Wednesday, May 14, 2003
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
The Chutzpah Files: Really Annoying People

While the practice of maintaining good karma dictates not speaking ill of others, the practice of maintaining sanity often dictates mentioning them (at least anonymously) in a blog. So, in the healthful interest of venting bilious humour, here are three examples of extremely annoying people I've encountered since Sunday. Normally this wouldn't merit a blog post, but three instances in as many days qualifies as a statistically significant cluster.

The Hair Emergency

This morning on the Metra train heading down to 59th street, a twenty-something woman diagonally in the row behind me proceeded to blast her 'do with hairspray for what seemed like two whole minutes.

On the train. In today's terror-twitchy atmosphere I'm suprised someone didn't start shouting, "poison gas! poison gas!"

The smell was gagging me, so in disgust I waved my hand in front of my face to dispel the alcohol- and perfume-laden cloud. Lady, you do that in a bathroom; not on a crowded commuter train, you ditz.

Ms. Moneybags Orders Tea

At dinner two evenings ago, a group of four (a middle-aged man and woman and a teen boy and girl) at our favorite vegetarian place on Broadway managed to yak through their entire conversation discussing nothing but money - i.e., complaining about how expensive their utilities are, how many million some building just got sold for, and how much their friends' salaries were.

When the older woman asked the waitress how much a cup of tea was ($2.00) the woman seemed astonished, and went on and on about what a ripoff it is to charge so much money for a cup of tea. "Just how much does a teabag cost you people? You're making two dollars here, two dollars there...ugh!" Mind you, these people weren't exactly hurting for money. I had seen them pull up in a shiny new black Mercedes.

Tacky, tacky, tacky. You're in a restaurant, not your Aunt Zelda's kitchen. If something's too expensive, don't order it, or don't patronize the restaurant again. If you're feeling bold, you can offer a "Gee, that's pricey. I'll pass." But I think berating the waitstaff for the price of items on the menu is about as effective as yelling at a checkout cashier because the price of melons went up: the person you're complaining to probably isn't setting the prices, and making a fuss over two dollars in public is just not a classy move. It's crass.

She reminded me of the psychotic paperboy hounding John Cusack in Better Off Dead: "I want my two dollars! TWO DOLLARS!"

Mr. Cellphone Puts His Money Where His Latte Is

And worst of all, last Sunday at our local Rogers Park Starbucks™ I was in line next to a silver-velvet-track-suited Jheri-curled cellphone junkie who screamed at the baristas because he had to wait for his latte instead of having it made the second he asked - he basically thought he was King Poobah, and wanted the whole place to stop for his damned vanilla-orange latte - and he was going to make a royal stinking fuss until he got it.

"You took my money, and now you tellin' me I have to wait? I can go someplace else and give them my money!"

Thankfully, to the two young female baristas credit, they told him in no uncertain terms that he would get his latte when his order came around - and that they had tried to talk to him but he couldn't hear because thoughout his entire tirade, he was on a call.

If he could only see he wasn't coming across as an in-control, dominant "playa"; what he looked like was a fool. What kind of man drinks a vanilla-orange latte, anyway? If you're going to be an @$$hole, order a red-eye espresso, black. Sheesh.