As I write this, I am sitting on a stakeout. I don't get to do many stakeouts anymore, so this is my little bit of fun for the day. If any of you have ever been on a stakeout, you will understand that I have a lot of time on my hands at this moment. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of a stakeout, it doesn't necessarily happen the way the television shows portray where they catch the bad guys within five minutes. This newsletter is meant to be light-hearted, fun and to put a smile on your face. You may not agree with some of these, but I venture to guess that most of you will find a few that belong on your own pet peeve list.
I titled this newsletter ‘The Sheriff's Pet Peeves'. The formal definition given is "A pet peeve (or pet hate) is a minor annoyance that an individual identifies as particularly annoying to him or her, to a greater degree than others may find it." So here is a list as I drink another cup of coffee and wait on the 'bad guy'.
Drivers: They make you want to pull your hair out ...
1. People who pull out to pass someone on a four lane highway, then drive in the left lane for miles and miles and will not speed up or slow down or get over so you can get by.
2. People who drive below the speed limit but will not pull over to allow the 37 cars behind them to go on.
Manners: I attend a lot of public events ...
3. People who walk up to me, shake my hand and ask me if I remember them? Or, for Karen, my wife, when she introduces herself and the other person says, ‘nice to meet you' without giving her their name.
4. People who clip their fingernails during funerals
5. People who continue to let their child cry at church, weddings, funerals etc. instead of taking them outside.
6. Kids or adults who wear a sports team ball cap turned backwards.
7. People who do not remove their hat or place their hand over their heart during the playing of the National Anthem.
Phones: I'm sure none of these bother you ...
8. A cell phone rings during a funeral or event. Then, someone else's cell phone rings. Wouldn't you check your cell phone after the first one rings?
9. People who answer their cell phone during a meeting or service.
10. People who leave voice mail messages that simply say to call you instead of also saying why.
11. People who leave a message with their phone number, but say the phone number so fast you have to play the message back two or three times to be able to write it down.
12. Calling someone and getting their voice mail and then hearing the computer voice saying ‘please leave a message after the beep. When you are finished you can press one for more options' What a waste of time; this is the 21st Century -- do the phone companies think I don't know what the beep means?
13. No cell phone service on major highways (e.g., twenty- minute dead zone between Yellville and Harrison, and Vermont...? Don't try to make a cell phone call on a Vermont Highway).
Shopping and Dining: Parking lots make for interesting observations ...
14. People who leave shopping carts in the middle of the parking lot when they are through with them.
15. People who are completely healthy who drive around the parking lot three or four times looking for a close parking space instead of parking, walking a little further and leaving the close parking spaces for those who might really need them.
16. People who park in a fire lane for thirty minutes waiting on their spouse to come out of the store.
17. When I pull up to a drive-up window, order a cheese burger and the person on the other end asks me ‘do you want cheese on that'?
18. Grocery and retail clerks who hand my change and receipt back at the same time. Let me put my change away and then hand me my receipt. I know they are just doing what they are trained to do but how about changing the training?
19. Employees at a restaurant who clean and vacuum next to you while you are still eating.
20. Motels that only put fat pillows on the bed.
Politics: The topic we all love to hate ...
21. Anyone who is in office or running for a political office who says they will always or never do something. That tells me that they have no common sense and that they forget they are supposed to represent and/or vote for the people who elected them.
22. People who praise an official, head of a company, or other person of authority and go on and on about how great they are or how good a job they are doing, but then turn on them in a heartbeat when they make one decision with which they disagree. They can agree 99% of the time, but disagree just once and look out.
23. People who want someone with experience to lead them but can't seem to look over past mistakes. Yet, it is those mistakes which many times grow great leaders.
24. When the Federal Government walks up and says they are here to help, then makes you fill out 100 pages of forms just so they can.
25. People who think the R or D behind someone's name makes them a good person or a bad person.
26. People who walk up to me and tell me what a great job I'm doing, best Sheriff they've ever known ... but then shake their head and say ‘I'm sorry I can never vote for you because you belong to the wrong political party'.
Organizations and Leadership: another episode from The Office ...
27. Five percent of the people of any organization do 95% of the work while the other 95% complain about what the five percent did.
28. People who have authority and constantly remind you they have that authority.
29. When asked why something is being done a certain way, the response is that it has always been done that way.
30. People who can't or won't make a decision ... give them the facts, let them analyze and then make a decision and stick with it. If you cannot make a decision, then get out of the way and let someone who can make it for you.
31. Bosses who won't empower their managers or supervisors to make a decision on their own.
32. People who always want to blame someone else or give an excuse instead of taking responsibility for their own actions.
33. People who ask my advice, then get mad when I give it. Don't ask if you don't want to know.
34. People who complain they never have any help, but get upset when you offer to help.
Law Enforcement: what you gonna do when they come for you ...
35. Parents who tell their kids at a restaurant that the big bad policeman is going to take them to jail if they don't eat their vegetables. Are they going out of their way to make their kids scared of the police?
36. Parents who try to use the police to make their kids mind or behave because they don't have the skills themselves.
37. Parents who look at law enforcement and say they know their child would NEVER lie to them so even though we have their child on video committing a crime, seven eye witnesses, have their fingerprints, shoeprints and DNA, their kid said they didn't do it, so we are wrong.
38. People who say they don't want to get involved, but get mad when the police can't solve their problem.
39. Monday morning quarterbacks. People who second guess a decision for two years for a decision an officer had to make in two seconds.
And finally ...
40. My wife's name is Karen - not the Sheriff's Wife.
I am sure Karen is shaking her head as she reads these and wondering why in the world she let me take the laptop, along with the popcorn, to the stakeout.
Sheriff John Montgomery