Category Archives: Pet Peeves

It jes’ doesn’t happen over night

Meaness jes’ don’t happen over night.*

I sometimes wonder whether the mean people I run into are “jes’ that way,” or whether they are “jes’ havin’ a bad day.”

Seems to me, if I label them ‘mean’ in my mind, it “ain’t them jes’ havin’ a bad day.”

AND! What’s extraordinary about people like this is — many of them either don’t give a crap about the fact that they are being mean, or — they don’t know they are mean.

The latter statement comes from my work with “difficult people.” As hard as it is to believe, many difficult people, and even REALLY difficult people, don’t have a clue about how they come across to other people, AND they have no idea how much they hurt other people.

They just go through life stepping all over everyone else because their singular focus is themselves. They have no:

  • consideration
  • empathy
  • compassion
  • kindness
  • thoughfulness
  • positivity

[This could be a long list!!! If you want to add some “definers”, make a comment below!!]

And it seems they have no “joie de vivre.” Joy of life; joy in living.

I would like to stop them in the middle of their meanness and say:

  • Look at that rainbow
  • Smell the roses
  • See the Mama and Papa ducks with their baby ducks walking down the road in a straight line (and all the other people being considerate of them?)
  • Did you ever notice how beautiful her smile is?

Because it seems they never see such things; they just see darkness, and hate, and dominance, and pain, and…???

Sometimes I don’t care that they might have had a rough day, a rough week, a rough year. Most of us have had a heck of a lot thrown at us in the course of our lives: “the stories I could tell…” Somehow we’ve managed to get out of bed every day and try again, and again, and again with positivity, kindness, consideration, etc.

One of the sad things, too, because I have spent a good bit of time trying, is you can’t seem to help these kind of people out of their “meanness.” I’ve known some lulus in my day, and I HAVE tried to help them see the roses, shown them consideration instead of reacting, even tried to talk with them about a more positive approach to life, They might agree with me up front, but their approach to others, to life doesn’t change — it’s who they are.

Which brings us back to the title of this blog — “Meanness doesn’t jes’ happen over night.”

So what are our choices?

Choose all of those things in the list above and all of those things you can think of to add to the list, and use them in your life regardless of the other person — it’s who you are:

I’m a nice guy. Yes, I get angry, sometimes I react to negativity like everyone else, get upset when I am attacked, put down, treated badly; but overall, being kind is just who I am, and its not worth it to have some “meannie” change that. [One of those words we used as kids to describe bullies.] Somehow, to this point, I have managed to always come back to me.

Hope that doesn’t change.


Joe Koob

*from Farmer’s Almanac

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Filed under Musings, Pet Peeves, Understanding Difficult People

America the (once) Beautiful and that Black-haired Beauty

I think most of you know the song “America the Beautiful.” Well, this blog is about how it’s becoming less and less beautiful because of a great many inconsiderate people. Yeah, I’m talking about all those idiots (I would use a lot stronger term here, but I’ll be nice) who think throwing garbage, cans, bottles, plastic and styrofoam cups, etc., etc. out the window’s of their vehicles, around our parks and picnic areas, and into rivers and streams doesn’t matter. This also includes smokers — if you don’t care about shortening your life=span, at least be courteous enough to dispose of butts and packages in appropriate places.

That Black-haired Beauty and I have embarked on a campaign to make our little neck of the woods more beautiful again. We often take our walks along a short stretch (1/2 mile) of Hwy 41 here in Florida, as well as a longer stretch along a drainage canal. Our mission is to clean up these two areas by gathering what we may once a week and disposing of it properly. It will take a bit of effort to really clean it up, but after a few weeks maintenance should be easier. Arwen helps by sniffing out anything that once contained food (which necessitates me getting to her quickly enough that she doesn’t eat anything remaining).

So here’s the challenge America: for all of you who take walks, why not occasionally take a bag along and help clean up your little neck-of-the-woods. If enough of us do it semi-regularly (even once a month will help) maybe we’ll actually make some progress in helping re-beautify our country.

And for those of you adding to the problem: GET WITH THE PROGRAM!. You ARE creating a mess out there and it does matter!!! If you just don’t give a …. then maybe you should go live somewhere else; somewhere perhaps where they regularly pick up after lazy idiots like yourself.

