Can I rant today? Good. Lately it seems like the same annoying things keep getting under my skin so to get them out of my system and move on, I’m airing my grievances. Maybe you can relate?
Pet peeves I need to get off my chest
Ever have a bunch of little annoying things happen in quick succession? Maybe in your professional, family or personal life? Or maybe one big thing and a few little things. Just enough moments to build up into something really stressful where you just want to go nuts on a punching bag? (I like BODYCOMBAT for that reason.) I have lately and I’m letting it all out today.
I wrote this rant over a month ago so please take it with a grain of salt. I’ve written this more for me, as a way to get all this off my chest and out into the open so I can let it go and start fresh. A rant here and there does a body good. 😉 I’m generally a pretty content person but every now and then you have to get this stuff out. Feel free to join in down in the comments!
Everything is such a chore in France.
I mean it when I said the easiest thing to do in France is to buy a baguette. From our recent car trouble on a Sunday to exchanging a sandwich I bought 30 seconds earlier for a different kind (after realizing there was something I was allergic to in it, really this happened at a rest stop the other day) to even printing business cards and scheduling a courier pickup, it seems that France just doesn’t make things simple. Maybe I’ve just been unlucky and run into people who complicate things… but I don’t think so because it keeps on happening.
Let’s take my business card example. I went to a local printer and needed very plain business cards printed on a white background. One sided. They opened my PDF and told me the dimensions weren’t standard and that the file would be difficult to align, blah blah blah. I said OK well do what’s easiest for you size-wise as long as the cards are rectangular and all my info is on them when they’re done. They’re on a white background so they can zoom in or out or manipulate the file however they please as long as they’re rectangular business cards when they’re printed. Instead of just saying OK, they had to keep me there 20 minutes to explain their thought process behind how the designer would have to change the file and then how difficult it will be to resize, and how the guy who resizes is on vacation until next week. The woman verbalized every single thought that popped into her head.
Why not just tell the customer, sure no problem, and then handle the back end privately as a business? Seems ridiculous. These sorts of issues are normal. All you need to know about French customer relations is this. My mother-in-law made a bunch of phone calls for us to help with the car situation I mentioned above since she has a knack for finessing things. Every call to Nissan and the tow company started like this, “Hi monsieur, I”m so sorry to disturb you but…” Sorry to disturb YOU?? They’re doing their job, which is to help customers. If anything, the company with the faulty car should be apologizing to us.
People who don’t keep their word.
Look, I know life gets busy and stressful and sometimes we all mess up. We arrive late. We forget appointments. We don’t keep our commitments. If it’s once in a blue moon and not the norm, it’s OK. We’re only human. But when it becomes the norm? That suuuuucks and I hate when people blow you off. If you say you’re going to do something, do it! Don’t bail because it’s easier or because you’d rather watch TV or go to bed earlier or meet up with a friend. You only have your reputation and sometimes people’s first impressions of you are their only impressions of you. I’d rather hear, “I’d love to help you with that and will try my best to do it by next weekend but can’t commit 100%. I’ll get back to you Tuesday either way, OK” than, “Yup, I’ll do that by Saturday, no prob” and then silence. You’re not that busy.
People who don’t reply to emails.
I know we’ve all mistakenly deleted an email or starred it and forgotten about it. Or meant to reply and just lost track of time. Guilty as charged. So when the person I forgot to reply to emails me again to follow up, I apologize profusely and don’t make a habit out of not replying to people. The problem is when you make a habit out of flaking out. That’s not cool. Fix? Just reply. At work if a client emails about something you don’t have the answer to and need to check with someone first, at least reply and let the client know you’re checking something and will get back to them. Don’t just not reply and let them wait 2 extra days while you look into it. People are quite understanding when you keep them informed! But not saying anything? Just annoying.
People who treat every day the same and don’t celebrate anything.
I talked about French people and their scroogy Christmas attitude and in that same category are people who do nothing for birthdays and anniversaries. Life is a chain of days and if you don’t break the days up by doing fun things with those you love like baking cakes and having parties and going out to dinners and CELEBRATING LIFE, what the hell is the point of living? I’m not saying you need to go nuts on your half birthday and drop tons of cash, but when you get a new job or have an anniversary or birthday, why not live it up a tiny bit?
Not knowing the difference between workout and work out.
Listen, I’m not immune to typos and I’m far from perfect. We all make typos from time to time, but if you seriously don’t know the difference between a workout and work out in your native language and your job requires you to write about the two, maybe you should review these sorts of things before publishing your writing? A “workout” is a noun and should not be used as a verb! So I love to work out. I had a great workout last night. Know the difference!
Along with that is case in point. It’s not case and point. Saw that one recently on a blog. And even bloggers who dish out grammar advice mess up! I know this particular blogger has 2 living parents and will say I’m going to my parent’s house. NO! It’s parents’! And I know that’s not a typo because I’ve seen in 3 times! Ahhhhh.
Bonus: People who say “But you have it great, French healthcare is free!”
No, it is not. French healthcare is certainly not free and that common misconception is one that seems pretty widespread. I talk more about it in this post.