10 Kiwi driver behaviours that really piss me off

I think most New Zealanders can agree that we have some of the worst drivers in the world, which is why I am so surprised that Kiwi dash cam videos aren’t nearly as abundant or popular as their Aussie or Russian counterparts. We give 15 year old kids licenses, the Police put all their eggs in the “speeding” basket instead of real dangers like red light running and we have practically zero effective driver training.

A good quote I read recently was “We are taught to pass a test, not to drive a car”. And that is spot on. Here is the 10 things Kiwi drivers do that piss me off:

People who slow down when they see a Police car… even when they’re not speeding

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Nothing ruins traffic flow more than a police car joining in on the journey. As soon as the Holden with the blue and reds pull onto the motorway (highway for all you international readers) everyone slows down to a crawl.

The worst part is even if nobody was speeding, they will all slam on the brakes so hard you’d be excused for thinking they are trying to squash a fly on the inside of the windscreen with G-forces alone.

This also happens when driving past a police officer on the side of the road who have only just pulled another driver over. Everyone freaks out, hits the breaks, and I am left wondering why. Does anyone actually think the officer is going to spot someone driving past and think “fuck it, I’ll let this guy go and get that lunatic doing the speed limit instead!”

Drivers who hog the fast lane, and refuse to move over and let you pass

Since I have written about this before in a previous article, I will keep this entry brief. People who hog the passing lane (right hand lane here in NZ) yet refuse to let faster cars pass is my #1 rage inducing gripe on my daily commute. I especially love the ones that get angry at ME when I am forced to pass them in the slow lane.

Slow drivers who speed up when they get to passing lanes

Traveling between towns and cities throughout New Zealand, you will spend the majority of your time on single lane country roads. Some are straighter than others, but regardless of the conditions of the road, you are 100% guaranteed to run into one of these lovely people.

They will drag along 20km/h under the speed limit with a massive train of cars behind them completely oblivious to the pain and suffering they are causing. But what’s this? A passing lane in 2km? Excellent!

Passing lane arrives eventually… But wait! Something’s wrong… Why is this person suddenly doing 10km over the speed limit? Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck. Yep, now everyone is left with a choice: Seriously break the speed limit to get past them, or accept your fate of becoming a tortoise for the next couple of hours.

This is the #1 reason I drive in the middle of the night. Less cars on the road means less of these people, and more overtaking opportunities.

Selfish drivers who use a left or right turn only lane to push in front of traffic

I used to see this every day when I lived in Auckland. One road between home and the office annoyed me in particular. It had two lanes, one being a left turn only, and the other for turning right. Every afternoon without fail, the left hand lane would fill up with vehicles, as everyone leaves work for the day.

You can see where this is going… of course, every asshole who thinks they are more important that everyone else, sits in the right hand lane till the very end, then push their way into the left hand lane. And that brings me to…

Idiots who let the selfish pricks above in

… these idiots. They all drive down the same road every day, they see the same right hand lane wankers push in day after day, yet for some reason they sit in the left hand lane while leaving more than enough space in front of their vehicle to fit Pinocchio’s car in if he’s been a politician all his wooden life (Note: I’m implying his car is really, really long).

The right hand lane assholes know these drivers will let them in, and that is exactly why they take advantage of this inconsiderate maneuver in the first place. I genuinely think the most annoying drivers in this situation are the ones that enable the queue jumpers in the first place. If everyone refused to let them in, and forced them all the turn right instead, the problem will go away.

People who don’t indicate, or indicate too much

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Time for the cliche of road rage: Indicators. So you finally made it through the brunt of traffic, flipped a few queue jumpers the bird, and after a sigh of relief you find yourself driving behind one other car down a relatively quiet street.

Suddenly, he stops without warning. As soon as you think to yourself “Oh sure, why not. I love stopping in the middle of the road for no god damn reason”, he turns into a driveway or a side street. Brilliant. Someone should let Mercedes know they missed a key feature present in even the cheapest vehicle on the road, namely a device that will let other drivers know when you’re turning.

The other side of the coin is equally annoying though: People who just indicate 3 years before their turn off, or my personal favourite, people who don’t know how to indicate at roundabouts. In New Zealand, when going straight at a roundabout, you do not indicate as you enter, only when you leave. The amount of time I have spent sitting at a roundabout waiting on cars indicating right only for them to go straight, is time I could have wasted on the couch watching Netflix instead.

People who are rocket ships on straight roads, but arthritic old ladies in the corners

You tend to run into these people pretty often. You’ll be on a country road, traveling at a relatively rapid pace then suddenly out of nowhere a late model SUV flies past you at speeds so incredible, the scientists at CERN are conCERNed (hah!) that light being the fastest thing in the universe may have been wrong all this time.

