More People Who Bug Me

A while back I compiled a list of people who bug me, and I was delighted to learn just how many of you also enjoy a little light hateration. Mind you, that was in the winter when we were all a bit crankier, but even as spring is in swing, I make room for animosity in my heart for so, so many very annoying people and things.

And so, I present to you, the sequel to People Who Bug Me.

Guys who are topless for no reason whatsoever. First of all, when a woman is without shirt she is referred to as “topless” but when a man is without shirt he is referred to as “shirtless” ““ this rubs me the wrong way. This is why I choose to refer to all people without shirt as “topless.”  It’s a funnier word.

I was reminded of my dislike for inexplicably topless men on my way home from work last night. At 6:30 p.m., on a weekday, I encountered an otherwise normal(ish) looking man standing on the corner of his yard sans top. He was not mowing the lawn, he was not watering plants, it was not warm out (May in Seattle? Topless weather?), so what the fudge, dude?

I felt assaulted by the guy’s semi-nudeness.

Just as I did the last time I saw an inexplicably topless man. It was on a camping/rafting trip. Sure, sure, you’re immediately thinking, “a camping/rafting trip is exactly the time to be topless,” but please give me the opportunity to change your mind through context: Topless at 7 a.m.; in chilly mountain air; while preparing food; when you managed to put on full length pants, socks, shoes, AND a belt, is inexplicable.

Fellas, whether you are Adonis-y or pigeon chested, furry or hairless, spray-tanned or Silly Putty colored ““ wear a dang shirt. Unless you’re at the beach or in your boudoir.

Extremely well put-together people. They make me nervous. I can’t overcome the thought that if they applied all the time they put into being, at all times, perfectly waxed, moisturized, coiffed, polished, attired, and made-up, they could achieve world domination. Put-together people (PTPs) use lotions, regularly.  They have the kind of dedication it takes to be well-shined and greased, but not too greased. Moisturizing is not something I do daily, but occasionally I’ll do a (nearly) full-body moisturize, just to see how the other half lives, and it usually takes somewhere in the neighborhood of fifteen minutes. I imagine PTPs moisturize every day; they never have dry elbows, so they must.

I also imagine PTPs laying out their outfits on paisley print upholstered chairs at night instead of just opening the closet in the morning and selecting items that are not badly wrinkled. This probably takes about fifteen minutes too.

Imagine if these PTPs one day decided to use this half hour block of time to start plotting against you? They could achieve a lot.

That’s the type of thing I imagine. Which is why I don’t like extremely well put-together people.

Employees who “go the extra mile.” I am not a fan of anything other than the exact prescribed number of miles to get what you want or need out of a work situation. Anything extra is just nuts.

I mean, c’mon, going the extra mile in your employment really just means doing volunteer work at the job you’re supposed to be getting paid for. Your company (if you work in the private sector) already allows for just enough pay for you so that the folks at the top can handily grow their wealth, and here you are, adding to the coffers by just giving it away for free! Wouldn’t you rather devote that extra mile time to legitimate public service endeavors? Things you really care about, like spaying stray peahens and whatnot? And if you work in the public sector, don’t buy into the guilt of “if you care about people, you’ll work until midnight.” You are a people too. At midnight, you should be watching Conan. That’s your time.

The workers I trust are the ones who apply the minimum is maximum principle ““ they do the minimum amount of work needed in order to achieve the desired result.

If you’re an extra miler, try going the exact number of miles you bargained for tomorrow at work, and then, with your spare time, sit on a bench. Look around, maybe talk to some old people, put your feet up, and read a book: The Underachiever’s Manifesto: The Guide to Accomplishing Little and Feeling Great. Trust me, going just the adequate number of miles is a much better life.

Couples who share one email account. Creepy. Unless it’s your mom and dad, that’s OK, they’re old. Email is a task that, for them, might require the kind of moral support that safety in numbers offers.

People who blather on about Fake Portland (this group has increased since Portlandia hit the TV tubes). Portland is a pretty nice city, and those of us who’ve lived there appreciate it for what it is, a pretty nice city, located on a river, with occasional mountain views, and stuff to do. Others will say Portland is Seattle 15 years ago, minus relative cleanliness and Puget Sound; a place where people pretend to take public transportation more than they actually do; The City That Works, a painfully ironic slogan given consistently high unemployment and rush hour traffic that begins at 2 p.m.; and a city that is increasingly defined by inhabitants who are not actually from said city. I don’t know about all that. I like Portland, I think it’s pretty nice, I’ll leave it to you to decide if it’s The City of Roses or Little Beirut.

