afterwards. No one is saying you have to leave the table spotless, but be an adult and clean up after yourself.

Same thing with the situation I described about parents not cleaning up after their kids. The server is paid around $2.19 an hour, so unless you’re an incredible tipper, they aren’t paid to clean up the millions of french fries your kids smashed into the carpet.

One shouldn’t confuse what service they’re actually paying for. You don’t order a carpet cleaning and then expect the guy to wash the dishes in your sink or babysit your kids while you go to the grocery store.

Ron_C's avatar

In the resturant: children running around unsupervised
Greasy food.

Driving: People driving slow in the fast lane
Drivers texting or so involved in a phone call that they slow and weave through traffic.

At work: Engineers missing important details and just smiling and forgetting about the problem.
Expense reports.

Keep_on_running's avatar

People whinging about every aspect of their meal. Being a chef is one of the most stressful, pressurised jobs there is. Have some compassion, you know?

I don’t drive, so no comment.

I don’t work, so also no comment.

Coloma's avatar

Driving: #1….Not using your turn signal! Gah!

Restaurants: Obnoxiously loud people, screaming kids, poor service, bad food.

Work: Micro-managing control freaks, gossip, self appointed supervisors.
Thankfully I haven’t had to deal with these work issues for a long time.

ShanEnri's avatar

Loud people

People who just do not know how to drive!

People who think they are better than the rest of us so think they need to make more money!

JLeslie's avatar

What annoys you at a restaurant? You might like this Q about cleaning up after yourself at McD’s. For the record, if you don’t bother to click on the link, I think it is awful people don’t clean up after themselves in McDonald’s. In restaurants where there is someone who buses the tables, a full service restaurant, I am still pretty disgusted when a table is a mess, meaning people who are eating have food everywhere. It usually is do to their children. I am not talking about a toddler in a highchair where some understanding is in order, but schoolage children who make an absolute mess, and the parents don’t care. I once saw a parent let a slice of pizza lay on the carpet for a good 5 minutes until a waitress came and picked it up. My MIL was her first time visiting us in our new city and we take her to this pizza parlor and the place seems dirty and unkept because this one family right in the center of the restaurant does not care about the mess they make or feel obligated in any way to clean it up and not be an eyesore to other people. I also can’t stand when people leave their trash behind in a movie theatre. Lastly, I expect a waitperson to have a strong knowledge of the menu and basic understanding of foods, like what dairy means, know there are different types of vegetarians, and understand that on the side means not touching anything else in its own container.

What annoys you while driving? Distracted drivers. People who don’t signal. People who don’t let others in when it is a busy road and difficult to merge or cross traffic.

What annoys you at work? People having no sense of teamwork and only out for themselves. No feedback from managers.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Restaurant: Staff that just doesn’t care. We quit going to one resturaunt because as part of their ending of the day they’d sit at a table in the middle of the room and squirt ketchup bottles into other bottles to get full bottles. Problem was, it made a loud, disgusting farting sound. Stupid.

Driving: People who don’t pay attention.

Work: I have nothing to say!

bluiii's avatar

Great question!

Restaurants – Getting seated at a bad table.
Driving – Actually, I have an issue with parking—waiting for a spot only to have someone else take it.
Work – Co-workers thinking you’re their “friend” and having listen to their problems, complaints, and dating issues.

Berserker's avatar

People at other tables who talk as if they think everyone in the place needs to hear what they’re saying.
Waiting for ages at a fast food place…I hate it when I’m up for my order, and there are like ten people behind the counter doing something, and no one comes to me for like five minutes. I certainly do understand they’re busy and will not reproach the staff; but I do have the right to be annoyed by it.
When wolves come in and kill everyone.

I don’t have a car, so here’s what annoys me about drivers, as a pedestrian…being hollered at. This pisses me off to no end.
People who look sideways when driving, not noticing you. It’s like, excuse me, I’d like to not die today, if that’s okay with you.
Waiting forever at intersections to cross. I hate it when the walking guy appears, but a lane can turn where you cross, and they all turn and turn, not letting you cross, then the walking guy disappears and you have to wait and wait all over again.
When Godzilla appears and breaks everything.

Being told things that are obviously not true, and bosses thinking we’re stupid.
People pretending to be your friend. This is just a store bro, not a presidential election.
Having to wake up early haha.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Restaurants: Other people. That’s why I don’t go out to restaurants often.

Driving: I don’t drive, but cars with loud speakers that can make your internal organs vibrate. You don’t need to listen to music that loud.

