Hello-hello-hello and welcome to the BigAppleSchool podcast, the weekly English show where we speak about everything under the sun. The major goal of this show is to help you improve your English and of course learn something new. My name’s Katya, I’m your host, and today with me first time in the history of this podcast are not 2 guests, but three guests, who are…
We now like, you know, almost have a party over here. 4 people.
Not a small gathering of three people, but a huge crowd of four. So yeah. So this is, let’s say, maybe a new format, an experimental format, so dear listeners, please, after the podcast let us know what you think about this. Do you like that there are four people or not?
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And you can send your ideas about our next episode. It won’t take much time or effort, but it will help us a lot. So thank you in advance. And I know that some people, I’m sorry, might be a little bit irritated with me saying that all the time in every single episode, so I’m sorry.
What about you guys? You know, we are here to talk about irritating things and stuff. Are you ready to discuss this sensitive topic?
We’re here to get a lot off our chests.
That’s true. You know it’s like a therapy session. No judgement, hopefully, this is a judgement-free zone.
Free space, yes. So but first of all I wanna ask you – so what kind of a person are you in general? I mean are you easily getting irritated? Or are you, you know, as calm as it can possibly be?
Well back then when I was younger, I used to get really irritated so fast. And I would react, I was really reactive, such that I would just maybe shout at the person who caused it. Or just be a little confrontational. Well but as time goes by when you mature and become much older then I guess your patience somehow, you know, grows longer. And I must say that well, in my case I’m a little more patient now.
So when you say you used to shout and get confrontational with people, would that depend whether you knew these people or not? Or would that be anyone, a stranger on the street, relative?
Well, that’s a good question, because if it’s just let’s say a stranger, I would try to keep my emotions to myself, but if it’s somebody that I personally knew, then yeah, I could lash out the person.
Oh wow. You know, I would expect it to be the opposite. Cause you know, a stranger – who are they? They are going to forget you the very next day. But relatives might hold a grudge, you know.
Yeah, but they know me, so they should accept me for who I am. Supposedly accept me for who I am.
That’s a very debatable statement but alright.
Well but then again, that was how I looked at it when I was, you know, younger. But I’m a totally different person now, yeah.
And when you say younger, how younger do you mean? Like 2 days? 3 days ago?
Well when I was a teenager.
Ah, the teen years! Masha, what about you?
I’m listening to Ken and I see myself in it because it was I guess the same. I was quite a difficult person to be around when I was a teenager and after this I guess. Yeah. And maybe my friends needed to tolerate a lot. But then year by year I was changing and yeah. Now I don’t get annoyed so easily. Well even if I do, I can control this emotion. At least this emotion.
Yeah, like the other two I used to get really hot-headed sometimes but recently. It’s just not healthy to focus on things that annoy you. Even though we’re gonna do that in this podcast. It’s generally not helpful to anyone or healthy to always talk about your annoyances.
It’s good to maybe I don’t know call up your grandma and say grandma, this annoys me. Grandma, that annoys me. But it’s not good to spread negative energy to everyone.
Fair enough, fair enough. But I have a question though, so let’s say a person out of your, you know, close circle, let’s say a friend or relative does something that annoys you. Maybe even regularly. Let’s say, they’re always doing this or that. How are you going to react to that? Are you gonna say this to them? Like, oh look, this is annoying, or…?
Yeah, I totally believe that it’s better to discuss things, especially with your close ones. Because when you keep everything inside, it is under pressure. Then you are going to explode.
It’s actually good, and you know it’s funny because I’m the exact opposite of who I used to be because right now for example if one of them, could be a close friend or a family member, who does something which I really don’t like. I keep it to myself. And then I wait for the time when you know, I become a volcano that’s about to erupt.
Yeah, I know. That’s why I agree with her with Masha that’s it’s much better to say it directly to the person, so that you know, you can calm down so that the other person will also change his or her behavior. But I don’t know, it’s just… You know, I feel uncomfortable to address the issue.
It depends on the severity of the issue. If it’s something really disrespectful, outright disrespectful, I wouldn’t get into an argument, I’d just walk away and not speak to the person.
Ever again. You’re like it was nice knowing you, have a good life.
Yeah, depends on the severity of what happened. If someone just, I don’t know, making really annoying noises, then you can be like come on, just stop that, it’s really annoying.
Yeah, like neighbors for example. Sorry for bringing that up almost in every podcast. It’s just, you know…
You love your neighbor so much.
Yeah, it completely depends case by case. Sometimes someone crosses the line, who knows what the line is, but…
Fair enough, the line is different for all of us, that’s true.
And I just wanna add. The other reason why I try to keep it to myself, because I feel like come on, you’re old enough to realize, you know, your actions. At least that’s how it works in my mind, but you know, we are different, yeah.
And there are people who are dense, they can’t get it. They are annoying and they are doing something that is, let’s say, disrespectful or maybe something that’s really, well, annoying. Yeah.
Okay. And what are the typical things that annoy you? So let’s get it off our chests.
Well one of them, I must say, people who drive fast, such that it creates that annoying sound. And I know I’m gonna sound cruel, but sometimes I think it’s okay, he’s gonna die soon anyway.
I know, it’s just my way to…
It’s really funny that… I mean I’m not judging you, it annoys so many people, but whenever I hear that motor noise, I giggle like a little girl. I love it.
Makes my so happy when I hear someone just…
Oh my god. That drives me mad. And just to come…
It drives everyone mad, but it makes me laugh so much.
You know, I’ve realized what kind of an unusual person you are. So last time you told us, oh yeah, I took a trip to Akademgorodok in a pazik, it was such an adventure. To everyone it’s just oh god, that was hell. And now about the motorcycling noises. Wow! That’s all I have to say.
It’s just so obnoxious it’s hilarious.
