#1. Guys who put chairs up at a table in the dining room, either to save a place for someone or to signal they don't wish to be disturbed. Well, excuse me. First, it's a safety hazard. Second, it looks terrible. If you want to save a seat, put something there, like a sugar packet like the Sisters do. Or some utensils. Or a dead cat. (That should do the trick.) If you want to talk undisturbed, go to the far end of the dining room. Chairs tilted up to signal a private conversation shouts "Do Not Disturb!" and "We are more important than you and could easily have had this conversation elsewhere, but then how would you know we are more important than you?" It smacks of elitism and snobbery. Very UnMaryknoll. (...Or is it???)
#2. Guys who sit at the table next to the door in the dining room and then complain that it's too cold or drafty when someone goes in or out. Um... move? Better still, sit at a table far from the door to begin with. Much cheaper than having the carpenter and stone masons install a new door farther away.
#3. Guys who stand right in front of the elevator waiting to get on, thereby making it difficult for people on the elevator to get off. Move your carcass to one side, already. Go to Manhattan and practice getting on and off subways.
#4. Priests who think they are concelebrating but won't bother putting on an alb and stole. At the consecration, all these hands mysteriously rise up from all around the congregation. What is that? A backdoor fulfillment of an obligation to say Mass without actually saying Mass? Seems to me if you're only going to say the words of consecration, someone deserves a refund. Or at least a discount.
#5. Sending ceremonies where celebrants invite all present in the congregation to extend their hands in blessing. Tell them to bend their elbows a little! Photos of all those extended, straight arms make this look like a meeting of the Aryan Nation.
#6. God-awful electronic bells in our tower that mercifully no longer screech and scratch out the 6 p.m. Angelus, but still desecrate a Maryknoller's funeral by sounding like something out of Frankenstein's laboratory. OK, maybe it will cost $18,000 to fix the real bells, but that might be a great 99th birthday present for Mother Knoll. How's about we start a fund-raising drive? How's about we all take one less unnecessary trip (Yeah, I know, they're all important) or 36 members donating one month's P.A.?
#7. A man sitting all by himself in each of four different rec rooms, each controlling the remote and each watching the SAME STATION! And you wonder why so many guys have private TVs in their rooms? They all want to talk about the game at meals, just not watch it together. There is some logic to that. "Did you see the game last night?" "Yes, you damn fool. I was sitting next to you."
#8. Guys who use the kitchenettes and leave dirty cups and dishes in the sink. Where do they think they are? On the missions?
#9. Cluttering up the rotunda with sometimes as many as four sign boards (like today!), a pamphlet and magazine rack and now, get this, a stand with a guest book blocking the entrance with a sign requiring all visitors to sign in. Next to this is a three-foot tall automatic Purell dispensor. Nothing says "Welcome" more than a mandatory sign-in and disinfectant. Enjoy your visit. Don't touch anything.
#10 Lists of stupid pet peeves. Somebody has way too much time on his hands. The weekend is coming in the nick of time.