1. Voting snafus. Hanging chads may be giving way to touchscreens, but stories of problems at the polls never change. It astounds me that we can’t figure out a way to resolve the voting-booth chaos that engulfs cities and towns across the country every election day. Maybe TWO YEARS is not enough lead time to troubleshoot new machines and properly train the blue-hairs who volunteer at the voting precincts. What a joke.
2. Corporate websites that don’t provide names for media contacts. I hate calling general “PR hotlines” or sending emails to PR@acme.com or, worst of all, filling out generic Web forms (see #3 below) with my interview or information requests. Worse yet: when I get no response to those queries. I picture a roomful of flacks sharing a good laugh as they read emails from desperate journalists. “This loser wants to interview our CMO! Hah!” Call me paranoid. Nature of the business.
3. Web forms that gag on apostrophes. Urband legend has it that a SQL programmer with a bone to pick against the Irish rigged the database language in 1994 to blow up whenever it sees a single quote mark. Whatever the history, filling out text fields in Web forms with a name like “O’Regan” remains a huge error-message-inducing pain in the ass at countless websites. Try it sometime.