Wow, what a strange way to react.
Ken, I’m with you on this one, trust me. So I used to live right with my only window, you know, facing Krasny Prospekt. So it was vroom every single night. And you know, this is not something that even the earplugs help with. You could still hear it. I hate it. I mean, why do you have to do at like 3am? Why can’t you do that at like 11pm?
That’s why it’s so funny.
Maybe it helps Ben to preserve his mental health. Like when he reacts this way, it’s his subconsciousness.
One noise that really annoys me though are car alarms. That’s different. Cause it’s not someone having a laugh and being funny, just it pisses through everything. And yeah, you can’t sleep with the car alarm on. So yeah.
Okay. Other noises that annoy us?
The noises that my neighbors do, specifically my upstairs neighbor sometimes when they try to drag, you know, the furniture. And again, just like, you know, some drivers who really drive fast. I sometimes think… Oh my god, I’m gonna sound evil today because…
Okay, firstly I wanna say these are just my thoughts, okay? But I don’t mean to, you know, to make them happen. But it’s also a comedic way to approach things, because in my mind I imagine their death, but in fact it’s just, you know, it’s just for fun for me, so sometimes for example when they try to drag…
I know, you see. Whenever they drag their tables or chairs, sometimes I ask, I wonder when they’re gonna die like is it gonna be today? Like, I hope it’s gonna be soon.
I know. But it’s funny to me. And you know, by having those thoughts, it makes me laugh instead of, you know, being annoyed.
So you try to imagine the most ridiculous situation so that you are not mad at them anymore.
Yeah. I try to, you know….
Would you feel guilty if they actually died?
I’ve never really thought about that, so…
Thus a therapy session begins. Masha, but you’re keeping quiet. What annoys you?
I don’t know about noises, I just was trying to concentrate on this. Nothing comes to my mind, but you know, early mornings really irritate me a lot, I mean the necessity to wake up and do something early in the morning.
Funny you should mention that at 10am.
Yes. And 10am is not the time when I woke up which would be alright. But.
Yeah, it’s the time when we… Yeah. Yeah. So you are not an early person, you are not an early bird.
No. Absolutely. More of a night person. So for example it’s easier for me to work late in the evening for example, than to start working early in the morning. For example when we speak about early mornings, I’m a lot like Ken – I want to kill. Not like Ken, he thinks about it in his mind, but I really… I’m really ready to…
So you know, you are one of those people who should not be even talked to or touched before they have had their coffee, before they are fully awake.
Yeah, two coffees, yeah, some sweet things and yeah. I need some time to fully wake up.
You know, that’s why I kinda admire people who, you know, wake up 15 minutes before their work day starts. Well let’s say if they work online. Cause let’s say I can’t function 15 minutes after I wake up. Like, no, I need at least an hour to slowly wake up, get breakfast. No.
Yeah I totally agree. I always wake up around 2.5 hours before school or works starts. What about you, mister Ken?
You know, that’s funny because when you said that you need some time because that used to be my reason whenever I was woken up by my grandmother as a child and I would… She would expect me to go to the bathroom, basically have a shower, but then I would say give me some time, because I need to rest.
And then my grandmother would ask me what do you mean you need to rest? You got tired from sleeping? Well, no, I just need time before I start moving.
Yeah, that’s basically me, yeah. So okay, anything else that annoys you? I don’t believe that it’s only one thing.
Just I’m afraid to start. I’m afraid of starting…
To open this Pandora’s box.
Yeah. Well, I had already mentioned this topic before we started – taxi drivers. Should we start discussing this?
Please! Yes, please, let’s talk about this.
Yeah, taxi drivers can be really annoying, especially when it comes to their recommendations or advice that they want to give you on everything. And of course you never asked them to do this. They are always ready to talk and I prefer not to talk to a person when I’m in the car. I just want to get from point A to point B.
I don’t like talking to strangers. I mean, as a teacher, I talk to a lot of people, and I just need some time in silence when I’m just in the car. But they try to entertain you or themselves maybe. And sometimes they get really personal.
Yeah, I think that sometimes they just don’t… Well, don’t acknowledge your personal boundaries maybe. Cause I remember I took a taxi from the airport when I returned from the US. And the taxi driver’s like oh, where are you flying from? I’m like well, from Moscow, but you know, before that I was flying from Boston.
He was like oh, US! Study? I’m like no, work. And you can imagine, I had spent 25 hours on planes and at airports, I was exhausted and he’s like oh, working in the US, how much money do you make?
Excuse you? Just, what? So, yeah.
It completely depends who you ask that question cause if it’s a stranger, yeah, it’s kinda rude. But if it’s someone is like a friend and they’re like how much do you make?
But also, you know, if you’re talking about let’s say, jobs, contracts, money and then this question pops up – you might answer it, you might not, okay. But what were you doing there? Work. Immediately ask a stranger this question? Oh, it’s a no-no.
Yeah yeah yeah, definitely no. That’s rude, yeah.
Or for example they are driving me to the office. Oh, is it this office building? I’m like yes. What do you do there? Work? Yes. What do you do? I’m a teacher. Teacher of what? English. Oh, can you teach me? Oh oh oh, I can speak English! Okay.
What about can you say something in English?
No, never happens. Since the time in my childhood… Never happens again. My parents started to believe me, that I can speak English. And taxi drivers don’t’ ask this question.
That would be funny if you turned the tables around and instead start asking questions about the driver. Like, okay, let’s talk about you.
What is your driving experience? Are you allowed to work? Do you have a work permit? When was the last time you had a full check of your car?
Well I just need some time in silence.
I’m just not ready to have this energy to interact with people who I’m not interested in, who I don’t care about and who are not my students, who are not my friends.
I saw this meme somewhere, I can’t remember exactly how it was worded, but it went long lines saying job well-done, taxi driver did not speak.
