DO YOU HAVE A PET PEEVE? EVERYONE DOES…how about the idiot who leaves the seat up on the toilet in the middle of the night, or the person who parks so close to your car you can’t get out the door without banging his, (which at this point you want to do badly), or there is the person who walks their dog early in the a.m., so it can poop on your lawn, and said person thinks you’re not watching them thru a crack in the shade? Then there is the person who uses your drive as a turn around because they have driven too far, but instead drives on your wet lawn, leaving trenches in it for you to fill in with dirt and then grass seed. AHA!!!

We all know about the people who drive on the back roads at night, with their used tires in the back of their truck looking for a ditch to throw them into. Yep, sometimes it’s yours. There is also the rubbish removal company, who picks up your container, dumps it into the big truck and returns it to your drive with the lid open for rain and snow to fill, or throws it down on its side (because it’s windy) in the mud and dirt, so you can pick it up and get all covered in the stuff. Let us not forget, and this is one I didn’t know about until just lately, the handicap parking zones in a lot are drawn that way for a reason. The markers indicate that a person who is declared handicapped has the right to park between the blue lines, not on the blue diagonal lines, which are for unloading wheel chairs and other handicap equipment, so when you see cars parked this way consider the person ignorant because they have not read the information provided to them by the state when they received their permit, and if you see them doing it, do not be afraid to tell them so, you would be doing a public service.

Now a personal peeve of mine, clerks who say they will help you find something in the store, then take off like a jet to that very place, only to leave you hobbling along with your cane in one hand and purse in another. In the meantime you lose them and, if in the grocery store, you are standing there, half way around the whole store looking up at the sign above indicating what is in that aisle—in which case it is wonderful (as happened to me) when a nice looking, tall young man comes along, sees your in a quandary and asks if he can help you…”YES, you say, hoping he won’t take off like a rocket, “I’m looking for the tapioca, but can’t seem to find it. The giant wanders slowly into the aisle, spots it in the red and white box on the top shelf (which you could have not reached anyway) politely asks if this is what your looking for as he hands you the box, “yes, yes, thank you so much, you’re an angel,” I reply. “That I am,” he replies as he disappears down the aisle, and I never see the clerk again.

TIPS…this is a hot topic among many…I know I have listened to all the arguments, excuses, and ravings of how much to tip—the increase in the cost of living, the cost of food, cost of heat, water, cost of wait staff to drive to work, on and on and on. Some places include a 15% tip on your bill without telling you, and if you don’t look you pay twice the amount. All receipts now have a suggestion on how much to tip, starting with 18%. Hmmm, so in the old days it was easy—you just tipped 10% of the bill. We didn’t care that you lived in North Branch and worked in Imlay—that was your choice—but we do care about how you wait on us…key word here is WAIT staff. The question is, do I go by the cost of the meal? Should I eat cheaper, so I can tip less? Do I tip for the ambiance—a nice atmosphere does make one tip more, I think. I am in the group of people who are not rich enough to not consider all the facts above. I prefer to think of the cost of what I order, the swiftness of the waitstaff, the friendliness of waitstaff, the quality of the service. For instance, a waiter who does not ask what I want in a friendly manner, just states “what will ya have,” as he waits with pen in hand for me to reply— never offering to tell me of any add ons, not asking if I want water, not informing me the dish is spicy, no smiles, no how are you today—I AM THE CUSTOMER, I did not…force you to work here, force you to have a bad day, force you to drive 20 miles to a job, I am not responsible for your lifestyle or how many kids you have to feed. Do a really great job and I will tip really greatly. Don’t think for one minute that my income, or lack thereof, is not considered in the tip I leave. Maybe we should look at the owner—he hired you, if he wants to keep customers coming back maybe he should be sure to pay his good waitstaff what they are worth to him, not minimum wage, which makes people come back again and again ensuring his business will run smoothly.

Have you ever gone to a show, only to find the place almost empty, or people strategically seated so no one is close to them? Perfect—you can have any seat in the show and see the screen, but wait the lights go out and all of a sudden along comes the cardiff giant and his mate, AND THEY SIT RIGHT SMACK DAB IN FRONT OF YOU, doesn’t that just peeve you off?

I can’t continue this column right now I have to take a break, need a break, blood pressure is up just writing this…HOLY COW this just in…..wait till you hear who your supposed to tip next…you won’t believe it…stay calm until next Wednesday.

Contact Diane at tct@pageone-inc.com