Friday, August 10, 2007


(Each "Question of the Week," an idea which I gleaned from A Republic If You Can Keep It, will remain toward the top of the blog until the next question appears, typically for one week although a longer interval may elapse from time to time. The previous Questions of the Week are HERE. Please scroll down for recent postings)

One of the regular features at the Washington Post is "What Bugs Me." From the blurb at the Washington Post:
Life is full of little annoyances. Sometimes they are of the two-legged variety. Often they are faceless institutions, dubious policies or things that just refuse to work right.
Readers write in and communicate some of the little annoyances which drive them nuts. HERE, HERE, and HERE are a few examples. I particularly enjoy what people had to say in that last link!

One example from the first of that group of links:
Gratuitous Expressions of Gratitude: No, Thanks

Maybe you've heard from dozens of readers bugged by being thanked in advance, but like campfires in the woods, this trend can't be doused and stomped on too often.
Whether explicit ("Thanks in advance for your contribution!") or implicit ("Thank you for not smoking"), advance thanking says one or more of the following:

"We take it for granted you'll comply with our rule or request, so why waste a 'please'? We'll just calm you with a 'thanks.' "

"Your contribution probably won't be important enough for us to acknowledge or even remember, so accept our gratitude upfront."

"I'm really too busy to keep track of whether you do what I ask, much less send an individual reply."

"Our studies show that customers respond favorably to being thanked, so we decided to do it now while you're still making up your tiny mind."

I once had a rubber stamp made reading "Thank You For Not Thanking Me In Advance" but soon realized that if advance thankers didn't understand why their practice might offend me, they wouldn't get the stamp message, either.

Although I appreciate your having read this, I hope you'll understand if I don't thank you until after it actually runs.

-- Robert L. Miller, Washington
Not all letters are as long as the one above.

If Mr. AOW were to speak his mind as to what bugs him, his first pet peeve would be "Drivers who don't use their turn signals, or use a turn signal and make a turn in the opposite direction."

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What little annoyance drives you over the edge? Feel free to name more than one. I've been thinking about my answer and will post it later in the comments section.


Bookmark and Share
posted by Always On Watch @ 8/10/2007 02:00:00 AM