I mean I love it when taxi drivers don’t speak. It’s just hello-hello, goodbye – goodbye. Perfect! Really. And what about people…
And, sorry, when they the road. When they know where they are going to and they don’t ask me about… Oh yeah, like, should I turn left or right? I don’t know, you are the one in charge of this here. Not me. That’s why I’m sitting on the back seat. I can drive myself.
Especially when you are in a new town.
Backseat drivers, that’s something we can talk about. Do you know what this term means? A backseat driver.
Oh. When you are driving and the passenger on the backseat is like oh you should’ve done that. You should’ve turned left instead of right.
Yeah yeah yeah. But I’m not a driver, so I can’t say if that would, you know, annoy me or not. And as a passenger I don’t do that. So.
I mean to be honest it doesn’t annoy me too much, especially if I’m driving in a new country and I don’t know all the rules or the roads. That’s fair enough. Someone’s like oh you can’t just do that. That’s fair enough. But if it’s… If you’ve been driving for a long time someone who just got their license tells you what to do.
Yeah. And what about people who are late? Are you annoyed by people being late?
I am the person who is late. Not all the time, but sometimes. So that’s why I can totally understand when other people are late. So no, I’m not usually… Well I mean if it’s not like one hour and a half.
Well as far as I’m concerned, so long as the person is apologetic and really tries to explain why he or she’s late, then I’m totally fine, but it really gets to me when people just arrive and oh, okay, I’m here now. And no apologies? That’s it?
I really wanna… Well, I’m sorry again, you know, I don’t want me to sound evil again, but it’s just in my mind, okay, I don’t act out on my thoughts. So I just imagine slapping the person like slapping him or her in the face, without any apologies.
It’s not evil, it’s funny.
Yeah, you see. Okay it may sound evil, but in my mind it makes me laugh. I don’t know.
So it works so that you don’t hold a grudge against them. So, whatever works. Benjamin, are you annoyed by people who are late?
To be honest, I’m a very punctual person, I really don’t like being late, but I don’t really care if other people are late. As long as it’s not… It depends what the event is as well. If it’s, I don’t know, your wedding, then maybe okay, it might be a bit annoying.
I met a guy who was late to his wedding.
I mean, if it is…. If I have a lesson with the student and they’re late, I’m not bothered to be honest.
You’re like yeah, of course, I’m paid for that time of waiting.
Masha, you look… You frowned, why?
Did I? No I didn’t. I think I’m okay with waiting for people but you know, it all depends. Cause let’s say if it’s an important event or let’s say I’m very tied up with the time, we need to be somewhere at this exact time. Let’s say when I go to a theater or a flight and people are being late, I’m like I’m….
I’m getting annoyed, cause you know, we need to go inside or we need to take this flight at this exact time. And of course that wouldn’t be my fault if they were late, but I somehow feel responsible for a person I’m going, you know, with. So, yeah. But if it’s just a meeting, I’m okay.
So, especially, as Ken has said, if they’re apologetic or at least if they tell me, like, you know, hey, I’m gonna be like half an hour late. I’ll be like okay. I’m gonna read a book or browse Instagram, or something like that, so fine. You know, I think we will always something to do while we are waiting.
Now I realize that I’m not annoyed when people are late, I’m annoyed by waiting. So I can’t stand waiting for something which I don’t know when it is going to happen.
Yeah, when you have a certain something…
Yes! So when for example somebody says I’m sorry, I’ll be half an hour late- okay, fine. Actually, a couple of weeks ago I had a situation, so… You might remember it was really boiling hot over here, it’s like 34C, something like that, 30 degrees.
And I was at my mom’s dacha, so when I was planning on taking the commuter train and my sister said, well, I was planning to come, so if you want, I can take you to the city. And I was like cool. So what time?
She’s like well, around 2ish, I’ll come at 2-ish. And so she said the -ish, and I’m like okay. Well, fine, 2:00-2:30, maybe, you know, maybe 1:45.
Well she came at like 6pm, so I came to the city at 9. And I was supposed to come at like 5. And I had plans. So I had to cancel my plans. And of course I was annoyed, cause when you say 2ish, I would expect it to be, you know, from 2 to 3 max.
And she was like oh, you know, I stopped over there, I went to that shop, I went to that shop, I went to that shop. And then there was a little bit of a traffic jam. I’m like okay-okay-okay, fine-fine-fine. So that was a little bit annoying, cause I didn’t have the exact time frame.
Well speaking of the opposite of being late. So I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the Germans and sunbeds. Does anyone know about this?
So in every holiday destination in Europe, so usually Spain or maybe Greece, you have a battle between the Germans and the Brits, because the Germans always wake up first thing in the morning, super early.
And they take all the sunbeds, they reserve all the sunbeds. And when the Brits after they’re all hangover, they come to get a sunbed by the pool, they notice that the Germans have invaded the…
Have invaded the swimming pool area and it’s a funny… Yeah, a funny thing.
Actually, that’s a good point. So what do you think about people who come too early? So there are people who are always late, but there are people who come let’s say to classes, to their appointments let’s say 40 minutes early, 50 minutes early. So what do you think about that? Would that annoy you?
Well, sometimes yes because I feel like okay, you’re just a little too excited. You can, you know, calm down and tone it down. Especially for example if way too early. I come to the class and then there’s one student waiting.
Oh and sometimes, okay, I’m not generalizing, I’m just saying there are for example some students who would just show up and then they’re there and you know it’s like it’s not time yet, but it seems like you know, the student is like in a hurry. Like, can we start now? Can we start now? I was like it’s not time yet.
You know, I would say that it is kinda like you know a good... The rule of being polite – so when you have an appointment, don’t come too early. Cause I remember when I was working at another school and we had not a lot of space, you know, in the corridor. So it was just doors, doors, doors to the classrooms.
