33 Things That Annoy Me

I’m currently sitting in a chair, in Starbucks, in line for the bathroom. Let me explain.

I was working on my laptop in a Starbucks when I had to go to the bathroom. So I got up and walked toward the bathroom, but it was locked—someone was in there. So I waited. And waited. And waited.

I asked the barista (they have their own word) if there was a key I was unaware of. No, she explained—if it was locked it meant someone was in there.

So I waited. And waited.

I’m a very impatient person. Sometimes I don’t notice that someone is slowing me down, whether it be a car, pedestrian, cashier, or whatever—but the second I come out of my daydream and it hits me that minutes of my day are slipping away because someone else is being slow, I get angry.

I often try to “punish” the slow-goer. I want to make them realize how terrible a person they are, and make them regret it. So if a car is inching along like an asshole, I’ll finally swerve into the left lane and around them and cut back into the right lane in front of them. And for a moment, nothing is more satisfying. “Aha!” I think. “Now you realize how horrible you are, and you’re embarrassed about what you did!”

But then something happens—right around then, the non-dickish side of me suddenly wakes up and makes me feel horrible about the whole thing.

So after that one satisfying second, I set eyes on their face and suddenly I’m overcome with regret and guilt. Like, I see a 70-year-old man driving and a 10-year-old in the passenger seat, and just like that, I am deeply self-loathing. “When did you become such an asshole?” I ask myself. “When did you become such a monster?”

The whole cycle is a pretty consistent part of my life.

So standing outside this Starbucks bathroom, it hit me that 10 minutes had gone by—10 minutes that I could have been working—and I got angry.

What the hell is he doing? Is he shitting? Could he possibly be shitting?? In a Starbucks?? Really? You’re shitting in a Starbucks? Is he doing a line of coke? What the hell could take 10 minutes? And I’m just WAITING here!

It was clear that he needed to be punished. But since I couldn’t swerve my car around the bathroom, I decided to pull a different move: I got my chair and laptop and planted my ass next the bathroom door.

It was brilliant. Think about it—I am now working while I wait and when this horrible, selfish person comes out of the bathroom, I’ll have made my point. He'll see me sitting there and realize what a bad thing he's done.

[UPDATE: After another few minutes, a 55-year-old Mexican man walked out. He looked like a nice guy. Seeing my chair, he said, “Oh, I’m sorry.” And I immediately hated myself.]

In any case, just the thought of people going unbearably slowly and slowing me down in the process has me in the correct mood to pen a list of 33 things that annoy me.

1) When you order a bagel and cream cheese to go and they give you the stupid little container of cream cheese and a plastic knife instead of spreading it for you. Then you’re in the car, weaving around on the road while you try to spread the cream cheese, and you inevitably get cream cheese all over the place.

2) Unfriendly Hasidic Jews. I’ve probably interacted with 15 Hasidic Jews in my life, and at least 11 have been really unfriendly to me. For example, I was walking through Brooklyn yesterday and came across some Hasidic Jew children, and decided to take their picture. I ended up with this:

3) People who don’t use Gmail keyboard shortcuts. Same goes for people who “delete” in Gmail instead of “archive” (or worse, leave old messages in their Inbox to build up). When used efficiently, Gmail is way, way better than when used inefficiently. The best thing I can compare these people to are people that type with two pointers while looking at their hands, instead of with all their fingers while looking at the screen like a normal person. But at least the non-typers are most likely mocked regularly, so they’re aware of their tomfoolery. The Gmail dummies don’t even realize they’re doing anything wrong.

4) The Voicemail Recording Catch-22. There’s no good solution to the voicemail recording problem. Either I try to be original and come off like a complete d-bag, or I conform to “Hi, you’ve reached Tim Urban, please leave a message” and I’m part of the idiotic voicemail matrix. I’ve ranted multiple times about the voicemail lady, who says bullshit like, “If you still want to leave a message for this person, press 1; to page this person, press 2”—but what I’m doing with my recording is no better. I’m wasting everyone’s time. “Please leave a message”—what the hell does that mean? Obviously they know what to do. Why am I wasting their time? In my ideal world, the phone would ring four times and then you’d hear a beep and start talking. No recording. How much better would that be? But if I did that now, everyone would be like, “Dude, your voicemail is broken.”

5) Those plastic coffee cup lids you get at coffee places where you lift up the little flap to drink and the corners drill into your lower lip. You know what I’m talking about? Who the hell came up with this design? What I end up having to do is fold the little corners in a little and it solves the problem. But the fact that I have to do this is ridiculous when they could easily fix it with a better design.
6) When I was young and I would go into a locker room with my dad and he would say, “Who cares? It’s just boys” when I would tell him I didn’t want to shower in public.
I’m convinced that this is a generational thing—every man over 50-years-old is obsessed with showering in front of other men. And every dude I know my age is really uncomfortable with it.

7) When you’re in the car at a stoplight and you look at the person in the car next to you and they somehow know and turn and look back at you. This is just a weird thing. Every time I look at someone in a neighboring car, they somehow know and turn towards me, causing me to awkwardly turn away.

