What drives you crazy?

Certain things make me crazy.  Luckily, few things provoke uncontrolled behavior in me. But, watching people chew gum nervously sends me into orbit.  As a child, my mother would chide me saying I resembled a cow chewing its cud. Eventually, I abandoned the habit altogether.

Recently, I encountered a frenetically chewing Chase banker who asked if he could help me as I entered the Park Avenue branch.  I grimaced knowing how unpleasant the experience was going to be. As an important transaction had to be done, I relented trying my best to avoid look at his rubbery-looking mouth.  Once seated at his desk, I casually queried, "Does Chase mind that you chew gum at work?"  The banker gave me a blank stare replying there was no company policy against it.    However, at least he discontinued chewing in my presence.

For me, chewing gum is a private affair which should be done quickly and quietly, basically for dental hygienic reasons. Seeing people in the service business chewing away, offering glimpses of their blue or green gum or nonchalantly releasing an occasional bubble, is far from professional.

I was heartened to read last week that the $4 billion gum industry has gone into freefall with sales down 11 %!  Why the decline? Two reasons.  First, a large cultural shift is underway and young people no longer consider chewing gum is cool.  Secondly, using ingredients to produce gum which can’t even be pronounced hardly excites the average consumer who is looking for natural and organic things to put in their mouths.

No doubt, you, too, have something which makes you crazy. Care to share?