Are you annoyed by people?


Or are you just an annoying person…?

The pandemic has given new meaning to the term “veiled comment.” The only advantage of social distancing has been mandatory mask wearing. Why? Because it allows you to mask your contempt. A female can now nod at a supercilious mansplainer while enjoying a secret smirk. Staff can lip curl at condescending comments from a conceited boss. A cavernous yawn at a rello’s long-winded anecdote also now goes blissfully undetected. Thanks to masks, bullies, braggarts, numb-skulls and name-droppers now have no idea that they’re annoying the tooth enamel off us.

Humans have a bad habit of being annoyed by other people’s bad habits. But it’s been especially bad during this last 18 months. I honestly thought the pandemic would bring out my more compassionate, tolerant side, but no. I’m finding it increasingly hard to hide my disdain for all those self-satisfied people who are being positive about lockdown and constantly insta-gramming pictures of homemade bread or their artfully arranged Marie Kondo-ed closets or the upcycled sofa they’ve just reupholstered in their own armpit hair.

Even more annoying are the patronising types who drone on about the constructive ways in which the Pandemic has made them re-evaluate their priorities. “With so much more time on our hands, we’ve taken to smoking our own trout – <so much more nutritious and delicious>.” “Half a stone has just fallen off me; I think it’s giving up alcohol and only drinking water thrice-filtered through a Nordic glacier.” “Unable to travel internationally, we’ve using the time to rekindle our passion for the Kama Sutra.”

Those who aren’t going around the World in 80 Lays are mastering Sanskrit or re-reading all of Proust – “but this time, in French”. It’s nauseating. But it’s even worse when they enthusiastically attempt to recruit you. For once and for all, I do not want to run a marathon. I only intend to run that fast if I’m in the path of a steaming lava flow. Nor do I want to do a Yoni egg workshop on a yoga deck – not without a monocle for my third eye. All this endless accomplishment makes me want to tell people that I’m spending my spare time suckling demons at the bidding of the Dark Lord. Achievers who exceed the Recommended Daily Allowance of Smug really should be strung up by the nipples till, oh, about the next millennium.

Even more infuriating are the furloughed friends whom you know get up at the crack of noon, but then spend all afternoon face-timing you about how busy they are. Zoom meetings have also become a very ripe area of annoyance, mostly due to curated backdrops of Booker Prize novels, ethically sourced ethnic rugs or casually draped Toy Boys. Equally annoying is the meaningless waffle. ‘Thinking outside the box’ , ‘touching base’, ‘It’s on my radar’ and other clichés, make other zoom-attendees cringe. In short, using a phrase like ‘It’s a no-brainer’, proves you don’t have one; and describing something as a “win-win situation’ – automatically means you lose-lose. I would also like to point out to lingo-lovers that ‘at the end of the day’ is only one thing – night. “Giving 110 per cent’ – is also mathematically impossible and will get you sacked from your accountancy firm, forthwith. Cliches shouldn’t be touched with a ten foot pole. And don’t you dare take that idea and “run it up the flag pole to see who salutes.”

As humans spend more of our lives with work mates than loved ones it’s clearly important that when the world goes back to normal and and we finally head back into the office full time, we should try not to irk each other so much. Although there’s no forgiving the groin scratcher who then shakes your hand. Or the pongy colleague who kisses you with not just plaque but plankton on his teeth. And let me just say to the office ‘clown’ who is never funny – “Knock Knock….I’m sorry, buddy, but you seem to be in the wrong joke”. The inappropriate dresser who flashes side boob or bum cleavage by the photocopier, even my shock proof watch is embarrassed. Nor can we exonerate the dieters who only drink one mocha vegan pea milk crappuccino a week, yet keep going on about how ‘fat’ they are. The fact-regurgitators, the money borrowers, the groper who corners you in the lift with the words “I’m single and ready to mingle”; that new guy in Human Resources who is really bloody annoying but I’m not quite sure why…you’re all on probation. But then again, is there anything more annoying than someone who points out all the annoying habits of other people, without noticing any of her own?…

Please put on your mask before replying, cheers, Kathy xx

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