Rejoice, fellow haters of over-familiar greetings. Staff at Gatwick Airport have been banned from calling passengers “love” or “darling”. In an all-too-rare outbreak of common sense, a memo issued to employees says travellers should be referred to either by their name, “Sir” or “Madam”. If we can now stamp out non-friends calling us “mate”, the world would truly be a happier place.
Yes, ever since cavemen chipped their teeth while gnawing on woolly mammonth bones, human existence has been beset by such minor niggles and petty grievances. Only this week, the Telegraph received a letter from reader Brian Clivaz asking “Why can’t cash machines dispense notes all facing the same way? It’s so irritating to have to rearrange them every time.” It struck a chord, saw us flooded with similar ATM-related complaints and had the Telegraph office abuzz with our own personal bugbears. So here’s a selection of 25 more tiny yet teeth-gnashing everyday annoyances…
1. Kisses from people you’ve never met
Would you pucker up in person for a total stranger? Then don’t do it on emails and texts. We’re British, not French.
2. People who board trains without letting people off first
Wait your turn, pushy commuters. We’re British, not French. Again.
3. Out-of-control children in restaurants
“I don’t care if your meal has been ruined. My feral little darlings must be allowed to express their creativity by treating the whole world like their personal playground.”
4. Disappointing fruit
A flavourless clementine, a mushy banana, a woody pear. Your attempt to be healthy has backfired. Pass the biscuits.
5. Loud phone talkers on public transport
Sometimes they even have the temerity to do it in the “quiet zone”.
6. Losing the end of the cling film or Sellotape
Cue fingernails scrabbling desperately around the roll and exasperated tutting. Sort it out, modern science.
7. Automated checkouts
So quick! So convenient! Except they never work smoothly. Stick your unexpected item up your bagging area, supermarkets.
8. That spatula
The one that gets jammed in the kitchen drawer every time you try to close it. Why? *shakes fist at heavens*
They barrel down pavements, jump traffic lights and generally seem to think the Highway Code doesn’t apply to them. All while wearing headphones.
10. When you can’t remember your passwords
Have a different password for each website, they say. It’s more secure, they say. Not if you can’t log in, it’s not.
11. “Can I get…?”
Please may I have a sentence construction that isn’t borrowed from Noo Yoik coffee shops?
12. PPI and accident claim calls
Make. Them. Stop. Or. We. Will. Kill. Again.
13. Other people’s personal noises
Random tapping or drumming on tables. Rustling crisp packets and slurping drinks. Chewing, breathing, sniffling or snoring too loudly. Just existing too loudly.
14. Food served on wooden boards
Or hunks of slate. There’s a reason plates were invented.
15. People who suddenly stop dead in the middle of pavements
We suspect the same monsters are door-blockers and stair loiterers.
16. Socks slipping down into your shoes
And for women, itchy bras. It’s like our own clothes are conspiring against us.
17. Bags on seats when others are standing
Have you bought an extra ticket for it? Then move it. See also people keeping their backpacks on, turning themselves into a sort of obstructive tortoise.
Doing it out of car windows doesn’t make it OK.
19. Packets slightly too big for the contents to fit in your storage jar
Hence that cupboard crammed with near-empty packs of teabags/pasta/sugar.
Bane of 21st century life. It’s either snail-pace, impossible to join or popping with “available connections”, even though joining “BT Go” or “The Cloud” takes longer than childbirth. Don’t get us started on those interminable “storage full” and “software update” messages.
21. Train Tannoy announcements
Long, rambling, unintelligible. Also prone to listing the entire buffet menu and telling us that trains are non-smoking, as they have been for years. And thanks for the reminder about keeping our luggage with us at all times. We were about the throw it out of the the window.
22. “Let me talk you through our menu concept”
Please don’t. See also “small plates” or “sharing portions” that arrive in random order. Yum, potatoes for pudding.
23. Loyalty cards
Virtually every shop has them nowadays, so your wallet’s full of the pesky things.
24. Drivers who take up two parking spaces
That’s right, Mr Selfish, the white lines are only there for us mere mortals. You’re magically exempt.
25. Other people generally