Work: I telecommute, so there’s nothing really to gripe about.

Shippy's avatar

@Trillian You seem to find lot’s annoying, and why didn’t you then direct that at me? I would never leave any table looking like a dump, however, if I pay an outlet to feed me they can hire staff to do the cleaning. I do enough of it at home.I find snide remarks annoying forgot to put that, I find mad drivers and and abusive homeless people less annoying.

Kardamom's avatar


Going into a restaurant and standing at the hostess desk and waiting and waiting and waiting for someone, anyone to acknowledge that we’re there. Even having someone from in the back say, “Hello, I’ll be right with you.” would be OK.

Going to a fast food restaurant and encountering a scowling server at the register, one who does not say “Hello, what can I get for you?.” or “May I help you? and then doesn’t tell me how much I owe, so I have to put on my glasses and find the little window on the register (if there even is one on my side) to figure out my total. And then the server doesn’t say, “Thank you, will there be anything else?” Then the server slaps the change into my hand without counting it back to me.

Going to a fast food restaurant with a walk up counter and multiple registers where there is no indication of where the line starts and ends. This always ends up with people cutting in line, or people getting really angry when someone in-advertently gets on the wrong end of the line (because there is no line, just a bunch of people milling around) and there is no way to tell who has already ordered and is waiting for their food, or who is standing in line to try to order. It would be nice if the people who are waiting for their food would say to anyone who comes up after them, “I’ve already ordered, you go ahead. I’m just waiting for my food and am not in line.” Rather than saying nothing like they usually do, so the poor slob that just walks in gets “in line” behind them, not knowing that they are not in line.

Going to a sit down restaurant, anything from fancy high end restaurants to Denny’s, and having the wait staff totally ignore you, so that you have to get up and go find someone to take your order.

Going to any restaurant with my best friend’s boyfriend and having him act like a total selfish boor and treat the waitstaff like they are his mis-behaving slaves. Or dining out with anyone who is never satisfied with anything, not the food, the prices, the color of the room, the temperature of the water, the tomatoey-ness of the tomatoes, the length of the string of stringy cheese on his pizza, the hardness or softness of the seats, the height of the table, the saltiness of the salt, the heaviness of his glass, the soupiness of his soup, the portion sizes which are either too big or too small, the spiciness of the spicy food or the fact that the menu is full of weird ethnic dishes that he’s never heard of, even though he’s dining in an Ethiopian restaurant. I could go on, but it would be a very long thread (even for me).

Going to any restaurant where the server doesn’t know the ingredients of a dish and has no idea of how to find out (ask the chef!!!) and has no intention of finding out for me. Instead they say, “I don’t really know.”

Having a server say, “No problem.” after I’ve asked them for some ketchup for my fries or syrup for my pancakes. You’re darned tootin’ it’s no problem. I never said it was a problem, it should never be considered a problem, the syrup and the ketchup were supposed to be there and the server should not feel put upon, as though it’s a problem for them to go and fetch it. The correct response should be, “Oh, I’m sorry, let me go and get that for you.”


People who don’t use turn signals, then cut you off or quickly jump into your lane so that you have to slam on your brakes.

People who tailgate.

People who talk on their cell phones and weave in and out of their lanes and slow down and speed up and have no idea that they’re even doing it.

People who flash their lights and honk and flip off other drivers who have made in-advertent mistakes, usually elderly people who are doing their best to drive amongst the speeding maniacs who are tailgating and talking on their phones. The best response would be to give the person who made the mistake a little wave and a smile and to move away from them and give them a wide berth.

Road ragers and people who have no patience for sitting in traffic. Traffic happens and we should all be prepared for it. Getting all ragey and mean is not going to help anyone.

People who won’t let others merge, even though those people have kindly turned on their blinkers.

People who pull up next to you or behind you, or even several cars behind you that have their gangsta/ghetto music turned up so loud that the bass beat rattles your car and your teeth.


Having co-workers who don’t practice common courtesy.

Co-workers that feel put out or disgusted when I walk in in the morning and say, “Good Morning.”

Co-workers who can’t be bothered to hold the door open for other people when there arms are clearly loaded with boxes. Instead they go through the door and then let it slam in the face of the box-laden persons.

Having a despicable boss get promoted after he sexually harrassed a co-worker multiple times, and when the co-worker went to HR to complain about the situation, she was fired. She had a good case against him, but did not have the financial ability to bring forth a suit against him or the “deep pockets” company. Also, the witnesses to the sexual harrassment, who still work at the company, refused to testify against the boss for fear that they too would be fired.