And here’s a special message for our young people: YOU will set the stage for the next 50 plus years in this country. What legacy do you want to leave for your generation, and eventually for your children and their children?

Come on, folks. It’s not that hard to make a little effort.


Joe Koob


Filed under Pet Peeves, That Black-haired Beauty and I



rocky 015

Did you think I was just going to use this pic once? Here are some “Pet Peeves” doggy style:

Thhpppppptht for negativity. I like POSITIVITY. Bring it on!!! Anyone out there want to add to either of the lists below; this is a good time to let it out! That’s what my Pet Peeves section is all about.

Thhpppppptht for YELLING! There are better ways to communicate. Talking works well; especially if people remain calm and in control. I’ve got BIG ears and yelling hurts (Hint: it hurts others, too!).
And yes, a thhpppppptht for TELLING. ASKING is a much better skill and it is less likely to put someone off. [But that also depends on how you ask —- ask kindly.]

And thhpppppptht for people who never get back to you – that’s called RUDE folks; even if the news is bad, people would rather know one way or another. A double thhpppppptht for those who cut off a relationship without a word, “Thhpppppptht, thhpppppptht.”

A thhpppppptht for all the obnoxious people on the road (or anywhere) who think their time is more important than everyone else’s equanimity. KINDNESS is a better choice, always!”

Thhpppppptht for people who take and take and take and don’t seem to ever give much. Unfortunately it seems from their perspective the world is wrapped around them. Maybe if they tried giving out some doggie treats (kindnesses) once in awhile, such would return to them.

A big thhpppppptht to everyone who fails to communicate – and that would be ALL OF US at times. People can’t guess how you feel, what you think, what you want, what you like, what you need unless you let them know. Better communications would solve three-quarters of most difficult situations and almost all your difficulties with others. Worth thinking about. When you own a dog you learn to communicate on a whole different level. Learn to communicate openly and honestly with everyone!

Thhpppppptht for all hypocrites: most specifically all those people who spend (perhaps) one day a week pretending they are humble, religious, a good neighbor, etc., etc., only to spend the rest of their week scamming, cheating, lying, and otherwise taking advantage of their fellow man. “Thhpppppptht, thhpppppptht, thhpppppptht.” When you go to that great doggy heaven in the sky is the first thing you want to see a big black dog sticking her tongue out at you? “Thhpppppptht.” There used to be something called honor in life and in one’s professional life as well. It might behoove some people to find it again.

A special “Thhpppppptht” for, hackers, scammers, and the like. Your gift is that you are intelligent enough to do something great with your talent. Choose to better man and woman-kind, rather than make excuses for why you do what you do. “Thhpppppppppptttttttthhhhhhhhhhtttttttt.”

“Thhpppppptht” for all those people who think it is their duty to get everyone to believe what they believe, to follow what they follow, to only understand the world as they see it. We’re ALL unique – one of the great aspects of humanity are our differences. Relish those, learn from them, embrace them. Your world and its possibilities will expand exponentially if you just make the effort to be open to understanding that which is different from you.

Doggy kisses for those who:

Are kind to me just because.
Give me a hug when I am down and don’t feel well.
Take me for long walks and spend time with me.
Accept me for who I am.
Know that love is the greatest gift you can give.
Joe Koob

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Filed under Humor, Pet Peeves, That Black-haired Beauty and I

You can choose…

You can choose… Your God’s name over someone else’s God’s name… but are they so different?

You can choose…to be better than someone else because they are different because of… social class, race, religion, they make less, look funny, or…?

You can choose

…to believe that men are better than women, and treat them that way… which is fairly prevalent in some countries, but unfortunately is still true here in the U.S. of A. too.

…that black is better than white.

…that your ideology is better than theirs.

…that right is better than left; or is it that left is better than right???

… that sticking to one’s guns is far better than compromise.

… to be right instead of being kind.

… to cut in line, instead of being courteous.

… to have it your way, instead of considerig someone else’s way.

… to cut someone off, instead of leting someone in.

… to be magnaminous when someone is having a bad day, rather than being rude.

…to open a door, instead of shuting one.

… to love instead of hating.

