Is it just me, or has there been an increase in annoying behavior lately? Everywhere I turn there are people who display behavior which makes me cringe, scratch my head, or tear my hair out. I always wonder if the offenders know they’re committing these small acts of insanity, or if it seems normal in their worlds.
So how do you know if the rest of the world looks at you and thinks, “Wow, you suck!” There are the obvious things: abusive behavior, committing criminal acts, substance abuse. Then there are the things that should be punishable offenses (why isn’t eating Spam illegal yet?) but aren’t heinous enough to make the cut.
I’ve gone to the liberty of putting together a list of 50 guidelines we can all follow (hey, I’m not excluded) which will help bring our collective “suckage quotient” down a few notches.
- When trying on clothing put the clothes back on the hanger and bring them out of the room with you. Everyone who has ever worked retail thanks you.
- Stop blaming religion for your bigotry. If you hate gays, minorities, babies born out of wedlock, transgender individuals, or someone who has had an abortion it is totally on you.
- Use your manners. At minimum, say “thank you” once in awhile.
- Don’t drive in the fast lane if you want to go under the speed limit. That’s what the far right lane is for.
- Speaking of driving, don’t cut someone off and then slow down to a crawl.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- If your kid is screaming like someone who has been possessed by the devil, kindly pick the tot up and escort him/her out of the vicinity.
- Don’t scratch your genitalia, and then attempt to shake my hand.
- Wash your hands after using the restroom.
- Don’t put a political bumper sticker on your car. Do you know how ridiculous it is to see “McCain/Palin ‘08” on the back of your Volvo?
- Don’t take up all of the real estate in a grocery store aisle. Move over to the side while you decide between wheat or white bread.
- Pull up your pants already. I can assure you that nobody wants to see your underwear.
- Don’t ever wear sweatpants that have words like “cutie” or “juicy” written across the back of them. If you really must, get some that say “tacky” because that’s exactly what it is.
- Asking for someone’s honest opinion, and then getting defensive when they give it to you.
- Don’t talk about how fattening something is in front of someone who is eating that exact thing.
- Don’t abuse the privilege of wearing perfume or cologne.
- Stop saying, “No offense, but” right before saying something offensive.
- Men, trim your fingernails. This goes double for those of you who only have one long nail on each hand.
- Don’t ever drop the phrase, “Do you know who I am?” Yes, I do. You’re an idiot.
- Use your turn signal.
- Don’t be a crappy tipper. There are very few occasions when a waiter/waitress is so horrendous that they don’t deserve compensation for their service.
- Stop inviting your friends to play Farmville, Café World, Mafia Wars or any other ridiculous Zynga game on Facebook.
- If someone smiles at you, smile back.
- Just because you’re a morning person doesn’t mean everyone else is. Tone it down until the clock reaches double digits.
- While in the locker room at the gym, you are never to bend over while naked. Nobody should have to see your taint from that angle.
- Don’t be a “space hog” on an airplane.
- Stop honking while you’re in traffic. Do you think that 21st honk will suddenly make all of the cars disappear?
- Park within the lines.
- Using text lingo such as LOL, BTW, TTYL while holding a face-to-face conversation is grounds for dismissal from life.
- Abstain from sending absurd forward e-mails that almost always end in, “The love of your life will call you at midnight.”
- If you work in customer service you need to at least attempt to pretend that you care about the customer.
- Don’t complain about the things that are wrong in your life, and then choose not to do anything about them. Put up or shutup.
- Don’t be an ass-kisser.
- There is absolutely no need to be on your cell phone while you’re in the line at a grocery store, movie theater, or any general retailer.
- Speaking of the grocery store, don’t stand so close to the person in front of you in line. You’ll get your turn.
- Asking, “How are you?” just so you can talk about how you are is obnoxious.
- When calling customer support, have identifying information readily available so the person on the other end doesn’t have to spend 5 minutes listening to you rummage through paperwork.
- If someone is giving you instructions don’t ever say, “I know” while they’re talking. You and I both know you’ll be asking questions later about that thing you supposedly knew so much about.
- Bicyclists: you are not a car, nor are you a motorcycle. Stop acting like it.
- Getting extremely drunk and acting belligerently when you’re 21 is expected, but annoying. When you’re over 30 it’s just pathetic.
- Don’t allow your pets to use other people’s yards as a bathroom.
- Don’t get a pet unless you’re willing to commit for life. Animal cruelty comes in all forms, and returning pets is one of them.
- Stop talking about celebrities as though they are your friends. “Did you hear about Jennifer and Marc getting a divorce?”
- Don’t have children you can’t (or won’t) take care of.
- Being so anti-Democrat or anti-Republican that you’d rather “stick it” to the opposing team than find the right solution.
- Don’t blame your ethnicity for your legal troubles. You didn’t get in trouble because you are Mexican/African-American/Asian; you’re in trouble because you stole a car.
- Stop fake tanning. STOP.
- Unless you’ve never seen a garbage can, and don’t know what it’s used for, there is no excuse for littering.
- Don’t wear clothing which isn’t appropriate in the real world. Example: camouflage when you’re not in the woods or jerseys when you’re not at a sporting event.
- Drinking and driving is irresponsible. Bragging about it makes you a disgusting person.
By no means is this an all-inclusive list of behavior to avoid, but it’s a good place to start. I know some of you are saying, “Jen, these are little obvious. Do we really have to spell it out?” As someone who has had the same person sneeze on her, and then scratch his ding dong and attempt to shake hands, I can honestly tell you we do.
The More You Know campaign is a series of public service announcements which NBCUniversal puts out. The aim is to educate the public so that we can each improve our quality of life. This list is a little like that only then end goal is to improve the quality of others’ lives.
Print this list out and distribute it at work, at church, your racquetball game, to family members, or even to the person sitting next to you on the bus. Post it on Facebook. Tweet it out. Commission a skywriter to spell it out. When the recipient asks you what this is all about, look him/her sincerely in the eye and say, “Because you suck.”