8) The word funky.
9) When British people stress the first syllable of “Barack” instead of the second when they say “Barack Obama.” How does that happen? It’s not a word that people ever used before. Why wouldn’t they just say it the way he himself says it? How do they end up with a different pronunciation? When he first got famous, were they just like, “Uh oh, a new word. Hmm, we like saying things in a different way than Americans, so let’s change something…how about we accent the first syllable instead of the second? Yes, that will do.”

10) When people ask me when I’m moving to New York even though I’ve told them six times. This happens constantly. It doesn’t matter how close the people are to me—parents, sisters, friends, business partners—it’s the same story: they ask me when I’m moving, and I tell them. Then, the next time my move is brought up, they’re like, “When are you moving again?” And I tell them. Then, at some later point, they ask again. And again. What the hell? Is it just that boring of a fact?

11) When I ask a waiter what I should order and he says the wrong thing. This is a real dickish move by the waiter. He’s like, “And what would you like to order?” and I’m like, “Ummmmmmm I uhhh….ummmmmm…I’lllllllll getttttttttttt….well what do you recommend?” And he’s like, “I love the codfish.”

And now what am I supposed to do? Order the codfish that I obviously don’t want? Where does he get off suggesting something that I don’t want? Now I have to either order his upsetting codfish or make everything really awkward for the waiter, myself, and everyone at the table by ignoring his suggestion.

12) When I find a rad picture of Neptune online and I try to make it my desktop background and the dumb desktop stretches it out into an oval.

13) When I burn my tongue eating soup or drinking coffee or tea, even though I’ve done this 700 times before and I should have learned the lesson a long time ago. The worst part of this is that it’s a nagging annoyance for the next 30 hours.

14) When girls “comment” on other girls’ facebook photos, saying things like, “omg you are sooooo gorgeous! miss u so much!” even though they’re clearly rooting for that friend to gain 15 pounds.

15) When I charge my phone in the car and the little icon says it’s like three quarters full but then it runs out in 22 minutes because the icon was lying. Really? They can figure out how to allow me to have a free-flowing, live conversation with someone across the Pacific by talking into a little piece of plastic, but they can’t get the battery icon to correlate with the battery charge?

16) When d-bags say the names of Latin American countries or cities they’ve been to and they use the full Spanish accent because they’re d-bags. People are especially annoying about “Uruguay.”

17) When violinists make that stupid face and go into convulsions while they’re playing.
For example.

18) Websites that start making sound when you open them. You know, like ones that have ads with sound or annoying “intros” that pop up when you first go to them. This is always annoying, but it’s completely enraging when you’re in a situation in which you didn’t want people to know that you were surfing the web and the idiot sound blows your spot.

19) The fact that I have no air conditioning in my car even though I’ve gone to get it fixed twice.
This is a) too boring a story to write out, and b) incredibly infuriating.

20) Girls that are terrible kissers and are way too aggressive with their big dumb tongues.
Everyone who’s not like this has had this experience and knows what I’m talking about. But I’m pretty sure that people who do this don’t realize that they’re terrible kissers.

21) When I do that thing in Microsoft Word where I type a little string of hyphens and press Enter and it makes a full line but then the line gets poisonous later.
Nothing is more annoying. Only some lines go poisonous. When they do, they start doubling into two lines when you scroll past them, and then when you try to delete them it won’t let you, and then it starts screwing with the text around it. There’s a good chance that this only happens to me.

22) Shitty shower curtains that break a lot.
23) When a waiter—or anyone, really—brings you a drink and holds the glass with their fingers on the rim where you’re going to put your mouth. I’m especially anal about this because the managers at the restaurant where I waited in college—Fire and Ice—were incredibly adamant that we not do this. Then again, those managers would also demand to smell your hands when you came out of the bathroom to ensure that you washed them—which was just violating and degrading. And now this is reminding me how much I hated the managers at that restaurant.

24) When people in front of me in the grocery store check-out line have 64 coupons.
Little makes me angrier than this. The cashier’s like, “really, lady?” and has to scan each one for 20 minutes while I stand there watching, heart racing, head exploding, and they total to like $4.72 off. This has happened to me at least five times.

25) When people write “hahah” in emails or texts instead of “haha.

26) Overuse of the phrase “must-win” in sports. The purpose of the phrase is for games that aren’t officially elimination games but in which a team is, for all intents and purposes, eliminated if they lose. Examples would include a baseball team four games back in the Wildcard playing one more game against the first-place team with seven games left in the season (if they lose they’re five out with six games to go, while if they win they’re three out and actually have a shot), or an NBA team down 2-0 in a seven-game playoff series (no NBA team has ever come back from 3-0—although I do believe it has happened in baseball). Instead, idiot announcers use “must-win” about basically every important game (like when an NBA team is down 1-0 in a seven-game series).

27) When I ask for Tobasco Sauce at a restaurant and 10 out of 10 times the waiter forgets to bring it. Not 9 out of 10 times. 10 out of 10 times.

