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5 weird things that annoy me (and probably you, too)

We all have pet peeves or things that other people do that just irk us. Walking on campus is a daily struggle for me because I often find myself sighing at strange or rude things people do. There are certain things that simply perplex me and that need to stop immediately.

  1. Talking on your phone…with headphones?

I really don’t understand this at all. I often see people walking on campus with their headphones attached to their phone, and it seems like they’re talking to themselves–until I realize they’re holding a conversation on the phone. I’ve seen only one practical reason to do this.

One day, at a computer in the Bonnie, I realized a student next to me was talking on the phone while typing-with both hands. He was only able to do this because his headphones were plugged into his iPhone. To me, this was a very practical way to keep your conversation private but continue working.

Unfortunately, most of the time people are walking or even riding the bus. It’s so easy to hold your phone up to your ear while you’re walking or sitting. With your headphones in, it simply looks like you’re talking to yourself.

  1. Inappropriate interactions with other people’s dogs

It almost never fails: every time I walk my dog Roxy, someone calls  or whistles to her. This wouldn’t bother me if it weren’t for the fact that Roxy is very easily distracted. One day, a passenger in a truck whistled to her and said something like “DOGGY!” Roxy proceeded to nearly rip my arm off in excitement as she lunged towards the truck, dragging me behind her. The passenger laughed as the truck drove away. Until the truck was out of her sight, Roxy continued to try to find the voice that took interest in her. This is incredibly rude because you never know what a stranger’s dog is like. Some dogs may not notice you at all, but this seemingly minor thing can make a simple walk a lot more frustrating.

I also witnessed an odd scenario at the dog park one day. It was warm, so there were plenty of dogs running about. Two gorgeous Siberian Huskies with blue eyes and pretty coats received a lot of attention. As the dogs ran and played, other dog owners in the park watched the dogs and would even pet them when they came close–which is perfectly acceptable. Then, I noticed something that I found odd. Two girls walking by the park stopped outside the fence. They didn’t have a dog with them, so they didn’t enter the dog park, but they watched one of the huskies as it ran about. The girls called to the dog and as other dogs ran to their voices, so did the husky. The girls proceeded to snap a couple of pictures of the husky and made comments about how pretty and cute he was.

This would be normal if they knew the owner of the dog. However, in my brain, snapping a picture of a complete stranger’s dog from the outside of a dog park fence is a lot like taking pictures of animals at a petting zoo–only creepy. Dog parks aren’t petting zoos or “cat cafes”. Dog parks are safe zones where dogs can interact with other dogs and run free without worries about running away. If someone walked up to me while I was walking Roxy and asked to take a picture of her, I’d likely be okay with it. But for someone to take a photo of a dog whose owner they don’t know, without said owner’s permission, is kind of creepy. I’m sure if the owner noticed the girls taking pictures he or she was probably not bothered by it, but I think it just goes to show that people have no filter for their actions.

  1. Foot-tapping

Almost all of us have gotten stuck next to that kid who can’t seem to sit still in class. As a person with ADHD, I realize it can be extremely hard to sit still in a boring class.However, as a person with anxiety, that extreme fast-paced foot tapping makes me nervous.

I was sitting in class one day when I realized the ground around me was vibrating. It was then that I realized the girl next to me was violently shaking her leg, probably out of boredom. The more I tried to ignore it, the more violent it seemed to get. This may seem like a dumb thing to get annoyed with, but I couldn’t focus on what the professor was saying at all. I’m a very fidgety person- I chew my nails, wiggle my toes and even scribble in order to satisfy my boredom. However, when other people fidget so violently and noticeably, my attention span goes completely out the window–and in return I start fidgeting.

  1. Chewing loudly in a silent library

I get annoyed when the library is completely silent and someone has to come break up the silence. However, loud chewing is a whole new level of annoyance for me.

Recently I found myself in the library, focused intently on either writing or studying. Just as I was getting into my zone, a girl sat at the computer next to me and started chewing no, smacking– her gum. Luckily, she was only there for a moment. However, later that same week I found myself in a similar situation on the silent floor of the library.

I was sitting in silence, cramming for an astronomy test, when a girl started chomping on some chips. She was easily 50 feet away from me, but I could hear every crunch and smack of her lips.

I think it’s common sense that you close your mouth when you chew, but the fact that we were on the silent floor of the library really didn’t help her case.

