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Category: Things I’ve Seen

Things that I’ve seen.

Once Upon A Plane

Stress Producing


Flying and airports..just thinking about it can cause us stress. So much has changed in the past several years. Once upon a time we didn’t have to worry about security, concern ourselves with the weight of our suitcases or think about how many ounces of liquid we had in our purse. We didn’t choose our shoes based on how easy they are to remove while going through security.

We didn’t choose an airline based on whether we were going to have to pay a baggage fee or not. Of course we felt confident that if we checked our suitcase, it would be waiting for us at the end of our destination in the same condition in which we checked it. We certainly didn’t feel like it was necessary to plan our air travel snacks, because the airlines offered some fairly good options.


If we were frequent business travelers, or just wanted to splurge to sit in “first class”, we could afford the increased ticket costs to do so. Boy times have changed. Most of us can remember when meals were freely offered, no matter which seats you were sitting in. Now mind you, they weren’t gourmet, but one could always manage to find a bite or two of this or that, enough to hold you until you arrived at your next layover or destination. Gradually, those meals changed to tiny bags of mini pretzels, peanuts or a Lorna Doone shortbread type of cookie if you were lucky. We could at least still count on our signature flared, clear plastic cup with 6 mini ice cubes and the beverage of our choice, and on some airlines, could even snag the whole 12oz. of pop.

For Your Flying Comfort..

movie on plane


I can vaguely remember when customer service on any airline was the priority. Yes, airlines were about making money, but they seemed to really care about our comfort, or did I just dream that? I suppose as airline budgets shriveled, so did the idea of passengers as the priority. When taking my first international flight, I remember thinking how cool it was that I could actually watch and listen to a movie on an airplane. Wow. But there just seemed to be something incongruent about the luxury of watching a movie with earphones which left my ears very sore for days afterward. Or listening to only parts and pieces of the movie because of the inevitable static in one of my “free” ear-buds, or the battle to keep them in my ears at all. It wasn’t too bad if you were among the lucky part of the population whose ear canal could accommodate the wide base of the cheapo earphone design. At some point, I had to pay money for the privilege of using those sub-standard ear-buds. And I even thanked them for the opportunity.

cheapo earbuds big ear canal

The Perks Of Flying

Not long ago I had an occasion to fly to a different state for a family wedding. The total trip duration was approximately 3 to 3.5 hours. I didn’t check prior to the flight, but had the expectation that I would likely be served a drink and snack. After arriving at our cruising altitude, I busied myself with my reading material. Periodically, I would look around to see where the flight attendants were & whether the refreshment service had begun yet. And sure enough not long after, I saw the flight attendant come through with a large, gleaming smile and a bag.

I wasn’t quite sure what she was doing until she came a bit closer. I realized that she was moving through the cabin and offering passengers the opportunity to throw away any garbage they might have. Hmm, I thought to myself that this seemed a bit odd since we had not been served yet. I decided that perhaps they did not have time to fully clean the cabin before the passengers embarked on plane for their flight. No worries. I continued to read.

Inflight Bites Anyone?


Periodically, I would look up and around to see if orders were being taken or how close the attendants were to arriving at my seat. In another half hour or so, here came the smiling attendant, again offering the garbage bag for anyone wishing to donate. This stuck me funny and I thought to myself.. this is really strange, we haven’t been offered any refreshments to generate any trash yet.



On the attendant’s third run through the aisle, I thought that maybe I was being “punked”. Here she came again with her gleaming white toothed smile, graciously offering the refuse bag with her plastic gloves on. I didn’t see any cameras..but what the hell? No cookie or peanuts even?! Truly, it was the most efficient non-service I had ever received on a flight. I wasn’t mad as much as it struck me funny. Why not just ask the passengers to release their seat belts and each clean their own space?!

As the plane door opened upon our arrival, there was our friendly attendant at the door. With her commercial-worthy smile, she thanked us for flying with her and said that they enjoyed having us…really? I’m not used to that kind of hospitality…I’m not sure I believed her. Well at least we were safely brought down (in more ways than one.)

Buh Bye (1)

False Expectations

Let’s be clear. There are no travel frills or extras on a plane ride anymore, unless you can afford to pay for them. We all know where we stand (or sit as it were.) We have now been fully conditioned to expect nothing..not even great customer service. In fact, when we get it, such as a funny joke on Southwest Airlines, it is an unexpected surprise..and the only one we don’t have to pay for.