So if a person came very early, they would be standing in the corridor and another person would have, you know, trouble squeezing past them. So and then if they were waiting, they were kinda, you know, making it difficult for…
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So we asked all people like if you come early, that’s fine, just try to be not too early if that’s okay cause we have a very limited space over here. And then, you know, students, teachers pass by, yeah. Yeah. Alright, what about other things that have annoyed you within the last month or that generally annoy you?
Hot water. Come on, you gotta talk about hot water.
I think we have just accepted this.
A true experience and adventure?
I guess I did experience the cold water yeah, it was quite an adventure.
I knew you’d say adventure. So.
Well another one for me is when you’re in a queue and the person in front of you has just decided to choose which one to order when, you know, for example, we’ve been waiting in line and they were supposed to be thinking already of what to order.
But then when it’s their turn to give their order, that’s when they start thinking, okay, what about this? And then they ask too many questions and sometimes oh my god. Here we go again. I imagine in my mind having this hot frying pan and I wanna smash across the face of the customer in front of me.
So you have your ideas for every situation? Yes?
A lot of scenarios, you know.
In this annoying situation – a frying pan. This annoying situation – I’m slapping you.
Exactly. Because the thing here is that whenever I’m in a queue, so I try to think immediately what do I need, what do I wanna eat. And then when it’s my turn, I just, you know, give my order and that’s it. It’s gonna be fast and you know, the line will keep moving and then the person behind me will be happy.
But sometimes some people, some customers are inconsiderate, they just okay, so what about this spaghetti? Can you… I don’t wanna swear.
So basically what annoys you is that you are being thoughtful and considerate of others but others don’t do the same thing?
So yeah. You know, I have one more thing on my list. Some people like counting other people’s money. So for example, if they ask me how much do you charge per hour? And I say this much. And they’re like why do you need that much? So if you work 8 hours a day, then it’s like 40 hours per week you’re gonna have that that that much money, why do you need that?
Excuse you? So why are you 1) counting my money? 2) Nobody can have 8 lessons per day every single day. Like, it’s… That would mean immediate burnout, so…
Well I know people who can, but it’s their problem of quality.
Yeah they’re more of an exception to the rule then.
I mean, of course it’s none of their business to count anyone’s money and then also sometimes I can notice it with my friends. We are all different and we spend money on different things. And what is important for me are not important for my friends and vice versa.
And sometimes I’m like why? Why would she spend so much money on this let’s say maybe expensive furniture? I don’t care. But then again I’m like Masha, it’s none of your business, it’s her idea, it’s her point, it’s her dream.
So you… That’s good that you acknowledge these, you know, feelings and you try to control yourself. You know like that’s not good type of thinking. I should stop that.
Yeah, I can totally control it because I accepted the fact that we are all different and I appreciate this fact a lot.
And I have one more… It’s not about what people do, but I recently read the news that book prices are going to rise by 50% in 2022 from 50% to a 100%. And I’m like why?
Did you mean including ebooks or do you mean just hardback?
No, just paper books. Just paper books. E-books are going to stay in the same price, you know, range that they are now. They say that due to the, you know, shortage of wood and everything now books are going to become like twice as expensive in 2022-2023. And that’s a little bit annoying cause they are so expensive now!
And I would understand, you know, the books by foreign authors, cause they need to be translated. And it’s also, you know, a lot of work to find the translators to do that, a long process. But when a book by Russian authors cost, like, a 1000 that’s a little bit annoying. Like, come one, I wanna pay three digit numbers, three digit prices for the book and not four digit ones. So come on!
It’s depressing, not annoying.
That’s the next stage, you know. So, yeah. And you know, some time ago, there was this hashtag on Twitter which is I wish they wouldn’t where people, you know, posted what is annoying to them.
And I would like to read some of them out and you to tell me whether you would be annoyed by this or, well, you don’t care. So the first one would be I wish people wouldn’t leave supermarket trolleys in the parking lot.
I’m kinda on the fence about it. To be honest I don’t really care.
Haven’t you been to like a Target where people just leave the trolleys everywhere?
I mean it’s just polite to take it back like I guess if you go to a fast food restaurant, you have a tray and it’s nice to take it back. But then again, someone’s getting paid, someone has a job to do that and that creates jobs. So. I don’t really have a strong opinion on it.
So a vacancy to clean after people who can’t do that themselves.
Well sometimes it can be hard to park your car when there is a trolley. I remember such cases when I was driving. But rarely.
But all in all, you don’t care, you’re fine. Okay. So what about the next tweet – I wish my friends would put their phones away when we are having dinner.
Well. But that’s about friends. What I’m about to say is not exactly, well, it’s not about friends but with the students sometimes. Even though they try to do it discreetly during the lesson, but hey, I have eyes and I can see what you’re doing.
I know that you’re not, you know, trying to distract anyone because anyway, the phone is in silent mode. But the fact that you’re not listening to me and that your attention is on your phone, then it bothers me.
It’s funny how people do that on Zoom lessons, cause technically you can’t see, you know, the phone. But you can see the eyes not on the book but they’re like mmhm. I’m like I can see your face lit up, you know, by the phone screen. But okay. It’s your choice. So who am I to stop you from doing that, you know. Alright, but all in all, you’re fine then with that?
I mean to be honest, I’m not bothered by it. I don’t use my phone much, but I’m not too bothered by other people doing it.
I mean, I can maybe accept it as a sign of not being interested in communication with me, which can bother me. Not annoy but make me feel uncomfortable, so not annoyed. I will think that maybe something’s wrong with our communication, like why are you on the phone?
Well I sometimes have a tendency of just going through messages or just scrolling or playing a game and at the same time talking to my fiancée and very often they would just snap at me like can you put your phone away for just a minute please?