  1. Playing music in public

This is another one of those things that completely perplex me. Working in a restaurant, I’ve noticed several people playing their own music off their phone while eating. This is irritating to me because it obviously disturbs other guests. I’ve also watched this phenomena in the Bonnie while eating lunch. Headphones aren’t that much of an inconvenience, but loudly playing your music that others may not enjoy is pretty inconvenient.

We all have pet peeves, but there are ways to make life easier for those around you. By simply being aware that the world doesn’t revolve around you and that you’re sharing space with others, you can make someone’s day easier to go through.

Four things you learn after working in a restaurant

At the beginning of my sophomore year of college, I got my first job at a restaurant. Although I was reluctant, I needed money, so I had to get a job. This first restaurant job was in Blacksburg, right off Virginia Tech’s campus. After working there for 7 months, I was fed up.

You see, for those who have never worked in a restaurant, there seem to be a lot of things that people just don’t understand. Although I’ve never been a server (I’ve always been a hostess) there are a lot of things I observe servers battling with. As a hostess, there are quite a few things I’ve experienced firsthand that need to be addressed.

  1. There is a set system for seating

In both restaurants I’ve worked at, the seating chart is fairly simple. Servers each have their own sections. Each server has a “turn,” in other words, servers usually get seated based on what order they came into work. At my current place of employment, a few servers will come in at 4 p.m., a few at 5 and a few at 6. This way we’re not over-staffed when it’s slow early on in the afternoon. But the one minor flaw with this system is that the sections of the servers who come in later cannot be used.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried my best to keep servers in their prescribed sections, but it never fails, something has to go wrong. For example, a few days ago I came into work at 5, before the closing (6 p.m.) servers had arrived. A couple came in, and the server whose turn it was only had one table that needed to be wiped down. I told the couple to wait just a moment as I cleaned off the table. They both started looking around confusedly, as there were a few tables nearby that were perfectly clean. The woman asked why I needed to seat them at the table that needed to be cleaned when there were already clean tables. As I cleaned off the table, I tried to explain how the system works but the woman just scoffed.

In a situation like this, where it will only take a moment to clean off the table, I cannot comprehend why it matters so much. Sure, if the table had to be completely bused and wiped down I probably wouldn’t have made them wait so I can clean the table. But it takes about 15 seconds to clean a table. If you want your service to be good, don’t mess with the system.

  1. We have limited space
Working at a restaurant can be irritating. Graphic by Jilletta Becker
Serving at a restaurant can be irritating. Graphic by Jilletta Becker

It never fails that on Friday nights the restaurant gets busy. Families are winding down for the weekend and want to be able to relax and be served. During the school year, a lot of times big groups and teams will come to eat after a big game. But the thing that always seems to be hard to comprehend is that sometimes there’s no physically possible way to seat a large group together.

One night, at about 10:30 p.m. a woman came in and said she was going to be having a group of 12. Both of our big tables that can usually accommodate large groups were taken. I explained this to the woman and she said, “Do you not have anything we can put together?” I explained that the only tables that could be put together to fit them were taken as well. She looked around the store and said, “well it doesn’t look like you’re busy.”

The thing is, just because we’re not busy doesn’t mean we can still accommodate a group that big immediately. Especially a night such as where high school football games are being let out and several families decided to go out to eat right after.

Not only is timing for these bigger groups complicated, but sometimes we simply can’t fit a large group completely together. During the summer, a basketball team came in and asked to be seated together. There were going to be 25 people, so in the limited space we had, this was going to be impossible. You can’t always get your way.

  1. Small requests can be difficult to fulfill.

On a busy Saturday night, sometimes the smallest request can throw you off. As a hostess, sometimes there is a line going out the door of people who need to be sat. When I’m running back and forth, seating tables, grabbing menus and telling servers they have a table, it can be difficult for me to fulfill any extra requests.

Several times, I’ve been running through the store and a customer will flag me down. Even if I’m in the middle of something, I can’t ignore them. I’ll often be in the middle of a seating crisis and be asked for another cup of ketchup, or extra napkins. At my old job, it was very often that customers would ask me to put in an extra order of fries or a drink order. But as a hostess, I can’t even do those things.

As far as seating goes, picky seating is really difficult. I can completely understand when someone needs a table because getting in and out of a booth is difficult. But I’ve had customers say, “I don’t want to sit in the front,” or “I want to be somewhere quiet/cooler.” When it’s slow, these little requests aren’t hard to fulfill. But on a busy night, these little things can throw the whole restaurant off.

