Pet Peeves, An Incomplete List

  • When someone answers one question from an email that had four questions in it.
  • When someone replies to an email that had one question in it without actually answering the question, but to tell you something totally unrelated. It’s like they want you to know they got that email, but aren’t going to answer your question.
  • When people send you an calendar invite in Outlook and then email and say “I just sent you a calendar invite.” I know that, because you sent it to me. It’s *directly* below this email in my inbox.
  • The use of the word “solution” as a verb. “We don’t need to solution that in this meeting. We’ll just flag it and send it on the tech team to figure out how to fix it.” “Solution” is not a verb. In fact, we already have a verb for this exact purpose: “solve.” Glad I could solve this grammar problem for you.
  • When my Skytrain arrives at Waterfront Station at the same time as the Seabus. Seabus people are slow walkers and get in my way trying to get from Expo Line to Canada Line. The only thing worse than when the Seabus arrives at the same time as my Skytrain is when the West Coast Express arrives at the same time as my Skytrain. West Coast Express people make Seabus people look like Usain Bolt.
  • People who step onto the Skytrain or bus and stop the moment they are in the door, with no regard for the person/people who are right behind them who might also like to board that train or bus1 See also: people who stop walking abruptly with no indication that they are about to do so, right in the middle of a crowd who is getting off the Skytrain2
  • When someone responds to an email that is not the last email in a chain, so they are responding to old information that is no longer relevant/has already been answered later in the chain. Read the whole chain before you respond, dammit!
  • When someone sends you a calendar invitation with the event name that is only useful from their perspective. Sending me a calendar invitation called “Lunch with Beth” is really not very useful to me!3
  • People I don’t know trying to add me to LinkedIn, but not bothering to actually personalize the note. Using the boilerplate “I’d like to add you to my LinkedIn” tells me nothing. Why are you trying to add me? Do you want an informational interview and need to add me to LinkedIn to be able to send me a LinkedIn email? Did you read one of my papers or see a presentation and think it would be cool to connect? Did we meet at a conference 6 months ago and you are finally getting around to trying to connect (in which case, I probably don’t remember your name and face!)? Do you just want to add as many people as possible to your contacts list? If I can’t tell who the hell you are, I’m clicking “reject”, promptly followed by the “I don’t know this person” email.
  • The fact that LinkedIn won’t let me reply to people who are sending me invites to ask “Do I know you?”. Unless I pay them money.
  • The use of PowerPoint as a document . And when people project PowerPoint slides, but don’t actually use the slide presentation view, so the slide is smaller than it could be and all the menus for building PowerPoint slides after taking up valuable screen real estate. Especially when the font size on the slide is minuscule because you are using PowerPoint as if it were a document instead of a visual aid.
  1. I may have ran right into one of these people the other day as I jumped into the Skytrain car as the doors were closing. I said “sorry,” but I wasn’t really sorry. There was tonnes of room for her to have kept moving. []
  2. I actually once stepped on the back of someone’s shoe when they did this and their shoe came flying right off. It was an accident – I really did not expect them to stop directly in front of me – but I was not sorry. []
  3. Unless I’m having lunch with someone named Beth, which I’m pretty sure has never happened in the 38 years that I’ve been alive. []