People Share Their Most Annoying “First-World Problem” Moments
Many of us spend our entire childhoods wanting to grow up and become adults already. We crave independence, the ability to make our own money, and the chance to make our own decisions without running them by our parents first. Unfortunately, it’s only once we become adults that we realize it isn’t as great as we once thought it was. Here are the most annoying “first-world problems” people have experienced:
#1 Work Soundtrack
Where I used to work, we only played royalty-free stuff. Thank God I’ve forgotten most of the songs that would haunt me in my dreams, but I will never forget a Christmas song that has the lyric: “My sugar daddy Santa Claus.” Never again. We also had one that was a Kelly Clarkson song and she was making all these weird breathing noises on it and it made me cringe so hard. I love Kelly Clarkson but that one song is TERRIBLE.
#2 Oh, The Horror
Waiting so long before the next season of a favorite Netflix series that you forget much of the plot and some of the characters. Then when the new season finally comes you binge-watch it too fast. Should’ve watched it slower… Now I have to wait a whole year again. This is torture. I binged the latest season of Bojack Horseman in one day.
#3 No Social Battery
Stumbling into someone you know well enough to feel obligated to talk to in public when you really just want to buy your stuff and go home. I had the guts to say to someone I saw a long time ago that I didn’t want to talk to… mostly because I have been very, very badly depressed, but still. I just said, “I don’t want to talk, sorry. It was nice seeing you though.” and we parted. It kind of taught me you can just say stuff like that even when you aren’t super depressed, and it’s really not a big deal.
#4 Well, That’s Awkward
This guy just half an hour ago stopped me at Walmart to talk to me, dressed in my McDonald’s stuff. He said we hadn’t seen each other in years, and that the last time he saw me I was a manager. He talked to me about his terrible day and asked me how things were with me, etc. I’m 17. This is my first job. I look younger than I am. This guy was blind.
#5 A Sneaky Ploy
Being stuck on an airplane next to a super chatty passenger who doesn’t pick up on hints that you just want to nap. If I happen to notice someone on my flight who looks like they want to be left alone being chatted up on a flight, I’ll bring the passenger a set of earbuds, apologize for taking so long to bring them, and then tell them to enjoy the movie. It’s not a foolproof method and it doesn’t work if you’ve brought your own headphones. I’m a flight attendant, so it’s a totally normal thing for me to hand out headphones.
#6 Sad And Pathetic
I use to feel obligated to talk or listen to older people, and most of the time, I didn’t mind because they had some cool stories. But one old bat had to ruin my attitude towards it all after I overheard her tell her friend she was “making the millennial talk to someone for once!” And she urposely made everything horribly long and boring as “punishment” for not wanting to interact. Like dude, we’re strangers. If being rude to a stranger makes your day, then what a sad and pathetic life.
#7 Shipping Woes
When you pay for expedited shipping (ex. Amazon Prime) and the item doesn’t arrive on time. Now you’re stuck waiting for your cat calendar for another day if you’re lucky. Every time I’ve paid extra for faster delivery on Amazon and it doesn’t arrive in the time it’s supposed to, I just message customer service. I’m almost always refunded the cost of shipping.
#8 Props To Lee
We used to have an awesome USPS driver, Lee B. He’d leave everyone on his route with personally addressed and signed Christmas cards. He also did this on Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July, etc., and packages were always at the door and hidden from the street as much as possible. Sometimes a particularly large or valuable (heavy) package would be left in the back with a note on the door where we’d see it coming home. Anyway, last fall we got our last personally signed note announcing his retirement. Lee, if you’re out there, you were the best! Hope you’re living the dream!
#9 The Dunce Bagger
Getting the bagger who is seemingly a dunce. I’m sure he’s a great guy and everyone deserves a chance to work for a living, but… If I say I’ll bag it myself, he seems hurt; as if I’m depriving him of being able to work. If I let him bag then I’m screwed. I’ll get two items in one bag, 30 in another, and the bread will be at the bottom of a bag with a bottle of juice on it.
