Now that the dust from the U.S. election has settled, it’s time to re-focus on the things that unite us. That would not be politics (we’re pretty divided here in Canada too). It wouldn’t be religion either. No, my money is on the “pet peeve” as the quickest way to unite humankind.

And when it comes to pet peeves, the common Call Centre takes the cake. My MasterCard (along with hundreds of others) was once double-swiped by a nefarious gas station attendant. I spent a miserable morning pressing numbers on phone buttons and hanging on the line “to hold my place in the queue”—just to cancel my credit card and my pre-authorized monthly debits. All the while, a saccharine-sweet voice kept assuring me, “Your call to important to us.”

I am pacifist by nature, but my need to strike or strangle that faceless voice grew stronger by the minute. Then I began to picture a face behind that voice. A face like my face. A few minutes later, I’d written “The Automated Lady.” If you haven’t already, watch the video. I think you’ll be able to relate.

That’s the power of a pet peeve to unite. We all “get it.” The question is: what are we going to do about it? Frankly, it beats me. If you have an idea, please call in now. Our operators are standing by. And your call is very important to them. LOL.

What other pet peeves do you have—peeves that I, and others, might share? Maybe I can write a performance piece about that too.

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