Eventually Mr. SUV will encounter the most fearsome adversary of all time: A corner. He freaks out at the thought of having to turn the steering wheel, and reacts by turning into a 90 year old woman.

Suddenly, you are right up this SUV’s arse, as he goes around the corners so slow, the snails riding shotgun under his car starts to think “Fuck this, we’ll walk. This is going to take all day.”

Drivers who queue across an intersection

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Busses and trucks seem to be the worst offenders here, but cars are no exception. I can understand that sitting in traffic sucks, and having to sit through a green lights because there is no room on the other side is frustrating. But there is one thing worse, people that decide “to hell with everyone else, I’m going anyway!” Great, now nobody can go through the intersection, because Selfish-Twat McGee here has an over inflated sense of self worth.

When I was in the US, I saw signs at intersections telling drivers that there is a $250 fine if the queue across the intersection. Man, what I’d give to have the New Zealand police put down the radar guns and go camp out at intersections fining these muppets instead.

People who have no idea where they are going

You can easily spot these people by their signature move: Sudden left or right turn from across 3 lanes of traffic. Even in the days where we had nothing better than a physical map instead of GPS and smart phones, this was inexcusable.

If you don’t know where you’re going, then pull over and work that shit out. And if you do find yourself in the wrong lane, endangering every other road user should be so far down the “to do” list, it should even be below “give a starving tiger a surprise blowjob.”

Cyclists who treat road rules like a buffet, picking and choose which ones they feel like following

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Ah cyclists. Nothing can cause a more heated debate among road users than someone that uses their own two legs to get to work instead of an internal combustion engine. Which side of the debate am I on you may ask? Neither.

There are definitely assholes on both sides, and I am happy to report that I try my very best to always be aware of, and give as much space to a cyclist as possible. Except the selfish ones.

There is a coastal road in Auckland, where the council did something wonderful. They build a nice, smooth and wide cycle lane, completely separate from the road, keeping them well out of the way of cars and trucks.

Now, one guess as to where they all cycle? If you guessed “the middle of the fucking road” then congratulations, you win. This is not the only road where this happens, but it is the best example since a while ago there was a massive news story about a cyclist that got run over by a truck on that very road. And no, the truck was not driving on the cycle lane.

I can go on about other issues like cyclists riding 3 abreast on a 100kh/m country road, ignoring traffic lights and other road rules, but we will be here all day, and this is starting to get a bit long already.

I guess all I am saying is, whether you drive a car or ride a bicycle, stop being so god damn selfish and think about everyone else who has to share the road with you.

10 Kiwi driver behaviours that really piss me off

Facebook pages that link to a single photo instead of just posting the damn thing is annoying

Ever seen a funny picture on Facebook? I have, they are about the only reason I have Facebook to begin with. Facebook must like them too, because they added the most incredible functionality to their site: The ability to UPLOAD photos so people can look at them, right there in their very own newsfeed!

Amazing, I know. Zuckerberg may be a douche, but he knows what people like. I do hope then, that some of the more popular Facebook pages that share funny photos stumble upon and read this blog post, because I am sure they will feint from sheer excitement over this incredible technology.

It will definitely beat their current step by step method for sharing photos:

  1. Create a really, really terrible website, that is awkward and difficult to navigate.
  2. Plaster as many shitty, animated and noise making ads over any and all exposed parts of the website.
  3. Make sure that the photo people are there to look at is the absolute last thing to load, so that their iPhones will break down in tears under the weight of all the advertising, and beg the user to just go on without it before they get a chance to see the picture.
  4. Post a link to your shitty page on your Facebook page, making sure that the thumbnail of the picture makes it seem far funnier than what the full size one actually is.
  5. Look at the stats on your Google Analytics page while masturbating yourself to sleep because you have no friends.

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Like these assholes. That’s not a photo, it’s a link to their website. There is no other content on the page (unless you count ads as content), only links to other shitty click bait rubbish on other equally shitty websites.

I know why they do it. These websites aren’t sharing funny pictures to make our newsfeeds a happier place, they simply want you on their site so they can get a slice of that sweet ad revenue pie. The worst part is, they don’t even deserve it. The content is never original and they make their money by exploiting other people’s work.

And this is yet another reason I use Ad Block Plus, except on specific websites. I do believe that certain sites deserve their ad revenue, like one of my favorite websites, Cracked. They post original content on a daily basis, and they pay the people who write for them. Best of all their ads aren’t terribly intrusive (at least, there are far worse examples online).

