#281 – When Peeves Collide

Pet peeves! Everyone has them, and I’m no exception. Alone, they’re annoying as hell. In combination? I’d always assumed that two nuisances at the same time mean double the aggravation. Yet surprisingly, one sometimes cancels out another, as I learned this morning.

One of my biggest personal irritants concerns pre-cleaner cleanup. As I’ve previously noted, my wife and I employ a maid service for our home. One morning, every two weeks, I’m tasked with tidying up the place before they get here. I’m supposed to remove clutter from countertops, stow away the dog’s toys, and empty the sink of dirty dishes, cutlery and glassware. Why, you ask? Not, as you might imagine, because my wife wants to make the cleaners’ jobs easier. Rather, because Sophia doesn’t want the crew to consider our house a pigsty.

Frankly, I could care less whether the cleaning service deems us slobs. I’m far more concerned with completing my own daily workload than I am with maintaining a reputation for cleanliness. For that reason, I detest tidying up for the maids, and I resent every minute spent in the process. I never bother to actually organize our crap so much as to simply rearrange the mess. For instance, I usually remove the mail pile from the kitchen counter and shove it in a drawer until the crew leaves. And when the dishwasher’s already filled, I temporarily store the soiled items under the sink. 

This leads me to another of my pet peeves: auto-renewals. Certain home service providers performing year round tasks automatically renew their contracts, unless they’ve previously received a written cancellation from the homeowner. That practice seems ass backwards, and it drives me nuts. In my opinion, without receiving a homeowner’s expressed authorization, a provider should have no right to presume its contract will continue from year to year. Take lawn treatment companies, for example. Though I contract with one of them for only a single year of weed-killing, the company never contacts me to ensure I want service for the next twelve months. Instead, I typically find an invoice tacked to our front door for the first cycle of a new year’s weed control, even though I haven’t requested it!

My exterminator also engages in the auto-renewal scam. Despite ordering only four quarters of pest control at a time, I’m always confronted by a technician’s unrequested fifth quarter of service, and bill! I’d grown so fed up with the practice that I planned to teach the company a lesson this year. When the exterminator arrived yesterday to perform the un-contracted fifth quarter of pest control, I intended to refuse payment. At least, that was my plan until the man informed me of our serious ant infestation … centered around the dirty dishes laying forgotten under the kitchen sink the past two weeks.

Pests treated annually … unless the homeowner cancels in writing

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