But whatever Portland is, here’s what it’s not: a magically musical, indie unicorn filled, genius mecca where slightly above average people find instant artistic success (or anti-success, which is its own version of success) just by existing within its borders.

Nonetheless, Fake Portland, this mythical Portland that exists only in music magazines and on public radio, seems to be the only Portland getting any press these days.

Fake Portland lovers act like they can’t go out for coffee without running into Colin Meloy, Ben Gibbard, and Zooey Deschanel just hanging out in front of Stumptown Coffee for no apparent reason. Could and/or do Gibchanel (my celebrity nickname for Ben and Zooey) hang out with members of The Decemberists? Sure, why not, famous people hang out together. But this scene is never described by Fake Portland lovers as three famous people hanging out together; it’s described in a way that suggests that just living in Portland you’re likely to have coffee with Ben Gibbard and Zooey Deschanel because that’s a normal Portland Saturday. But it’s not, it’s a Fake Portland Saturday.

Would it, could it happen that these three people would be standing on a sidewalk outside of Stumptown Coffee together? Yes, but it would be neither common nor unnoticed. It would be the result of this imaginary conversation that I just invented:

*ring* *ring*


“Hey Zo, it’s me, Colin Meloy of the Decemberists, I heard you were in Portland this weekend.”

“Yes Colin, I am. My husband Ben Gibbard, of NW bands Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service, is in town with me as well, but he’s at the recording studio right now.”

“Neat, let’s call him.”

“Neat. Let’s.”

“Hi Ben.” (CM, ZD, and BG on three-way caller)

“It’s Colin Meloy.”

“And your wife, Zooey Deschanel, from the movies Elf and (500) Days of Summer, oh, and from those cotton commercials.”

“Since we’re all in Portland, should we go have coffee at one of Portland’s Stumptown locations?”

“Yeah, right on!”

(All three of them cheer!)

But when you try to call Fake Portland lovers out on how bullshittedly uncommon this type of scene (described to you in faux nonchalance) is, they then claim that in their circles, this is what Portland’s like. But that’s bullshit too. Because pretty much every young person who’s lived in Portland has had a circle that included musicians (unsuccessful ones), writers, bar backs from hipster bars, and the kind of people who would regularly run into Portland celebs, if regularly running into celebs was something that actually happened in Portland.

These people bug me. Portland is pretty nice, it can stand on its own just fine, why the invention of Fake Portland?

Millennials. Don’t get me wrong, as a member of the oft-maligned Gen-X I’m glad to be out of the hot seat, but sheeeyit these Millennials can wear a nerve out.

Where’s the big paycheck I have coming now that I completed my General Studies degree? When do I get to be the boss, will it be next week, or the week after? I couldn’t read your email; it was too long, I don’t think in paragraphs. Can my helicopter mom come with me you your party on Saturday?

Oh, Millennials. You’re probably not even that annoying, I just don’t understand you. Ergo, I am afeared, just like I am of people who get regular blow-outs and manage to Chi-straighten their hair every morning.

Civil War reenactors. Although I do think the following would be the best marriage proposal of all time: prospective bride and groom participate in a spirited civil war reenactment, depicting the Battle of Appomattox Courthouse. Groom, dressed in immaculate uniform, occupies the role of Brigadier General Sherman Oakes and bride, disguised as a man, portrays the stalwart Bonny Bean, private in the Union Army. After the conclusion of a particularly robust skirmish, the two share vittles of hardtack and black coffee from a tin percolator around an open fire. Brig. Gen. Oakes passes Miss Bean the tin of johnnycake, in it she finds he has baked a beautiful band of gold. Bonny Bean searches through several layers of mustache wax to find her gentleman love’s mouth, there she lays a kiss so fiercely sloppy that the gent’s wooden teeth are loosened. The two then walked into the cannon emblazoned distance, gunpowder sullied hand in gunpowder sullied hand.

Women who complain about having a difficult time gaining weight. Even if it’s true, and you’re very self-conscious about it, keep it to yourself, m’kay?


17 replies on “More People Who Bug Me”

I’ll you what kind of people bug me – the kind of people who deride others for paying for much-needed expensive medical treatments for their pets.

I just expressed my intense irritation at a colleague who made snide remarks about another colleague who is going to spend a considerable amount for treatment of his sick dog. Actually, I smacked him down big time. I mean, WTF? Seriously. Spending your own money on a beloved pet that has given you nothing but love and loyalty is something to be derided?