#10 They Really Care
I work at the front end at a grocery store with a lot of handicapped baggers. They normally work really hard and are genuinely really sweet and caring, and unlike a lot of the other baggers, they actually give a heck and try to do a good job. I feel really bad for them a lot of the time when they have a hard time or someone gets frustrated with them, but then I remember I was a bagger at one point and feel frustrated watching them bag improperly.
#11 Bad Bagging
Getting that ancient (but really friendly and sweet) cashier who scans your items at a rate of 10 per minute, and you just happen to be in a rush. The worse was being in line with my wife, no bagger insight, and then he came off a break. We looked at each other with an “Oh shoot” look as we were next up and there were two more people behind us. Not like we could switch lanes without an issue.
It was small first world torture as we watched him bag my stuff. Catching him as he prepared to put the juice on top of the eggs… “Wait, juice doesn’t need to be bagged,” and pushing over a loaf of bread. Literally, the worst imaginable bagging you’ve ever seen (outside of that eggs/bread bag), so we emptied all the bags… and the unbagged juice… and rebagged everything as we put it in our trunk.
#12 Wet Socks
Stepping onto something wet while wearing socks. Then, after you’ve changed to fresh socks and cleaned up the mess, finding another small puddle… with your freshly replaced socks. I was walking downstairs to the living room and stepped off the last step into COLD WATER. Now, this wasn’t just any water, this was toilet water from the that had overflowed in the room next door.
I literally only went downstairs to get some paper before I went to sleep after working a graveyard shift. So instead of sleeping that day before work again, I spent that day shoveling toilet water out of the back door. Just to add icing to the cake of that story, my dog later that evening rolled in said toilet water that we pumped out. Yeah.
#13 Noise Pollution
Sitting on a Greyhound bus next to someone who thinks, “I love this music, why wouldn’t everybody else.” I feel the same about people who use speakerphone when making phone calls in public and it’s worse because they hold the phone right in front of their faces and talk full volume into it. It’s like hearing idiots yell at each other from across the room but worse.
#14 MVP: Red Pen Guy
Not being able to go to the toilet when you’re desperate. We’ve all been there at some point. I was wearing yoga pants to school during my freshman year of high school. My period decided it was a great time to come on strong and, after getting up from my seat, this jerk Claire practically yelled, “What is THAT?!” I froze. The blood went straight through my stretchy pants and left a lovely red smudge on my seat. Fortunately, a guy I hardly spoke to held up a red pen and said, “She just sat on this pen; the ink is all over the place!!” I will never forget you, red pen guy.
#15 Sign Of Entitlement
Going to the gym (because you never have to do any real manual labor) just to find out that it’s really crowded, and you can’t do the workout you planned on doing. I have access to a free gym at work and it can be like this especially on wet days where no one wants to work out outside. You realize how entitled you are being when you complain about a free gym being full too.
#16 Flash Warning
When you leave a safe following distance between you and the car in front of you, but the jerk waiting to pull out from a side road ignores safety and merges into the too-small gap they perceive as an opening then proceeds to go 5 miles below the speed of traffic in a no-passing zone. I just flash my headlights at them at the same rhythm as their blinker till they work it out. Really helps settle the irrational rage that people like that induce.
#17 Karen Antics
Here’s one. Imagine yourself being 16, waiting for your haircut, but your mom came along with your little brother, so you aren’t by yourself. Your little brother is being fussy and loud while playing a video fairly loud on her phone, and anytime I would say something, she would reply with, “No he isn’t,” or “I’m sure no one minds” when everyone next to us was clearly annoyed. I died a little of embarrassment that day.
#18 For Argument’s Sake
Missing your train narrowly enough that you can physically see it pull away. Talking politics with someone that you really want to get along with, but disagree with on pretty much every level. It’s a tightrope you walk where you don’t want to give anyone the impression you support this thing, but at the same time you don’t want to disagree with them too strongly, or you might get into an actual argument, and ruin the vibe of the party. Plus, “You’re a cool guy to hang out with as long as we don’t discuss this… Can’t we get back to drinks and a good time?” Or they have some kind of power over you and disagreeing would be a bad idea.