…to find peace and joy, instead choosing anger, frustration, and pain.

What are you choosing today? Tomorrow. What did you choose yesterday? What is in your head every day? These are the thoughts that make you who you are. These are what you bring into the world. More importantly, perhaps, what are you listening to — broadcasts of anger, hate, frustration, fear, people railing against each other about this thing or that? Or are you finding more positive things to pay attention to? Every day I try to find something positive to read or listen to. And every night before I fall asleep I try to remember to read or think of something positive. It’s a start. Here’s one I thought up yeserday: If every day were a massage — what a great world it would be! (Brings a smile to MY face!


Joe Koob

And in the morning you can start your day that way, too. :}

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Filed under Musings, Pet Peeves, Understanding Difficult People

Difficult Customers — Intent

I talk a good bit about customer’s intent in my new book, “Succeeding with Difficult Customers”. It is surprising to me that so many companies, large and small, seem to ignore this important caveat to customer relations.

Here are two KEY ‘intents’ of customers:

     Get something done

    Get something done NOW!

So why do we have to wade through inane telephone mazes?

Here are a few pet peeves that reflect the above ‘intents’:

Companies that ask for and have you key in a good bit of information, then when you finally get to a customer service representative (after many minutes of frustration) the real person ask you for ALL the same information again. So what happened to all the information you just provided? Is it off wandering around cyberspace forever? Or some strange telephone heaven?

Another is when the phone system goes through the usual rigamarole of asking this and that, which you either answer (I personally don’t like talking to a computer) or key in, and none of it really matters because you know you’re going to end up with the customer service representative anyway. THEN you start all over. PLUS if you push ‘0’ for operator it no longer takes you there — you get a message that says something to the effect that they won’t give you to a real person until they know what you want. Arrrggggh. I KNOW what I want, a real person!

These same problems occur when you are in a store, only this is with real people. Getting shuffled from one person to another who can’t help does not put a good feeling in a customer’s stomach. This happened to me recently at a major hardware retailer — I finally just walked out of the store after four people, no answer, and twenty minutes of my time.

A good part of my nook is about Business’ responsibilities. I challenge all CEO’s and VPs to get out here and TRY their systems and interact as a customer with their personnel. Ouch!


Joe Koob

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Pet Peeves

It’s time to reawaken this sleeping beastie.

Part of my website is a section of freebies that people initially could contribute to – most of these are still posted, but now the opportunity to make comments, share ideas, and experiences are through this blog. So here is your chance to vent. Don’t worry – I’ll occasionally bring this back so you can add even more Pet Peeves.

So today my BIG Pet Peeve is businesses that “Promise one thing and Deliver another.” And unfortunately some of them just downright lie to you. I think it is so frustrating to deal with a business that absolutely does not live up to what they tell you. It is so frustrating that I am willing to pay more to ensure I don’t have these types of frustrations.

Witness a big ticket item – building a house. My wife and I built a house in MI about eight-nine years ago and we asked out realtor to recommend a builder. Thank Goodness we did, because we got a good one – one who lived up to his reputation, and though we probably paid more for the quality he provided it was well worth it.

Why? Because we heard dozens of horror stories from friends and acquaintances about their experiences, and some of them were concurrent with when we were building. I can truthfully say we had NO complaints and we liked the builder so much he is now building our retirement home for us.

On the other side of the coin are far too many businesses who try to, as my father used to say, ‘pull the wool over your eyes.’ One of my own first experiences with such a business was when a bank that was ostensibly ‘watching my house for me’ while I was in the military during Vietnam, hired the brother of the vice-president to mow my lawn for something like $50/hr. This was in 1970! Needless to say I was not a happy camper.

I could list, easily, dozens of business that have failed in my opinion to live up to what they bill. It’s too bad that honor and trust are not as important as they should be.

Sometimes businesses do listen to serious complaints; sometimes they don’t. I shop where I feel good about a business. And I also say Thank You to those that go that extra mile for me.

If there’s a moral to this it is: complain where warranted because if you don’t they’ll just continue what they’re doing; don’t go back to those businesses that treat you badly or lie to you; and make sure you let the good ones know they are doing it right.


Joe Koob

P.S. Your Pet Peeves are welcome.

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