I absolutely believe there is a happy medium where content creators and consumers can get along, Cracked is a great example, without people resorting to Ad blockers because website are either bombarding them with terrible and bandwidth hogging ads, or shitty content aggregator websites like 9gag lolface or whatever the fuck it’s called.

But of course, as long as shitty websites get paid to steal other people’s content, greed will always win.

Facebook pages that link to a single photo instead of just posting the damn thing is annoying

I hate phone calls

I really hate talking to people on the phone. Receiving a phone call when you’re half a dozen beers deep into a Netflix marathon is almost worse than dying 5 minutes before the cliffhanger ending to a season finale of Game of Thrones. I hate it so much, my Samsung smart phone is permanently switched to silent, and vibrate is turned off.

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My main reason for this is due to the fact that a phone call commands immediate attention, just like certain unskippable YouTube ads. You can’t just ignore and deal with it later as easily as a text or email, because you will then have to decode the shitty voicemail that sounds like it was recorded by Chimpanzees riding shotgun on an airliners undercarriage. My idea of a fun night in is definitely not listening to someone’s voice message 50 times over to get their phone number because they said one digit funny. And don’t even get me started on people who wait for the beep, then hang up without saying anything at all.

The other reason is that a phone call usually just takes too damn long. A typical 10 minute phone call will consist of 9 and a half minutes spent on greetings, feigning interest in how the person on the other end of the line has been recently and chit chat about nothing in particular, then a brief 30 seconds discussing the reason for the phone call in the first place. A short text message or email could have explained all the important bits, without me having to scramble for the Xbox One controller to hit pause.

I have tried to think of many solutions to my problem, and my current one of keeping the phone from making any noise whatsoever is working out OK, but I would much rather just turn the whole phone function off completely. But the problem there is I still need to allow phone calls from my significant other and emergency services in case someone was dumb enough to put me down as their emergency contact.

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“Sure officer, I’ll be right down after this episode of Daredevil finishes. He’ll be dead by then? Can I have his stuff?”

A solution then, is to have a service that turns all your voicemail messages into text messages. But then I am face with the fact that I simply can’t seem to find a single entity in New Zealand that provides this service. The closest I could find was Google Voice, which doesn’t work without a US phone number.

Guess I’ll just need to record a new voicemail greeting:

“Hi, you have failed to interrupt whatever I am doing, and have reached a voicemail box that gets even less attention than the Queen’s vagina. Feel free to leave a message if you really want to, but since we both know that 90% of the messages left here will consist of nothing more than you breathing, you could also try the alternative of sending me a text message. bye!”

I hate phone calls

Unskippable ad on YouTube? Fuck it, I didn’t want to watch that cat video anyway.

Today’s post will tie in a little with my recent sales rep post regarding how I hate having whatever I am doing interrupted so that some asshole can try and sell me something. Nowhere is this worse than on YouTube, especially when we’re talking about ads that you can’t skip.

In 2013 statistics surfaced stating that 80 – 85% of YouTube ads that allow you to skip the ad after a few seconds, are in fact skipped. Now to a normal person, this simply means 80% of people aren’t interested in your company or product enough to stop what they are doing and buy it. The advertisers however believe the internet is a dictatorship, and the netizens should be forced to sit quietly and watch their shit.

Advertisers obviously don’t like paying money for ads that aren’t being watched, but instead of them taking these statistics and concluding that maybe people hate being interrupted while listening to 80’s music playlists, and they should find a better way to advertise their product, instead they came to the conclusion that if people don’t want to watch their ads, they should have their ads forced upon them. Can’t skip ads if you don’t give people the option after all.

They are almost like a parent shoving disgusting vegetables down a toddlers throat, only in this case the vegetable is an asshole in his garage telling you how awesome he is for owning a Lamborghini.

This is the guy:

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Also yes, I know I have mentioned him before, I just hate him so much that he’s my go-to example of shitty YouTube ads. And yes I know you can skip his ad. I still hate him. Jesus I want to punch that guy.

Anyway, my point is this: If you want to show me an ad for a product I probably don’t want or need, then let me skip it. If I am forced to watch a 30 second ad so I can watch a cat fall off a kitchen table, it’s only going to make me hate your brand.

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Unskippable ad on YouTube? Fuck it, I didn’t want to watch that cat video anyway.

Sales Reps: The real world’s pop-up ads.

I hate sales reps. On a near daily basis at work I receive emails and/or phone calls from people trying to sell us their shit. Since I work in online marketing, the “shit” usually takes the form of SEO services, social media experts or website designers.

I honestly can’t understand how sales reps (specifically tele-sales) can even exist. Have we as consumers become so dull and gullible that we put up with being called at dinner time by some teenager that hates their job and actually go through with a purchase? I can only imagine that this was the board room meeting that started it all:

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Yes, I used a meme generator for that image. I googled “meme generator”. I needed a service, so I searched for it. They didn’t have to beg me via email or phone to use it. Effective, isn’t it?