28) People who get indignant and whiny when you play weird two-letter words against them in Scrabble that are, in fact, in the Scrabble dictionary. That’s like a baseball catcher insisting that the game should have no stealing allowed because he never learned to throw well to second. (No, I’m not any fun to play Scrabble with.)

29) When people want to take the stairs even though there’s an elevator. Look, I’m sorry that you’re self-loathing that you had dessert after lunch, but some of us are both lazy and comfortable with our weight.

30) People that don’t clean while they cook. Nothing is easier than cleaning while you cook and nothing is harder or more upsetting than cleaning the entire kitchen after you eat. I’m not much of a cook, but at least when I do cook, the kitchen is completely clean before I start eating—not because I clean while the food gets cold, but because I just clean stuff and put stuff away as I use it. But when you clean nothing while you cook, it all builds into a big, hideous mess—plus, it takes 12 seconds to clean things like frying pans right after you use them, but an hour later it takes a big effort. And you’re full and tired at that point and the last thing you want to do is clean some gross effing kitchen.

The worst is when you’re with a group of friends and someone cooks for everyone, except they’re one of those people who doesn’t clean while they cook, so their friends have to toil away for a half hour after dinner while the chef sits there like a martyr. And while they’re cleaning, all the cleaners have to be like, “Wow, Josh, that was such a great meal! Thank you so much!” And I’m sitting there, scrubbing some pot, and I have to say this shit too, even though I hate Josh and everything he stands for.

31) When people say “on accident” instead of “by accident.”

32) When I'm having a bad golf day and people start complimenting my bad shots. You know you're having a bad golf day when your fellow players start complimenting your bad shots. When I'm golfing decently or well, people only say something when I actually hit a really good shot. But on a bad day, I'll shank a ball off the tee that goes 150 yards and slices into the adjacent fairway, and people are like, "Nice shot, Tim!" and I want to swing the club at their teeth. This is especially annoying if the person or people you're with have never seen you play decently before so they assume this is your best.

33) When people sneeze or cough without covering their mouths. Especially if that person has a cold. Videos like this make me want to move to Antarctica by myself.

More things that annoy me.


Anonymous said...

Typing like Pointer Sister
will comment later.

Ivanka Trump's fiance' ...

Anonymous said...

I burst out laughing at #2. Really spectacular.

Anonymous said...

when exactly are you moving to new york?

Anonymous said...

#33 Since you fly a lot, beware of airplane trays and seat pockets. I've seen people sneeze onto the tray (which virtually NEVER gets wiped down), then blow their nose and put the disgusting tissue into the seat pocket. UGH!!

w4gw4gewg34w said...


jake said...

you are such a feisty, frantic curmudgeon.

Nat said...

Wait a minute Timothy. Isn't #9 a little like #16? You want others to pronounce Barack's name the way that he pronounces his name, so why is there a difference when pronouncing Latin American country names? Shouldn't they also be pronounced the way that the countries as a whole pronounce their own names?

-Douchebag that pronounces Latin American country names as they would be pronounced in Latin America

Newman said...

Ditto to #13.

Loved the coughing video. I need to show that video to my middle schoolers. You should see the one we show now that actually ranks (Olympic style) how people cover their mouths.

SarahD said...

you are starting to be something that annoys me. you used to have great posts, get off the bitchy complaint list and post something interesting! anyone can write lists of things that annoy them, you're better than this tim.

Jen said...

Wrong wrong wrong.

Anyone can write lists of things that annoy them, but not anyone can make me laugh out loud 12 times while I read them. Tim's lists are the best.

Anonymous said...

Re #2 : Hasidic Jews - they're not as unfriendly as you think. In my experience, they can be quite friendly and intelligent...

And besides, I think any kid would be quite suspect of a stranger who decides to take their picture, especially as these kids are brought up in a pretty sheltered community, with not much interaction with people outside their community!

Regardless, they do treat outsiders with suspicion - but it's not necessarily "unfriendliness"...and the way they're covering their eyes in this picture looks quite contrived - are you sure you didn't ask them to put their hands on their faces ;)

By the way, depending where you live in NY, you might be bumping into them quite often!

Meghan said...

Ugh I had a Hasidic landlord when my stove broke during Passover. That week of sandwiches was awesome.

The poisonous line can be fixed by selecting it, going to "Formats" and then, under Borders and Shading, selecting "None" under the Borders tab. I learned this after getting violent with my computer over poisonous line frustration.

Anonymous said...


If you asked for TABASCO sauce, you might actually get it now and again...

Mr Abdullah Ibrahim said...

Are you in need of Urgent Loan Here no collateral required all problem regarding Loan is solve between a short period of time and duration more than 20 years what are you waiting for apply now and solve your problem or start a business with Loan paying of various bills I think you have come to the right place just 2% interest rate. Contact Us Via.email: abdullahibrahimlender@gmail.com
whatspp Number +918929490461
Mr Abdullah Ibrahim