I’m like I’m having a conversation with you at the same time. Have I missed any of the phrases that you’ve said? No. So but okay. You should’ve asked me politely of course. But alright, I’ll put that away.
So what you’re doing is you’re multitasking.
Yes. We can put it this way, yes. Alright. So what about the next one – I wish people would turn up when they say they’re going to.
Oh yeah, that really… Well, that really annoys me. Because the thing here is that it’s like a promise, we have agreed to meet. And then what bothers me the most is when people cancel it at the last minute. That really annoys me. And well, I may not say anything at the moment, but I’m gonna give the person the cold treatment.
I’m gonna remember and think of you dying in my head.
What is the punishment for this case in your mind?
You know… Okay, I don’t think of anything related to death, but I’m already planning on my next step like okay, so…
No, what I do is I try to distance myself a little bit with the person which means that I try not to communicate with this person until he or she realizes oh, okay, Ken what’s wrong? Well I don’t know, what do you think? Because I’m not the one who will tell you what you have done wrong.
It might sound a little bit, a tiny bit, it might sound a little bit passive aggressive but okay.
You’re like I’m not intending it as passive aggression, I’m planning it as active one.
I mean we’re adults, we’re supposed to know, well, then again, each person is different from another, but you know, you’re supposed to know what you have done wrong. And for me it is just unacceptable. I would be happy to have somebody, like, you expect somebody to turn up and then he tells you oh I’m sorry I cannot go there because bla-bla-bla. Oh, great. Yeah, sure. I mean wouldn’t you be unhappy as well? Okay.
Am I crazy? Am I the only one here?
Depends on the situation. Let’s say if you are already, you know, at a place. If you’re meeting offline at let’s say a certain place and then the person cancels the last minute, yes, I would be. I would be. But let’s say if it’s an online lesson and sometimes things happen, I’d be like oh okay, things happen. So.
Well, with online lessons it’s okay because I’m paid for that anyway, so I’m good. But we’re talking about, you know, meetings with people. That you have previously agreed and you’re not paid for that. And sometimes you drop other things.
Yeah, cause you want to meet them, yeah. Masha, Benjamin, what do you think? Would that annoy you?
Well I guess if Leonardo Di Caprio or president invited you out to dinner, you’d be there at that time, at the time agreed.
So I guess this is kinda like disrespect if someone doesn’t own to their commitment.
What about, you know, humble people who are not Leonardo and who are not the president of whatever country?
Well we should be respectful no matter what and who.
You know, this tweet made me remember one situation… Two situations when I was working here at BigAppleSchool offline and I was not annoyed by this situation, but I was a little bit sad and disappointed and upset.
Cause I remember we had reading clubs over here and I, you know, I was very excited cause, you know, these were my first reading clubs and we were reading great books and I prepared everything for the meeting. And 12 people signed up. And I was like oh, we’re gonna have such a discussion and conversation, so I planned everything for 12 people.
And only 3 showed up. I was like what’s wrong? Is it me? Is it not me? So I wasn’t annoyed, but I was rather upset and I started to think maybe that’s me. Maybe that’s the book. What book should I have chosen? So you know, it just makes you think a lot.
Well it’s not annoying, it’s…
Yeah, yeah, it wasn’t. It was just upset.
You were just.. yeah. Or disappointed.
Yeah, disappointment, anxiety, these things.
Yeah, yeah. Alright. What about the next one and I’m gonna use a rude word cause I’m quoting, you know, the tweet, so sorry for that. But I wish people wouldn’t park like assholes.
Park like a-holes. Sure thing.
Drivers over here? Ben, you’re a driver. Masha, you’re a driver?
I guess it’s kinda annoying, yeah, if you’re trying to, yeah, get to work or something and someone has parked in a really clumsy way, it can prevent you from seamlessly leaving your car and just going straight to work.
It’s just hard for me to remember because I was a driver many years ago. I mean technically I still am, but I don’t own a car and I don’t know if I’m going to own a car any time soon or any time ever. So… But now I’m starting to remember that when I was a driver, most people annoyed me.
Most people you mean other drivers or pedestrians?
Oh just in general. Okay, got it. Got it. You know I am sometimes annoyed by how people park, even though I’m not a driver, I’m a pedestrian. But you know, it’s mostly about those people who park their cars on a sidewalk. Like this is not your territory, don’t get on it! You have parking lots, park there! On the side of the road, I don’t care, but not the pavement, sidewalk or what.
I’ll tell you what really annoys me. I’m a really keen cyclist, I love cycling, but I really don’t love other cyclists. I actually side with the drivers whereas a lot of cyclists hate the drivers and I think you know what? The drivers pay for the roads, they pay their taxes and then of course you do have drivers of all different sorts.
But what I can’t stand is when cyclists or motorcyclists get really angry cause the driver didn’t see them. Well maybe you should’ve made yourself more…
Visible and clear to drivers. They can’t just expect…
Yeah, especially at night or dark time of the day.
Well in general yeah, there are so many blind zones that cars have. And you’re so little on a bicycle or a motorcycle.
It’s hilarious in London cyclists get so annoyed at other drivers, they kick off their rear mirrors of cars and I just think it’s just jealousy maybe. Maybe not jealousy, but it’s just…
They jut want to be taken seriously I guess. And here in Russia I guess it’s the opposite situation because drivers don’t like and don’t respect cyclists.
Yeah. I mean I love cycling, but I always give way to cars, because they’re big machines and they can kill you.
And if you don’t want to… it’s kind of hanging around the ball and hoping you don’t get kicked by the ball. And a lot of these cyclists are just expecting these balls to be nice to them and…
You are supposed to know the road rules which some people don’t. And if you are riding a bike it doesn’t make you either a driver or a pedestrian, so it’s something different, so you need to know how you’re supposed to behave.
