The other day one of our workplace banter breaks turned to the subject of pet peeves.
It started when a colleague piped up to say they hated it when people wrote out mobile numbers in one continuous line.
It was an oddly specific pet peeve and, although I agreed wholeheartedly (I'm 500 per cent more likely to mistype a phone number that has no spaces), I doubted it would be something people thought twice about if that was how they had always written out phone numbers.
Nonetheless, this admission kicked off a 10-minute conversation in which everybody shared the small, insignificant things people did (probably unknowingly) that annoyed them to no end.
One person said they couldn't stand it when people said literally when they meant figuratively while another said they became irrationally angry when the toilet roll wasn't positioned outwards (this frustration, they said, was amplified as their partner was notorious for putting the roll on willy nilly).
One person's pet peeve, which got multiple nods of agreement, was people who unnecessarily or excessively shortened words.
The standard pet peeves were mentioned too, of course.
People chewing loudly or slurping their drinks, groups of people who walk in a line on the footpath and perhaps the most relatable given the times we're living in - people who don't cover their mouth when they cough.
As far as my contribution to the conversation went, I said I hated it when people stood on both sides of the escalator, preventing others from walking up and people who talked about their diet while you ate something unhealthy (I don't care about how great paleo is Susan, let me eat my burger in peace).
Eventually, the conversation petered out and we turned back to our computer screens but I couldn't stop thinking about the subject.
I find it fascinating how something I don't even think about could be the thing that drives another person crazy.
Pet peeves are minor enough that they don't warrant an argument, or even a mention most of the time but they do tend to be the source of the odd eye roll or exasperated sigh.
So how do you ensure you're not subconsciously doing things that annoy others?
Based on the pet peeves my workmates mentioned, I need to stop saying literally, totes, obvs and defs and I need to start paying attention to what way I'm putting the loo roll on.
That's easy enough.
But then I made the mistake of Googling pet peeves and list after list came up containing dozens of submissions.
People who use redundant hashtags on social media, People who say something "will give you all the feels", people who say "no problem!" or "no worries!" in response to thank you and people who click their pen or tap their foot constantly.
Well damn, I'm guilty of all of those!
Without asking everyone I meet what their pet peeves are and compiling an extensive list of things to avoid doing, I think I'll just have to keep being me and hope I don't annoy too many people.
After all, Susan won't ever stop telling me about her fad diets and I will forever be getting stuck behind standing escalator riders, but that's no prob.