Some things make me see red. Not in any particular order, here’s the list. It is not exhaustive, merely a random set that I can unfortunately recall right now.
1. Ring back tones. It is seriously impolite to force a caller to listen to something that the caller may not like. As a matter of policy, when I get a ring back tone that is anything other than “ring, ring”, I just hang up. As far as possible, I avoid talking to stupid people. Having a ring back tone is a good way of warning people that one is stupid.
2. Music while on hold. Related to the previous peeve. Most of the time one cannot avoid being put on hold. I am pretty confident that sometime in the future, companies will figure out that it is better to cut out the muzak and just make a simple announcement like, “You are on hold. So that you can continue to do other things while on hold, we will not play any distracting music. You will hear a ping tone every 15 seconds to indicate that the line is active. Thank you.” Stupid companies force people to listen to muzak while on hold. I avoid stupid companies if I can.
3. Ever since Google released gmail with the little “Beta” perched on the logo, it seems that every company releasing any internet related service has to stick a “beta” on its logo. A bunch of mindless sheep.
4. Elevators that announce which floor it arrived at. It is stupid to do a thing merely because it is cheap to stick a microprocessor in a device. Some thought should go into figuring out whether it is actually of any value or not. It took me months to get the floor-announcement fixed in the set of elevators in my office building.
5. Muzak on planes. It’s worse than snakes on a plane. The most offensive is a wailing saxophone. Jet Airways is an offender in this regard. I make it a point to write a polite note to the president of the airlines telling him or her that it is stupid and mindless.
6. Another noise related peeve: the loudness of car horns. It is high time that the auto companies in India figured out that loud horns are not necessary on Indian cars. Most car horns are audible a kilometer away, when most of the time you need something sufficiently loud to alert people within a few meters. Note to Ratan Tata: Please keep the horn very soft on your Nano.
7. Public access doors that don’t open out. This is a safety hazard. If you have to pull the door towards you to exit, it is a trap if there is a rush to get out.
8. Elevators that don’t explicitly indicate which floor is the street level. In the US at least, all elevators have a prominent star next to the button for the street level. This is worth emulating.
9. Banks and other establishments where people wait for service not equipped with a token facilitating queuing. It is silly to have to stand in line when the order in which service will be provided is easily ensured with a little token.
10. People who litter. Out of cars, buses, trains. In any public space. This is a big one issue and deserves its own blog post. You have been warned.