This goes back to the seating system. When someone asks for a booth and it’s a certain server’s turn, yet all they have is a table, I’m going to have to skip them. Sometimes this means someone else will get double-sat, if they’re the only one with a booth open. This can ruin no only your night, as the customer, but cause the server to not be able to tend to their tables at top efficiency. Therefore, you get bad service.

  1. There are rules

At both restaurants I worked at, there’s a rule that after 9 p.m. no one under 21 is allowed to sit in the bar area. When I say “bar area” I mean the area around the bar, including the bar. At my old restaurant, there was a rule that no child under the age of five was allowed in the bar area.

One night at my old job, a couple came in with their baby and asked if they could sit at the bar. When I explained the rule, they grinned at each other and walked into the bar area anyways. My manager had to go find them and explain the severity of the rule, especially because they were sitting at the actual bar with a baby carrier, which is a huge no-no.

The reasoning behind this rule is first, because they don’t want underage kids drinking. But second of all, especially with a little infant in a carrier, there is a risk that a glass could fall off the bar and onto their little head. There isn’t a bar stool made for baby carriers so obviously the glass catches a lot of momentum as it falls off the bar.

At my new job, a regular came in with his four kids. He asked to sit in the bar area, but because it was after nine and one of his children was only 18, I couldn’t let them sit there. As I sat them elsewhere, he grumbled, “I’ve been coming here for 25 years and not once have I ever had to sit away from the bar area.” I apologized, explaining that it was a rule at a lot of bars. He rudely scoffed, although his kids didn’t seem the least bit bothered by it.

Although I feel bad having to deny people of their one simple request, the rules are there for a reason. Some might seem egregious, but incidents have happened that have put these rules into place.

 

After working in the restaurant business for just over a year, I have a new appreciation for those who work in restaurants. I notice I’m a lot more friendly and understanding to servers when I go out to eat. I hope that those of you who haven’t had to work in a restaurant, reading this gives you a new appreciation for those who handle your food.

5 common assumptions about sorority girls

There’re a lot of assumptions that many people hold about sorority girls. In media we’re depicted as ditzy girls who are “like, so obsessed” with each other. That couldn’t be more untrue. We’re all very different individuals working toward a common goal.

  1. We all want to monogram EVERYTHING

I can’t lie; there are a lot things I want to monogram. But we don’t all have this uncontrollable urge to put our initials on everything. Some of us actually think monograms are tacky! This is actually a more southern thing than a sorority thing. Southern girls love monograms.

  1. All we do is party

This is definitely a hard stereotype to fight. Although I’m in a social sorority, we do much more than just party. We’ve raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for different philanthropies such as Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity, St. Jude’s and many more. We also have a very hard focus on academic excellence. Sororities and fraternities have minimum GPA requirements that must be met. We’re all also very involved in the community. Many fraternities sponsor roads and take time to clean them. In Alpha Sigma Tau, we do a street clean up once a semester at the crack of dawn, usually on a Sunday morning. We also hold a lot of events that make philanthropy work available for those who aren’t in Greek Life.

  1. We only date fraternity men

This is definitely not true. We aren’t a different species that only sticks to our own. Plenty of my sisters have boyfriends who aren’t in Greek Life. We’re just like any other girls, and although there may be some sorority girls who prefer to date only fraternity guys, most of us date whoever we like. It doesn’t matter if they chose to be Greek or not, as long as the attraction’s there.

  1. We squeal every time we see each other

I won’t lie, at the beginning of the school year, after I’ve gone three months without seeing my sisters, I do get really excited and will do the typical run-and-jump hug. But I have never been one to scream at the top of my lungs a blood-curdling squeal just because I’ve spotted one of my sisters.

  1. We’re “buying our friends”

This is one of the more harsh stereotypes we have to fight. We do pay a ridiculous amount of money to be in our sorority. But to say we’re buying our friends is a horrible assumption to make. Although I love all of my sisters, there are days where we have had enough of each other. We don’t always like each other. It’s more like joining a team than joining a group of friends. We’re all working towards a common goal. This goal is to be the best we can be and share in our mutual agreement that we need to work toward living up to our values.

Five things tattooed people are tired of hearing

Although I’m not particularly covered in tattoos, I often hear the same set of questions over and over. Although I love that people acknowledge my body art, sometimes hearing the same thing over and over can be very frustrating. So here’s a list of things that most tattooed people are tired of hearing. Continue reading Five things tattooed people are tired of hearing