Tag Archives: pet peeves


Frequent readers know that from time-to-time, I go off on some ethical tangent with an air of superiority that is probably somewhat off-putting, I imagine. I try not to do it often, but occasionally, it slips through. It therefore seems only fair that I am equally diligent about reporting my own flaws (as opposed that I seem to occasionally see in others), and do so honestly and forthrightly.

One pet peeve I have, about which I’ve written in the past, is when people are late to meetings. I can’t stand it. It’s even worse when the people who are late don’t call to let you know they are going to be late and are just left hanging. The only thing worse than that in my mind is people who are late, don’t call, and don’t apologize for being late.

I had a meeting at 11 AM today. At about 10:50 or so, a long timer here where I worked dropped by. We talked science fiction and flying. He’s older and so he sat down in my office to take the strain of his aching muscles. We continued to chat and swap stories. He’s a great guy to talk to.

At some point, I glanced over at the time and saw that it was 11:20 AM! “John,” I said, “I’ve got to go. I was supposed to call into a meeting 20 minutes ago.”

And so I called into the meeting, explained my tardiness, and apologized profusely. Everyone seemed amused. I had been emailed and text messaged, and they were all certain something terrible had happened to me because I’m never late. They, at least, were all very good sports about it. And yet:

1. I was late to a meeting.
2. I didn’t call and tell anyone I was going to be late.

When either of these things happen to me I rage.

At least I had enough of my wits about me to remember to apologize to my coworkers. Even so, I’ve been left with the uncomfortable feeling, ever since, that I really need to do better at practicing what I preach.

Gotta run. I have another meeting in 3 minutes and I don’t want to be late for this one…

When you say 11 AM…

I found a good breaking point in my tasks this morning–enough time to squeeze in the haircut I neglected to get yesterday. I went down to the salon in the mall and was told to come back at 11 AM. They took my name and put me in the appointment book.

I was back at 10:59 AM.

I was finally ushered to the chair at 11:15 AM. I was seething and the only thing that calmed me was that the person cutting my hair was very apologetic and thanked me for my patience. There’s almost nothing that drives me at batty as when I’m asked to be somewhere at a specific time and then find that the person I’m supposed to meet is late. Certainly there are exigencies which are completely understandable. But that doesn’t change that facts that it is one the few things that really bugs me.

In any event, I got my hair cut. A little shorter than I originally intended, but that’s okay. It’s much better than what it was.

The very annoying Honda commercial

Honda has a commericial with “Mr. Opportunity”, a cartoon character that acts as the spokesperson for a line of it’s cars and SUVs. I don’t mind the cartoon guy. I don’t even mind the cars. What “drives” me to distraction is the copy. In fact, it is a single like of copy:

…and the very unique Honda Element…

I hope most people know why this is so annoying. But in case you don’t, let me provide you with a definition:

u-nique [yoo-neek] –adjective

  • existing as the only one or as the sole example; single; solitary in type or characteristics

So how can something be very unique? If something is one of a kind, it is unique, period. Something cannot be very unique and to say so is a common error in English grammar. How can we expect kids to pick up good grammar when they can’t even get it right on television commercials?