I know I am in danger of sounding like a grumpy old woman, but there are two things I am finding particularly annoying at the moment and I thought sharing my annoyance may help me channel my irritation:
1. Mobile phones that play MP3's. What is wrong with a set of headphones? I am fairly annoyed with how rubbish the Apple headphones are that come with iPods, as you can usually hear what the person is listening to if sat next to someone on the train/bus. However, recently I have discovered that the new trend is to listen to mp3's on mobile phones without bothering with the headphones. It happened on the bus in London quite a lot. Now it is happening here in Wolverhampton/Birmingham too and it is driving me mad. I can even hear it when I have my earphones in. AGH. I feel like I need to have sets of earphones to give out. How do I make them stop? I wouldn't mind so much if the sound wasn't so completely awful.... It makes even "good" music sound atrocious.
2. Smoking. Ok, I have always been annoyed with people smoking, but I hate the fact that no matter where I am at the moment I seem to constantly have smoke blown in my face. At my old job all of the smokers used to stand outside the staff entrance to smoke. Walking in or out of the office meant you had to dodge the smokers. It is not as bad here, but outside the office is still smokers corner. Today, at lunch, I was sitting on a bench by the cathedral when a woman sat down beside me and started smoking, blowing the smoke in my face. I guess they don't realise how disgusting it is to a non-smoker.
I need to think of something polite but firm (and maybe clever) to say in these situations which will make people stop and think about what they are doing. Any ideas?