How Long Do Little Things Take To Drive You Mad?

Growing old may come with a lot of health and mobility disadvantages – but the one big gain is gaining more patience.

More than one in four over 65s say they are very patient when faced with irritation, compared to one in 10 aged between 16 and 29 years old.

But what makes us lose our rag and how long does a short fuse last before exploding in temper?

A study by web site Broadband Choices tried to find out by asking more than 2,000 people what their top 20 irritations are.

Top 20 irritants

And here’s the list so you can see how you rate:

  • A ‘sorry we missed you’ failed delivery note: 5.6 mins
  • The spinning wheel of death on your computer: 6.3 mins
  • Losing work on your laptop you haven’t saved: 6.7 mins
  • Failing to find a phone signal when you need it: 6.8 mins
  • Listening to someone talking loudly on the tube/bus: 7.3 mins
  • People talking/rustling sweet wrappers in the cinema: 7.3 mins
  • Standing in a long queue at the supermarket: 7.4 mins
  • Computer that fails to load: 7.6 mins
  • Waiting for a file to download: 7.9 mins
  • Filling in badly designed forms online: 7.9 mins
  • Running out of battery on your phone: 8.0 mins
  • Wi-Fi not working: 8.1 mins
  • Netflix not working: 8.3 mins
  • Being on hold on the phone to your bank: 9.1 mins
  • Waiting for the bill at restaurants: 10.1 mins
  • My partner or other half being annoying: 10.7 mins
  • Sitting in a traffic jam: 10.8 mins
  • Children bickering or fighting: 10.8 mins
  • A work colleague winding you up: 10.8 mins
  • Waiting for a delayed train/tube: 12.4 mins
  • Waiting for a partner to get ready: 13.1 mins
  • Building flat-pack furniture: 13.3 mins
  • Conference calls that won’t end: 13.3 mins
  • Your favourite football team playing badly: 14.1 mins
  • Waiting for a delayed flight: 20 mins

Frustrating technology

“We are now used to having everything at our fingertips,” said a spokesman for the firm.

“Technology has made accessing services quicker, from banking online to shopping on your mobile with deliveries the same day.

“Alongside this, though, as a nation our expectations have shortened, and our high expectations have made us more impatient. Technology, and connectivity with it anyone with a poor connection, it will be unsurprising that six out of the top 10 things from our research that frustrates people relate to tech.”