Companies that bring in outside “consultants” and pay them big bucks to make simple recommendations that could have been had for free if they had simply asked the knowlegable people who work at the company.

Upper management people who have absolutely no concept of what the employees who report to them do. And those same managers making decisions about what will be purchased, how events will be scheduled and how changes will be made without asking the employees, who’s job it is, to give input/feedback about cost of materials/labor, scheduling conflicts, need for more manpower, increased workloads/overtime.

People who put their exploding food in the microwave and just leave the disgusting contents all over the place for someone to clean up. Even though there’s a roll of paper towels and a bottle of 409 sitting right there.

Having receptionists or front desk people that are rude, un-sympathetic, impolite and lazy. Why would a company hire a front end person that acts like the Soup Nazi???

Working with slobs in a shared work space.

Having people throw their dirty lunch dishes in the sink and leave them there for this mysterious other person to clean up. Oh yummy, she had a fish, bleu cheese and onion sandwich for lunch and how sweet, she spilled some of it on the floor.

yankeetooter's avatar

@Symbeline…I get the pedestrian thing, but on the flip side, as the driver, I hate when pedestrians walk out in the middle of the street without even looking. Yes, pedestrians have the right of way…if they are already in the street. Many people think that means that they can step out in front of a moving car…

yankeetooter's avatar

@Kardamom…I am giving you a hug right now. Hope it’s okay.

Berserker's avatar

@yankeetooter Yeah, but those pedestrians are morons. Right of way it may be, but I’m not going to personally rely on that and step into the street, thinking all cars are going to stop…the risk of accident isn’t worth it. I do my part in knowing what’s going on as a pedestrian, so it frustrates me when some others don’t.

Kardamom's avatar

@Shippy I don’t think Trillian was trying to hurt your feelings. There are different kinds of restaurants, service types and non-service types. Fast food restaurants like McDonald’s are of the non-service type, which means that they don’t have waiters and bus boys. They have behind the counter cashiers and cooks. You are expected to pick up your tray and take it to the trash can and there is no need to leave a tip. That’s why there are trays and trash cans. People that leave their trash on the table at a fast food joint are considered inconsiderate. Maybe they should post signs that say Please Bus Your Own Table and Throw Away Your Own Trash Thank You.

Shippy's avatar

@Kardamom Thanks for clarification. No hurt feelings assure you, just as it was my quote thought I should respond?

flutherother's avatar

Restaurants: Slow service and inattentive waiters. Very loud customers who want me to hear their conversations.

Driving: Very slow drivers and very fast drivers. I don’t really like driving, I prefer being driven or cycling. I don’t like cars.

Work: Management who don’t give a damn about their employees.

Kardamom's avatar

@yankeetooter Thanks, I’m guessing that you might be specifically referring to the co-worker who was sexually harrassed. It wasn’t me, it was a good friend of mine, a former co-worker. I was a witness and the perpetrator was my former boss too, and I was going to testify, but none of the other witnesses were willing because they still worked under him. We had all gone to a sexual harrassment training course and they told us that it was imperative for the “victim” to go immediately to his/her boss and then together they would go to the HR department and it was mandatory for an investigation to be opened and the progress would be reported back to the victim. Unfortunately for my friend, who had been harrassed on multiple occasions by this man, some incidents with witnesses and some without, her own immediate boss (the perpetrator was above her) was too afraid of the perpetrator and advised her to just “live with it.” After that, my friend went to HR on her own and was told “I don’t want to hear about it, work it out with him on your own.” So instead of opening an investigation, they simply fired her, knowing that she did not have the financial ability to bring forth a suit against the boss, or the company for failing to heed proper/legal procedures. I’m afraid this kind of thing happens all the time : (

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

@Trillian I wouldn’t call a place that wraps food up in paper as being a restaurant.

