Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pet Peeve Spring Cleaning

I am declaring today as the start of spring cleaning.  Now that spring is almost here, I am unloading a pile of major and minor pet peeves for your consideration. Do you share any of these with me?

1. People who don't shovel sidewalks.  Or, for that matter, municipalities who don't shovel sidewalks.
This is far from an upstate New York problem, but it's been especially sad this year to see disabled and elderly people trying to navigate icy sidewalks blocked by piles of snow put there by someone's snowplow. Or, wading through snow that hasn't been touched by the owner of the land. Or, consider people trying to get off a city bus at a stop and finding their access blocked by said snowpiles. This is serious business for a city on the edge of what we call the Snowbelt, running about 83 inches of snow in an average year.

There are laws here regarding snow removal, but apparently the county (they don't clean a property they maintain near my house very well, or consistently) and several local businesses are exempt. So we local residents, enough of whom are old, struggle on.

I hope those officials and businessowners (and yes, homeowners who are either healthy or who can afford someone to remove their snow) grow old one day, and need to walk on city sidewalks.

2.  Potholes.  The roads in this area are in emergency condition.    I know it just isn't us, but this has to be some kind of record pothole year.  Some of our major roads are ready to turn into dirt roads with holes that could swallow a truck.  Just exaggerating slightly.  Get out of your car and walk?  See #1 above.

3.  Our flood insurance is renewing.  Envelope says "Important...please make check payable to NFIP."  Bill says "To remit by check, make check payable to:  FEMA Flood Payments."  Your guess is as good as mine.  Drag out dartboard.

4.  A letter came from Sam's Club, which is a discount "membership" warehouse place here in the States. They are increasing the number of discounts they provide each year - and, oh yes, they are also increasing my annual membership.  It was enough to make me seriously consider rethinking whether I really need to spend $45 (new price) a year for the privilege of shopping there.

5.  The "Online isn't as good as our retail location" pet peeve.  Example:  last Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving here in the United States), I ordered some items online from Office Max, an ofice supply store.  It would have been nice to visit their store but they closed their store in my area years ago.  There isn't one nearby, either. Anyway, recently, they sent me a letter beginning "Dear Valued Customer".  It continued:  "....Shop one of our more than 850 locations, online or by phone...."

Here's the peeve:  they sent me two cards.  One was a $10 off my next in-store purchase of $50. or more.  Can't use that-there's no store here.  And the other card?  $30 off my next online or phone purchase of $150. or more.   Really?  Online customers aren't valued unless they spend three times as much as in the brick and mortar store? Dear Office Max, have you stopped to think some of those online customers might be shopping online because you closed their brick and mortar store?

Not feeling too valued right now.

6. A letter from my health insurer (and yes, I'm grateful to have health insurance). "We care about your health...." So much so that it recommends I discuss having a colonoscopy with my doctor.  Now, if they had bothered to check their records before sending the letter out, they would know I've had two colonoscopies already. (Thank you for paying for them, by the way.)  Think I've already had that discussion.  Save your postage....

7.  Letters from the hospital where I get my yearly mammogram telling me it's time for my next one, recommending I make an appointment.  These letters always seem to come a couple of weeks after I've made appointment for said mammogram.  Dear Hospital, I made my appointment last Monday.  Save your postage....I expect the letter any day now.

(Yup, it came, just as I thought it would).  Do they do this with all their female patients? Just think of the savings if they correlate their appointment records with their letter writing department.  Never mind, the environmental cost of unnecessary paper use.

Do you have any particular pet peeves?

18 comments:

  1. Oh, Alana, now you got my juices up and I feel like writing a list just like this one! But I think I'll just enjoy yours. Colonoscopies--rising fees--poor customer service--restrictions in "improved" health care system----BAH I say!!

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    1. Spent a little of today trying to figure out two of my mother in law's EOBs from her cancer treatment - I feel so for anyone who doesn't have family to help them figure stuff out. You're sick, you are fighting for your life...this goes way beyond pet peeve. Maybe time for another post.

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  2. At least you have a good sense of humor about it. My pet peeve - frost heaves. ;-)

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    1. Frost heaves. Yes, that could easily be another thing for my list.

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  3. This is a list that can really prove useful in the upcoming cleaning season.

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    1. Perhaps....I really have to inspire myself to do spring cleaning. I hate cleaning!

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  4. We have potholes too! And snowplows cover the driveway entrances with small mountains. Municipalities need to clear those hills and also clear out spaces at bus stops.

    But one of my pet peeves is automated phone systems that say "Your call is important to us." But not important enough to hire someone to talk to me. Twenty minutes later I'm still listening to the same stupid recording. Aack!

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    1. I so agree with you - I had one of those kind of phone calls just last week. And, I could swear some of that hold music is specially designed to make you give up and hang up.

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  5. I feel excluded from your club, seeing as I can't think of a single peeve against 'people in charge'. Maybe my memory's slipping, or I'm concentrating on other matters. All the things you've listed occur. No doubt about that. But I shrug it off and think of the coming summer. My little back yard beckons. ;-)

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    1. It's true, there are concerns in life that are so much more important than the average pet peeve, especially if you are a refugee or fighting in a war - I know there is a name for some of these little annoyances - "first world problems". But the snow removal is a real issue for elderly/disabled - it can mean the difference between them being able to get out, as vs. being imprisoned in their homes for days or weeks.

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  6. I've almost given up on brick-and-mortar stores for just this reason. I want a good price all the time, not just when they send coupons.

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    1. There are a couple of brick and mortar stores I have definitely given up on because of their coupon policies - especially the ones where you have to use their charge cards to get the best pricing.

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  7. Hey Alana, I really liked your list.
    My pet hate is messy people and it really annoys me when people dump their dishes on the side, instead of putting them in the dishwasher!

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    1. And then there are the two schools of thoughts re dishwashers - the people who rinse their dishes first and the ones who don't. So what happens when a "don't rinse" visits a rinser and puts her unrinsed dish in the dishwasher? Sometimes, no good deed goes unpunished!

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