Sunday #34: August 19, 2012 – How Hard Is It…?

A while ago (OK, to be honest, it was over a year and a half ago), I started a series of blog posts titled, “How Hard Is It….” The idea behind the series (OK, to be, honest, it only ended up being two) was to use the venue to vent about things that people do—or don’t do—that drive me crazy. The main reason these things drive me crazy is that they “seem to go against common courtesy and/or common sense [and] would be very easy to fix if people would only make a small effort.”

I intended to make the series a regular one and to add to it as I came across behaviours that are frustratingly senseless because all it would take is a minimum of effort—in some cases only seconds—to avoid them. Sadly, time got away from me, and I stopped blogging altogether for a while, so the series faltered.

The fact that I didn’t blog about these little irritants does not mean that I didn’t think about them. Every time one of these incidents happened, I would think in my head, “How hard is it to….” Over time, the list grew, and the repetition of the things on it began to drive me crazier and crazier. So, here, a little late, are some of those little aggravations that common courtesy and common sense would eradicate if only people would stop to consider others and think. This set deals mainly with traffic issues, but deep inside me are others waiting to get out. Maybe there’ll even be another installment of “How hard is it…” in the future, so I can finally make this a true series.

  • How hard is it to…

push the crossing light button at a marked pedestrian crossing? That’s what the lights are there for. If the safety consultants didn’t think that particular crosswalk needed lights, that crosswalk wouldn’t have them. How long could it possibly take to push that button and wait for the cars to stop? Less than half a minute, I’d guess. The whole process is for your safety, isn’t it?

If you don’t push the button, and I hit you with my car, then legally I’d be responsible. But the truth of the matter is that if you don’t push the bloody button, you’re taking your life into your own hands, especially if it’s dark or the roads are icy in winter, making it hard for me to see you and hard for me to stop. Isn’t your life worth those few extra seconds?

  • How hard is it to…

wait ten seconds until I pass you before you butt into traffic when there’s not a car anywhere behind me? Why step on the gas to cut in front of me and then go only ten kilometres/hour until you gain speed so that I have to jam on my breaks and slow down for you? It’s not like this is heavy traffic and that tiny space in front of me is the only one you can squeeze into for ages.

Right after me there’s nothing. You can get in behind me, and we can both go the speed we need to. No brake slamming. No slowing down. No interfering with each other’s progress in traffic. I mean, really, where the hell are you going in such a damn hurry that you have to get those two metres in front of me? Or is it just that you’re so self-absorbed you think you’re in the only car on the road?

  • How hard is it to…

wave “thanks” when I do you a favour in traffic? If there’s a long line of cars, and you’re trying to merge, it’s just common courtesy to thank me when I let you in. I had to slow down and consider your needs in order to give you space to proceed. I’d think you could spare a millisecond to show a physical gesture of gratitude in return for the time I just saved you. Instead of waiting to merge, you are now on your way, and I think you should show your appreciation. Or are you under the illusion that you are so bloody important that the world revolves around you, that I am obligated to let you in? Think again.

Well, I feel a little better about getting these off my chest. If you have any “How hard is it…” moments, please feel free to add them as comments.

To see the original two posts in the series—OK, the pair of posts—click here:

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