Okay, the holidays are past and the New Year is well underway, so I can wipe off my smile for awhile and talk about some things that bug me without fretting that I'll be called a party pooper.
There aren't many things to complain about, really, and much of what there is amounts to piddling stuff. Nevertheless, you always feel better when you talk about the things that drive you crazy, so here goes:
E-mail addicts. No, I'm not against e-mail, of course. It's the new way to communicate, it saves stamps, and I use it liberally myself. I'm not even agitated too much about spammers, or the hundreds of PR people who send useless press releases devoid of information across the Internet. It's certain other e-mail users who bother me, specifically the ones who send what they consider important messages, expect a response, and never think that if they don't get that response immediately maybe they should try an older technology, the telephone. I don't have the time to read and immediately respond to every e-mail message I get, and I suspect that you don't either. But some people with too much time on their hands expect immediate response anyway. When they don't get the response, instead of calling to see if I even got the e-mail, they'll send another electronic message, which I won't answer immediately either.
Telephone phobics. Cousins of the e-mail addicts, they are the people who can't bring themselves to pick up the phone to make a live human connection, even when you ask them to call you. Twice last week, I called different people to make appointments, got their voice mail, and asked them to call me back. They didn't. They e-mailed me instead. They're probably wondering why I haven't answered their e-mail.
Voice mail fanatics. These are the people--and companies--who hide behind their voice mail systems. If you have ever called a company and been shuffled through multiple layers of recorded messages, never to talk to a human, then you can understand the aggravation.
Apparently, all of these people can't bear the thought of actually communicating live and in person with another human. Maybe they should take a course in human relations. Over the web, of course. †