…and a PEEVISH Friday to you, too

Do you remember your high school yearbook questionnaire? I remember a lot of the questions on mine, including being asked about best moments, most embarrassing moments, my last will and testament (high school-wise, or something to that effect) and my pet peeve(s).

Two Book Crossover 11.13


I don’t recall what my pet peeves were, but I do remember memorializing a least favorite teacher in my last will and testament, willing her a mask, a personality and a teacher’s guide. Yes, I was persuaded to change it; I really wasn’t a mean kid. As to my pet peeve? Not only do I not remember it, but I can’t even find my yearbook to look it up, and to try to remember who some of my new Facebook friends and acquaintances were. Now, that’s a relatively new pet peeve – not that I needed any additional ones.


It’s shaping up to be a very peevish Friday. Just 20 or so hours after my latest dental appointment…after about six years between such appointments, I am now getting about four cavities filled (each visit) and await multiple appointments for a root canal…my mouth still feels like crap, and I’m coming off another night with four hours or less of real sleep.

When I woke up from my near-slumber, I decided that I would rant about a favorite pet peeve of mine: the lack of common courtesy in communication, when it’s so freakin’ easy to communicate nowadays. Makes no sense to me, but first…

I recalled that I had promised a friend that I would look over his web copy, and make various suggestions. I spent well over an hour on it (perhaps, from 5:30 to 7 am)…and I work fast…and emailed him a bunch of improvements. At least, I thought I had. I noticed that I had sent him an old file with none of my morning’s brainstorms included. That’s easy enough to rectify. I forwarded that email with the correct attachment, only that attachment seems to have disappeared. Yep, I’ll either look for it or try to recreate my brilliance later.

One further point to this short digression on this highly peevish Friday morning. While I can, and have, charged for editing and writing web and marketing copy, and I’m worth more than I charged, I offered to do this for free. That’s not a pet peeve in and of itself. I did make the offer in good faith. At the same time, it’s becoming more difficult to give away time and money. And yes, it’s not lost on me that I continually postpone updating this very site.

…But back to one of my present pet peeves: the lack of common courtesy in communication, when it’s so freakin’ easy to communicate nowadays. Is anyone feeling this one, or am I somehow out of step with this world?

Here are three examples from the last week or so.

Scenario One (and not an egregious violation): I mentioned to someone at a meeting that I would provide a link to something she may be interested in. She reminded me later that evening (which I didn’t need, but appreciated) and I sent her the link. I’m still waiting for an acknowledgment. Even a quick “Got it – thanks” would have been just fine. How long does that take, anyway? She seems to be a very nice person, but I file this as one of many examples of somebody getting what they need, and just moving on without even an acknowledgment.

Scenario Two: I received an email from someone who saw one of my (old) columns for a site I used to write for (from about September, 2011 to February, 2013). He said he was interested in writing for the site, even if unpaid, and asked if he could send me some samples. He was looking to build his portfolio. I wished him the best of luck, and in a short paragraph, pointed him to the site’s owner, who I also copied. No, I haven’t heard from either of them since.

Scenario Three:  John (an alias) is someone I know to some extent from an organization that we are both active in. I’ve known him from various conferences and training sessions over a few year’s time and he emailed me requesting an endorsement for him as a candidate for a leadership position (in case the election is competitive). I read the other endorsements from his site, and wrote him the type of endorsement that I would like to have received if in that position. It was generous in what I could attest to, without having to lie about things. After posting this to his site, I emailed him to let him know that I had done so.

Yes, I’m still waiting for any kind of response. Certainly, my effort deserved at least an “I received it. Thank you so much.” Perhaps, this would have taken a minute, maybe two, to respond to my email. Even a stinkin' text…and I’m not big on texting…would have mollified me.

So, I won’t analyze this trend much further, but will only ask (rhetorically) if we are truly living in totally selfish, self-absorbed times. It’s easier than ever to communicate, and to even spell and use words more accurately than ever before; at the same time, most people absolutely suck at all three of these endeavors.

I’d like to leave this column on a more positive note, but am just not feeling the love right now. Don’t worry: This peeve shall soon pass, at least publicly.

Did I mention that I fantasized about getting a dog, just so I could call him “Peeve.” Hi, here’s my pet Peeve. Maybe not. Did I also mention that my/our only pet is a male betta fish, Splish, who is on some kind of hunger strike for reasons unknown to humankind? Sadly, he’s on his last fins. Which saddens me just a little, although I’m still sad over losing the only real pet I ever had in life, a beautiful cocker spaniel named Lucky who died before his sixth birthday, which was more than eight years ago. I loved him like I might love my own child. At least I thought so…

And then, I finally had a son about three years later, who I love a million times more. Not that Benny doesn’t give me any of his own pet peeves. My biggest complaint? He’s too damn much like me.

At least his teeth are much better than mine.

I’m not complaining.

(Matt Goldberg) is the author of five books and hundreds of eclectic, published writings. He is also available to help you craft the article, speech (and even book) that will help you best reach your intended audience. Contact him via matt@tipofthegoldberg for all inquiries.

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