This is not the first time I’ve heard similar sentiments from other people and it makes me hopping mad. Those same people will shell out thousands on partying, customising their cars, buying the latest electronic gadgets and so on, yet spend money on your pet and you’re the weird one.

I hate it when other people think they have the right to tell you what you should be spending your money on and what you should or shouldn’t care about.

I have medical aid for both my cats. I buy the best food and cat litter I can afford. They’re promptly taken to the vet when they’re ill. I buy them toys and treats and they get the very best care I can give them. I love them utterly and unconditionally. There are many others like me, who do the best they can for their pets. So the haters can either accept it or else go perform an unmentionable act upon themselves.

Why yes, I am angry right now.

“Women who complain about having a difficult time gaining weight. Even if it’s true, and you’re very self-conscious about it, keep it to yourself, m’kay?”

This is super ironic, because I only bring this up after someone makes some crack about me needing to eat more, looking like a bag of bones, etc.

hah, I’m half of these.
Hard time gaining weight.
Moisturize daily (but I don’t think I’m well put together: does that require a polo shirt?)
Indie rock experiences in Portland. My friends and I always like “wow I saw Hutch Harris in a coffee shoppe! I accidentally insulted Janet Weiss at a party! I creeped out Stephen Malkmus!” etc etc. I’ve never lived in Portland though; I used to be 2 hrs north in Tacoma.
I don’t think I’m a Millenial, but constantly being expected to work for free is wearing me out.
My little brother does the shirtlessness at the dinner table. The things that are okay with my parents now… jesus christ.

Where’s the big paycheck I have coming now that I completed my General Studies degree? When do I get to be the boss, will it be next week, or the week after? I couldn’t read your email it was too long, I don’t think in paragraphs. Can my helicopter mom come with me you your party on Saturday?

I LOVE this. I can’t stop laughing.

I agree with much of your list, but definitely not with the “going the extra mile” part. Some people want to get promoted. Also, some people are lucky enough to love their work. I would much rather work than watch Conan or talk to old people or do most other things.

I’m half with you and half with Buster… I agree that some people just love their jobs, and even when I hated my job (as a server), part of what got me through was the positive interactions I would initiate with my clients. The way I see it, if someone is nicer than their job description requires, or if they go just a bit out of their way to make things more pleasant, it’s like adding a little bit of positivity into what can be a pretty overwhelmingly crappy world. And if you happen to love what you do, then even better!

That being said: What really grinds my gears are the people who are the people who “go the extra mile” so that they can get into a management position at their slightly-over-minimum-wage job and then nit-pick the everlovin’ crap out of everyone else’s performance. I’ve known many types like this. People who outside of their work life are generally loners who have few friends, a limited social life and little ambition beyond the modicum of power they have accomplished at work. You’d almost feel sorry for them, except for the fact that they go out of their way to tell you how to do your job and lord their authority over you, and all with this tone of smug condescension that would make your eyes roll out of your head. It’s that brand of “Extra miler” that makes me go all ragey inside.

I was with you until “Millennials.” The kind you describe are those I’ve only ever experienced via NY Times interviews. Real life Millennials are just tired and sick of not being able to find even entry-level (or, hell, retail) jobs after sending out 200+ resumes. 20% unemployment for the age bracket is a legitimate complaint.

And I mean, I’m pretty sure you don’t actually take issue with most under-30s you meet, but after you complain about people thinking Portland is as-seen-on-TV, I’m a little perturbed by the as-seen-on-TV characterization.

People who wear sunglasses indoors who are not visually impaired. Most often it’s men, which then double-creeps me out, because not only do they look dumb, but assume that they’re doing it so that they can stare at women without getting caught. The ones on the subway are the WORST.

Ha! I used to do that at my old job, but I’d just wear them until I got to my desk. I hated interacting with the people there because they were both hateful and never satisfied with anyone’s performance. (Oh and mine was damn good, but just not for the one person with the power). I was always wondering to myself, though, did they think I was coming into work hung over all the time?

DudeConner and I have a joint account too, and we’re not parents. But we also have countless separate, private accounts. (Work, personal, alumni, you name it.)

Its just easier for people who know us as a ‘unit’ to contact us together. For family stuff or joint invites, etc.

So I’m calling it not gross. It’s not like we share a Facebook page, which is the height of creeptastic.

Yes to couples who share a Facebook page! It also creeps me out when a couple under the age of 60 share their sole email account, but the Facebook thing is doubly weird. If it’s under the husband’s name the wife has to always announce “Oh, it’s me, Joan.” Facebook is free! Get your own account!

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