So and how can we deal with being annoyed? So how do you do… Well we know Ken’s strategy on how to deal with annoyance.
So you choose the path, you choose the way of violence.
I mean actually, when I’m really annoyed, like really, I also can imagine things like this, but not with people who I know. But with maybe or not people who I care for or love, but sometimes I can imagine slapping people or something.
So this is one of the strategies that might… You know what? Have you watched Brooklyn 99? Anyone?
No, I’m not annoyed, I’m surprised. So dear listeners, so I hope you have watched Brooklyn 99. Please tell me you have – somebody? Somebody please reach out to me and say you have. Anyhoo, there was a moment, you know, when one of the characters, she was really annoyed by a person, you know, by a superior officer, like, super annoyed.
And she was given a piece of advice, like, in your head, try to get into your calm place. You know, another character said, you know, for example, I imagine myself on a beach with waves, ocean. And she’s like okay, I’ll try. And she’s, you know, a very aggressive woman, very tough.
And then, you know, the superior officer started to annoy her and she just looked at him and started smiling. And she didn’t let this annoyance get over her, you know, get control over her thoughts and emotions and everything. And she was very, you know, very calm, polite like yes, of course.
And then they asked her like Rosa, what did imagine? What was your calm place? She’s like oh I just imagine cutting off his arms and his legs and just, you know. They’re like alright, okay, cool cool cool cool cool. So that reminded me, you know, of you. No, you reminded me of that situation, of that scene.
But, okay, I just wanna add something more because it happened, I guess, about two days ago, there was a group of teenagers, I went to KFC, yeah.
Say no more, Ken, say no more! Whatever you thought – we understand you now.
I know, I know, but okay. I just wanna add that so there was one girl, she was screaming and I thought I wish I had a baseball bat. That thought, you know, alone made me laugh. Just in my mind. You see, instead of me feeling so mad about the situation, but because I think of certain ways of how to, you know, violently punish people in my mind, it makes me happy somehow.
Wait, I have… Before we proceed to talking about dealing with annoyance, I have a question to Masha – you have a teenage son, right? Is he very irritable and constantly annoyed?
He is sometimes annoyed, but maybe he’s not at that stage of being constantly annoyed now. Maybe it’s in the future.
So does it cause any kind of major problems or miscommunication?
What helps me and him I guess – humor and sarcasm. He has developed kinda the same sense of humor as me so that helps.
So dark and deep sarcasm.
Yeah, kind of. He knows how to make me laugh and well, it helps. He’s a cunning person I guess.
You know I love those easily annoyed characters from different sitcoms or tv shows cause they’re usually super sarcastic. Like, have you watched Scrubs?
Oh yeah yeah, many years ago.
So do you remember Doctor Cox? He was annoyed by everything and that made him very sarcastic.
Ну, well. Ну, wow, Katya. Fantastic. Especially towards Jd.
I wish I remembered any of the phrases.
I just remember doctor Cox was a hilarious character.
Like newbie, you would be less useless if you were the wall you are leaning on or something like this.
Now I can see you watched it many times.
8 times at least, I mean, it’s my favorite tv show. The best ever. Let’s change the topic of our discussion and start discussing Scrubs.
You know as they say if you haven’t found the solution to any problem, you just haven’t found the right episode of Scrubs yet.
Fair enough, fair enough. So, dealing, I’m sorry for getting off the topic a little bit. So dealing with annoyance. Imagining your calm place or hitting somebody with a bat is one of the strategies. So what… How else can we deal with this feeling when somebody is annoying or something is annoying?
Just realize that everyone to some extent wants attention and everyone does, everyone wants attention and annoying things come from other people’s insecurities. Let’s say if someone is, I don’t know, as much as I love hearing loud cars at night, there’s a reason why someone is doing that.
There’s a reason why they do that, because they want attention, they wanna look cool. Not judging, because everyone… I want attention, everyone wants attention and just looking at it from that perspective, that… Okay, something must’ve happened in their childhood which influenced them to do something.
Yeah, I mean that’s how you detach from it all. It’s like…
But I must say that I agree with him because sometimes I try to think a little more deeply about it like why is he behaving the way he does? Maybe something wrong happened to him, but then again sometimes when I think of these, you know, things, I tell myself but I don’t think I’m the person who needs to, you know, teach you that you shouldn’t be acting this way.
It’s like sometimes as much as I get upset by other people’s behavior, but, you know, I just don’t feel like it’s my obligation. It’s like okay, maybe I’m not the right person, but you’re gonna learn your lesson some day with another person. But I hope it’s not gonna be too tough on you.
But sometimes people, you know, people just need to be what? Made aware of their actions. And sometimes, you know, I think I wish you’d meet, you know, this right person who will educate, “educate” you so that, you know, you’ll be put in your place. And for you to realize that what you’re doing is really annoying.
I would say that sometimes it might be helpful to reframe your negative thoughts. Especially, you know, when these thoughts are not towards some people but towards a situation. So let’s say if you’re in a traffic jam and you might be annoyed by that, of course, cause you’re being late, you know, you are stuck in a crowded bus.
But if you keep thinking about that, you know, about this traffic jam and how much you hate it, of course you’re gonna hate it and you’re gonna be annoyed. But if you at least try to redirect your thought towards something else, it might help, so let’s say okay, I am in a traffic jam, can I change something? Well, I don’t think I can. So what if I read a book right now or use this time somehow. So.
Yeah. And for example when I’m annoyed by other people’s behavior what helps me is to ask myself why am I so annoyed? Not them.
That’s actually a good point.
It’s me, it’s something inside of myself which makes me feel annoyed, so if I ask correct questions to myself, it can help me address other people and well, deal with this thing.
Yeah, examining your triggers.
