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Been There, Done That by Laura Nethken

Published: September 18, 2016 4:00 AM

I've been compiling a list of my pet peeves for a future column and after the phone calls I've had to make today, now is the time to write it.

My mom always said I write better when I'm angry. Let's see, shall we?

My list began with simple things like a husband who nonchalantly tosses dirty clothes next to the hamper or a dog who boldly does his business right beside the pee pad.

Technically, it is a pee pad, so maybe he thought that wasn't allowed.

And he did actually hit it once last week. He's going to have to pony up for the carpet cleaner, though, if he doesn't learn to aim better. Or get brave enough to go outside when it's raining.

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Humming, whistling and singing for no reason are high on my list. If you already have that tune in your head, why do you feel the need to subject the rest of us to it?

I have issues with people not looking in the direction they are moving.

The bread guy at the grocery store was so engrossed with the thingamajigger in his hand that was tallying up the bread totals, he almost walked right into me.

I saw him coming and stopped about eight feet from him.

No matter, he just kept coming, looking up at the last possible second before running me down. His mumbled "I'm sorry" sounded more irritated than apologetic. Like this was my fault.

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I can't begin to tell you how many people nearly ended up in my mom's lap as I pushed her along in her wheelchair.

Not looking where you're going is a lot scarier when people are behind the wheel. Now it has a potentially lethal outcome all because they have the attention span of a gnat and aren't paying attention to what they're doing.

Lots of stuff is scarier when cars are involved. How about people doing 40 mph in a parking lot? Even if they are in an actual lane and not cutting from corner to corner across the middle of the lot. I don't go that fast on the road I live on.

With people backing out of parking spots and walking to and from the store, what are these people thinking?

Speaking of people walking, they need to pay attention, too. I couldn't tell you how many times I've had people cross right in front of me and never once even glance in my direction.

What if I'd been that dude doing 40? They'd be dead. And all because they don't have the skills of a kindergartner and look both ways before crossing.

My biggest pet peeve on the highways is people not waiting for their turn. Jumping out in front of somebody with nary a second to spare is just plain wrong. That wasn't your turn. Quit endangering others because you're impatient and immature and can't wait until it really is your turn to go.

And when it is your turn, be ready for it. How come the only one who doesn't know the light turned green is the guy at the front of the line?

As for today, I've had my fill of automated phone systems. They're all the same.

"Welcome to (fill in the name of the company). I'm here to help you. You can speak to me in full sentences."

Great, but can you get me where I need to go? I say I want to speak to someone about paying my bill.

"Fine. I'll transfer you to our automated bill paying system."

No, I said I wanted to talk to someone. So I hung up and started over. "Welcome to whatever "

So I say "representative." I've seen that on TV. Didn't work for that guy either, but I thought I'd give it a shot. Didn't work.

The automated guy wanted more information. I said I wanted to speak to a rep about paying my bill. "Great. I'll transfer you to our automated bill paying system." Aagh!

I never did get to where I wanted, but after about eight calls I figured out what I needed to know.

Topping my list of things that ticked me off today is the insurance company. I want them to pay for my son's prescription. They said OK, but only if he switches to a different medicine. Wait, what? No.

The doctor's office suggested he change the way it is administered, meaning all new stuff. Again, no.

All that is between him and his doctor, to be discussed at his next appointment. Not between the pharmacy and a medical insurance company bent on playing God.

All I can say is I'm glad I'm not bigger, don't have a concealed carry permit and really don't know how to build the bomb our son thought my husband and I were making when we were mixing up our homemade bug repellent for the garden.

Copyright 2016 Laura Nethken

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