This “annoy the fuck out of people till buy your stuff just to make you go away” strategy baffles me completely, mostly because my approach to marketing is based on my own experience being on the consumer side of the coin. Every time I consider a new marketing strategy, I as myself “How would I like to be advertised to?”

The answer is always the same: I like to see relevant ads only when I am actively searching for the product they are advertising in the first place. I get genuinely irritated having advertising thrown at my face, for products I have never, nor ever will consider buying. If I want to buy a magic bean that will make me lose an elephant’s weight in 3 minutes, I will go out looking for it. And then I would avoid anything that went anywhere near Dr Oz, because he is a fucking fraud.

The point is, if you want to sell something, sell it to the people already looking and ready to buy your product. Don’t email or call people begging them to buy your stuff. best case scenario, you find some idiots who throws their money at anything and everything. Worst case, you find people like me who now hates you so much, they will go out of their way to find your competitors and give them their money instead.

Sales Reps: The real world’s pop-up ads.

My favourite fairy tale is the one where no slow drivers hold people up in the fast lane

Here in Middle Earth, we ride our horses on the left of the road, and we are allowed to gallop at no more than 100km/h. Occasionally we even have roads with more than one lane in it, and when we’re lucky enough to have such luxuries, they often come with this sign:

My favourite, the red bordered keep left unless passing, SH1, New Zealand.

For those who drive on the wrong side of the road, just pretend is says “keep right unless passing”. The idea is that drivers should stick to the left (slow) lane, and only use the right (fast) lane when performing an overtaking manoeuvre, then return to the left hand lane afterwards.

But like all good signs, like those that tell people to push a door to open it or the ones in theatres telling teenagers to stop fucking with their phones while the movie is playing, this one often gets ignored completely. Frankly, it would be far more accurate if it was to look like this:

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I should hope you’ve already met and introduced yourself to the point I am trying to make, and is already at the counter ready to buy it a drink. If not, then allow me:

Every single day, I have to deal with people so very oblivious to the world around them, a bomb could explode next to them and they would be none the wiser. 90% of the time, these idiots sit in the right hand lane, doing not a smidge over 90km/h. Now I do think myself to be a very courteous driver, I let people in, I merge like a zip (check back later for an article about zip merging!) and try my best not to tailgate. This is impossible when I run into one of these fast lane hogging bastards.

Every day I am faced with the dilemma “Do I keep my distance and wait for them to move, or do I pretend my car is a dog on heat and go sniff the other car’s arse hoping they would take the hint?” I always try plan A first because I try not to be an asshole, but do you think they notice? Not a chance… plan B then. Yeah right! It goes without saying that plan C has now become my default response: Wait for a gap in the left hand lane, drop into 3rd gear and give the throttle a taste of my size 12 boots.

That of course, is when they notice and responds by trying to speed up and prevent me from returning to the right hand lane. Luckily I drive a car that has a few extra horses in the paddock, and the manoeuvre works out 9 out of 10 times. I am then congratulated for my victory by the lane hogging turd with a friendly high beams right up my arse.

New Zealand drivers are so friendly.

My favourite fairy tale is the one where no slow drivers hold people up in the fast lane

I hate discussion forums in Google search results

The internet is an incredibly useful thing. Almost any question has an answer buried somewhere on the information highway, and as a species, we have become so reliant on looking to the “series of tubes” for answers, Google may just as well be the world’s #1 religion.

But for what is arguably mankind’s greatest invention, it also has a dark side. From trolls and hackers to giving homophobes and racist a pedestal to shout their hatred from, the internet is as much a curse as it is a blessing. I shouldn’t need to explain why everyone should hate the groups I mentioned above, but there is one other group of people I feel deserve far more hate than they get.

I speak of course of people who reply to questions on a discussion forum with “This has been asked at least a trillion times!! Use the search function you brain damaged ape!”. Now, sure if someone asks the same question over and over again, I can understand why you’re not queuing up to answer the question all over again. But the one thing people don’t think about is this:

What if someone finds this thread through a Google search?

Want to know how to change your car’s oil? Or how to change a specific setting on your smartphone? Well good f**king luck. Should you try and Google it, you will most likely have to spend the next century filtering through all the forums where nobody answers the actual question, and instead just rage at each other for daring to ask that question again.

This definitely makes me think The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy was wrong. The answer to life, the universe and everything is not 42. It’s “OMG! WTF, not this question again! I swear to god someone asks this at least 3 times a day!!!”

I hate discussion forums in Google search results