#19 Leaving Early
I’ve had a bus driver commit two sins in one go: he ignored me AND left early. I was sitting at a bus stop right in front of a McDonald’s and grabbed something quick to eat because the bus wasn’t due for another 15 minutes. I was sitting there finishing up with 5 minutes left before the scheduled time and the bus just blew right past the stop. 5 minutes early. It is fine to arrive early. But it is never okay to leave early. Most good bus drivers will sit and wait if they’re running ahead of schedule. This one didn’t.
#20 Meal Timing
Eating at a restaurant with family or friends and your meal comes out last and on a different tray, so you get to watch everyone else eat until then. Or if you and your family and friends have a different culture to that. Having your food come out first but you can’t start eating before everyone gets their food… “No really I’m fine; thanks, but I’ll wait until your food comes too. No… it’s not getting cold.”
#21 Shaky Internet
You stay home sick from work and decide to make the best of the situation by binge-watching that show you’ve been saving for the right time to get into. Halfway into the first episode, your internet and cable go out. It’s also the end of the month and you’re out of data on your cell. Instead of finally getting into that show you were waiting to watch, you spend the rest of the day on hold with customer service from [insert favorite ISP here]. God forbid you may even have to crack open a book!
#22 Buffet Gluttons
Eating too much at a buffet. That feeling like you’re about to die, but you only had two plates, and man, you’re going to get your money’s worth! The trick is to focus on expensive stuff like sushi and seafood so only two plates on you’ve gotten your money’s worth. I learned the hard way. I used to just load up my entire first plate with mac and cheese and then go from there.
#23 Pet Peeved
Having to be on webcam for a work conference call. This was me all last week during a seminar. One lady just kept asking the stupidest questions that had the most obvious answers to anyone with a brain. She was the same rank as me (and most of the people in the room), and I kept wondering to myself how she managed to get that rank, and how was she in charge of other people? I mean, good for her for wanting more information because learning is great, but when you’re asking a question that was literally just covered 5 minutes ago, you need some help.
#24 Mindless Work
Jobs with any of the following: creativity, problem-solving, positive human interaction. The best job I ever had was just shoveling gravel to fix holes in a road in the middle of nowhere. I said hi when I showed up in the morning, and “See you tomorrow” after I was done for the day. Listening to audiobooks, podcasts, music, or just the nature around me. Never ate better, slept better, felt better physically nor mentally.
#25 Crank It Up
Being stuck behind an elementary school bus down a subdivision road that has a ton of kids exiting and all the waiting young mothers wanting to talk to the bus driver… The whole time the STOP arm is out and you just have to wait, in your air-conditioned car, listening to SiriusXM on your 10-speaker system radio in your relatively newish car. I guess that’s when you crank the sound really high, loud enough for them to hear.
#26 Overstocked Pantry
Not being able to eat when your stomach first growls, including being really hungry but not wanting anything in your overstocked pantry. I live next to a really nice grocery store, so I then have to go through the debate about if it’s worth it to go to the store for something else. At this point, an entire grocery store has become my overstocked pantry.
#27 Not-So Fast Food
Being sent to the waiting spot when you’re trying to get your cheeseburger in two minutes or less at the drive-thru. I ordered a burger at McDonald’s and they sent me to the waiting section. I was already running late for work so I just drove away when I waited 10 minutes with no sign of anyone coming over. Then I had to explain why I was late. That was torture.
#28 Check Please
When you’re in line at the grocery store and the person in front of you whips out a checkbook to write a check to pay. It’s not like they ever pre-fill some of the spots beforehand like the date or store. They can’t do THAT while their items are being scanned; they have to wait to even dig it out from their gigantic purse until the cashier is COMPLETELY done scanning them in and gives them the total. By this point, they all KNOW they have to present their ID but they still wait to fill out the check and hand it to the cashier and then put everything away to say, “Oh, you need my ID?” And fish it all out again while complaining about how inconvenient it is like it’s the cashier’s fault.
#29 DMV Disaster
I actually did this yesterday. The worst part was after my phone died, I just KNEW that my husband was not going to wake up in time to pick up our son from school. He works nights and sleeps during the day. I was at the DMV for two hours, about 10 people away from my turn, my phone was dead, and I couldn’t call my husband to wake him up. I g0t out of there as soon as I could and sped home. Sure enough, my husband was still asleep. Talk about a torturous trip to the DMV.