The Lesson

Plan ahead. Take your own drinks, snacks and sanitary neck pillows. Airlines will, if you are lucky, get you to your destination by the time that is printed on your ticket. Expect delays, expect hassles, expect airline personnel who have previously been beaten down by angry passengers to be totally emotion-less to see you. In the event that these expectations are un-met and you have an enjoyable flight, consider yourself lucky. And thank you for flying the friendly skies. Ya’ll come back now, ya hear!



Cattle Call At The Mall Ya’ll..

Never Fails

Time for another one of Sandy’s pet peeves. I don’t know what having pet peeves  (or more so writing about them) says about me as a person. Does it say that I’m an impatient person with little tolerance for others? Maybe it indicates that I need to just slow down and relax..or as my kids might say, “be chill”.  Oh well…might as well get it out of my system until next time.

I will apologize for my visual terminology right up front and ask that no one take offense at any resemblance of my imagery.

Mall Cattle

Family shopping in mall
Spread Out In Red Rover Formation

I rarely go to the mall these days, probably because Amazon Prime has become my best friend. But when I do, I can always count on (what I call) the Mall Cattle to appear. What’s that you ask? People. It’s not just any “people”. It is the group(s) or cluster of people who have all of the time in the world. They are not in a rush. They trod along like cattle making their way to the food trough. But unlike cattle they move in a horizontal line (similar to the one we created when playing ‘Red Rover Red Rover’ at recess in grade school). That is, they spread out making a human-like fence that extends almost the entire width of the mall isle, oblivious to the lone person(s) trying to squeeze between them to get by. The occasional cattle call is not a problem, but at holiday time, with large crowds…more cow bell.

The Mall Stall

Mall Stall
Mall Stall In Multiple Areas

Of course the only thing worse than the slow moving cattle group shuffle, is what I call the Mall Stall. A Mall Stall occurs when one or more people in the group stop while the group attempts to make a decision of some sort. Unsure of the choice that needs to be made, a dialogue of the merits or other considerations is had right then and there regardless of the rude traffic jam it causes to others in the vicinity.

The Mall Tech Check

Mall Tech Check
Better Answer This

Common to both individual and group cattle is the Mall Tech Check where everything must stop for one or more members to check their with-body tech devices. This check is not limited to a read-only viewing. It may include multiple messages and may involve rapid text messaging responses that can’t wait until mall business is finished. Further, this frequent tech check removes the viewer from his/her reality of all space and time, much the same as a Mall Stall in which others may be unable to pass within the same mall isle vicinity. Mall Tech Checks are made frequently and by multiple offenders.

The Mall Meet & Greet

groups of people
Meet & Greet

Also known as the Mall Reunion, this event takes place when one group of cattle unexpectedly shuffle into the path of another known cattle group and gridlock happens. All cattle begin to greet each other and chew the cud regardless of how jammed up the area becomes. This often happens on Friday or Saturday nights when the calves have been allowed to leave their home for mall grazing.

The Mall Selfie Stop

Better Take A Selfie

I can’t forget the unexpected Mall Selfie Stops. Cell phone makers have ensured that everyone with a cell phone now has the ability to take a “selfie”. This selfie activity is popular no matter where one goes, including the mall. This event typically occurs when one, two or a few find themselves in what they perceive as an impromptu mall photo op and are urgently driven to upload the image to social media. This behavior can lead to sudden stops and potential collisions.

The Mall Walkers

Mall Walkers

At every mall everywhere, are mall walkers. These are the healthy people that choose to fast walk the entire mall footprint multiple times at various times of the day. They are sometimes by themselves, but may also be found in small groups. While a mall walker’s pace is typically far preferable to a cattle group, they are conditioned to walk the same exact path and may create a temporary dodge dance when they encounter another individual. They are serious about their walking agenda, counting their laps in their heads and don’t like to be interrupted.

The Mall Meet-Up

Mall Meet Up

Centrally located and usually in the food court, one frequently finds groups of cattle grazing  while they wait to meet the other heifers who are expected to join the group. While they chew the cud waiting, they par-take in a bit of cattle watching. They size each other up for markings and tattoos.

So Now You Know..

So now you know why I prefer online shopping. It wasn’t always like this. I used to be one of those active cows. I will chalk it up to being a busy person who works full-time with a limited amount of time to run errands and get things done. Going to the mall is not as fun as it used to be. I end up more tired and exhausted than anything. And I avoid them at all costs during holiday time. So there it is…you now know my mall pet peeves. Perhaps I need to do a little cow tipping. Hmmm.


Happy Shopping Ya’ll!