But also I think it’s important to remember that if you’re constantly annoyed by every single little thing, let’s say, I don’t know, even if somebody like coughs all the time in the corridor, you’re like god, can you stop? Maybe that’s a good, you know, sign to actually pay attention to your health and try to…
It can be hormonal for example.
Yeah, cause it can be a sign of stress, anxiety, sleep disorder, low sugar level even. Or, as you said, yeah, it might be hormonal or a side effect of a medication you’re taking. So yeah. So if you’re constantly irritated, make sure to check your health, so it might be something connected with that or with your sleep or whatever.
So and speaking of, you know, annoying situations, there are certain situations that tend to be very annoying, that have happened to all of us, which have the name of Murphy’s Law. Now what is that? How would you understand? How would you describe, define Murphy’s Law?
Is it like if a bad thing can happen or has any chance to happen, it will inevitably happen?
So can you think of some situations like typical Murphy’s Law situations?
Well say for example you go to the airport early but then your flight is delayed, perfect.
When I was preparing for the podcast, I remembered a couple of situations which I think can be in coordination with this, but it happened in my childhood. I remember one situation – I was a school girl and for some reason I thought like what if tomorrow I oversleep and when my classmate will come to my place to go to school together, I will be in bed.
And the next morning it happened. I mean really. It was like five to nine and I was in bed and she came like, Masha, it’s time to go to school. So I still remember it was strange, funny.
You’re like what if? The universe is like well I can make that happen.
Yeah, I wish it happened more often with something positive.
You know it’s like I have a situation that I told Benjamin and Ken just before the podcast. A couple of days ago, just in the morning I was, you know, browsing Instagram and I said oh wow, the girl I know, she had two bats in her bathroom.
Wow, I had no idea bats can live here in Siberia. I had never seen bats with my own eyes. Never! The very same day, the very same evening, a bat flew into my apartment. I was like thank you universe, I should’ve been clearer probably.
Why doesn’t it work with let’s say a million dollars flying into a window.
Cause that’s not how a million dollars work, you know, they can’t fly.
Bat work, why dollars don’t.
I have another situation, which is… What was it? The bat… Oh yeah, you know how we sometimes laugh that we should be very precise with what we wish for. So new year night, I was like this year, my plan for 2021 is to solve all my health problems.
And I think the universe heard it like health problems, okay, noted, health problems, I can give you that. That’s not what I meant. But yeah, anyhoo, Murphy’s Law situations?
Well I can tell you about one more situation from my childhood again. Because for example we were in the village with my mom and some friends of hers and there were some kids and we went to a hill. And we climbed that hill and then other children decided to run down that hill. And I was the last and I thought like what if I fall down when I’m running down that hill.
I see what you’re driving at.
And I fell down so badly I hurt my knees, my elbows, I tore my dress. Well, and I also think I hurt my face. Yeah.
Oh, that sounds so painful.
Just the moment after I thought what if I fall? I fell.
You should be careful with thoughts like that, yeah.
So I know how to deal with… Not how to deal with, but I know a lot about negative thinking, but I need to teach myself how to think positively I guess.
Well one classic example and I know it’s, you know, I try to avoid it, I try to prevent it from happening but every once in a while when I wear a plain white shirt and I have soup or sauce.
High five Ken, high five!
It’s like, I’m already preparing myself mentally, like, okay, I know about this thing, like sometimes you splatter something onto your white shirt. So I will do my very best avoid that. So you see, I’ve already prepared for it. And then when I go to my meal, start eating and then boom.
It doesn’t happen when you wear any other color.
Happens all the time with white, all the time. I’m like okay, I’m wearing white, there is, you know, I drink my coffee, it has a lid on, there is literally no chance I’ll spill it. No, I do it anyway. Do you remember there was this movie which was called A series of unfortunate events?
Yes, the book series and then the movie series.
So I sometimes believe that that’s basically and the Murphy’s Law. If there is a chance that my bus would not come – it won’t come. If there is a chance that I spill something – I’ll spill it. Or let’s say wearing white and getting under the rain or falling or something like that or hitting things – that’s my life basically.
All the time. And I remember once I was waiting for the bus and I set off, you know, 25 minutes… Oh, for the train. I set off like 25 minutes before the train, so I thought I have plenty of time. I can’t be late. And I wasn’t late. But the train was. For 1 hour and a half.
And I thought, you know, there was no notifications, nothing like that, so I thought okay, let me check it. So I checked it, I was like, it’s gonna be late for like 40 more minutes. But there is a bus that is coming very soon and I turned around and I saw the bus just, you know, leaving the bus stop.
I was like of course, of course, why not. So I ended up paying $30 for an Uber. Ugh. That was very annoying, very.
Well that’s one very nice thing about Novosibirsk – Ubers are a tenth of the price of the western prices, the western fares.
Yeah and the salary’s a 100th of the salary.
Well I guess maybe it’s like a third. It’s like a third, maybe actually not a third, but like a 5th maybe or a quarter. But it’s crazy how expensive Ubers are in the west.
So can you think of any other Murphy’s Law situations?
I just remember, it happened when I was in college. I had to do a presentation for a particular, well, subject, so I did my PowerPoint, everything, of course, photos with some video clips inserted. And then, just before I went to bed a thought came to my mind and I asked myself – what are he chances of the blackout happening tomorrow?
And I thought that’s not gonna happen, come on, think positive. And guess what happened the following day? No electricity and I said great, perfect. So I wasted all of my time looking for those photos, videos inserted in my PowerPoint presentation and I’m not gonna be able to show it to them.
Well the key is always, everyone said all these things happen when you think what if. So we need to think what if and then think something good and then…
You know, because of this Murphy’s Law, you know, if bad things can happen, they usually will, so that’s why I don’t take… I don’t make an appointment with my exam. So you know Toefl exam and this year, or maybe from last year, they have a new way of taking it. So now you can take it at home.