If I am in a place that comes complete with cutlery and the food is brought to me then there is no way I would clear my own table. I am there to eat or drink something not wipe the tables.

yankeetooter's avatar

Wow! @Kardamom…but actually, you just seemed so unhappy about so much, that I was offering you a general cure-all hug…

Hain_roo's avatar


. Talking loudly, talking loudly on cell
. People who leave a mess on the table


. People who speed up to prevent you from pulling into the passing lane in front of them
. People texting
. People who tailgate


. People who don’t wash their hands after coming out of a bathroom stall (Eew)
. People who leave a mess in the kitchen
. People who talk to loud
. People who don’t make another pot when they kill the last of the coffee

JLeslie's avatar

@Trillian Interestingly the Q I linked, it was one of our lower income jellies who found it just fine to leave a mess at McD’s. I am not saying poor people are more likely to do it statistically, I have no idea, but it wasn’t a case of having money and feeling like everyone else should be serving them. I think some people feel the upper classes look down at people in the service industry, but I don’t find it to be the case in any consistent way at all.

@Shippy I am just curious where you live? And, if other people in the fast food restaurants you go to seem to bus their tables themselves or leave their trash behind. Fast food places do not have someone hired to bus the tables. I think in very populated locations maybe people are more likely to bus for themselves, while in smaller towns maybe not. But, I don’t know if my guess is right. If someine left a mess behind in NYC they would get a few looks, the turnover of tables is so fast you basically leave your mess for the person waiting to sit down, not for a clean crew. Golden rule kind of works there I guess, that you would not want the person sitting at a table you are waiting on to leave their mess behin when there is not an employee in sight to pick up the mess. But, my assumption could be way off. I don’t eat in a lot of fast food, so I have limited experience.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
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Trillian's avatar

@JLeslie It’s the attitude, the mentality. It mentally diminishes others; I’m too good to have to perform such a lowly taaask as cleaning up after myself.” You note he says that they are perfectly capable of carrying a couple trays to the garbage, but fails to note that by the same token, he is just as capable.
He equates cleaning up after himself, a simple matter of wadding up some paper and carrying a try, to something “beneath” him. Therefore, only a “lower” person can do this.
Gaaaahhhhhh. I can’t gert into this and I have to get back to work.

JLeslie's avatar

Well, today while out at a restaurant my husband said to me, “pull in that chair (the one next to me, we had just sat down) it’s sticking pretty far out.” It made me happy.

Shippy's avatar

@JLeslie I live in Africa and I thought the question said restaurants, not fast food outlets.

Shippy's avatar

I’m so over this question loll.

JLeslie's avatar

@Shippy Well, she wrote in the detail McDonald’s. The custom might be different in Africa. She was talking from an American perspective.

Shippy's avatar

OK whatever, we all pigs here in Africa clearly and think we are too good to clear a table. With bad mental attitudes. Clearly. I’m more worried about AIDS, world famine and being shot, here that doesn’t even get “funny looks?”

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

@JLeslie the detail says Mcdonald’s and also mentions restaurant and there is no way a fast food outlet can be called a restaurant no matter the country you live in. That is like saying a market stall is the same as Walmart

JLeslie's avatar

@Shippy Huh? Where did that come from? Some countries have a labor force where there are more people doing jobs like clean up. When my husband lived in Colombia they had girls at the offices who brought them coffee all day long. That was there job, coffee and some light clean up. I have never scene anything like that in America. It doesn’t mean the Colombians are pigs because they don’t make their own coffee.

Shippy's avatar

@JLeslie Just a brief summary of the comments @Trillian made however I used pig for short since lazy SOBS could be called that.

JLeslie's avatar

@TheProfoundPorcupine That is why in my answer I separated fast food and full service restaurants.

JLeslie's avatar

@Shippy I am pretty sure @Trillian is American too. Speaking from the expectations in an American fast food place.

Shippy's avatar

@JLeslie well granted here at McDonalds, we do throw our used bags out etc., but we also have cleaning staff that wipe tables and do throw away anything left over. Interesting though, because in Singapore we could be shot for that!!! I drank a cup of coffee and made sure to throw my cup away (at a fast food outlet).

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

@Shippy its the same in the UK where we throw the stuff away ourselves, but there is also usually at least one person employed to wipe the tables and sweep up stuff

Kardamom's avatar

@yankeetooter You are so sweet. Most of the other stuff is just garden variety silly nonsense that I have put up with on a day to day basis, but love to complain about on Fluther, ‘cause you guys don’t tell me to shut up. It’s a nice place to vent without causing a police action.

Well at least not so far : P

Kardamom's avatar

I was just thinking that for community service, non-violent offenders like drunk drivers and white collar crime people, could work off their CS by hanging around in fast food joints, cleaning up after people. It’s no worse than cleaning up trash by the side of the road and they’re less likely to get hit by a car.

josie's avatar

The only thing that annoys me at work ( I own the business) is people who do not do their job. But I can fire them, so it is really not that big of a problem.

