BUBIL: Venting about those everyday irritants


Let's face it. Life here is nearly perfect. But it’s not perfect. So here is my yearly fine-whine column, summarizing the things that I find to be irritating in “Southwest Florida,” not that we have a monopoly on them.

• Workplace manners, or the lack thereof. Etiquette is a lost art. My pet peeve: When two colleagues are conferring and a third walks up and interrupts with a totally unrelated issue, rather than waiting for “his turn.”

• Jaywalking. Especially at roundabouts, or anywhere on Fruitville Road, particularly at St. Martha’s Church, where parishioners brave traffic to get from the parking lot on the north side of Fruitville to the church on the south side. And yes, there is a crosswalk with pedestrian signal just steps from the church’s front door on Orange Avenue. Really, people, Florida is among the leaders in pedestrian deaths, and very few of them happen on the sidewalk.

• The new paint job on police cars. It displays a kinder, friendlier image, but we know better. And the police seem not at all concerned about death-defying jaywalkers — until they walk into a public park to charge their phones.

• People who sit behind you at football games and narrate the action — and are usually wrong, to boot. (I have done this, but at least I am not saying incorrect things. Usually.) Still, it is irritating as heck to those within earshot to make pronouncements about the course of play. (You get a pass if you say, “We need an interception here,” and your team gets one.)

• Snap judgments on Facebook, based on erroneous law and other instances of boneheadedness. The best course of editing for many Facebook posts is “Write, Delete, Go Walk the Dog.”

• Sharing your every thought on social media. Your lunch would look really good if it had been photographed by a professional photographer. We don’t need to see an iPhone snapshot.

• Consultants hired by city officials. Inasmuch as city leaders and staff cannot make up their own minds, perhaps they should hire a consultant to find better consultants.

• Sarasota’s parking meter debacle. I was in Tampa and Miami recently and had absolutely no problem reading and using electronic meters in either place. Those cities must have hired better consultants.

• And here is my chief real-estate complaint: People thinking the real estate market still stinks here because it stinks somewhere else that has a lot more people.

• "Southwest Florida.” Where is that, anyway? It certainly is Naples and Fort Myers. Charlotte County? Probably. North Port? Maybe. Sarasota? Hardly. Manatee? Not at all. Yet the phrase turns up in all sorts of places — including the Herald-Tribune — to describe our region, even in stories that have nothing to do with Naples or Fort Myers.

Oh, well, at least it is better than “Suncoast.” And more accurate than the title “Southwest Florida Water Management District,” which includes Hernando and Citrus counties well north of Tampa. Nothing “southwest” about those places.

And when you consider that the University of South Florida is in West Central Florida, you get a complete understanding of how difficult it is to label portions of a peninsula.

Harold Bubil

Recipient of the 2015 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award from the American Institute of Architects/Florida-Caribbean, Harold Bubil is real estate editor of the Herald-Tribune Media Group. Born in Newport, R.I., his family moved to Sarasota in 1958. Harold graduated from Sarasota High School in 1970 and the University of Florida in 1974 with a degree in journalism. For the Herald-Tribune, he writes and edits stories about residential real estate, architecture, green building and local development history. He also is a photographer and public speaker. Contact him via email, or at (941) 361-4805.
Last modified: December 30, 2012
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