Get out of my way

By | 2012/02/03

Stop Sign

I do my best to be a tolerant sort of person; over the years I’ve focused on eliminating impatience as much as possible.

But one thing that still escapes me is dealing with people who stop in inappropriate places. We’ve all had it happen to us, right? You’re on an escalator and the person in front of you steps off the damn walkway … and stops. The escalator is pushing you into them, you’ve got no-where to go, and they’re just standing there, blissfully ignorant of the impending crash.

Or the person in front of you walks through the barriers at the supermarket with their trolley and stops as soon as they’re in, so that they can look around and plot where they’re going and what they’re doing.

Or the two friends bump into each other in a crowded aisle, rotate their trolleys half sideways and start having a good old natter, completely ignoring people trying to get past them.

And what about the people who get on the train, into a practically empty vestibule, and stand at the doorway, making it almost impossible to get in or out?

Or the people who people who walk 5 abreast down a busy sidewalk, strolling at a glacial pace, and almost seem to take a perverse delight in preventing anyone from being able to overtake them.

I know I should be understanding and assume they’re just absent minded, or distracted. But this afternoon at CostCo there was a guy driving into the entrance, who stopped 20 feet away from the barrier … then pulled his phone out and started texting. Blocking an entire entryway, cutting off traffic into the parking lot. More than a minute later when we’d parked and got out of the car, he was still there.

Again, I’d like to think they’re absent minded or distracted, but honestly, there reaches a point where you have to start to wonder – do some people go around with such a strong sense of entitlement that they actually just don’t give a shit? I’m not accusing them of being malicious, but in some instances surely they have to be in some way aware of their actions. A reasonable person would yield – but they don’t care. They just don’t care because their purpose must be greater than the purpose of others they’re blocking.

I’m tired of politely trying to step around these people. I’ll keep being polite, but it’s time to actually start saying “Excuse me: would you mind moving?” Not just a plain excuse-me-I’d-like-to-get-past-if-that-isn’t-going-to-inconvenience-you request, but an actual polite “I think you need to move – not just for me, but for everyone.”