I really do not allow much else annoy me. It is a waste of emotional energy.

geeky_mama's avatar

• When the waiter/waitress is not busy but provides very poor service (not their fault if they’re busy—but when it’s slow and they mess up – I judge them against my own days as a waitress and am very annoyed.)

• Drivers that drive below the speed limit in the passing (left) lane.
• Drivers that do not know how to yield / merge into highway traffic / drive in a roundabout properly. If you don’t know how to do the basics go back to Driver’s Ed!

• People who say: “That’s not my job” instantly lose points with me. If it needs to get done I don’t care whose job it is – just pitch in and we’ll get it done.
• People who are not responsive. If I need a timely response and you aren’t sure of the answer just tell me you are researching or you don’t know or whatever…ignoring my email will not solve the problem for either of us.

Jeruba's avatar

> Having a server say, “No problem”...
You’ve hit on one of my pet peeves anywhere. When I say “thank you,” I do not want to hear “no problem.” “No problem” does not mean “you’re welcome.” It implies that there might have been a problem or there was a problem that’s being negated. When what I’ve done is purchased their goods or services and paid for them, I don’t want to be told that my shopping with them posed a potential problem. (Shall I stay away next time? Would that be less of an annoyance to you, dear? Maybe you’d prefer it if there were no customers to bother you at all?)

When I make a purchase and pay for it, and the cashier hands it to me and gives me my change, I expect him or her also to say “thank you”—meaning “Thank you for your purchase,” “Thank you for your business.” That used to be the custom. Now when I pause and wait and they say nothing, I go ahead and thank them for handing me the package and my change. To hear “no problem” in response to that makes me feel like canceling the transaction and walking away, or worse, making an indignant remark. I don’t. I always swallow it. But the rudeness of it really gets to me, time after time.

Kardamom's avatar

@Jeruba I’m with you sister. Both of those things really tan my hide.

What’s worse is when you say “thank you” to them, and then they say absolutely nothing, not even “no problem.” Not always, but sometimes I will say “thank you” much louder a second time or I might say, “I’m sorry did you say something when I said thank you.” Not ususally, but I have done that.

Guess that makes me a horrible person : (

Jeruba's avatar

@Kardamom, if I were standing in line behind you when you did that, I would cheer for you. Or, alternately, seeing the cashier nonplussed into silence when you said “thank you,” I might go so far as to prompt the person (especially if it’s a very young person who still appears to need a little schooling in basic courtesy): “The appropriate response is ‘you’re welcome.’”

Sign me up for the horrible-person club.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

Restaurant: waiters/bussers who come around every five minutes to take every plate/dish/utensil I’ve just finished or am not using. I prefer being left alone to finish my meal in peace, thank you.

Driving: many things, but one of my top pet peeves are people who don’t use their turn signals. Hello: we are not psychic, we have no idea what the hell you plan to do—turn left? Right? That lever on the side of your steering column is not there for ornamental purposes, you know.

Work: Bureaucrats who micromanage.

JLeslie's avatar

@Shippy It’s the same in America. There are people who periodically come around and wipe off the tables and will pick up trash if there is any left behind. But, it usually is not that there is someone always waiting to do it, unless it is a very large food court or very large McDonald’s, but even then tables rotate from one user to another many times without an employee getting the chance to clean it up. It can be one employee to 50 tables.

cookieman's avatar

@Jeruba & @Kardamom: I have been known to say “Thank you” – and, upon getting no response, respond for them (out loud), in a funny voice; ”Why you’re welcome sir. Have a lovely day.

Sadly, they often still don’t get it, and continue to stare blankly.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jeruba I think “no problem” for many people is just a way of saying they were happy to do whatever they did. To let the person know who thanked them that they don’t have to feel like they put the employee out if the employee went beyond normal expectations. I find tone, facial expression and body language to be more important. “No problem,” said in a happy voice with a smile means a lot more to me than “you’re welcome,” said as a canned response.

jca's avatar

@TheProfoundPorcupine: Technically, fast food places are considered restaurants. A place where you go to eat food that’s been cooked (or uncooked as in sushi), is a restaurant, no matter what it is or what the price.

Jeruba's avatar

@JLeslie, I don’t think we’re talking about going beyond normal expectations. We’re talking about standing at a cash register, ringing up a sale, and taking my money. Where I live that no longer even means supplying a bag for the purchase.

