I hate having to be proactive. It's a pet peeve with me. I want people to do their jobs, listen to my complaints, not forget I'm standing here and most importantly not make me jump up and down and do crazy things to get something I want. Perhaps I want the world. After all squeaky wheel gets the grease. But darn I hate to nag. I hate to send off reminders. I hate, hate, hate to have to be proactive and say, "Look, I know you aren't listening so I will bother you until you hear my demands."
But just because I hate it doesn't mean I don't have to do it...all...the...time. Sigh.
I think of Sandra Bullock's character in the movie "While You Were Sleeping." She eats at the same hot dog vendor every day. Tells him "no onions" and yet, every day, she has to pick off the onions. Why? Because she was a sweet girl or better yet invisible. It was a great way to "show" how unseen the character was.
Some people don't have a problem returning stuff, pushing their way to the beginning of the line or demanding they get what they ordered. These people also seem to have little patience or concern for people who are not like them. "eh," they snort. "You should have started complaining right away." As in it's all your fault if someone doesn't give you what you want.
Pet peeves, lack of being heard, or even the ability to step over anyone who gets in their way are all great character traits that tell a story in themselves. They "show" character, not "tell." Think about who your protagonists are and how they would react. Ensure you have a good mix in your story and use your own pet peeves to bring a character to life.