Friday, October 21, 2016

It's Whine O'clock!

When I last posted about my likes and dislikes in June, all I had was a list of likes. This time I'll turn the tables and round things out with some more dislikes.

1. Biking into a cloud of gnats

This item is at the top of my list right now, because, 'tis the season for clouds of bugs...apparently. Every year when it starts to turn cool out, I suddenly find my commute home beset by inordinately large numbers of fruit flies. Where's the fruit? I don't know, but its absence doesn't seem to be stopping them any! I don't begrudge these creatures their right to congregate, but if they could do it somewhere out of the path of my lungs, I'd be much obliged.

2. Foldover waistbands

It seems simple enough...almost irrelevant...among the many things fashion gives us, but I have several pairs of pants with a foldover waist (yoga pants are an especially common culprit, but a foldover waist has also "graced" my bikini bottoms) and every time I wear them, all they bring me is grief. Just try to keep the folded part folded in the right spot! It will invariably unfold itself and bulk up your midsection, or merely start to bunch up in an annoyingly asymmetrical way. The aesthetic benefit of having a band of fabric wrapped around your butt is surely outweighed by the annoyance of having to adjust it every two minutes.

3. Slideshow websites

The web developer in me must needs gripe about something website-related, and this time, it's those sites in which all their information is presented in the form of a slideshow. If you ever click on sponsored posts on Facebook (I've fallen victim to this trick more times than I can count!), you know what I'm talking about. Unfortunately (actually, probably fortunately), I can't find a specific example right now, but I can describe it for you. You view the first slide, and it has something informative about the subject you came to read about. If you're lucky, it has a whole sentence, but sometimes, the answer inexplicably drags out...

...Click the "Next" Button... the next slide!

As if having to click 2 or three times to complete every sentence isn't bad enough, now imagine that every portion of the sentence you want to read contains a large image (usually only vaguely related to the topic) and is supported by approximately 3,026 ads. The agonizing slowness with which these fragments of information load is enough to make anyone go crazy.

4. People buying limited-edition things for the sole purpose of reselling them at a profit

This is one of those unfortunate and pretty-much-inevitable downsides to a free market economy. Anyone who can afford to buy something at any price is allowed to...and equally allowed to sell it at any price, even if that price is hundreds of times the actual value. But just because you can do something, that doesn't mean you should! This is a classic case of the haves (those with the resources and position to acquire something extremely rare) profiting from the have nots (the ones who only have the means to buy something on the overinflated secondary market. Perhaps I'm naive (and perhaps I'm still bitter about the house-flippers who made getting a new home at an affordable price way more difficult than it should have been), but I believe in kindness and sharing and making an honest living.

5. Weighted doors

After that "weighty" subject, let's go on to something weighty in a different way—doors that shut themselves. I'm not a fan. This kind of door has afflicted me too many times, mostly resulting in me getting locked out of a place because I stepped out briefly without a key and found it had swung shut behind me. That's the worst-case scenario, but weighted doors also give meaning to the saying, "Don't let the door hit you on the way out!" When you're trying to pass an overzealous door with an armful of stuff and don't have the momentum or the foresight to swing it wide open before you pass through, the door hitting you on the way out is exactly what will happen.

6. Cleaning up other people's hair

Whether you live with roommates, significant others, or random strangers who pay to stay in your home for a few days, you can be sure of one thing: at some point, you will be forced to clean up their hair. People seem to love to shed their hair everywhere, but especially in the bathroom. They shave and leave the cuttings all over the sink. They shower and deposit what seems like the entire contents of their head in the drain. Cleaning up these messes is disgusting beyond measure, and frequently, not even necessary. For those of you who don't know it, I'm going to share a little trick: Brush your hair before you shower. That way all the loose hairs will end up in your brush, not snaking down into the drain for someone else to pick up. Oh, and also, when you shave, it's not acceptable to leave your cuttings where they fell. I don't understand why it's still necessary to explain this to people, but apparently I'm one of only a few people in the world who doesn't enjoy all their surfaces studded with hair.

7. Tipping

Last gripe, and again it's a financial one: I hate being obligated to tip all the people who perform a service. I spent several years of my life working for 2 dollars an hour as a tipped employee, so I understand that not tipping is an unacceptable behavior in our current system, but I am angry that tipping ever got ingrained in the system in the first place. The vast majority of people who work for tips are paid by their employers. They shouldn't also be paid by their customers who are also paying their employers. For any industry, forcing your employees to live off the kindness of strangers is a scoundrelly practice, and forcing your customers to have to choose what's an appropriate payment for your employees is scoundrelly as well. Life would be so much simpler (and there would be so much less ill will between restaurant servers and customers, just as an example) if the cash only flowed one way.