So you can take toefl at home, in the comfort of your own home, you just have to, before the exam starts, you have to have a meeting with the proctor. So you have to show everything around, so you know, so that you don’t have any kind of notes, paper, nothing like that.
That there are no people. And, you know, that sounds great, you can do that without going to a place. Fantastic. But then I thought, okay, I’m pretty sure that if I have this exam at my home, my neighbors will, you know, start renovating or, you know, drilling something. Or suddenly there’s going to be loud noise or my neighbor, you know, will listen to music very loudly.
Or the internet will disappear or the lights will go off. The electricity will go off. And in that case the money isn’t… You can get no reimbursement, no refund. And it’s $250. I’m like that’s too expensive to actually try it and risk it with this. I’m like oh no, too many what if’s in this situation. Too many. So yeah.
But it’s interesting, cause you know, well, technically Murphy’s Law, it’s not… Well let’s say it’s not proven or disproven, so it’s just a satirical statement that if something bad can happen, it will. But it just happens.
Do you know if there is an opposite of a Murphy’s Law? Like, if something positive can happen, it will?
Yes, yes! And you know how they name it? Okay, so basically if you put the letters in Murphy backward, so it’s like yhprum, how would you read it?
So yeah, but there is a satirical way of that. Yeah, that if something good can happen, it will. I like that more actually.
I don’t know if you believe in like the universe that whatever you put out there, it’s like you’re sending a message to the universe and then… Do you believe in such a thing?
Depends on whether you judge people or not.
Yeah sure, whenever good things happen to me it’s because I’m in a calm unanxious state. Whenever I’m in an anxious state, bad things happen. So yeah.
Because I think the moment you entertain an idea and you put it out there, then it will probably happen. And that’s why, you know, as much as possible, I just want to shut my brain sometimes. Like, forget about the what if’s. Everything’s gonna be alright, okay.
So I don’t believe in some kind of airy fairy magic way. It’s if you’re in an anxious state, it’s in your… Let’s say walking up the stairs and you’re thinking god, that annoy me so much, you’re taking out of the present moment and you can trip on the step and then bad things happen from there.
You know they say that when you picture something, you have to picture it as if it has already happened in a positive way I mean. So let’s say if you think like oh I want let’s say a promotion or I want a pay raise, you have to think as if it has already happened.
And technically it has logic in it. Cause if you think that something has already happened, you will have motivation to work on that and to actually make it happen. So not, you know, just rely on the universe, like, okay, I’m waiting universe, come on, where’s my pay raise. No, but you would be more inspired maybe to actually take steps towards the things you want.
So yeah. Alright. Okay. And I wanted to end on a language note. Because we’ve talked about, you know, how to deal with annoyance and everything. But if we four English language teachers, talk a little bit about how to express this annoyance, cause you know, instead of saying I’m annoyed, I’m annoyed, I’m annoyed or I’m mad. So how else can we express that? What kind of phrase can we have?
Coming back to conditional sentences here, conditional phrases.
What if. Well let’s think of an example.
And Ben, what conditional would that be?
Well what if I could dot dot dot.
Yeah, second conditional.
So yeah like oh, what if I had a million dollars.
What if I met a labradoodle on my way…
If I had a million dollars I would…
So but that’s more about, you know…
Yeah, wishful thinking, thank you. So yeah, I’m pissed off, I’m mad.
You can also say that you can’t stand something.
I can’t stand it, yeah, I can’t bear it. What if you’re like speaking and you want to show this annoyance, cause I know that sometimes people use different phrases like oh for Christ’s sake. Of course there are many other phrases with sake.
Of course there are. I’m trying to separate rude words from the…
The rude words are going to be sent only to those who leave comments in our vk group.
If you wanna be posh, you can say I’m absolutely livid.
Livid? How do you? Like l-i…
Never heard about this word, livid.
But is it like an old fashioned word?
I guess it’s getting a bit older. I haven’t heard it in a long time either.
Or if you wanna say for example criticize other people’s behavior, you can use wish + would or wouldn’t.
Yeah, like I wish you wouldn’t do that. I’m annoyed with you doing that, I want you to stop, I wish you would do that or I wish you wouldn’t do that. And I also think we can use present continuous in that case as well, like, you’re always saying that, you’re always doing that.
Yeah, I wish you would stop eating so loudly.
So, the combination of always + present continuous would mean that you are annoyed with somebody else’s behavior.
So that was a little educational minute for our listeners. So make sure to write down those phrases. We just hope that you won’t have, you know, many chances to used them, because, you know, the less annoying situations you have in your life, the better. Alright. And actually I’m kinda curious about what annoys you, a listener who’s listening to this.
So feel free to send, you know, comment in vk and talk to us about it. So maybe we can, you know, vent about certain situations. Alright, so that was the BigAppleSchool podcast and today we discussed annoying situations and things we hate and why and whatnot. Thank you Masha, Benjamin, Ken.
And thank you dear listeners for listening and remember if you struggle to understand any part of our conversation, you are always welcome to our website which is bigappleschool.com/podcast. You can find full scripts of each episode there, so it’s really helpful. And you can find a lot of useful stuff on our website in general – articles, videos, grammar. You name it, there’s everything.
And just a reminder that we also have a kids channel on our Instagram. So if you have kids and you want them to start learning English, or you just want to find different articles about how to teach them, make sure to check this out, it’s very entertaining.
So and it’s on BigAppleSchool kids. So also we are not only on our website or on Instagram, we are on every social media you can imagine – youtube, telegram, vk. Just search our name which is again BigAppleSchool. So now, if you’re annoyed by me saying that every single time, I’m sorry. Wrapping this up. So that was Katya and my guests for today were…
Stay tuned and we’ll see you around.