#30 Single-Ply Problems
Having to pull out several yards of wafer-thin, single-ply toilet paper at work and macrame it into a small rectangle barely strong enough to keep my finger from breaking through. It’s too bad to steal. I guess that’s why they use it. Their two options, as they see it, are either: “Spend money on toilet paper to make the cogs feel like respected human beings” or “Save tiny amounts of money by cutting into employee satisfaction, then complain endlessly that employees just don’t seem loyal anymore.” In the profit-driven business world, they will choose shareholders every time.
#31 Reliable Outlets
Having a several hours-long layover at an airport that doesn’t have any (or very few) available power outlets. Luckily, the last time this happened to me, I had a charger that allowed four phones to charge at the same time, and the other person to charge two devices. While I changed two, they allowed me to use the outlet. This was about five years ago in the USA. The other one is when every outlet has the grounding hole plugged with broken off parts of someone else’s laptop charger, so your only option is to break off your grounding part from your cord to use the outlet.
#32 Gas Pumps
Gas pumps where the locking mechanism on the handle is missing or broken, and you actually have to hold the pump the whole time to fill your tank. The last time I visited New York (in 2001) I discovered, to my horror, that state law forbids the use of those locking mechanisms, and none of the gas stations even have them installed. My god, the brutality of it. Hand cramps, sore feet, the whole bit.
#33 Just Leave Me Be
For my fellow parents: when you’re sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, or somewhere else that parents or grandparents frequent with small children, and one or more of the other parents wants to talk all about your kid or all about their kid. I don’t care if your kid said a whole sentence at 22.5 months old. I don’t care how big they were when they were born. Why do we have to talk when I’m perfectly content to look at my phone or read a book while my kid plays with the germ-covered bead wire thing and your kid is crawling up the walls? Probably to escape all your talking!
#34 Double-Edged Sword
The fact that you had to add in “while your phone is dead” just goes to show how consumed we are by these dang mobile devices. It’s the end of the world if we can’t go online. Well, the DMV used to have magazines, but mine doesn’t provide ANY reading material anymore. I have all my books on my phone, so I’ll never buy another book in print.
It is absolutely amazing to me that I have the answer to every stupid question my brain comes up with. I can talk to anyone, I can order anything I want, run my business, read my whole library, take photos, and do so many other things with this little personal computer in my pocket. I’m constantly learning and that’s incredible.
#35 Too Much Work
Being the trustee of a small-ish condo association (not big enough to have a full-time manager on staff). You’re not paid, everyone hates you, you could get sued for not enforcing the rules, you drown in paperwork and legal procedures to follow, have to spend time dealing with contractors and neighbor disputes, and if you don’t do it right, your property value goes to heck. It’s awful. You basically spend all your time protecting people from themselves, ugh.
#36 Personal Hell
There’s this stretch of I 95 between DC and Richmond. There is always an accident or construction or something that causes a 20-mile traffic jam. I imagine that my personal hell will be sitting in some ethereal form of that in 90-degree heat, 95% humidity in my old Toyota Corolla with no air conditioning, and having to pee for the rest of eternity.
#37 The Fork Slip
When my fork (or spoon or knife) slips into my ketchup while I’m walking from my kitchen to my den. No matter how well you wipe it with the paper towel or lick it clean, it still feels wet and sticky. So I have to put my food on the couch, pre-warn my freaking dog from even thinking about eating my food, and go get a new fork.
#38 Business Class
Business travelers in airports or on planes that feel the need to let you know how “important” they are by pacing around and talking louder than they need to into their Bluetooth headset. These are also the same people that will go nuts if someone blocks the aisle for a half-second longer than they feel is necessary so they can get to their seat and break out the laptop to go over sales figures and further show their “importance.” I have also become very good at locating these jerks purely on their looks before their mating ritual even begins.
#39 Obstructed Views
This is fully a first world problem—being stuck on public transport in a new place you have traveled to and being stuck in a seat where you can’t see the view. Especially annoying if there is local napping in a prime time viewing seat. I missed out on four hours of the French countryside and six hours of the northwest Italian coastline, and I’m still irrationally salty about it.
