I'm not sure that title is correct for this post, because pet peeves are, by definition, petty, and I don't think this (particular) irritant is petty at all.
I sort of lost my mind for a couple of minutes the other day. Unfortunately, a couple of minutes is long enough to send a text message that has the potential to render you an indentured slave for the rest of your life.
Fortunately, that is not what happened to me the other day when I temporarily lost my mind.
A couple of my students are taking online courses with the school I used to teach with part-time. I logged on to check on their statuses, and I found myself sort of missing that other world. What is WRONG with me?
So I fired off a text message to my former department chair (because she usually doesn't pick up her cell phone and is spotty about returning emails - great leader, huh?), the one who told me she refused to acknowledge that I had resigned and instead was going to list me as "inactive."
I said in the text, "Hey, it's _____." (Another aside: I identified myself because it wasn't uncommon for her to respond to a text message with "Who's this?" Hurts my feelings when I'm not important enough to be in someone's address book.) "How are you? I have officially applied for retirement, so life is good. I don't know what your numbers are like, but if you get desperate..."
I didn't want it to sound like I was desperate to go back to that part-time job. I wasn't sure I even wanted it to sound like I would go back if they WERE desperate. But as I approach retirement (and I DID officially apply last week, and I haven't stopped smiling yet), it would be nice to have something to fall back on, a source of income in addition to my retirement.
And I distinctly remember writing a blog post about how relieved I was to give up that full-time-stress-for-part-time-pay job and asking my readers to help me remember that feeling.
WHERE WERE Y'ALL WHEN I SENT THAT TEXT MESSAGE?
Not to worry ... I am not in danger of becoming an indentured slave. Again.
Because I'm finally (much to your relief, I'm sure) getting around to the point of this post.
I got no response.
Even Hubby, who isn't the world's most prolific texter, will respond to a text with "K." It's one letter. Very few key strokes. Two, in fact. The letter "k" and the word "send." Two strokes.
And that's my pet (which isn't so petty, in my opinion) peeve: People who don't even respond to a text message or an email.
Let's just say, for argument's sake, that my former department chair wasn't as crazy about me as she pretended to be. Let's just say she was glad to be rid of me. Let's say she wouldn't hire me back if there were a semi-apocalypse and I was the last English teacher remaining on what's left of Earth.
She could at least acknowledge receipt of the text message.
"Thanks. I'll keep you in mind."
"Gosh, our numbers are way down. Sorry."
"You must be a glutton for punishment."
"Yay! I'm on it, girlfriend!"
Any of these would have been appropriate responses.
Instead I got deafening silence. Which, again, kind of hurts my feelings.
She had these tendencies when I worked for the online school, so it's not like I'm surprised or anything. When I was working for them, I would occasionally run into a situation for which I needed help. I know, I know, hard to believe, right? I would ONLY call my department chair if there happened to be something with the online platform that I couldn't figure out myself, or if it were something for which I thought I needed higher authority. Now keep in mind she worked full-time for the online world, which meant she was at home. All. the. time. On duty. All. the. time. And she never once picked up her cell phone when I called. I would leave a detailed message and ask her to call me back. Instead, I would get an almost instant email from her, in which she would try to solve my problem as she understood it to be.
And I would think to myself, "No, dumbass, that's NOT what the issue is. If you would pick up the DAMN PHONE, I could explain it to you."
My feelings aren't REALLY hurt. I know deep in my heart that I don't want to go back to that stressful environment. And I don't want to work for a bunch of cliquish folks who won't even bother to pick up the phone or return an email or respond to a text message.
I guess I just want them to want me.
Maybe it's pettier than I thought.