Fingernail Clipping: Most Annoying Public Grooming Habit Ever?

FlickrNew York Daily News columnist Pete Donohue wrote today about what has to be one of the most irritating things a person can possibly do in public:

Trimming fingernails.

How do you feel when you see a stranger or co-worker doing it?

When Donohue caught a man trimming his nails on the subway, he actually confronted the guy. He writes:

I stared at the man with eyes full of curses. Eventually, he looked up.

"Are you kidding me?" I said.

His face was blank.

"On the subway? You have to do that here?"

I can absolutely relate to the "eyes full of curses," which is probably how I'd handle a public fingernail cutter. However, I don't think I'd verbally confront the person. Donohue himself rethought his own decision a few minutes later, when the guy stood up to get off the train and turned out to be larger than he'd expected.

But Donohue got his happy ending:

He crossed the car, paused, and looked down at me.

"I'm sorry," he said. "You were right. Sometimes you don't think."

Phew! That could have ended a lot differently!

I can't really say what it is about seeing or hearing someone cut his or her nails in public. For one thing, it's a disgusting sound. For another, who wants gross clipped fingernails all over the floor? Eww.

I think that nail cutting might just be the most disgusting public grooming habit that there is -- well, that and hair brushing in a restaurant or food court. *shudder*

What about you? Which grooming habit disgusts you the most when you see someone doing it in full view of everyone?


Image via tamakisono/Flickr

horrors, nails


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RanaA... RanaAurora

I have never seen anyone do this in public, but I think it's gross to think someone would!

RSndle RSndle

Yuck. I have a co-worker who does it several times a week. I can't see them, but I can hear the "snip snip snip" and it makes me shudder every time.

Sady Jacobs Manning

I actually work with a guy that trims his nails (finger and toe) at the break table where and when we are eating! We all just stare in shock! It's disgusting. When confronted, he maintained that he was doing nothing wrong.

poshkat poshkat

its good that it didnt turn out with him getting a black eye. ti hate it when people cut their nails in public or pick their nose (GROSS!!). once on the bus on my way to school some old lady was clipping her nasty yellow toe nails across from me and one of them landed in my lap!! i was horrified and she just smiled and leaned over and took it off my leg. GROSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lori Appel

Just sent this article to my co-worker.. See,  I told you it's nasty, now stop it!

Elizabeth Pattison

I don't really care if they do it at own cubicle/office, but in the break room? That is just gross.  I only do it in public if I have a broken nail

Linds... LindsayFerrier

poshkat, that's GROSS!!! I would have gone straight home and taken a two hour shower! I personally wouldn't do it anywhere that it could be overheard by anyone other than a family member. Truthfully, it even grosses me out a little when I hear my husband clipping his nails! LOL.

mompam mompam

The other day someone was cutting their nails behind me ON THE BUS! It was so disgusting. I didn't do anything. It is not the first time this has happened!

Bobbi... BobbieKay29

The woman in the office next to mine clips her nails several times a week, seriously how long could they get in a few days time?!  It really grosses several of us out but then again this woman has ZERO hygiene practices so I don't even want to think what is under those fingernails!  YUCK!  A little filing now in then doesn't bother me, maybe it just seems cleaner, but hearing that "clip, clip" sound just gets under my skin. 

nonmember avatar kre

i hate when people do this!! both people that sit next to me at work do this. i just don't understand what they are doing at home that they can't take some time to do this.

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