You may think I am leaving it a bit late, but this is the first time I have pressed fingers to keyboard in the year of our Lord 2013, so in no particular order here are the things I am going to do my best to avoid in the 12 months ahead, mainly for the good of my blood pressure and piece of mind.
First, because I was doing it so much over the festive period while in the unaccustomed company of hip and happening young people, is to accept defeat and stop tutting, sighing and correcting at some length anyone who asks for service of any kind by starting ‘Can I get...”
For once and for all, if you were in a position to get it for yourself you’d be the waiter, the bar worker, or the shop assistant and they wouldn’t be waiting for you to tell them what you wanted.
It’s all entirely logical, it’s not hard to remember, but I now accept that this inaccurate usage is now bedded into our language,
That’s another grudge to hold against witless Amereican teen TV imports, so I will just add it to the list.
Second resolution, maintain a full and principled boycott of all self-service tills wherever they are introduced. Something always goes wrong, it more often than not takes longer than if you just waited to be sorted out by a human being, and ‘unexpected item in the bagging area’ is both the most mystifying and irritating phrase I encounter on a regular basis.
Third, and on an associated topic, is to stop having a little bet with myself on which cashier I will be eventually called to when queueing in a post office, bank or wherever.
It’s not that I have any great issues with the system, it’s just that I am never, ever right, and as they always say, I can deal with the despair, it’s the hope that kills you.
I will also be counting to 10 and taking a deep breath every time I come across a recycling bin or bottle bank alongside which some numpty has dumped a carrier bag of their detritus rather than finish off the task they set out to do.
And don’t get me started on the associated mindset which dumps sacks full of donations outside charity shops when they are closed, so that instead of helping out a good cause with a bit of potentially saleable stock, they just give the staff the problem of disposing of their grot which can’t be put on the shelves after a night open to the elements.
Last but not least, I will refuse to be drawn by people who have no idea how to park even when life is made easy for them.
I’m talking about the dunderheads who can’t manage to manoeuvre their metal between the clearly drawn lines in a car park, causing all sorts of knock-on grief for others.
No, scratch that one – at least for four wheel drives and any car with a brand new registration number...