Things and people that displease me

You may be offended on finding yourself listed in here... don't worry, it's not by name!
Bureaucrats, petty power-grabbers, and jobsworths
Anyone who tries to exercise power or control because they're so pathetic that they need to to bolster their own self-image is liable to be trampled utterly by me, and I don't want to hear about their deprived childhoods (because they're typically spoiled brats anyway) or how society made them do it (because it hasn't made me do it, and I'm not that hot on self-control!).
Form-filling and pencil-pushing
In particular, I don't like having to trawl around my collection of information to find things that the organization receiving the information probably has anyway. But I've started to collect some of my relevant information into one place (a file mastered on my portable PC); it's a pity I can't carry it in some machine-readable format to give out as appropriate.
People who talk for the sake of it (or not to be not talking)
I can't stand it when people want to talk for the sake of not being not talked to... the sort who come up to buttonhole you like they're trying to chat you up. Even though I know it's to do with loneliness, and I've been through something like that myself, I cringe and run from these people... I can't stand the creepy sycophancy.
Pointless laws and regulations
The EU (or EC, or EEC) law-makers really make me see red. Examples of annoying European laws:
Well, maybe that's a bit of a generalization. But I'm inclined to agree on this with Mahatma Ghandi, who, on being asked by a reporter Mr. Ghandi, what do you think of Western Civilization? is said to have replied I think it would be a very good idea.
Rural street-lighting
There's plenty of street-lighting in towns. If you want street-lighting, move into a town, and leave the countryside for people who've got a life. And if you start wingeing about ``What if I get attacked?'', ``I'm afraid of the dark!'' and all that stuff, I can point out the example of a female friend of mine -- no physical amazon type! -- who is blind, and goes wherever she likes, by night or by day, while not being able to see the little that you can see in the dark -- streets-lights aren't necessary if you've got a properly functioning brain.
People who agree to break rules so they can think they're independent and mature.
Well, how pathetic can you get. Commonly done in cars, eg speeding and tailgating. This sort of thing presumably belongs to people who still resent being told what to do when they were kids, and now feel that, to be independent, free-thinking free-responding mature adults, they have to do the opposite of what people in general hope they will do. So in fact they just end up being anti-social and despised. This seems to have become the state mentality of a large cross-section through a certain ex-colony, although I'm glad to say there are many from there who disown this kind of idiot. I'll write something more scornful than this soon.
People who can't be bothered to take basic responsibilities...
... such as looking where they're going, eg when crossing a road. These vermin simply can't be bothered to make the effort for anything beyond their own immediate wants. They get things like the hated Cambridge Pedestrian Zone made for them. Too stupid or lazy to look where you're going? Come to Cambridge's Pedestrian Zone -- made for people like you, by people like you. If I thought it was genuine mental handicap, I'd be more sympathetic, but since they obviously simply can't be bothered, I really don't see that anyone is obliged to cater for their needs.
Unreliable people
If you say you'll do something, I'm likely to take you at your word, and expect you to do it. Failure to do so is liable to be noted, and incorporated into my understanding and expectations of you (ii.e. I'm likely to stop believing you when you say you'll do something).
Patronizing computer user interfaces
I want to be able to issue commands causing programs and parts of programs to be run to carry out my every wish. I don't want to pretend that I'm shuffling pieces of paper on a desk. I don't like WYSIWYG systems, because they don't present the structural information that I find essential in editing a document. My mind works at a higher level of abstraction than the appearance of the document.
People who whistle.
It's not just whistling, making other noises without consideration for other people is just as bad. I don't think it's the actual noise that annoys me as the lack of consideration.
Telephone sales calls
Joining the Mailing Preference Service gets rid of most of these, ``except for some local ones'' according to their brochure. The most persistent pest round here is Zenith Double Glazing, and I urge you to boycott them. They don't stop ringing however many times you tell them you're not interested. I wasn't prepared to lie and pretend to be in rented accomodation, but I eventually went beyond the law by ringing their office back and threatening physical violence to their sales director if I got even one more call. I haven't heard from them since! Obviously their phone sales supervisors didn't want to be held responsible for getting their boss beaten up. I know lots of people would think that I acted immorally by doing this, but as far as I'm concerned they're just a bunch of weasels out for whatever they can get, and I have no sympathy for them when they get abused. As far as I'm concerned, they're not entitled to take my time in an attempt to make money.
These don't actually have to have dogs to be annoying. They're the people who go for a walk slowly past you, staying in your vicinity for a long time, when you're bursting to pee behind a bush.
Fierce dogs that look like they might just get out and chase you.
I can sometimes bark these down -- if you bark at a dog, really savagely, it can be so surprised that it will run away in absolute terror. If it doesn't, you can still have a fun barking match.
People doing things they know (or think) you can't stop them doing
For example, thick kids kicking a football in your direction when you're carrying something fragile. They know you can't catch them (or not all of them) and that our wet, pro-criminal western law doesn't let you thump them -- or even destroy the ball. The smugness this sort then evidently feel is very aesthetically displeasing to me.
Large groups of people who block the pavement and don't get out of the way.
This is common in foreign visitors; it seems to be commonest among those or mediterraneant origin, although the Japanese, despite the common reputation for politeness, also sometimes do it on a large scale. I remember the surprise of a large bunch of tourists blocking a pavement in Bath as they took no measure for me to do anything other than step into the road as though they had every right to take whatever they liked regardless of anyone else, and I walked through the lot as though they weren't there -- I am heavy, strong, and had a heavy rucksack (back-pack) on at the time. (A friend later observed ``They must have thought you were Swiss!''!) Another time, some drunks were occupying the path along the Backs, Cambridge, and I didn't step aside for them; hearing feeble shouts behind me, I looked back and saw that the impact of me bumping into them at walking pace had knocked one of them flat onto his back the other side of a low fence.
The rage immature drivers show when you don't let them overtake you
I don't know who they are trying to think they are, but it is strange to see how great their hatred is when they can't manipulate you into letting them do just what they want. They don't like me not speeding up when they tailgate me, either (I have a heavy station wagon, built like a Sherman, with a massive towing bracket... if I were to stop suddenly, anybody tailgating me would be written off, quite possibly without getting as far as any of my paintwork). Later... I now have a Land Rover -- I rarely get tailgated!
Bureaucrats who reckon they can stop you doing something you're entitled to do
but I do like to see the surprise they experience when you shoulder down your office door that they have refused to give you they key for.
People who hog shared resources without regard for others
You may have noticed that, for example, some people can use things like the sink, the toaster etc very slowly taking absolutely no notice of other people waiting for them.
How boring can you get? I'll write a proper rant about this sometime; for now, let's just say that people who can't make their own entertainment or find something useful to do do not, in general, appeal to me.
Those who think they're entitled to use anything they can get their hands on.
This includes mineral companies taking natural resources, and the tourist trade invading colleges so they can make money.

John C. G. Sturdy
[John's home] Last modified: Sun Jun 10 18:17:20 GMT Daylight Time 2007