#40 Jury Duty
Jury duty. I’ve been a few times but I’ve never been picked. I’ve only actually wound up in a courtroom once. I’m kind of glad I didn’t get picked for that one; the guy had been accused of something I couldn’t even wrap my head around. The room got tense when they read off his charges. The last time I went, I was off by 11 and just chilled at home for the rest of the day. My job still pays you for the day if you get called for jury duty.
#41 The Pig Fence
Blackouts. I grew up in a country where I had 8 to 12 hours of electricity a day. We lost power for about a day this summer and I was freaking out because our fencing is electric and that’s the only thing standing between our pigs and the wide-open neighbor lawn. They know what the fence does and they started figuring out it wouldn’t hurt them anymore. That’s when things started to get interesting—just know that it’s really hard to corral a 500+lb herd of pigs with no help.
#42 Pesky Kids
Sitting near those guys who talk through the entire movie or show in the theater. I went to see a musical a few weeks ago. Behind me was a chatty family with a toddler who was getting fussy so they tried to appease her with candy. The entire first half of that show all I was aware of was talking, crying, plastic wrapper crackling, and kicking on the back of my chair. I was simply brimming with rage. I had another one where they appeased the toddler by giving them a tablet playing kids’ TV shows. Full volume, no headphones. In the middle of Infinity War.
#43 Small Talk Duties
When a friend of your parents comes over, one whom you’ve had little to zero interaction with, and then your parent leave you two alone, assuming you will entertain the guest while they go do whatever task they have to do. Geez, thanks mom, yes; me and this 50-year-old construction worker whose life involves watching football and drinking are going to have an amazing conversation.
#44 Payment Method
Being behind this extreme couponing loony at the only open register at the supermarket… Or being behind someone who somehow didn’t know they had no money on their card as they try other cards which also have no money, followed by them whittling down their stuff one item at a time while they ask, “How much is it now?” after each item… And then they pay with piles of change…
#45 Wrong Line
Thinking you chose the quickest checkout lane at the grocery store but you end up behind an old man trying to pay with a check or use an expired coupon. So you stand there while they call a manager and you despairingly glance around for a shorter line but you’ve already been standing there this long so you just gotta suffer through the frustration you know the cashier and everyone else is also experiencing.
#46 Wobbly Wi-Fi
I’m staying at an academy for four weeks of intensive training for my job. I was told there would be complimentary Wi-Fi for those of us coming a long way and having to live on campus during the training. Wi-Fi is there, but attempting to connect just gets me to a pop-up message that the signal is too weak and that it’s the same all over campus. Yet it’s always there, in my options list, out of reach.
#47 Airport Atmosphere
“We will begin boarding the flight shortly.” That’s a freaking lie and you know it, Craig. Everyone gets up all eager and waits in a semi-clustered line. The faces slowly lose hope as 10 minutes pass with no sign of boarding. People put down their bags, check their phones. Oh man, what a long 25 minutes. Also, there’s always like five babies per plane, and taking off and landing is just a symphony of screams. I travel a lot lol.
#48 All For Thali
I drove to an Indian restaurant that had the best Thali in the city. The map said 25 minutes which was fine, but the issue was that at the destination, I had to cut across four lanes to a line up with about a hundred cars long trying to turn onto some horrible street. I ended up missing the turn. I ended up having to drive two km in nearly stopped traffic, do a U-turn, drive another two km the opposite way, having to stare at where I was about an hour ago. Finally, I showed up at the restaurant nearly an hour and a half later than the freaking map said. It was worth it.
#49 Still Waiting…
Waiting in line to pay the toll. Because there is roadwork, at lunchtime, only one booth is open. It’s rush hour and the jerk before you don’t have any cash, so they have to write him a ticket… Then he dares to ask for directions because he is from New Jersey. Also: people who finish pumping their gas and then just sit in their car right there at the pump for 5 minutes.
#50 That’s Annoying
Getting a Diet Coke instead of the regular you ordered and the waiter disappears until the meal is almost over. Or going to Whole Foods and there’s a sign on the door apologizing for closing early due to a broken pipe. You stand there thinking there should be some kind of alert for this kind of thing because you just spent six minutes driving here singing a happy roast beef dinner song to yourself.