The cashier is the store’s representative and ought to be thanking me for my business, not discussing how much trouble it was or wasn’t to perform the simple task that he or she is being paid for.

I’m aware that I can avoid the whole “no problem” response by not saying “thank you” myself. Those basic, ingrained courtesies die hard. The pity of it is that they are apparently no longer being taught. Does any retail manager train cashiers to thank customers for their purchases any more? I’m betting no.

You can make “you’re welcome” sound just as sincere by your voice and manner, without any implication that the situation involved a problem of any kind. Routinely viewing customers as a real or potential problem has to have an effect on attitude, don’t you think?

JLeslie's avatar

@Jeruba I had to think about what I used to say when I worked retail. Sometimes I thanked people, many times I wished them a good day. I was not a cashier really, even though I cashed people out, I was a salesperson or manager, usually had some rapport built with the customer by the time we arrived at the register. I would say probably cashiers have very minimal training. Mostly they are probably trained to work quickly and efficiently.The other day I was having a bad day, and when a cashier tried to give me my change back by attempting to first give me the dollar bills in my hand before the coins, I gave her a little lecture on why the coins are given first. It was the last straw of a trying day. I also get annoyed with how they pack up my purchase from food to clothing. So, I would say training is really crappy or nonexistent. In fact, I would say a lot of managers are clueless too.

In your case you are thanking them, and I completely understand your argument regardng the use of no problem, my only point was the intent of the cashier is to acknowledge your thank you. People use, you’re welcome, no problem, it was nothing, they are all common responses I think.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Jeruba While proper customer service should be part of the training, saying a sincere “Please” and “Thank you” and “You are welcome” should start in the home.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I am going to disagree with you. Retail establishments should not assume these things were learned at home, and I 100% believe customer service can be taught.

jca's avatar

@Jeruba: Often in supermarkets the cashiers don’t say anything – they don’t even tell me the amount I owe. I will thank them (as you said, these habits die hard) and sometimes I force myself not to, just out of curiosity to see if I don’t say anything and they don’t either, how weird it will be. It’s amazing to me that they get away with it. Sometimes after I thank them I will think to myself, “I am thanking them for their service and but they should be thanking me instead.”

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@JLeslie We are not in disagreement. All I’m saying is that it is a shame that these three statements should have to come about from getting a job where it is part of the training to use them.

Jeruba's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer, I totally agree with you that they should start in the home (like so much else that seems to be lacking these days). But I think @JLeslie is also right—they should be part of retail training whether a person was brought up with good manners or not.

Kardamom's avatar

@Jeruba and @JLeslie and @Pied_Pfeffer Not only did I learn politeness at home, I also learned it at school and then it was part of the training I received when I worked in a restaurant and a store. And yes, it does die hard. And it irritates me so much when I’m subjected to a lack of manners, whether it’s in a store, or at work or on the street with total strangers.

I remember being in elementary school and we learned all about manners and how to make a proper introduction, and to say “good morning” and how to stand in a line, and how to remain silent in certain situations, and how to refrain from talking on the phone when in the company of a live person, and how to acknowledge someone who entered a room, and how to properly answer a telephone. Then in junior high we learned how to set a proper table etc.

JLeslie's avatar

I just think a bunch of people out there think “no problem” is not impolite. I don’t think they feel they lacked an education in manners. Meaning that is their polite response in their mind. It might be common usage in their community. Their parents might have actually taught them or modeled that sort of repsonse.

I think most cashiers are probably trained to say hello, and also trained at the end of the sale to ask if you want your receipt in the bag.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Fast food restaurants: People have been in a line for 5 minutes and don’t start thinking about what they want until it’s their turn to actually order.

snapdragon24's avatar

Restaurant: bad customer service, waiting too long for the food, when the restaurant is over crowded.

Driving: slow drivers who occupy the road. Idiots who all of a sudden break last minute to indicate if their turning left or right…and assholes who honk at you while your trying to park.

Work: gossip.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@snapdragon24 Even worse, waiting too long for the food when there are only 3 other people in there. Taco Bell is the WORST. I waited 45 minutes for a burrito and a taco the other day.

JLeslie's avatar

How can a restaurant be blamed for being overcrowded?

snapdragon24's avatar

@JLeslie, can be really noisy when its overcrowded, but guess I cant blame the restaurants popularity for that lol. But @Dutchess_III, I feel your pain. Was in the same situation last sunday. Took an hour for the food to come. We were the first people there and the last to be served!

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